Delve beneath the surface of these two amazing countries. Sample their signature dishes, share in their culture and marvel at the legacy of their rich sea-faring history.
Travel Best Bets Package Includes
- Round trip airfare from home city to Madrid
- 8 nights guided vacation
- 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.
- Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
- Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert and visit the Church of Santo Tomé to see an El Greco’s masterpiece.
- 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
- Madrid: Travel along the Paseo de la Castellana and see the Cibeles Fountain, down the Gran Vía to see the Royal Palace and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
- Seville: Your Local Expert guides you through the streets of the Santa Cruz Quarter to the Alcazar. See the Giralda Tower and step inside the cathedral, passing the altarpiece dripping with gold to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
- 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 Belém Tower.
- Lisbon: Visit Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Fátima: 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.
- Ávila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town.
- Madrid: Explore the old town with your Local Expert.
- Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the views as you travel along the River Tagus, through the regions of La Mancha and Andalucía, past the River Tormes and through the Castile region.
- 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 Jamón Ibérico.
- Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
- Madrid: Toast the culmination of your journey with a fabulous Celebration Dinner with wine, at a local restaurant.
- Included Quality Dining: 8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Departures travelling over Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will enjoy a Festive Highlight Dinner which will replace an included meal.
July 19 departure: Last Minute special save $350, limited availability. Book by June 30.
|Based on Double or Single Share*||June 21, 2019||December 26, 2019
Christmas Holiday Departure
|Vancouver, Toronto||$3549 + $667 tax||$3449 + $667 tax|
|Kelowna, Victoria, Comox,
|from $300 more per person||from $400 more per person|
|Single Room Supplement||add $820|
(Travel Director and Driver)
|add $135 per person|
Day 1 – 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 through the Puerta del Sol, seeing the Royal Palace and famous Cibeles Fountain.
Hotel: Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay, Madrid (or similar)
Meals: Dinner with Wine
Day 2 – 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 Tomé, housing El Greco’s famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.’ Your journey continues to Granada.
Hotel: Vincci Albayzín, Granada (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 3 – 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 Andalucía and share the passion of Spain’s most fiery region as you experience a flamenco show.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville (or similar).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 4 – Free Time in Seville.
Enjoy a relaxed start and a day to relax, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. In the evening you are treated to dinner, wine and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville (or similar)
Day 5 – The plains of 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 Jamón Ibérico. The subtle differences will be revealed with a delicious tasting. Then venture across the wide Alentejo Plateau to Lisbon.
Hotel: Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon (or similar).
Day 6 – 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 Belém Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém 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 Belém 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 Jerónimos 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?
Hotel: Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon (or similar)
December 19 Christmas Departure only – Festive Highlight Dinner: Christmas Day in Lisbon.
Day 7 – Holy Fátima and Golden Salamanca.
Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, 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.
Hotel: Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca (or similar).
Day 8 – Old Castile, to St. Teresa of Ávila and on to Madrid.
Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore the old town with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a a lively Celebration Dinner.
Hotel: Hotel Hesperia Madrid (or similar).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 9 – Farewell Madrid.
Board your onward flight, taking home memories of this exciting journey. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.