Day 1: Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).Day 2: Welcome to Paris.
During your time in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the faÃ§ades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs ElysÃ©es to the Arc de Triomphe. At 17:00, meet your Travel Director, you are then escorted to your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris.(Dinner with Wine)Day 3: Paris, the City of Light.
In small groups, venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives, with your local foodie guide. Explore a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier, all tiny and wonderful and a treat to your senses as you sample the delicacies along the way. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower, or why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 4: Amboise and on to Bordeaux.
Head southwards towards ChÃ¢teaux Country. Take a scenic drive along the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is known as the Jardins de France for the beautifully maintained gardens that were created on vast estates as outdoor living areas. Stop in Amboise, set beside the Loire River to see the impressive Royal ChÃ¢teau. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 5: Bordeaux and San Sebastian.
Join a Local Expert for a guided tour of France's best 18th century architecture. The facades of the quaysides, the Grand ThÃ©Ã¢tre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Journey on to ChÃ¢teau Doisy-DaÃ«ne to visit the cellars, learn about traditional viticulture techniques and sample a variety of high quality wines which make up the region's world-reknowned reputation. Next, continue to picturesque San Sebastian where you will have the chance to dine with the locals in the evening. In small groups, wander through the Old Town for a progressive dinner, as you enjoy the gastronomic Basque tradition of pintxos. Similar to tapas, enjoy a variety of snack-sized treats to make your meal and be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 6: Burgos and Madrid.
Drive south through the Pyrenees foothills. Stop in Burgos, the land of 'El Cid,' and see his burial place in the cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the Guadarrama Mountains to the plateau of New Castile and Spain's elegant capital of Madrid. In the evening why not see the city lit up in it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 7: Madrid and hilltop Toledo.
Join your Local Expert for a sightseeing tour of the Old Town as well as, along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana and past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Travel down the Grand VÃa to the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol. A short journey will take you to Toledo, an ancient walled city, once the capital of Spain and beautifully set upon a hilltop, bordered by the Tagus River. Your Local Expert will walk you through the Old Town to the fascinating Iglesia de Santo TomÃ©, home of El Greco's 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. Upon your return to Madrid, the evening is free to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 8: From Madrid to beautiful Barcelona.
Cross the Castilian plain, past Zaragoza, and continue to the vibrant port of Barcelona. In the evening, why not try delicious local Catalan cuisine and as night descends, view the city from the heights of Montjuic, with lights sparkling below from the mountains to sea.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 9: Barcelona, City of Gaudi.
Join your Local Expert to explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Travel by the Ramblas and along the Passeig de GrÃ cia, adorned with some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada FamÃlia.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 10: Avignon, the City of Popes.
Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the RhÃ´ne and immortalised in songs. Walk within the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to stand in the shadow of the old Palais des Papes, resembling a fortress. In the evening, enjoy a short drive over the Rhone to Villeneuve-les-Avignon where you dine at Maison Bronzini, housing one of the oldest working olive oil mills in Provence. Here you will enjoy a tasty Farm-to-Table meal, prepared on site by a chef who emphasises the importance of fresh local produce, using olive oil produced by the mill and accompanied by a selection of regional wines. For your main course, perhaps try the farmhouse chicken or a succulent lamb shoulder cooked with Provencal herbs and finish your meal with a choice of a white chocolate dome served with forest berries or a delightful apple 'Tarte Tatin' with vanilla bourbon chantilly cream.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 11: On the shores of Nice.
Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant resort of Nice, where the the rest of the day is at your leisure to stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 12: Along the Riviera to Pisa and the Tuscan Hills.
Travel to Monaco where you are driven along part of the Grand Prix circuit, before walking with your Travel Director through the old town. See the Royal Palace where the Grimaldi family live, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, housing the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Cross into Italy and follow the arc of the Italian Riviera before arriving in Pisa. In the Square of Miracles, stop to see the incredible Leaning Tower of Pisa with a Local Expert, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. Also see the splendid 11th century cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. A short drive through the rolling Tuscan Hills brings you to your hotel in Tuscany.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 13: Exploring Renaissance Florence.
Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods. There is free time to explore, or perhaps join an Optional Excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano. The wines of Tuscany are famous worldwide - in the evening, enjoy your chance to taste regional reds and learn about their origins.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 14: The Eternal City of Rome.
Relax and enjoy the grand landscapes of the Chianti hills and Umbria, before passing the Apennine Mountains to arrive at the Eternal City, filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. In the evening, what better way to toast the culmination of your Mediterranean Journey, than with delicious Italian cuisine and wine.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 15: Exploring Papal Rome.
A Local Expert introduces the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community on the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP, fast-tracked entry to avoid the crowds, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. The rest of the day is yours to shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 16: Rome at Leisure.
The day is yours to enjoy Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Alternatively, spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps? As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 17: Arrivederci Rome.
You journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30.(Buffet Breakfast)
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