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Grand Spain and Portugal

Operated by: Insight Vacations

18 Days from $4,658 per person
Gran Via at dusk, Madrid, Spain

Countries Visited

Spain, Portugal ...more Spain, Portugal

Locations Visited

Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Evora, Lisbon, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Santander, Bilbao, Pamplona, Barcelona ...more Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Seville, Evora, Lisbon, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Santander, Bilbao, Pamplona, Barcelona
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Madrid

    Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 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. While in Madrid explore the elegant boulevards, expansive parks and varied architecture styles.(Dinner with Wine)

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Riu Plaza De Espana, Madrid.
  2. Day 2 Toledo and on to Granada

    Meet a master Damascene craftsperson.Explore Toledo led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.'(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Vincci Albayzín, Granada.
  3. Day 3 The Alhambra Palace

    '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 and explore with Insight Choice. Choose between a visit the cathedral, burial place of Columbus and walk through the old Jewish quarter or alternatively, enjoy a panoramic drive around the city and stop in a café for a refreshing beverage.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Ayre Hotel Sevilla, Seville.
  4. Day 4 Free Time in Seville and Flamenco

    This is a free day, so take your time to bask in the city’s romantic aura and explore as you wish. 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 before witnessing emotions come to life in a flamenco performance. 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?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Ayre Hotel Sevilla, Seville.
  5. Day 5 Evora and on to Lisbon

    Continue to the lively university town of Evora, one of the best preserved towns in Portugal, with architectural styles dating back to Roman Times. Visit the fascinating Capela dos Ossos, a chapel decorated with human remains, before making your way to Lisbon.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Turim Saldanha Hotel, Lisbon.
  6. Day 6 Lisbon

    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?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Turim Saldanha Hotel, Lisbon.
  7. Day 7 Holy Fátima and 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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
  8. Day 8 Ávila and 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 more of the capital with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a lively Highlight Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Barceló Torre de Madrid/Melia Serrano Madrid.
  9. Day 9 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. A highlight of your escorted journey will be a visit to the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Barceló Torre de Madrid/Melia Serrano Madrid.
  10. Day 10 Through Rueda to Santiago

    Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and continues past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Travel on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
  11. Day 11 Santiago de Compostela

    Explore Santiago de Compostela with Insight Choice. Choose between joining a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills. Alternatively, embark on a scenic walk on part of the Way of St James, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
  12. Day 12 The Costa Verde to Oviedo

    Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias - one of Spain's most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Continue on to Oviedo where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
    hotel Barceló Oviedo Cervantes.
  13. Day 13 Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to Santander

    See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.
  14. Day 14 Bilbao and San Sebastián

    In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages and pause in the seaside city of Getaria to see 'El Ratón', the mouse shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián and admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter to see the Plaza de la Constitución. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastian.
  15. Day 15 The Cantabrian Coast

    Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you'll want to explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastian.
  16. Day 16 Pamplona and on to Barcelona

    Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises.' Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Kimpton Vividora Hotel, Barcelona.
  17. Day 17 Barcelona, City of Gaudí

    Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Kimpton Vividora Hotel, Barcelona.
  18. Day 18 Depart Barcelona

    After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 or 11:00.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
route_map
Price Includes

Included Insight Services

  • 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

Authentic Dining

  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
  • Madrid: Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine.
  • 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.
  • Gijon: Meet Flor, a local of Gijon, for a delicious meal of locally-sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
  • Gijon: Meet Flor, a local of Gijon, 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: 18 Breakfast (B), 5 Dinner with Wine (DW), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)

Insight Choice

  • Seville: Choose between a visit to the cathedral and a walk through the old Jewish quarter with a Local Expert or alternatively, join a panoramic tour of the city and stop for a refreshing beverage.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Choose between joining a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills or alternatively, embark on a scenic walk on the Way of St James, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons.

Insight Experiences

  • Toledo: At a Damascene workshop, meet a master artisan for a personal insight into this ancient craft.
  • Granada: Visit the famous Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. While others wait in line, you'll be exploring alongside a fascinating Local Expert keen to share insights into this Moorish landmark.
  • Madrid: Witness the world's finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive foreign collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian.

Make Travel Matter

  • Seville: The Cristina Heeren Foundation aims to promote the teaching and conservation of flamenco and is a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Meet the students of the foundation, learn some basic flamenco steps, and then feel the passion as the students perform an emotional show.

Top Rated Highlights

  • 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 Tormes and through the Castile region. Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.
  • Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert and visit the Church of Santo Tome; to see an El Greco's masterpiece.
  • Evora: With your Travel Director explore the ancient city of Evora and visit the fascinating Capela dos Ossos, meaning the Chapel of Bones, a chapel decorated with human remains.
  • Lisbon: Visit Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal's trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Fatima: Join the faithful at one of the world's holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions or see the basilica.
  • Salamanca: See the golden stone buildings and handsome arcades of Plaza Mayor for which this city is famous for.
  • Avila: Walk within the ancient walls of this unique town.
  • Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
  • 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: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
  • 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 Sebastian: 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: 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.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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April 2021
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May 11 Tue
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$5,175 $4,658 Save $518
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May 2021
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May 29 Sat
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$5,250 $4,725 Save $525
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June 2021
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$5,325 $4,793 Save $533
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July 2021
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Jul 10 Sat
Jul 27 Tue
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$5,350 $4,815 Save $535
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Jul 24 Sat
Aug 10 Tue
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August 2021
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Aug 7 Sat
Aug 24 Tue
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$5,350 $4,815 Save $535
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September 2021
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Sep 4 Sat
Sep 21 Tue
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$5,425
October 2021
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Oct 2 Sat
Oct 19 Tue
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$5,175 $4,658 Save $518
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Oct 16 Sat
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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Mark Richard Fossum
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Service
Great experience, he answered all our questions and we had a magnificent trip.
Vacation
Excellent tour director (Patrick Davis) he endeavored to teach us about each region by language, food, drink, and entertainment. He got to each site before the masses of other tourists arrived. He endeared himself to each couple or individual that was traveling. The flourishes, which were treats he would purchase for the whole group, were designed to teach us about the area we were visiting. They were all delicious and exotic. He was well organized and personable. We also had great coach drivers. We felt safe and secure. We took over 600 pictures and we will remember this trip for the rest of our lives.
Trusted Customer
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Service
Excellent customer service and will recommend.
Vacation
Extra Excellent Tour Director and excellent local guides. Places visited where interesting and of historical interest. We were very pleased with the hotels, the overall organization and the execution of the tours.
Robert Dinsmore
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Service
It was real easy and the person making the booking was very knowledgeable.
Vacation
You get to experience the entire cultural diversity of a very special country. Expert guides made a big difference from other excursions we have been on.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We love hearing how everything exceeded expectations! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and we hope to see you again soon!
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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