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Spain, Portugal & MoroccoRegional Journey
Duration: 12 days Visiting: Spain
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to Madrid.
On arrival at Madrid airport, your airport transfer leaves for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. Relax and settle in before meeting your Travel Director at 17:30. Your Welcome Dinner is at a local restaurant and provides the opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests over a pleasant evening of good food and wine.
Madrid of the Bourbons.
Your Local Expert will guide you along the noble avenues past the Cibeles Fountain and down the Gran Vía to the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España. Cross the Puerta del Sol and continue to the Prado Museum. Your visit will be a highlight of your escorted journey. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Botticelli, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.
Over the Guadarrama Mountains to Santiago.
Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Your travel continues past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella, and on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages.
Saintly Santiago de Compostela.
(Relaxed Start) Become acquainted with some of Europe’s finest historical buildings during an orientation with your Local Expert. The monumental square, Praza do Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the cathedral facade to see an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Venture inside and once through the Gateway of Glory, you’re privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful may choose to pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James and follow in the steps of the pilgrims along The Way of St. James. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.
Along the Costa Verde to Oviedo.
Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias - one of Spain's most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. A Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe. A short drive brings you to the Asturian coast and the Bay of Biscay. Stop at the delightful city of Gijón that has a history dating back 5,000 years. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for dinner. Hear about daily life in this up-and-coming seaside city as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally-sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local apple cider.
Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to Santander.
See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the holy cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander.
Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastián.
In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.
San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.
Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you'll want to explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?
Pamplona and on to Barcelona.
Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises.' Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.
Barcelona, City of Gaudi.
Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner.
After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip 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 trips. 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.
Drive to the fortified city of Segovia where a local expert leads you through the medieval streets from the ancient aqueduct to the magnificent Alcazar, one of the inspirations for Walt Disney's Cinderella castle. Inside this 14th century palace, experience the paintings, tapestries, weaponry and armoury of the Spanish medieval era. Then take a panoramic drive outside the walls to admire stunning views over the Eresma valley, the Roman aqueduct and picturesque buildings of this medieval jewel.
Adult Price: EUR 45.00
An evening drive to the most historic area of Madrid including stops for wonderful views of the city and a walk through the lively streets and squares of old Madrid. Enjoy free time for dinner in one of the many restaurants and return home along the grand Avenida Castellana with its spectacular fountains.
Adult Price: EUR 19.00
Enjoy an evening out in the nation's stately capital city. Tonight we'll enjoy a wonderful dinner out on the town in a carefully chosen venue, accompanied by Spanish wine and great local entertainment. What a wonderful introduction to Madrid
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
Southward to the Ría de Arousa, one of the deep fjord-like estuaries of Galicia. Beautiful coastal scenery with beaches, vineyards, palm trees, grand villas and old stone houses. Visit a typical Galician granite 'Pazo' grand manor house of the old aristocracy, the island of A Toxa and the port of O Grove.
Adult Price: EUR 34.00
Tonight we have the chance to sample a wonderful variety of typical Galician dishes, all complemented with fantastic locally produced wine. Later in the evening, we'll listen to local musicians and experience the Celtic influences in their traditional music - played using authentic Galician Instruments. A truly wonderful evening.
Adult Price: EUR 59.00
View the beach and fishing port as we head to the lively heart of the old town of Spain's gourmet capital for a sumptuous supper in one of the city's boutique restaurants. Wine and soft drinks included.
Adult Price: EUR 58.00
With your local expert, explore Saint-Jean-de-Luz, jewel of the Basque Country and visit the church where Louis XIV "The Sun King" married the Spanish princess Maria Teresa. An extra surprise awaits us next as we drive to the famous Biarritz summer residence of Napoleon III with its sophisticated spa resort.
Adult Price: EUR 37.00
Enter a strange fantasy world at Parc Güell, Spain's most impressive public park! Here Gaudí designed mushroom-like houses, "bird nest" pillars and a stunning mosaic dragon. The huge central terrace is enveloped by a ceramic-encrusted serpentine bench (reputedly the world's longest seat) and offers panoramic views of Barcelona and the bay. We then head to the coast and Port Olympic, built for the athletes of the 1992 Olympics, where we'll have free time to try one the numerous waterfront restaurants.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
eatwith is the world’s leading community for authentic food experiences with locals in over 130 countries. Choose between our hand-selected hosts and dine like a local with a local. Fully immerse yourself in food and culture while meeting other travelers at your table and experience the magic of social dining. Transport is not included in this optional experience. €45 - €65
Adult Price: EUR
Ascend the sacred mountain of Montserrat, Catalonia's most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views before entering the dark, ornate “Basílica Real” and reaching the mystical Black Madonna, surrounded by an altar of gold.
Adult Price: EUR 40.00
Madrid (Contemporary) - Spain
Hesperia Madrid: Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.
Santiago de Compostela (Contemporary) - Spain
The NH Collection Santiago De Compostela delivers modern luxury in a timeless setting, just minutes from the historic Plaza del Obradoiro.
Oviedo (Contemporary) - Spain
The Barceló Oviedo Cervantes is situated in the heart of Oviedo, 10 minutes from the Old Town and cathedral. This striking and stylish designer hotel is restored from an early 20th century mansion.
Santander (Historic) - Spain
The luxury 5-star Eurostars Hotel Real is at the heart and soul of Santander and is a hallmark of excellence and prestige, facing the Playa de los Peligros beach.
San Sebastian (Contemporary) - Spain
The Barceló Costa Vasca hotel is located close to La Concha bay and offers modern, comfortable rooms with excellent facilities.
Barcelona (Traditional) - Spain
Our guests rate us
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.
12 July, 2018
Trip: The trip visited as many key and interesting places as is sensible in this amount of time.
Service: Have already provided extensive feedback on their survey. Yes, I'd buy from them again. Everything is well organised and runs smoothly. I like that we don't have to take care of luggage, that the bus is roomy, that the hotels are generally of a very good standard.
11 July, 2018
Trip: Northern Spain was a delightful experience. On a couple of occasions we arrived at places when everything was closed.
Service: A bit confusing as the information on the website and that of customer service had different start and ending dates.
10 July, 2018
Trip: Great destinations, lovely hotels. Weather perfect in June/July 2018
Service: Excellant service by tour director, love the bus for extra leg room, onboard toilet with door unlocked, lovely hotels. Local guides at destinations were knowledgeable.
10 July, 2018
Trip: Most stops were 2 nights with a relaxed start each morning. Would have likes more time to explore Ovieto. San Sebastian was awesome.
Service: Very knowledgeable travel director, excellent local guides and a very enjoyable farm to table dinner. I have recommended Insight vacations to my friends and family and they also feel that Insight is very professional and gives good value for $$$.
04 July, 2018
Trip: This itinerary provided a great contrast to the familiar parts of southern Spain
Service: This is primarily based on the super performance of our tour director Denise. Not only did she convey a great amount of information on the particular aspects of the tour, she also managed all aspects excellently.
03 July, 2018
Trip: Never thought Northern Spain would be so beautiful and clean.
Service: Carolyn Provided an excellent service. She kept us up to date with the reservation, necessary paperwork and latest changes. A pleasure working with her.
02 July, 2018
Trip: See previous entry regarding add on costs
Service: Good itinerary. But too many options that add to cost of trip. Suggested payment of tips to driver and director was a bit excessive as well
28 June, 2018
Trip: Beautiful country and the itinerary was superb!
Service: The tour and tour guide were wonderful. The hotel in Madrid was beautiful, but a bit too far from the parks, museums, and historic section of town. My biggest complaint is that I paid the premium for a single room, when I was actually in a triple every night of the trip.
26 June, 2018
Trip: As I mentioned great itinerary just thought some of the options could have been included as would have been a great experience for everyone and don’t feel we should have had to pay more to see them
Service: We enjoyed our bus trip of northern Spain very much. Was a good itinerary and we were given a good amount of free time in each location to look around. Betty was very helpful and knowledgeable and friendly and created a relaxed atmosphere, all the people on our tour were very friendly too and Betty made us feel like a big family. Our driver Alex was absolutely excellent. The tour guides all were interesting and very knowledgeable/ special mention of our guide we had in San Diego de Compostela (sorry can’t remember his nsme) but he was so informative and entertaining. The only negative is that Betty didn’t tell us a bit more about each place as we were driving but then maybe that would not have been what others wanted? Also I feel some more of the extra tours could have been included in normal itenarary instead of having to pay more to see them, and would have been a great experience for everyone to have seen.
26 June, 2018
Trip: Overall good but the itinerary was too rushed.
Service: Overall great, but the itinerary felt too rushed.
21 June, 2018
Trip: Good itinerary and informative.
Service: Good hotels, excellent comfort on coach & great driver & courier.
18 June, 2018
Trip: Had very little free time when shops and stores were open, darn. Needed more time at San Sebatiani and less at a few others, but all in all a good route.
Service: Very concerned for each traveler and made sure each experience was unique and enjoyable. We had a varied group from many countries and had a lively time as our tour Director (Maria) and driver (Carlos) were such a great team!
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