Seasons

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Regional Journey

Treasures of Spain, Portugal and Morocco (Winter 2018-19)

Duration: 18 days Visiting: Spain, Portugal, Morocco

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

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

A kaleidoscopic adventure that takes you from some of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities, to an exotic and vivid land of medinas and minarets.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Madrid.

    Transfers leave Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a pleasant Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.

  3. Day 3

    Prado Museum and on to Golden Salamanca.

    With your Local Expert travel down the beautiful boulevards to the Cibeles Fountain and cross the Puerta del Sol to see the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Holy Fátima and Lisbon.

    Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great basilica commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Your travels continue to Lisbon.

  5. Day 5

    Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.

    Exploration with a Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town to the Terreiro do Paço with a visit to the Belém Quarter. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, a fortress that was originally set in the middle of the river but with receding waters, now sits on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The afternoon is free for you to explore further as your wish.

  6. Day 6

    To Seville, the City of Carmen.

    Continue your exploration through the labyrinthine narrow streets and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, emerging beside the great walls of the Alcazar.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time and Flamenco in Seville.

    This day is yours to completely relax or continue exploring this fascinating city. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Cordoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it? Enjoy an evening of food and wine while you are entertained by throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.

  8. Day 8

    The Straits of Gibraltar to Fes.

    Set sail across the Straits of Gibraltar to reach Morocco - a land of veils, musky spices, bazaars, souks and snake charmers. Your travels continue to Fes, Morocco's most ancient imperial city.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    The Ancient Imperial City of Fes.

    Your Local Expert will guide you through the ancient Medina. Explore this walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques, workshops. Walk through the bazaar and pass one of the world’s oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making and gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Then you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps cool-off with a dip in the pool at your hotel.

  10. Day 10

    On the Road to Marrakesh.

    See the Middle Atlas Mountains and mud-walled villages as you journey to Marrakesh.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Marrakesh, Pearl of the South.

    An exploration with your Local Expert will show you the Medina with its many souks and the Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline. Visit the intricately decorated Palais Bahia, intended to be the greatest palace of its time when it was built in the late 19th century.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Play It Again Sam in Casablanca.

    Journey to the west coast of Africa to reach Casablanca. Discover if Humphrey Bogart really did say 'Play it again Sam' during sightseeing with your Local Expert. You will also see Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the très chic seaside strip, known as the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Rabat and Tangier.

    Travel north to Rabat, to see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower with your Local Expert. Your journey continues to Morocco’s great port of Tangier, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Here you will enjoy beautiful views where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. After dinner, you are at leisure relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel or take a stroll along the Bay of Tangier.

  14. Day 14

    On to the Costa del Sol.

    Cross the water to Spain and continue on to Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Travel to the white-washed village of Mijas and stroll the old streets, then relax and take in the views as you are driven along the scenic route of the Costa del Sol.

  15. Day 15 - Relaxed Start

    At Leisure on the Costa del Sol.

    Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.

  16. Day 16

    Dining with Locals and the Alhambra.

    Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited to into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada, where overlooking the town 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 water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.

  17. Day 17

    To Madrid in search of Don Quixote.

    Your journey continues to the north, through countryside immortalised by Cervantes fictional hero, Don Quixote. On return to Madrid, toast your travels with your newfound friends during a lively Celebration Dinner of good food and wine at a local restaurant.

  18. Day 18

    Depart Madrid.

    Departure transfers arrive at Madrid airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Marrakesh: Your Local Expert guides you past Jemaa el-Fnaa Square with its intriguing characters and through the seemingly entangled streets of the Medina with its many souks. See the protruding Koutoubia Minaret.
  • Gibraltar: With your Local Expert tour the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, affording magnificent views and see the meeting of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. Visit St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, guardians of the colony.
  • Granada: Best interpreted with help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture - an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the rich, scented gardens of the Generalife.
  • Madrid: From El Greco to Goya, an expert art historian reveals the crowning achievements of Spanish painting in the magnificent Prado Museum.
  • Fes: Led by your Local Expert, wander the maze of streets that make up the ancient Medina. Pass one of the world's oldest university's and see the hidden courtyards, mosques and workshop and continue through the bazaar, an array of vendors selling food, clothes, leather goods and beautiful lights.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Madrid: See the sights of the city with your Local Expert, including the Gran Vía, the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana, Puerta del Sol and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España.
  • Salamanca: See the golden stone buildings and handsome arcades of Plaza Mayor for which this city is famous for.
  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Belém Quarter to see the Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Seville: Guided by your Local Expert, see the Giralda Tower, former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral's belltower. Explore the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz Quarter and emerge by the great walls of the Alcazar.
  • Seville: Step inside the massive Seville Cathedral and pass the gilded altar to view the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
  • Gibraltar: Cross from Europe to Africa as board your ferry to cruise across the Straits of Gibraltar.
  • Fes: Learn about the traditional craft of carpet making, gaining an insight to the designs the and the difference in materials.
  • Marrakesh: Built around a lovely inner-garden, explore the Bahia Palace with a Local Expert and see glimpses of a Moroccan kingdom’s former opulence.
  • Casablanca: Explore this coastal city, made famous the classic film. Your Local Expert will show you the largest mosque in the country, Hassan II Mosque and the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.
  • Rabat: Led by your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower.
  • Tangier: Your Local Expert will show you the sights of Morocco's great port. See the Sultan's Palace and visit the Casbah.
  • Tangier: Cruise back to Europe on your return ferry.
  • Alfarnatejo: Visit the beautiful, quiet town and walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla.
  • Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village and stroll the streets to admire the coastal views.
  • Scenic Drives: Take in the ever changing scenery of south-west Europe and northern Africa as you pass the Estrela Mountains, the Middle Atlas Mountains, the High Atlas Mountains, and continue along Costa del Sol, through the Provence of Malaga, across Sierra Nevada and the La Mancha region.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Torremolinos: Hear the stories of local life as you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a freshly prepared, traditional lunch, with wine.
  • Torremolinos: Taste a selection of freshly pressed olive oils with locally made farmer bread when you stop at Almazara, the oldest olive grove in the region.
  • Madrid: With good food and wine, toast the culmination of your travels during a fabulous Celebration Dinner.
  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
  • Seville: During your dinner with wine and beyond your dimly-lit table, the stage suddenly erupts with the unmistakable singing, clapping and throbbing guitars of flamenco.
  • Dining Summary: 16 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 4 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (CD) all tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 21 Dec Christmas Day in Lisbon & New Year's Eve in Marrakesh. 28 Dec New Year's Eve in Lisbon.

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.

Fado Evening

Known as ''the soul of the Portuguese identity'', Fado is the emotive national song. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognised art in one of the country's famed fado houses. To complete the experience, savour a typical Portuguese dinner with wine included.

Adult Price: EUR 66.00

Code: LIS0002

Lisbon by Night

Drive to the Bairro Alto, the old quarter of Lisbon, to admire the beautiful views over the city. Then take a funicular ride to the downtown Baixa area where cobblestones sparkle in the light of the shops, bars and cafes. Returning to your hotel, you'll pass monuments and buildings, lit up in all their glory.

Adult Price: EUR 19.00

Code: LIS0003

Seafood Dinner by the Tagus River

Across the mighty Tagus River await Lisbon's famous seafood restaurants and wonderful views of the city. Board your ferry to cross the wide blue waters for a delightful evening of Portuguese seafood and fish specialities. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: LIS0004

Cascais, Estoril & Queluz Excursion

Like the Kings of Portugal before you, travel to the glamorous resort of Cascais, a veritable jewel in the crown of Portugal. Via the wealthy playground of Estoril, with its famous Casino, we'll continue with our Local Expert to the Portuguese Riviera and through the forest of Sintra to visit one of the Royal summer palaces before heading back to Lisbon.

Adult Price: EUR 46.00

Code: LIS0005

Cordoba & the Mezquita

Join your local expert for a walking tour of the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th-century mosque with a Cathedral built inside. Walk with your local expert through the forest of horseshoe shaped arches to the Baroque choir stalls of the Cathedral and the richly ornamented Mihrab prayer niche.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: SEV0002

Andalusian Evening & The Atmosphere Of Old Seville

Dining out is more than a way of eating, it's a way of life and while regional culinary divisions remain strong in Spain, the nation is wholly united in its love of ‘sobremesa.’ Enjoy a delicious array of alluring Andalusian specialities in a local restaurant with wine included. Perhaps round off the evening with a stroll through the atmospheric squares and lanes of Seville's old quarter, which has a magical charm by night.

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: SEV0004

Excursion to Bhalil

This afternoon we make our way to Bhalil, a remote village at the foot of the middle Atlas where we'll visit the caves hewn out of the mountain (Troglodyte) in which these families have lived in primitive conditions for many generations. This is your chance to meet and talk to the locals. Then we make our way to the oldest and best known ceramic work shop to see how ceramic is made, starting from the soft clay to the finished product.

Adult Price: EUR 28.00

Code: FEZ0002

Ourika Valley

A scenic drive south of Marrakesh brings you to the beautiful and fertile Ourika Valley. Enjoy spectacular views of the towering High Atlas Mountains which are snow capped nine months of the year.

Adult Price: EUR 30.00

Code: MAR0002

Marrakesh by Night & Dinner

Marrakesh comes alive when the sun goes down. Take a horse and buggy ride to the magical Jemaa el-Fna market place where an assortment of acrobats, snake charmers, trained monkeys, jugglers and conjurers congregate by night. Then dinner is served in a vibrant Moroccan restaurant. Enjoy classic tagine dishes, fruit teas and colourful salads amid the sultry ambience of Arabic rhythms and twirling belly dancers balancing trays of lit candles.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: MAR0003

Mediterranean Dinner

Join us for a delicious Mediterranean style dinner in a delightful family restaurant on the Costa del Sol. We'll sample fresh Mediterranean fare, including some of the restaurant's signature dishes such as "fritura malagueña" and sea bass baked in sea salt, a traditional recipe since Roman times. Your meal will be accompanied by local wine.

Adult Price: EUR 53.00

Code: COS0002

Highlights of Malaga

A short drive brings you to Malaga, the thriving capital of the Costa del Sol. We'll enjoy sweeping vistas over this little known Mediterranean jewel from the Gibralfaro Castle perched above. Then, in a guided tour of the old town, we'll visit the house in which Pablo Picasso spent his early years. The town is also famous for its sweet, full-bodied wines and our tour concludes with a taste of the recent vintage.

Adult Price: EUR 40.00

Code: COS0001

Accommodation

 

Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay

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.

Hotel Alameda Palace

Salamanca (Traditional) - Spain

The centrally located Hotel Alameda Palace is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.

Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon.

LISBON (Contemporary) - PORTUGAL

located in the heart of the historic part of Lisbon, next to the Terreiro do Paco Square.

Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Executive Rooms)

Seville (Contemporary) - Spain

A dominant hotel which is fantastically-located in the centre of Seville.

Palais Medina & Spa

Fez (Contemporary) - Morocco

The Palais Medina & Spa is set in a 5-hectare Andalusian garden, with the perfect alliance between tradition and modern luxury.

Atlas Medina and Spa

Marrakesh (Contemporary) - Morocco

The luxurious Atlas Medina & Spa is set amidst lush, picturesque gardens in central Marrakesh, the perfect location for exploring this fascinating city.

Grand Mogador City Centre

Casablanca (Contemporary) - Morocco

The Grand Mogador City Centre is conveniently located within a short distance to the harbour and the Old Medina. Rooms are modern and spacious and include free WiFi.

Grand Hotel Villa de France by BlueBay

Tangier (Historic) - Morocco

The Grand Hotel Villa de France by BlueBay is part of the historical heritage of Tangier, located in the previously prestigious diplomatic district of the city. Interiors and rooms are traditionally decorated with free WiFi available throughout the hotel.

Melia Cose del Sol

Torremolinos (Scenic) - Spain

Located in Malaga, in the resort of Torremolinos, in the heart of the Costa del Sol, and strategically located right on the beach, Meliá Costa del Sol is the best option for unwinding, having fun and working in Malaga, thanks to its excellent location, its complete and comfortable facilities and its superb service.

Saray Hotel Granada

Granada (Traditional) - Spain

Located only a short walk from Granada's historic centre, Hotel Saray features elegant Andalusian design, of mosaics, archways and fountains.

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*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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