Tour

Mediterranean Journey - Start Paris, Small Group, 2023 Start Paris Small Group
from USD 5625

Insight Vacations

Tour Code: ST915MM118
Vacation Type: Discovery
Brochure:
Duration: 16 Days
Countries: France, Italy, Spain, Monaco, Holy See (Vatican City State)

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 flavours.



Mediterranean Journey Guided Tour Map

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • 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 - 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.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure 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 to the airport. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Transfer Airport

  • Departure Transfer Hotel to Rome Airport
  • Rome Declined Departure Transfer

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert.
  • Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and sample local treats and delicacies along the way.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Madrid: 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. Alternatively, join a neighbourhood walking tour to discuss social equity empowerment and learn about the history of women's movements in Spain.
  • Madrid: Join the female pillars of the local community on a neighbourhood walking tour and learn the history of the women's movement in Spain, firsthand. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. Alternatively,visit the Reina Sofia Museum with an art historian to see Picasso's Guernica.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : 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.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Travel Director

  • : "One food I really love introducing my guests to is the gilda because it is the original pintxo and has evolved into Europe's most exciting foodie experience."
  • : "One thing I really love about showing guests about Italy is how art and beauty can be found around every corner of some of Italy's cities, which are real open air museums."
  • : "Italians are very fashionable but their cooking is the opposite - simple, rustic and down to earth. A handful of quality vegetables, fresh herbs and beans are turned into a warm and comforting soup."

Top Rated Highlights

  • Paris: 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.
  • Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert.
  • 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 Theatre, 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, 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.
  • Barcelona: Your Local Expert shows you the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and the Roman. 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • Monaco: 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-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: During your orientation with you Travel Director see the medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
  • Rome: During your orientation with you Travel Director see the medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.

Authentic Dining

  • Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine.
  • Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers 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 flavour, 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.
  • Dining Summary: 15 Breakfast (B), and 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)

Insight Experiences

  • Madrid: 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. Alternatively, join a neighbourhood walking tour to discuss social equity empowerment and learn about the history of women's movements in Spain.
  • Vatican City: Gain priority 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.

Make Travel Matter

Madrid: Join the female pillars of the local community on a neighbourhood walking tour and learn the history of the women's movement in Spain, firsthand. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. Alternatively,visit the Reina Sofia Museum with an art historian to see Picasso's Guernica.

  • Crowne Plaza Paris - Republique.
  • Pullman Bordeaux Lac, Bordeaux.
  • Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
  • Hotel Riu Plaza España, Madrid.
  • Hilton Barcelona.
  • Cloître Saint-Louis, Avignon.
  • Hotel West End, Nice.
  • NH Firenze, Florence.
  • Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
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. At 17:00 join your Travel Director at a local brasserie in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Paris - Republique.

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?

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Paris - Republique.

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. Visit the majestic Chenoneau Castle, an elegant French château spanning the River Cher. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Pullman Bordeaux Lac, Bordeaux.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.

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?

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Plaza España, Madrid.

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. Explore Madrid with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the Reina Sofia Museum with an art historian to see Picasso's Guernica.  Alternatively, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER�� Experience on a neighbourhood walking tour to learn about the history of women's movements in Spain.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Plaza España, Madrid.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Hilton Barcelona.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Hilton Barcelona.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Cloître Saint-Louis, Avignon.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Hotel West End, Nice.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: NH Firenze, Florence.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: NH Firenze, Florence.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.

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, 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?

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.

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?

Duration: 1 Day

Accommodation: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.

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.

Duration: 1 Day

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