Best of Spain & Portugal - End Barcelona, Small Group, Summer End Barcelona Small Group
From 22/04/2023 to 20/10/2023
Additional Included Highlights.
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
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 delight 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.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Welcome to Madrid Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00.Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over an evening of delicious food and wine.
Day 2 - Madrid of the Bourbons Guided by your Local Expert, visit the Spanish capital's most historic neighbourhoods. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter, discovering the origins of the city. Enjoy a special visit to the renowned Prado Museum with an art historian who will guide you through the collective works of Vel?zquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and more.
Day 3 - Segovia and Golden Salamanca Travel to the fortified city of Segovia. Walk through the medieval streets with a Local Expert and see the magnificent Alcazar fortress, before continuing onto the historic aqueduct. Journey west, overlooking the ancient walls of ?vila, en route to Salamanca. During your guided sightseeing tour, admire the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.
Day 4 - Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto. Situated on the River Douro, the city is celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city, admiring the multi-coloured houses, churches adorned with glazed tiles and iconic bridges.
Day 5 - Holy F?tima, Ancient Obidos and Lisbon Head south for a visit to miraculous F?tima. See the Basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the apparition of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to the fortified town of Obidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets where houses are covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
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 Bel?m Quarter, from where sailing ships once set forth to discover faraway lands. Enjoy a taste of the famous Past?is de Bel?m from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the historic Bel?m Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jer?nimos Church with its beautiful Manueline architecture. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Portuguese Riviera? It is often visited by surfers, royalty and on occasion James Bond.
Day 7 - Seville, the City of Carmen Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. Visit the Seville Cathedral, the burial place of Christopher Columbus.Explore Seville with Insight Choice. Choose to embark on a walk through the old Jewish Quarter. Alternatively, join a scenic drive around the city and a short walk through the narrow lanes of the Santa Cruz Quarter.This evening, why not join an optional experience with dinner and a horse and carriage ride?
Day 8 - Free Time and Flamenco in Seville Relaxed Start Enjoy a relaxed start and a morning to unwind, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of C?rdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. Later this afternoon, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience as you visit the Cristina Heeren Foundation, a flamenco dance school and beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Their mission is to promote the teaching and conservation of flamenco. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson. With some free time for dinner, wander the restaurants in Triana or try the local night market Lonja Del Barranco selling tapas made from fresh, local produce. Why not grab yourself a refreshing sangria for a cheers to your new found dancing feet? Later, share in the dancers' devotion as you witness emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.
Day 9 - Head for Gibraltar, Mijas and the Costa del Sol Head south to Gibraltar, part of mainland Spain yet an overseas territory under British control since 1704. With your Local Expert, visit the Rock of Gibraltar and St. Michael's Cave. See the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through high end resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens, taking in the views of the coast.
Day 10 - 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 M?laga, the birth city of Picasso.
Day 11 - Dining with Locals and the Alhambra Relaxed Start Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet whitewashed village, with a population of less than 500 people, surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla.Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory to taste a selection of different oils, paired with locally made farmer bread. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace with your Local Expert. Built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century, it is a wonder of beautiful gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace.
Day 12 - On to Valencia Journey to Valencia. Pass through the Old City to see its ancient gates, and the City of Arts and Sciences.In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Alternatively sit back with a drink and watch the Valencians go about their day.Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the Old City and learn how to make this local specialty during a Cooking Demonstration. Later, indulge in the delicious flavours of this classic dish with a glass of sangria at your Highlight Dinner.
Day 13 - Along the Coast to Pe??scola 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. During a delicious light lunch, enjoy a tasting as you learn the sparkling secrets of Spanish bubbly. Continue along the coast to reach Barcelona.
Day 14 - Barcelona Sightseeing Relaxed Start A Local Expert joins you for a drive along the Passeig de Gr?cia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to visit Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Fam?lia. See the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. At a local restaurant, join your fellow travellers to toast to newfound friends and a wonderful journey, enjoying a Celebration Dinner with wine.
Day 15 - Depart Barcelona After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00. Choice Highlights Choose between two carefully selected activities Seville: Stroll through Barrio de Santa Cruz with your Local Expert to hear how the Jewish community has shaped the history of Seville. Seville: Explore Seville's top sights on a panoramic city tour with your Local Expert. Well-being : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests). : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches. : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols. : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues. : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day. Travel Director : "There is nothing quite like sampling the many varieties of tapas. Every region has its own delicacies so you can be assured that you will taste different ones everywhere you go." : "No visit to Portugal is complete without an extensive investigation into its gastronomy. Our guests are delighted by the high-quality food, diverse flavours and generous service for which the Portuguese are known." : "Guests are surprised to find that Spanish is not the only language spoken in the country - there's also Basque, Galician and Catalan, not to mention the little dialects in each province." Authentic Dining Madrid: Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine. Porto: Sample a selection of famous Port wines at a tasting at the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores. Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Past?is de Bel?m. Torremolinos: Taste a selection of freshly pressed olive oils with locally made farmer bread when you stop at Almazara, the oldest olive grove in the region. Alfarnatejo: Hear stories of local life as you join a local family for a freshly prepared traditional lunch with wine. Valencia: Learn the authentic recipe of paella when you join a local chef for a Cooking Demonstration. Savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria, during your Highlight Dinner. Sant Sadurni dAnoia: Join a wine expert when you visit Cava Dorada. Enjoy a tasting at the great Cava vineyards during your delicious Highlight Lunch. Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce. Dining Summary: 5 Dinner with Wine (DW), 14 Breakfast (B), and 2 Lunch with Wine (LW) Insight Experiences Madrid: Witness the world's finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive international collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian. Granada: Visit the famous Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. While others wait in line, you'll be exploring accompanied by a Local Expert, keen to share insights into this Moorish landmark. Top Rated Highlights Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol. Segovia: Walk the medieval streets of this fortified city with your Local Expert and see the 14th century Alcazar Palace. Avila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town. Salamanca: See the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings as you explore the city with your Local Expert. Porto: See the iconic bridges and buildings decorated in tiles. F?tima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions or see the basilica. Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town. Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Bel?m Quarter to see the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Bel?m Tower. Lisbon: Visit Jer?nimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seville: Visit the Seville Cathedral with your Local Expert. Pass the altarpiece dripping with gold and see the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings. Seville: Stroll through Barrio de Santa Cruz with your Local Expert to hear how the Jewish community has shaped the history of Seville. Seville: Explore Seville's top sights on a panoramic city tour with your Local Expert. Gibraltar: With your Local Expert, explore the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, affording magnificent views and see the meeting of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. Visit St. Michael's Cave and see the Barbary Apes. Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village and stroll the streets to admire the coastal views. Alfarnatejo: Visit the beautiful, quiet town and walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. 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. Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart. Pe??scola: See the castle featured in the film 'El Cid'. Barcelona: Your Local Expert shows you the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and the Roman. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gr?cia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Fam?lia. Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Fam?lia 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. Make Travel Matter Seville: The Cristina Heeren Foundation aims to promote the teaching and conservation of flamenco and is a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Meet the students of the foundation, learn some basic flamenco steps, and then feel the passion as they perform an emotional show. The school enables students access to cultural education that otherwise may not have occurred. TreadRights sponsorship has helped students to complete their studies in advanced guitar, singing and dance. As students complete their training, they will carry on and safeguard the traditional flamenco dance, contributing to the protection of Andalusia and Spain's cultural heritage. The Cristina Heeren Foundation advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education and UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
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