Highlights of Spain

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Regional Journey

Highlights of Spain (Winter 2020 2021)

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.
  • Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
  • 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.
  • Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert to see some of the most exquisite architecture.
  • Toledo: Enjoy a visit the Church of Santo Tomé to marvel at an El Greco's masterpiece.
  • Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Belem Quarter to see the Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Fátima : Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Salamanca: See the golden stone buildings and handsome arcades of Plaza Mayor for which this city is famous for.
  • Ávila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town.
  • Madrid: Explore the old town with your Local Expert.
  • 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.
  • Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe’s oldest churches. 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 and rocky trails.
  • Picos de Europa National Park: 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 designed by Frank Gehry and sites of this Basque region gem during your orientation with your Travel Director.
  • Getaria: See the rock known as El Ratón, or the mouse.
  • San Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
  • San Sebastián: Ascend Monte Igueldo to marvel at the views of the town and La Concha Bay.
  • Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
  • 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the views as you travel along the River Tagus, through the regions of La Mancha and Andalucía, past the River Tormes and through the Castile region.
  • Scenic Drives: Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.
  • 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. Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.
  • Scenic Drives:
    Enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel along the River Tagus, through the regions of La Mancha and Andalucía, past the River Tormes and through the Castile region. Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.

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.
  • Madrid: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your Spanish Highlight Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
  • Jabugo: In a small village dotted with chestnut trees and holm oaks, experience the lingering aroma and incomparable taste of pure Jamón Ibérico.
  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
  • 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.
  • Oviedo: A stay in Oviedo would not be complete without a stop in at a Sideria to relish in the taste of their locally made Asturian cider.
  • 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.
  • Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 20 Dec Christmas Day in Seville. 27 Dec New Year's Eve in Seville.

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.

Accommodation

 

Melia Barcelona Sarria

Barcelona (Contemporary) - Spain

A luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw away from Barcelona’s key attractions.

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.

Melia 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.

Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque

Madrid (Traditional) - Spain

A unique hotel near the Gran via of Madrid provides a lovely base for exploration of Madrid.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.6 out of 5 based on 10692 independent user reviews received during the past year.

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