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SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES AND DINING
- Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings plus an impressive foreign collection as you tour the Prado Museum with an expert art historian.
- Toledo: With a Local Expert, visit the Church of Santo Tomé and see an El Greco’s masterpiece.
- Fatima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of Apparitions.
- Lisbon: Visit Jeronimo’s church with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries.
- Seville: From the Moorish Patio de los Naranjos, step inside the cathedral, past the altarpiece, dripping with gold, to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
- Gibraltar: Tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, affording magnificent views of the meeting of the Atlantic and Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. Visit St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes.
- Granada: Best interpreted with the help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the gardens of the Generalife.
- Barcelona: A Local Expert will take you inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Basilica.
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
- Madrid: Your guided tour shows you the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España, Royal Palace, Gran Via, Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
- Toledo: Walk the cobbled streets.
- Salamanca: See the cathedral in the university town.
- Porto: See the bridges and buildings decorated in tiles. See the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores.
- Obidos: Visit this ancient fortified city.
- Lisbon: Tour the spacious avenues and elegant squares. See the Monument to the Discoveries and ancient Belem Tower. Visit Lisbon Cathedral.
- Seville: Enjoy a walking tour through the squares and lanes of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the walls of the Alcazar.
- Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village.
- Valencia: See the ultra modern Centre of Arts and Sciences. See the huge City Gates of Serranos and Quart.
- Peñíscola: View the stone castle from the film El Cid.
- Barcelona: Drive down the elegant Passeig de Gracia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Stand in awe beside Gaudi’s incredible Sagrada Famila.
AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS
- Porto: Sample a selection of famous Port wines at a tasting at the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores.
- Lisbon: Enjoy a demonstration and tasting of the famous ‘Pasteis de Belem’ – a Portuguese delicacy.
- Seville: Tables are reserved for dinner, drinks and a fiery evening of Spanish dance and music! Get ready for throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
- Granada: For your Dine-Around evening, choose from a selection of restaurants for a more intimate experience.
- Valencia: Learn the authentic recipe of paella in a fun cookery demonstration and savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of sangria.
- Sant Sadurni: Join a wine expert for a visit and tasting at the great Cava vineyards and cellars.
- Barcelona: With fantastic sea views, be seated for an exceptional Catalan Celebration Dinner incorporating classic cooking with only the freshest produce.
- 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 1 Dine-Around (DA), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD), 2 three-course table d’hôte Dinners with wine, plus tea or coffee (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD). Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year’s Eve enjoy a festive Highlight Dinner.
STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES
- Madrid: The charming Gran Melia Fenix is in an exceptional location on the well-known Plaza de Colón, it offers exceptional facilities including the famous DRY Martini Bar by Javier de las Muelas.
- Salamanca: The Hotel Alameda Palace is an exclusive and cozy 5-star hotel in a city that is a World Heritage Site.
- Porto: NH Batalha. Located in a newly renovated 18th century palace, the hotel is in the heart of Porto. Once the home of a prominent wine-producing family, and most recently the main Post Office, the hotel has the feel of old Porto, from its historic façade to the elegant décor. It is also within easy reach of everything that makes this city a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Lisbon: 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.
- 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. Guests can enjoy the modern facilities, including gym, steam room and dry sauna.
- Valencia: The Barceló 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.
ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES
- An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges’, expert guides, consummate organisers and friends 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.
- Personal radio headsets, 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 WiFi.
- 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.
- Airport transfers at scheduled times on the first and last day of your escorted journey.
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.
Hotel: Gran Meliá Fenix, Madrid
Welcome Reception and Dinner
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.
Hotel: Gran Melia Fenix, Madrid
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.
Hotel: Alameda Palace, Salamanca
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).
Hotel: NH Batalha, Porto
Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
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.
Hotel: Dom Pedro Palace, Lisbon
Day 6 Lisbon & 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 reach the Terreiro do Paço, finest square in the city. Visit the Belem Quarter, from where sailing ships 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 demonstration and 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 Jeronimo’s church 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?
Hotel: Dom Pedro Palace, Lisbon
Day 7 Seville, the City of Carmen
Leave Lisbon via a 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.
Hotel: Ayre, Seville
Buffet Breakfast, Signature Evening
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.
Hotel: Ayre, Seville
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 lie moored.
Hotel: Melia Costa Del Sol, Torremolinos
Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
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 or savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
Hotel: Melia Costa Del Sol
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.
Hotel: Vincci Albayzin, Granada
Buffet Breakfast, Dine-Around
Day 12 On to Valencia
Journey to Valencia where you’ll see the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences then circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos and Quart to reach your hotel. 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. The rest of the day is at leisure, perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete?
Hotel: Barcelo Valencia
Buffet Breakfast, Highlight Dinner
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.
Hotel: Meliá Barcelona Sarrià, Barcelona
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, take in splendid views of the port and sea from your waterfront seafood restaurant at a Celebration Dinner.
Hotel: Meliá Barcelona Sarrià
Buffet Breakfast, Celebration Dinner
Day 15 Depart Barcelona or Madrid
Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00. The 09:00 transfer will continue to Madrid, scheduled to arrive early evening at Madrid airport, followed by the Hotel Gran Melia Fenix.
Gran Melia Fenix – 5 star
Madrid (Central) – Spain
Gran Melia Fenix, Uniquely located on the Plaza de Colón, the Hotel Gran Meliá Fénix is a reference of the finest in the city´s hotel industry, and member of the exclusive group of The Leading Hotels of the World.
Alameda Palace – 0 star
Salamanca (Central) – Spain
Alameda Palace Hotel, Located in the Plaza de España just five minutes away from the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca. Rooms are comfortable and decorated with classic style furniture.
NH Batalha Porto 2 nights – 0 star
Porto (Central) – Portugal
NH Batalha, Porto (2 nights)
Dom Pedro Palace – 0 star
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.
Ayre Seville – 0 star
Seville (Central) – Spain
Ayre Hotel Seville, The hotel is located in a very active and dynamic area full of shops and restaurants to enjoy. It is close to the most important monuments and tourist attractions of this great Andalusian city.
Melia Costa Del Sol – 0 star
Torremolinos (Central) – 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.
Vincci Albayzin – 0 star
Granada (Central) – Spain
Located in the centre of Granada, the Andalusian-style Vincci Albayzín boasts a magnificent enclosed patio that bathes its rooms in natural light.
Barcelo Valencia – 0 star
Valencia (Central) – Spain
The Barceló 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.
Melia Barcelona – 0 star
Barcelona (Central) – Spain
Melia Barcelona Hotel, A luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city. Facilities include a fitness centre, gym, restaurant, cafe, lounge and bar.