Spain and Portugal – A Featured Staff Review

June 15, 2017 Robyn Cooper

Oh… the things that I saw! And mmm… the things that I ate! Touring Spain and Portugal with Insight Vacations is truly the way to experience the best a destination has to offer.

Our tour director Bradley Dick had his finger on the pulse of each magnificent city and he made sure no detail went unnoticed.  Thanks to his careful planning, the entire journey was hassle-free and effortless.

Madrid for me will always be remembered for our tapas style Welcome Dinner at Zahara where I had my first taste of delicious Salmorejo, and for the breath-taking art and stories of the Prado museum.

In Toledo I fell in love with watching the locals’ hand-craft damascene jewelry. I could have watched the master crafters lay the gold and silver wires for hours. The cobblestoned streets, flowered balconies, and engaging story-telling from our local expert made exploring Old Toledo an adventure.  Our thoughtful tour director, Brad, continued to surprise us with local delicacies around every corner.  The Piononos quickly skyrocketed to the top of my favorite pastry list!

The trip felt like a dream. Just when I believed it couldn’t get any better, we arrived in Granada. The Alhambra Palace hotel was an experience in itself. It embodied luxury, style, comfort and culture. It was the perfect atmosphere to prepare us for dinner at Restaurante Las Estrellas San Nicolas where the atmosphere was quaint. The views of the Alhambra Palace as the sun set complimented a wonderful meal and delightful company. The following day we were excited to tour the Alhambra Palace. Every ceiling and doorway was visually stunning and each garden was more beautiful than the one before.

In Seville we explored the Cathedral de Seville with yet another knowledgeable local expert. That night I experienced my first genuine flamenco show. The passion and intensity of the dance left us all with awe and admiration for the dancers.

In Cordoba we discovered Mezquita with Gema, a third generation local expert. Her passion for the church and the Mosque it was built upon was contagious; she made history come alive in our minds. I’ll never forget the moment when several of us laid our hands on a column that was 786 years old. We laid our hands on history.

Our beautiful journey ended in Lisbon, were we celebrated the perfect Insight Vacations adventure. Not only did we enjoy a soulful Fado performance, we also toured Geronimo’s monastery. What a delight it was to bypass the lines and get the VIP treatment. Our celebration meal was a night full of merriment as we excitedly exchanged stories and favorite moments over yet another delightful meal. It was the perfect end to our trip. We celebrated our journey, our new friendships, and the magic that was so carefully planned for us.

Wilmarie Miller is a Sales Manager in the US.  For more insights in this region try Insight’s Best of Spain & Portugal and Amazing Spain & Portugal journeys.

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