By: Gabriel Mariduena, Managing Director – Contact Center
Highlights of Spain with Insight is a wonderful guided vacation that maybe should be called the Wondrous Art, Culture and History of Spain. Wonder is indeed the feeling after experiencing all the amazing sights and having the opportunity to learn about this complex and intriguing culture. It was a unique experience, made even more wonderful by traveling in style with Insight Vacations.
The accommodations were first class and in many cases located in areas that granted easy access or views of great attractions, such as in Valencia where the hotel was located right across the futuristic and otherworldly “Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias”. This an amazing architectural “avant garde” complex housing museums, a planetarium, an aquarium, an opera house, a concert hall and many other attractions.
The transportation in Spain with Insight was truly stylish, our motor coach was as comfortable as any motor coach in which I have ever traveled before. This is extremely important since Spain is quite a large country by European standards, the comfort and efficiency of our transportation was paramount in having a great experience. Especially impressive was the ability of our driver to navigate the narrow streets of Granada. Getting from the old Jewish quarters by bus to the Complex of the Alhambra was a feat in itself by our excellent driver.
What to say about the Alhambra? It is truly a place of fables and dreams; of tragic stories and of momentous history. A place of Caliphs and Emirs; of Princesses and Queens. A place of palaces and courtyards; gardens and mountain ranges. Simply a true wonder of the world and a must see place when visiting Spain.
Visiting the Alhambra is included and expected, but many times some of the most memorable experiences are the unexpected. Insight Vacations knows this and surprised us with the stop at the castle town of Peniscola for lunch on our way to Valencia from Barcelona.
We were given free time to explore and walk up the castle mount to have lunch at a local restaurant with amazing views of the Mediterranean.
Authentic cultural experiences are as much of the Insight Vacations experience as historical monuments. This is why this guided vacation had many included and optional opportunities for these cultural experiences, such as a Flamenco show and dinner, Paella cooking demonstration dinner and a horse pulled carriage riding at night in Seville, among others.
Ultimately though, the quality of the guides and the sightseeing is a key piece of the success of any guided vacation. I can say that Insight Vacations had the best set of guides that I ever had the fortune to listen and learn from. Their friendliness, attentiveness, professionalism, breath of knowledge and communication skill was impressive. The visits to the Mesquite in Cordova, the Cathedral and the Alcazar in Seville were greatly enhanced by the quality of the guides, which alongside our “fast” entrances to these places allowed us to have maximum enjoyment of these visits.
Of all the visits during this Insight Vacation, there wasn’t any that could compare to the visit to the unique and still unfinished Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
This is truly a marvel, over 100 years in the making. There really aren’t any words that do justice to this masterpiece. The breath of vision and imagination, alongside the audacity to attempt its construction, is a testament to human capacity. From the dreamlike exterior to the organic looking interior this is a monument for the ages.
Ultimately all experiences, visits, transportation and accommodations check ins need to be coordinated to occur in timely manner to ensure maximum satisfaction. This was the job of our terrific travel director.
There were days such as the one that included the sightseeing tour of Madrid, followed by the visit to the world class Prado museum, the optional trip to the beautiful and quaint town of Toledo and wrapped up with the special farewell dinner. On these days the travel director deftness in her work was in full display. She was the ultimate person responsible for this unforgettable experience.
Spain is a wonder and Insight has turn the organization of guided vacations into an art. Spain with Insight is a winning combination for anyone who wants to visit this wonderful country.
Managing Director – Contact Center