Highlights of Spain - Insight Vacations

Highlights of Spain (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Spain

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

True to its name, you’ll find so many highlights here, in autumn, winter or spring, including: the Alhambra, the modernist architecture of Barcelona, Madrid’s Prado Museum, the Andalucian capital of Seville and Cordoba’s Mezquita.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Barcelona

    Airport transfers depart from Barcelona Airport for your tour hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the chance to mingle with your fellow travelers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Barcelona, the City of Gaudi

    (Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert to explore the narrow lanes and old squares behind the cathedral. See lively Las Ramblas as you head along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to see the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    The Orange Blossom Coast to Valencia

    (Relaxed Start) Follow the sunny Costa Dorada, past the rice fields of the Ebro Delta to stop by Peñíscola and admire the sea-lapped castle, as featured in the film 'El Cid'. Pass through the famous orange groves to Valencia, the 'City of Arts and Sciences'. Circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos and Quart to reach your hotel. Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes - paella. Learn the authentic recipe in a fun cookery demonstration and savour the flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria.

  4. Day 4

    Granada and the Alhambra

    Drive along the Costa Blanca, past the castle at Lorca and troglodyte dwellings hollowed out of the soft rock, near Guadix. Enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada from the distance as you reach glorious Granada. Overlooking the town stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built – the Alhambra. Explore this exquisite palace; a fantasy of stone-cut lace, arabesque gardens and fountains, built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century. Also stroll through the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Scenic drive to Seville

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, there is time if you wish, to explore the labyrinthine Albaicin Quarter, where the Church of St. Nicholas offers one of the most superb views of the Alhambra. Then travel to Seville past gleaming white villages and olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. This stunning capital of Andalucía is simply one of Spain's most charming jewels. At night, enjoy the flavours of Andalucía and share in the passion of Spain's most fiery region at a flamenco show and dinner.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Seville, the City of Carmen

    (Relaxed Start) Seville has a distinctive character and presence that is best revealed by a Local Expert. During your stay, visit the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park. Then stroll through the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its flower bedecked, wrought-iron balconies. Emerge by the Alcazar - a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Visit the massive cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. The energetic can climb the Giralda Tower - the former minaret of the Great Mosque, and enjoy views over the city. The afternoon is at leisure.

  7. Day 7

    Moorish Cordoba and Madrid

    Set off along the Guadalquivir Valley, passing villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses. Stop in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. See the famous 2,000-year-old bridge and meet a local historian for a visit to the magnificent Mezquita - an 8th century mosque with a Christian church built inside it. Afterwards, there is free time to stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Jewish Quarter. Follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote as you travel through the Mancha and on to the capital of Madrid.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Madrid of the Bourbons

    (Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for sightseeing along the noble avenues. See the statue of Cervantes' fictional hero, Don Quixote, in the Plaza de España. Continue past the Cibeles Fountain and the Parliament to cross the Puerta del Sol. Visit the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Botticelli, Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others. Take time out to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques, or perhaps enjoy an optional experience to beautiful Toledo? In the evening, join your farewell Celebration Dinner in the heart of town, complete with wine.

  9. Day 9

    Farewell Madrid

    Board your onward flight, taking home memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Barcelona: A Local Expert will take you inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família Basilica.
  • Granada: Visit the Alhambra Palace with a Local Expert - an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the gardens of the Generalife.
  • Seville: With a Local Expert, step inside the impressive cathedral, past the altarpiece dripping with gold, to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
  • Cordoba: Explore the Mezquita with your Local Expert and see its forest of horseshoe arches. This fascinating building symbolises many of Cordoba's religious changes over the centuries.
  • Madrid: Study the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive international collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an expert art historian.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Barcelona: Enjoy a walking tour with a Local Expert through the old lanes and squares of the Gothic Quarter. Drive down the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest modernist architecture.
  • Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge City Gates of Serranos and Quart.
  • Seville: Visit the beautiful Plaza de España in Seville's Maria Luisa Park. Enjoy a walking tour of the Santa Cruz Quarter with its pretty squares and flower-decked balconies. Emerge by the walls of the Alcazar.
  • Cordoba: Spend some time in the old Jewish Quarter.
  • Madrid: Your guided tour shows you the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España, Royal Palace, Gran Via, Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
  • Scenic drives: Cross the Sierra Nevada, Plains of La Mancha.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Autumn: Savour the smooth taste of the freshly pressed olive oil.
  • Winter: Sample fresh Valencia oranges of the season, artfully made into a delicious dessert.
  • Spring: Enjoy an exquisite exploration of the local wines, their robust flavours and absorbing history.
  • Valencia: Learn the authentic recipe of paella in a fun cookery demonstration. Savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria.
  • Seville: Over dinner with wine, the stage will suddenly erupt with the unmistakable singing, clapping and throbbing guitars of flamenco.
  • Madrid: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your end-of-tour Spanish Celebration Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
  • Included Quality Dining: 8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Signature Evenings (SE), 1 Three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) 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

  • Barcelona: The Melia Barcelona Sarrià is a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city, a stone's throw away from Barcelona's key attractions.
  • Valencia: The Barceló Valencia is situated in the most modern and attractive area of the city. Opposite the Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts, this is the centre of the ‘City of Arts and Sciences'.
  • Granada: The stylish Melia Granada is located in the vibrant heart of the city centre, walking distance from the cathedral and near the trendy shops.
  • Seville: The spacious Melia Sevilla guarantees an unforgettable stay, with first-rate service and comfort, right in the heart of the city.
  • Madrid: The Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay 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!

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 Barcelona Airport and 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

 

Barcelo Valencia

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.

Melia Granada

Granada (Central) - Spain

The stylish Melia Granada is located in the vibrant heart of the city centre, walking distance from the cathedral and near the trendy shops.

Melia Sevilla Seville

Seville (Central) - Spain

The spacious Melia Sevilla guarantees an unforgettable stay, with first-rate service and comfort, right in the heart of the city.

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.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7369 reviews received during the past year.

  • 04 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour was well paced and relevant

    Service: Both driver and Tour director were excellent

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very well managed by tour director. Coach driver also top class.

    Service: Yes we would travel with insight again. We would also recommend them to others. Highlights of Spain was excellent.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Everything was just perfect . Though would add that they need to have more options for the food for international people coming from Different relgious background .

    Service: I would definely recommend to others for sure. The sights chosen for the trip was excellent . Tour guide was great with great knowledge and experience . Customer service was on spot . Loved everything -

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I liked the actual tour with the options. That gave us choices.

    Service: It was well organized and the service was prompt. Good choice of eating experiences, except the meal during the Flamico Dancers....too rushed and too crowded. I would recommend Insight to my friends

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I enjoyed learning about the history of Spain and the competing cultures that blended together. Accommodation was excellent, and I enjoyed the variety of evening meals. Our tour guide was excellent, and very helpful for problems that individuals had.

    Service: Very well organized, Consistent quality experience.

  • 03 December, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Too many extra options, we think Toledo definitely should be included, as a given, not an option. Time in Barcelona and Madrid not enough. Actually, every place could have been just a bit longer, but I realize that was not the trip we booked. We ourselves extended the trip at both ends and were so glad we did. Enzo, tour guide and Tiago, driver were excellent, as was the city guide for Barcelona. The others were pretty good, too.

    Service: We booked through a travel agent, so had no personal contact with customer service. I did call, and it took forever to get through, to request a more detailed itinerary. The agent tried to be helpful, emailed an itinerary, but it was no better than the one we already had.

  • 27 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: The vacation was great met many new friends and planned other trips with them.

    Service: The entire experience was fabulous we have not traveled with your company in the past. Our tour guides and drivers were excellent. Peter and Lola were friendly and approachable. Peter spent time with an elderly guest until she had to leave the tour it became too difficult to continue. Lola kept us entertained throughout the entire trip. we had a few hiccups during both tours but the TG's made it work. The drivers Lupo and Hadel can maneuver the coaches as if they were small cars and parked in tight places with ease. They made us feel safe and comfortable. Thank you so much for the adventure. We have already recommended your company to other friends.

  • 20 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Superb organization and tour guide

    Service: Superb organization and tour guide

  • 19 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Would personally have enjoyed more time at the Prado. Otherwise, everything we saw and did was very appropriate for the tour.

    Service: Cultural and historic info was outstanding. The scheduled sights as well as the optional experiences were likewise excellent. Among the group some health issues arose which the tour director handled calmly but efficiently.

  • 19 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: Tour director Enzo and bus driver Tiago where an excellent team. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Great tour.

    Service: We did not have any negative issues. Would definatly use them again.

  • 19 November, 2017

    TRIP:

    SERVICE:

    Trip: I think that this itinerary lived up to its name and that I did see the highlights of the Andulusia and the Catalan regions of Spain. I wish there had been more time to spend in each location! I know that I managed to see in 8 days what would normally be seen in 3 weeks. I love that IV books excursions in advance and purchases tickets which allow customers to bypass the long lineups.

    Service: My rep - Carlene Kennedy - was always very responsive to my emails and on the phone. I felt that Carlene explained things to me clearly and worked hard to ensure that I received the best value for my dollar. I was happy to work with her in planning my first trip to Spain.

*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.