Amazing Spain and Portugal

Operated by: Insight Vacations

9 Days
Salamanca, Spain

Countries Visited

Spain, Portugal ...more Spain, Portugal

Locations Visited

Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Jabugo, Lisbon, Salamanca ...more Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Jabugo, Lisbon, Salamanca
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Madrid

    Your airport transfers depart from Madrid Airport for your hotel at 9 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm and 4 pm. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to get to know this stylish city. At 6 pm, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers 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.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay
  2. Day 2 The Old Capital of Toledo and 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Vincci Albayzin
  3. 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 flavors of Andalucía and share the passion of Spain's most fiery region as you experience a flamenco show.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms)
  4. 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.

    meals Breakfast
  5. 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Altis Grand Hotel
  6. 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.

    meals Breakfast
  7. 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Alameda Palace
  8. Day 8 Old Castile to St. Teresaof Avila 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 lively Celebration Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hesperia Madrid
  9. Day 9 Farewell Madrid

    Board your onward flight, taking home memories of this exciting journey. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am.

    meals Breakfast
Price Includes

Included Quality Dining

    Authentic Dining

    • 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: Honest culinary traditions and a fiesta of fresh ingredients are the hallmarks of your Spanish Celebration Dinner. The perfect accompaniment to good conversation and a chilled glass of beer or wine.
    • Dining Summary: 8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 20 Dec Christmas Day in Lisbon. 27 Dec New Year's Eve in Lisbon.

    Insight Experiences

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

    Stay in Style

    • Madrid: Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.
    • Granada: The 4-star Vincci Albayzín is located in the centre of Granada and is typically Andalusian in style. It boasts a magnificent enclosed patio that bathes its rooms in natural light.
    • Salamanca: The centrally located Hotel Alameda Palace is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.

    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.
    • 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.

    Dates & Prices

    Thank you for your interest in this tour. If no dates are displaying, please call our reservations line at 1-877-622-9109 for more information

    Optional Experiences

    Cordoba and the Mezquita
    Join your local expert for a walking tour of the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th-century mosque with a Cathedral built inside. Walk with your local expert 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 45.00

    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 specialties, 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 66.00

    Lisbon by Night
    Drive to the Bairro Alto, the old quarter of Lisbon, to admire the beautiful views of the city. Then take a funicular ride to the downtown Baixa area where cobblestones sparkle in the light of the shops, bars, and cafes. Returning to your hotel, you'll pass monuments and buildings, lit up in all their glory.
    Adult Price: EUR 19.00

    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 specialties. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.
    Adult Price: EUR 53.00

    Fado Evening
    Known as ''the soul of the Portuguese identity'', Fado is the emotive national song. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognised art in one of the country's famed fado houses. To complete the experience, savor a typical Portuguese dinner with wine included.
    Adult Price: EUR 66.00

    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 46.00

    Madrid Royal Palace
    The Royal Palace of Madrid is Spain's most sumptuous and impressive royal residence, jam-packed with the riches and glory of Spanish history. Join a local historian to explore the extensive collection of armory, porcelain, tapestries, gilt mirrors, works of art and period furniture. Highlights include the gold and scarlet Throne Room and magnificent State Apartments. A rare and enlightening look into the history and lifestyle of the Spanish monarchy.
    Adult Price: EUR 31.00

    Independent Reviews
    Trusted Customer
    Friday, December 20, 2019
    Dave was great and kept us informed about excursions and other minor changes made before the tour.
    Tour Director was great!
    Theresa Simonetti
    Monday, October 14, 2019
    Response to inquiries was not timely - always more than 24 hours.
    Did not expect to spend so much time on the motor coach the 5 and 6 hour days were exhausting. Maybe you could extend this trip to 10 days and cut down on the travel time. I felt more time should have been spent in the towns visited: Cordoba in Spain and Cascais in Lisbon. Also, would have preferred an additional 2 night Hotel stay - maybe in Sevilla or Granada.
    Response from Grand European Travel:
    Thank you for your suggestions. This trip does cover a lot of ground and there are some long travel days. We will be sure to share your comments with our Operations Team for further review.
    Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Trusted Customer
    Sunday, June 9, 2019
    Tour Guide Mahy was exceptional. Pleasant, well organized, knowledgeable, skilled at getting us all corralled, and a lot of fun to be around. The tour included all the highlights of each city we visited and the pace was perfect for us.
    We had a wonderful time—great tour guide and driver, terrific fellow travelers, exquisite hotels, wonderful food—overall great experience.
    Celine Felix
    Sunday, May 26, 2019
    Would recommend and purchase again.
    Everything was fantastic.
    Sonia Ramirez
    Sunday, May 12, 2019
    I love GET Already.
    Response from Grand European Travel:
    and GET loves you! Thank you for being one of our favorite repeat guests!
    Tuesday, May 14, 2019
    I had a happy momment on Italian Scene..with Trafalgar but Spain & Portugal - not so so
    Trusted Customer
    Sunday, April 21, 2019
    Our booking specialist was excellent. She was helpful, she answered all of my questions and she provided us great information. She was also responsive as I needed to talk to her periodically due to some complexities in our booking.
    I would like to have given 5 stars. Here is feedback about the trip which I sent to Insight Vacations. Dear Insight Global Guest Relations: My family and I recently returned from the above-referenced tour. I have some feedback for you that I wanted to share in more space than the evaluation forms would permit. We had a lovely time on the trip. The things we saw, the meals and the information we received about Spain and Portugal were all excellent. Most of the hotels were nice. The Hesperia Madrid was particularly lovely. In two of the hotels, the "Hotel Alameda Palace Salamanca" and the "Turim Saldanha Hotel Lisbon" there was black mold in the shower stalls. All that is needed would be a thorough cleaning with bleach but it appeared that this mold had been left to thrive. It was offputting. The hotels were fine - but I would not want to stay there again because of the bathrooms. The meals were nice as were the optional experiences. We particularly loved Cordoba and the Mezquita. Gemma, our guide there was excellent and made the mosque turned church come alive for us. I have been on a number of tours in Europe. Due to the people on this tour, I may never do another group tour again. The emphasis for many of the people - or at least the loudest/most vocal - was on how much they could drink. These were middle-aged adults carrying on like teenagers. It made dinner uncomfortable as the behavior was poor. Felipe, our Tour Director, is a very nice gentleman. He is calm, smart, and efficient. However, I think he is too nice. He was unable to rein in the rowdy behavior of a few making it difficult for others. Also, there were specific individuals who monopolized Felipe. As a very nice man, I think he found it difficult to detach from them. Therefore, it was hard to get his attention because a couple of the men were always talking to him. There was one woman on the tour - Maria Shea - who clearly thought the rules did not apply to her. We were supposed to rotate on the bus. She never rotated. She literally just seemed to pick where she wanted to sit on the bus and sat there. This was often up front. Felipe did not address this with her. Felipe left numbers in the seats each day so we would know where to sit. One morning, she got on the bus and re-arranged the numbers to benefit herself and her seating. This not only confused people, but created an bit of a furor when a couple with health issues got on to sit in their pre-arranged regular seat and found it occupied. Felipe had to fix it and took accountability for it but it was not his fault. When sitting up front, Ms. Shea removed her shoes and hoisted her foot up on the railing of the bus. This is unclean and unsightly. Although Felipe and Philippe, our bus driver, were sitting right in front of her, no one addressed it for it continued all day and again the next day when she managed to get in the front seat AGAIN. So you may be asking what the big deal is - it's the principle of the thing. When the rules state we rotate, then everyone who does not have a health issue should rotate. And those who are not in compliance should be addressed. If the rules are going to be suspended or ignored, then they should be for all. Ms. Shea was also one of the ones who over drank any time there was included wine and proceeded to behave poorly. Having been on prior tours I have seen behaviors like this before but they have always been addressed. Did I speak to Felipe at the time? I did not and I own that I should have. However, I felt he had to have seen the behavior and chose to ignore it. A couple of thoughts for you - make sure your rules are followed consistently or don't have them; limit people to 2 drinks and stick to that - if I want to be around drunks I can go to bars here; make sure people understand they need to keep their shoes on, and their feet off the seats, rails, etc. This was literally the first tour out of a dozen or so when I have chosen not to supply my email address as I did not care to hear from anyone on this trip due to the poor behavior. One other piece of feedback - we needed more time at our stops. I am disappointed that we did not have time for shopping in most of the places we visited. I understand our timeframe was short. Maybe the specific itinerary should be reviewed and something removed to provide more time to explore the cities. Thank you for your review of this email. None of the above impacted my specific enjoyment of what we did or saw. However, it did impact my feelings about group travel and about Insights, specifically. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
    Yi Ren Woo
    Monday, April 15, 2019
    Everything went smoothly.
    Great TD, good hotels, good food.
    Gil Diaz
    Sunday, June 3, 2018
    Attention to detail and smooth trip. Betty and Sandro were excellent!
    Response from Grand European Travel:
    We're so happy to know that you had a wonderful time in Spain and Portugal and that you thought our service was excellent! Thank you so much for sharing. Happy travels!
    Monday, June 4, 2018
    Excellent service and experience.
    Trusted Customer
    Sunday, May 20, 2018
    I traveled with my husband and daughters and was glad that the whole experience turned out to be the best and hoping to do it again in the near future. The tour director was very knowledgeable, very customer oriented. Planning was just right, we didn't feel that we were rushed. The places we went were all what we expected.
    I didn't have to do the planning and this is what I love about the trip.
    Response from Grand European Travel:
    We can't wait to help you plan your next trip.  Thank you for the business and for sharing your experience.
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018
    Trusted Customer
    Sunday, November 12, 2017
    The tour guide, hotels and itinerary were all excellent.
    The price was fair and reasonable.
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