Mediterranean Journey (Summer 2018)

An 18-Day Insight Tours tour starting from $5,050

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Starting Price: $5,050 Printer Friendly Page
Tour Length: 18 Days
Countries Visited: England, France, Italy, Spain
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  • Travellers ages 5-17 save up to 10%
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More Information About This Tour:
Tour Type:
 Escorted Tours
Tour Category:
Tour Operator: Insight Tours
Tour Code: T915MN13
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Cities Visited:
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From Europe's most prestigious locales to its quietest corners, this sun-kissed itinerary suits the discerning traveller who'd like to combine the excitement of Europe's big cities with perfect relaxation. Join a foodie walking tour through Paris in a group small enough to fit into the tiniest (and most delicious!) of patisseries, embark on a tour of some of San Sebastian's finest pintxos (tapas) establishments, and savour a fine selection of wines in Bordeaux and Tuscany. This is a culinary journey fit for every palate. Dine in the home of Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, and attend a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Over lunch, taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding his home. Dine with locals in Avignon, the heart of Provence, and see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palais des Papes. Enjoy three nights staying in the heart of the eternal city, Rome.

 
Additional five Star 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.

 
Day 1: Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

Day 2: Welcome to London
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.

Day 3: Depart from London to Paris by Eurostar.
Meet your Travel Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris where you will have free time on arrival. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. You are then escorted to the heart of Paris to dine at La Bouteille d'Or, an elegant restaurant perfectly positioned facing the Notre Dame Cathedral, boasting four centuries of culinary excellence.(Dinner with Wine)

Day 4: 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 5: 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.(Buffet Breakfast)

Day 6: 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 Théâtre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Journey on to Château Doisy-Daëne 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 7: 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 8: Madrid and hilltop Toledo.
In the morning, why not start the day visiting the magnificent Prado Museum, housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and others? Later, 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 Vía 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.(Buffet Breakfast)

Day 9: 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 10: 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.(Buffet Breakfast)

Day 11: Avignon, the City of Popes.
Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the Rhône 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 Farm-to-Table dining with locals.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 art historian for a fascinating insight into the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo's monumental statue, David? The wines of Tuscany are famous worldwide - now is your chance to taste regional reds and learn about their origins.(Buffet Breakfast)

Day 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: 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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4/26/2018 - 5/13/2018
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Note: Departures appearing above in green are guaranteed to operate by the tour operator.
         

Airfare Disclaimer
A NOTE ABOUT AIRFARE: We encourage you to buy your airfare from the tour operator, because if your tour cancels then your airlines tickets will be covered. Purchasing flights separately at a lesser rate and incorporating it with a Non-Guaranteed Departure Date can result in loss of total cost of your flight investment. Depending on the fare rules, flights may be Non-Refundable and/or Non-Transferable. Neither the tour operator and/or Atlas Cruises & Tours will be held responsible for loss if a tour is cancelled for Lack of Participation.

Documents
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Necessary Travel Documents such as Passports and Visas is the responsibility of the traveler. Passports must be valid six months from your return travel date.

Authentic Dining
Paris: Start your adventure by being escorted to the heart of Paris where, perfectly positioned facing Notre Dame Cathedral, you will dine at La Bouteille d'Or. It was first opened as a tavern in 1631 and while it has since evolved in to an elegant restaurant, it still boasts four centuries of culinary excellence. Tuscany: In the Tuscan countryside, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides, taste the wines of an eminent estate. 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: Savour the delightful wines of Château Doisy-Daëne, characterised by their finesse and richness. San Sebastian: Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, with an evening of Pinxtos. 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: Enjoy mouthwatering farm-to-table cuisine from Southern France, as you dine with locals in a beautiful setting. Dinning Summary: 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 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. Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert and visit the Church of Santo Tomé to see an El Greco's masterpiece.

Top Rated Highlights
Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles. Zagreb: Your Local Expert will show you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Tower of Lotrščak. Loire Valley: 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. 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 and down the Grand Vía to the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol. 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. Barcelona: Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.

 

 
 

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