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Mediterranean Journey - Start Paris, Classic Group

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16
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

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 flavors.

Countries Visited

France , Italy , Monaco , Spain

  1. 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. Later, join your Travel Director at a local brasserie in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.Accommodation: Le Méridien Etoile, Paris
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Paris, the City of Light
    Your exploration of Paris today begins with an Insight Choice. Choose to explore community life in the picturesque Montorgueil district. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city.Accommodation: Le Méridien Etoile, Paris
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Châteaux Country and onto 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. Visit the majestic Chenonceau Castle, an elegant French château spanning the River Cher. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th-century character.Accommodation: Novotel Gare St Jean, Bordeaux
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. 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.Accommodation: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    On to Madrid Relaxed Start
    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 it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?Accommodation: Riu Plaza España, Madrid
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Madrid
    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. Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert, as they guide you through the most historic neighborhoods in the Spanish capital. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter to discover the origins of the city. Visit the Reina Sofía Museum with an art historian to see Picasso's Guernica.Accommodation: Riu Plaza España, Madrid
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. 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.Accommodation: Hilton, Barcelona
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. 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. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerizing Sagrada Família.Accommodation: Hilton, Barcelona
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Avignon, the City of Popes
    Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the Rhône and immortalized 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. Learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce. After, indulge in a Farm-to-Table dinner, a delicious insight into traditional French home-style cuisine.Accommodation: Novotel Center, Avignon
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    On the shores of Nice
    Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant town 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.Accommodation: Apollinaire, Nice
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Monaco and Pisa
    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 harbor 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.Accommodation: NH Firenze, Florence
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Florence Sightseeing Relaxed Start
    Walk with your Local Expert to the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. The next stop is Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather and there's free time to shop or continue exploring.Accommodation: NH Firenze, Florence
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. 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.Accommodation: Radisson Blu GHR Rome.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  14. 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. 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 afternoon is yours to shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe before an exclusive after-hours visit to the Basilica of Saint Praxedes.Accommodation: Radisson Blu GHR Rome.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    Rome at Leisure Relaxed Start
    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 on prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?Accommodation: Radisson Blu GHR Rome.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Arrivederci Roma
    Bid farewell to the glories of Italy.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Dining Summary

  • 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 15 Breakfast (B)

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through a local food market - Bastille Marché. Visit a variety of stalls and sample local treats and delicacies along the way.
  • Paris: We walk up and down the "quartier" and we see the school, the food stores, the housing situation, the heritage landmarks, the sports facilities and the theaters, in this car-free, pedestrianized, neighborhood. Landmarks will include passages couverts, perhaps also Patrick Blanc's spectacular jardin vertical 'oasis d'Aboukir', the Napoleonic "Egyptian" district etc.

Additional Included Highlights

  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • 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.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then 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 from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful dinner, served with wine.
  • Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through a local food market - Bastille Marché. Visit a variety of stalls and sample local treats and delicacies along the way.
  • San Sebastián: Enjoy an evening of pintxos, dining with locals in this Basque tradition. Your delicious dinner includes a wide variety of finger food delicacies, each with their own regional flavor, flair and presentation.
  • Avignon: At a local farm learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce before indulging in a farm-to-table dinner of traditional French home-style cuisine.
  • Rome: Toast your Mediterranean journey with delicious Italian cuisine and wine.

Insight Choice

  • Paris: We walk up and down the "quartier" and we see the school, the food stores, the housing situation, the heritage landmarks, the sports facilities and the theaters, in this car-free, pedestrianized, neighborhood. Landmarks will include passages couverts, perhaps also Patrick Blanc's spectacular jardin vertical 'oasis d'Aboukir', the Napoleonic "Egyptian" district etc.

Insight Experiences

  • Vatican: Visit the Vatican Museums, witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
  • Rome: Enjoy exclusive access to the Basilica of Saint Praxedes during an after-hours visit. This 9th-century basilica’s simple facade guards the world's best-preserved Byzantine mosaics. The history of the church springs to life as you admire the interior’s treasured collection, including Bernini's first sculpture and the renowned mosaics, illuminated for your visit. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a rare and unforgettable insight into Rome and its religious history.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Chateau Chenonceau: Visit the majestic Château de Chenonceau, known as the 'Ladies' Château' it perfectly embodies the elegance of 16th century design in the Loire Valley.
  • Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Theater, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
  • San Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
  • Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, traveling 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.
  • Barcelona: With your Local Expert, drive along the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture as you journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerizing Sagrada Família.
  • Avignon: View the Pont d'Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
  • Nice: Enjoy exploring the beautiful coastal town of Nice on the French Riviera.
  • Monaco City: 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 harbor.
  • Monaco City: Explore inside Monaco Cathedral.
  • Pisa: Your Local Expert will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th-century cathedral and, of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
  • Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-colored 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: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.

Well-being

  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Insight Vacations Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.1
Accommodations
3.9
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 2328 reviews about Insight Vacations Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

Insight continues to deliver high-quality services and experiences. This was our 4th tour with them, and we will definitely book our next one with them.

Insight Vacations is a reputable company with a great formula for success. This is our fifth trip with them. We know what to expect and we are always very pleased with our trips.

Insight Vacations consistently provides excellent tours, services, drivers and tour directors.

This is my 5th Insight Tour in 5 years...they are great at what they do; their staff, the tour bus and the great optional excursions. I am ready to book my tour for next year.

Insight is a wonderful company and offered an amazing experience traveling throughout Europe. We would highly recommend it!

Toured with Insight before and have never been disappointed! Understand, you are on the go and walk a lot. But, that is what we wanted and paid for!

This was a perfect vacation!! We loved being on a boat and having one room to return to each night no packing and unpacking or hauling belongings from place to place. We were surprised how roomy and very comfortable our room on board was. Even the bathroom gave us plenty of room to move around in. And the boat itself was spacious, clean, and laid out with lots of thought put into the needs of guests. The staff onboard was phenomenal. They went above and beyond, always smiling, helpful, and spoiling us. Everything was clean, the food excellent and plentiful, and planned stops included keeping passengers safe at all times. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the Adriatic! Thank you Affordable Tours.

I have been on 4 trips with Insight and will continue to use them. They are a wonderful company

This was our 2nd tour with Insight Vacations and it was a wonderful experience. Michael, our tour director, was excellent!

The Tour Director and Driver were excellent! Very enjoyable.

Insight took care of everything! Great hotels and excursions!

Insight not only provides an educational and cultural experience, but they also lessen the stress that can come with traveling as they provide airport pick ups and drop offs, and just tell us when to have our luggage outside our hotel door. We would definitely travel with Insight again.

Got my money's worth! This was a fabulous trip! American the Beautiful has a deeper meaning after seeing unimaginable beauty every mile of the way. The Tour Guide and Wellness Coordinator were fabulous, and you just can't find a better bus driver. The extra legroom available on Insight Tours makes all the difference when you are on a bus for 10 glorious days.

This trip was one of my best. The itinerary was just right. Everything went to perfection

This was my third trip with Insight Tours. It was a very good tour. I chose Insight because of their itinerary for this particular tour.

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