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Welcome to Madrid
At Madrid Airport, transfers depart for your tour hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and a beautiful evening of dinner and wine.
Madrid of the Bourbons
(Relaxed Start) Guided sightseeing takes you along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana past Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Drive down the Gran Vía to the Royal Palace and Cervantes Monument before crossing the Puerta del Sol. The highlight of your tour is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.
Toledo and Golden Salamanca
The morning is devoted to Toledo. With your Local Expert, walk through the maze of narrow, cobbled streets. See El Greco's painting in the Church of Santo Tomé. Join a master craftsman in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Later, pass the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca, with its handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, honey-coloured cathedral and 16th century university buildings.
Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro
(Relaxed Start) Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. See the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines. Walk along corridors of casks and get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges (or ‘Eiffel Towers on end’ according to one Frenchman).
Holy Fátima, Obidos and Lisbon
Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Then continue to the hilltop town of Obidos, where you'll walk inside the city walls to explore the flower-bedecked houses and narrow, medieval streets. Your next destination is the Portuguese capital.
Lisbon and the Age of Discovery
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belem Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Stop by an old patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a tasting of the famous 'Pasteis de Belem'. See the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belem Tower - a fortress originally set in the middle of the river, but now left high and dry on the riverbank. Next, visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. The afternoon is free, perhaps join us for an optional experience to the Portuguese Riviera, visited by surfers, royalty, and even James Bond?’
Seville, the City of Carmen
Leave Lisbon via a modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, tour the immense cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and the slender Giralda Tower. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar. At night, settle back for a Signature Evening of dinner and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.
Free Time in Seville
(Relaxed Start) The following day is completely yours to relax, explore, or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. Our suggestion is an optional experience to the ancient city of Cordoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop.
Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol
Head south to Gibraltar, attached to Spain yet an overseas territory under British... along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.
At Leisure on the Costa del Sol
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy the 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.
Granada and the Alhambra
(Relaxed Start) Drive through the green hills above the Costa del Sol to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace. With a Local Expert, see the Lion Court, as well as the water gardens of the royal summer residence. In the evening, choose your own personal ambience and cuisine from our Dine-Around selection of restaurants.
On to Valencia.
Journey to Valencia the 'City of Arts and Sciences'. Circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos, to reach your hotel. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Learn the authentic recipe in a fun cookery demonstration with a local chef and savour the flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria.
Peñíscola and Barcelona
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film 'El Cid'. Continue along the Costa Dorada, to your hotel in Barcelona.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert to drive along the Passeig de Gràcia. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família Basilica. In the afternoon, maybe experience the great Monastery of Montserrat and see the Black Madonna? At night, enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine in true Catalan style.
Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
Most Insight tours 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 Tour Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your tour. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.
Madrid (Central) - Spain
The newly built 5-star Barceló Torre de Madrid offers sophisticated comfort and impeccable service, all within walking distance from Madrid's major sights.
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.
Porto (Central) - Portugal
The NH Collection Porto Batalha was once an 18th century palace hosting lavish balls. It is now a state-of-the-art property offering impeccable service and maximum comfort.
Lisbon (Central) - Portugal
Dom Pedro Palace is located across the street from one of the largest Lisbon shopping Centres: the Amoreiras Shopping Centre with 250 top quality shops, cinemas and restaurants. On the top of the hotel there is the most exclusive Lisbon Penthouse Suite with a 360º degree view overlooking the city. This deluxe hotel offers elegant guest accommodations with great city views and a fantastic spa.
Seville (Contemporary) - Spain
A dominant hotel which is fantastically-located in the centre of Seville.
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.
Granada (Traditional) - Spain
The 4-star Vincci Albayzín is located in the centre of Granada and is typically Andalusian in style. It boasts a magnificent enclosed patio that bathes its rooms in natural light.
Valencia (Central) - Spain
The Barcelo 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.
Barcelona (Central) - Spain
The modern Hilton Barcelona is located on the city's main avenue. It promises an outstanding experience in Barcelona with all comforts and a spectacular view over the city!
04 December, 2017
Trip: All the places we visited were those I had wanted to see and experience.
Service: They were responsive and friendly. Our driver, Diogo, in particular, was always great at cheering you up with his wit and his friendliness. Brad **** was a store of knowledge. His recall was amazing. Must have been a brilliant history student.
04 December, 2017
Trip: If you really want to make this a better tour why not include Santiago de Compostella
Service: Overall the tour was good, but sometimes too hectic and not relaxing enough.
02 December, 2017
Trip: Covered so much ground and saw and experienced so much.
Service: Would recommend to family and friends.
02 December, 2017
Trip: toured all sites I was interested in seeing,,,,varied locations rurual to city
Service: smooth timely transitions to tours..knowledgeable tour guides
02 December, 2017
Trip: A couple of the add on dinners were a bit disappointing.
Service: The group leader was very organised and on time for every part of the holiday. The coach driver was wonderful.
28 November, 2017
Trip: I would give 4.5 Stars. The tour to olive factory on the way from Granada to Valencia could be done without. It took too long to get there and the winding uphill presented a somewhat higher concern for safety even though we were in the good hand of the excellent driver. By doing without it, we would also have more time in Valencia.
Service: Tour Director had excellent rapport with tour members. Ever so helpful and responsive to customer needs. He deserves the GEM Award. (GEM refers to Go the Extra Mile in rendering services to customers)
26 November, 2017
Trip: Places of visit and local guides were excellent. The group was friendly, jovial and everyone was on time
Service: Sightseeing, meals and accommodation well organised and timely. Tour director is helpful and friendly.
26 November, 2017
Trip: With one slight exception the tour met and at times exceeded our expectations. The exception was our visit to the olive oil plant. While the scenery was exquisite, we thought we would be viewing the processing, pressing etc, but the plant was idle. An explanation of each manufacturing stage was given, but it seemed a long way to travel for what we got at the end.
Service: Smooth and consistent organisation each day. Friendly and professional attention from both our tour director Dominic and our drivers, Manuel and Paolo. Dominic was a superb director, keeping us informed with his knowledge of our destinations. His sense of humour, knowledge of his destinations and skilled communications skills were second to none. He even arranged for the weather to e cinsistently fine and sunny! We appreciated his company every step of the way.
25 November, 2017
Trip: Great stops, very historic.
Service: First class guide, bus and accomodations
25 November, 2017
Trip: Should not have had visit to olive oil plantation and should have stayed in Malaga.
Service: Fantastic Tour Leader.
25 November, 2017
Trip: Have learned about cultures, foods, architectures, etc.
Service: Our tour director, bus drivers, hotels, bus were wonderful. We were well informed about all schedules ahead of time repeatedly. Strongly recommend to everyone.