Insight Vacations | Best of Spain and Portugal (Summer 2017)

Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art.

  • What's Included

    • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
    • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
    • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
    • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
    • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
    • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
    • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
    • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.
  • Pricing

    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 - Welcome to Madrid

    At Madrid Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 16:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and a beautiful evening of dinner and wine.(WD)


    Day 2 - Madrid of the Bourbons

    (Relaxed Start) A guided sightseeing tour 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.(BB)


    Day 3 - The old Capital of 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 paintings in the Church of Santo Tomé. 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.(BB)


    Day 4 - 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).(BB / DW)


    Day 5 - Holy Fatima, Ancient Obidos and Lisbon

    Head south for a visit to miraculous Fatima. 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 fortified town of Obidos, where you'll walk inside the walls to explore the flower-bedecked houses and narrow, medieval streets. Your destination is the Portuguese capital.(BB)


    Day 6 - Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries

    (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. Visit an old 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 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 take the funicular up into the steep alleyways of the old town, or explore the terraces of the Alfama district?(BB)


    Day 7 - Seville, the City of Carmen

    Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With a 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 with dinner and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.(BB / SE)


    Day 8 - Free Time in Seville

    (Relaxed Start) The following day is completely yours to relax, explore, or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. One suggestion is an optional experience to Cordoba to visit the magnificent Mezquita.(BB)


    Day 9 - Head for Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol

    Head south to Gibraltar, attached to Spain yet an independent colony under British control since 1704. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael's Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Later, take the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the Mediterranean's most expensive yachts are moored.(BB / DW)


    Day 10 - At Leisure on the Costa del Sol

    (Relaxed Start) 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.(BB)


    Day 11 - Mijas, 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.(BB / DA)


    Day 12 - On to Valencia.

    Journey to Valencia the 'City of Arts and Sciences', then circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos and Quart to reach your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, 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 and savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of sangria.(BB / HD)


    Day 13 - Along the coast to Peñíscola and on to Barcelona

    Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film El Cid. Continue along the Costa Dorada to the Cava Bodegas at Sant Sadurni d'Anoia. Enjoy a taste and learn the sparkling secrets of Spanish ‘bubbly' before heading on to your hotel in Barcelona.(BB)


    Day 14 - Barcelona Sightseeing

    (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? In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine.(BB / CD)


    Day 15 - Depart Barcelona

    Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.(BB)


HLO Ref# 5752