Package Tour| Insight Vacations | 16 Days Best of Spain & Portugal
16 Days Best of Spain & Portugal
Price: US$2873*, US$2849**
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!
June: 5, 19, 26
July: 3, 17, 31
August: 14, 28
*valid for June 5 & August 28 departure only
**valid for June 19 & 26, July & August 14 departure only
Combining some of Spain’s most popular attractions with the lesser known delights of Portugal, allowing for an insightful exploration of the Iberian Peninsula. This popular tour moves at a comfortable pace with five two night stays in Lisbon, Seville, the Costa del Sol, Barcelona and Madrid and overnight stays in the four other cities. Driving days are not too long and with frequent stops.
An excellent mixture of both modern and traditional hotels; with the modern and luxurious Marriott in Lisbon and the Melia Costa del Sol, the Saray in Granada designed in the style of the Alhambra and the more traditional Husa Reina Victoria hotel in Valencia.
Day 01 Madrid at Leisure
Welcome to Madrid, Europe’s highest capital, occupying the centre of the Iberian peninsula. On arrival at Madrid Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for the tour hotel at 09:30, 12:30, 15:00 & 17:30. Settle in and relax before meeting your fellow passengers and Tour Director for a Welcome Drink. Hotel: NH Eurobuilding.
Day 02 Madrid - Toledo - Salamanca (Breakfast / Dinner)
Drive to Toledo, former capital of Spain. Walk through the maze of narrow cobbled streets to see the Cathedral, one of Europe’s oldest synagogues, and the El Greco masterpiece in the chapel of Santo Tomé. Later, pass the ancient walls of St Teresa’s town of Avila en route to the ‘golden’ city of Salamanca. Before reaching your hotel, see the honey-coloured cathedral. Hotel: Alameda Palace.
Day 03 Salamanca - Oporto (Breakfast / Dinner)
Cross the Portuguese border to reach Oporto, celebrated internationally as the Port wine capital. With your Tour Director, see the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores which house the famous port wines. Also admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles. Hotel: Tiara Park Atlantic Porto.
Day 04 Oporto - Fatima - Obidos - Lisbon (Breakfast)
After breakfast, head south to miraculous Fatima to join the pilgrims flocking into the great Basilica. Continue to Batalha to visit the Royal Chapel in the Gothic monastery before driving to the old walled town of Obidos to explore the medieval streets. Later, continue to Lisbon. Hotel: Marriott Lisbon.
Day 05 Lisbon Sightseeing (Breakfast)
Today’s sightseeing with a local guide shows you Sao Jorge Castle, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belem Tower. Later, visit Jeronimo’s Monastery with its superbly ornate cloister. The afternoon is at leisure to explore at your own pace.
Day 06 Lisbon - Seville (Breakfast / Dinner)
Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. A tour with a local guide includes the immense 15th century Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and the slender Giralda Tower. Tour the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its flower-decked wrought iron balconies and see the Alcazar. Tonight settle back for a Highlight Dinner and entertainment featuring a fiery Flamenco show. Enjoy a short informative presentation on the regional wines that complement your meal. Hotel: Melia Lebreros.
Day 07 Seville at Leisure (Breakfast)
The day is completely yours to relax, explore or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. One suggestion is an optional excursion to Cordoba to visit the magnificent Mezquita? Later, maybe consider enjoying a typical Sevilliano dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 08 Seville - Gibraltar - Costa Del Sol (Breakfast / Dinner)
Head south to Gibraltar, attached to Spain, yet an independent colony under British control since 1704. There’s time to see the 12th century Moorish castle, explore the shops or take a trip to the top of the Rock to see St Michael’s Cave. Later, take the scenic route along the Costa del Sol to your hotel. Hotel: Melia Costa Del Sol.
Day 09 Costa Del Sol at Leisure (Breakfast / Dinner)
Enjoy a whole day at leisure on the Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade or savour the specialities in the local restaurants.
Day 10 Costa Del Sol - Mijas - Granada (Breakfast / Dinner)
A leisurely drive through green hills above the Costa del Sol, leads to the white-washed village of Mijas. There is time to stroll through the old streets and pleasant gardens and take in the views of the Mediterranean coast. Continue to Granada, capital of the Moorish Kingdom of Spain until the Moors’ defeat in 1492. Visit the Alhambra Palace, a complex of magnificent buildings begun by the Moors and built over the centuries. Sightseeing includes the famous Lion Court as well as the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence, where you can relax in the sun and enjoy the fine views over the town. Hotel: Saray.
Day 11 Granada - Valencia (Breakfast / Dinner)
Drive over the Mora Pass, enjoying superb views over the Sierra Nevada en route. Pass through palm forests and lemon groves as you travel to Valencia, set in one of Europe’s most fertile agricultural plains. On your orientation tour, see the Generalidad Palace, El Miguelete Cathedral, gates of Serranos, Cuarte and the modern Centre for Arts and Sciences before checking into your hotel. Hotel: Husa Reina Victoria.
Day 12 Valencia - Barcelona (Breakfast)
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film El Cid. Continue along the Costa Dorada (Gold Coast) to Barcelona. A local guide will show you the Gothic Quarter, where you will visit the cathedral and view the lively Ramblas. Tour the modern Eixample District to see Gaudi’s famed Sagrada Familia church. As night falls, why not dine out ‘Catalan style’? Hotel: Melia Barcelona.
Day 13 Barcelona at Leisure (Breakfast)
Today has been set aside as a free day to allow you to explore this vibrant city at your own pace. Options include an excursion to the great Monastery of Montserrat to see the Black Madonna.
Day 14 Barcelona - Madrid (Breakfast)
Pass the city of Zaragoza in the province of Aragón as you make your way along the Jalón Valley, past Guadalajara and back to Madrid. Hotel: NH Abascal.
Day 15 Madrid Sightseeing (Breakfast)
A guided sightseeing tour takes you along the Gran Via and Paseo de la Castellana. See the Cervantes Monument in the Plaza España, the Puerta del Sol and Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de la Cibeles. Your highlight is a visit to the Prado Museum to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others. Perhaps enjoy a farewell dinner in the evening with your fellow passengers.
Day 16 Madrid Sightseeing (Breakfast)
Sadly, your tour comes to an end today. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.
Updated 19 April 2010
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