Mediterranean Journey (Summer 2018)
Tour Type: Discovery Trip
Brochure Type: Europe 2018
From Europe's most prestigious locales to its quietest corners, this sun-kissed itinerary suits the discerning traveller who'd like to combine the excitement of Europe's big cities with perfect relaxation. Join a foodie walking tour through Paris in a group small enough to fit into the tiniest (and most delicious!) of patisseries, embark on a tour of some of San Sebastian's finest pintxos (tapas) establishments, and savour a fine selection of wines in Bordeaux and Tuscany. This is a culinary journey fit for every palate. Dine in the home of Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, and attend a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Over lunch, taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding his home. Dine with locals in Avignon, the heart of Provence, and see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palais des Papes. Enjoy three nights staying in the heart of the eternal city, Rome.Authentic Dining
- Paris: Start your adventure by being escorted to the heart of Paris where, perfectly positioned facing Notre Dame Cathedral, you will dine at La Bouteille d'Or. It was first opened as a tavern in 1631 and while it has since evolved in to an elegant restaurant, it still boasts four centuries of culinary excellence.
- Tuscany: In the Tuscan countryside, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides, taste the wines of an eminent estate.
- Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Try some local delicacies in a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking tour off the beaten track.
- Bordeaux: Savour the delightful wines of Chateau Doisy-Daene, characterised by their finesse and richness.
- San Sebastian: Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, with an evening of Pinxtos. Your progressive dinner enables you to select a variety of snack-sized treats, each with their own flavour and presentation, making each guest's meal unique. Be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.
- Avignon: Enjoy mouthwatering Farm-to-Table cuisine from Southern France, as you dine you dine at Maison Bronzini, which also houses one of the oldest working olive oil mills in Provence. Here the chef is passionate about using local produce, including the olive oil produced by the mill, and the menu is accompanied by a selection of regional wines.
- Dinning Summary: 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
Top Rated Highlights
- Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public.
- Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert and visit the Church of Santo Tome to see an El Greco's masterpiece.
Included Insight Services
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- 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.
- Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
- Zagreb: Your Local Expert will show you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelacic Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Tower of Lotr?cak.
- Loire Valley: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates.
- 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 and down the Grand Via to the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
- Barcelona: Explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter with your Local Expert. See the cathedral, walk through the Roman gate and tour the narrow lanes and old squares. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gracia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture.
- Barcelona: Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Familia.
- Amboise: See the Royal Chateau beside the Loire River.
- Avignon: View the Pont d'Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
- Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
- Burgos: View the cathedral, burial place of El Cid.
- 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.
- Nice: Take some time to stroll the Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.
- Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as 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 Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
- Scenic Drives: Relax and take in the scenery as you travel in comfort passing the Loire Valley, the Pyrenees Mountains, the Guadarrama Mountains, Castilian Plain, the French Riviera, Tuscany, Chianti and Umbria.
- Vatican City: During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
- 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 enchant 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.
|Call (800) 366-4165 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13867131|
|Offer valid through 6/30/2018|
|Day 1||Your Journey Begins||Your Journey Begins: Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).|
|Day 2||London||Welcome to London: Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.|
Park Plaza Victoria London.
|Day 3||Depart from London to Paris by Eurostar||Depart from London to Paris by Eurostar.: Meet your Travel Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris where you will have free time on arrival. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. You are then escorted to the heart of Paris to dine at La Bouteille d'Or, an elegant restaurant perfectly positioned facing the Notre Dame Cathedral, boasting four centuries of culinary excellence. (Dinner with Wine)|
Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
|Day 4||Paris||Paris, the City of Light.: In small groups, venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives, with your local foodie guide. Explore a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier, all tiny and wonderful and a treat to your senses as you sample the delicacies along the way. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower, or why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows? (Buffet Breakfast)|
Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
|Day 5||Bordeaux||Amboise and on to Bordeaux.: Head southwards towards Chateaux 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. Stop in Amboise, set beside the Loire River to see the impressive Royal Chateau. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Pullman Bordeaux Lac.
|Day 6||San Sebastian||Bordeaux and San Sebastian.: Join a Local Expert for a guided tour of France's best 18th century architecture. The facades of the quaysides, the Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Journey on to Chateau Doisy-Daene to visit the cellars, learn about traditional viticulture techniques and sample a variety of high quality wines which make up the region's world-reknowned reputation. Next, continue to picturesque San Sebastian 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. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo.
|Day 7||Burgos and Madrid||Burgos and Madrid.: Drive south through the Pyrenees foothills. Stop in Burgos, the land of 'El Cid,' and see his burial place in the cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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 in it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains? (Buffet Breakfast)|
Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque, Madrid.
|Day 8||Madrid||Madrid and hilltop Toledo.: 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. Travel down the Grand Via to the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol. A short journey will take you to Toledo, an ancient walled city, once the capital of Spain and beautifully set upon a hilltop, bordered by the Tagus River. Your Local Expert will walk you through the Old Town to the fascinating Iglesia de Santo Tome, home of El Greco's 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. Upon your return to Madrid, the evening is free to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque, Madrid.
|Day 9||Barcelona||From Madrid to 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. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Hotel Pullman Barcelona Skipper.
|Day 10||Barcelona||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 Gracia, adorned with some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Familia. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Hotel Barcelona Pullman Skipper.
|Day 11||Avignon||Avignon, the City of Popes.: Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the Rhone 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. In the evening, enjoy a short drive over the Rhone to Villeneuve-les-Avignon where you dine at Maison Bronzini, housing one of the oldest working olive oil mills in Provence. Here you will enjoy a tasty Farm-to-Table meal, prepared on site by a chef who emphasises the importance of fresh local produce, using olive oil produced by the mill and accompanied by a selection of regional wines. For your main course, perhaps try the farmhouse chicken or a succulent lamb shoulder cooked with Provencal herbs and finish your meal with a choice of a white chocolate dome served with forest berries or a delightful apple 'Tarte Tatin' with vanilla bourbon chantilly cream. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis, Avignon.
|Day 12||Nice||On the shores of Nice.: Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant resort of Nice, where the the rest of the day is at your leisure to stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice.
|Day 13||Prato||Along the Riviera to Pisa and the Tuscan Hills.: 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. A short drive through the rolling Tuscan Hills brings you to your hotel in Tuscany. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Borgo di Artimino, Prato, Tuscany.
|Day 14||Florence||Exploring Renaissance Florence.: Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods. There is free time to explore, or perhaps join an Optional Excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano. The wines of Tuscany are famous worldwide - in the evening, enjoy your chance to taste regional reds and learn about their origins. (Buffet Breakfast)|
Borgo di Artimino, Prato, Tuscany.
|Day 15||Rome||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 classical 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. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, Rome.
|Day 16||Rome||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 VIP, 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? (Buffet Breakfast)|
Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, Rome.
|Day 17||Rome||Rome at Leisure.: 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 a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by? (Buffet Breakfast)|
Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, Rome.
|Day 18||Rome||Arrivederci Rome.: You journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30. (Buffet Breakfast)|
|Notes: Twin prices are per person. 27 Apr, 8 June, 6 July and 14 Sept stay at the Novotel Avignon Centre in Avignon. 25 May and 8 June departures stay at alternative accommodation of similar standard in Catalonia.|
- These prices are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
- All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking.
- For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page.
- Hotel Class Key: D: Deluxe SF: Superior First Class F: First Class