Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Regional Journey

Northern Spain end Madrid (Summer 2018)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Spain

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Discover the scenic delights and delicious cuisine of this forgotten part of Spain. Compare Oviedo's ancient churches and resting relics of St. James with Barcelona's captivating Sagrada Família.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

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

  2. Day 2

    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.

  3. Day 3

    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.

  4. Day 4

    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.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  7. Day 7

    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.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    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?

  10. Day 10

    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.

  11. Day 11

    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.

  12. Day 12

    Depart Madrid

    After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive foreign collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian.
  • San Sebastián: With your Local Expert, walk through the Old Quarter to Plaza de la Constitucion and venture up Monte Igueldo to take in breath-taking views over the town and La Concha Bay.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
  • Santiago de Compostela: The Romanesque interior of the cathedral is magnificent. Let a Local Expert take you through the Gateway of Glory to witness the final stage of one of the world’s most ancient pilgrimages.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Enjoy an guided tour of the Old Town.
  • Costa Verde: Experience the coastal vistas of Asturias.
  • Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe’s oldest churches and admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe,when you visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour.
  • Picos de Europa National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery. Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
  • Santillana del Mar: Step back in time when you visit this perfectly preserved and ‘most beautiful village in Spain.’
  • Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum.
  • Getaria: See the rock known as El Ratón, or the mouse.
  • San Sebastian: Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion. Ascend Monte Igueldo for views of the town and La Concha Bay.
  • Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
  • Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Gràcia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
  • Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família and marvel at the contrasts of architecture. Above see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, along Costa Verda, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
  • Rueda: Some of Spain’s finest wines hail from the Rueda region. During your tasting, learn about the Verdejo grape and what to look for in a fresh white.
  • Gijón: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, to join her for a delicious meal of locally-sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
  • Dinning Summary 10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • 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 We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or 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 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.

Excursion to Segovia

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

Code: MAD0001

Madrid by Night

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

Code: MAD0006

Madrid by Night with Dinner

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

Code: MAD0008

Rías Baixas

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

Code: SAN0008

Dinner in Galicia

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

Code: SAN0024

Donostia by Night with Dinner

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

Code: SAN0014

Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Jewel of the Basque Country

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

Code: SAN0007

Gaudí's Park Güell and Port Olympic

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

Code: BAR0002

eatwith Experience

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

Code: BAR0012

Montserrat & The Black Madonna

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

Code: BAR0004

Accommodation

 

Hesperia Madrid or Barcelo Torre De Madrid

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.

NH Collection Santiago De Compostela

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.

Barcelo Oviedo Cervantes

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.

Eurostars Hotel Real Santander

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.

Barcelo Costa Vasca San Sebastian

San Sebastian (Contemporary) - Spain

The Barceló Costa Vasca hotel is located close to La Concha bay and offers modern, comfortable rooms with excellent facilities.

Hotel NH Hesperia Barcelona Presidente

Barcelona (Traditional) - Spain

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 12 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    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:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Overall good but the itinerary was too rushed.

    Service: Overall great, but the itinerary felt too rushed.

  • 21 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good itinerary and informative.

    Service: Good hotels, excellent comfort on coach & great driver & courier.

  • 18 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    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!

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. 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.
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