- 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
Optional Single Supplement: $635
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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.
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LONDON AND PARIS, November 2017 - We had a great time from start to finish. David picks nice hotels close to many places you want to be near. He also has very good tour guides. The guide for London was exceptional. We enjoyed the pace, which is quite busy from morning until night if desired. Also, we enjoyed the other people on the tour with us. There was enough flex for all to do what they really wanted to do. We had several wow moments. First, we were in London during Remembrance Day which is a special day. As a military retiree, it was quite touching to see the way the Brits remember those who died during the world wars. The first time in Paris was special. It is a beautiful city. Our hotel was ten minutes from Norte Dame Cathedral which enabled us to go to daily mass several times. We sat next to the main altar participating in the mass in French. The history and beauty were quite special. The Louvre and Orsay museums are spectacular. We became quite familiar with both cities' mass transit systems. David definitely takes good care of you from start to finish. London was outstanding. The Bath trip was quite average, more or less the same as a tour book reading. The hotel locations were great; London Doubletree was very nice but undergoing renovations and a bit of a maze. Select hotel in Paris was very good. Both were comfortable and clean, with friendly staffs. I tried my first duck liver pate thanks to David as well as duck confit. Both were wonderful. We definitely enjoyed all our meals. David provided two well-written and comprehensive guides to enjoying the highlights of both cities. He puts together exceptional tours! We were delighted. The timing of this tour in November was a bit different due to shorter days and cooler temps. The delight was no lines anywhere...and short lines at the Louvre. We were able to maximize our time in the museums. Lovely!
LONDON AND PARIS, November 2017 - The tour was amazing! David was very knowledgeable and flexible on things we wanted to do. He was always suggesting things and providing us with tidbits of knowledge. Everything flowed smoothly. David was fantastic! He was ready and willing to do whatever we needed. Loved the dinner place we had in Paris that first night by the river cruise. You always eat and drink well!
LONDON AND PARIS, November 2017 - We ended up with a very small group (only 5 of us) and therefore were able to make friends with everyone. David made sure to help us in every way in our free time, and the places where we ate were terrific. We managed to hit all the high points. The wow moment in London was St. Paul’s Cathedral and in Paris was Sacre Coeur. David is absolutely the best-knowledgeable and fun!!
ESSENCE OF ITALY - There was so much to see, do, eat and be awestruck. David is so knowledgeable! He is a walking encyclopedia of fun and interesting facts about the things we saw. Our local guides were also great. Fabrizio was so interesting and knowledgeable about Rome, the history and the why's and why not's. Annie was the best in Volterra! The food was superb! Most dinners were a great experience, but I have to admit I enjoyed the breakfasts almost as much!
CUSTOM TOUR TO ITALY - The tour was well planned down to the final details. Volterra was simply beautiful. I could have spent a week in Volterra absorbing the atmosphere and culture. Al, our local guide in Rome, was full of knowledge and interesting lore. We are trying to determine where we will go next.
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.