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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.
The food of the Catalan region is quite different from the rest of Spain. Enjoy a buffet dinner of Spanish and Catalan dishes including drinks, followed by the throbbing guitars, fire and passion of Spain’s national dance – the Flamenco.
Adult Price: EUR 86.00
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
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 40.00
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 60.00
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
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. On Friday and Saturday nights, the selling price will be €66.00
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
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 38.00
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
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
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
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 31.00
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.