- 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 begin with two action-packed days in Barcelona. Then, head to France to experience medieval castles, Roman ruins and jet-setting adventures along the French Riviera. Cap off your tour with three relaxing days on the beautiful Italian Riviera.
Your Adventure Starts Here!
Barcelona - 2 nights
Carcassone - 1 night
Arles - 2 nights
Aix in Provence area - 1 night
Nice - 1 night
Cinque Terre - 3 nights
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Exploring Europe – 4036 Hidden Acre Rd. – Middleburg, FL 32068 FAX 800-570-1351
DAY 1: 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. Then, we will visit La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous market and enjoy a stroll through the Barri Gòtic learning of Rome’s influence in the city’s history. We’ll finish at Barcelona’s massive gothic-era Cathedral. We will end our “party” with dinner together. Sleep 2 nights in Barcelona. Walking: moderate. Dinner.
DAY 2: Art and Culture –Today we will tour Antoni Gaudí’s modernista architecture, La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Then you’ll have the remainder of the day all to yourself to explore on your own. Walking: moderate.
DAY 3: Vive la France – This morning travel along coastal Spain and France. 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 or train: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.
DAY 4: 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 into our hotel near Arles for dinner. Sleep 2 nights in or near Arles. Driving: 4 hours. Walking: moderate. Dinner.
DAY 5: Arles – Enjoy a walking tour lacing together this town’s impressive history. The 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.
DAY 6: Provencal Hill Towns and Aix – Driving north, we will traverse the hills to experience small towns and sweeping vistas of the Provencal countryside. We will settle into Aix in Provence, a picture perfect Provencal town, to have dinner and spend the night. Sleep 1 night in Aix in Provence. Driving: 3 hours. Walking: moderate. Dinner.
DAY 7: The Riviera and Nice – Today, 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.
DAY 8: Nice and Italy – Enjoy some free time this morning in Nice. Take a stroll along the seaside promenade and wander 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 3 nights on the Italian Riviera. Train: 3 hours. Walking: light. Dinner.
DAY 9 & 10: Enjoy the Italian Riviera – You’ll have two days to explore the Cinque Terre on your own. You guide will be available to help you plan hikes and schedule activities. 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. We will finish up DAY 10 with a grand farewell dinner in our home village. Walking: your choice. Dinner.
DAY 11: Your tour ends today after breakfast – The train runs hourly to Pisa’s central train station and the airport. Your guide can assist with directions and suggestions to get you on your way. Buon viaggio, bon voyage e buen vieja!
This itinerary is subject to change.
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.
THE ESSENCE OF ITALY & TUSCANY VILLA EXPERIENCE - My husband and I just finished up our second Italy tour with David and were delighted every step of the way. David takes a personal interest in those that travel with him which makes traveling abroad a great adventure! The places we've eaten as well as the hotels have all been top notch. David provides a wealth of local knowledge and his relationship with the local people allows you to experience the best of cuisine and wine. All of the details are taken care of so you can focus on a stress-free vacation. I highly recommend and look forward to our next European trip! - Tammy, Middleburg, FL
A CUSTOM DESIGNED ITALY TOUR - We were on the shadow tour of the Niceville Singers choir. It was the best trip ever! They made our trip enjoyable and easy. We met some amazing people and Charlotte and David were so knowledgeable everywhere we traveled. My husband is an airline pilot and I was a flight attendant. We have been to Europe many times. We went to places and restaurants on this tour I did not know existed!!! Not only were the places amazing but we enjoyed getting to know Charlotte and David. Such a fun couple!! We will definitely be taking another trip with them!!!!- Tammy, Niceville, FL
A CUSTOM TOUR TO ITALY - Best food, never felt unsafe, had an authentic experience, and loved began able to experience so much in such a short amount of time. He can really tailor an experience to your interests and what you would like to do! Highly recommend. - Courtney, Middleburg, FL
THE BEST OF GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND – David’s tour ran very smooth. Great hotel rooms with breakfast each morning. He gave informative tours of the cities and areas we visited and then we had time on our own to visit in more detail or go shopping (my favorite activity anywhere). David was happy to stop along the way for photo opps and rest stops. We did check out some new sites with him. Each day was an adventure filled with great food, wine, and sites. Loved every moment of the trip. Planning next adventure with him now. –Elizabeth, Orange Park, FL
CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN GERMANY & AUSTRIA – This was my 5th tour with David to Europe and he never disappoints. This trip was different than the rest because it was focused around the Christmas markets…nevertheless, I had a fantastic time! David always finds a great balance of hitting the mandatory “touristy” locations and allowing us the freedom to go off on our own and explore the cities we’re visiting. – Tom, Atlanta, GA
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-DUBLIN – The diversity of our group form the newbie teenagers to the well-traveled ladies was great. I learned so much from both. Very thoughtful when coming to issues of courtesy to our hosts, money, customs of the country. David’s calmness was greatly appreciated. Walking right in line, not having to buy tickets was a great plus. Your guides of Dachau and the Louvre were right on and helped to make the visit much more enjoyable. Packing light paid off. I am glad I did not have to lug a lot of baggage the whole time. We had talked about wifi for the bus as a potential plus. Having brewed coffee and a refrigerator was great (on the bus). Newsletter good for whetting the appetite for traveling. More Museli! Never can get enough of it. The dining was all good. Nothing can replace the time at K&K in Salzburg. The restaurant was empty. Just a few people sharing food and conversation. The food was the icing on the cake for a wonderful experience all around. Salad with huge slices of parmesan cheese. Sea bass that was exquisite and apple tart. Trying to serve a group of 26 effectively is difficulty. I saw the waitresses really working to serve us well. Thanks again for an awesome trip. – Kent, St. Johns, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE – All meals were very good (much better than meals experienced on river cruise after tour with David.) Swiss dinner in Salzburg was favorite evening meal. My favorite was dinner in Salzburg with small group (not included in tour) Picnic in park at Eiffel Tower was unique & something not normally offered by tours. – Ramona, Sarasota, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE –Well worth the money spent!!! We enjoy going with David on trips, because we KNOW the food will be GREAT & the hotels will be nice! Really enjoyed the time in the “Paris neighborhood” where we shopped for our picnic. The cheese shop was amazing, as was the aged Sheep’s milk cheese from France that we purchased there! – Laurie, Jacksonville, FL
GERMANY-AUSTRIA-SWITZERLAND-FRANCE- The entire tour was an awesome experience! The organization, events, destinations, accommodations were all great and I believe the only way to tour Europe! Although each day we kept saying “It just keeps getting better”, I’d have to say that Paris was the best as there was so much to see and experience and the food was very good. I was very impressed with the amount of information David shared with us daily and how knowledgeable David is regarding each of the countries and the sites that we visited. – Donna, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Now that you’ve decided to join this tour, we are sure you’ll have some questions. Don’t worry, we are here to help you through each aspect of your tour from start to finish.
Join David as he shares impromptu moments from his travels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Watching these short 60 second segments are a great way to experience David’s travel style and adventures. Watch David’s Explore Italy, Explore Spain, and Explore France.
David and his team have answered many travel related questions and they are all tucked away on his blog. But, no need to go there, just type in a keyword in the search box at the top or bottom of this page (it’s the gray rectangle with a small magnifying glass icon) and you will get results for your query.
David’s newest blog describes his personal adventures in Europe, timely information and travel hints.
We are happy to answer your travel questions and give advice and suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-570-1351.