From Spain to France to Italy, this affordable tour along the Mediterranean Coast, features vibrant cities, historic sites, and stunning scenery. You’ll stay in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille, the Venice area, and Rome. You'll also overnight in the French Riviera and the Cinque Terre area.The highlights of this budget travel adventure across the Mediterranean region include an excursion to the famous Cinque Terre area, a name given to five medieval fishing villages on the sea. The area is noted for its natural beauty with terraces built into the mountainside on cliffs that drop down into the sea and for its breathtaking views. You'll also spend time on the French Riviera, where you'll have the chance to visit a perfume workshop in Èze and time to explore on your own. Plus, enjoy stunning scenery as you drive along the most fascinating landscapes and visit cameo villages such as Cuenca, Collioure, Cassis and iconic cities like Verona or Barcelona!Your Local Guides will reveal the must-see sights on your sightseeing tours of Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, and Rome. See Rome’s iconic landmarks on the guided orientation tour, such as the Vatican and the Colosseum.You’ll be introduced to Venice with a boat ride to world-famous St. Mark's Square. In Marseille, France's oldest city, visit the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde, which sits at the highest point in Marseille with stunning views of the city. In Assisi, visit the St. Francis Basilica, burial place of the saint and home to beautiful frescos by Giotto.Designed by a team of experienced Tour Directors, this Mediterranean tour to Spain, France, and Italy has been perfectly planned for value-minded travelers wanting a wonderful, yet affordable, Mediterranean vacation.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN MADRID, SPAIN.
Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers Dinner
Day 2 MADRID.
Not only is Madrid the capital of Spain, but because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards rightly say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven. On the included guided city tour, discover the main sights and end the tour with a walk in the Barrio de La Latina. Stop in one of the many bars for a TAPAS TASTING. Consider an optional trip to Toledo. The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in El Greco’s painting and, even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art Breakfast
Day 3 MADRID–CUENCA–VALENCIA.
Travel southeast to Cuenca, perched high above the precipices of the Jucar and Huecar Rivers, famous for its “hanging houses” that are suspended over the Huecar ravine. Journey on to Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, and explore the city with a Local Guide.
Today’s Distance: 255 mi/ 410 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 4 VALENCIA–PENISCOLA–BARCELONA.
Today, visit PEÑÍSCOLA CASTLE in Castellon, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century. The promontory on which the castle and town are located is a fine reminder of medieval times. Continue your journey through orange groves and seaside resorts past Tarragona to Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona.
Today’s Distance: 236 mi/ 380 km Breakfast
Day 5 BARCELONA.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Monjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue to the city center of Plaza Catalunya and to Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batllò and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included). Spend the afternoon at leisure Breakfast
Day 6 BARCELONA–COLLIOURE, FRANCE–MARSEILLE.
Leave Spain today and cross the border into France to visit Collioure. This picturesque village is nestled in an idyllic place on the rocky Mediterranean coastline and is sheltered by the Pyrenees. Carry on to the oldest city in France, Marseille, for an overnight.
Today’s Distance: 354 mi/ 570 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 7 MARSEILLE–CASSIS–FRENCH RIVIERA.
Capital of the Provence, Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. See the city’s bustling ancient heart—the picturesque Vieux Port (old port), where elegant markets and handsome townhouses surround the boat-filled harbor. Then, head for the hilltop BASILICA NOTRE DAME DE LA GARDE, with stunning views of the city. Follow the coastal route toward Cassis, a small fishing port lined with cafés and restaurants, and stop to explore the town before reaching Nice. Later, why not join the optional Monte-Carlo-by-Night excursion?
Today’s Distance: 143 mi/ 230 km Breakfast
Day 8 FRENCH RIVIERA. EXCURSION TO ÈZE.
Start the day with a visit to a PERFUME WORKSHOP in Èze. Later, spend time at leisure to do as you please! In Nice, dabble in the Mediterranean Sea, stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais, or join our optional excursion to the artists’ town of St. Paul de Vence.
Today’s Distance: 19 mi/ 30 km Breakfast
Day 9 FRENCH RIVIERA–CINQUE TERRE AREA, ITALY.
Enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery along the French and Italian Rivieras as you travel toward Cinque Terre. Take the TRAIN in Levanto and stop in some of the most enchanting villages of the spectacular Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired Lord Byron. There are several breathtaking trails carved into the rocks connecting the villages, affording dramatic sea views.
Today’s Distance: 205 mi/ 330 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 10 CINQUE TERRE AREA–VERONA–VENICE AREA.
Travel through areas of culinary excellence in the Po plains to reach the romantic city of Verona and enjoy some time at leisure. Continue to the Venice area, where you will spend two nights.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km Breakfast
Day 11 VENICE.
Venice is a city of unparalleled beauty and a feast of wonderful sights. Your included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch VENETIAN GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you Breakfast Dinner
Day 12 VENICE AREA–ASSISI–ROME.
Cross the Po Delta and head into the verdant Apennines to medieval Assisi. Enclosed by ramparts, little has changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic ST. FRANCIS. See the UPPER and LOWER BASILICA with the beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome.
Today’s Distance: 342 mi/ 550 km Breakfast
Day 13 ROME.
The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built, and Circus Maximus. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment Breakfast
Day 14 ROME.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.