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Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art.

Vacation type: Regional Journey

Insight Experiences

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Seville: Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson. Later, share in the dancers’ devotion as you witness emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.

Top Rated Highlights

  • SEE the Cibeles Fountain, the Royal Palace and the monument to Cervantes in Madrid · the Alcazar Palace in Segovia · the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca · the icnonic bridges and buildings of Porto · the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower in Lisbon · the Barbary Apes in Gilbraltar · the Centre of Arts and Sciences, the Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart in Valencia · Peñiscola Castle
  • VISIT the Chapel of the Apparitions in Fátima · Obidos · the Belém Quarter and Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon · the Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower in Seville · the Rock of Gilbraltar and St. Michael’s Cave in Gibraltar · Mijas · Alfarnatejo · the Sagrada Família in Barcelona
  • CITY TOURS of Madrid, Segovia, Salamanca, Lisbon, Seville, Gilbraltar, Granada and Barcelona
  • ENJOY THE SCENERY as you travel along the River Douro, Costa del Sol, through the Provence of Malaga, across the Sierra Nevada and along the Costa Dorada.

Authentic Dining

  • 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, Pastéis de Belém.
  • Alfarnatejo: 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 the stories of local life as you are invited into the home of a local family to join them 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 d'Anoia: Join a wine expert when you visit Cava Dorada. Enjoy a tasting at the great Cava vineyards during your delicious Highlight Lunch.
  • Barcelona: With fantastic sea views, be seated for an exceptional Catalan Celebration Dinner incorporating classic cooking with only the freshest produce.

 

 

 

Location:

Madrid, Spain (MAD), Salamanca, Spain, Porto, Portugal (OPO), Lisbon, Portugal (LIS), Seville, Andalusia, Spain, Torremolinos, Costa del Sol, Spain, Granada, Andalusia, Spain, Valencia, Spain (VLC), Barcelona, Spain (BCN), Spain, Portugal

16  Days | 14  nights
Call to book: 1-866-529-2079
Travelling as a group of 10 or more?  Request a group quote.

INCLUSIONS

  • Flight to Madrid; return from Barcelona (if flight and tour package option is chosen)
  • 14 nights of accommodation
  • 22 meals including 14 Buffet Breakfasts, 2 Lunches with Wine and 5 Dinners with Wine all with tea or coffee
  • Transportation by luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Porterage (1 piece of luggage per passenger)
  • $50 CAD credit voucher for an Optional Experience (described in the itinerary below; 1 voucher per person)
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • English-speaking travel director
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Earn and redeem Aeroplan® Miles

Insight Services

  • Our highly skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organizer 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 WiFi (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 Air Canada Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

ITINERARY

Day 1

Depart Canada

Fly to Madrid.

Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 2

Welcome to Madrid

Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. Join your Travel Director at 6:00 p.m. for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of good food and wine.

Meal(s): Dinner with wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 3

Madrid Sightseeing

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. The highlight of your trip is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 4

Madrid - Segovia - Salamanca

SEGOVIA AND GOLDEN SALAMANCA

Travel to the fortified city of Segovia where you will walk through the medieval streets and see the magnificent Alcazar fortress, before continuing onto the ancient aqueduct. Journey west, passing the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca. During your guided sightseeing tour of Salamanca see some of the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 5

Salamanca - Porto

RELAXED START - PORTO, GRANDE DAME ON THE DOURO

Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city on your own to admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as iconic bridges.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 6

Porto - Fátima - Óbidos - Lisbon

HOLY FÁTIMA, ANCIENT ÓBIDOS AND LISBON

Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the Basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to the fortified town of Óbidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets with houses covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 7

Lisbon

RELAXED START - LISBON AND THE AGE OF GREAT DISCOVERIES

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 Paço, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém 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 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 UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jerónimos Monastery 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, occasionally royalty, and even James Bond.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 8

Lisbon - Seville

SEVILLE, THE CITY OF CARMEN

Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, visit the immense cathedral to see the Tomb of Christopher Columbus and the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz quarter and see the Alcazar. This evening, why not join an optional experience with dinner and a horse and carriage ride?

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 9

Seville

RELAXED START - FREE TIME AND FLAMENCO IN SEVILLE

Enjoy a relaxed start and a day 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 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. Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson. With some free time for dinner, head next door to Triana market and stroll through the many colourful stalls where vendors are 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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 10

Seville - Gibraltar - Costa del Sol - Mijas - Torremolinos

HEAD FOR GIBRALTAR, THE COSTA DEL SOL AND MIJAS

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 to see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the whitewashed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 11

Costa del Sol

RELAXED START - AT LEISURE ON THE COSTA DEL SOL

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 Málaga, the birth city of Picasso.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 12

Torremolinos - Alfarnatejo - Granada

RELAXED START - DINING WITH LOCALS AND THE ALHAMBRA

Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet white washed village with a population of just 500 people and 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 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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast, Lunch with Wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 13

Granada - Valencia

ON TO VALENCIA

Journey to Valencia, home of the City of Arts & Sciences. Pass through the Old City and see the city's ancient gates, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete. Or 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 town and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 14

Valencia - Peñíscola Coast - Barcelona

ALONG THE COAST TO PENISCOLA AND ON 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 Sadurní 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.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast, Lunch with Wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 15

Barcelona

RELAXED START - BARCELONA SIGHTSEEING

A Local Expert joins you for a drive along the Passeig de Gràcia adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to visit inside Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. 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 newfound friends and a wonderful journey as you enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast and Dinner with wine
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

Day 16

Barcelona - Return to Canada

Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Meal(s): Buffet breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal - Insight Guided Vacations

ACCOMMODATIONS

WHERE YOU'LL STAY

The hotels listed below are presented as examples for your reference only. Where “or similar” is indicated, guests will stay at a hotel of the same star rating. The hotel accommodations will be communicated to the consumer or travel agent prior to departure.

LOCATION
HOTEL
Madrid, Spain (MAD)
Barceló Emperatriz/Barceló Torre de Madrid(or similar)
Salamanca, Spain
Hotel Alameda Palace(or similar)
Porto, Portugal (OPO)
NH Collection Porto Batalha(or similar)
Lisbon, Portugal (LIS)
Dom Pedro Palace/Altis Grand Hotel(or similar)
Seville, Andalusia, Spain
Ayre Hotel Sevilla(or similar)
Torremolinos, Costa del Sol, Spain
Meliá Costa del Sol(or similar)
Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Vincci Albayzín(or similar)
Valencia, Spain (VLC)
Barceló Valencia(or similar)
Barcelona, Spain (BCN)
Meliá Barcelona Sarriá(or similar)

Room Specifications

Unless otherwise indicated, guests will stay in a standard room at all hotels during the trip.
Room occupancy: 2 adults travelling together
Single or Triple occupancy option: Travellers who prefer to stay in a single occupancy or a triple occupancy room can call us book: 1 866 529-2079. Subject to availability.

IMPORTANT INFO

DEPARTURE DATES

2020 Dates:
July 3, 4*, 5*, 11*, 17, 19*, 26, 31*
August 1*, 2*, 8*, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 23, 28*, 29
*Non-definite departure dates

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your departure flight to arrive on or before the Tour Start Date.

MORE TO KNOW

For an additional $219 CAD per person, travellers can pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver. Call us at 1 866 529-2079 to add this option to your reservation.

ACTIVITIES

Optional Experiences

Most Insight Guided Vacations already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences ($) which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optional Experiences and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change

Toledo Excursion

A specialist guide takes you to the unique city of Toledo, Spain's capital during the golden era, and where El Greco lived and worked. Walk through the narrow cobbled streets to visit the fine Gothic cathedral and admire the old city views along the Tagus gorge. Afterwards, visit a specialist workshop where artisans create authentic Damascene ware, an ancient art perfected by the Moors and passed down over the centuries.

Adult Price: EUR 46

Code: MAD0004

Madrid by Night

An evening drive to the most historic area of Madrid including stops for wonderful views of the city and a walk through the lively streets and squares of old Madrid. Enjoy free time for dinner in one of the many restaurants and return home along the grand Avenida Castellana with its spectacular fountains.

Adult Price: EUR 19

Code: MAD0006

Madrid by Night with Dinner

Enjoy an evening out in the nation's stately capital city. Tonight we'll enjoy a wonderful dinner out on the town in a carefully chosen venue, accompanied by Spanish wine and great local entertainment. What a wonderful introduction to Madrid.

Adult Price: EUR 61

Code:  MAD0008

Fado Evening

Known as "the soul of the Portuguese identity," Fado is the emotive folk music for which Lisbon is famous. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognized art form in one of the country's most prestigious Fado houses. To complete the experience, savour a typical Portuguese dinner, with wine included.

Adult Price: EUR 66

Code: LIS0002

Lisbon by Night

Drive to the Bairro Alto, the old quarter of Lisbon, to admire the beautiful views over the city. Then take a funicular ride to the downtown Baixa area where cobblestones sparkle in the light of the shops, bars and cafés. Returning to your hotel, you'll pass monuments and buildings, lit up in all their glory.

Adult Price: EUR 19

Code: LIS0003

Seafood Dinner by the Tagus River

Across the mighty Tagus River await Lisbon's famous seafood restaurants and wonderful views of the city. Board your ferry to cross the wide blue waters for a delightful evening of Portuguese seafood and fish specialities. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.

Adult Price: EUR 53

Code: LIS0004

Excursion to The Royal Portuguese Riviera

Like the Kings of Portugal before you, travel to the glamorous resort of Cascais, a veritable jewel in the crown of Portugal. Via the wealthy playground of Estoril, with its famous Casino, we'll continue with our Local Expert to the Portuguese Riviera and through the forest of Sintra to visit one of the Royal summer palaces before heading back to Lisbon.

Adult Price: EUR 46

Code: LIS0005

 

Dinner in Seville with a Horse and Carriage Ride

Seville is Spain's most majestic city and an evening out is a must! Tonight we'll enjoy a lovely array of traditional Andalusian specialities, served in a local restaurant with wine, beer & soft drinks included. As well as a wonderful meal, we'll experience a magnificent horse & carriage ride through the old town of Seville, which is especially magical in the evening.

Adult Price: EUR 66

Code: SEV0003

Córdoba & The Mezquita

Join your local expert for a walking tour of the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Córdoba. The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th-century mosque with a cathedral built inside. Walk with your guide through the forest of horseshoe-shaped arches to the Baroque choir stalls of the cathedral and the richly ornamented Mihrab prayer niche.

Adult Price: EUR 45

Code: SEV0002

Highlights of Málaga

A short drive brings you to Málaga, the thriving capital of the Costa del Sol. We'll enjoy sweeping vistas over this little known Mediterranean jewel from the Gibralfaro Castle perched above. Then, in a guided tour of the old town, we'll visit the house in which Pablo Picasso spent his early years. The town is also famous for its sweet, full-bodied wines and our tour concludes with a taste of the recent vintage.

Adult Price: EUR 40

Code: COS0001

Mediterranean Dinner

Join us for a delicious Mediterranean style dinner in a delightful family restaurant on the Costa del Sol. We'll sample fresh Mediterranean fare, including some of the restaurant's signature dishes such as "fritura malagueña" and sea bass baked in sea salt, a traditional recipe since Roman times. Your meal will be accompanied by local wine.

Adult Price: EUR 53

Code: COS0002

Prices listed in the itinerary are valid as of  August 15, 2019 and are subject to change without notice.

TRANSPORTATION

On arrival at Madrid airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Barcelona airport at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Pricing display

Prices take into account taxes and are rounded to the nearest full dollar. Full details on taxes and fees are on the booking page.