Tour of Spain - Cosmos® Affordable Travel

Secret Treasures of France & Spain (4740)

13 Day Tour from Paris to Madrid

2018 Tour Details

Discover hidden gems of two colorful countries—France and Spain—on this exciting vacation stretching from Paris to Madrid. Among the less known tour highlights is Carnac, known for its megaliths—standing stones—dating back to 4500 to 2000 BC. With a local expert, learn about the mystery of these stones. You’ll also visit many UNESCO World Heritage Sites sure to please history fans. Visit Bordeaux, where a walking tour with a local expert features the important highlights of these 362 historic monuments. See Mont St. Michel, an 8th-century abbey that sits on a rocky isle. Spain’s Ávila was founded in the 11th century to protect Spanish territories from the Moors. Here, your guided walking tour features the town’s medieval walls. See Burgos’ limestone cathedral, dating back to the 13th century. In Segovia, visit the well-preserved Roman aqueduct, built around 50 AD, and the gothic cathedral, dating to the 16th century. The “grande dune du Pilat”, the great dune of Pilat, along with the Landes landscapes will make unforgettable scenic highlights of this France and Spain tour.

You’ll also spend time in some attractive coastal towns. In France, visit St. Malo, the renowned coastal resort with is ramparts, cobbled streets, and old stone buildings; Brest, nestled on one of Europe’s most beautiful harbors; La Rochelle, with its historic port dominated by three medieval towers; and Rochefort, built to defend the French navy in the 17th century and today known as one of France’s most beautiful villages. In Spain, overnight in Biarritz, an ancient fishing village turned trendy seaside resort, and Santander, a coastal city renowned in the 19th century as a tourist destination for Spanish elite.

From the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the picturesque coastal towns, this France and Spain tour is perfect for value-minded travelers!
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Book early and save $50 per person on 2018 Cosmos vacations (excluding Cuba).*

 Tour Highlights

Sightseeing:

Visits to Mont St. Michel, St. Malo, Brest, Nantes Castle and Cathedral, La Rochelle, Rochefort, Biarritz, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Burgos Cathedral, Salamanca, Segovia aqueduct and cathedral.

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Paris, Carnac stones site, Bordeaux, Ávila, Madrid; professional Tour Director while touring

Scenic Highlights:

Brittany, Dune du Pilat, Landes of Gascony, Basque Country

Individual headsets

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Mont Saint Michel and its Bay
  • Burgos Cathedral

Transportation:

Transportation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 4 dinners

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore France’s vibrant capital city. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2 PARIS

Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. During the included sightseeing tour with a Local Guide, view the famous. Later, feel like a French aristocrat on the optional walking tour through the expansive Palace of Versailles. This evening, why not join an optional welcome dinner?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 PARIS–MONT ST. MICHEL–ST. MALO

Depart from the City of Light and travel towards the unique beauty of Mont St. Michel. This distinctive 8th-century abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that creates an inspiring scene as it stands sentry on a small island just a kilometer off the French coast. Later, drive along the shoreline to the fortified seaside resort of St. Malo.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 4 ST. MALO–BREST

This morning, visit the ancient walled city of St. Malo. Situated on the English Channel, this attractive port town has a notorious past as the home of corsairs and pirates. Spend some free time walking along its cobblestone streets, and admiring the granite mansions that line the characteristic lanes and squares, encircled by massive ramparts. Travel across Brittany to coastal Brest, nestled in a beautiful natural harbor. Heavily bombed in 1944, the city center was completely rebuilt after the war. See the Pont de l’lroise, a cable-stayed bridge spanning the Élorn River—an amazing architectural feat.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 5 BREST–CARNAC–NANTES

Follow the coastal road towards Carnac, catching glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean. Carnac is known for its STANDING STONES that were erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany—one of the most extensive Neolithic collections in the world. Visit one of the sites with a Local Guide and learn about the mystery of the Carnac stones. Then, head for Nantes, located on the Loire River. Visit the CASTLE of the Dukes of Brittany, and the CATHEDRAL of St. Peter and St. Paul, which took 457 years to complete and features a unique external pulpit.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 6 NANTES–LA ROCHELLE–ROCHEFORT–BORDEAUX

Two coastal towns are on the agenda today. First, stop at picturesque La Rochelle, situated off the Atlantic Coast in the Bay of Biscay and known as La Ville Blanche (the White City) due to its luminous limestone facades that reflect the bright sunlight. Next up: historic Rochefort with its naval beginnings that date back to Louis XIV. Continue to Bordeaux.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 7 BORDEAUX

Built on the banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux is known as the “Pearl of Aquitaine” and is a flourishing port town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to 362 historic monuments, some dating back to Roman times. Join your Local Guide for a walking tour featuring all the important highlights, including Esplanade des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe. The afternoon is at leisure or maybe join an optional excursion.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 8 BORDEAUX–DUNE DU PILAT–LES LANDES–BIARRITZ

Drive to Arcachon today to see the amazing DUNE OF PILAT, the highest sand dune on the continent. Then, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive through the Landes of Gascony, the largest maritime-pine forest in Europe. Later, arrive in Biarritz, an ancient fishing village turned trendy seaside resort.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 9 BIARRITZ–SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN–BILBAO–SANTANDER

Leave France and cross into Spain’s Basque Country to visit San Sebastian, one of just two European Capitals of Culture in 2016 and considered a foodie hotspot! On to Bilbao, where you’ll discover a colorful tapestry of architecture, history, natural beauty, and tantalizing cuisine. Enjoy free time for leisure activities—maybe visit the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, considered one of the 20th century’s great architectural masterpieces. Later, head to the port city of Santander, a renowned tourist destination for Spanish elite in the 19th century.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 10 SANTANDER–BURGOS–SALAMANCA

Heading inland, stop in Burgos, former capital of the unified Kingdom of Castile-León for five centuries. Visit the magnificent limestone CATHEDRAL of Santa Maria, dating back to the 13th century and where the legendary national hero El Cid is buried. Continue on to Salamanca. Be sure to spend some time wandering around the Spanish-baroque Plaza Mayor, the heart of the city and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful plazas in Spain.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 11 SALAMANCA–ÁVILA–SEGOVIA–MADRID

Journey to Ávila with its medieval town walls and many towers. Join the guided walking tour of the MEDIEVAL WALLS. Next, arrive in pretty Segovia, set on a rocky hill. Visit its landmarks, awe-inspiring Roman AQUEDUCT and gothic CATHEDRAL before heading to Madrid.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 12 MADRID

Not only is Madrid capital of Spain, but because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spanish rightly say it is the nearest thing to Heaven. This morning, enjoy the city’s main highlights on the included guided sightseeing tour. Consider also joining an optional excursion to one of the many important sights surrounding Madrid.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 13 MADRID

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

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.

MICHAEL COULSTOCK

Years of Experience: 12

I'm British, but I work in Europe. It is my office, my back yard, my home away from home. I love to introduce people to this continent and see their reactions to its wonderful sights.

Tour Director - MICHAEL COULSTOCK

 Accommodations

PARIS Forest Hill La Villette (ST)
ST MALO Ibis Styles Port St Malo (ST)
BREST Escale Oceania (ST)
NANTES Ibis Nantes Tour de Bretagne (ST)
BORDEAUX Mercure Bordeaux Meriadeck (MF)
BIARRITZ Ibis Anglet Biarritz (ST)
SANTANDER Santemar (ST)
SALAMANCA Artheus (ST)
MADRID Rafaelhoteles Ventas (F) or Holiday Inn Alcala

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

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