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Barcelona, Southern France & the Italian Riviera

12 days
Though distinctly different, each region brings its own brand of laid-back leisure. Immerse yourself in inimitable culture, astounding architecture and amazing food, pausing to take sunny siestas in Barcelona and relaxing riposos on the Mediterranean along the way. Get ready to sip sangria by La Sagrada Família, meander amid ancient ruins in Nîmes and saunter through seaside villages, all while sneaking in opportunities to brush up your Spanish, French and Italian.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across mostly flat terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some steep hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Spain, France, and Italy

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Barcelona today.

Barcelona 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Barcelona

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Spain! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover why Barcelona is touted for its unparalleled architectural landmarks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

• Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress

• Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “house of bones”

• Stop at Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games took place, and stroll Mirador de l’Alcalde Park

• Pass Plaça d’Espanya and the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Park Güell & La Pedrera $85pp* Details

Discover the magnificent works of Antoni Gaudí, the famed Spanish architect known for his bold, distinct designs. Take a guided tour of Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera, built by Gaudí between 1905 and 1910. Everything about the building is visually unique, from the wave-like stone structure and grandly designed roof to the apartment that reflects the style of the 20th- century bourgeoisie. Next, you’ll head to Park Güell, also designed by Gaudí. Your guide will lead you through the park, which contains stunning buildings, intricate stonework and colorful mosaics. At the top of the park, marvel at the brilliant views of Barcelona.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Barcelona or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Montserrat $69pp* Details

Journey to the ninth-century Monastery of Montserrat, which inspired the composer Richard Wagner as he wrote Parsifal. Ride a high-flying cable car up the mountain and enjoy magnificent views of the Llobregat River Valley and—if skies are clear—the Pyrenees. A local guide leads the way to the secluded Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, where you may have a chance to see La Moreneta, Catalonia’s miraculous and beloved statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat. Take some time to explore the monastery before descending the mountain by bus and driving back to Barcelona. Please note: Due to the ever-changing schedule of church activities, a viewing of the Black Virgin of Montserrat statue cannot be guaranteed.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Optional Excursion - Flamenco Dinner Show $115pp* Details

The clapping, the singing, the stamping—experience the dramatic art of flamenco dancing, one of Spain’s most celebrated traditions. Expressive and colorful, this Andalucian style of dance combines guitar playing (toque), song (cante) and rhythmic handclaps (palmas). Dinner will be served before the performance.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Montpellier 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Montpellier via Carcassonne

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set off for Montpellier, France today. Stop en route in the fortified city of Carcassonne to tour the medieval fortress settlement, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

French Riviera 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: The French Riviera via Nîmes

  Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way to Nice and the French Riviera by way of Nîmes , where a local guide shows you around the city. 

• See remarkably preserved Roman buildings, including the Maison Carrée

• Visit the Arena of Nîmes, built around A.D. 100 and seen in the film “Gladiator”

• Walk along the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO-listed Roman aqueduct

Day 7: Cape Ferrat & Nice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out to explore the French Riviera today.

• Walk along the cliffs of Cape Ferrat for views of the Mediterranean Sea

• Tour the Villa Ephrussi, a mansion built by a member of the Rothschild banking family, and its gardens 

• Stop to explore Nice’s Old Town on your own before returning to your hotel

Enjoy a free evening on the French Riviera or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cannes Catamaran Cruise & Dinner $125pp* Details

Spend an evening cruising through Cannes Bay, taking in spectacular sunset views of the Côte d’Azur. Enjoy a Mediterranean dinner with drinks as you pass incredible coastlines and the Lérins Islands. Depending on the season and if conditions allow, you may be able to swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Italian Riviera 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: The Italian Riviera via Monaco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leave France for the Italian Riviera today. Stop en route to explore the tiny principality of Monaco with your Tour Director. 

• Visit Le Rocher, or the Rock of Monaco, to see the cathedral and Old Town

• Stop outside the Prince’s Palace, first built as a fortress in the late 12th century

Day 9: Cinque Terre

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Cinque Terre, an idyllic cluster of five villages set on seaside cliffs. 

• Explore the seaside towns of Vernazza and Monterosso (please note that specific Cinque Terre village visits may vary)

• Travel by boat for dramatic cliff-side views (weather permitting; you may travel by train instead of boat)

Florence 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off to Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, and meet your local guide. 

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio

• Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Day 11: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in Florence or add an excursion.

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner in Florence.

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $85pp* Details

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area’s wines and a sample of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to explore Rome.

Add Rome Starting from $449 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and vibrant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Rome this morning, then follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans with a tour of the Eternal City.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire 

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Rome and the Temple of Venus

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Day 13: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Rome or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $99pp* Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you’ll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world’s most important Classical- and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo’s greatest masterpiece. Finally, you’ll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79pp* Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera’s best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun! Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from February through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Spain, France, and Italy

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Barcelona today.

Barcelona 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Barcelona

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Spain! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover why Barcelona is touted for its unparalleled architectural landmarks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

• Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress

• Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “House of Bones”

• Visit Montjuïc, site of the 1992 Olympic Games, and Mirador de l’Alcalde Park

• Pass Plaça d’Espanya and the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Park Güell & La Pedrera $85pp* Details

Discover the magnificent works of Antoni Gaudí, the famed Spanish architect known for his bold, distinct designs. Take a guided tour of Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera, built by Gaudí between 1905 and 1910. Everything about the building is visually unique, from the wave-like stone structure and grandly designed roof to the apartment that reflects the style of the 20th- century bourgeoisie. Next, you’ll head to Park Güell, also designed by Gaudí. Your guide will lead you through the park, which contains stunning buildings, intricate stonework and colorful mosaics. At the top of the park, marvel at the brilliant views of Barcelona.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Barcelona or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Montserrat $69pp* Details

Journey to the ninth-century Monastery of Montserrat, which inspired the composer Richard Wagner as he wrote Parsifal. Ride a high-flying cable car up the mountain and enjoy magnificent views of the Llobregat River Valley and—if skies are clear—the Pyrenees. A local guide leads the way to the secluded Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, where you may have a chance to see La Moreneta, Catalonia’s miraculous and beloved statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat. Take some time to explore the monastery before descending the mountain by bus and driving back to Barcelona. Please note: Due to the ever-changing schedule of church activities, a viewing of the Black Virgin of Montserrat statue cannot be guaranteed.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Optional Excursion - Flamenco Dinner Show $115pp* Details

The clapping, the singing, the stamping—experience the dramatic art of flamenco dancing, one of Spain’s most celebrated traditions. Expressive and colorful, this Andalucian style of dance combines guitar playing (toque), song (cante) and rhythmic handclaps (palmas). Dinner will be served before the performance.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Montpellier 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Montpellier via Carcassonne

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set off for Montpellier, France today. Stop en route in the fortified city of Carcassonne to tour the medieval fortress settlement, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

French Riviera 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: The French Riviera via Nîmes

  Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way to Nice and the French Riviera by way of Nîmes, where a local guide shows you around the city. 

• See remarkably preserved Roman buildings, including the Maison Carrée

• Visit the Arena of Nîmes, built around A.D. 100 and seen in the film Gladiator

• Walk along the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO-listed Roman aqueduct

Day 7: Cape Ferrat & Nice

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out to explore the French Riviera today.

• Enjoy views of the Mediterranean Sea from the cliffs of Cape Ferrat

• Tour the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and its gardens 

• Stop to explore Nice’s Old Town on your own before returning to your hotel

Enjoy a free evening on the French Riviera or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cannes Catamaran Cruise & Dinner $125pp* Details

Spend an evening cruising through Cannes Bay, taking in spectacular sunset views of the Côte d’Azur. Enjoy a Mediterranean dinner with drinks as you pass incredible coastlines and the Lérins Islands. Depending on the season and if conditions allow, you may be able to swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Italian Riviera 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: The Italian Riviera via Monaco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leave France for the Italian Riviera today. Stop en route to explore the tiny principality of Monaco with your Tour Director. 

• Visit Le Rocher, or the Rock of Monaco, to see the cathedral and Old Town

• Stop outside the Prince’s Palace, first built as a fortress in the late 12th century

Day 9: Cinque Terre

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Cinque Terre, an idyllic cluster of five villages set on seaside cliffs. 

• Travel by boat along the coast for dramatic cliffside views (Weather permitting; you may travel by train instead of boat)

• Stop for free time to explore the seaside villages of Vernazza and Monterosso  (Please note: Specific Cinque Terre villages visited may vary)

• Admire Liguria region’s varied landscape on a scenic train ride from Monterosso to your hotel in the Santa Margherita Ligure area

Florence 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set off to Florence, the city at the center of the Renaissance, and meet your local guide. 

• Visit the legendary Florence Cathedral, known as the Duomo

• Pass Giotto’s Campanile, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture

• Walk past Piazza della Repubblica to the medieval Ponte Vecchio

• Stroll along the Arno River and through the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery to Piazza della Signoria, center of Florentine life

Day 11: Free day in Florence

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a free day in Florence or add an excursion.

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner in Florence.

Optional Excursion - San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors $85pp* Details

Travel the beautiful Tuscan countryside to discover the medieval village of San Gimignano. During the Renaissance, the rival Guelph and Ghibelline political factions flexed their muscles by constructing tall towers throughout San Gimignano; fourteen of those towers survive today. Later, visit a local winery for a taste of the area’s wines and a sample of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that you simply won’t find anywhere else. Then, enjoy lasagna during a light lunch.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to explore Rome.

Add Rome Starting from $449 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and vibrant street life, no other city comes close.

Rome 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Rome this morning, then follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans with a tour of the Eternal City.

• Pass by Trajan’s Column and Piazza Venezia, the city’s central hub

• Stop at the ruins of the Forum, from which the Caesars ruled their vast empire 

• Soak up over 2,000 years of history in Imperial Rome, viewing the Arch of Constantine, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Rome and the Temple of Venus

• Enter the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater of the Roman Empire, and take time to explore on your own

Day 13: Free day in Rome

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Rome or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $99pp* Details

This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you’ll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world’s most important Classical- and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, visit the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo’s greatest masterpiece. Finally, you’ll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.

Must be booked 70 days before departure

Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79pp* Details

End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera’s best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun! Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from February through November.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Montpellier, France
  • French Riviera, France
  • Genoa, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Spain, France and Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Spanish consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights. A sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are also recommended. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Spain, France and Italy. It’s always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. In Spain, breakfast is very light, usually consisting of only rolls and coffee. Lunch is traditionally a threecourse meal, which can take much of the afternoon to consume. The traditional dish is known as paella and is made from chicken, meat, vegetables, seafood and saffron rice. Dinner is less hearty than lunch and is served late, between 9pm and midnight. Tapas, a series of small samples of various appetizers, is an evening staple at Spanish bars and cafes. Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For the most casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, patés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafes. On the restaurant scene, the prix fixe option is popular. Italian cuisine varies by region. Tuscany is known for its wine, oil, sauces and pasta, and Rome and Southern Italy are loved for their pizzas and seafood. For authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants often with only a couple of open tables and hand-printed menus. Italians tend to indulge in long, often boisterous meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by the requisite after-dinner drinks of grappa or limoncello.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Barcelona and depart from Florence (or Rome on extension). Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. For the novice traveler, navigating Barcelona can be slightly challenging. However, most of the main attractions and tourist hangouts are near the area known as Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. Use Las Ramblas as a base—it runs all the way down to the Columbus Monument and the harbor. For access to the other attractions and neighborhoods of Barcelona, use the excellent metro system. Florence is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Tickets can be purchased at tobacconists or at vending machines. Rome offers both underground transportation and bus service to the city’s major attractions. Subway and bus tickets may be purchased separately or in bulk.

Museums in Florence

If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

Electricity

Spain, France and Italy operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Spain, France and Italy are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it is noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Barcelona.

Currency

The euro is the currency you will use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in the countries you’ll be visiting, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the Cirrus and Plus networks, but make sure to check with your bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Montpellier, France
  • French Riviera, France
  • Genoa, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Spain, France and Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Spanish consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights. A sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are also recommended. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Spain, France and Italy. It’s always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. In Spain, breakfast is very light, usually consisting of only rolls and coffee. Lunch is traditionally a threecourse meal, which can take much of the afternoon to consume. The traditional dish is known as paella and is made from chicken, meat, vegetables, seafood and saffron rice. Dinner is less hearty than lunch and is served late, between 9pm and midnight. Tapas, a series of small samples of various appetizers, is an evening staple at Spanish bars and cafes. Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For the most casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, patés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafes. On the restaurant scene, the prix fixe option is popular. Italian cuisine varies by region. Tuscany is known for its wine, oil, sauces and pasta, and Rome and Southern Italy are loved for their pizzas and seafood. For authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants often with only a couple of open tables and hand-printed menus. Italians tend to indulge in long, often boisterous meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by the requisite after-dinner drinks of grappa or limoncello.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Barcelona and depart from Florence (or Rome on extension). Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the main cities by public transportation. For the novice traveler, navigating Barcelona can be slightly challenging. However, most of the main attractions and tourist hangouts are near the area known as Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. Use Las Ramblas as a base—it runs all the way down to the Columbus Monument and the harbor. For access to the other attractions and neighborhoods of Barcelona, use the excellent metro system. Florence is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available. Tickets can be purchased at tobacconists or at vending machines. Rome offers both underground transportation and bus service to the city’s major attractions. Subway and bus tickets may be purchased separately or in bulk.

Museums in Florence

If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.

Electricity

Spain, France and Italy operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Spain, France and Italy are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it is noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Barcelona.

Currency

The euro is the currency you will use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in the countries you’ll be visiting, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the Cirrus and Plus networks, but make sure to check with your bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/29/2016

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Breathtaking Trip

Our tour was truly breathtaking. We were able to experience four beautiful countries along the Mediterranean Sea. Each was unique and spectacular in its own way. In Spain we loved visiting La Sagrada Familia and hearing about its future completion date. In France we enjoyed being right on the coastline with spectacular beach front accommodations. Monaco was jaw dropping. We caught the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace, which was great fun. Italy was magical, especially our visits to Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome. Living history!

1 / 3
 

Hi Judith! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed your trip. There’s so much to love about each destination on this tour, such as La Sagrada Familia in Spain and the beautiful coastline of Southern France. How wonderful that you caught the changing of the guard at the palace in Monaco! Thank you for sharing some magical moments from your tour, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/16/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director & Great Tour

Pascal was well informed and went out of his way to lead our group in such a way that we were completely immersed in the culture of all the regions we traveled. This is a very busy tour filled with history along with vistas that take your breath away. The catamaran cruise from Cannes and wine tasting in Tuscany are not to be missed. Then again, Montserrat was amazingly beautiful as well. We heard the boys choir there, ate cheese & drank wine the monks had made there. The Cinque Terra is amazingly beautiful as well. All of the food we had was delicious. Being in the coast seafood was always fresh and well prepared. This was a trip filled with culture, beauty, and history covering three countries. Having a tour director like Pascal that truly cared about the good of his travel group made this trip even better!

1 / 1
 

Hi Cheryl! We’re so glad your Tour Director helped you to immerse in the culture of the regions you visited. We will be sure to share your feedback with his supervisor. It sounds like you had some unique and incredible experiences on tour, such as the wine tasting in Tuscany. We’re so glad you enjoyed them all. We agree that Cinque Terra is stunning, and we’re pleased to learn that you enjoyed all of the food. Thank you for your valuable feedback, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 13, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/13/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A great tour in every way!

My wife and I had a wonderful time on this tour. Every aspect of the trip was well-planned and efficiently carried out. Our tour director, Francesco, was delightful and very responsible. The only minor problem was the break-down of air conditioning in one hotel, but they quickly provided fans. We recommend Go Ahead very highly!

 

Hi Murray! It's great to know you feel that every aspect of this tour was well-planned. We also appreciate your feedback regarding your Tour Director and will be sure to share it with his supervisor. We're glad to hear that your hotel quickly remedied your problem with the air conditioner by providing fans. Thank you for your recommendation, and we hope you will travel with us again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 20, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/1/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Life changing

This trip was life changing. I could go on and on about how wonderful everything for days! From our amazing Tour Director, Antonio, who would consistently go out of his way to make sure each and every person was content, safe, and happy to all of the handpicked hotels which were beyond any expectations I had, to the wonderful food, to the amazing sites we visited- this trip changed my life in the best way. I got to visit 3 countries in 12 days and I would not change a thing.

 

Hi Shahla! It’s wonderful to hear that this tour impacted you so profoundly and that your Tour Director played a role in that. This tour certainly provides insight into beautiful areas of Western Europe, and we’re so glad you were able to experience them. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 20, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/5/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Good trip overall

The trip was great. The tour director knew her business but she walked too fast us. Some of the people in the group were in their late sixties and early seventies. She should have thought that through.

1 / 11
 

Hi Joyce! We're glad you enjoyed your tour. We regret to hear that your Tour Director walked too fast and will be sure to pass this feedback along to her. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 14, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/5/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Happy Traveler

We just returned from our 4th GoAhead tour - Barcelona, Southern France and the Italian Riviera. Each time we travel, we marvel at the amazing tour guides, drivers, and itinerary, but this time, we need a "Superstar" award for our trip! Our tour guide, Annamaria, was a tiny fireball of energy and knowledge. She managed (or should I say 'herded') our diverse group with skill, professionalism, and enthusiasm that is unsurpassed by anything we have ever experienced. She made everyone feel special. She dealt with the unforeseen quickly and efficiently. She planned for every contingency. She was simply AMAZING! We marveled at the beautiful locations and breathtaking views around each curve. We appreciate the attention to detail and the added bonuses of unscheduled surprise stops to see a sight we would never have known about were it not for the knowledge of our guide and driver. We're already planning our next adventure! Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!

 

Hi Rebecca! It’s wonderful to know your that your Tour Director enhanced your time on tour. We’re so glad you enjoyed the itinerary and all the beautiful locations along the way. We’re thrilled to hear you’re planning your next adventure and look forward to welcoming you on board!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 20, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/27/2016

Number of Past Tours: 13

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great mix!

I loved this trip! It was a great mix of bigger cities (Barcelona, Florence, Rome) and smaller more quaint ones (Rapallo, Montpellier). The food was fantastic, Valerio the TD was amazingly knowledgeable and kind while keeping the group on time for everything. He also helped us contact relatives in Italy whom we'd never met and helped us meet up with them! Breakfasts in the morning were such a great way to start off every day. My favorite place we stayed was in the Italian Riviera - the hotel was so charming and great location! Best trip ever.

1 / 2
 

Hi Christie! We’re so happy you enjoyed your tour. How cool that your Tour Director made it possible for you to meet your Italian relatives! That must have been an incredible experience, and we’re so glad it was able to happen. We can understand why the Italian Riviera was your favorite spot – it’s such a beautiful part of the world! Thank you for your wonderful feedback, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 03, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/13/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful Trip

Although we had a small group our trip was wonderful!!!! Our Tour director the best! This tour was very busy but still plenty of time to explore on your own or just rest up. The food was alway great, the meals included in the tour were our best. Would highly recommend this tour and this tour line.

 

Hi Patricia! Thank you for recommending your tour. We’re so glad you had a great time! We hope to welcome you on tour again soon.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 26, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 3/30/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Fabulous tour!

Took this tour in late March/early April 2016. Our tour director, Antonio, was the consummate tour director. He was great! The sites were exceptional, food was great, and we had a fabulous time! There are two issues that I think need to be addressed concerning this tour: 1) Buses. We did not have a designated bus until we were in the final days of our tour. In Barcelona, one bus would drop us off for a tour and another bus would pick us up later. This was a problem because a) we could not leave things on the bus and b) there was some confusion on which bus was picking us up. We were supposed to have a designated bus & driver once we got to Monte Carlo but even that changed when the bus company decided our driver needed to take his new bus back to Rome. 2) Accommodations. My DH and I have taken a number of tours with other tour operators. I found the quality of the rooms on this tour was disappointing. In one hotel, we were booked in a smoking room and the ceiling paint was peeling. We were given another room. In another, we were booked into a handicapped room which was not ideal. Tour Director, Antonio, did inquire about another room for us; however, once you land in a room, it's bothersome to change. All of the rooms were always very clean and the hotel lobbies were updated. Aside from buses and accommodations, I cannot say enough good things about the tour. The boat tour in Cinque Terra is the only way to see the five towns.

 

Hello! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your tour and Tour Director. It’s great to know that you found the sites and food to be exceptional. Regarding the buses, a designated bus is not guaranteed for many of our departures. Whether or not the group has a designated bus largely depends on the availability of the bus company. We regret that this was an inconvenience. Regarding your accommodations, we apologize that they did not meet your expectations. We will report your feedback to our Operations team, so that they may reach out to the hotels and ensure higher quality in the future. Thank you for sharing your feedback, and we hope to welcome you on another tour!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 12, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 3/30/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Bucket List Tour

This tour checks off so many of my "bucket list" places to see. What a great itinerary. Each day was filled with new sights and scenery to behold. The tour guide, Antonio, was super. And the boat ride along the Mediterranean to see the towns of the Cinque Terra was just specular. From the beauty of Gaudi in Barcelona to the special landscapes of Tuscany, and all points in between, this is a tour not to be missed.

 

Hi Ron! We’re so glad you were able to check some items off your bucket list! The boat ride along the coast of Cinque Terra sounds incredible, and we’re happy you did it. You’re right that this tour is not to be missed – it takes you to some amazing places! Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 04, 2016

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