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Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Duration 17 days

Destinations visited :
  • Spain
    ,
  • Portugal
    ,
  • Morocco
    ,

Traverse Spain, Portugal and Morocco on this 17-day guided tour. Walk through the capital city of Spain, Madrid, with a Local Expert, who will drive you through the Old Quarter to see the origins of the city. In Lisbon, explore the long avenues of Lower Town with a Local Expert, and through the finest square in the city: the Terreiro do Paço. Journey to Gibraltar, a territory under British control, for a tour of St. Michael’s Cave with a Local Expert; be sure to look out for the legendary guardians of the colony, the Barbary Apes. In Marrakesh, meet a Local Expert in the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, where you can watch dancers and acrobats twirl. Travel to the white-washed village of Alfarnatejo, then discover the oldest olive grove in the region, where you’ll taste freshly pressed oils and dine on a traditional meal while listening to stories of local life in the home of a Spanish family.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Madrid.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Transfers leave Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a delicious Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.
Hotel: Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay, Madrid.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Prado Museum and on to Golden Salamanca.
With your Local Expert travel down the beautiful boulevards to the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana. Cross the Puerta del Sol and see the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España. A sure highlight is when you join an art historian to explore the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens and other masters. Journey past the walls of Ávila en route to Salamanca, with its honey-coloured cathedral and 16th century university buildings.
Hotel: Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Holy Fátima and Lisbon.
Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great basilica commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Your travels continue to Lisbon.
Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.
Exploring with a Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town to the Terreiro do Paço with a visit to the Belém Quarter. 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 more ancient Belém Tower, a fortress that was originally set in the middle of the river but with receding waters, now sits on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The afternoon is free for you to explore further as you wish.
Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 5

To Seville, the City of Carmen.
Journey to Seville to join your Local Expert for a tour of the immense Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus. See the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral’s belltower. Continue your exploration through the labyrinthine narrow streets and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, emerging beside the great walls of the Alcazar.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

Free Time and Flamenco in Seville.
This day is yours to completely relax or continue exploring this fascinating city. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Córdoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it? Enjoy an evening of food and wine while you are entertained by throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 7

The Straits of Gibraltar to Fes.
Set sail across the Straits of Gibraltar to reach Morocco – a land of musky spices and colourful souks. Your travels continue to Fes, Morocco’s most ancient imperial city.
Hotel: Palais Medina & Spa, Fes.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 8

The Ancient Imperial City of Fes.
Your Local Expert will guide you through the ancient Medina. Explore this walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and workshops. Walk through the souks and pass one of the world’s oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making and gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Then you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps cool off with a dip in the pool at your hotel.
Hotel: Palais Medina & Spa, Fes.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

On the Road to Marrakesh.
See the Middle Atlas Mountains and mud-walled villages as you journey to Marrakesh.
Hotel: Mövenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech, Marrakesh.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 10

Marrakesh, Pearl of the South.
An exploration with your Local Expert will show you the Medina with its many souks and the Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline. Visit the intricately decorated Palais Bahia, intended to be the greatest palace of its time when it was built in the late 19th century.
Hotel: Mövenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech, Marrakesh.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 11

Play It Again Sam in Casablanca.
Journey to the west coast of Africa to reach Casablanca. Discover if Humphrey Bogart really did say ‘Play it again Sam’ during sightseeing with your Local Expert. You will also see Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the très chic seaside strip, known as the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.
Hotel: Grand Mogador City Center, Casablanca.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 12

Rabat and Tangier.
Travel north to Rabat, to see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower with your Local Expert. Your journey continues to Morocco’s great port of Tangier, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Here you will enjoy beautiful views where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. After dinner, you are at leisure to relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel or take a stroll along the Bay of Tangier.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Villa de France by BlueBay, Tangier.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 13

On to the Costa del Sol.
Cross the water to Spain and continue on to Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Travel through the green hills to the north of Costa del Sol, which translates to Coast of the Sun, to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast. Relax as you are driven along the scenic route, passing exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.
Hotel: Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 14

At Leisure on the Costa del Sol.
Enjoy the following 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 Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
Hotel: Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 15

Dining with Locals and the Alhambra Palace.
Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. 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, where overlooking the town 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 water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.
Hotel: Meliá Granada.
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch with Wine

DAY 16

To Madrid in search of Don Quixote.
Your journey continues to the north, through countryside immortalised by Cervantes fictional hero, Don Quixote. On return to Madrid, toast your travels with your newfound friends during a lively Celebration Dinner of delicious food and wine at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel Miguel Angel by BlueBay, Madrid.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 17

Depart Madrid.
Departure transfers arrive at Madrid airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
  • Seville: During your dinner with wine and beyond your dimly-lit table, the stage suddenly erupts with the unmistakable singing, clapping and throbbing guitars of flamenco.
  • Torremolinos: Taste a selection of freshly pressed olive oils with locally made farmer bread when you stop at Almazara, the oldest olive grove in the region.
  • Torremolinos: Hear the stories of local life as you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a freshly prepared, traditional lunch, with wine.
  • Madrid: With good food and wine, toast the culmination of your travels during a fabulous Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 16 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 4 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (CD) all tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Madrid: From El Greco to Goya, an expert art historian reveals the crowning achievements of Spanish painting in the magnificent Prado Museum.
  • Granada: Best interpreted with help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture – an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the rich, scented gardens of the Generalife.

Stay in Style

  • Salamanca: The centrally located Hotel Alameda Palace is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Madrid: See the sights of the city with your Local Expert, including the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana, Puerta del Sol and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España.
  • Salamanca: See the golden stone buildings and handsome arcades of Plaza Mayor for which this city is famous for.
  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Belém Quarter to see the Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Seville: Guided by your Local Expert, see the Giralda Tower, former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral’s belltower. Explore the narrow streets of the Santa Cruz Quarter and emerge by the great walls of the Alcazar.
  • Seville: Step inside the massive Seville Cathedral and pass the gilded altar to view the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
  • Gibraltar: Cross from Europe to Africa as board your ferry to cruise across the Straits of Gibraltar.
  • Fes: Led by your Local Expert, wander the maze of streets that make up the ancient Medina. Pass one of the world’s oldest university’s and see the hidden courtyards, mosques and workshop and continue through the souks, an array of vendors selling food, clothes, leather goods and beautiful lights.
  • Fes: Learn about the traditional craft of carpet making, gaining an insight to the designs the and the difference in materials.
  • Marrakesh: Your Local Expert guides you past Jemaa el-Fnaa Square with its intriguing characters and through the seemingly entangled streets of the Medina with its many souks. See the protruding Koutoubia Minaret.
  • Marrakesh: Built around a lovely inner-garden, explore the Bahia Palace with a Local Expert and see glimpses of a Moroccan kingdom’s former opulence.
  • Casablanca: Explore this coastal city, made famous the classic film. Your Local Expert will show you the largest mosque in the country, Hassan II Mosque and the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.
  • Rabat: Led by your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower.
  • Tangier: Your Local Expert will show you the sights of Morocco’s great port. See the Sultan’s Palace and visit the Casbah.
  • Tangier: Cruise back to Europe on your return ferry.
  • Gibraltar: With your Local Expert tour the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, affording magnificent views and see the meeting of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. Visit St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, guardians of the colony.
  • Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village and stroll the streets to admire the coastal views.
  • Alfarnatejo: Visit the beautiful, quiet town and walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla.
  • 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.
  • Scenic Drives: Take in the ever changing scenery of south-west Europe and northern Africa as you pass the Estrela Mountains, the Middle Atlas Mountains, the High Atlas Mountains, and continue along Costa del Sol, through the Provence of Malaga, across Sierra Nevada and the La Mancha 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.
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Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco

Traverse Spain, Portugal and Morocco on this 17-day guided tour. Walk through the capital city of Spain, Madrid, with a Local Expert, who will drive you through the Old Quarter to see the origins of the city. In Lisbon, explore the long avenues of Lower Town with a Local Expert, and through the finest square in the city: the Terreiro do Paço. Journey to Gibraltar, a territory under British control, for a tour of St. Michael’s Cave with a Local Expert; be sure to look out for the legendary guardians of the colony, the Barbary Apes. In Marrakesh, meet a Local Expert in the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, where you can watch dancers and acrobats twirl. Travel to the white-washed village of Alfarnatejo, then discover the oldest olive grove in the region, where you’ll taste freshly pressed oils and dine on a traditional meal while listening to stories of local life in the home of a Spanish family.