Cosmos

Mediterranean Flavors (6840) - 2014

13 Day Tour from Madrid to Rome


Mediterranean Flavors
Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world
Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world
The Plaza de Toros in Madrid
Madrid at dusk
The Royal Palace of Madrid is the official residence of the King of Spain
Valencia
The gorgeous shores of Barcelona
Village of Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Madrid
Assisi is a town in the province of Perugia, Italy
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

Created by a team of experienced Cosmos Tour Directors, this delightful vacation travels along the Mediterranean Coast through Italy, France, and Spain. Start in Madrid with two overnights and guided sightseeing. Travel to Valencia, stopping first in Cuenca, famous for its “hanging houses.” Visit the Peniscola Castle, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century, then enjoy two overnights and guided sightseeing in Barcelona. Cross into France and overnight in the country’s oldest city, Marseille, before heading to Nice. A short train ride takes you into Italy’s spectacular Cinque Terre region with its rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages. On the way to Venice, where you’ll enjoy two overnights, stop in Verona to see Juliet’s balcony. Finally, travel to Rome—stopping first in St. Francis’ Assisi—where you’ll spend two nights and visit the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Sightseeing:
Visits to Cuenca, Peniscola Castle, Collioure, Marseille, Cassis, Grasse, Nice, Cinque Terre, Verona, Venice, Assisi

Scenic Highlights:
Castilian Plains, Pyrenees, Côte d'Azur, Apennines, Po Delta

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Rome. Professional Tour Director while touring

NOTE:

  • December 21 Departure - Christmas lunch in Barcelona and New Year's Reveillon dinner in Rome


Day 1Arrive in Madrid, Spain

Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers. (D)

Day 2Madrid

This morning, the optional trip to Toledo is very rewarding! The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in El Greco’s painting—even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. Later, join the included Madrid city sightseeing. Not only because it’s the capital of Spain but also because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say it’s the nearest thing to heaven. This evening, why not join the optional Madrid by Night excursion with dinner? (B)

Day 3Madrid–Cuenca–Valencia

Start the day traveling southeast to the magnificently located old town of Cuenca, which stands high above the precipices of the Rivers Jucar and Huecar. It is famous for its “hanging houses” that are suspended over the Huecar ravine. Journey on to Valencia to enjoy the sights of Spain’s third-largest city with a Local Guide. Also on the agenda: a visit to the magnificent Science Park, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. (B,D)

Day 4Valencia–Peniscola–Barcelona

Today, drive north to nearby Castellón for a visit of its Peniscola Castle, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century. The promontory on which the castle and town are located is a fine reminder of medieval times. Continue your journey through orange groves and seaside resorts past Tarragona to Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona. (B)

Day 5Barcelona

This morning’s sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Monjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. The drive continues to the city center of Plaza Catalunya and to Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batllò and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included). Afternoon at leisure—maybe join the optional excursion to Montserrat. (B)

Day 6Barcelona–Collioure, France–Marseille

Leave Spain today and cross the border into France for a visit to Collioure. This picturesque village is nestled in an idyllic place on the rocky Mediterranean coastline and is sheltered by the Pyrenees. Later, head north to reach the oldest city in France—Marseille, for dinner at a local restaurant and overnight. (B,D)

Day 7Marseille–Cassis–Grasse–Nice

Capital of the Provence, Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC and is France’s oldest city. Packed with fascinating sights, an orientation takes you to the city’s bustling ancient heart—the picturesque Vieux Port (old port), where elegant markets and handsome townhouses surround the boat-filled harbor. Then, head for the hilltop Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde for a visit and stunning views of the city. This afternoon, follow the coastal route toward Cassis, a small fishing port lined with cafés and restaurants. Visit a perfume workshop in Grasse before heading to Nice for an overnight. (B)

Day 8Nice–Cinque Terre–La Spezia, Italy

Enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery along the French and Italian Rivieras as you travel toward Cinque Terre. Take a break in your journey by riding the train from Levanto to La Spezia. The short train ride takes you to the spectacular Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired Lord Byron. If you wish, you can walk along the famous Sentiero dell’Amore (Love Path), a breathtakingly beautiful trail carved into the rocks, affording dramatic sea views. Continue to La Spezia for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 9La Spezia–Verona–Venice Area

Travel via Parma, known for its Parmesan cheese and ham, and Modena, famous for its balsamic vinegar, before reaching the romantic city of Verona. See Romeo and Juliet’s balcony, and enjoy some time at leisure. Continue to Venice Area, where you will spend two overnights. (B)

Day 10Venice

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real live city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and piazzas. The included orientation starts with a boat ride and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)

Day 11Venice Area–Assisi–Rome

An interesting drive southward across the Po Delta. Take a break in the journey in Assisi, enclosed by ramparts and little changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis. See the upper and lower Basilica with its beautiful frescoes of Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)

Day 12Rome

Rome, the “Eternal City,” is a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by an optional visit to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Later, enjoy an included visit to the Roman Forum and iconic Colosseum. Time for optional excursions or to continue exploring Rome at your own pace. (B)

Day 13Rome

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Madrid and Rome if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Canal boat ride in Venice; train Levanto-La Spezia


MADRID Rafaelhoteles Ventas (F) or NH Abascal (F)
VALENCIA Abba Acteon (F)
BARCELONA Abba Garden (F)
MARSEILLE Holiday Inn Express St. Charles (ST) or Holiday Inn Express Airport (ST)
NICE Campanile (ST) at Nice Airport
LA SPEZIA NH (F)
VENICE Antony Palace (F) at Marcon or Holiday Inn (F) at Marghera
ROME Residenza Parco Tirreno (F)

Buffet breakfasts; 5 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Marseille


With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

GIUSEPPE MOZZONI

Years of Experience: 8 years

There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!"

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As recommended by Budget Travel