From Spain to France to Italy, this affordable tour along the Mediterranean Coast, features vibrant cities, historic sites, and stunning scenery. You’ll stay in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Marseille, the Venice area, and Rome—and stay overnight in the stunning French Riviera and the Cinque Terre area. This amazing budget travel adventure across the Mediterranean region includes an excursion to the famous Cinque Terre area, named for its five medieval fishing villages on the sea. The area is noted for its natural beauty with terraces built into the mountainside on cliffs that drop down into the sea and for its breathtaking views. You'll also spend time on the French Riviera, where you'll have the chance to visit a perfume workshop in Èze and time to explore on your own. Plus, enjoy stunning scenery as you drive along the most fascinating landscapes and visit cameo villages such as Cuenca, Collioure, Cassis and iconic cities like Verona or Barcelona!Your Local Guides will reveal the must-see sights on your sightseeing tours of Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, and Rome. See Rome’s iconic landmarks on the guided orientation tour, such as the Vatican and the Colosseum. Get a taste of Venice with a boat ride to world-famous St. Mark's Square. In Marseille, France's oldest city, visit the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde, which sits at the highest point in Marseille with stunning views of the city. In Assisi, visit the St. Francis Basilica, burial place of the saint and home to beautiful frescos by Giotto.Designed by a team of experienced Tour Directors, this Mediterranean tour to Spain, France, and Italy is perfectly planned for value-minded travelers wanting a wonderful, yet affordable, Mediterranean vacation.
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MADRID Guided sightseeing CUENCA Visit VALENCIA Guided sightseeing, see Science Park PENISCOLA Visit the castle BARCELONA Guided sightseeing COLLIOURE Visit MARSEILLE Orientation drive CASSIS Visit ÈZE Visit a perfume workshop CINQUE TERRE Excursion VERONA Visit VENICE Canal boat ride, walking orientation, glassblower demonstration ASSISI Visit St. Francis Basilica ROME Guided sightseeing, see St. Peter’s SquareNotes:
December 21 Departure – Christmas in Barcelona and New Year's Eve festive dinner in Venice
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; canal boat ride in Venice; train Levanto-La Spezia
Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN MADRID, SPAIN. Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
MADRID. Not only is Madrid the capital of Spain, but because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards rightly say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven. On the included guided city tour, discover the main sights and end the tour with a walk in the Barrio de La Latina and stop in one of the many bars to taste the famous tapas. Consider an optional trip to Toledo. The splendid setting of this old walled city was made famous in El Greco’s painting and, even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art.
MADRID–CUENCA–VALENCIA. Travel southeast to Cuenca, perched high above the precipices of the Jucar and Huecar Rivers, famous for its “hanging houses” that are suspended over the Huecar ravine. On to Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, for a guided sightseeing tour.Today’s Distance: 255 mi/ 410 km
VALENCIA–PEÑÍSCOLA–BARCELONA. Today, visit Peñíscola Castle in Castellon, 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. Today’s Distance: 236 mi/ 380 km
BARCELONA. Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue 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). Spend the afternoon at leisure.
BARCELONA–COLLIOURE, FRANCE–MARSEILLE. Leave Spain today and cross the border into France to visit Collioure. This picturesque village is nestled in an idyllic place on the rocky Mediterranean coastline and is sheltered by the Pyrenees. Carry on to the oldest city in France, Marseille.Today’s Distance: 354 mi/ 570 km
MARSEILLE–CASSIS–FRENCH RIVIERA. Capital of Provence, Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. See 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, with stunning views of the city. Follow the coastal route toward Cassis, a small fishing port lined with cafés and restaurants, and stop to explore the town before reaching Nice. Later, why not join the optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion?Today’s Distance: 143 mi/ 230 km
FRENCH RIVIERA. EXCURSION TO ÈZE. Start the day with a visit to a perfume workshop in Èze. Later, spend time at leisure to do as you please! Continue to Nice, and spend time at leisure to do as you please! Dabble in the Mediterranean Sea, stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais, or join our optional excursion to the artists’ town of St. Paul de Vence.Today’s Distance: 19 mi/ 30 km
FRENCH RIVIERA–CINQUE TERRE AREA, ITALY. Enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery along the French and Italian Rivieras as you travel toward Cinque Terre. Take the train in Levanto and stop in some of the most enchanting villages of the spectacular Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired Lord Byron. There are several breathtaking trails carved into the rocks connecting the villages, affording dramatic sea views.Today’s Distance: 205 mi/ 330 km
CINQUE TERRE AREA–VERONA–VENICE AREA. Travel through the areas of culinary excellence in the Po plains to reach the romantic city of Verona to enjoy some time at leisure. Continue to the Venice area, where you will spend two nights.Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km
VENICE. Venice is a city of unparalleled beauty and a feast of wonderful sights. Your included orientation starts with a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square 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.
VENICE AREA–ASSISI–ROME. Cross the Po Delta and head into the verdant Apennines to medieval Assisi. Enclosed by ramparts, little has changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis. See the Upper and Lower Basilicas with the beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome.Today’s Distance: 342 mi/ 550 km
ROME. The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive, exciting, and absolutely unique! Start the included introduction to Rome’s landmarks from St Peter’s Square with a Local Guide. Enjoy a drive along the iconic landmarks of the city: the Tiber River, the Caius Cestius Pyramid, the Aurelian Walls and the Caracalla Baths, and complete the experience with a walk back in time from the Circus Maximus to the Arch of Constantine and to the fascinating Colosseum, symbol of the Roman Empire. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the treasures of the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel on our optional excursion.
ROME. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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.
Escorting tours for more than 10 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 (and the Mediterranean) 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!""
Escorting tours for more than 5 years
"I didn't know what to do with my life till I met a man at University who brought me the light. I wanted to be like him, and he was a TD. I am from the southeast of Spain and I love to feel the breath of the Mediterranean Sea on my face, wandering aimlessly to anywhere and passionate about history and gastronomy. Being a Tour Director is a way of life - meeting new people from all over the world, doing my best to show them the wonders of this world and to turn their vacation into something unforgettable. Vamos?"