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Spanish Heritage - End Madrid, Summer 2020

Spanish Heritage - End Madrid, Summer 2020


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Overview

Dates & Prices

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Asturians drink cider, not sangria! Transcend stereotypical Spain on this in–depth exploration of one of Europe's most diverse countries. The nation's reputation for gastronomic excellence and amazing art will be well justified here.

Day 1 - Welcome to Barcelona.
Airport transfers depart from Barcelona airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for your Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: NH Collection Constanza/ Hilton Barcelona.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Barcelona, the City of Gaudí.
With your Local Expert, explore the narrow lanes and old squares behind the cathedral in the Barri Gòtic, Gothic Quarter. See the lively Las Ramblas as you head 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 for a visit inside Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to see the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: NH Collection Constanza/ Hilton Barcelona.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Along the Coast to Valencia.
Follow the sunny Costa Dorada, past the rice fields of the Ebro Delta to stop by Peñíscola and see the sea-lapped castle, used in the film 'El Cid'. Pass through the famous orange groves to Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass the Old City and see the city's ancient gates, to reach your hotel. 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 the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Barceló Valencia.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 4 - Exquisite Granada and Alhambra.
Travel south toward Andalucía, passing the castle at Lorca and troglodyte dwellings hollowed out of the soft rock near Guadix. Enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada from the distance as you reach glorious Granada. This historical city was a Moorish Kingdom for almost 781 years and was the last stronghold to fall to the Catholic Monarchs of Spain in 1492. Overlooking Granada stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant exotic gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Meliá Granada.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 5 - A Scenic Drive to Seville.
The morning is at your leisure to explore as you wish. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Albaicín Quarter with a Local Expert and fall in love with Granada as you learn about its pivotal role in European history. Continue your travels to Seville past gleaming white villages and olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. This stunning capital of Andalucía is one of Spain’s most charming highlights and with the evening at your leisure, you are free to explore this delightful city as you wish.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Meliá Sevilla, Seville.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Seville, the City of Carmen.
Seville has a distinctive character and presence that is best revealed by a Local Expert. During your stay, visit the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park. Then stroll through the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its attractive wrought-iron balconies laden with flowers. Emerge by the well-preserved Alcazar, a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Visit the massive Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. The energetic may wish to walk the ramps of the Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, to enjoy panoramic views over the city. Visit the 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, 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?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Meliá Sevilla, Seville.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 - Moorish Cordoba.
Set off early along the Guadalquivir Valley, passing villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses. Stop in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Córdoba and see the famous Roman bridge built in the 1st century BC. Meet a local historian and visit the magnificent Mezquita, a beautiful 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it. Make the most of your time at leisure and stroll the narrow streets of the city. Follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote as you travel through La Mancha and on to the capital - Madrid.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Barcelo Torre De Madrid/Hotel Hesperia, Madrid.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - 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. Visit the Prado Museum with an art historian, a magnificent palace housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax at a cafe, shop in the trendy boutiques or perhaps enjoy an Optional Experience to beautiful Toledo? In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant in the heart of the city. Toast to your adventures as you enjoy a delicious Highlight Dinner served with wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Barcelo Torre De Madrid.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 9 - Free Time in Madrid.
Your last day in Madrid is completely at your leisure for shopping or exploring at your own pace.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Hesperia Madrid.
Meals: Breakfast

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)
Accommodation: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
Meals: Breakfast,

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)
Accommodation: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
Meals: Breakfast

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)
Accommodation: Barceló Oviedo Cervantes.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 13 - 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)
Accommodation: Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.
Meals: Breakfast

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. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
Meals: Breakfast

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)
Accommodation: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
Meals: Breakfast

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)
Accommodation: Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 17 - Barcelona at Leisure.
Enjoy a relaxed start and a day completely at leisure for last minute shopping or to perhaps revisit some of Gaudí’s unusual creations? Walk along the leafy Las Ramblas or why not take an Optional Experience to the ancient Monastery of Montserrat, dedicated to the Black Madonna? 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)
Accommodation: Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 18 - Depart Madrid.
After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Valencia: Meet a local chef of a family-run restaurant in the heart of the Old City and learn the traditional recipe of paella during a Cooking Demonstration before savouring the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
  • 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.
  • Gijón: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, to join her 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: 17 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • 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.
  • Seville: 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. Later, share in the dancers’ devotion as you witness emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.
  • 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.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Gràcia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
  • 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.
  • Peñíscola: See the castle featured in the film 'El Cid'.
  • Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.
  • 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.
  • Cordoba: See the 2,000-year-old Roman bridge and spend some time exploring the town.
  • Cordoba: Explore the incredible Mezquita with your Local Expert. Admire the forest of horseshoe arches and learn how this building symbolises many of Cordoba's religious changes over the centuries.
  • 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.
  • 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 National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
  • Picos de Europa National Park: Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
  • 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 Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
  • San Sebastián: 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the views as your travel along Costa Dorada, Ebro Delta, Costa Blanca, through Sierra Nevada, Andalucía, the Guadalquivir Valley and across the Plains of La Mancha. 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.

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.

Hygiene and Safety Protocols for Insight Vacations Tours

Insight Vacations has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.

You can travel with Insight Vacations and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.

In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Insight Vacations is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.

Expertly Trained Travel Directors

Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Insight Vacations will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.

Stringent On-the-Road Protocols

The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Insight Vacations have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.

A Full Team of Support 24/7

It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Physical Distancing

Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards

Insight Vacations is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Insight Vacations does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Insight Vacations only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.

Always in the Know

As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Insight Vacations is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.9
Accommodations
5
Itinerary
5
Professional Staff
5
Repeat with Operator
5
Value for Money
4.3

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Ratings based off 3 reviews - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

We like Insight because they do a great job of getting us to the places we wish to visit. Our tour director Maria was excellent, and our drivers Alberto and Pedro were the best in navigating the often difficult roads. However, my wife is an art and culinary historian who is knowledgeable regarding the areas and monuments visited, and did feel that some of the local experts were better than others who have not kept up with current scholarship.

Great accommodations, experienced and knowledge travel directors. Excellent meals and optional excursions.


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Lowest Price Guaranteed


Because we're one of the largest sellers of travel, we're able to give you a discount on your vacation package. No one beats our prices!


Stress Free Travel

Stress Free Travel


Knowing you got the best deal, all that's left is for you to pack your bags and enjoy your vacation!



Better Business Bureau

AffordableTours.com is a proud recipient of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) awards 2006-2017.

It Pays To Refer! Earn Up To $200!

It's simple: Sign up your friends, family, and anyone to us and when they book you will receive an American Express gift card worth up to $200 in the mail for simply referring.

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