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Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Madrid (not included – please inquire about our great air deals!).
Welcome to Madrid.
Your airport transfers depart from Madrid Airport to your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 16:00. In the evening, join your Travel Director, Sommellier, and fellow travellers for a warm Welcome Reception and a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
Guided sightseeing takes you along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana past Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. The highlight of your trip is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others. Take time out to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques, or enjoy an optional experience to beautiful Toledo.
Madrid - Valladolid.
Continue to the city of Valladolid and explore the city’s interesting collection of Renaissance buildings in its old quarter. Enjoy lunch and an introduction to the wines of the region. In the afternoon visit the Bodegas Sinforiano situated in the village of Mucientes which forms a part of the Cigales wine-producing area.
Ribera de Duero.
Travel to one of Spain’s most legendary winemaking regions, the pristinely-rural Ribera de Duero, which is home to some of the world’s best and most exclusive red wines. Visit the Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro & Bodegas Alion to sample some of the producer’s finest wines. Savour a traditional lunch at the estate Vegas Sicilia. Return to Valladolid and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Valladolid - Haro - San Sebastián.
Immerse yourself in one of the most famous wine regions in Spain, Rioja. Visit the Marqués de Riscal winery, which was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Journey through breathtaking landscape, rolling hills covered with small medieval villages to the town of Haro. Enjoy an authentic lunch paired with wine. Later, an incredible journey and tasting at Alta Winery, which five founding families erected in 1890. Continue to the Basque city of San Sebastián. The evening is at leisure; perhaps discover the city’s rich gastronomic tradition by exploring more of the Old Quarter with its famed ‘Pixtos’ (tapas) bars.
Join a Local Expert for a guided walking journey of the Old Quarter. Ascend Monte Igueldo for beautiful views over the town and La Concha Bay. Free time for more Pintxas before sampling wines from around Spain and an amazing assortment of sherries at Essencia Wine Bar.
San Sebastián - Bilbao - Cangas Del Narcea
Few places have been able to reinvent themselves quite like Bilbao. The day’s fascinating experience includes a visit to Bilbao’s sensuous, rippling, Guggenheim Museum, also designed by Gehry. Journey to Santillana del Mar, arguably ‘the most beautiful village in Spain.’ Continue to your hotel, the Parador Monasterio, Cangas del Narcea, which is set in a magnificent monastery founded in 1032 and occupied by Benedictine monks.
Cangas del Narcea - Oviedo - Santiago de Compostella.
To the modern town of Oviedo, where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the church of San Julian, covered with 1,000-year-old wall paintings, and the cathedral in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. An introduction to Northern Spain’s drink of choice in the ‘Boulevard of Cider’. Free time for lunch before heading to Santiago de Compostella.
Santiago de Compostella.
In the morning, become acquainted with some of Europe’s finest historical buildings with a Local Expert. The monumental square, Spanish Plaza del Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Next, enjoy the landscapes of the Rias Baixas wine region in Spain’s northwestern Galicia with its medieval castles and with rolling emerald green hills. Along the way, stop and see the Pazo De Senorans winery, housed in a magnificent manor house and sample some of their offerings. Then head off towards Pontevedra. The town boosts one of the most elegant historic quarters in the whole of Galicia and is steeped with a long maritime and trading tradition. Enjoy lunch at a typical seafood restaurant paired with matching wines. Visit Bodegas La Val to learn about the traditional and modern winemaking techniques before your return to Santiago de Compostella.
Santiago de Compostella - Porto.
Cross into Portugal over the Minho River and onwards to Viana de Castelo. Stop at a winery and have lunch on the coast matched with the region’s wines. Head on to the bright lights of Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated as the Port wine capital of the world.
The Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores house these famous port wines. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Visit three different wine lodges and sample different ports, learning how to identify the difference between the Port families and enjoy a lunch paired with the different varieties of Port. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to soak in the sites of Porto or why not visit even more of the Port lodges?
Porto - Lisbon.
Venture further into the Douro wine region and taste wines from one or two of the best bodegas. Lunch in the Dao region with paired wines and continue the journey into Lisbon.
Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.
Your guided panoramic sightseeing takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Visit the Belem Quarter from where sailing ships set forth to discover unknown lands. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal’s finest pastry for over 100 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous ‘Pasteis de Belem’. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belem Tower, erected to protect Jeronimos Monastery, whose church we will visit. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. In the evening, bid ‘adeus’ to your new friends with a palate-provoking Celebration Dinner, complete with wine at an authentic Lisbon restaurant
After breakfast, your departure transfers arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport at 7:00 and 9:30.
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.
Madrid (Traditional) - Spain
Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay is centrally located within Madrid's central neighbourhood of Salamanca. Unwind from the hustle and bustle in the hotel's garden or book a treatment at the wellness centre.
San Sebastian (Traditional) - Spain
Cangas del Narcea (Contemporary) - Spain
A charming town dotted with beautiful churches, palaces and mansions. Your stay will be in one of the largest Paradores in Spain, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of a fairytale landscape!
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.
Porto (Central) - Portugal
Eurostar Heroismo, Porto
LISBON (Contemporary) - PORTUGAL
located in the heart of the historic part of Lisbon, next to the Terreiro do Paco Square.
Our guests rate us
11427 independent user reviews received during the past year.
11 October, 2018
Trip: Information given by our travelling expert was verbal and sometimes hard to digest and remember, when it is realised that several wineries were visited on same day...and pattern repeated. Better preparation could have facilitated the issue of some written notes by the 'expert' . It was not possible to take my own notes while bus was travelling on highways.
Service: Overall the trip was a success but I felt that as many of the experiences depended upon visit to vineyards and wineries there should have been more effort taken to avoid repetitive aspects of each visit cover g much the same ground e.g. 'racking" of wines was done to date and probably outside of the interest of most participants once this had been explained the first time. Improving this aspect would have saved repetition and time taken at many vineyards but would have require better communication between the Tour Leader , individual wineries and our accompanying wine expert. Astris was advertised as a wine trip - I have knocked my rating down by one star. Also some days were too long as we did not reach our hotel until after 7pm in several cases- visits could have been cut shorter to assist...as mentioned above- by reducing repetition of winery techniques e.g. Guide(s) could have been prompted to say " we understand that you are already familiar with the standard methods, in our case we have the following differences... and would be happy to clarify if necessary"
10 October, 2018
Trip: If you enjoy wines, this trip is for you. You will get to sample a wide selection of wines varieties with spectacular scenery.
Service: The overall trip was excellent, bus was very comfortable and hotels were good. The meals included in the trip were very extensive.
10 October, 2018
Trip: the itinerary showed northern spain and Portugal at their best.
Service: The itinerary and the hotels were superb. Also the restaurants were great.
10 October, 2018
Trip: Great wineries and food. All beautiful locations!
Service: The tour was well run. We saw some great country and sites. I really enjoyed the wonderful food and wine!
28 September, 2018
Trip: The itinerary was so tight we never had any free time. Didn't get to hotels until seven p.m. or later. Sometimes after nine. Hotels were good, food was good, wine was good. We never had any free time in cities to shop or spend time on our own. Just too fast for old farts!
Service: O.K. - not nearly as good as Tauck.
26 September, 2018
Trip: The itinerery was well thought out and put together, an excellent job. The only criticism from some of the ladies was that they would have liked more opportunities for general shopping.
Service: They failed to get 5 stars because: 1 My airline ticket was made out incorrectly. The return journey of Lisbon to Heathrow was shown for the outbound journey as well. A new correct ticket was issued. 2 It was assumed I could print my travel documents off from an E Mail. I cannot do this and had to request a hard copy. Previously a hard copy has been sent with ID luggage labels automatically. I am sure a lot of non computer literate customers have this problem.
26 September, 2018
Trip: Excellent accommodations. A look at all of northern Spain, cities, and wineries. Just what I wanted.
Service: My first Insight tour was great. Food and wine were outstanding . Barbara gave us great info and dealt well with my physical limitations. I will recommend your company and consider doing another trip.