Iberian Adventure: Bem-Vindo a Lisboa | ©thepalladiantraveler.comJust like da Gama, Dias and Magellan, Portuguese explorers who navigated their way into the “great unknown” that was the Age of Discovery, I, too, take a sorta-kinda, but less challenging, leap of faith as I cast off down the gangway from TAP flight #869 weaving my way through the crowd to the far-flung baggage claim area inside Aeroporto de Portela, Lisbon’s international airport, and my first port of call on an abbreviated, seven-day Insight Vacations‘ (Insight) journey through Portugal and Spain christened the Iberian Adventure.

Iberian Adventure: Bem-Vindo a Lisboa | ©thepalladiantraveler.comAs a member of Insight’s latest intrepid “band of merry media” — 29 selected journalists and photographers — I’ve got one week to soak it all in then scribble it back out as we set a course that’ll wind its way from continental Europe’s western-most point facing the Atlantic Ocean all the way into the epicenter of Old Spain’s vast Andalusia. Along the way, I’ll be documenting the “art of traveling in style” — with knife, fork, spoon and camera — via one of Insight’s comfortable, business-class legroom motor coaches. Did I mention onboard WIFI? Obrigado!

Iberian Adventure: Bem-Vindo a Lisboa | ©thepalladiantraveler.comGreeted with the kind of respect reserved for Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal’s revered national soccer team captain), my bags are quickly stored in the boot of a shiny, late model, diplomatic-blue courtesy car and I’m whisked across town to the Dom Pedro Palace (DPP), one of the Great Hotels of the World and Insight’s five-star signature address up in the Campolide district of Lisbon.

My 18th floor digs, with an incredible view of the city’s skyline, are impeccable. From the Molton Brown toiletries, to the espresso machine, to the turndown service. I’m even gifted an assortment of goodies: gold wrapped chocolates, a bottle of port wine and a plate of Granny Smith apples, all framed by a welcome note from the DPP’s resident manager.

Iberian Adventure: Bem-Vindo a Lisboa | ©thepalladiantraveler.comExcuse me. The WhatsApp on my iPhone is pinging with a short, four-worded text: IT’S TIME 4 DINNER!

Down the elevator I go and head out with Susan and Michelle, Insight’s USA and Canadian reps, respectively, to nearby A Valenciana, a churrasqueria, where the frango de currasco (barbecued chicken) with piri piri (spicy-hot chili pepper sauce) and home fries is TO DIE FOR. And, the Portuguese caramel flan isn’t too shabby either.

Iberian Adventure | ©thepalladiantraveler.comFor complete information on Insight’s premium and luxury-escorted itineraries, including the Iberian Adventure and 112 other journeys throughout Europe, just click HERE, or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.

See you bright and early tomorrow morning as we remove the lens cap and navigate the decorative cobble of picturesque Lisbon.

Boa noite!

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props | ©Tom Palladio Images

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Written by The Palladian Traveler

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along cobblestone streets that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches along the cobblestone via TravelingBoy.com.

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