Grand Spain & Portugal end Barcelona (Preview 2020)
Tour Type: Regional Journey
Brochure Type: 2020 Europe & Britain Preview
Enjoy an in-depth portrait of the local people, their cultural heritage and their multifaceted countries; this trip includes adventuring in Santander, San Sebastian and Barcelona.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 Jamon Iberico.
- Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pasteis de Belem.
- Madrid: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your Spanish Highlight Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
- Rueda: Some of Spain's finest wines hail from the Rueda region. During your tasting, learn about the Verdejo grape and what to look for in a fresh white.
- Gijon: Meet Flor, a local of Gijon, to join her for a delicious meal of locally sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
- Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
- Dining Summary: 17 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.
Stay in Style
- Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
- 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
- Granada: The 4-star Vincci Albayzin 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.
- Madrid: Located on Madrid's most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.
- Santiago de Compostela: The NH Collection Santiago De Compostela delivers modern luxury in a timeless setting, just minutes from the historic Plaza del Obradoiro.
- Oviedo: The Barcelo Oviedo Cervantes is situated in the heart of Oviedo, 10 minutes from the Old Town and cathedral. This striking and stylish designer hotel is restored from an early 20th century mansion.
- Santander: The luxury 5-star Eurostars Hotel Real is at the heart and soul of Santander and is a hallmark of excellence and prestige, facing the Playa de los Peligros beach.
Included Insight Services
- Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de Espana, 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 Tome 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 Espana 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 Belem Tower.
- Lisbon: Visit Jeronimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Fatima : 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.
- Avila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town.
- Madrid: Explore the old town with your Local Expert.
- Santiago de Compostela: The Romanesque interior of the cathedral is magnificent. Let a Local Expert take you through the Gateway of Glory to witness the final stage of one of the world's most ancient pilgrimages.
- Santiago de Compostela: Enjoy an guided tour of the Old Town.
- Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe's oldest churches. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe, when you visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour.
- Picos de Europa National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
- Picos de Europa National Park: Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
- Santillana del Mar: Step back in time when you visit this perfectly preserved and 'most beautiful village in Spain.'
- Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry and sites of this Basque region gem during your orientation with your Travel Director.
- Getaria: See the rock known as El Raton, or the mouse.
- San Sebastian: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
- San Sebastian: Ascend Monte Igueldo to marvel at the views of the town and La Concha Bay.
- Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
- Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Gracia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
- Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia and marvel at the contrasts of architecture. Above see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows.
- Scenic Drives: Enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel along the River Tagus, through the regions of La Mancha and Andalucia, past the River Tormes and through the Castile region. Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.
- 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.
|Offer valid through 12/31/2019|
|Day 1||Madrid||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. (Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay, Madrid.
|Day 2||Granada||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 Tome, housing El Greco's famous painting, 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.' Your journey continues to Granada. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Vincci Albayzin, Granada.
|Day 3||Seville||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 Andalucia and share the passion of Spain's most fiery region as you experience a flamenco show. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms).
|Day 4||Seville||Free Time in Seville.: This is a free day, so take your time to bask in the city's romantic aura and explore as you wish. Our suggestion is to join 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 or explore as you wish. (Breakfast)|
Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
|Day 5||Lisbon||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 Jamon Iberico. The subtle differences will be revealed with a delicious tasting. Then venture across the wide Alentejo Plateau to Lisbon. (Breakfast)|
Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon.
|Day 6||Lisbon||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 Belem Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pasteis de Belem 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 Belem 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 Jeronimos 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? (Breakfast)|
Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon.
|Day 7||Salamanca||Holy Fatima and Salamanca.: Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fatima, 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. (Breakfast)|
Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
|Day 8||Madrid||Old Castile, to St. Teresa of Avila and on to Madrid.: Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Avila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore more of the capital with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a lively Highlight Dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel Hesperia Madrid.
|Day 9||Madrid||Madrid of the Bourbons.: Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your escorted journey will be a visit to the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velazquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques. (Breakfast)|
Hotel Hesperia Madrid.
|Day 10||Santiago de Compostela||Through the Guadarrama Mountains to Santiago.: Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and continues past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Travel on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
|Day 11||Santiago de Compostela||Saintly Santiago de Compostela.: Become acquainted with some of Europe's finest historical buildings during an orientation with your Local Expert. The monumental square, Praza do Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the cathedral facade to see an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Venture inside and you're privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful may choose to pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James and follow in the steps of the pilgrims along The Way of St. James. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city. (Breakfast)|
NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
|Day 12||OVIEDO||The Costa Verde to Oviedo.: Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias - one of Spain's most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. Continue on to Oviedo where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe. (Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)|
Barcelo Oviedo Cervantes.
|Day 13||Santander||Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to Santander.: See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onis as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the holy cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa? (Breakfast)|
Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.
|Day 14||San Sebastian||Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastian.: In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Raton, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastian, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitucion, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay. (Breakfast)|
Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastian.
|Day 15||San Sebastian||San Sebastian, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.: Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastian's boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you'll want to explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town? (Breakfast)|
Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastian.
|Day 16||Barcelona||Pamplona and on to Barcelona.: Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Cafe Iruna, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises.' Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions. (Breakfast)|
Hotel NH Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
|Day 17||Barcelona||Barcelona, City of Gaudi.: Wake up ready to embrace the city's artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gracia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel NH Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
|Day 18||Barcelona||Depart Barcelona.: After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 or 11:00. (Breakfast)|
|Notes: This is a 2020 Preview itinerary. Please refer to the Preview booking conditions page for full terms and conditions.|
- These prices are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
- All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking.
- For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page.
- Hotel Class Key: D: Deluxe SF: Superior First Class F: First Class