If you're quite fond of picturesque pebble beaches, sunset cocktails and eating enough antipasto to sink a small yacht, then congratulations! You are human. And you're going to love the Contiki Mediterranean Highlights. Kicking off in Rome, we will get very well acquainted with the best spots in Italy before cruising along the French Riviera then on to Barcelona and magical Madrid.
Prepare to be in a whirl of World Heritage Sites and wonder - and it's only day one. Check in to our hotel then it's straight down to business as we tour the icons and get acquainted over our first team dinner: at one of our favourite pizzerias where they demonstrate the goods. No biggie.
Another full day in Rome - don't mind if we do! Today is all about the ME Time. Sign up for an up close look at the Colosseum and Dinner ‘La Dolce Vita’, not forgetting a visit to the world's tiniest country...the Vatican.
We've seen the Pope's old home, now it's time to check out his new digs. This is one lucky man! Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine as you marvel at the incredible artwork and history here, definetly one for the bucket list.
Stay any longer and we'll be dropping "Ciao Bella"s at the local supermarket. Time to kick on and cross the Italian countryside to see what else is on offer.
En route to Florence we stop in the pretty hillside village of San Gimignano. If the scenic views aren't enough to keep you busy, potter the streets and pick up some local delicacies like wild-boar salami or pecorino cheese. Hello gourmet indulgence!
Fact: Florence is the capital of Tuscany - yep, as in the place of olive trees & wine aplenty. Only in Italy could so many great things be packed into one small region. Get straight into the spirit of things with a city stroll and glass of Chianti wine
A leather craft demo & the famous terracotta dome of Duomo Cathedral are set to steal your heart today. Explore the city's artistic and historic beauty with a guided walking tour - perhaps with gelato in hand - and do some DIY roaming. Just save some energy for a Tuscan evening or Space Disco tonight with the gang.
Farewell fanciful Florence! You've been an absolute charm station. We'd kick on here forever if the Italian Riviera wasn't beckoning...
18-kilometres of romantic crumbling cliffs peppered with colourful villages and fishing ports - the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre is a sheer beauty. Explore the towns of Monterosso & Portovenere or just get all zen cafe side over the joy of pesto and focaccia bread.
Walk away from the Italian Riviera with plans to come back here for a few weeks or months. Hell maybe you could settle here and earn a living picking olives. Then it's on to another Riviera that requires a country hop.
You're not a real celebrity until you've frolicked on the French Riviera, and who are we to keep you off the A-List? Sapphire waters & endless glamour as we roll in for 2-nights in these pretty parts.
Shop the local boutiques with whimsical eyes, or head to the local markets and stock up on lavender and honey. No matter what you choose to do with your day, glamorous seaside vibes are a certainty.
Oh the sight of Monte Carlo Casino & the Royal Palace in Monaco. Squeal! Squeal! Squeal! But not too much, we're rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous remember? Best keep our cool.
After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
Please tell us you didn't throw away all of your pennies at the Casino last night? Because you're going to want a few spare today to spend at the Fragonard Perfumery - now there's a place to check out! Nothing like buying legit, right here in the perfume home of France. When scents are sorted we'll kick on to Avignon.
Tree-arched streets and romantic old buildings will welcome you at our stop of Aix-en-Provence. Prance around the friendly Aixois locals, sit by romantic fountains, and soak up the magnificence of this French city-commune formed in 123 BC (whoa).
Avignon is old Pope town & home to Papal Palace; a great place to taste the laid back Provençal lifestyle. We'll soak up its Rhône River vibes overnight, perhaps sipping aniseed liqueur known as 'pastis' and eating salmon tartare and fresh asparagus soup
Ramping up the Spanish flair this morning we journey out of Avignon with our sights set on the much loved Med city of Barcelona.
Well would you look at that for timing, we've pulled into Barcelona just on sangria o'clock. Fate, you've done it again! Dinner in a scenic restaurant and a night exploring the city should have us in the Spanish mood before we know it.
Cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter, Montjuic hilltop vistas, & wild Spanish architecture will season our day to perfection. There's plenty of free time to roam free or take a dip in the Mediterranean sea, just don't tire yourself out - chances are you'll want to partake in the evening of Flamenco fun.
This morning we wave adiós to the coastline to make some inland discoveries. Perhaps you've heard of our next overnight stop - Madrid ring any bells?
Pretty bridges, cloud reflecting canals and Baroque buildings will split up our journey from Barcelona to Madrid. Here in the town of Zaragoza you can stroll through coloured cathedrals, roll on the banks of the Rio Ebro and eat lunch in old town 'casco'. Life is but a dream.
Tonight we roll into the metro magic of Madrid, the final destination on our Mediterranean map. So much more than just Spain's capital or a football club - blooming public gardens, art galleries & a chic culture will soon be ours.
It's our last full day on tour, but that doesn't mean things will be slowing down and getting dull. Quite the opposite, in fact. Madrid will be keeping us well and truly entertained from sun up 'til sun down, and even into the eve. The Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana & Valley of the fallen are just some of the local delights that will widen our eyes before an optional dinner - traditional Madridlenos style, no less.
Even if we repeated these 13-days 20 times over we'd still be left wanting to do it again. We say our teary goodbyes this morning, making grand plans to reunite on another trip before dispersing like we hoped we never would.
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Trip Name: Mediterranean Highlights
Duration: 13 Days
From Price: $2,427
Supplier Tour ID: 140.317A/211214
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