Grand Spain & Portugal - End Madrid, Summer 2020

01/30/2020 through 10/14/2020
01/30/2020 through 11/03/2020
Insight Vacations

Grand Spain & Portugal – End Madrid, Summer 2020
Enjoy an in-depth portrait of the local people, their cultural heritage and their multifaceted countries; this trip includes adventuring in Santander, San Sebastián and Barcelona.


Authentic Dining

  • 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: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your Spanish Highlight Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
  • Rueda: Some of Spain’s finest wines hail from the Rueda region. During your tasting, learn about the Verdejo grape and what to look for in a fresh white.
  • Gijón: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, to join her for a delicious meal of locally-sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
  • Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
  • Dining Summary: 17 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master craftsman for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
  • Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert to see some of the most exquisite architecture.
  • Toledo: Enjoy a visit the Church of Santo Tomé to marvel at an El Greco’s masterpiece.
  • 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.
  • Seville: Explore with your Local Expert visiting the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park, strolling through the Santa Cruz Quarter and see the gates to the Alcazar.
  • Seville: Step inside the impressive cathedral, passing the altarpiece dripping with gold and marvel at the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings. Afterwards, perhaps walk the ramps of the Giralda Tower for views over the city.
  • 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.
  • Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe’s oldest churches. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe, when you visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour.
  • Picos de Europa National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
  • Picos de Europa National Park: Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
  • Santillana del Mar: Step back in time when you visit this perfectly preserved and ‘most beautiful village in Spain.’
  • Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry and sites of this Basque region gem during your orientation with your Travel Director.
  • Getaria: See the rock known as El Ratón, or the mouse.
  • San Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
  • San Sebastián: Ascend Monte Igueldo to marvel at the views of the town and La Concha Bay.
  • Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
  • Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Grcia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
  • Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy some of Spain’s best scenery as you travel along the River Tagus, through the regions of La Mancha and Andalucía, past the River …

Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to Madrid.
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Day 2 Toledo and on to Granada.
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Day 3 The Alhambra Palace.
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Day 4 Free Time in Seville.
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Day 5 To Lisbon.
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Day 6 Lisbon.
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Day 7 Holy Fátima and Salamanca.
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Day 8 Ávila and Madrid.
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Day 9 Madrid of the Bourbons.
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Day 10 Through Rueda to Santiago.
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Day 11 Santiago de Compostela.
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Day 12 The Costa Verde to Oviedo.
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Day 13 Santander.
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Day 14 Bilbao and San Sebastián.
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Day 15 The Cantabrian Coast.
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Day 16 Pamplona and on to Barcelona.
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Day 17 Barcelona, City of Gaudí.
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Day 18 Depart Madrid.
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