Amazing Spain and Portugal
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Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas Markets

Regional Journey

Amazing Spain & Portugal (Winter 2019 2020)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Spain, Portugal

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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

Delve beneath the surface of these two amazing countries. Sample their signature dishes, share in their culture and marvel the legacy of their rich sea-faring history.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Madrid.

    Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin to get to know this stylish city. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of good food and wine. During your time in Madrid you will travel along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive will take you through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city.

  2. Day 2

    The old Capital of Toledo and on to Granada.

    Venture south to meet a master craftsperson in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Continue to the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain's capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.' Your journey continues to Granada.

  3. Day 3

    The Alhambra Palace and Seville, City of Carmen.

    'There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada', cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Explore with your Local Expert and also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Take a moment to relax in the sunshine as you enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills.Embark on a scenic drive to Seville where a Local Expert will guide you through the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the huge walls of the fabulous Alcazar to see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, but now the cathedral bell tower. Enter the immense 15th century cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and see his tomb enriched with the spoils of the New World. During a highlight evening enjoy the flavours of Andalucía and share the passion of Spain's most fiery region as you experience a flamenco show.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Seville.

    Enjoy a relaxed start and a day to relax, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. In the evening you are treated to dinner, wine and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    The plains of the Alentejo to Lisbon.

    Pass through the oak forests where black Iberian pigs are bred for the famous Spanish hams. Stop in Jabugo for an insight into the history and curing process of Jamón Ibérico. The subtle differences will be revealed with a delicious tasting. Then venture across the wide Alentejo Plateau to Lisbon.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Lisbon and the Age of the Discoveries.

    During your stay, a guided orientation of the city with your Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the beautiful Portuguese Riviera?

  7. Day 7

    Holy Fátima and Golden Salamanca.

    Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the Basilica commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Cross the border, returning to Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings and the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Across the River Tormes, see the Puente Romano with 15 of its 26 arches dating from the time of the ancient Romans.

  8. Day 8

    Old Castile, to St. Teresa of Ávila and on to Madrid.

    Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore the old town with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a a lively Celebration Dinner.

  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

  • Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
  • IE E396 BROX Visit Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens with a Local Expert.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Seville: Get ready for colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco as you experience a fiery evening of Spanish dance and cuisine.
  • 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.
  • 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 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 20 Dec Christmas Day in Lisbon. 27 Dec New Year's Eve in Lisbon.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Madrid: Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.
  • Granada: 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.
  • Salamanca: 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.

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

 

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.

Vincci Albayzín, Granada.

Vincci Albayzín, Granada.

Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms)

SEVILLE (Contemporary) - SPAIN

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

Atlis Grand Hotel Lisbon

Lisbon (Central) - Portugal

Altis Grand is a landmark 5 star hotel in Lisbon with a prime location in central Lisbon, within walking distance of Avenida Liberdade and Lisbon’s historic districts, this hotel has its history linked to the contemporary history of the country, which regularly hosts media events.

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.

Hotel Hesperia Madrid.

MADRID (Traditional) - SPAIN

Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, Hotel Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11504 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 11 March, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Saw a bit of everything though a bit fast.

    Service: Great tour guide, food, and lodging. Saw great sights.

  • 06 March, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A lot to fit in a brief period of time, but that is the point of the "Tapas Tour".

    Service: Responsive to individual questions and requests.

  • 04 March, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I already mentioned that Madrid, Lisbon, Salamanca, Seville, Cordoba, and Toledo were important to visit. The rest did not seem as necessary. Also, a little too much bus time on this tour.

    Service: Great energetic director, great hotels, most of the visited locations were very worth while. Among those I enjoyed: Madrid, Lisbon, Salamanca, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo.

  • 03 March, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: liiked the amount of cities toured

    Service: yes would certainly travel again with insight!

  • 03 March, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The Tour was fast paced because of the length of the Tour but, we spend too much time the second last day at the New Church. Yes, it is very important but, the last City of Salamanca we did not have enough time in. Just an evening and we needed more time than that. Also we did have enough time at the Church Operated Store.

    Service: The Tour Bus Bus, Tour Director and Driver were absolutely terrific. The Hotel Accommodation on the First Evening should have been in the last Hotel in Madrid and again the last evening. The first Hotel Lobby was breath taking but, the Furniture in the Rooms should be replaced. All the Lighting in the Hotel is new (Pot Lights) but it makes the Room Dark. Everyone on Tour talked about this. The Tour Director had everything arranged for our Transfer and the Driver was absolutely great but, the Trunk of the Mercedes could not accommodate the Luggage.

  • 25 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The destinations were all interesting and great places to visit.

    Service: The trip was well organised. We went to some great places. Our travel director Daniel Mailhout was fantastic. So knowledgeable about everything. Organised every detail. our driver Antonio was a great driver.

  • 12 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We had a great trip! Met great people and learned a lot about the different cities. A dish that was provided by a restaurant lack other seafood , ie. fish, in one of the traditional plate. We had a lot of shrimp for that night!!

    Service: Our tour director, driver were very knowledgeable and friendly. Also the local tour guides were very knowledgeable. In addition the hotels needed air conditioning, but due to months of winter they were controlled centrally and was not able to be turned on. Thus, we had to open up the window. One hotel the bathroom specifically was heavily filled with cigarette smell. I had to use my body spray to mask smell of cigarette smoke. Our son went to the restroom initially and he brought it to my attention. Overall we had a great vacation. Learned new things and made new friends.

  • 12 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It really is amazing. The awesome places we visited and times spent were just right for the short duration.

    Service: Excellent customer service! The Tour director (Dan Mailhiot) really took care of us and the rest of the group. He’s a very caring and knowledgeable person. Him and the coach driver (Antonio) made a great team. They were very helpful and made us all comfortable and safe during the trip.

  • 11 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good history that was well presented.

    Service: It was well organized. The tour guide knew his material and was consistently helpful in providing background on the various sites. The coach and hotels were of excellent quality. The trip home was aggravating. We had less than two hours to make a connection and missed it resulting in an additional day of travel and some minor added expenses. Less than two hours for a transfer in international situations and large airports is not enough. We also had to wait over four hours for our first flight. We felt like we were living at the airport.

  • 11 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We chose this tour as it was packed into a tight timeframe that suited our needs and it delivered.

    Service: Our Insight Tour was outstanding. We paid for a top tour and the tour delivered to our expectations. The key to making the tour is the tour director and in Dan Mailhoit we had a superb tour director. Dan was a pure professional who ensured everything ran smoothly and your personal needs were looked after. We are alteady planning our next Insight tour.

  • 11 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just too Good, Couldn't be any better !!!

    Service: Excellent in every aspect.....Was such an Amazing experience that we can't wait for the NEXT Vacation with InSight.....!!!

  • 11 January, 2019

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I thought some of the optional excursions did not live up to the descriptions. Aside from that the itinerary was good.

    Service: I enjoyed visiting La Alhambra in Granada, La Mezquita in Cordoba and Lisbon Portugal. I have never seen such unique architecture. Portugal was warm and filled with seaside sights.

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