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Mediterranean Journey

Duration 16 days

Destinations visited :
  • France
    ,
  • Spain
    ,
  • Italy
    ,

Marvel at Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona, spot locals sipping pastis in Nice and admire Florence the home of Michelangelo’s David, as you circle the azure waters of the Mediterranean. Embrace a day of Pisa sightseeing with a stop at the famous leaning tower, where Italian astronomer Galileo was said to have pioneered his theories of gravity. In France, work up an appetite in the medieval streets before a sumptuous farm-to-table dinner in Avignon with a menu that showcases traditional French, home-style cuisine. In Spain, dine with the locals in Basque tradition with an evening of San Sebastian pintxos tastings, snack-sized tapas, while sipping on a refreshing glass of local Txakoli wine. In Rome, the dish du jour is, of course, handmade pasta and seasonal flavours.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Paris.
Welcome to Paris, enjoy time at leisure to settle into your hotel. During your time here you will see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe. At 17:00 join your Travel Director at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Paris, the City of Light.
In small groups, venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives, with your local foodie guide. Explore boutique shops such as 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.
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Amboise and on to Bordeaux.
Head southwards towards Châteaux 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 Château. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character. This evening enjoy a Farm-to-Table dinner at Chez Thérèse, and relish in traditional French home-style cuisine.
Hotel: Pullman Bordeaux Lac.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 4

Bordeaux and San Sebastián.
Join a Local Expert for a guided tour of France’s best 18th century architecture. The facades of the quaysides, the Grand Théâtre, Triangle d’Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Next, continue to picturesque San Sebastián 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.
Hotel: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 5

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.
Hotel: Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque, Madrid.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

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 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 Tomé, 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.
Hotel: Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque, Madrid.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 7

Madrid and 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.
Hotel: Hilton Barcelona.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 8

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 Gràcia, adorned with some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.
Hotel: Hilton Barcelona.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

Avignon, the City of Popes.
Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d’Avignon, once spanning the Rhône and immortalised in songs. At a local farm learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce. Walk within the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to stand in the shadow of the old Palais des Papes, resembling a fortress.
Hotel: Cloître Saint-Louis, Avignon.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 10

On the shores of Nice.
Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant resort of Nice, where the rest of the day is at your leisure to stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 11

Monaco, Pisa and 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.
Hotel: Borgo di Artimino, Tuscany.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 12

Renaissance Florence.
Journey to Florence for sightseeing with your Local Expert 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.
Hotel: Borgo di Artimino, Tuscany.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 13

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 classic 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.
Hotel: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 14

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.
Hotel: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 15

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.
Hotel: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 16

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. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests to enjoy dinner and wine in the heart of Paris at a local restaurant.
  • Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking tour off the beaten track.
  • Bordeaux: Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner which has been cooked with local, fresh produce.
  • San Sebastian: Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, with an evening of pintxos. Your progressive dinner enables you to select a variety of snack-sized treats, each with their own flavour and presentation, making each guest’s meal unique. Be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.
  • Avignon: At a local farm learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce.
  • Dining Summary: 15 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter’s Basilica, see Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ and Bernini’s intricately carved Papal Altar.

Stay in Style

  • Paris: Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine, Paris Marriott Rive Gauche hotel is a modern property offering luxurious accommodation within close proximity to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
  • Bordeaux: The modern Pullman Bordeaux Lac is located on the lakefront and surrounded by vineyards.
  • Madrid: The unique Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque near the Gran via of Madrid provides a lovely base for exploration of Madrid.
  • Avignon: The Cloître Saint-Louis has been recently-renovated and was originally a 16th century Jesuit building and a military hospital.
  • Nice: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice is set on a stunning seafront location along the famous Promenade des Anglais.
  • Rome: The Veneto Palace Hotel is located in the monumental and unique scenery of ancient Rome, not far from Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain and Villa Borghese, which is the largest park in central Rome. The guest rooms offer a classic style that blends in perfect harmony with the style of the building.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Amboise: See the Royal Château beside the Loire River.
  • Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Théâtre, Triangle d’Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
  • Burgos: See the burial place of El Cid in the magnificent Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
  • Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert.
  • Toledo: Visit the Church of Santo Tomé to see an El Greco’s masterpiece.
  • Barcelona: Explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter with your Local Expert. See the cathedral, walk through the Roman gate and tour the narrow lanes and old squares. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.
  • Avignon: View the Pont d’Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
  • Nice: Take some time to stroll the Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.
  • Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit and wander the old town with your Travel Director to see the Royal Palace and the yacht-filled harbour.
  • Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
  • Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark’s Square and see the Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Basilica.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates. Relax and take in the scenery of the Pyrenees Mountains, Guadarrama Mountains, Castilian Plain, French Riviera, Tuscany, Chianti and Umbria.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way to the airport. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.
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Mediterranean Journey

Marvel at Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona, spot locals sipping pastis in Nice and admire Florence the home of Michelangelo’s David, as you circle the azure waters of the Mediterranean. Embrace a day of Pisa sightseeing with a stop at the famous leaning tower, where Italian astronomer Galileo was said to have pioneered his theories of gravity. In France, work up an appetite in the medieval streets before a sumptuous farm-to-table dinner in Avignon with a menu that showcases traditional French, home-style cuisine. In Spain, dine with the locals in Basque tradition with an evening of San Sebastian pintxos tastings, snack-sized tapas, while sipping on a refreshing glass of local Txakoli wine. In Rome, the dish du jour is, of course, handmade pasta and seasonal flavours.