Settle into the passionate embrace of fiery Madrid, your launch pad to an epic journey through Spain, France and Italy, filled with unforgettable flavours and soul-stirring encounters. Join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past some of Madrid's most iconic sites.
We join a Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of the Spanish capital, during which we'll see the Royal Palace, the former residence of the Spanish royal family and the Cibeles Fountain. Enjoy an afternoon on your own exploring the world's best collection of Spanish art at the Prado Museum and shopping on Gran Vía. Or consider joining an Optional Experience to the imperial city of Toledo.
Leave Europe's highest capital behind, bound for the Costa Dorada and the sun-kissed shores of Barcelona. We venture to the pretty banks of the Ebro River and to mystical Zaragoza, whose centuries of heritage have been shaped by the Romans, Moors and Christians. Continue to Barcelona and enjoy some time to recharge siesta style this evening or dive into the indelible sights, sounds and flavours of this enchanting city on your free evening.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour, ascending Montjuïc to get your bearings and enjoy panoramic views of the city. See the monument to Christopher Columbus and vibrant Las Ramblas, before stopping at Antonio Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Família. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure indulging in the fantasy world of Gaudí or strolling through the hidden lanes and peaceful squares in the city's Gothic Quarter. You could consider joining an Optional Experience to the mountain-top monastery of Montserrat, home to the mystical Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia.
We journey via the foothills of the Pyrenees into France. Stop in Arles, where Vincent van Gogh found inspiration for so many paintings. We arrive in the Provençal city of Avignon later this afternoon, where we'll view the Gothic Papal Palace and bridge made famous in the song 'Sur le Pont d'Avignon'.
We start the day with a visit to the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard. Then, our journey takes us through the picture-perfect wheat and lavender fields of Provence, immortalised in the works of Van Gogh and Cézanne. We'll Dive Into Culture in the Provençal town of Lourmarin, where you can shop for local produce such as wine, olive oil, herbes de Provence and saffron. This evening, we arrive in Nice, on the azur-blue shores of the French Riviera.
Kick back and enjoy a well-deserved morning at leisure on the glorious French Riviera. Soak up the holiday atmosphere or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the nearby hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. Later, visit the Principality of Monaco, where you will have an opportunity to view the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly were married. This evening, the glitz and glamour beckon as you join your new friends for a memorable dinner in sophisticated surrounds.
Cross the border into Italy and join a Local Specialist for a visit of the dramatic UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre, a series of centuries-old seaside villages which cling impossibly to rugged cliffs that plunge into the Ligurian Sea. Admire the expanse of pastel pink, yellow and orange façades that jostle for sea views. Later, we head to Pisa where tonight, you'll dine in your hotel.
View Pisa's Square of Miracles, where we'll see the famous Leaning Tower. Next, your introduction to Tuscany is an exclusive Be My Guest experience where you'll Connect With Locals over traditional lunch fare and the legendary hospitality for which the region is renowned. Continue to the birthplace of the Renaissance where we'll dine at our hotel this evening.
Join your Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour of magical Florence. View the multi-coloured Duomo and the almost 700-year-old Ponte Vecchio. Then, walk through what was once the political hub of the city, the Piazza della Signoria, a veritable open-air treasure trove featuring wonderful sculptures and palazzi. Spend the rest of the day on your own exploration of Florence's iconic and unexpected sights.
Journey through the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, past the hilltop villages of Orvieto and Orte, before arriving in Rome, the 'Eternal City' - our home for the next two nights.
This morning, we'll visit the Vatican City and see the imposing St. Peter's Basilica, where Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà has been admired by millions. We venture into Ancient Rome with a Local Specialist and explore the remnants of Roman rule, enjoying views of the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. On your final afternoon, enjoy some free time to indulge in la dolce vita. Perhaps, sit on the Spanish Steps, visit the Vatican Museum and admire the exquisite frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel or toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your speedy return to Rome. Join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for an unforgettable Farewell Dinner.
For now it's a fond farewell to Rome and your newfound friends as your holiday through Spain, France and Italy comes to an end. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.