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Barcelona, Southern France...

Barcelona, Southern France & the Italian Riviera

12 days |  14 days with Rome extension
12 days |  14 days with Rome extension
Group size1538 travelers

4.5 out of 5 stars

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    Chase the sun and catch up on history on a riviera-hopping tour of three Mediterranean destinations.

    Discover the essence of the Mediterranean with a journey through the sun-kissed landscapes and distinctive cultures of Spain, France, and Italy—plus a glamorous surprise in the form of Monaco’s iconic coastline. Begin in Barcelona, Gaudí’s architectural playground, before meandering through medieval Avignon. Greet the Mediterranean, starting with Nice’s azure waters, before winding through the cliffside tapestry of Cinque Terre and reveling in the Renaissance in Florence. Extend your trip to Rome and fill your heart with the Eternal City’s living history.

    Your tour package includes

    • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 10 breakfasts
    • 3 dinners with beer or wine
    • 7 sightseeing tours
    • Expert Tour Director & local guides
    Read more

    Included highlights

    • La Sagrada Família
    • Carcassonne
    • Avignon
    • Papal Palace in Avignon
    • Cap Ferrat
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    Start planning today

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    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Overnight Flight1 night
    Day 1: Travel day

    Board your overnight flight to Barcelona today.

    Barcelona3 nights
    Day 2: Arrival in Barcelona
    Included meal: Welcome dinner

    Welcome to Spain! Need a little pick-me-up when you arrive? Dive right into Spanish culture with shareable small plates—tapas to locals—like croquetas: crispy, deep-fried rolls with a crunchy exterior and a savory, gooey interior. Wash it all down with an orxata—a sweet, milky drink known as horchata to the broader world but made with tiger nuts in Spain.  

    Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner, served with beer or wine. 

    Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona
    Included meal: Breakfast

    You don’t have to be an architecture fan to enjoy Barcelona, but you may just leave as one by the end of your trip. Roman ruins, Gothic drama, and soaring odes to modernism fill the city with unparalleled architectural landmarks, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    • Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of La Sagrada Família, a testament to Antoni Gaudí’s genius. Inside, marvel at the intricate details and stained glass that bathe the space in confetti-like bursts of color.
    • Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, where you’ll encounter Gaudí’s “House of Bones” (Casa Batlló) and the sculptural Casa Milà. Feel the pulse of the city as you traverse Barcelona and see how architectural modernism interacts with everyday life.
    • Venture to Montjuïc, the hill overlooking Barcelona and site of the 1992 Olympic Games. At the Mirador de l’Alcalde, breathe in panoramic views of the city, the harbor, and beyond, perfumed by a Mediterranean breeze and surrounding gardens.
    • Pass through the grandeur of the Plaça d’Espanya, a hub of Catalan culture. Look for the pair of towers, inspired by the campaniles of Venice, and a classically styled fountain at the center of it all.

    If you’d like to deepen your newfound love for Antoni Gaudí, we recommend joining the excursion to Park Güell, where your eyes will joyfully bounce from colorful mosaics to the tops of whimsical residential rooftops. Savor every tiny detail in the stonework—you never know what surprises you’ll uncover when you take your time. 
    If you choose to spend your free afternoon in Barcelona exploring on your own, you can explore the Gothic Quarter and walk its narrow medieval streets. You’ll find charming squares like the Plaça del Rei and spot Barcelona Cathedral, a masterpiece of Catalan Gothic architecture built between the 13th and 15th centuries.

    Park Güell & La Pedrera

    From $109 per person

    Day 4: Free day in Barcelona
    Included meal: Breakfast

    On your free day in Barcelona, you can opt to forge your own perfect day or add one (or two!) curated excursions to your itinerary.

    If it’s cascading valleys and mountain views you’re after, opt for the journey to Montserrat. You’ll ride a high-flying cable car to the Santa María de Montserrat Abbey; on a clear day, you can peep the Pyrenees Mountains in the distance.

    You can then choose to end your day with a romantic, passionate, and dramatic display of Andalusian culture at a flamenco dinner show.

    If you do spend your free day winding through Barcelona on your own, go for some rest and relaxation at Barceloneta Beach, where you can take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk and—if it’s warm—dip your toes in the Mediterranean. Or, pack a picnic and a bottle of cava (a Spanish sparkling wine) and head to Barcelona’s central Parc de la Ciutadella. Walk its lush gardens or sit by the Cascada Monumental fountain for some prime people-watching.


    From $95 per person

    Flamenco Dinner Show

    From $125 per person

    Provence1 night
    Day 5: Provence via Carcassonne
    Included meal: Breakfast

    En route to Provence, France, take a captivating detour to explore the enchanting, fortified city of Carcassonne. This medieval settlement, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes you back in time from the moment you enter its imposing fortress gates.  

    Well-preserved ramparts and towers encircle the city and offer glimpses of the surrounding countryside. As you go, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of knights, nobles, and artisans that thrived within its formidable walls where every cobblestone tells a story.  

    French Riviera2 nights
    Day 6: French Riviera via Avignon
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Make your way to Nice and the French Riviera by way of Avignon, known as the “City of the Popes.” Sited along the Rhône River, Avignon’s place at the confluence of history and culture dates to it being the seat of the Catholic papacy in the 14th century. Discover Avignon’s legacy of architecture and art with a local guide leading the way.

    • Stroll through the heart of the city, its historic center unfolding before you, past cobbled streets and imposing stone walls that still stand guard today.
    • Step inside the magnificent Papal Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most significant medieval Gothic buildings in all of Europe. From its cavernous chambers to its extensive courtyards, the enormous structure boasts fortress-like walls more than 160 feet tall—a surefire way to protect its residents.

    You’ll then enjoy free time in Avignon for lunch. Try a light and refreshing salade niçoise with tuna, olives, and eggs. For a sweet treat, find a shop selling Papalines d’Avignon, liqueur-filled chocolate bonbons.

    Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Cap Ferrat & Nice
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Embark on a sunny, salty exploration of the French Riviera, a region known for its glamorous resorts and azure coastlines dotted with yachts. 

    • Marvel at scene-stealing views of the Mediterranean Sea as you stand atop the cliffs of Cap Ferrat. Turquoise waters, washes of greenery, and coves peeking from the coastline combine to make the dreamiest vistas. 
    • Tour the opulent Villa Ephrussi, a magnificent mansion with lavishly decorated rooms commissioned by the Rothschild banking family. The real allure, however, lies in the meticulously landscaped, themed gardens surrounding the villa, each boasting its own unique charm—from the fragrant Rose Garden to the exotic Spanish Garden.  
    • Conclude your day with free time in Nice’s Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow streets that connect bustling squares, quaint cafes, and the vibrant Cours Saleya market, where you can shop for local specialties like tapenades and candied fruit.
    Italian Riviera2 nights
    Day 8: 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, who will share glimpses into its storied past, its transformation from a strategic fortress to a haven of luxury, and the fascinating legacy of the ruling Grimaldi family.

    • Begin your exploration by ascending Le Rocher, one of Monaco’s four quartiers, or quarters, nicknamed for the elevated rock that houses the historic Old Town. Gaze at the Monaco Cathedral, an exquisite example of Romanesque-Byzantine architecture. The cathedral is renowned for its white stones, stunning facade, and being the final resting place of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.
    • Pause outside the majestic Prince’s Palace, first built as a fortress in the late 12th century. The royal residence showcases a blend of architectural styles and enjoys an unmatched view of Monaco and its crystalline coastline.

    This evening, sit down for an included dinner with your group, served with beer or wine.

    Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Cinque Terre
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Occasionally, even the glossiest travel books and the most glowing reviews can’t capture the overwhelming beauty of a place. Join your Tour Director today to discover Cinque Terre, Italy, an idyllic cluster of five villages set on seaside cliffs. Perched along a jagged six-mile strip of coastline, Cinque Terre’s arresting natural beauty prompted Italy to designate the entire area a national park.  

    • Board a train to Monterosso and feel your smile widening as you come across the pebble beach, punctuated with orange and blue umbrellas, that defines this village. Known for its cultivation of lemons, Monterosso celebrates the tart fruit with a festival each May. 
    • Traverse the sparkling Ligurian Sea by boat to Vernazza, a village adorned with a tapestry of pastel-colored waterfront houses. Let yourself fall under the trance of fishing boats gently bobbing up and down in its harbor.  
    • Continue your nautical journey to Riomaggiore, known for its rugged coastal scenery. Colorful buildings cascade down the cliffside and appear to spill into the small marina—a valley between two steep hills. 
    • Learn about the Via dell’Amore, a famous hiking path that connects two of the five villages. Along the Way of Love, visitors find the path strewn with nets suspended from the rocks—waiting for lovers to write their name on a padlock, attach it to the net, and throw the keys into the sea so they’re bound forever to one another.  
    • Enjoy short walks through Cinque Terre’s villages, savoring the unique atmosphere, traditions, and cuisine of each.  
    • Transfer back to your hotel by train and take in the changing landscapes of Liguria’s dramatic coastline and vineyard-covered slopes. Bookmark them in your heart to come back to again and again.   

    Please note: The boat ride is weather-dependent. In the event of inclement weather, you’ll visit the villages by train. In addition, the specific villages you visit may vary.

    Florence2 nights
    Day 10: Transfer to Florence & sightseeing tour
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Travel to Florence—Tuscany’s capital and the world’s greatest treasure trove of Renaissance art and architecture. Get to know the city with a local guide.

    • Head to Florence’s UNESCO-listed historic center and view its exquisite, 15th-century cathedral—the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Florence Cathedral. It remains one of the largest churches in the world and its trademark brick dome is, to this day, the largest masonry dome ever built.
    • Learn about the cathedral’s distinctive, marble-clad facade and its instantly recognizable dome, the latter of which was built by Filippo Brunelleschi and has become a symbol of the Renaissance and Florence itself.
    • Pass Giotto’s Campanile. This bell tower, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, rises nearly 280 feet above the city and features the same red, white, and green marble found on the Florence Cathedral’s facade.
    • Walk past the Piazza della Repubblica, one of Florence’s main squares, to the medieval Ponte Vecchio, an iconic bridge that spans the Arno River and has been lined with shops since the 13th century.
    • Stroll along the Arno and through the Uffizi Gallery’s courtyard to the Piazza della Signoria—a beautiful square that’s situated just outside the Palazzo Vecchio and home to several notable statues, including the Fountain of Neptune and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.
    Day 11: Free day in Florence
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    Since you find yourself in the heart of Tuscany, why not add a trip through the rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves of this cinematic setting? The excursion to San Gimignano takes you deep into the Tuscan countryside and into a town whose skyline is dominated by 14 medieval towers. Then, tingle your tastebuds with a tasting of local olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

    Prefer to head out on your own and need inspiration for your free day in town? Escape the crowds and wander through the Boboli Gardens, located behind the grand Palazzo Pitti. Explore the extensive greenery, hidden pathways, and stunning sculptures of this peaceful oasis, then dive into the vibrant Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, serving locals for more than 100 years. Smaller than its more famous counterpart, the Mercato Centrale, you’ll get an intimate and authentic appreciation for how Florentines live. Browse market stalls bursting with fresh produce, regional delicacies, and traditional wares, and maybe join the locals for a coffee or a bite at the market’s lively cafes.

    Later, celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

    San Gimignano: Medieval Sights & Tuscan Flavors

    From $115 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 12: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your trip with a stay in the Eternal City—Rome—where you’ll traipse across timeworn paths as the city’s monuments keep enduring watch. And if you have the chance to cap off a week of zesty, bright Mediterranean fare with a few days of gnocchi and gelato, seize it! 

    Extension to Rome
    Rome wasn’t built in a day and, if you ask us, it wasn’t meant to be enjoyed in a day, either. Whether you play time traveler while hopping between historic sites or live out your best take on Roman Holiday, the day belongs to you, and we’re here to help. Ask your Tour Director for their favorite ways to savor the city—like their secret spot for pasta carbonara—or join curated experiences that take you into the heart (and full belly) of Rome.
    Rome2 nights
    Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Rome
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Depart Florence for Italy’s capital, Rome, whose entire historic center—including the Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, and the religious and public buildings of Papal Rome—is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow in the footsteps of ancient Romans on a guided tour of the Eternal City.

    • Soak up more than 2,000 years of imperial Roman history, viewing the fourth-century Arch of Constantine—the largest surviving Roman triumphal arch—and the Arch of Titus. The latter dates to the first century and became an inspiration for other triumphal arches, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
    • Enter the Colosseum, the iconic amphitheater built between 70–72 A.D. to host events such as gladiatorial games.
    • Stop at the ruins of the Forum, which served as a setting for parades, elections, and trials.
    • Pass by Palatine Hill to the ancient chariot-racing stadium known as the Circus Maximus. Then, take in the Terme di Caracalla—a beautiful and luxurious public bath that functioned from the third to the sixth century.
    Day 13: Free day in Rome
    Included meal: Breakfast

    On your free day in Rome, you can discover the hidden gem of Trastevere, a bohemian and mostly car-free neighborhood filled with narrow streets and delectable trattorias. Get your fill of pasta, pastries, and gelato when you add our bespoke (and finger-licking) walking tour through Trastevere’s eateries.  

    Need a moment of respite? Visit picturesque Aventine Hill, home to the peaceful Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) and the famous keyhole view of St. Peter’s Basilica—which you can visit by adding the guided tour of Vatican City to your day. Here, you’ll also experience the grandeur and serenity of the Vatican Museum, as well as the Sistine Chapel’s venerated ceiling fresco. The day is yours to seize. 

    Finally, join your fellow group members for a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip. 

    Food of Rome: Walking Tour of Trastevere

    From $135 per person

    Iconic Sights: Vatican City

    From $125 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 14: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Overall rating 4.5 out of 5

    Based on 431 authentic traveler reviews
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      5 out of 5 stars

      A Trip to Enchant You
      5/22/24 by 9th-time traveler Joette

      From beginning to end, this tour had it all. Barcelona, especially the La Sagrada Familia, was beautiful. Montserrat was breathtaking. Avignon & Carcassonne were both full of history. The French Riviera was everything you've ever read about it. Even in the rain, The Cinque Terre had amazing views an...

      Read more +

      4 out of 5 stars

      Fast pace not for an older crowd
      5/15/24 by 1st-time traveler Anonymous

      Amazing tour! And amazing guide. However, the pace is difficult for anyone 55+. Glad I went but I had difficulty keeping up.

      5 out of 5 stars

      5/15/24 by 1st-time traveler Noela
      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Hotel Catalonia Plaza Catalunya
      Hotel Catalonia Plaza Catalunya

      This contemporary hotel is located in the Eixample neighborhood. Guests enjoy a gym, restaurant, and bar. Nearby, you’ll find the Plaça de Catalunya, ...

      Read more +
      Hôtel Mercure Montpellier Centre Comédie
      Hôtel Mercure Montpellier Centre Comédie

      This modern hotel is located in Montpellier’s city center. Guests enjoy the bar’s terrace, luxury toiletries, and rotating art galleries. Nearby, you’...

      Read more +
      AC Hotel by Marriott Ambassadeur Antibes - Juan les Pins
      AC Hotel by Marriott Ambassadeur Antibes - Juan les Pins

      This contemporary hotel is located in the heart of Juan-les-Pins. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, a sauna, and a restaurant and bar. Nearby, you’ll find...

      Read more +
      Europa Hotel Design SPA 1877
      Europa Hotel Design SPA 1877

      This stylish hotel is located in the center of Rapallo. Guests enjoy a restaurant, wellness center, and peaceful garden. Nearby, you’ll Rapallo Castle...

      Read more +
      Grand Hotel Adriatico
      Grand Hotel Adriatico

      This charming hotel is located in Florence’s city center. Guests enjoy a restaurant, courtyard, and fitness center. Nearby, you’ll find the Uffizi Gal...

      Read more +
      EXE International Palace
      EXE International Palace

      This classic hotel is located in the heart of Rome. Guests enjoy the bar, spacious rooms, and on-site coffee house. Nearby you’ll find the Trevi Fount...

      Read more +


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