For those who are interested, and because otherwise I will forget stuff, here is our itinerary copied right off the website (http://www.insightvacations.com). Pictures to follow, of course!
DAY 1 – THU – DEPART CANADA
Overnight flight to Madrid.
DAY 2 – FRI – MADRID AT LEISURE
Welcome to Madrid! On arrival at Madrid Airport there are complimentary transfers to your tour hotel. The afternoon is at leisure – relax and settle in. In the evening, join your fellow passengers and Tour Director for a Welcome Drink.
Hotel: Melia Galgos.
DAY 3 – SAT – MADRID – BARCELONA
Follow the wide arid plains of Castille. After passing Guadalajara, follow the Jalón River Valley, dotted with Mudejar Towers which are survivors of the bygone era of Moorish domination in Spain. Continue eastwards, passing Zaragoza in the province of Aragón, before encountering a different culture and language in Catalunya. Your home for the next two nights is the dynamic city of Barcelona. Tonight, visit all of Spain in one park at the ‘Pueblo Español’, before your Dine-Around evening, where you can choose from a selection of restaurants. Before returning to your hotel, drive past the Olympic Games site and enjoy glittering views over the harbour.
DAY 4 – SUN – BARCELONA SIGHTSEEING
MONTSERRAT & THE BLACK MADONNA
We drive towards the sacred mountain of Catalonia. Ascending this staggering rock formation, we enjoy the spectacular panoramic views, before arriving at the "Basilica Real" to see the mystical Black Madonna.
Visit Gaudi's Guell Park. On entering Guell Park, one has the impression of entering an enchanted world where Gaudi designed mushroom-like houses, undulating benches and a mosaic dragon on a flight of stairs.
Visit the Gothic quarter on a guided tour and see the ancient cathedral, and see the famous Ramblas, with its open-air markets and cafes. In contrast to the old part of town, drive along the broad, elegant avenues of the Eixample district to admire Gaudi’s extraordinary unfinished creation, the Sagrada Familia church, about which opinions are so strongly divided.
DAY 5 – MON – BARCELONA – VALENCIA
Follow the Costa Dorada south, stopping in Peñìscola to view the white-walled cottages clustered around the sea-lapped castle used in the film El Cid. Continue past the famous orange groves to Valencia, your home for the night. An orientation tour with your Tour Director shows you the City Gates of Serranos and Cuarte, the Gothic Generalidad Palace, El Miguelete Cathedral with its octagonal bell tower, and the ultra modern Centre of Arts and Sciences.
Hotel: Husa Reina Victoria.
DAY 6 – TUE – VALENCIA – GRANADA
Leave for the Costa Blanca, passing through the stately waving palm tree forests of Elche and past the lemon groves in Murcia. Drive through the superb scenery of the Sierra Nevada with magnificent mountain views on all sides, and cross the Mora Pass to reach glorious Granada. Here, over looking the town, awaits one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Explore this exquisite palace; a fantasy of stone cut lace, arabesque gardens and fountains, built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century. Also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence.
DAY 7 – WED – GRANADA – SEVILLE
A beautiful drive through gleaming white villages and brilliant fields of golden sunflowers leads to Seville exquisite capital of Andalucìa, and one of the most charming cities in Spain. You’ll stay in this ‘city of Carmen’ for the next two nights, so settle into your hotel.
Hotel: Melia Lebreros.
DAY 8 – THU – SEVILLE SIGHTSEEING
Seville has a distinctive character and presence which a local guide will unfold. Visit the massive cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. Pass the slender Giralda Tower, once the minaret of the Great Mosque, see the Alcazar and tour the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its flower decked wrought iron balconies. This afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
DAY 9 – FRI – SEVILLE – MADRID
Set off early along the Guadalquivir valley, past villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses, stopping in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. See the famous 2000-year-old bridge before a guided visit to the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian church built inside it. Cross the Sierra Morena mountains and the plains of La Mancha, following in the steps of Don Quixote, on your way back to Madrid.
Hotel: NH Eurobuilding.
DAY 10 – SAT – MADRID SIGHTSEEING
Visit the Prado Museum to admire the world famous paintings of Velázquez and Goya. Take time out to relax at a café or shop in the boutiques of Serrano. In the evening, consider joining a farewell dinner in the heart of town, complete with wine and music.
A specialist guide takes us to the unique city of Toledo, Spain's capital during the golden era, and where El Greco lived and worked. We visit the fine Gothic cathedral, admire the old city views along the Tagus gorge and later visit a specialist Damascene workshop.
DAY 11 – SUN – RETURN TO CANADA
The tour ends with transfers to Madrid Airport.