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.
Your guided holiday includes:
- 15 nights accommodation
- Dining Summary: 15 Breakfast, 4 Dinner with Wine
- 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
- 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
- Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine.
- Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, during an evening of pintxos. Your progressive dinner enables you to select a variety of snack-sized delicacies, each with their own flavour and presentation, making each guest's meal unique. Be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.
- 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.
- Toast the culmination of your Mediterranean journey with delicious Italian cuisine and wine.
Top Rated Highlights:
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.
- Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- See 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 Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
- See the Royal Château beside the Loire River.
- Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
- Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
- See El Cid's burial place in the cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 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.
- 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.
- View the Pont d'Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
- Enjoy exploring the beautiful coastal town of Nice on the French Riviera.
- Explore inside Monaco Cathedral.
- 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.
- 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.
- During your orientation with you Travel Director see the medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
- Visit the Reina Sofia Museum with an art historian and see Pablo Picasso's masterpiece Guernica, one of the world's greatest anti-war paintings.
- Gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
Day 1 / 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 Channel Tunnel to Paris where you can spend the afternoon as you please. Alternatively, join in Paris and meet your Travel Director at 17:00 for a fabulous Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant located in the heart of Paris. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the River Seine with its many romantic bridges. See the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2 / Paris, the 'City of Light'
Start your day with an Insight Choice. Choose between shopping in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian for fashion, perfume or cosmetics with your Local Expert. 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, perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the Paris cabaret?(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.(Breakfast)
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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5 / Burgos and Madrid
Journey south through the Pyrenees foothills and the land of 'El Cid' to stop in Burgos where you can see 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 it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?(Breakfast)
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. Next, see Guernica, Pablo Picasso's masterpiece in Reina Sofia Museum with an Art Historian . Upon your return to Madrid, the evening is free to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques.(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.(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. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.(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. 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
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.(Breakfast)
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 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.(Breakfast)
Day 12 / Florence Sightseeing
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.(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.(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. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?(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. 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?(Breakfast)
Day 16 / Arrivederci Roma
Bid farewell to the glories of Italy. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.(Breakfast)
Terms & Conditions
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest inside category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 22 December 2020 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.