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BEST OF ITALY, FRANCE AND SPAIN

France and Spain Tour Packages from India

Embark on this 13 days tour of Italy, France and Spain, where you will get the opportunity to see the most beautiful cities with wealth of architectural heritage, natural landscapes, beaches and vibrant night life.

You will Discover Ancient Rome and Vatican – admiring the Colosseum, Pantheon and Vatican Cathedral and museum. Walk around beautiful Florence while you see the Piazza Duomo and other artistic buildings. Explore the Italian Riviera of Cinque Terra – string of centuries old five islands on the rugged coastline. Enjoy the beaches of the French Riviera – Nice, while you visit the historical sites and visit Monaco and some charming hilltop villages. You will fly to Spain and explore Gaudi’s Barcelona with its amazing architecture and nightlife. See the many museums in Madrid known as “City of Museums” and its historic centre with many medieval architectural monuments. A visit to Toledo known for the medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments in its walled city will truly fascinate you.

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Tour Inclusion:

  • Accommodation in 3*/4* hotels on twin sharing basis with daily breakfast.
  • Rome 2 nts/Florence 1 nt/ Venice 1 nt/ Innsbruck 1 nt/Zurich 1 nt/Lucerne 3 nts/ Geneva 1 nt/Lyon 1 nt/ Paris 2 nts
  • Travel with Eurail Pass
  • Flight ticket from Nice to Barcelona
  • Full day excursion Nice-Monaco-Cannes-Nice
  • Full day excursion Madrid-Toledo-Madrid
  • Sight seeing as per itinerary

Tour Exclusion:

  • Visa Charges
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Overseas travel Insurance
  • Any expenses of personal nature
  • Optional tours and Excursions

Itinerary

Duration: 12 night / 13 days

Destinations: Rome – Florence – Cinque Terra – Nice – Barcelona – Madrid

Day 1

Arrive Rome

On your arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport you will be met by our representative in the arrival hall. You will be transferred to your hotel. Please complete your check in formalities. Later you can explore the surrounding area on your own.
Rome, one of Europe’s grandest cities, is Italy’s capital and a sprawling cosmopolitan city with nearly 3000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Rome’ history spans 28 centuries making it one of the oldest inhabited states in Europe and is considered to be the birthplace of Roman civilization. Rome became one of the first major centres of the Italian Renaissance and was the birthplace of Neo Classical and Baroque style architecture. Famous artists, painters, sculptors and architects made Rome their centre of activity creating masterpieces throughout the city. Rome’s historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site – Vatican Museum and the Colosseum are the most visited tourist destinations.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Rome

Have your breakfast in the morning. You will then set out on a tour of city with a wealth of archaeological treasures. – Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine – The largest structure, Colosseum still provides the model for sports arenas, present day football stadium built on a oval Roman plan during AD 72 – AD 80. Besides the Colosseum stand the Arch of Constantine – triumphal arch erected by the Senate to honour the emperor; The Pantheon - Built 2000 years ago this is best preserved antiquity, its 43 mtr dome is a supreme achievement of Roman interior architecture, which hangs suspended without visible supports, that are hidden inside the walls; Walking through the Forum (Fortress) in the middle of a throbbing modern city, is like stepping back two millennia - which was the centre of Roman life, its triumphal arches and the remains of its walls are still impressive. Roman political and religious life along with courts, markets and meeting places were centred here.
See the Vatican City - the world’s smallest country located within a country – the centre piece of the Vatican City is the St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world built between the 16th and 18th centuries, and see the Dome of Michael Angelo. If you can climb up the steps, do so and get a spectacular view of the city; Sistine Chapel - with frescoes of Michael Angelo covering the walls and ceilings. You can also visit the Vatican Palace that contains magnificent rooms decorated with works of greatest artists of that time.
Visit Trevi Fountain – Rome’s largest fountain, This 17th century masterpiece has been immortalized in films. It depicts the sea God Oceanus (Neptune), with horses, tritons and shells; San Giovanni in Laterano – One of Rome’s most impressive churches with an ornate 16th century wooden ceiling and beautiful mosaics in the apse; Centro Storico and the Spanish Steps – This is the historic centre of Rome filled with churches, resplendent palaces, and lively squares where you could roam around spending some time in the ancient streets and lanes. Stop at the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo where you will find works by Bernini and Caravaggio. Stop at Spanish steps, the flight of irregular steps that lead upto the French church of Triniti Dei Monti; You can visit Via Condotti, Rome’s most fashionable street, where the Café Greco is famous for artists, writers and musicians. See one of Rome’s majestic churches – Santa Maria Maggiore built in the 4th century with Rome’s oldest mosaics decorating the upper walls and the apse; Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebestiano – with intricate multi layered networks of passages and chambers constructed between 290 and 310 with pagan and Christian wall paintings; Piazza Navona – Rome’s most characteristic Baroque squares used for festivals and horse races; Palantile Hill – shows evidence of Rome’s earliest settlement; Baths of Diocletian National Museum – they were so enormous that today they contain two churches, a Christian monastery and a museum – with treasures of antiquity that include Greek and Roman sculpture, pre Christian and later sarcophagi, beautiful mosaics and frescoes.
Thereafter you can opt to visit the Borghese Art Gallery (at additional cost with advance bookings) where you can see the collection of art by the greatest artists – Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, and Bernini. Later return to the Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 3

Rome – Florence

After your breakfast at the hotel proceed to the station to board your train for Florence. On arrival at Florence transfer to your hotel and check in. Florence is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities in that era. It is considered to be the birthplace of Renaissance and has been often referred to as “Athens” of the Middle Ages. The historic centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage site noted for its Renaissance art, architecture and monuments. It comprises of many art galleries and due to Florence’s artistic and cultural heritage it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities of the world.
Later proceed on a sight seeing tour of Florence – Visit Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo – Piazza Duomo and the group of buildings that form its cathedral complex is a fine example of some Italy’s artistic treasures and as you see the Baptistery, the Bell Tower the cathedral, museum you will see some of the masterpieces of the Greatest artists of Italian Renaissance – Ghiberti, Brunellschi, Donatello, Giotto and Michael Angelo. Admire the intricate inlaid marble exteriors and the stained glass work in the interiors; Piazza Della Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi – This broad square has been the centre of power of Florence since its 14th century origins. With The Neptune Fountain at the centre and the city’s Government building on one side, this place till today is a social centre and a favourite meeting point. Loggia dei Lanzi, an outdoor sculpture gallery houses several notable pieces ; Visit the Academy Gallery – with Michael Angelo’s best known work; San Lorenzo and Michael Angelo’s Medici Tombs – The Medici family commissioned the best talent for the family church and burial chapels – Brunelleschi for the church and Michaelangelo for the Chapel, but both artists died before finishing the work; Palazzo Vecchio – History art and power echo in the opulent rooms and grand galleries of this fortress like palace in the centre of Florence; Santa Croce – Behind the geometric marble inlay of its typical Tuscan façade, Santa Croce is both art filled church and mausoleum for some of Florence’s greatest names and its treasures are landmarks of Renaissance art. Also visit Ponte Vecchio, a bridge with its graceful arches toppled by a jumble of shops of goldsmiths is the city’s prettiest scene. See four of Michael Angelo’s masterpieces in the Bargello Palace National Museum along with works of other great artists as well as 14th to 16th centuries Tuscan artists; and the Santa Maria Novella – a Dominican church with striped façade of inlaid marble decorated with some of the finest frescoes of great artisits.
Return to the Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 4

Florence – Cinque Terra

This morning after your breakfast check out of your hotel and transfer to the railway station to board train for Cinque Terre (Monterosso) – Cinque Terra means five lands - it is a string of centuries old five seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In each of these 5 villages colourful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbours are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialities. The villages are quite close to each other - and can be visited only by three modes of travel - train, boat or walking– quite exciting and adventurous too . Sandy beaches are few and far between, except in Monterosso. The walking trails will climb and descend through the landscape giving you fantastic scenic views of the villages. You can also hike in the trails. The easiest way is to commute by train which runs through coastal tunnels, or by boat as you get a good view of the villages from the sea and you will admire the colorful buildings against the backdrop of the hills. All the 5 villages offer their own charm, but if you want to move in a relaxed mode, then the ones which are must see are Riomaggiore and Vernazza and Monterosso. Travellers are beginning to visit this place, as it does not have any architectural grandeur and artworks, churches, castles, museums, instead only spectacular landscape. This will truly be a lifetime experience. On arrival at Cinque Terra you will stay at Hotel in Monterosso the first scenic village and the largest of the five villages - and The only Cinque Terra town with an amazing beach, its beautiful reefs and crystal clear water of the sea. The village known for its lemon trees and anchovies is delightful and the town is split into two – the old and new halves linked by an underground tunnel. The new town Fegina is full of life and is dominated by the famous concrete statue of the Giant, which is now the symbol of Monterosso. The old town is dominated by the ruins of a castle characterized by typical medieval narrow streets. Spend some time exploring the place.
Return to the Hotel and overnight at the Hotel.

Day 5

Cinque Terra

After your breakfast today, You will have enough time to explore the other villages. Take a train or boat to continue on to the 2nd village, Vernazza that is officially listed as one of the “most beautiful villages of Italy” and the only village to have a natural harbor. You can visit the 14th century church here and see the 12th century fortifications while on the hill, then relax in the small square next to the harbor and enjoy a pizza. Continue to Manarola - one of the oldest towns and scenic villages of Cinque Terra famous for its local winery and traditional fishing. There is also an old 14th century church with a watch tower, and most of the houses in Manarola are bright and colourful, which lead to a harbor and piazza below. Spend some time here and continue to Riomaggorie, known for its historic character and wine with a small beach and a wharf framed by tower houses. Spend time on the main street Via Colombo where you will find numerous restaurants, shops and cafes, bars. Return to Monterosso. Overnight at Hotel in Monterosso.

Day 6

Cinque Terra – Nice

This morning after your breakfast you will transfer to the station to board train to Nice. On arrival at Nice check into your hotel. Nice was probably founded in 350 BC by the Greeks of Marseille and the city was a flourishing trading port and during the Middle Ages Nice participated in the wars and history of Italy in alliance with Pisa. Through the ages Nice changed many hands and its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it remained a dominion of Savoy and in 1860 it was re-annexed by France. The natural beauty of Nice and its Mediterranean climate came to the attentions by the English upper classes in the 18th century when many aristocratic families spent their winters in Nice. Many painters were inspired by Nice and lived there, including Marc Chagall, Henri Matissee, to name a few, whose works are commemorated in the many museums in Nice. With its mix of real city grit, old world opulence, year round sunshine and stunning seaside location, Nice is indeed a magnet for the visitors. A city of history, art, culture, creation, events, leisure, nature and culinary flavours, Nice combines an authentic charm with the conviviality of the Mediterranean by offering a host of activities and sites to visit.
Today, you can explore the city on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7

Nice

Enjoy your breakfast in the morning. Considered as the centre of the French Riviera, Nice is the perfect starting point to explore the dazzling Cote d Azur coastline. Visit the Old Town (Vieille Ville) – this picturesque old town of Nice with its maze of narrow alleyways and cobblestone street has a lively ambience reminiscent of Italy. It is bounded by spacious boulevards on the west side and the south end borders the Ponchette market stalls. There is a museum (Galerie des Ponchettes) dedicated to the artwork of Raoul Dufy with vibrant paintings; another Museum dedicated to the 19th century artist Alexis Mossa renowned for landscape water color paintings; 17th century Nice cathedral in the baroque style; Palace with Neo classical architecture, which the former palace of the Kings of Sardinia; Eglise Saint Jacques, prized for its delicate frescoes and impressive sculpture collections; another Palace (Palais Lascaris) 17th century Baroque style, the rooms feature furnishings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Walk through the pedestrian area, Promenade des Anglais – that follows the curve of the Bais de Anges beaches with many many palm trees and exquisite buildings line along the street; Castle Hill Park – which was first inhabited by the Greeks two millennia ago with ruins of two old churches and many restaurants and boutiques now inside the park; Musee Matisse – On the hill of Cimiez is the must see museum that displays the diverse ensemble of all sculptures that Matisse created; Near this museum is the Monastere Notre-Dame-de Cimiez – which has interesting vestiges of the Roman Baths and amphitheater, inside the church are a monastery and fine altarpieces of the Nice school including a Crucifix by Brea dating from 1475; Cathedral Orthodoxe Russe St. Nicolas - Built in 1912 by Tzar Nicolas this is one of the most beautiful orthodox churches outside Russia with richly decorated interiors; Place Garibaldi – One of the largest squares in Nice, designed in the late 18th century with many Baroque buildings; relax in the Parc des Arenexs de Cimiez – set in a grove of hundred year old olive trees, amidst which lie the archaeological remains of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum; and many more museums.
Rest of the day is free for independent activites – you can spend your time along the beaches. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 8

Nice – Monaco – Cannes – Nice

Have an early breakfast. You will then embark on a full day excursion to Cannes, Monaco and Montecarlo. Immerse yourself in the scenery, history and the glamor of the French Riviera. This is a breathtaking tour and no visit to Cote d Azur or the French Riviera is complete without experiencing these beautiful places. The opulence and elegance of some of the world’s finest destinations will be awe inspiring Cannes - a resort town on the French Riviera, famed for its International Film festival and its Boulevard de la Croisette curving along the coast is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotel, Monaco – a tiny state, the 2nd smallest state after Vatican city, surrounded by France, with its exotic gardens and Monte Carlo – situated in Monaco along the French Riviera, famous for its Place du Casino, the gambling centre and the Prince’s Palace, home to the Grimaldi dynasty. See the magnificent yachts docked in the harbor and take in the impressive sights of the rococo buildings and mountains on the Bateau Bus.
Explore the history and culture offered in the medieval villages of Eze - a charming hilltop town offering a magnificent view of the Mediterranean sea and the ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins with its 12th century fortified castle sitting on a narrow rocky peak, and St. Paul de Vence – one of the oldest towns on the French Riviera well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries; and authentic taste of Provence ( Fragonard’s Perfume factory and the old market town of Antibes). Enjoy the panoramic views of the coastline of French Riviera such as the villages of Juan-les-Pins and Golfe-Juan. Admire the sea views, yachts, beaches, and villas along the coastal drive. Later in the evening return to your hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 9

Nice – Barcelona (by flight)

Today post your breakfast you will check out and transfer to the airport to connect flight to Barcelona. On arrival at Barcelona you will transfer to your hotel and check in. This wonderful city, home of the Modernism and Gaudi. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and today, is an import cultural centre and tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudi and Lluis Domenech Montainer, which are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is known for its hosting of the 1992 Olympic games as well as world classs conferences and expositions and sporting events.
Rest of the day is at leisure to explore this city on your own. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10

Barcelona

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today you will proceed for an excursion to Monsterrat - multi peaked rocky range which part of the Catalan Pre coastal range, regarded as a most sacred place. It is a unique Natural Park, visible for miles and miles with weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky, there are paths, stairs, caves, chapels and hermitages scattered over the mountain with extraordinary landscapes and spectacular views. The Benedictine Monastery is nearly 1000 years old, perched half way up the mountain. There is a basilica with a chapel of our Lady of Monsterrat – known as La Moreneta, a XIIth Century Romanesque carving – the Black Madonna – patron Saint Catalonia and a presence strongly felt and revered. The community of monks hosts a library of nearly 300,000 volumes and the oldest boys’ choir in Europe !! Later return to Barcelona. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 11

Barcelona - Madrid

Post your breakfast this morning, you will proceed on a sight seeing tour of the city – The city’s original site which was surrounded by walls in the Roman period, is today the Gothic quarters. Along narrow streets with small squares and charming corners, you will find medieval palaces standing around the impressive cathedral. Visit the Place del Rei – a square with an array of buildings ; Place de Sant Jaume – there are important institutions, such as the Regional Parliament and the City Hall. One of the best places to catch the rhythm of the city is called Las Ramblas, Municipal markets, art galleries, and antique shops that can be found in plenty alongside crafts shops, fashion shops, and open air Museum. Visit the Sagrada Familia - a large unfinished Roman Catholic church; Columbus Monument - dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the explorer; the Façade of Cathdedral - a Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona; Olympic Village; and Montjuic Mountain . Later return to the hotel. Check out of the hotel and transfer to the station to board train to Madrid. On arrival at Madrid transfer to your hotel.
Madrid, the capital city of Spain, a cosmopolitan city with modern infrastructure and great cultural and artistic heritage. The city has more than 60 museums and specially known for its Prado Museum that houses one of the most impressive art collections in all of Europe. The historic centre, also known as “Madrid de los Austrias” and the spectacular Plaza Mayor Square are living examples of the splendor of the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. Overnight at the Hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel in Madrid

Day 12

Madrid – Toledo - Madrid

This morning have your breakfast you will proceed to Toledo, spectacularly situated on a granite hill, above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha, surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River. This ancient Castilian capital attracts more visitors from the around the world than any other place in Spain. It is known for the medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments in its walled city. It was also the home of the famous Mannerist painter El Greco. Visit the walled Old Town and marvel at the 12th century Church of St. Tome, known for its large format painting by El Greco of the Burial of the Count of Orgaz; the Toledo Cathedral of St. Mary; Monastery of San Juan – an Isabelline style monastery built by the Catholic monarchs; The Alcazar of Toledo – a stone fortification once used as a Roman Palace in the 3rd Century; and many other places of interest. Later return to Madrid. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 13

Depart Madrid

Today after your breakfast, you will proceed on a sight seeing tour to visit the historic centre of the city – Visit the famous Prado Museum with its finest European art collections dating back to the 12th century; The Royal Palace – the official residence of the Spanish Royal family; The Temple of Debod – an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid; Puerto del Sol – busiest public square, see the famous clock whose bells mark the traditional eating of the twelve grapes and the beginning of the New Year; Parque Del Retiro – a 19th century Park, one of the largest in Spain; Puerta de Alcala – A neo classical monument in the Plaza De La Independencia, regarded as the first modern Post Roman triumphal arch built in Europe. Also visit Plaza De Cibeles – a square with Neo classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that is the iconic symbol of Madrid. Later return to the Hotel and check out. You will later be transferred to the airport to connect flight to your onward destination or back home with fond memories of this tour of Italy and Spain

This is only a suggestive itinerary. Modifications on the duration of the tour or customization to the itinerary can be made to suit your preferences.

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