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 Madrid, we will cruise to Barcelona then around the French Riviera before getting very well acquainted with the best spots in Italy.
Prepare to be in a whirl of Spanish whimsic and wonder - and it's only day one. Check in to our hotel then get straight down to business exploring the metro magic of Madrid before we join forces for our first team dinner. NB ladies and gents: vibes will be high!
It's our first full day on tour, but that doesn't mean we'll be taking it slow. 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.
This morning we wave adiós to the city of Madrid and start making tracks to the coastline. Perhaps you've heard of our next overnight stop - Barcelona ring any bells?
Pretty bridges, cloud reflecting canals and Baroque buildings will split up our journey from Madrid to Barcelona. Here in the town of Zaragoza you can stroll through coloured cathedrals, roll on the banks of the Rio Ebro and eat lunch in the old town 'casco'. It's only day-3 and we're feeling very Mediterranean indeed.
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 high holiday spirits.
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 rise to make our first country hop, dashing over the border into France. Si jolie!
Avignon is famous as being the old city of the Popes and home to the 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. Because we can.
Ramping up the French flair this morning we journey out of Avignon with our sights set on the glamour zone of the French Riviera. Best don your navy stripes and boaties!
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.
We're visiting the Monte Carlo Casino & the Royal Palace in Monaco. But try not to let your excitement show too much, we're rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous remember? Best keep our cool to fit in with the locals.
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 glitz as we roll in for 2-nights in these pretty parts.
Oil up and hit the beach, shop the local boutiques with whimsical eyes, or head to the local markets and stock up on lavender and honey, with regular ice cream stops being the norm. No matter what you choose to do with your day, glamorous seaside vibes are a certainty, so don't forget your swimmers!
From one bountiful riv to the next. Laterz France, we're off to Italy! Pizza + pasta + Vespas = drool...
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.
No bout in Italy is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We'll arrive in Pisa tonight which gives you all eve to prep your pose when we visit in the morning.
Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's time for us to leave the region of the Italian Riviera ... with plans to come back here for a few weeks or months, of course. Maybe you could settle here and earn a living picking olives, dreams are free, right?
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 capital wasn't beckoning...
En route to Rome 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!
Have we saved the best 'til last? Quite possibly, though who's picking favourites with this incredible lineup! From the moment we pull up in Rome it will be all exploration systems: GO. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, pizza making demos - Rome is ours and you're set to fall in love.
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.
Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
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Trip Name: Mediterranean Highlights
Duration: 13 Days
From Price: £1,829
Supplier Tour ID: 140.318A/209964
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