Mediterranean Journey (Summer 2019)

03/13/2019 through 10/01/2019
03/13/2019 through 10/20/2019
Insight Vacations

Mediterranean Journey (Summer 2019)
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.


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 ptisserie, 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: 16 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

  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
  • 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 Chteau beside the Loire River.
  • Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Thétre, 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 Grcia 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.

Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to London.
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Day 2 Depart from London to Paris by Eurostar.
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Day 3 Paris, the City of Light.
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Day 4 Amboise and on to Bordeaux.
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Day 5 Bordeaux and San Sebastián.
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Day 6 Burgos and Madrid.
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Day 7 Madrid and hilltop Toledo.
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Day 8 Madrid and beautiful Barcelona.
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Day 9 Barcelona, City of Gaudi.
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Day 10 Avignon, the City of Popes.
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Day 11 On the shores of Nice.
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Day 12 Monaco, Pisa and Tuscan Hills.
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Day 13 Renaissance Florence.
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Day 14 The Eternal City of Rome.
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Day 15 Exploring Papal Rome.
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Day 16 Rome at Leisure.
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Day 17 Arrivederci Rome.
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