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Insight Vacations Mediterranean Country Roads (Summer 2017) (E914)

14 Days from Barcelona to Venice Print
Tour Style: Country Roads Tour
Europe & Britain 2017/18
Visits: Spain, France, Italy

Follow the glistening shores of the Mediterranean from Catalunya to the romantic canals of Venice, to experience the varied landscapes, history and culture of some of the smallest independent countries in Europe.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Barcelona: Drive down the elegant Passeig de Gracia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Stand in awe beside Gaudi's incredible Sagrada Famila.
  • Carcassonne: Enjoy a walking tour of this fortified town.
  • Pont du Gard: See the famous Roman aqueduct.
  • Aix-en-Provence: See the mansions of the Cours Mirabeau.
  • Cannes: See the Film Festival Palace.
  • Monaco: Drive on part of the Grand Prix circuit. See the Royal Palace, see the yacht-filled harbour and visit the tomb of Princess Grace in the Cathedral.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Provence: Visit a family-run olive mill, meet the family, learn about the oil production process and taste the high quality products.
  • Venice: Enjoy a four-course Celebration Dinner complete with wine.
  • 12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Barcelona: With a Local Expert, visit Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Basilica.
  • Montserrat: Ascend the ‘serrated mountain', enjoy the spectacular panoramic views, and visit the Basilica Real to see the mystical Black Madonna.
  • Carcassonne: : Your orientation tour will show you the Château Comtal and the Basilique Saint-Nazaire, a gothic church from the 1100s.
  • Pont du Gard: See the superb three-tiered aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, which dates from Roman times.
  • Portofino: Cruise from Santa Margherita and get a taste of the 'sweet life' in this elegant fishing village.
  • Cinque Terre: With a Local Expert take a short boat cruise to visit two of the villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondolas.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Rapallo: The Grand Hotel Bristol is one of the most prestigious properties on the eastern Ligurian Riviera, featuring an elegant Art Nouveau style residence dating from 1908. It is only a 15 minute walk from the beach and offers a large freshwater pool with a sundeck.
  • Venice: The Bauer Palladio is a unique 5-star hotel built in a 16th century convent. Based on Giudecca Island, it offers superb opulent decor and stunning facilities.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • Escorted by one of Insight's expert Tour Directors - your ‘travelling concierge', expert guide, consummate facilitator and friend in a foreign land who ensures your journey is as enjoyable as possible. Baggage handling with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel. Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for coins or banknotes. Free Wi-Fi in most hotel rooms or lobbies - click here for hotel details. Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentary. Insight Flourishes - from time to time your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination. Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's Luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. Complimentary on-board wi-fi where possible. Airport transfers at scheduled times on the first and last day of your escorted journey.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day: 2 Welcome to Barcelona
On arrival at Barcelona Airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day: 3 Barcelona, The City of Gaudi
Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Now along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia church. See the crypt where Gaudi is buried as well as the transept and central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. The rest of the day is at leisure.(BB)
Day: 4 The Black Madonna of Monserrat and Andorra
Enjoy spectacular panoramic views in the morning as you ascend the 'serrated mountain' of Montserrat. Inside the Basilica Real, the mystical Black Madonna is surrounded by an altar of gold. Continue through Catalan mountain villages and tunnels to the tiny Principality of Andorra, capital of the Pyrénées. There will be time here for duty free shopping or a walk around the historic centre.(BB / DW)
Day: 5 The Citadel of Carcassonne
(Relaxed Start) Descend the Pyrénées to arrive at the French medieval town of Carcassonne. Entering Carcassonne is like stepping back in time; the city has a complete set of ramparts, a medieval keep, even a sports ground for jousting. Enjoy an orientation tour of the city and see the Château Comtal. The rest of your day is at leisure.(BB)
Day: 6 Via Pont du Guard to bucolic Aix-en-Provence
First stop is the incredible Pont du Gard, a superb three-tiered aqueduct dating from Roman times. Head on to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, immortalised in song. Walk within the medieval battlements through narrow streets to stand in the shadow of the old Papal Palace, resembling a fortress. In the afternoon, visit a family-owned olive mill to sample its high quality produce. Then, on to Aix-en-Provence.(BB / DW)
Day: 7 Aix-en-Provence sightseeing
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, take in the elegant mansions, plane trees and fountains of the Cours Mirabeau. The afternoon is free in this 'most beautiful town in France after Paris'.(BB)
Day: 8 Cannes, St. Paul de Vence and Monaco
Take ‘La Provençale', the inland highway, towards the Côte d'Azur. Visit Cannes, playground of the elite and renowned for its film festival. Continue to the beautiful medieval hill-top village of St-Paul-de-Vence - a source of inspiration for artists such as Chagall, Matisse and Cézanne. Next, unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles. Continue on to your hotel in exclusive Monaco, ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century.(BB)
Day: 9 Monaco & free time on the Côte d’Azur
In the morning, drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit to the Old Town. Then walk with your Tour Director to the Royal Palace; see the yacht-filled harbour and visit the tomb of Princess Grace in the cathedral. The rest of the day is free.(BB)
Day: 10 On to Santa Margherita and Portofino, then to Rapallo
Cross the Italian border and drive along the Riviera of Flowers to Santa Margherita for a short cruise (weather permitting) to the village of Portofino, epitome of La Dolce Vita. Linger in the Piazzetta cafés, shop at upscale boutiques, or watch the yachts moored in the harbour.(BB / DW)
Day: 11 Experience the Cinque Terre
In the morning, get ready for another highlight, the Cinque Terre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This wild but hospitable coastline, with its vineyards and fishing villages, at one time could only be reached by boat or train. Explore a couple of the villages hugging the cliff face, where there are amazing opportunities to capture great photographs. Soak up the atmosphere before returning to your hotel.(BB)
Day: 12 Romanesque Parma and Romantic Venice
Take a final glimpse at the Cinque Terre in the morning as you depart for Parma. Stroll through the medieval city centre and see the pink marble baptistery. In your free time for lunch, why not try the local cheese or ham, that the city it's reputation? Continue on to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.(BB)
Day: 13 Venice & the Magic of 'La Serenissima'
(Relaxed Start) Visit an arts centre and witness the age-old skills of glassblowers. Then cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark Square. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola. As evening descends, enjoy a perfect tour finalé - dinner 'alla Veneziana', with good food, wine and company in the most magical of settings.(BB / CD)
Day: 14 Farewell Venezia
Today our tour draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Venice airport at 08:00 & 09:30.(BB)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, TwinShare, Triple

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Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
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Guaranteed Departure 06/28/2017 $3,995.00
Guaranteed Departure 09/13/2017 $4,050.00
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