Leaving the bright city lights of London behind us, we cross the English Channel by ferry from Dover to Calais, travelling across the World War I battlefields where so many brave souls lost their lives. We catch a glimpse of the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge before arriving in Paris. Later, we join our Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Reception including dinner and drinks and an evening drive to embrace the energy of this vibrant city.
Join a Local Specialist for a drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe and view the Eiffel Tower. View Notre Dame Cathedral and enjoy a stroll through the Latin Quarter. Perhaps pay a visit to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, stroll along the Seine admiring the exquisite work of street artists or consider attending one of the city's famous colourful cabaret shows.
Journey through France's Loire Valley stopping to see the royal château at Amboise, where King François I hosted Leonard da Vinci. Continue south through one of France's most renowned wine regions, arriving in Bordeaux, celebrated for its centuries-old trading heritage and extraordinary architecture. Spend the evening exploring its historical centre or amble along the Garonne and watch how the 18th-century Place de la Bourse glitters across the river at night.
This morning, we delve into the heady days of la Belle Époque in the glitzy seaside resort of Biarritz, an elegant retreat for aristocrats for centuries. Later head to Pamplona, perhaps most famous for its annual Running of the Bulls Festival. Tonight we Connect With Locals over a Be My Guest experience of local specialties.
Head to the heart of Spain this morning and its lofty capital, Madrid. Upon arrival, Dive Into Culture and enjoy an included visit to the Prado Museum and admire the incredible works of Rubens, Goya and El Greco. Spend the afternoon joining a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the city's iconic and unexpected landmarks. View the Royal Palace and the Cibeles Fountain before joining your fellow travellers for dinner at your hotel.
This morning, perhaps take to the waters of Retiro Park, visit the Mercado de San Miguel to indulge in the delicious flavours of Spain, or join an Optional Experience to the imperial city of Toledo. Enjoy free time this afternoon in the city that King Charles III sought to 'beautify' so that it could justifiably claim its place as one of Europe's most gracious capitals.
Driving towards Catalonia and the shores of the Mediterranean, we pass Guadalajara and the Gorges of Jalón and Aragón en route to vibrant Barcelona, where we will spend the next two nights delving into the intoxicating charm of this cultural and artistic powerhouse.
Join a Local Specialist today and delight in the whimsical world of Gaudí, whose characteristic Art Nouveau architecture is dotted throughout the city. See his unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, before spending the rest of the day embracing the energy of Barcelona. Pay tribute to Columbus and his brave exploration of the New World, wander down to La Barceloneta for some tasty tapas treats, or ramble up Las Ramblas watching street performers entertain crowds. This evening, you could choose to witness Spanish passion, power and drama unfold at an unforgettable foot-stomping flamenco evening including a delicious Spanish buffet.
From the rugged Costa Brava to the stylish shores of the French Riviera, we travel through the South of France, stopping to Dive Into Culture during a guided visit of Fragonard Perfumery where we'll learn how fragrances are crafted. Later, we arrive in the glamorous French Riviera, home to the famous Cannes Film Festival.
Tread in the footsteps of showbiz royalty, savouring a full day at leisure in the French Riviera. Admire the irresistible backdrop of the Mediterranean and Estérel Hills or consider joining an Optional Experience to the medieval hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, renowned for its museums and galleries.
Travel along the sophisticated Cote d'Azur to the Principality of Monaco, where you'll see the Royal Palace and the cathedral where Princess Grace is buried. Cross into Italy and pass Genoa, the birthplace of Columbus, before arriving in Pisa to admire its Leaning Tower and Baptistery, the largest in Italy. This evening we arrive in the Renaissance city of Florence.
Join a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour of one of the cultural capitals of the world. Enjoy views of the marble Duomo, the Baptistery with its famous bronze doors, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Visit Piazza della Signoria, once the political hub of the city, and in your free time consider joining an Optional Experience to the Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano, known as Italy's Medieval Manhattan. You'll have the rest of the afternoon to explore Florence your way, but you'll be tempted to head up to Piazzale Michelangelo for the best views of the cityscape as the sun begins to set over magical Florence.
Italy's 'Eternal City' beckons and we head south to Rome stopping in Passignano Sul Trasimeno to admire its beautifully preserved centre tucked within a circuit of medieval walls. Arriving in Rome you'll have an evening to explore the city your way. You could choose to spend your evening on a favourite Optional Experience, including a dinner of Italian specialties with drinks and music, followed by a drive providing a glimpse of how the locals enjoy their own city.
Join a Local Specialist to delve into the centre of Christianity - the Vatican City. Visit St. Peter's Basilica, then cross the Tiber for views of the mighty Colosseum and Circus Maximus, once home to exhilarating chariot races. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city's history and culture that span almost two millennia. Admire the Spanish Steps, shop up a storm on the Via del Corso or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your speedy return to Rome. After an afternoon of sightseeing on your terms, you'll join your fellow travellers for memorable Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast, you'll say farewell to your fellow travellers and Travel Director as your memorable journey across Europe comes to an end. If you're leaving today, choose one of our scheduled airport transfers. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.