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Welcome to Madrid
At Madrid Airport, transfers depart for your tour hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and a beautiful evening of dinner and wine.
Madrid of the Bourbons
(Relaxed Start) Guided sightseeing takes you along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana past Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Drive down the Gran Vía to the Royal Palace and Cervantes Monument before crossing the Puerta del Sol. The highlight of your tour is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.
Toledo and Golden Salamanca
The morning is devoted to Toledo. With your Local Expert, walk through the maze of narrow, cobbled streets. See El Greco's painting in the Church of Santo Tomé. Join a master craftsman in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Later, pass the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca, with its handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, honey-coloured cathedral and 16th century university buildings.
Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
(Relaxed Start) Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. See the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges (or ‘Eiffel Towers on end’ according to one Frenchman).
Holy Fátima, Obidos and Lisbon
Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Then continue to the hilltop town of Obidos, where you'll walk inside the city walls to explore the flower-bedecked houses and narrow, medieval streets. Your next destination is the Portuguese capital.
Lisbon and the Age of Discovery
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belem Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Stop by an old patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous '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, but now left high and dry on the riverbank. Next, visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. The afternoon is free, perhaps join us for an optional experience to the Portuguese Riviera, visited by surfers, royalty, and even James Bond?’
Seville, the City of Carmen
Leave Lisbon via a modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, tour the immense cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and the slender Giralda Tower. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar. At night, settle back for a Signature Evening of dinner and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.
Free Time in Seville
(Relaxed Start) The following day is completely yours to relax, explore, or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. Our suggestion is an optional experience to the ancient city of Cordoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop.
Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol
Head south to Gibraltar, attached to Spain yet an overseas territory under British... along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.
At Leisure on the Costa del Sol
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy the day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
Granada and the Alhambra
(Relaxed Start) 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.
On to Valencia.
Journey to Valencia the 'City of Arts and Sciences'. Circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos, to reach your hotel. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Learn the authentic recipe in a fun cookery demonstration with a local chef and savour the flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria.
Peñíscola and Barcelona
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film 'El Cid'. Continue along the Costa Dorada, to your hotel in Barcelona.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert to drive along the Passeig de Gràcia. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família Basilica. In the afternoon, maybe experience the great Monastery of Montserrat and see the Black Madonna? At night, enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine in true Catalan style.
Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport early evening, followed by the Madrid tour hotel.
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 (Central) - Spain
The newly built 5-star Barceló Torre de Madrid offers sophisticated comfort and impeccable service, all within walking distance from Madrid's major sights.
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.
Porto (Central) - Portugal
The NH Collection Porto Batalha was once an 18th century palace hosting lavish balls. It is now a state-of-the-art property offering impeccable service and maximum comfort.
Lisbon (Central) - Portugal
Dom Pedro Palace is located across the street from one of the largest Lisbon shopping Centres: the Amoreiras Shopping Centre with 250 top quality shops, cinemas and restaurants. On the top of the hotel there is the most exclusive Lisbon Penthouse Suite with a 360º degree view overlooking the city. This deluxe hotel offers elegant guest accommodations with great city views and a fantastic spa.
Seville (Contemporary) - Spain
A dominant hotel which is fantastically-located in the centre of Seville.
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.
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.
Valencia (Central) - Spain
The Barcelo Valencia hotel is situated right in the centre of the City of Arts and Sciences, opposite the Queen Sofia Palace of Arts, a building which was designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, and is situated in one of the most modern and attractive areas of the city of Valencia.
Barcelona (Central) - Spain
The modern Hilton Barcelona is located on the city's main avenue. It promises an outstanding experience in Barcelona with all comforts and a spectacular view over the city!
07 March, 2018
Trip: This itinerary made it possible for my wife and I to see a variety of towns and cities of Spain and Portugal within a short period of time. We would have loved to spend more time in most of the visited towns (particularly Seville, Granada and Cordoba) except for Costa del Sol where one night would have been sufficient. We enjoyed experiencing the cuisine from the different regions. The Seville optional comprising dinner and carriage ride was excellent (we were actually thinking of not taking it but are very glad that we did after Brad's detailed description).
Service: Our tour director Brad clarified team expectations for a smooth journey. He also was very knowledgeable and kept us informed of the day's itinerary and hightlights including wash room stops, what and where to eat, and was happy to reiterate meeting times and locations. Brad was a great leader and role model.
04 March, 2018
Trip: Dinner usually at 8:00pm is kind of ' late ' because sometimes we have 6:00 am morning calls. And some optional dinner are mediocre. I like one dinner at Serville with horse carriage after.
Service: Luggage handling, excellent tour guide, excellent driver.
03 March, 2018
Trip: Excellent value for money Superb coaches Luxurious hotels In-Depth travel commentary Fabulous dining and meals
Service: Outstanding value fir money and personalsed service . Excellent coaches Fabulous food In-depth commentary
04 February, 2018
Trip: DID A VERY GOOD JOB OF COVERAGE OF THE TWO COUNTRIES
Service: THE TOUR DIRECTOR WAS FUN THE HOTELS WERE EXCELLENT MANY OF THE OPTIONAL TOURS SHOULD HAVE BEEN PART OF THE TOUR. SOME OF SHOCK TO HAVE $1000 EXTRA FOR THE OPTIONAL TOURS
03 February, 2018
Trip: We visited 21 cities in 14 days. The numbers speak for themselves!
Service: Great tour, beautiful cities, and helpful tour guides. It was fast-paced with early wake-up calls and departure, but I didn't mind it because it allowed us to visit a lot of places in a day. Hotels were mostly reasonable. I probably did not like one or two hotels and dinners, but it is a bit unrealistic to expect everything to be pitch perfect and as you wish.
03 February, 2018
Trip: Very clear and simple to follow.
Service: Information was clear. Tour director was great and very helpful. Helpful with all our needs
29 January, 2018
Trip: Was my first In Sight Vacation. Was very organised and I was impressed at how smoothly everything was run. Will do another and already praising your efforts to my friends.
Service: This was my first In Sight Vacation. I was very impressed with how organised everything was and smoothly run. Yes, I'd do another In Sight tour, and am already praising your efforts to all my friends.
28 January, 2018
Trip: I loved every place we visited - if I could make a change I would prefer to stay at Malaga in Costa Del Sol rather than where we stayed. I found the optional tour we did to Malaga was exceptional and wished we had more time. The accommodation at Costa Del Sol was rather poor - we were there in low season and the management at the hotel still could not give us a room on a higher level )we had level 1) and no views.
Service: The itinerary for all trips have been well planned with great guides and if I found any issues with any trips they have been addressed.
27 January, 2018
Trip: A nice overview of Spain and Portugal. A few changes to accommodate winter weather might be worth looking in to. For example, skipping rainy Gibraltar where we couldn't see anything in favor of an extra day in Granada or Valencia.
Service: I appreciated the pre-trip contact and the follow-up. All the details were taken care of, and Elena took time to make sure our individual interests were addressed as we reached our destinations.
27 January, 2018
Trip: A day extra in some of the cities would be nice. Stay in Malinga instead of Costadelsol.
Service: In all very well organised and run. With all trips there are a few issues in our case one of the hotels was well below par. Guide was excellent and nothing was too much. The itinerary was good but it would have been nice to spend a day more in some of the destinations. I would recommend and am already booked on another Insight trip.
27 January, 2018
Trip: Most people would have liked more free time in Valencia and in Granada. The Costa del Sol session was excessive in that regard, although a valuable 'day off' in an intense experience.
Service: We were well looked after
17 January, 2018
Trip: Too many cathedrals tours
Service: Mostly good , coach & driver was excellent Not happy about large tip expected for something I had already paid for