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From Van Gogh to Gaudi, Renaissance to Gothic – visit the cities, valleys and coastlines of France and Spain that inspired great artists to create masterpieces as remarkable as the destinations you will visit, from the Champs Élysées in Paris to Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, weaving through the alluring Loire Valley, French Riviera and medieval Citadel of Carcassonne.
Welcome to Paris, the City of Light. This evening meet for a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers and Travel Director and enjoy an evening drive to see some of the city’s impressive sights including the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. (WR)
Today your Local Specialist reveals how real Parisians live and shop, showing you the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris’ oldest historical neighbourhoods. Marvel at the city’s beautiful skyline from the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Spend the rest of the day as you choose. This evening consider an Optional Experience to a Parisian cabaret. (BB)
Visit Chartres Cathedral, an important place of pilgrimage and an architectural splendour featuring original stained glass windows. Continue through the Loire Valley, past beautiful villages and castles. View the impressive Château de Chambord, a marvel of French Renaissance architecture. Visit Chenonceau, straddling the River Cher. This evening join your companions for a very special Be My Guest dinner of mouth-watering French cuisine at a 17th century traditional farmhouse. (BB, BG)
Journey through the heart of France and through the volcanic hills around Clermont Ferrand to Lyon. Built at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, your walking tour with a Local Specialist through the old city reveals a rich cultural heritage. See the narrow streets, inner courtyards and ‘traboules’ of France’s largest Renaissance city. Marvel at awe-inspiring views of Lyon from Fourvière hill. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, DW)
From Lyon drive to Avignon. See the Papal Palace and famous bridge over the river immortalised in the French song, ‘sur le pont d’Avignon’. Here you will experience a Cultural Insight into local wine production with a glass of wine enjoyed on a Provençal terrace with the locals. Arrive later in Nice where an orientation tour will introduce you to this coastal city including the famous Promenade des Anglais and Place Masséna. (BB)
Spend a free morning relaxing in Nice or take a stroll along the Promenade and shop in chic boutiques. This afternoon enjoy an excursion through splendid scenery along the Côte d’Azur. Visit Monaco and Monte Carlo to see the beautiful casino built by Charles Garnier in the 19th century. (BB)
Follow the coast and then visit Arles in Provence. Continue through dramatic Provençal landscape which has provided inspiration for so many artists, including Cezanne and Van Gogh. Arrive in Carcassonne, a walled city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the double ring of ramparts featuring 52 towers during your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. (BB, DW)
This morning pass by the foothills of the Pyrénées and stop in the town of Figueres to visit the Dali Theatre and Museum. Here you will gain a Cultural Insight into the world of Salvador Dali and see his work in this impressive and inspiring building. Later arrive in Barcelona where you enjoy an included sightseeing tour and see Columbus Monument and Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia with a Local Specialist. Tonight why not enjoy an Optional Experience to a traditional flamenco show. (BB)
Today is free to enjoy the sights of Barcelona. Why not explore Las Ramblas or maybe enjoy tapas in Plaça Reial. You could even explore the Gothic Quarter with its magnificent cathedral. Consider an Optional Experience to the Benedictine monastery at Montserrat to see the mysterious Black Madonna. This evening join your Travel Director and companions for a Farewell Dinner with wine at a typical Spanish restaurant. (BB, FD)
Say farewell to your travelling companions at the end of your amazing holiday in France and Barcelona. Return airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. Enhance your whole experience by taking the optional Madrid extension featured on this page. (BB)
On Day 10 you will be transferred to Barcelona Airport for a short flight to Madrid. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your First Class hotel accommodation in Madrid. Enjoy a two-night stay with included hot buffet breakfast enabling you to have a whole free day to explore Madrid on your own.
Transfer to Barcelona Airport. Flight included from Barcelona to Madrid. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Madrid. (BB)
After breakfast enjoy a full free day for sightseeing in Madrid. (BB)
Say ‘au revoir’ to your fellow travellers at the end of a magical and memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. (BB)
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