France, Spain and Italy - a trio like no other. 16-days in perhaps the most alluring region of Europe will have you feeling right at home. Wine regions, boats to small islands and 9 World Heritage Sites will leave you hands down smitten.
Welcome to the first day of the best holiday of your life - we're calling it early! After a few pleasantries in London we'll get the show on the road with Paris in our sights.A few hours in and your jaws are on the floor already. These chalk cliffs that edge the English coastline are known as the White Cliffs of Dover, the first of many natural beauties we'll see on trip.After we ferry across the English Channel for France we'll arrive in Calais, where we will take in the history of World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme.Kicking off night one, we arrive in none other than the lust-worthy Paris! It's straight down to business with champagne, escargot & a tour of the city lit up by the lights of night.
Drool over haute couture you can't afford, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, you will probably want to get involved with dinner and the Nouvelle Eve Champagne show. Smitten and it's only day two!
Wipe away your tears sad travellers! Paris is not going anywhere, you can always come back and visit her again. You, on the other hand, are going somewhere, and it's somewhere pretty magnificent...Wise folk tell us that wine has been produced in Bordeaux since the 1st Century - that's a long time, which means they know what they're doing. And it's not just the vin that has dragged us here, it's a pretty place to boot featuring its famous Miroir d'eau (water mirror).
Breathe in your last breath of Bordeaux before we hit the road in search of the Spanish border. In just a few short hours we'll be beach side and exploring San Sebastian.Keep your swimmers out for our stop at a local fishing village for a dip and some people watching in this cute little town on the French and Spanish border.With two nights in Spain's coastal town of San Sebastian, it will be hard to wipe the smiles off our faces. Flop on the beach or take a walk to the aquarium where you can get a closer look at Isla de Santa Clara. The night is yours.
We'll be dropping lots of delicious sounding words today as we explore Parte Vieja, Playa de la Concha and Centro Romántico. Say it again: Romántico! Follow the cobblestone roads & soak up San Sebastian's coastline. Here you can learn to surf, lounge on the beach, or bar hop until you're sinking in pintxos.
Having settled into life with afternoon siestas, today will only be a departure from San Sebastian, leaving Spain is not on the agenda. Sigh with relief.This town comes complete with a baroque Basilica, a perfect combination of Islamic and Gothic architecture and truly a sight to behold.Hola Barcelona...The first dose of Mediterranean Sea! That's if you can drag yourself away from the intoxicating city & get to the beach. Unique gothic architecture, round the clock parties & plenty of street life will leave you spellbound by Barcelona.
They say this sexy city sizzles and we couldn't agree more. For a taste of what you can do, here's just a start of the never-ending list. Channel Gaudi at Sagrada Familia, his greatest masterpiece, started in 1882. This labour of love is still not compete, but is one for the Instagram upload for sure. Parc Guell could be next on the list, followed by a swim at the beach, and of course taking to the backstreets for some endless tapas and paella. Washed down with sangria of course.
As smitten as we are by Barcelona, we have more of Europe to conquer. Much, much more...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 through this glitzy coastline.
Missing an opportunity to see this part of the world up close and personal would be criminal. Speaking of things you shouldn't miss, this region is famous for lavender honey, aioli & rosé wine; all 3 in one meal should be your mission.Fragonard Perfumery in the French Riviera, now there's a place to check out! And stock up on perfume, obviously. Especially given the greatly discounted prices and authenticity of buying in France.Please tell us you didn't throw away all of your pennies on perfume today? Because you're going to want a few spare coins tonight so you can play fancy. We're visiting the Monte Carlo Casino & the Royal Palace in Monaco. After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
Having exhausted all our hilarious Nice puns, we'll head south in search of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre.Welcome to Cinque Terre, the sexiest collection of fishing villages on the planet. Armed with your rail pass, spend the day absorbing the dramatic beauty of this place, but we suggest you get out for a hike, a food crawl, some vino or all of the above.
Have an extra coffee before we make tracks this morning, the extra energy hit will serve you well as we're gallivanting around Italy swooping from one wow moment to another.As if we were going to leg it to Florence without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.We are now nesting under the Tuscan sun in the breathtaking city of Florence. The adventures commence pronto with a tour of the city, a leather craft demo and many sites. Conserve some energy for the evening of Tuscan feasting and disco dancing on offer.
After farewell-ing Florence this morning we will journey along the boot of Italy until we reach the globally adored town of Sorrento for some blissed out coast hangs."So so so so in love with Sorrento" are about the only words you'll muster up tonight as you sit seaside watching the sunset in this town of beauty.
It simply wouldn't be a trip to Sorrento without a side note to...…the island of Capri! We'll sail over the Tyrrhenian Sea taking in the glorious waters and majestic beauty of coastal Italy. Once on Isle of Capri, you can roam the hillside town of Anacapri, sip too many cups of coffee, and marvel at how the cliffs meet the sea.
Another glorious Italian day awaits us. Iconic sites and ancient history will keep our jaws at floor level until our heads hit our pillows.After less than an hour gazing lovingly out of our windows at the Amalfi Coast, it will be time for a stop. Here in the ancient city of Pompeii you will have the chance to partake in a guided walking tour taking in Roman city remains.Today's roadtrip beauty is never-ending as we take in the volcanic beauty of Mt. Vesuvius en route to Rome. On arrival in the open time capsule that is Italy's capital, your Trip Manager will get you straight into the sightseeing. The Roman Forum and Colosseum can both be ticked off your list should you be in the mood for a little history.
You can also choose to uncover the home of the Pope at the Vatican Museums, including Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; with a Local Guide on your side, no question will go unanswered. Then hit the streets for your own discoveries. Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
The best 2 weeks of your life has come to an end - you have our complete sympathy. If anyone understands the pain of ended travels, it's us (and your new Contiki collective). Hug it out after breakfast & make plans to reunite outside of Rome.
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Trip Name: Quest to Rome
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $2,111
Supplier Tour ID: 228.439A/211345
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