Amazing Spain & Portugal - Insight Vacations

Amazing Spain & Portugal (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 10 days Visiting: Spain, Portugal

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

Delve beneath the surface of these two amazing countries, in autumn, winter or spring. Sample their signature dishes, share in their culture and marvel the legacy of their rich sea-faring history.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Madrid

    Your airport transfers depart from Madrid Airport to your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to get your bearings in this stylish city. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other, over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Toledo and Granada

    With a Local Expert, visit the the city of Toledo and join a master craftsman in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft. Walk through the cobbled streets to visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. Then, continue on to Granada.

  4. Day 4

    The Alhambra and Seville

    'There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada', cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits: a fantasy of stone-cut lace, arabesque gardens and fountains, built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century. With a Local Expert, you will also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Relax here in the sunshine and enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills, before embarking upon a scenic drive to Seville. A Local Expert will guide you through the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the huge walls of the fabulous Alcazar. You will see La Giralda the former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral's bell tower. Enter the immense 15th century cathedral -the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, enriched with the spoils of the New World. At night, enjoy the flavours of Andalusia and share in the passion of Spain's most fiery region at a flamenco show and dinner.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Seville

    (Relaxed Start) This is a free day to take your time and bask in the city's romantic aura. Or you might like to join an optional experience to Cordoba, for a visit to the magnificent Mezquita - an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it?

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    The plains of the Alentejo to Lisbon

    (Relaxed Start) On your journey, you will be immersed in a delightful array of seasonal experiences. During the autumn, see the ripe olives being picked; in winter, taste the freshly pressed olive oil; and in spring, learn about the history and curing process of Jamón Ibérico, including a delicious tasting. Next, venture across the wide Alentejo Plateau to Lisbon.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Lisbon and the Age of Discovery

    (Relaxed Start) During your stay, a guided panoramic tour takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto, to the Terreiro do Paco - the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarte, where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Stop by an old patisserie that has managed to protect the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pastéis de Belém'. See the 'Monument to the Discoveries' and the more ancient Belém Tower - a fortress originally set in the middle of the river, but now left high and dry on the riverbank. Next, visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Perhaps join an optional experience to the beautiful town of Sintra, which was once the summer residence of the Kings of Portugal?

  8. Day 8

    Holy Fátima and Golden Salamanca

    Drive into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the Basilica commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Then cross the border back into Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings. See the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor, and the Puente Romano across the River Tormes – 15 of its 26 arches date from the time of the ancient Romans.

  9. Day 9

    Old Castile and Madrid

    Cross the rock-strewn hills of Castile, towards the city of Ávila, still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls. Walk within the ancient city before returning to Madrid for sightseeing. A Local Expert will take you along the Gran Vía and through the Puerta del Sol. You'll see the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España, the Royal Palace and Cibeles Fountain. In the evening, bid farewell to your new-found friends with a lively Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.

  10. Day 10

    Depart Madrid

    After breakfast, your airport transfer from the tour hotel arrives at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman to learn about this ancient craft.
  • Toledo: With a Local Expert, visit the Church of Santo Tomé and see El Greco's masterpiece.
  • Granada: Explore the Alhambra Palace - the ultimate in Muslim architecture - an arabesque fantasy in stone and complemented by the glorious Generalife gardens, with your Local Expert.
  • Seville: Step inside the cathedral with a Local Expert, past the altarpiece dripping with gold, to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
  • Lisbon: Visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, and stroll through the historic Belém Quarter with your Local Expert.
  • Madrid: Your Local Expert will show you the gems of Madrid, from the statue of Don Quixote to the Royal Palace and Cibeles Fountain.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Salamanca: Stroll through the iconic golden stone buildings of the city.
  • Ávila: Enjoy a walking tour of this medieval city, famous for its intact imposing city walls.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Seville: Enjoy a walking tour through the pretty squares and narrow lanes of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the walls of the Alcazar.
  • Lisbon: Tour the spacious avenues and elegant squares. See the 'Monument to the Discoveries' and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Salamanca: See the Plaza Mayor and Puente Romano.
  • Ávila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town.
  • Madrid: Your guided tour shows you the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España, Royal Palace, Gran Via, Cibeles Fountain and Puerta del Sol.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Autumn: In the autumn, see the ripe, ready olives being handpicked.
  • Winter: Sample the delicate flavour of freshly pressed olive oil.
  • Spring: Experience the lingering aroma and incomparable taste of pure Iberian ham.
  • Seville: Tables are reserved for dinner, drinks and a fiery evening of Spanish dance and music. Get ready for throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
  • Lisbon: Enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pastéis de Belém' - a Portuguese delicacy.
  • Madrid: Toast the culmination of your tour at a fabulous Celebration Dinner with wine, at a lively restaurant.
  • Included Quality Dining: 8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Madrid: The Miguel Angel Madrid is an upscale property resting in one of the most elegant residential areas in the city, close to many key attractions. Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service!
  • Granada: The 4-star Vincci Albayzin is located in the Albaycin district - the old town centre of Granada. Relax in the patio and take in the typical Andalusian atmosphere of the hotel, in true comfort and style.
  • Seville: The Ayre Sevilla is fantastically located in the centre of the city. The property provides outstanding comfort and service, while being the first sustainable hotel in Seville.
  • Lisbon: The Altis Grand is a recently renovated 5-star property, with a refined atmosphere and offering panoramic views over the city.
  • 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.

OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are 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 Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers are available from/to Madrid Airport, at scheduled times only on arrival and departure days. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

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

 

Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay Madrid

Madrid (Traditional) - Spain

An upscale hotel resting in one of the most elegant residential areas in the city, close to many key attractions.

Vincci Albayzin Granada

Granada (Traditional) - Spain

The 4-star Vincci Albayzín is located in the centre of Granada and is typically Andalusian in style. It boasts a magnificent enclosed patio that bathes its rooms in natural light.

Ayre Sevilla Executive Rooms Seville

Seville (Contemporary) - Spain

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

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.

*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.