Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco - Insight Vacations

Treasures of Spain Portugal and Morocco (Summer 2017)

Duration: 17 days Visiting: Spain, Portugal, Morocco

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

A kaleidoscopic adventure that takes you from some of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities, to an exotic and vivid land of medinas and minarets. 

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Madrid

    Transfers leave Madrid Airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 16:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    Prado Museum and on to Golden Salamanca

    Go with a Local Expert down the Gran Vía to the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana. Cross the Puerta del Sol and see the Cervantes Monument in the Plaza de España. A highlight is a visit to the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and others. Later, pass the walls of Avila en route to Salamanca with its honey-coloured cathedral.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Estrela Mountains to reach Holy Fátima and Lisbon

    (Relaxed Start) Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great Basilica commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Then continue to Lisbon.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries

    (Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town to the Terreiro do Paço with a visit to the Belem Quarter. Stop by a patisserie and enjoy a tasting of Portugal's finest pastry, 'Pasteis de Belem'. See the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belem Tower - a fortress originally set in the middle of the river. Next, visit Jeronimos Monastery with its Manueline architecture. Enjoy free time in the afternoon.

  5. Day 5

    To Seville, the City of Carmen

    On arrival in Seville, join a Local Expert for a tour of the immense cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and the slender Giralda Tower. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar. In the evening, sit back and enjoy a fiery flamenco show with dinner.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Seville

    (Relaxed Start) This day is yours to completely relax, explore, or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. One suggestion is an optional experience to Cordoba to visit the magnificent Mezquita.

  7. Day 7

    Across the Straits of Gibraltar to Fes

    Set sail across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco, a world of veils, musky spices, bazaars, souks and snake charmers. Continue to Fes, Morocco's most ancient imperial city.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The Ancient Imperial City of Fes

    (Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert shows you the Medina – the walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and workshops, the bazaar and one of the world's oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making and gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Then you will be at leisure.

  9. Day 9

    On the Road to Marrakesh

    Travel via the Atlas Mountains, past mud-walled villages to Marrakesh.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Marrakesh, Pearl of the South

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy the atmosphere in Jemaa el-Fnaa Square where acrobats and fortune tellers entertain you. A guided tour with a Local Expert shows you the Medina with its many souks and the Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline. Also included is a visit to the Palais de la Bahia, built in the late 19th century, intended to be the greatest palace of its time.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Play It Again Sam in Casablanca

    Say goodbye to the snake charmers of Marrakesh and head for Casablanca on the coast. Did Humphrey Bogart really say 'Play it again Sam'? Find out during sightseeing with a Local Expert and see the largest mosque in the country.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Rabat and the White City of Tangier

    (Relaxed Start) Drive northwards to Rabat, with a Local Expert see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower. Continue to Tangier, Morocco's great port, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Sightseeing with a Local Expert includes the Sultan's Palace and the famous Casbah, with its variety of Moroccan wares. In the evening, relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel or take a stroll along the Bay of Tangier.

  13. Day 13

    Across to Gibraltar and on to the Costa del Sol

    Cross back over to Spain onto Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Later, take the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time on the Costa del Sol

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a free day on the Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade or savour the specialities in the local restaurants.

  15. Day 15

    Mijas and on to Granada and the Alhambra Palace

    Drive through the green hills above the Costa del Sol to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace. With a Local Expert, see the Lion Court as well as the water gardens of the royal summer residence. In the evening, choose your own personal ambience and cuisine from our Dine-Around selection of restaurants.

  16. Day 16

    Madrid in search of Don Quixote.

    Journey northwards through countryside immortalised by Don Quixote. In the wine centre of Valdepeñas, visit one of the ‘bodegas' for a taste. In the evening, back in Madrid, bid farewell to your newfound friends with a lively Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.

  17. Day 17

    Depart Madrid

    Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES AND DINING

  • Madrid: From El Greco to Goya, an expert art historian reveals the crowning achievements of Spanish painting in the magnificent Prado Museum.
  • Fatima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of Apparitions.
  • Lisbon: Visit Jeronimo's church with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries.
  • Seville: With a Local Expert, step inside the Cathedral, past the gilded altar to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
  • Marrakesh: Built around a lovely inner garden, explore the Bahia Palace with a Local Expert and see glimpses of a Moroccan kingdom's former opulence.
  • Gibraltar: Tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, affording magnificent views of the meeting of the Atlantic and Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra.
  • Granada: Best interpreted with help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the rich, scented gardens of the Generalife.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Madrid: A guided tour shows you the Don Quixote statue in Plaza de España, Gran Via, Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
  • Salamanca: See the cathedral in the university town.
  • Lisbon: Tour the spacious avenues and elegant squares. See the Monument to the Discoveries and ancient Belem Tower.
  • Seville: Enjoy a walking tour of the Santa Cruz Quarter. See the Alcazar.
  • Fes: Visit the Medina and shop for Moroccan carpets.
  • Marrakesh: Soak up the atmosphere in Djemaa el-Fna Square. See the Koutobia Minaret.
  • Casablanca: See the Hassan II Mosque.
  • Rabat: See the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower.
  • Tangier: See the Medina and Casbah.
  • Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village.
  • Consuegra: Enjoy views from the windmills above the town.
  • Scenic drives: Atlas Mountains, Costa del Sol, Sierra Nevada.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Lisbon: Enjoy a demonstration and tasting of the famous ‘Pasteis de Belem' – a Portuguese delicacy.
  • Seville: Over dinner with wine, beyond your dimly lit table, the stage suddenly erupts with the unmistakable singing, clapping and throbbing guitars of flamenco.
  • Granada: Choose from a selection of restaurants for a more intimate Dine-Around experience.
  • Valdepeñas: Enjoy a delicious exploration of the wines of La Mancha, their robust flavours and absorbing history.
  • Madrid: Toast the culmination of your tour at a fabulous Celebration Dinner with wine.
  • 17 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 three-course table d’hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 2 Celebration Dinners (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Salamanca: The centrally located Alameda is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.
  • Marrakesh: The luxurious Atlas Medina & Spa is set amidst lush, picturesque gardens in central Marrakesh, the perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges', expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel. Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel WiFi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Miguel Angel Madrid

Madrid (Central) - Spain

Miguel Angel, Madrid

Hotel Alameda Palace Salamanca

Salamanca (Traditional) - Spain

The centrally located Hotel Alameda Palace is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.

Altis Grand Hotel Lisbon

Lisbon (Central) - Portugal

Altis Grand is a landmark 5 star hotel in Lisbon with a prime location in central Lisbon, within walking distance of Avenida Liberdade and Lisbon’s historic districts, this hotel has its history linked to the contemporary history of the country, which regularly hosts media events.

Ayre Sevilla Executive Rooms Seville

Seville (Contemporary) - Spain

A dominant hotel which is fantastically-located in the centre of Seville.

Palais Medina and Spa Fez

Fez (Contemporary) - Morocco

The Palais Medina & Spa is set in a 5-hectare Andalusian garden, with the perfect alliance between tradition and modern luxury.

Atlas Medina and Spa Marrakesh

Marrakesh (Contemporary) - Morocco

The luxurious Atlas Medina & Spa is set amidst lush, picturesque gardens in central Marrakesh, the perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.

Kenzi Tower Hotel Casablanca

Casablanca (Central) - Morocco

Kenzi Tower Hotel, Casablanca

Farah Hotel Tangier

Tangier (Scenic) - Morocco

Farah Hotel, Tangier

Melia Costa Del Sol Torremolinos

Torremolinos (Scenic) - Spain

Located in Malaga, in the resort of Torremolinos, in the heart of the Costa del Sol, and strategically located right on the beach, Meliá Costa del Sol is the best option for unwinding, having fun and working in Malaga, thanks to its excellent location, its complete and comfortable facilities and its superb service.

Saray Granada

Granada (Central) - Spain

Located only a short walk from Granada's historic centre, Hotel Saray features elegant Andalusian design, of mosaics, archways and fountains.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7784 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 16 February, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The shops we were taken to in Morocco to buy leather goods and carpets were intimidating due to the sales men. Most people had no idea of prices and with the foreign currency some poor people paid way more than others. The local tour guide in Morocco was very off putting. He was over familiar with some older ladies who didn't know how to react. He gave little quality information some of which he later contradicted. Then he talked about the local marriage of women and gave far too much sexual detail about the couple. More fee time to shop or visit local attractions would have been a plus. Some of the optional extras were not worth the price.

    Service: My trip was booked through a travel agent so did not have anything to do with customer service.

  • 17 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: While one could fairly debate which city in Morocco we could have spent additional time in versus the ones scheduled, it was still an excellent trip.

    Service: Daniel Ferguson was simply all over assisting us with Mary's lost bag on the flight from London Heathrow via British Airways/Iberia Airlines to Madrid, obviously aided by his Spanish speaking skills and simply the breadth of his assistance. He was also an excellent tour director . . . resourceful, always helpful and a wonderful sense of humor . . . great trip!

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great bunch of people and tour guide

    Service: Great follow up service and prompt delivery of documents

  • 27 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The optional tour to Malaga should be included in the itinerary . I enjoyed it so much , no one should miss out. The Morocco local guide should be better.

    Service: Yes definitely. The Morocco local tour guide must be replaced. He didn't give much information not very organised and professional.

  • 25 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Glad we arrived in Madrid a couple days early. Toledo and Segovia were worth seeing.

    Service: Very good hotels except for Tangiers. And maybe should have stayed in Rabat instead of Casablanca.

  • 23 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very busy but it maximized our experience. We had never been to Spain or Portugal and we loved the addition of Morocco for a bit of mystery and an exotic experience.

    Service: We had a great tour guide, Danial Ferguson. We think the tour guide is what makes the tour a success. He was organized, knowledgeable, and extremely professional. We had an elderly woman on the tour and he took very good care of her.

  • 21 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A wide range of experiences -- very good

    Service: It was a good experience and the itinerary covered a lot of ground side trips should be rated as to difficulty

  • 21 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw a lot of Spain & Morocco & not much of Portugal, Maybe 1 more day in Portugal woul have been good. They did a great job of showing Morocco.

    Service: Our guide & driver could not have been better. Some of the included meals were not so good. The welcome dinner was just awful.

  • 20 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Wonder Experience,Guides were great, places selected were fabulous..great food...

    Service: Well organized travel experience,enjoyed the places ,food ,and guides selected.

  • 20 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Not enough freedom to explore away from main tourist spots, restaurants, shops. Need more stops of 3 days. Tour was a bit long.

    Service: Good Tour Leader and Driver. Needed more time and freedom to explore in Morocco.

  • 20 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Saw many interesting places in a very short space of time. Would have liked a little more time at some places but then we would have missed out somewhere else.

    Service: I love the service insight provides. Everything runs so smoothly and we never have to worry about anything. The extra leg room in the coaches is fantastic too. I would use them again.

  • 20 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Too much driving not enough sites seeing

    Service: The trip was organized wary well. The tour director and the driver did a great job

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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