Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco – Toledo, Avila & Salamanca

Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco - Toledo

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

WJ Tested: Insight Vacations – Day 3: Toledo, Avila & Salamanca

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

Madrid to Toldeo
Our morning started with another 7 am wake-up call and breakfast in the hotel dining room at 7:30 am. As we were leaving Madrid today, luggage was required to be outside the room by 7:45 am (always at least 45-minutes before departure time).

At 8:30 am we were on the road in the direction of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toledo, approximately 70 kilometers and a 1-hour drive south of Madrid. As soon as we arrived in Toledo we were met by our local guide, Carlos, and spent the next 3 hours on a city walking tour. As it was Sunday morning, the famous 13th century High Gothic Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo was only open for mass, so no tourist visits were permitted; however, Carlos was able to take us in Iglesia de Santo Tome to see the famous El Greco painting of El Entierio del Senor de Orgaz (The Burial of the Count of Orgaz).

After walking the Alcantara Bridge which crosses the Targus River, we had a quick coach ride to the Damask Factory where we stopped for 45 minutes while people shopped for souvenirs made from the famous Damascus steel. Everything from earrings to swords was purchased, with larger items being shipped to their new homes.

Arriving back in Toledo, we had an hour of free time for lunch, to shop or do more sightseeing on our own. At a jewelry shop near the main plaza, Jill purchased a lovely pair of handmade Damaskin earrings made of black steel with inlaid gold for a very reasonable price of 22.50 euro. Carlos had previously mentioned that Toledo is famous for its marzipan, being the first place to make it and suggested that we try this local delicacy from Santo Tome Marzipan, next to the main square. Santo Tome has been making marzipan since 1856; it is all handmade and they make a delicate marzipan from almonds and honey that is not too sweet and is soft and delicious.

At 1:45 pm our bus departed Toledo en route for Avila and as we were driving away, Javier started to tell us more about the famous Santo Tome Marzipan – making our mouths water. Then he reached in his bag and brought out two boxes of this delicious marzipan and passed them around for everyone to enjoy. What a special treat!

Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco - Avila

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

Avila
During the 2-hour drive to Avila we spotted poppies growing wild in farmers’ fields and their bright red color and full bloom painted a lovely picture across the landscape. Javier commented on the sights and scenery and gave us details of Spain’s history and this area we were driving through. He also encouraged us to book swap with some selections he had on hand in the coach and played a delightful selection of Spanish music. Arriving on the outskirts of Avila we stopped for a photo break where we viewed, from a distance, the complete 2.5 km medieval walls, Cathedral and 88 towers. Next we took a 20-minute comfort break at a service restaurant near our photo stop.

Insight Vacations Review – Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco - Salamanca

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

Salamanca
Arriving in Salamanca at 5:45 pm we had just enough time to go to our room at the Hotel Alameda Palace and freshen up before meeting Javier back in the lobby at 6:30 pm for a 2-hour walking tour of the old city. Walking in the direction of the Plaza Major and Cathedral, Javier again surprised us with a local treat, this time Salamanca wafers.

At 8:30 pm we were back to the hotel for our included buffet dinner, which consisted of: soup; salads; vegetable platter; breads; deli meats and cheeses; fish; beef; cauliflower gratin; Brussel sprouts and carrots; desserts; bottle water; tea and coffee.

After the meal we retired to our room, complete after a very full day of magnificent sightseeing in some of Spain’s most renown areas.

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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