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Spain, Portugal & MoroccoEasy Pace
Duration: 10 days Visiting: Spain
Welcome to Barcelona.
Airport transfers depart from Barcelona airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant, as you get to know your fellow travellers over delicious food and wine.
Exploring Catalonia’s Creative Capital.
The lively port of Barcelona boasts an impressive Old Town, although it’s the daring architecture of the Catalan Art Nouveau that really sets it apart. Sightseeing with your Local Expert begins in the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, a tangle of streets and squares just behind the old cathedral. Travel down the gracious Passeig de Gràcia, past the wrought-iron street lamps. Continue on to Gaudí's Sagrada Família, the leviathan of the Eixample, where giant mosaic spires pierce the sky like a jewelled crown. Inside, a tree canopy carved from stone, holds up the roof as sun pours through stained glass on to sea creature caverns. Then you are free to explore this amazing city at your own pace.
Barcelona at Leisure.
Enjoy a relaxed start and a full day at leisure to explore Spain’s most vibrant city. Consider a stroll along the famous Las Ramblas or explore Gaudí's fascinating Güell Park. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to ascend the sacred mountain of Montserrat, Catalonia's most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years, for a tapas lunch and sweeping views?
Pamplona and San Sebastián.
Journey west to Zaragoza where the four towers of El Pilar soar over the banks of the mighty Río Ebro. Continue to Pamplona in the region of Navarre, famous for the Running of the Bulls festival. With free time to explore as you wish, perhaps stroll to the famous Estafeta Street. Travel to the aristocratic seaside resort of San Sebastián.
Bilbao and Guggenheim.
Few places have been able to reinvent themselves quite like Bilbao. The former industrial city has changed its ways and is now a pin-up for urban redevelopment. Your fascinating venture here includes a visit to Bilbao's sensuous, rippling, Guggenheim Museum, designed by the North American architect Frank O. Gehry. On return, join a Local Expert to admire San Sebastián and the crescent-shaped La Concha Bay from the heights of Monte Igueldo. After taking in the amazing views, enjoy a guided tour of 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. Explore the Old Town during your progressive Highlight Dinner with the locals, as you enjoy the gastronomic Basque tradition of pintxos. Similar to tapas, enjoy a variety of snack-sized treats to make your meal and be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine. Buen provecho!
San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.
Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk. The harbour is filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, so you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, known as the Jewel of the Basque Country? During this Optional Experience you will explore this town with a Local Expert and visit the church where The Sun King, Louis XIV, married the Spanish princess Maria Teresa.
Burgos and Madrid.
Journey south through the Pyrenees foothills and the land of 'El Cid' to stop in Burgos where you can see his burial place in the cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the Guadarrama Mountains to the plateau of New Castile and Spain's elegant capital of Madrid. In the evening, why not see the city lit up it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?
The Elegant Spanish Capital of Madrid.
Your Local Expert will show you the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol. Then enjoy a highlight visit with an art historian to the palatial Prado Museum, one of the world’s greatest art galleries with works by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, as well as Italian and Dutch masters. With the afternoon free for you to continue exploring as you wish. Perhaps travel to Segovia to join a Local Expert and visit the 14th century Alcazar to see paintings, tapestries, weaponry and armoury of the Spanish medieval era and enjoy a panoramic drive for stunning views over the Eresma Valley?
The Cobbled Streets of Toledo.
Venture south to visit the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain's capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your a Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. On return to Madrid, the afternoon is free for last-minute shopping. Make the most of your final night as you join your fellow travellers at a local restaurant for a generous Celebration Dinner of delightful produce, typical of the region and of course accompanied with wine.
After breakfast, transfers arrive 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.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
After a delightful dinner in a traditional Catalan restaurant, take a sparkling illuminations drive up the hill of Montjuic for spectacular panoramic views over the city and harbour twinkling below.
Adult Price: EUR 58.00
The food of the Catalan region is quite different from the rest of Spain. Enjoy a plentiful Catalan buffet dinner including drinks, followed by the throbbing guitars, fire and passion of Spain’s national dance – the Flamenco.
Adult Price: EUR 86.00
Ascend the sacred mountain of Montserrat, Catalonia's most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views and then a light lunch of tapas at the beautiful Castellroig Cava Estate, where we'll also sample their amazing sparkling wine.
Adult Price: EUR 69.00
Enjoy an evening full of the passionate artistry of Spain’s national dance – the Flamenco, comprising strident guitars, fiery dancing and passion.
Adult Price: EUR 58.00
Enjoy a drive along the scenic Basque coast to arrive at Getaria. This charming fishing village is the birthplace of Juan Sebastián Elcano, famous for completing Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe after the explorer’s demise. We’ll wander the narrow streets towards the port and enjoy a complimentary pintxo and glass of txakoli, the region’s refreshing white wine. Afterwards, you’ll have time to explore the town on your own.
Adult Price: EUR 36.00
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
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. Note: Bookings cancelled within 48 hours will not be refunded. €45 - €65
Adult Price: EUR
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
The Royal Palace of Madrid is Spain's most sumptuous and impressive royal residence, jam packed with the riches and glory of Spanish history. Join a local historian to explore the extensive collection of armoury, porcelain, tapestries, gilt mirrors, works of art and period furniture. Highlights include the gold and scarlet Throne Room and magnificent State Apartments. A rare and enlightening look into the history and lifestyle of the Spanish monarchy.
Adult Price: EUR 30.00
Barcelona (Contemporary) - Spain
Centrally located beside Vågen Harbour and directly across from UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen, the Clarion Hotel Admiral resides in converted warehouse buildings that date back to 1904. The simple, yet modern-designed rooms offer a comfortable and homely feel and free WiFi so you'll be able to share all your adventures with friends and family.
SAN SEBASTIAN (Contemporary) - SPAIN
The Barceló Costa Vasca hotel is located close to La Concha bay and offers modern, comfortable rooms with excellent facilities.
MADRID (Contemporary) - SPAIN
The Meliá Madrid Princesa is a luxury hotel, located in the heart of the city, showcasing elegant interior design with a contemporary and cutting edge flair, located in the heart of the city.
Our guests rate us
11477 independent user reviews received during the past year.
19 November, 2018
Trip: See previous comments, nothing more to add.
Service: Our guide, Simon, was very knowledgeable about the history of each region and city that we visited. I learned a lot about not just Spanish history, but customs, etc. The coach was comfortable, and the drivers, competent. Hotel personnel were helpful and responsive to our requests and needs. I would have preferred larger rooms, but understand that cost was a consideration. I checked off several items on my "bucket list", among them the Segrada Familia and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. All things considered, it was a great trip and I would travel with Insight again.
05 November, 2018
Trip: exactly what was expected. although I wish we had seen more of the prado museum. tour guide was excellent but I feel more could have been seen.
Service: all bus tour companies should use your to philosophy on how bus people around.
05 November, 2018
Trip: The pace and the tour guide Rory
Service: Yes loved the trip. The pace. The tour guide
05 November, 2018
Trip: I like the fact that the tour covered all the key cities and attractions but still left plenty of free time to allow you to do your own thing.
Service: Very nice and well located hotels on the tour. The included meals and optional experiences were excellent.
29 October, 2018
Trip: I really enjoyed travelling in this more relaxed style.
Service: I really enjoyed the easy pace -staying 3 nights in each city suited me. The tour guide, Patrick Davies was fabulous and certainly went out of his way to help me. I would consider booking another easy pace tour with Insight.
27 October, 2018
Trip: I am glad I selected this itinerary. San Sebastion and seeing the gorgeous Pyranees was particularly enjoyable.
Service: We covered a lot of territory in Spain. Quality hotels. Even though I am fairly fit, I would not say this was an "Easy Pace" trip. Lots of walking. For example, ascending the hill at Gaudi designed park in Barcelona was strenuous. Lots of walking in the small towns. We did have one man have a stroke, cerebral hemorrhage in San Sebastion and a female traveler break her leg in Segovia when she missed some steps in a crowd. I would not advertise this as "easy pace" but would advertise as lots of walking depending on your tour selections etc. (Always ask tour director before each tour, the amount of walking? Tour director should remind travelers each day about steps and watching where you are walking.
23 October, 2018
Trip: Great selection of cities to visit and the optional excursions were well worth attending.
Service: Insight did an amazing job of taking care of us from the time we landed in Barcelona to the time we took off for home 11 days later. The included tours and optional excursions were awesome.
22 October, 2018
Trip: The entire trip was laid out very well, and our tour guide, “Paddy” was better than excellent. We loved the concept of staying in each hotel for 3 nights and using it as our “home” base for side trips. The bus was very comfortable and we were pleased that many of the unused seats had been removed, offering everyone on board added leg room. Paddy kept us engaged throughout trip, offering us mini re-enactments while we travelled from one stop to the next. His knowledge of the area and ability to share it in creative ways were superb. He should offer this technique as a course to other travel tour guides! He was that good. The reason we haven’t rated this a 5 star experience is because we still had a few of the side excursion tour guides who we felt thought it was their goal to get us from point A to Z as quickly as possible. The group was small enough that each of them could, and should have, spent a few quick moments before starting their ‘tour train engines’ to find out if any, or all of the group had any specific interests... ie photography. It just felt we were rushed at times. We told this to Paddy and he made a point of ensuring that individual needs were being met as well. The only other thing we would have liked is that, while the hotels were very nice, they were not exactly within easy walking distance to the core of the areas of interest. I guess that would be a trade off between proximity, quality and $$$... however, we would prefer location as a first priority. Overall this was a 4.5 rating but that apparently isn’t an available rating. Insight came highly recommended by some Aussie friends we met on a river cruise in Portugal last year. We, too, feel we can refer people to Insight as, except for the few issues above, we found our trip a wonderful experience and would have no problems booking again with Insight.
Service: Our conversations and communication with Insight was very good from the get go. We dealt with Insight directly and they promptly and efficiently answered each of our enquires. When we had some scheduling changes they accomodated these without any hassles.
22 October, 2018
Trip: I loved the fact that you would stay in one hotel for three nights. As to the days you could pack it as full as you wanted with adventures.
Service: Our tour director was fantastic and listened to any concerns from people in the group. He instantly solved any problems that came up. He always made the long drives seem shorter by entertaining us in some way on the bus.
22 October, 2018
Trip: We had a wonderful time discovering Barcelona, San Sebastian and Madrid. We really enjoyed meeting all the people on our tour and it definitely made the visits and shared meals more fun! We were a bit disappointed that some of the included visits felt a bit rushed - such as the Sagrada Familia or the Prado. Some of the included meals were fantastic (i.e. the Intro Dinner and the Dine Around), while others were very average (i.e. the last Celebration dinner). We opted not to do all the optionals, but we definitely enjoyed the ones we did and recommend people budget for these accordingly. It makes the trip that much more memorable! Our Tour Director was great, knowledgeable and had a good sense of humor. All in all, we will remember this trip for introducing us to some beautiful Spanish sights.
Service: We booked through CAA for an earlier date and this date was cancelled at the last minute by Insight due to low sign up numbers. The company was very accommodating in rebooking the trip for a new date and compensating us for having to change our flights.
10 October, 2018
Trip: The itinerary was all we could have asked for: Anchored for 3 nights at a time in Barcelona, San Sebastian and Madrid respectively, with excursions possible from each location meant that there was a sense of being anchored' and avoided constant packing and repacking. The locations and excursion sites were wonderful. High on our agenda for a visit to Spain were visits to the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao and Segrada Familia in Barcelona. These were possible on this tour, and the bonus of a visit to La Pedrera/ Casa Milas was stunning.
Service: We could not have asked for better service and attention to detail. Our Tour Director, Denise, was outstanding: friendly, efficient, knowledgeable, and well spoken.
10 October, 2018
Trip: Great options, both included and optional. Good pace and selection of locations to visit. Good selection of hotels and eating experiences.
Service: The whole experience was excellent from start to finish, from being meet at the airport to the farewell dinner. The easy pace was just that, no early starts and relaxed excursions from central locations. Lots of space on the coach, great food experiences, excellent guides and great hotels. One of the best tour directors we have ever experienced.