Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Itinerary

Insight Vacations Review - Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Itinerary

Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Itinerary

WJ Tested: Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Itinerary

Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Itinerary
16-Night Motorcoach Trip in 2011

Day 1 – MADRID

Welcome to Madrid! – After checking into Hotel Conde Duque, WJ explored Spain’s capital and largest city on our own. At 6:00 pm we met with Insight Vacations Tour Director, Javier Rodriguez Soto, for a one-hour briefing and introduction to our fellow passengers over a welcome drink.

Day 2 – MADRID SIGHTSEEING

After a buffet breakfast at the hotel we joined fellow passengers and a local guide for a driving tour down Madrid’s wide avenues. We viewed Puerta del Sol, Gran Via, Paseo de la Castellana, Cibeles Fountain & Cervantes Monument in the Plaza de España before visiting the state apartments of the Royal Palace for a guided walking tour. The afternoon kept us busy with an optional excursion to Segovia to see the Roman Aqueduct and Alcazar. The evening was at our leisure.

Day 3 – MADRID – TOLEDO – SALAMANCA

Following a buffet breakfast we departed Madrid for Toledo. A guided walking tour through Toledo’s maze of cobbled streets took us to the Cathedral and El Greco’s masterpiece in the Iglesia de Santo Tomé. After a shopping stop at the Damascene factory and free time in the old town we continued on past the walls of Avila en route to Salamanca where we saw the Plaza Mayor, the New & Old Cathedrals & the university buildings in the Plaza de Anaya. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4 – SALAMANCA – FATIMA – LISBON

After leaving Salamanca we drove across Spain to the Portuguese frontier and continued to Fatima for a lunch stop and visit to the Basilica. Continuing on through the Portuguese countryside we drove to the capital, Lisbon. For those not joining the optional excursion of dinner in a typical Portuguese nightspot, specializing in beautiful Fado melodies, the evening was at their leisure.

Day 5 – LISBON SIGHTSEEING

The morning was spent sightseeing with a local guide as she showed us Sao Jorge Castle, the Monument to the Discoveries & the Belem Tower, and the famous Jeronimo’s Monastery. Javier treated us to the famous Pasteis de Belem. The afternoon was at leisure for those not joining the optional excursion to Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. We spent the evening at our leisure, although Javier took some seafood lovers on an optional excursion to a local fish restaurant.

Day 6 – LISBON – SEVILLE

We drove from Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and crossed the border to reach Seville in Spain. A tour with a local guide included the immense Cathedral (burial place of Christopher Columbus) and the Giralda Tower. We toured the Santa Cruz Quarter, with its flower-decked wrought iron balconies, to see the Alcazar. The night was busy with an included Highlight Dinner and Flamenco show.

Day 7 – SEVILLE AT LEISURE

The day was free to take in more sights of our choice in Seville, but we chose to take the optional excursion to Cordoba. As the evening was at leisure many of our fellow passengers joined together and set off for a night at the Avril Feria (April Fair) followed by tapas at a local bar near our hotel.

Day 8 – SEVILLE – GIBRALTAR – TANGIER

Leaving Seville we drove to an area where we could leave the coach and walk across the border into Gibraltar, a British territory since 1713. Once through passport control we were met by a local tour bus and taken to visit the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Macaques (monkeys). Later in the afternoon we sailed by ferry (1 hour) to Morocco and were met by a National tour guide, Abi, who would be with our group for our entire time in his country. Dinner was at our hotel in Tangier. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 9 – TANGIER – FES

After a coach sightseeing tour through Tangier we headed off into the countryside, along the coastline in the direction of Fes. Along the way we stopped at Assilah. By late afternoon we arrived in Fes, the most ancient of Morocco’s cities, and our luxury hotel. We were thoroughly entertained during the evening with a superb Moroccan highlight dinner and Folklore Show with drums & belly dancing.

Day 10 – FES SIGHTSEEING

The morning was filled with a guided walking tour with local guides to visit the Medina in Fes. We explored the walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and tiny workshops, the ancient bazaar and carpet and leather co-operatives. The afternoon was at our leisure but we chose to join the optional excursion to Meknes. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 11 – FES – MARRAKESH

This was a very full day in the coach as we drove the scenic route via the Atlas Mountains and past mud-walled villages to Marrakesh. Arriving at our hotel we had a little free time before we headed out for the evening’s optional excursion which included a horse and buggy ride to Jemaa el Fna Square and wandering through the market with Javier before reaching the restaurant for a fabulous Moroccan dinner where we were entertained with traditional music and belly dancing.

Day 12 – MARRAKESH SIGHTSEEING

We had the choice of spending the morning at leisure or taking an optional excursion into the Ourika Valley outside Marrakesh. During this tour we stopped at the house of a Berber family and experienced a traditional Berber tea ceremony. Following this optional tour we were given a guided tour in Marrakesh where we saw the Koutobia Minaret, visited the Saadi Tombs and explored the Medina with its many souks.  Dinner was at the hotel.

Day 13 – MARRAKESH – CASABLANCA – RABAT

Leaving Marrakesh we drove towards the coast and the famous city of Casablanca. A driving tour of the city showed us the famous sights and we even jumped out of the coach to take a photo of Rick’s Cafe. After a short lunch stop along the seaside we continued our drive to Rabat to see the Royal Palace & Hassan Tower. Our final evening in Morocco was at leisure with dinner at the hotel.

Day 14 – RABAT – COSTA DEL SOL

A very early morning drive back to Tangier put us at the port in plenty of time to sail back across the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain. The afternoon was filled with scenic vistas as we travelled along the Costa del Sol and to our hotel in Torremolinos. The late-afternoon and evening were at our leisure so we enjoyed beach walking, exploring this resort town and experiencing local tapas bars.

Day 15 – COSTA DEL SOL – GRANADA

This morning was our latest departure (10 AM). We drove past endless olive groves to Granada and arrived in plenty of time for an afternoon tour of the fabulous Alhambra Palace, with our local guide  also taking us through the exotic water gardens of the Generalife. The evening was a highlight dine around dinner and we enjoyed delicious local fare at a wonderful nearby restaurant.

Day 16 – GRANADA – MADRID

Leaving Granada, we travelled through La Mancha and the wine centre of Valdepeñas. Stopping for lunch we were able to visit one of the bodegas. After reaching Madrid in mid-afternoon we had free time to enjoy. Most of us joined the optional excursion for dinner at a traditional meson, complete with local singing and entertainment.

Day 17 – END OF TOUR

If You Go:

Insight Vacations

Spain Tourism

Portugal Tourism

Gibraltar Tourism

Morocco Tourism

Visit WAVEJourney’s Insight Vacations Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco Review:

Overview | Itinerary | Hotels | Photos | Day 1: Madrid | Day 2: Segovia | Day 3: Toledo & Salamanca | Day 4: Fatima & Lisbon | Day 5: Lisbon & Cascais | Day 6: Sevilla | Day 7: Cordoba | Day 8: Gibraltar & Tangier | Day 9: Fes | Day 10: Fes & Meknes | Day 11: Marrakesh | Day 12: Ourika Valley & Marrakesh | Day 13: Casablanca & Rabat | Day 14: Torremolinos | Day 15: Granada | Day 16: Madrid |

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