Embark on a leisurely exploration of Spain and Portugal's most sought after destinations with this comprehensive itinerary from Insight Vacations. Stay in the finest hotels, delight in epicurean dining and celebrate extraordinary moments while traveling in supreme comfort. From cultural Madrid, historic Lisbon and passionate Seville to Moorish Granada and cosmopolitan Barcelona – you'll be inspired by the Iberian zest for life!
Engaging experiences and highlights include:
• Tour Prado Museum with an art historian and visit the 14th century Alhambra Palace.
• Enjoy dinner and an evening of entertainment at a fiery Flamenco show in Seville.
• Visit the Tomb of Columbus and see Gaudi’s amazing Sagrada Familia cathedral.
• AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Montserrat & The Black Madonna Excursion.
$25 per person optional excursion credit
AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Montserrat & The Black Madonna Excursion
AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care**
Your Spanish adventure begins in Madrid, Spain's capital and largest city. Explore the world’s finest collection of Spanish painting as you tour the city's Prado Museum with an expert art historian. Other highlights include the Cervantes monument in the Plaza de España, the Cibeles Fountain, the Royal Palace and the Gran Vía with its outstanding architectural examples of the Belle Époque at the turn of the 20th century. Visit Toledo, one of Europe’s oldest cities and home to the great 16th century painter El Greco. See many of his most famous paintings at the cathedral before continuing to Salamanca for the night.
The journey continues across the border into Portugal, which blends vineyards that produce one of Europe’s most storied wines with an historic seafaring culture that once made it the most powerful kingdom in Europe. Discover this diverse legacy as you visit the picturesque city of Porto, the hub of Portugal’s Port wine industry, and the bustling capital of Lisbon, launching point of countless voyages between the 15th and 17th centuries, known as the Age of Discovery. Browse Porto's many wine stores and tour Lisbon's many landmarks, including the Tower of Belém which stands on the historic point of departure for sea voyages. Also visit the Castle of São Jorge, the centuries-old Moorish castle overlooking the Lisbon's historic center.
Return to Spain and the city of Seville, a vibrant cultural hub known for bullfighting, Flamenco and its lavish Gothic cathedral that houses the Tomb of Columbus. See the tomb on an included tour then witness the passion of Flamenco up-close during an evening of Spanish cuisine, music and dance. Continue to Granada and the Alhambra Palace, a 14th century masterpice of Andalusian Islamic history. Conclude your journey in eclectic Barcelona, one of Europe's most dynamic cities where you'll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Montserrat, the Benedictine monastery that houses the Black Madonna.
• 14 nights in premium hotels: 2 nights in Madrid, 1 night Salamanca, 1 night in Porto, 2 nights in Lisbon, 2 nights in Seville, 2 nights in the Costa del Sol, 1 night in Alhambra, 1 night in Valencia and 2 nights in Barcelona
• 21 meals - Daily breakfast and 7 dinners, plus tips
• On-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach
• Services of a professional Travel Director
• Montserrat & The Black Madonna Excursion plus comprehensive sightseeing
• All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling and local taxes
• Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (at specified times, conditions apply)
Day 1 - Arrive in Madrid
Welcome to Madrid! Your journey begins this evening with a welcome reception hosted by your tour director that includes drinks and a light meal.
Accommodation: Gran Melia Fenix Hotel - 2 nights
Day 2 - Madrid Sightseeing
Today a sightseeing tour takes you along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana past Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Drive the Gran Via to the Royal Palace and Cervantes Monument before crossing the Puerta del Sol. Engaging Experience: Visit the magnificent Prado Museum with an art historian to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.
Day 3 - Toledo & Salamanca
This morning is devoted to Toledo, former capital of Spain. Walk through the maze of narrow cobbled streets to visit the Cathedral with its high altar, baroque window and paintings by El Greco. Later, pass the ancient walls of Avila en route to Salamanca with its handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, honey-colored cathedral and 16th century university buildings.
Accommodation: Alameda Palace Hotel - 1 night
Day 4 - Porto on the Douro
Cross the Portuguese border to reach the city of Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the Port wine capital. See the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores which house the famous wines. Admire the multi-colored houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges.
Accommodation: Tiara Park Atlantic Hotel - 1 night
Day 5 - Fatima, Obidos & Lisbon
After breakfast, head south to miraculous Fatima to join the pilgrims flocking into the Basilica. Then continue to the fortified city of Obidos, where you walk inside the walls to explore the flower-decked houses and narrow, medieval streets. Your destination is the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Accommodation: Dom Pedro Palace Hotel - 2 nights
Day 6 - Lisbon & Age of Discoveries
Sightseeing today with a local guide shows you Sao Jorge Castle, the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belem Tower. Visit Jeronimo’s Monastery with its superbly ornate cloister. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 7 - Seville, the City of Carmen
Leave Lisbon via the Tagus Bridge and cross the Spanish border to the city of Seville. Engaging Experience: With a local guide, tour the immense Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and the Giralda Tower. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar.
Engaging Experience: Tonight enjoy a highlight dinner and evening entertainment featuring a fiery Flamenco show.
Accommodation: Hotel Ayre Sevilla - 2 nights
Day 8 - Seville
Today is completely yours to relax, explore or continue sightseeing in this fascinating city. One suggestion is an optional excursion to Cordoba to visit the magnificent Mezquita.
Day 9 - Gibraltar & Costa del Sol
Head south to Gibraltar, attached to Spain, yet an independent colony under British control since 1704. Visit the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Later, take the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the Mediterranean’s expensive yachts lie moored.
Accommodation: Hotel Melia Costa del Sol - 2 nights
Day 10 - Costa del Sol
Today is at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade or savor the specialties in the local restaurants.
Day 11 - Mijas, Granada & the Alhambra, a Paradise on Earth
Drive through the green hills above the Costa del Sol to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast.
Engaging Experience: Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace. See the Lion Court and the water gardens of the royal summer residence. This evening choose your own personal cuisine from our Dine-Around selection of restaurants.
Accommodation: Hotel Vincii Albayzin - 1 night
Day 12 - The Old Guard & Avant-Garde in Valencia
Enjoy superb views over the Sierra Nevada as you cross the Mora Pass. Continue past the cave dwellings near Guadix to the hi-rise of the Costa Blanca, through the famous orange groves to Valencia. See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences then circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos and Quart to reach your hotel. Perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel Husa Reina Victoria - 1 night
Day 13 - The Orange Blossom Coast to Barcelona
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film El Cid. Continue along the Costa Dorada to Barcelona. Join a local expert by the cathedral in the Gothic quarter for a walking tour.
Engaging Experience: Later, drive along the Passeig de Gràcia, where the most amazing Modernist buildings stand. Continue through the Eixample district to visit Antoni Gaudi’s extraordinary, unfinished Sagrada Familia church.
Accommodation: Hotel Melia Barcelona Sarria - 2 nights
Day 14 - Montserrat Excursion
AAA Complimentary Inclusion: In the morning, drive towards the sacred mountain of Montserrat. Ascend this staggering rock formation, enjoying spectacular panoramic views, before arriving at the Basilica Real to see the mystical Black Madonna.
This evening, raise your glasses at a Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day 15 - Depart Barcelona
Your tour ends today after breakfast.
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Price given based on June 27 - August 10 & October 3 - 18, 2014 departures; rates for other departure dates may be higher. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
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