Spain & Portugal in Style - Insight Vacations

Spain & Portugal in Style (Luxury Gold - Summer 2017)

Duration: 13 days Visiting: Spain, Portugal

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Standing in the citrus-scented squares, it's easy to be seduced by the splendours of Seville. There are few forms of expression as entrancing as Flamenco. The varied yet unmistakable flavours of the Iberian Peninsula provide an allure all their own. It's undeniable, Spain and Portugal offer countless ways to draw you in, and you can experience them all with Insight. From the unmatched creative flair on display at every turn in Barcelona to the architectural wonder of Evora, our Spain & Portugal in Style itinerary introduces you to the most enticing and beguiling aspects of the Iberian Peninsula, with an equally charming level of luxury.

• Enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Barcelona's Liceu Opera house and its private members club.

• Relish an exquisite dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant Albora, in Madrid.

• Delve into the beauty, art and history of Iberia through intimate guided tours of the Prado, Alhambra, Jeronimo's Monastery and more.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Barcelona

    On arrival at Barcelona Airport, you will be met and transferred to your luxury, boutique 5- star hotel. At 16:00 join your Travelling Concierge for an after-hours private tour of the Liceu Opera, see behind the scenes of this famous opera house. Visit its private members club Circulo del Liceu, which houses the most important private collection of modern art in Catalonia. Enjoy a glass of cava with your travelling companions and Travelling Concierge before dinner by the water in the refined setting of Restaurant Maritim. (Gentlemen must wear a jacket and tie).

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Catalonia’s Creative Capital

    (Relaxed Start) Meet a Local Expert in the Gothic Quarter - a medieval maze of streets and squares behind the old cathedral. Drive past some of the most flamboyant buildings of the Catalan Art Nouveau movement. Visit Gaudi's jaw-dropping Sagrada Familia, where mosaic spires pierce the sky like a giant jewelled crown. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy as you please.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Valencia and the Orange Blossom Coast

    (Relaxed Start) Follow the sunny Costa Dorada to sea-lapped Peñíscola. Explore the lanes and white-walled cottages clustered around the castle used in the film El Cid. Continue through the famous orange groves to Valencia, where ultra-modern buildings rub shoulders with medieval town gates. Valencia is home to paella, one of the world's greatest dishes. For dinner, savour the incredible meat and saffron flavours in an authentic recipe, created by a local chef.

  4. Day 4

    Granada and the Alhambra Palace

    Head up through the mountains to Granada, where a Local Expert will show you the exquisite Alhambra Palace and exotic water gardens built by the Moors in the 13th century. Venture to the Albaicín quarter in the evening, with its maze of steep, cobbled streets. From a restaurant overlooking the Alhambra, enjoy an exquisitely mastered variety of local dishes and wines.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Cordoba and Seville

    (Relaxed Start) Journey through silent sierras to Cordoba, with views of the Roman bridge, to arrive at the magnificent Mezquita (mosque). A Local Expert will take you through the forest of delicate arches and pillars, to the opulent Christian cathedral nestled within. Stroll the tangled streets of the Jewish Quarter before continuing to the stunning Andalucian capital of Seville.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Seville, the City of Carmen

    (Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert in the white-washed alleys and flower-decked squares of the Santa Cruz quarter. Emerge near the cathedral to visit the main chapel and tomb of Columbus. Enjoy free time before a romantic clip clop through the charismatic streets by horse and carriage. Visit the patio of an 18th century palace for drinks, as well well as an intimate and passionate performance of fiery flamenco, followed by a dinner in a private room of an elegance restaurant, accompanied by classical guitar.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    The Flavours of Andalusia

    (Relaxed Start) Become familiar with the flavours of Andalusia with a market tour and Spanish cooking experience. Learn the culinary secrets to some of Spain's most popular dishes and enjoy them for lunch, along with a glass or two of wine, beer or soda. The rest of the day is free for your own pursuits.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Alentejo to Lisbon

    (Relaxed Start) Head for the green slopes of the Sierra de Aracena, where black Iberian pigs snuffle for acorns through peaceful glades of oak. Then continue across the wide Alentejo Plateau to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. Later, cross the mighty Tagus by ferry to the fishing port of Cacilhas for a Highlight Dinner that draws on the flavours of the sea, accompanied with the best local wines.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Lisbon and the Age of Discoveries

    (Relaxed Start) With your Local Expert, visit the Belém Quarter, where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. See the Monument to the Discoveries, Belém Tower and visit Jerónimos Monastery. Taste a Pasteis de Belém, a Portuguese creamy egg-tart pastry, from a famous pastelaria that still work from the original recipe. This evening you’re invited to choose from a selection of local restaurants during your Dine-Around Evening.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Forever Evora

    Journey to Evora today - an architectural wonder dating back to Roman times. Join a Local Expert for a walk around this UNESCO listed city. Then head to L'AND Vineyards to explore the winery, learn about their wine making process and taste a selection of their tantalising wines. The evening is at leisure, perhaps enjoy dinner on the Praça do Giraldo.

  11. Day 11

    The Roman Ruins of Merida and Madrid

    Drive across peaceful agricultural lands to the Spanish border and continue to Merida, famous for its extensive Roman ruins. Visit the well-preserved Roman Theatre where all types of plays were performed to delight the patrons of ancient Lusitania. Continue through the sun-baked landscapes of Extremadura to the Spanish capital of Madrid.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Madrid of the Bourbons

    (Relaxed Start) Drive along tree-lined avenues past the Cibeles Fountain, Cervantes Monument and stately Royal Palace. Continue through the Puerta del Sol to the magnificent Prado museum. Walk with an art historian for an in-depth look at the world's finest collection of Spanish paintings. There will be free time in the afternoon, before joining together at the Michelin starred Álbora bar and restaurant where you'll find classic cuisine in a stylish, modern setting.

  13. Day 13

    Depart Madrid

    After breakfast, a transfer is included to Madrid Barajas Airport.

Highlights

 

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS

  • Barcelona: Enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Barcelona's Liceu Opera house and attend a reception at its private members club, Circulo del Liceo.
  • Barcelona: Once inside Gaudi's amazing Sagrada Familia look up - it's like nothing else in the world.
  • Granada: Join a Local Expert at the exquisite Alhambra Palace, complemented by the scented Generalife Gardens.
  • Cordoba: Explore the amazing Mezquita, walking through it's forest of horseshoe-shaped arches and pillars to the Christian cathedral within.
  • Seville: From the Moorish Patio de los Naranjos, step inside the cathedral with a Local Expert to see the main chapel and the altarpiece - dripping with gold, and then head to the Tomb of Columbus.
  • Seville: Perhaps the best way to appreciate this city is by a romantic horse drawn carriage ride through the streets.
  • Lisbon: Visit to the Monastery of the Hieronymites with its beautiful Manueline architecture.
  • Merida: Famous for its Roman ruins, Mérida is full of history and ancient architecture. Marvel at the well-preserved Roman Theatre.
  • Madrid: An art historian will provide an in-depth look at Spain's finest collection of paintings at the Prado Museum.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Barcelona: Enjoy a walk with a Local Expert through the old lanes of the Gothic Quarter. Drive down the elegant Passeig de Gracia to take in the some of the city's daring Modernist architecture.
  • Costa Dorada: Explore the lanes and white-walled cottages.
  • Cordoba: Spend some time in the labyrinthine old Jewish Quarter.
  • Seville: Visit the beautiful Plaza de España in Seville's Maria Louisa Park. Enjoy a walking tour of the Santa Cruz Quarter with its pretty squares and flower-decked balconies. Emerge by the walls of the Alcazar.
  • Lisbon: Visit the Belem Quarter, see the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belem Tower.
  • Evora: Explore this UNESCO listed town.
  • Madrid: See the Cibeles Fountain, Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace.    .

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Granada: In the evening, from a restaurant overlooking the magnificent Alhambra Palace, enjoy a memorable night drinking great local wine and tasting a variety of local dishes.
  • Seville: For your Dine-Around evening, enjoy small group dining with mouth-watering menus at a selection of local restaurants.
  • Seville: Be seated for an intimate dining experience where flamenco guitar and voice is paired with the raw emotion, colour and rhythmic expression of dance.
  • Seville: Explore the flavours of Andalusia with a market tour and Spanish cooking experience. Creating some of Spain's most popular dishes which you can then enjoy for lunch.
  • Lisbon: Visit the fishing port of Cacilhas for your Highlight Dinner, enjoying flavours of the sea and accompanied by local wines during your first evening on Portuguese shores.
  • Lisbon: During a visit to a pastelaria, where the Portuguese 'Pasteis de Belem' was born, sample this famous custard tart, which is still made to its original secret recipe.
  • Evora: In an old refectory, set in a former Jesuit retreat, enjoy a delicious wine tasting.
  • Madrid: An evening you won't forget at the Michelin starred Álbora bar and restaurant, where you can enjoy well-prepared and meticulously presented cuisine in a stylish modern setting.
  • 12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA), 2 Highlight Dinners (HD), 1 Highlight Lunch (HL) and 1 Michelin Celebration Dinner (MCD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Valencia: The Westin Valencia is perfectly located in ​​the city centre, in a quiet area next to Paseo de la Alameda, with a warm and relaxing atmosphere in American art-deco style.
  • Madrid: The Westin Palace is located in the centre of Madrid, within walking distance of the most prestigious museums of the city, such as Thyssen Museum and the Prado Museum. The iconic "Palace" is the ideal hotel in Madrid to enjoy the sights, the shops and the popular gastronomy of the Spanish capital.
  • Seville: Located in the heart of the city, Seville's Gran Meliá Colón combines historical features with contemporary touches to create warmth and elegance.
  • Lisbon: Located in Terreiro do Paço, a historic part of the city, the Pousada de Lisboa is a boutique hotel offering elegantly decorated guest rooms in a classic style.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. 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 an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
  • 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.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are 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 (where available).
  • With 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 to and from your hotel are included.

Accommodation

 

Gran Hotel La Florida Barcelona

Barcelona (Scenic) - Spain

Complimentary Wifi

Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona

The Westin Valencia

Valencia (Central) - Spain

Complimentary Wifi

Westin, Valencia

Hotel Alhambra Palace Granada

Granada (Central) - Spain

Complimentary Wifi

Hotel Alhambra Palace, Granada

Gran Melia Colon Seville

Seville (Central) - Spain

Pousada de Lisboa Lisbon

Lisbon (Central) - Portugal

Complimentary Wifi

Pousada de Lisboa, Lisbon

Convento do Espinheiro Hotel and Spa Evora

Evora (Central) - Portugal

Complimentary Wifi

Convento do Espinheiro Hotel & Spa, Evora

Westin Palace Madrid

Madrid (Central) - Spain

Complimentary Wifi

Westin Palace, Madrid

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  • 5 out of 5

    Fantastic trip

    5/24/2017 Patsy Deardorff, Overland Park, United States

    This was a great trip and Dan made it one of our top two out of six insight trips. The hotels and locations were exceptional. The other top trip was in Greece with Nicco, in both cases they were over the top in making us feel great and tons of info throughout the trip. In each case and most recently with Dan it was the little details that made us feel it was over the top. Mike and Pat Deardorff

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  • 5 out of 5

    Iberian Elegance - Spanish Gold

    8/5/2015 Fannie Altamura, Oldsmar, United States

    We brought our children and grandchildren on this wonderful trip. We were six adults plus three teens and a twenty year old grandchild. The trip proved interesting to us all of us. Our main guide, Anita Baker, was the best, giving us information about the sights we saw from the bus and telling us what we could expect when we reached our day's destinations. She took great care of us. All of our hotels were top notch serving a delicious assortment of breakfast foods. We enjoyed the restaurants, however, we would have liked to have had more menu choices. Our congenial bus driver was Manuel, from Portugal. He drove that bus like it was a car. He could navigate the narrow roads and parked the bus with ease. We never feared for our safety with Manuel in control. The guides at our various destinations were very knowledgeable and able to answer any questions posed to them. They were a wealth of information. I highly recommend this beautiful trip.

    23 out of 24 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Magnificent Spain

    6/23/2015 Maureen Fuss, Ingersoll, Canada

    I have in the past toured extensively throughout Europe but had never toured in Spain and Portugal. I thoroughly enjoyed the well paced itinerary visiting the gorgeous Spanish cities and including the historical port of Lisbon and the visit to the religious site of Fatima. I happen to have a shell fish allergy and I was most impressed with the alternative meals cooked at each evening dinner for me. The coach bus was very comfortable to tour in. Both our tour guide Dominic and our driver Antonio gave us an exceptional tour that I will remember forever.

    15 out of 15 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    5 Star

    6/12/2015 Josephine Aquino, Bungarribee, Australia

    Everything was perfect; the coach which was really more legroom, the driver was great and the Tour Director was awesome in every way possible !!! I shall recommend it to all my friends and acquaintances.

    9 out of 19 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Great experience

    8/9/2014 Panagiota Buccilli, Docklands, Australia

    This July past, we did the Spanish Gold tour. I must say the whole experience was fantastic. I tour guide Daniel was very knowledgable and also had a great sense of humour. He made everyone feel very relaxed from the beginning of the tour, right to the very end. There was not a problem he could not sort out. He is a great Asset to your company. The hotels we stayed in were all fantastic. I would recommend this tour for anyone who is thinking of touring Spain. Many thanks Pam Buccilli Melbourne Australia

    17 out of 24 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Spanish Gold - Daniel Mailhiot

    7/21/2014 Biagio Buccilli, Docklands, Australia

    Thanks to Daniel Mailhiot on a great tour of Spain with him and Insight Tours. Very well run and orginised by Daniel. Not one thing was too difficult and never a problem for him to handle. The Hotels and Tours were all brilliant on the Spanish Gold Tour. The Local tour Guides were all very knowledgeable and informative. Highly recommended. Its the second Insight tour we have done and im sure will continue to use again. Bill & Pam

    12 out of 20 people found this comment useful

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*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Red Hot Deal). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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