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Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
After breakfast, your airport transfer from the tour hotel arrives at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
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.
Madrid (Traditional) - Spain
An upscale hotel resting in one of the most elegant residential areas in the city, close to many key attractions.
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.
Seville (Contemporary) - Spain
A dominant hotel which is fantastically-located in the centre of Seville.
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.