Northern Spain & Country Roads of Portugal

Discover scenic delights, delicious cuisine & beautiful beaches on this journey through Northern Spain & Portugal

Discover the scenic delights and delicious cuisine of this forgotten part of Spain. Compare Oviedo's ancient churches and resting relics of St. James with Barcelona's captivating Sagrada Família.

Portugal's great New World discoveries brought the country trade and wealth, and left their mark throughout the Kingdom. Witness this legacy, from the sunny beaches of the Algarve to the vineyards of the Douro Valley.

Your Fly, Stay & Tour Package Includes:

  • Economy class flight from Sydney to Madrid, returning from Lisbon
  • 11 day Northern Spain guided holiday with Insight Vacations, Madrid to Barcelona
  • Includes 10 nights accommodation, 14 meals, travel by luxury coach, sightseeing + more
  • Economy class flight from Barcelona to Lisbon
  • 3 nights accommodation in Lisbon including breakfast
  • 11 day Country Roads of Portugal guided holiday with Insight Vacations, Lisbon return
  • Includes 10 nights accommodation, 15 meals, sightseeing, highly-skilled Travel Director + more

Extend your flights and stay longer - talk to our travel experts about more options

 

Northern Spain Itinerary:

DAY 1

WELCOME TO MADRID.

On arrival at Madrid airport, your airport transfer leaves for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. Relax and settle in before meeting your Travel Director at 17:30. Your Welcome Dinner is at a local restaurant and provides the opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests over a pleasant evening of good food and wine.

Hotel: Barcelo Torre de Madrid/Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.

Meals: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

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. A highlight of your escorted journey will be to visit the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.

Hotel: Barcelo Torre de Madrid/Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3

THROUGH THE GUADARRAMA MOUNTAINS TO SANTIAGO.

Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and pass the impressive Castillo de la Mota. 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. Continue past historic Tordesillas, and on to Santiago de Compostela.

Hotel: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 4 - RELAXED START

SAINTLY 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 a 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.

Hotel: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 - RELAXED START

ALONG 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 Flor, a local who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life in this seaside city as you enjoy a delicious meal that Flor has 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.

Hotel: Barceló Oviedo Cervantes.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

DAY 6

PICTURESQUE SANTILLANA DEL MAR AND ON TO 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?

Hotel: Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 - RELAXED START

BILBAO, COSTA VASCA 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. Head to Monte Igueldo for breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.

Hotel: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 - RELAXED START

SAN SEBASTIÁN, PEARL OF 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 villages of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris and Biarritz? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?

Hotel: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9

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.

Hotel: Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10

BARCELONA, CITY OF GAUDÍ.

Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. 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.

Hotel: Hotel Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Win 

DAY 11

DEPART MADRID.

After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Country Roads of Portugal Itinerary:

DAY 1

WELCOME TO LISBON.

On arrival at Lisbon International Airport, there are complimentary transfers to your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Settle in and relax before joining your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy the the opportunity to mingle with your fellow travellers during a pleasant evening of good food and wine.

Hotel: Altis Grand Hotel, Lisbon.

Meals: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

LISBON AND THE AGE OF THE GREAT DISCOVERIES.

Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paço, the finest square in the city, named after the palace that was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755, along with much of the rest of the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same secret recipe for almost 200 years. See the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, erected to protect Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which you visit. With free time in the afternoon, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Royal Portuguese Riviera to explore the glamorous resort of Cascais, the wealthy playground of Estoril and visit one of the Royal summer palaces?

Hotel: Altis Grand Hotel, Lisbon.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3

THE ALGARVE.

Cross the River Tagus and head for the sun-drenched southern coast to reach Lagos, a fishing port nestled on the bay of Meia Praia. After free time to explore, continue to your resort hotel set within a magnificent 360-acre estate. Simplicity is in the soul of Algarve cuisine, along with seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. The nearby coast houses restaurants and bars overlooking the beautiful coastal waters.

Hotel: Ria Park Hotel & Spa, Almancil, Algarve.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 - RELAXED START

EVERLASTING ÉVORA.

Journey to the medieval walled city of Évora where cathedrals, churches, aqueducts and ancient castle walls all serve to create the feeling that this beautiful city is a living, breathing museum to Portugal's rich past. Join your Local Expert to explore the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Roman Temple and visit the Capela dos Ossos, an extraordinary 17th century chapel comprising the skulls and bones of 5,000 bodies. Visit the cathedral with its attractive mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. With the afternoon at leisure, you may wish to continue to stroll through Évora’s unique historical centre, or the serene city park, following the aqueduct inside the city walls?

Hotel: M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto, Évora.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 - RELAXED START

MONSARAZ AND ÉVORA.

Travel to the striking white village of Monsaraz, situated on an imposing hilltop, surrounded by cork oaks and vineyards. From the castle ruins, admire the spectacular views across to the dry Spanish plains, contrasting with the blue of one of Europe's largest artificial lakes. Meet a local boat captain and hear tales of life upon the water during your leisurely cruise. Sit down to a delicious Highlight Lunch in a local restaurant that was formerly an olive oil mill. Savour the local cuisine as your menu is typical of the local Alentejo region and accompanied with wine. Return to Évora where the evening is at your leisure to explore this beautifully preserved regional capital.

Hotel: M’Ar de Ar Aqueduto, Évora.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

DAY 6

SCENIC DRIVE TO ÓBIDOS, FÁTIMA AND TOMAR.

Pass cork oak forests and expansive rice fields as you journey to the fortified town of Óbidos. Walk inside its walls to explore the craft shops, art galleries and flower-laden houses that line the narrow, medieval streets. Continue to Fátima, Portugal’s most renowned place of pilgrimage. See the basilica or perhaps visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Proceed to Tomar and visit one of Portugal’s historical jewels, the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your Local Expert, explore the octagonal Templars' Rotunda in the cloister and glimpse the day-to-day life of a warrior monk in the domestic areas. Outside on the battlements, the Manueline Window is a national masterpiece. You also visit the Synagogue of Tomar, one of the best preserved medieval synagogues in Portugal, housing a small Jewish museum.

Hotel: Hotel dos Templários, Tomar.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 7 - RELAXED START

COIMBRA, THE DOURO AND PINHÃO.

In Coimbra, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the Old Town, including a visit to the impressive baroque university library. Enjoy a wonderful Farm-to-Table Dinner, freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients at Quinta da Roêda, renowned as the “Jewel of the Douro”. Home to one of the most distinguished port houses, tantilise your taste buds with a tasting of port produced by the Croft family.

Hotel: Vintage House Hotel, Pinhão, Douro Valley.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 8 - RELAXED START

GUIMARÃES AND PORTO.

Journey to GuimarÃes to admire the views from the ruined castle and explore the cobbled streets and cosy squares. Next, continue on to Porto, where we are guided by our Local Expert to explore Portugal’s second city, a World Heritage town and where Portugal originates. In the evening you are at leisure to enjoy your boutique, five-star hotel, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in the heart of Porto’s historic district. The decor is a mix of classic and contemporary and each room is individually decorated with original artwork. Alternatively, why not join an Optional Experience to see the pastel-painted houses in Porto's Ribeira district before cruising on a traditional Rabelo boat and finishing off the evening with a Portuguese dinner in the comfort of your riverside restaurant?

Hotel: Infante Sagres, Porto.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

DAY 9 - RELAXED START

PORTO, GRANDE DAME ON THE DOURO.

With a full day free to enjoy at your own pace, why not take a stroll to admire the multi-coloured houses, churches covered in beautiful glazed tiles and the iconic bridges? For a different perspective and excellent views of the city, perhaps embark on a relaxing Douro cruise? In the evening, bid adeus to your Travel Director and fellow travellers with a mouth-watering Celebration Dinner with wine, at an authentic Porto restaurant.

Hotel: Infante Sagres, Porto.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 10

RETURN TO LISBON.

Enjoy a relaxed start in Porto before travelling to Lisbon, arriving at your hotel in the early evening.

Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11

DEPART LISBON.

After breakfast, your departure transfer arrives at Lisbon Portela Airport at 07:00 or 09:30.

Meals: Breakfast

 

For more information or to book


Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the best available price at the time.  Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 14 February 2020 and can be withdrawn without notice. Airfares are based on economy class flights from Sydney and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions, please call us for prices from other cities. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.

 

 

Northern Spain & Country Roads of Portugal

Destination: Europe

Provider: Insight Vacations

Duration: 23 Nights

Inclusions:

Accommodation Escorted Tours Fly

With Exchange $10,221 per person*

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