France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Vatican City
Paris, Versailles, Cote d’Azur, Nice, Monaco, Cannes, Rome, Pantheon, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Athens, Monastriraki, Agora, Nafplio
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures
Three countries, six overnight destinations and an endless reel of highlights: the Pantheon to the Parthenon; Michelangelo to Monet; Acropolis temples to Parisian neighborhoods; Monaco, the Vatican City, and Nafplio. Handcrafted for first-time visitors to Europe, this is an action-packed highlights tour of icons and legends, spanning 3,000 years and just as many postcards.
Paris – Welcome to France
All the great European cities are built around the water, and Paris’ great artery is the River Seine. Touch down in the French capital, and it’s the river that provides your introduction. Start cruising beneath the Eiffel Tower. Drift past 18th-century neighborhoods, then view the dome of Notre Dame. Travel beneath the famous bridges, the eyes of sculptures looking down on your journey. Watch the city roll by, from street musicians on the boulevards to flea markets and alfresco cafes. Spot people eating picnics on the banks and gaze up at some of the world’s most recognizable buildings. A Seine cruise is an easy introduction to Europe, and it’s perfect after a long journey: just sit back and absorb all the new impressions.
Paris – Parisian Neighborhoods Walking Tour
A chocolatier beckons down a cobbled street. The aroma of croissants leads you around corners. Small cafe terraces invite you to reenergize. This is Paris, a charming city of local sights and everyday culture, framed by the most sublime 18th and 19th-century architecture. Spend today on an in-depth walking tour, visiting neighborhoods on both sides of the river. You’ll go hunting for macarons, relive the era of the Impressionists, and explore with all your senses. Best of all, you’ll start to appreciate the nuance between neighborhoods, those subtle differences that distinguish the Latin Quarter from Saint-Germain and Montmartre. It’s a relaxed full-day experience, and along the way, you’ll get some excellent inspiration for dinner reservations.
Paris – Landmarks of the City
It’s impossible to cover all the Paris landmarks in a single day. This is a city that most people in the world have once dreamt of, a city that’s imagined a little differently by everyone. The guide will customize today to the Paris of your imagination. That could be the Louvre Museum, or Impressionist works in Musee d’Orsay. It might be whizzing to the Eiffel Tower summit. Maybe it’s spending a day in Versailles, getting out to Champagne, or walking down the Champs-Elysees. There is too much for a single day but an excellent local guide ensures you make the most of your time and wherever you go there will always be coffee and a croissant at a Parisian cafe.
Nice – An Expressive Journey Across France
The best way to see all of France is aboard the world’s fastest train. The TGV that whizzes from Paris to the Cote d’Azur in 5 and a half hours. Wheat-fields punctuated by stone farmhouses; vineyards basking in the sun; medieval villages atop distant hills; the train slowing down in old-world towns, then speeding onwards past lagoons, pelicans and the Mediterranean Sea. Food and drinks are included in the first-class carriage, and you roll into Nice around mid-afternoon, refreshed and ready to explore. Nice is all about the waterfront, where elegant buildings suggest the glitz and glamor of southern France. You’ll explore the key sights before a relaxed evening on the water, the guide making dinner reservations at a spot above the harbor.
Nice – Highlights of Monaco and Cannes
Fragrances guide you through Eze, the famous home of perfumeries and exotic scents. Extravagance leads the way in Monaco, a principality of royal architecture and old-world seduction. Cannes basks in the limelight for more than just a film festival, it’s a delightful place to spend an afternoon walking down historic streets as yachts lull in the nearby harbor. These destinations are close together so you can take your time today. Meander through the highlights, walk along the promenades, take in the Prince’s Palace and discover why the Cote d’Azur has been attracting tourists for over 200 years. With the Mediterranean shimmering and the cities so laid-back, this part of France feels like a quiet vacation, and an adventure rolled into one.
Rome – Immersed in the Heart of Rome
Fly to Rome and the heart of an old empire is just steps from your hotel. You can easily walk to the Pantheon, where the domed ceiling is so suggestive of a distant time. The Trevi Fountain still trickles, yet the greatest highlight is at the Roman Forum. Wander past the crumbling and cracked columns to the Colosseum, the great gladiatorial arena that has seen much change over the centuries. With virtual reality glasses you can stand in the Colosseum and witness how it all evolved, then you can step over the red rope and be one of the few treated to the arena’s third tier each day. There are other icons as you discover the heart of Rome today before a city piazza helps you unwind during the evening.
Rome – The Vatican Museums and More
An early start is rewarded as you explore the Vatican Museums before the crowds. Gaze up at Michelangelo’s ceiling, surround yourself with Raphael’s frescos, admire priceless sculptures, and discover oil canvases as large as a wall. Exiting the museums you enter St Peter’s Basilica, the grandest of all the Catholic churches, so expressive in both scale and detail. By mid-afternoon, you will be back in Rome itself, which leaves half a day to see more of the city. Perhaps take a horse and carriage ride out to Trastevere for a more local insight into Rome. Maybe take a journey through Borromini’s city, checking out the buildings that formed the foundation of Italian baroque design or relax on a piazza and watch the city roll by.
Florence – Exploring the Renaissance City
A short train north and you’re in Florence. Like every destination on this trip, it’s amazing how the feeling of a destination impresses from the moment you arrive. Check in to a central hotel and a local guide takes you around. Understand the background at Piazza della Signoria, admire the curves of Palazza Vecchio, check out the grand duomo (cathedral), and travel through the Gates of Paradise. Church bells ring, domes dominate the skyline, and there really is nowhere in the world like Florence. Spend the evening dining on a piazza, watching the colors change at sunset.
Florence – Day Trip to Pisa and Siena
A tower leans but it’s far from the only marvel in Pisa, a Tuscan city that evokes an atmosphere of the Middle Ages, especially when seen from afar. Get up close on a walking tour, then travel to Tuscany’s real historic gem, Siena. Explore the piazza of Palio horse racing fame, discover the 13th-century art scene, and learn how Siena has influenced the world. On the route between these two old cities, you stop in Chianti to go wine tasting at a small vineyard. You stop at a village trattoria, dining with the locals in a traditionally styled Italian restaurant. Florence awaits later and it’s even more magical your second evening around.
Athens – Amid the Legends
Land in Athens and view the Acropolis, a compass point for your time in the Greek capital, and an insight into the great civilization. Today you delve into the tightly-knit neighborhoods of centuries past. Walk through the flea markets of Monastiraki, past tiled houses to temples with almost three millennia of history. Explore the lived-in side to Ancient Greece, where ruins juxtapose with small houses and traditional restaurants. There’s something new on every corner, and there are so many back-streets to uncover, a Greek historian guide showing how each part of Athens comes from a different century. You’ll visit what remains of the Tower of the Winds, stroll down Aoilou Street, then spend the evening in Pangrati, where the atmosphere is Athenian new-world.
Athens – Full Day of Greek Mythology and Ruins
Columns rise in harmony, crafting temples dedicated to icons. Great slabs of stone show the remains of a sanctified realm. Mythology is everywhere, and you need a good storyteller to separate myth from reality. Explore the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, an ancient cemetery at Kerameikos and the Agora. Poseidon and Dionysus add resonance to the archaeological ruins, Athena can be admired in her own temple, and it’s baffling to imagine that all this was built more than 2,000 years ago. You need a full day to fully get around the Acropolis and Agora, especially when including a stop at the Acropolis Museum. After this day, there will still be myth and mystery, but you’ll understand how and why it was made so believable.
Nafplio – Another Side to Ancient Greece
After some busy days in contrasting cities, you end the vacation with some downtime on the coast. Except this is Greece, so the seaport comes with a good two millennia of history as well. Travel to the Peloponnese Peninsula and gaze upon the trademark turquoise of the coast. Relax by the port then stroll through the old town, statues of Nafplio heroes a backdrop to what has shaped the town. Ottoman fountains trickle-down winding streets. Venetian townhouses impose both elegance and grandeur. Histories come together beneath Palamidi Castle, where a walking trail reveals the invasions and civilizations that have forever shaped this corner of Greece. It might not be as ancient as the Acropolis, but there’s an ancient history that’s just as evocative.
Nafplio – Olive Oil and Relaxing on the Coast
Nafplio is a slow town. While it’s not a place for lounging on a beach, the sultry sea air imposes itself on everyone who visits. Sit at a cafe on the water. Walk the promenade and bask in the sun. Take a boat to Bourtzi Castle, the great stone relic guarding Naflpio Bay. Mountains provide the town’s backdrop, and it only takes 15 minutes to reach them. You’ll find rural villages here, most of them surviving on olive oil and sheep’s milk. Visit the groves, picnic beneath a tree, follow the olive oil making process and stop for a late bite in a family taverna. Then it’s back to Naflpio, a timeless place to reflect on two weeks in France, Italy, and Greece. As the sun sets over the water, you wonder how so much happened in so short a time.
Athens – Departure
It’s a short transfer back to Athens for your departing flight. You spend the morning at the harbor, looking across the waters of Europe.
- Discover the heart of Paris, from elegant neighborhoods to world-famous icons
- Stand atop the Athens Acropolis and surround yourself with remains from an ancient civilization
- Explore the Tuscan city of Florence, a fabulous city of art, architecture and great food
- Relax on France’s Cote d’Azur, walking the promenades of Nice and Cannes
- Unearth the heart of Ancient Rome, like the Pantheon and Colosseum
- Spend two days on the Greek coast in Nafplio, where the history is as evocative as the sea views
- Take a trip to Pisa and Siena, make a stop in Monaco, and spend a day in the Vatican City
- Uncover more than just the famous sights as you’re led by local specialist guides
The marks of history are what this handcrafted tour to Europe is all about. You will have over two weeks to explore Parisian icons, the Vatican City, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. There are six overnight stops in total: Paris, Nice, Rome, Florence, Athens, Nafplio. Such a journey takes you to cobbled neighborhoods, expressive galleries, millennia-old icons, and the highlights of many different eras. There is more than just the famous postcard sights. As expert guides lead the way, you’ll enjoy an authentic jump into the local culture as well.
Three days in Paris is perfect for getting to know the city. First cruise on the River Seine, a timeless introduction provided by the city’s main artery. Then spend a day in the neighborhoods, checking out chocolatiers, patisseries, charming streets and cafe culture. Day three is flexible and focuses on the city’s unmissable landmarks – unmissable defined by you as that could be the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, or Champs-Elysees. Ride the world’s fastest train, the TGV, to the south of France, and two days on the Cote d’Azur. Nice is your base, but you’ll also discover the highlights of Monaco and Cannes, all three destinations full of French glamor and glitz.
Initial Italian impressions come to Rome, your hotel on the same street as the Pantheon. It takes a day to get around the wonders of Ancient Rome and a local historian helps you decipher myth and fiction. Spend day six in the Vatican, from St Peter’s Basilica to the Sistine Chapel, before traveling through the centuries to Renaissance Florence. Art and architecture is the theme of day eight, one that’s continued with a day trip to Pisa, Siena, and Tuscan vineyards. Just like your time in France and Greece, there are many superlative sights on every single day. Sometimes you must scroll through your camera or phone, just to confirm you’ve seen so many epic places in such a short amount of time.
Fly from Florence to Athens and immerse yourself in the city’s history, from memoirs to Zeus and Athena to tightly-packed neighborhoods beneath the Acropolis. Then escape to the coast. Breathe in the salty air, check out the turquoise, and watch the sunset from a medieval castle. There’s a huge amount of history in Nafplio as well, but mostly the experience is about sitting back and recollecting what has gone before. Two weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of time to explore the highlights of France, Italy, and Greece, but Europe is always quick to show you how small it is. In two weeks, you don’t just travel through three countries you cover 3,000 years of Western civilization.
$3,719 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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