- David’s Blog
This tour weaves together three counties, five cultures, four languages and some of the best scenery along the Mediterranean coast. You’ll enjoy three relaxing days in Barcelona before heading into France to experience medieval castles, Roman ruins and jet-setting adventures along the French Riviera. Then, slow down on the beautiful Italian Riviera before capping off your tour in Tuscany’s famous town of Pisa. Your Adventure Starts Here!
Barcelona – 3 nights
Carcassonne – 1 night
Arles – 2 nights
Nice – 1 night
Italian Riviera – 2 nights
Pisa – 1 night
Sunday, October 1, 2018: Welcome to Spain – Barcelona is the proud and longing to be independent capital of Catalonia. Join your Exploring Europe guide at 3:00 p.m. for tour greetings and a stroll down Las Ramblas, the most festive street in town. We will end our “party” with dinner together. Sleep 3 nights in Barcelona. Walking: light. Dinner.
Monday, October 2: Art and Culture – Antoni Gaudi’s modernista architecture is scattered all over town. Today we will tour his greatest works, the La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell. Then, you’ll have the afternoon free to do some exploring on your own and enjoy dinner. Walking: moderate.
Tuesday, October 3: Roman Roots and Medieval Heritage –After breakfast, we will begin with a visit to La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous market. Then, enjoy a stroll through the Barri Gòtic learning of Rome’s influence in the city’s history. We’ll finish up our tour at Barcelona’s massive gothic-era Cathedral. After an event-free afternoon, we’ll all join up for a “farewell to Spain” tapas dinner. Walking: moderate.
Wednesday, October 4: Vive la France – This morning you’ll enjoy a scenic drive along coastal Spain and France. The La Cité of Carcassonne is Europe’s largest medieval fortified city. After a walking tour around the historic old town, we’ll set you loose to wander the cobbled lanes, cute cafés and rocky ramparts. Sleep 1 night in Carcassonne. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.
Thursday, October 5: The Pont du Gard – Arriving in Provence, enjoy a visit to the Pond du Gard, a well-preserved Roman-era aqueduct. It once carried fresh water to one of Rome’s largest outpost cities. This is quite possibly, the ancient world’s best preserved technological and architectural structure. Later, we will settle in to our hotel near Arles for dinner. Sleep 2 nights in or near Arles. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.
Friday, October 6: Arles – Enjoy a walking tour lacing together this town’s impressive history. A well-preserved Roman arena is second only to Rome’s famous Colosseum. Woven into the town’s medieval lanes, you’ll find an ancient theatre and forum. You’ll also learn about Vincent van Gogh who lived and painted scenes from this town in the 1890’s. Enjoy the remainder of your day with a stroll along the river and a walk through Arles quaint cobbled streets and squares. Walking: moderate.
Saturday, October 7: Provencal Hill Towns and the Riviera – Driving north, we will traverse the hills to experience small towns and sweeping vistas of the Provencal countryside. After lunch, we’ll dip down to the coastal Riviera, finally arriving in Nice for an orientation walk and dinner. Sleep 1 night in Nice. Driving: 5 hours. Walking: moderate. Dinner.
Sunday, October 8: Nice and Italy – Enjoy some free time this morning in Nice. Take a stroll along the seaside promenade and wandering through the Old City. Later, we’ll hop on a train bound for the Italian Riviera where you will arrive in time for an Italian seafood dinner. Sleep 2 nights in the Italian Riviera. Train: 3 hours. Walking: light. Dinner.
Monday, October 9: Enjoy the Italian Riviera – You’ll have the entire day on your own to explore the Cinque Terre. Traveling to and from the “five villages” in the region is easy by train, boat or foot. The National Park is loaded with scenic trails providing endless opportunities to get out and explore the outdoors. You may wish to stake your claim on one of the many beaches to catch some sun. Each village has its own character, decor and ambiance as well as plenty of shopping and dining options. Walking: your choice.
Tuesday, October 10: Pisa – Pisa is one of Italy’s most picturesque towns, but many simply whisk in, see the leaning tower and then move on. Today, you’ll experience a leisurely look at the famous leaning tower, the Duomo and baptistery. Then, enjoy a little free time for shopping in the historic old town before diving into a sumptuous grand farewell Tuscan dinner. Sleep 1 night in Pisa. Train: 1 hour. Walking: strenuous. Dinner.
Wednesday, October 11: Your tour ends today after breakfast – Pisa’s airport and train station are nearby and your guide can assist with directions and suggest to get you on your way. Buon viaggio e ciao!
Walking and Physical Activity: We have planned this trip to provide maximum tour experiences by foot, boat, and vehicle. The basic nature of Europe does require some degree of physical activity to get out and see the sights, especially in the countryside. To help you plan, we’ve included a daily projection of physical activity. Here is our key for our walking activity ratings:
Light – Walking done on level surfaces with some small hills and elevation gains. In most cases, the bus will drop-off and pick-up at nearby locations. Two miles or less of required walking during the day.
Moderate – Walking done on paved and gravel paths. To enjoy the full tour experience, some up and down hill walking is to be expected. Four to five miles of walking per day.
Strenuous – Walking done on rugged and rocky paths with some steps and stairs. Up to six miles of walking per day.
Your Choice – No matter what your walking ability, we will help you find alternative ways to enjoy and experience all Europe has to offer. To get the most out of our tours you should be able to operate at the light level everyday with spurts of moderate and strenuous.
Give an call or send an email for more information on this tour.