15 Days · 14 Nights
Book today and enjoy exclusive savings on Insight Vacations 15 Day Best of Spain & Portugal. See the masterpieces of Spain and Portugal on this 15-day guided tour. In Madrid, an art historian will walk you through the Prado Museum, where Spain’s most impressive paintings hang. Navigate Segovia’s medieval streets alongside a Local Expert. Journeying to Granada, visit the region’s oldest olive grove, before dining in the home of a local family, sampling local produce and wine. At the Alhambra, explore the palace’s lace-like stone walls and wander its manicured gardens. In Seville, stomp to the sounds of an acoustic guitar during a private flamenco dance lesson. In Porto, sip port during a wine tasting, and in Lisbon, see an architectural masterpiece — the Gothic-style Jerónimos Monastery.
Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. Welcome to the first day of your tour!
Stay: Barceló Emperatriz, Madrid / NH Collection Madrid Suecia.
Guided by your Local Expert, visit the Spanish capital’s most historic neighbourhoods. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter, discovering the origins of the city. Enjoy a special visit to the renowned Prado Museum with an art historian who will guide you through the collective works of Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and more.
Travel to the fortified city of Segovia. Walk through the medieval streets with a Local Expert and see the magnificent Alcazar fortress, before continuing onto the historic aqueduct. Journey west, overlooking the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca. During your guided sightseeing tour, admire the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.
Stay: Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto. Situated on the River Douro, the city is celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city, admiring the multi-coloured houses, churches adorned with glazed tiles and iconic bridges.
Stay: NH Collection Porto Batalha / Infante Sagres, Porto.
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 Obidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets where houses are covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Stay: Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon / Altis Grand Hotel, Lisbon.
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 Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter, from where sailing ships once set forth to discover faraway 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 modern Monument to the Discoveries and the historic 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, royalty and on occasion James Bond.
Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. Explore Seville with Insight Choice. Choose to visit Seville’s Cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, now the cathedral’s bell tower. Alternatively, join a scenic drive around the city and a short walk through the narrow lanes of Santa Cruz Quarter, before enjoying a refreshing beverage. This evening, why not join an optional experience with dinner and a horse and carriage ride?
Stay: Ayre Hotel Sevilla, Seville.
Enjoy a relaxed start and a morning 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. Later this afternoon, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you visit the Cristina Heeren Foundation, a flamenco dance school and beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Their mission is to promote the teaching and conservation of flamenco. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson.
With some free time for dinner, wander the restaurants in Triana or try the local night market Lonja Del Barranco 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.
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. See the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through high end resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens, taking in the views of the coast.
Stay: Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
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.
Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet whitewashed village, with a population of less than 500 people, 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, paired 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. (B/LW) Stay: Vincci Albayzín, Granada.
Journey to Valencia. Pass through the Old City to see its ancient gates, and the City of Arts and Sciences. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Alternatively 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 City and learn how to make this local specialty during a Cooking Demonstration. Later, indulge in the delicious flavours of this classic dish with a glass of sangria at your Highlight Dinner.
Stay: Barceló Valencia.
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 Sadurni 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.
Stay: Meliá Barcelona Sarrià, Barcelona.
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 Gaudi’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 to newfound friends and a wonderful journey, enjoying a Celebration Dinner with wine.
Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 or 11:00. The 09:00 transfer continues on to Madrid Airport and hotel arriving in the early evening.