Highlights of Spain

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Regional Journey

Highlights of Spain (Summer 2019)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Spain

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

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

True to its name, this escorted journey showcases the best that Spain has to offer: the Alhambra, the modernist architecture of Barcelona, Madrid's Prado Museum, the Andalucian capital of Seville and Cordoba's Mezquita, to name but a few.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Barcelona.

    Airport transfers depart from Barcelona airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for your Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Barcelona, the City of Gaudí.

    With your Local Expert, explore the narrow lanes and old squares behind the cathedral in the Barri Gòtic, Gothic Quarter. See the lively Las Ramblas and then 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 Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to see the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Along the Orange Blossom Coast to Valencia.

    Follow the sunny Costa Dorada, past the rice fields of the Ebro Delta to stop at the seaside resort of Peñíscola and see the hilltop castle, used in the film 'El Cid'. Pass through the famous orange groves to Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass the Old City and see its ancient gates to reach your hotel. Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the Old City and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.

  4. Day 4

    Sierra Nevada, Alhambra and on to Granada.

    Travel south toward Andalucía, passing the castle at Lorca and troglodyte dwellings hollowed out of the soft rock near Guadix. Enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada from a distance as you reach glorious Granada. This historical city was a Moorish Kingdom for almost 781 years and was the last stronghold to fall to the Catholic Monarchs of Spain in 1492. Overlooking Granada stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant exotic gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence.

  5. Day 5

    A Scenic Drive to Seville.

    The morning is at your leisure to explore as you wish. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Albaicín Quarter with a Local Expert and fall in love with Granada as you learn about its pivotal role in European history. Continue your travels to Seville past gleaming white villages and olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. This stunning capital of Andalucía is one of Spain’s most charming highlights and with the evening at your leisure, you are free to explore this delightful city as you wish.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Seville, the City of Carmen.

    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 attractive wrought-iron balconies laden with flowers. Emerge by the well-preserved Alcazar, a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Visit the massive Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. The energetic may wish to walk the ramps of the Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, to enjoy panoramic views over the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner with wine and be entertained as you share the passion of Spain’s most fiery region during a flamenco show.

  7. Day 7

    Moorish Cordoba and on to Madrid.

    Set off early along the Guadalquivir Valley, passing villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses. Stop in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba and see the famous 2,000-year-old Roman Bridge. Meet a local historian and visit to the magnificent Mezquita, a beautiful 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it. Make the most of your time at leisure and stroll 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 - Madrid.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Madrid of the Bourbons.

    Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. Visit the Prado Museum with an art historian, a magnificent palace housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax at a cafe, shop in the trendy boutiques or perhaps enjoy an Optional Experience to beautiful Toledo? In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant in the heart of the city. Toast to your adventures as you enjoy a delicious Celebration Dinner of regional favourites, served with wine.

  9. Day 9

    Farewell Madrid.

    Board your onward flight, taking home memories of this exciting journey. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

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.
  • Granada: Join a Local Expert at the Alhambra Palace, the ultimate in Moorish architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the glorious Generalife gardens.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.
  • Peñíscola: See the castle featured in the film 'El Cid'.
  • Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.
  • Granada: Explore 'The City of the Pomegranate' with a Local Expert. During sightseeing you'll see the icons dedicated to this fruit throughout the city.
  • Seville: Explore with your Local Expert visiting the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park, strolling through the Santa Cruz Quarter and see the gates to the Alcazar.
  • Seville: Step inside the impressive cathedral, passing the altarpiece dripping with gold and marvel at the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings. Afterwards, perhaps walk the ramps of the Giralda Tower for views over the city.
  • Cordoba: See the 2,000-year-old Roman bridge and spend some time exploring the town.
  • Cordoba: Explore the incredible Mezquita with your Local Expert. Admire the forest of horseshoe arches and learn how this building symbolises many of Cordoba's religious changes over the centuries.
  • 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the views as your travel along Costa Dorada, Ebro Delta, Costa Blanca, through Sierra Nevada, Andalucía, the Guadalquivir Valley and across the Plains of La Mancha.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Valencia: Meet a local chef of a family-run restaurant in the heart of the Old City and learn the traditional recipe of paella during a Cooking Demonstration before savouring the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
  • Seville: Get ready for colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco as you experience a fiery evening of Spanish dance and cuisine.
  • Madrid: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your Spanish Celebration Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Valencia: The Barceló Valencia hotel is situated right in the centre of the City of Arts and Sciences, opposite the Queen Sofia Palace of Arts, a building designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and is situated in one of the most modern and attractive areas of the city.
  • Madrid: Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.

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 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.

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

Barcelona Evening with Montjuïc & Olympic Drive

We enjoy the beauty of Barcelona as the day ends, including a drive up to Montjuïc hill to enjoy an incredible panorama over the city and its impressive harbor. Also, enjoy free time for dinner in a Catalan restaurant with your new-found friends.

Adult Price: EUR 28.00

Code: BAR0007

Albaicín & Royal Chapel

Take a leisurely walk with your local expert through the Albaicín neighbourhood, the last bastion of Islam in Spain. Explore the intriguing maze of narrow streets with whitewashed houses and patio gardens of bygone Moorish splendour. After a photo stop at one of the most famous views of the Alhambra Palace, visit the Royal Chapel housing the tombs of the ‘Catholic Monarchs’, Ferdinand and Isabella.

Adult Price: EUR 37.00

Code: GRA0001

Dinner in Seville With a Horse and Carriage Ride

Seville is Spain's most majestic city and an evening out is a must! Tonight we'll enjoy a lovely array of traditional Andalusian specialities, served in a local restaurant with wine, beer & soft drinks included. As well as a wonderful meal, we'll experience a magnificent horse & carriage ride through the old town of Seville, which is especially magical in the evening.

Adult Price: EUR 66.00

Code: SEV0003

Seville Alcázar & Plaza América

Visit the fabulous Real Alcázar - a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Wander through the Arabesque domed halls, horseshoe arches and jewel box courtyards of this royal residence, while the garden fountains and terraces provide an oasis of tranquility. Afterwards, see the fanciful pavilions built for the Ibero-American Fair of 1929 on the way to the romantic Plaza de América in Maria Luisa Park.

Adult Price: EUR 41.00

Code: SEV0005

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

Toledo Excursion

A specialist guide takes you to the unique city of Toledo, Spain's capital during the golden era, and where El Greco lived and worked. Walk through the narrow cobbled streets to visit the fine Gothic cathedral and admire the old city views along the Tagus gorge. We'll also visit a specialist workshop where artisans create authentic Damascene ware, an ancient art perfected by the Moors and passed down over the centuries.

Adult Price: EUR 46.00

Code: MAD0004

Accommodation

 

Barceló Sants, Barcelona.

Barceló Sants, Barcelona.

Barceló Valencia.

Valencia (Contemporary) - SPAIN

The Barceló 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.

Meliá Granada.

Granada (Traditional) - Spain

The centrally located Meliá Granada is perfectly positioned in the heart of Granada and within walking distance to exclusive shopping centres and boutiques. The classic-style décor brings a sense of elegance to the hotel while the modern designed rooms will ensure your stay is comfortable.

Meliá Sevilla.

SEVILLE (Contemporary) - SPAIN

Perfectly positioned beside the city's historic entre, the Meliá Sevilla is just a few minutes walk from the beautiful Parque de Maria L'uisa and Plaza España. Spacious rooms with modern décor and furnishings will ensure your two night stay is very comfortable.

Barceló Torre de Madrid/Hotel Hesperia Madrid.

Barceló Torre de Madrid/Hotel Hesperia Madrid.

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