Cultural Treasures of France, Spain, & Italy Itinerary

A 16 day trip to France, Italy & Spain 
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It’s not a macaron if it’s not from Saint-Germain in Paris. It’s not true Renaissance if you’re not in Tuscany. The best of Europe is a mix of its legendary cultures, all the way from flamenco and tapas in Andalusia, to Venetian pleasures along the water. This authentic cultural treasures tour showcases six regions that shaped Europe, immersing you in their traditions and legends: Andalusia and Catalonia, Tuscany and Venice, then Paris and Champagne. Begin planning your dream France, Spain, and Italy tour by connecting with one of our France, Spain, and Italy travel specialists. 

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Andalusia, Seville, Cathedral of Seville, Alcazar, Cordoba, Mezquita, Barcelona, Catalonia, La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, Parc Guell, Penedes, Sitges, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Tuscany, Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Venice, Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Burano, Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, Basilica di San Marco, Paris, River Seine, Louvre Museum, Sainte Chapelle, Montmartre, Saint-Germain, Champagne

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Seville – Tapas in Andalusia

Spanish cuisine is usually an amalgamation of regional flavors. Like paella from Valencia and tapas from Andalusia. Touch down in Seville and you delve straight into the local culinary specialities – authentic tapas. Tasting tapas is also a good way to explore the city’s energy and style. Hop between small taverns, trying little bites, learning about how the cuisine has evolved here. You’ll get a sense of a fiery, passionate region, one that heartily welcomes visitors and loves to show off its tradition. Along the way, you’ll start appreciating the sights as well, Seville a place where there’s something to admire on almost every street corner. It’s a relaxed and informal evening that can suit the mood, so it can continue late into the night or until you feel tired and are ready for the hotel.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Seville – Legends of Seville and a Night of Flamenco

Start today relaxed and take your time to visit a nearby cafe, wile the morning away as you overcome any travel fatigue. In the afternoon, you go exploring. Seville has one of the largest old cities in the world, a treasure-chest of cobbled lanes, grand churches, and aristocratic townhouses from a time when new world wealth funneled in through its port. Admire the cathedral and find where Columbus is buried. Relax on a piazza, and discuss how Seville became so wealthy. Keep exploring and end up in the small neighborhood where flamenco was born. Yep, flamenco is also an Andalusian specialty and you experience a show in a legendary venue. A guitar plucks, a voice soars, feet tap and the energy is insatiable. This is true flamenco, not flamenco for tourists. The atmosphere will be remembered over many years to come.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Seville – A Day in Cordoba

Seville has Moorish roots but it’s Cordoba where the Moors had their great stronghold. The Mezquita still stands proud, a vast complex of geometric patterns and sublime calligraphy. Of all the old buildings in the whole of Europe, none can rival the artistic grandeur of the Mezquita. It deserves at least two hours, the rest of your time spent exploring the surrounding Alcazar, another place to have retained its old-world Moorish roots. You’ll be back in Seville before dusk, meaning another evening doing what the locals love to do – taking a stroll and stopping for some tapas.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Barcelona – Flavors of the Catalan Coast

Fly to Barcelona, and so much changes; language, architecture, ambiance, energy. Catalonia is proudly unique and it doesn’t take long before you’ve escaped the tourist-focused central city and are experiencing what the region is all about. A local guide leads the way, taking you into a couple of neighborhoods that have defined Catalonia. One is all about the design, how the Modernist architecture flows effortlessly through the streets. The other is all about the view and the history, Barcelona and the Mediterranean unfolding far below. As with the next two days, a private guide can tailor the tour, so you can do and see more should you have the energy.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Barcelona – Gaudi, Dali and Picasso

Three famous names mark the experience in Barcelona and it doesn’t matter which order they come in. Surreal designs mark out the architecture of Gaudi and other Modernists, especially at La Sagrada Familia, which nears completion nearly a century after Gaudi’s death. Dali, him with the outrageous mustache, is another of the contemporary heroes, while the Picasso Museum houses a vast collection of the artist’s formative works. With these three as a lens, you explore more of Barcelona today, visiting different parts of this city on the coast. The guide can provide many restaurant recommendations; Catalonia is home to an abundance of restaurants in the world’s best 50 list.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Barcelona – Penedes Wine Tasting and Sitges

Vineyards extend and aromas flutter, Penedes your destination for a dreamy morning in Catalonia. This small region is the home of cava, a Spanish sparkling wine that is best understood when paired with food. You taste with a winemaker or cellar-master, mixing different vintages with culinary delicacies. By early afternoon, you may be seeking a siesta and Sitges is a great place for this. Cute and charming as it hangs over the coast, this Catalan town is a mix of sultry beach days and tight cobbled lanes. Much like Cordoba was to Andalusia, Sitges helps you build a broader picture of Catalonia and its culture.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Florence – An Introduction to Italy and Tuscany

Tuscany beckons. Domes shimmer in the midday sun. Coffee aromas drift across piazzas. Renaissance sculptures pop up as you start to explore. Michelangelo’s David is here, although the original is no longer in its original place. There are other icons as well, the works of Raphael and others found all across this city of culture. Land in Florence, and you spend an afternoon amid its famous sights. As always, you have a private guide so the exact program can be adjusted, dependent on specific interests and the prevailing mood. Florentine isn’t the home of pizza but they do know steak here, along with various unique pasta dishes. Like Seville and Barcelona, you’ll find this a city that’s tailor-made for foodies.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Days 8 – 9: Florence – Exploring the Vineyards and Culture of Old-World Tuscany

Over these two days, the guide will craft a program based on your interests. Two days isn’t long enough to experience all of Tuscany, but it’s a very good start. Day trips mean you enjoy Florence in the evenings, the most endearing and evocative time of day; sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting back on a piazza, watching how the colors change around dusk. Two medieval towns always stand out when you venture out of the city, Siena and Pisa memoirs to the Middle Ages and its traditions. These two days can also incorporate legendary wine destinations, like the vineyards of Chianti and villages packed with musty cellars. With a local guide, you can look behind the postcards to an authentic slice of old-world Tuscany, which can be as active or a relaxing as you wish.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Venice – The Legendary City of Canals

Take the train to Venice, and reflect on the journey so far. Then disembark to a city and an old empire, Venice the heart of what was once the most powerful empire on the planet. A gondolier propels you down the canals, between the small islands that make up this world-famous destination. While the streets of Venice are often crowded, the city comes alive when you’re on the water. Drift beneath the bridges, travel down the Grand Canal, soak up the inimitability of the early Middle Ages, and experience why there is nowhere in the world like Venice. Your hotel is on the water and a water taxi is available to take you anywhere in the city. That means that this evening you can explore on your own, when many of the day-tripping tourists have returned to the mainland.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 11: Venice – Memoirs to the Venetian Republic

Doge’s Palace, a place of mystery and bloody history, where legends were made and insalubrious tales still whisper from the walls. Next it’s Basilica di San Marco, such iconicity to its design and heritage, such solitude to its interior. You will head to Burano, an island of glass blowers and waterside restaurants where you can escape the world after arriving on a sailboat. These are all memoirs to the Venetian Republic and experiencing them has a slow, old-world cadence that’s best exemplified by sailing. You’ll be on foot in the morning then traveling on the wind this afternoon, with a couple of other islands completing your tour of the city. For food this evening, you should try the vegetarian risotto, a specialty that has more than stood the test of time.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Paris – Icons Along the Seine

Fly direct to Paris and you enter a city of legend. With an early flight you have a full day in the city, a chance to experience all those famous places you dare not miss. For some that’s the Eiffel Tower, others head straight to the Louvre Museum or Musee d’Orsay. There’s shopping along the Champs-Elysee and a view from the Eiffel Tower. There are patisseries and cafes all over. This is a city that responds to its fame and everyone has a different idea of what they most want to see. That’s why this day is left free. You have a central hotel and the guide will provide some tips and tricks during your airport transfer. The rest is all up to you.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 13: Paris – Cultures and Neighborhoods of Paris

Each place visited yesterday, all those postcards from Paris; they are but one side to the French capital. For an authentic experience you must venture into the arrondissements, where there are neighborhoods that have a number and a style. Over the day, you’ll experience how Paris is many cultures all rolled into one. Saint-Germain is for your sweet tooth, where you taste macarons and visit historic chocolatiers. Montmartre is for the bohemian within you, the neighborhood on a hill where the Impressionists would meet and paint at cafe tables. There is Ile de la Cite, where a church and cathedral loom over everything. Then Le Marais, where the aristocratic atmosphere can be penetrated when you go tasting in a small bistro.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Days 14 – 15: Reims – Discovering the Champagne Region

Finally arrive in Champagne, the region that isn’t as well known as the drink it created. Popping a cork at a famous vineyard is the best way to start, a few late-morning bubbles helping you settle into the region’s rhythm. At a second vineyard, you dine with wine while looking out over the vines. That afternoon, you reach your base in Reims, a city with almost two millennia of history and a great selection of architectural secrets. Go on a short tour to the cathedral and main square, before the day slips into evening and you taste more Champagne gastronomy. Day 15 is deliberately flexible and there are many options in this cultural part of France, from cycling or horse riding in the vines to visiting small villages out beyond the vineyards.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 16: Reims to Paris – Departure

It’s farewell from Champagne and farewell from Europe, taking memories of six treasured cultures back home with you.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$4,208
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.