Barcelona to Rome Trip Notes

Barcelona to Rome

Last Modified: 27 Aug 2015
Barcelona to Rome
Trip code: ZMSC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Lose yourself in three of Europe's most enchanting countries. From the vibrant streets of Barcelona set off for the picturesque Spanish Pyrenees. Then discover Provencal food and world-class wines before frolicking with Europe’s high rollers in the French Riviera. Marvel at Cinque Terre's breathtaking cliff-top towns, see master works of art in Florence and gaze at the beguiling Leaning Tower of Pisa. Visit beautiful Siena before concluding this European adventure in the ancient city of Rome.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesImportant notesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Group sizeEmergency funds
Why we love itYour fellow travellersVisas
MapSingle travellersIssues on your trip
ItineraryAccommodationWhat to take
Also available to purchaseMeals introductionHealth
We also recommendMealsSafety
Itinerary disclaimerTransportTravel insurance
Culture shock rating Group leaderResponsible Travel
Physical ratingJoining point A couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsCarbon offset
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsFeedback
Spending moneyFinish point
TippingFinish point description
Style
Original
  • Our Original style trips have a great balance of included activities with your group and free time to explore independently. Where we stay ensures we keep our travellers firmly entrenched in a region’s people and culture, and provides them with unique local experiences that benefits the community too. In most locations we stay in simple tourist-class hotels (i.e. 2-3 stars), plus on many trips you'll also get to experience a night with a local family on a homestay or something a little different like a Bedouin camp in the Sahara. Original style trips come with all manner of transport modes and use a mixture of local and private transport. You might find yourself sailing in a dhow in Zanzibar, jumping on a rickshaw in Sri Lanka or sailing on a yacht through the Galapagos. No matter the mode, it's all about minimising our environmental impact and making getting around part of the adventure.
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
Why we love it
- Gaudi's modern cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, is like no other building you've ever seen. Still under construction after over 130 years, this Gothic masterpiece embodies Barcelona's artistic and progressive heart
- Hike in the majestic Spanish Pyrenees mountains, revelling in the fresh air, panoramic views and an exhilarating sense of freedom
- The Provencal landscapes of southern France are some of the most idyllic in Europe. As you wander past bright lavender fields, you'll understand why this part of the world is so adored by artists
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more. The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture
- There's a lot more to Florence than Renaissance art (although the art is pretty great). The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is brimming with nearly 600 years of history and stories
- No Italian adventure would be complete without a visit to Rome. Enjoy plenty of free time to discover the ancient Colosseum, stroll through Vatican City and gaze up towards the gods inside St Peter's Basilica
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Barcelona
Welcome to Barcelona, Spain. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hostel lobby or ask the reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, use free time to get your bearings of Barcelona. There are plenty of galleries, cafes and historic corners to keep you busy. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is not be missed. As there's not much time in Barcelona, we suggest you head to the city a few days earlier so you can get under the skin of this great city.
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the welcome meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Museum of Gaudi - EUR6
  • National Art Museum of Catalonia - EUR12
  • Andean-Amazonian Ethnographic Museum - Free
  • Old Santa Creu Hospital - Free
  • Picasso Museum - EUR14
  • Casa Batllo - EUR22
  • Museum of City History - EUR7
  • Guell Palace - EUR12
  • Cathedral visit - EUR6
  • Snapshots of Barcelona - EUR45
  • Barcelona Tapas Tour - EUR52
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Pyrenees
Travel north today by train and climb into the Spanish Pyrenees to the small town of Ribes de Freser (approximately one hour). On arrival, enjoy a free afternoon and relax with the views of beautiful Pyrenees mountains in the background. Perhaps head out for dinner in the evening with the group.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Ribes de Freser
Today, enjoy stunning views from the cogwheel train into Nuria Valley, along with time to stretch your legs on a hike in the scenic surrounds. Take to the hills for a day of hiking in the Pyrenees and be prepared for some steep ascents. Climb up through the forest to a fantastic viewpoint of the mountain peaks (weather permitting). Don't forget your camera, as the scenery is alpine and spectacular. The terrain can be quite rough around this region so please make sure you bring the sturdy trainers or light hiking boots for this.
Included Activities
  • Cogwheel train to Nuria Valley
  • Hiking in the Pyrenees
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Carcassonne
Continue your adventure across the French border today, as you take the long train journey to Carcassonne via Toulouse (approximately six hours). The stunning medieval French city of Carcassonne looks like it's straight from a classic fairytale with its surrounding defensive walls and towering turrets. You'll have plenty of time to explore and uncover its secrets.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Provence
Leave Carcassonne behind today and take the train into the French region of Provence, settling in the town of Arles (approximately four hours). On arrival, take a walk around the town and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes that surround you. Go on an included trip to Arles Amphitheatre in the afternoon and tour the the vast arches of this ancient Roman arena. The evening is then free to do as you wish.
Included Activities
  • Arles Amphitheatre
Optional Activities
  • Vincent Van Gogh Foundation - EUR9
  • Antiques Museum - EUR6
  • Reattu Museum - EUR7
  • Arlaten Ethnographic Museum - EUR6
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Arles
Enjoy a free day in the town of Arles. There's plenty to see and do during your time here, so use your time wisely. Perhaps head to the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation and browse the permanent art exhibitions of the Post-Impressionist painter, as well as temporary exhibitions of other famous artists. Discover Gothic architecture in a walled city where the Pope once took refuge, stroll past an ancient multi-storey aqueduct and cycle among pink flamingos frolicking in sandy reed beds. The Antiques Museum, Arlaten Ethnographic Museum and Reattu Museum provide tonnes of culture to discover, or simply relax by The Rhone river and watch the world go by.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Nice
Take the train to Nice today, which should take you around four hours. The star of the Riviera and a great base from which to explore the rest of the Cote d'Azur, Nice boasts both public and private beaches, and many water sports are also available. Your afternoon and evening are free, but try not to miss the flower and evening markets on Place Saleya.
Included Activities
  • Picnic Nice
Optional Activities
  • Exotic Garden - EUR7
  • Boat trip to St. Tropez - EUR63
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - Free
  • St. Nicolas Cathedral - EUR3
  • Matisse Museum - Free
  • Grasse perfume tour - Free
  • Train to Cannes - EUR14
  • Eze day trip - EUR3
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Nice
Aside from an included lunch time picnic, the rest of your day in Nice is free to explore. There's even the option of taking a day trip to the glitzy city of Cannes, which only costs around EUR 14 by train, bus or boat. Possibly visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest'. Just 10 minutes from Nice, this medieval town is a true gem. Vaulted, narrow streets are filled with art galleries, workshops and gastronomic restaurants. At the top is a ruined medieval castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Cinque Terre
After breakfast this morning, take the long train ride for around seven hours and cross the Italian border to Cinque Terre. On arrival in Cinque Terre, there won't be too much time to explore. After checking in to your hotel perhaps get your bearings of the area with a short walk or head out for dinner with the group.
Included Activities
  • Cinque Terre Day Pass
Optional Activities
  • Day Cruise - EUR25
  • Pesto Class in Levanto - EUR13
  • Church of St Andrea - Free
  • Sea kayak hire - EUR10
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Cinque Terre
This morning venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre (Five Lands), a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages. The footpaths that run between the villages were once the only way to travel in the region, and take you through olive groves, vineyards and to idyllic vistas. Walking the entire network of paths can take around five hours (12 km in total) and will need a good level of fitness. Some sections of path can be difficult, as there are challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Please remember to bring comfortable footwear such as trainers or light hiking shoes.
Cinque Terre path sections:
- Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path.
- Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path.
- Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about one and a half hours on a rocky path.
- Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about two hours on a rocky path.
It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to the group's base whenever you want. After working up an appetite, take advantage of the foods of the Liguria region with a pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch. In the late afternoon, the rest of your day is free.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the full extent of the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train for these sections.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 11 Pisa/Florence
Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Pisa, which normally takes between one to two hours. There's ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo (Piazza dei Miracoli) and Pisa Baptistry. Please note that it's not always possible to climb the tower, although you'll have plenty of time to take pictures and explore the city. Return to the station in the afternoon and take the train to Florence (approximately two hours). After checking in to your hotel in Florence, the rest of your evening is free to explore the city of Renaissance.
Optional Activities
  • Baptistry - EUR10
  • Accademia - EUR14
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR14
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
  • Pitti Palace - EUR16
  • Museum Bargello - EUR4
  • Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
  • Medici Chapels - EUR6
  • Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR6
  • Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR70
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR50
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR60
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 12 Florence
After breakfast, head out into Florence and visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, and see Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. We recommend that you book at least two months in advance, especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences queues of up to five hours all year round (please see notes below). Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River. There are plenty of sights to see during your time in Florence.
Notes: Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance. Reserve tickets by phone on (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30 am - 12.30 pm. You can also book online at: weekendafirenze.com. The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them, but the website (firenzemusei.it) has everything you need to know.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 13 Siena
Say goodbye to Florence today and take the bus to Siena, which should take you around one a half hours. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards of chianti, Siena is one of the most idyllic cities of Tuscany. Wander the tiny alleyways and lively piazzas, and search out the unique Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio horse race takes place (twice annually in mid-July and the end of August). Siena has an energetic and friendly student atmosphere that has endured since the 13th century, thanks to one of the oldest universities in the world being located here. Your evening is free to enjoy the cuisine and nightlife of Siena.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 14 Rome
In the morning, take the train to Rome (approximately two hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, where you see some of the iconic sights such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a panorama over the city. Use your free time to also visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds).
For meals, Rome is packed full of restaurants and trattorias that cater to every taste and budget. Local specialities tend to be quite heavy, and include pastas such as carbonara (egg, cheese and bacon) and amatriciana (tomato, bacon and chilli). Eating in trattorias will give you a chance to sample some Italian wines, with house choices usually very good and affordable. Head out in the evening with the group for a final farewell dinner.
Notes: Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on when you can visit. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do. Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at: galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm.
Optional Activities
  • Vatican museums - EUR16
  • Galleria Borghese - EUR11
  • Venezia Palace - EUR4
  • St Peter's dome elevator - EUR7
  • St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
  • Christian catacombs - EUR8
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
  • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
  • Imperial Fora - EUR9
  • Pantheon - Free
  • Urban Adventures - Ancient Rome: Archaeological Discovery Tour - EUR85
  • Urban Adventures - Roman Dolce Vita - EUR60
  • Urban Adventures - Trastevere: Trends and Tradition - EUR55
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 15 Rome
Your Barcelona to Rome adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned for today and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Barcelona to Rome - Single Supplement (ZMSC)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Rome to Paris (ZMSP)
  • North Spain Discovery (ZMSN)
  • France & Spain (AMSQC)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Culture shock rating

At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
Europe is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Expense, crowds, differing cultures can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this region but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. In some parts of Europe there are very different attitudes to time keeping and service. Buses and trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and waiters may not seem as keen to serve you as you may be used to. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by every part of Europe.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE:
To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
Money Exchange
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
Important notes
SPANISH SIESTA:
Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.
One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.
Group size
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
Days 9-10 - Cinque Terre (La Spezia)
Accommodation
Hotel (14 nts)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
Meals introduction
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Meals
8 Breakfasts
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
EUR 525.00
There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.). However, there are generally opportunities to stop for a beverage or a snack along the way.
Vegetarians should be aware that a meat and fish diet is the norm some areas of Spain. Most vegetarians have not experienced problems, however please be prepared to be flexible.
Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 21:00 and 21.30.
Transport
Metro, Train, Cog wheel railway, Public bus, Bus
TRANSPORT IN EUROPE:
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
Group leader
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point
Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia
Calle Aragon, 569 BIS 08026
Barcelona
SPAIN
Phone: +34 932458905
Joining point description
The Catalonia Sagrada Familia Hotel is located on Aragon Street, at the heart of Barcelona. It is ideal for cultural and gastronomic trips to the Condal City, as it lies close to the Hispanidad and Gaudi squares, the area of El Clot, Els Encants and Glories square.
The 18-square-metre double rooms of the Catalonia Sagrada Familia Hotel are the ideal accommodation for a cultural trip to Barcelona as a couple: comfortable, elegant and fully equipped accommodation with bathroom with shower and hairdryer, TV, Channel+, telephone, room services, safe deposit box, free WiFi, heating and air conditioning.
Joining point instructions
Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is just minutes from Barcelona Clot train and metro stations, which can be reached from Barcelona airport within 50 minutes. Frequently running buses (602, 614, A2) connect with L1 metro line which goes directly to Clot station. In addition, every 30 minutes there is a direct train (R2, R2N) running from Barcelona airport station.
Taxi from the airport:
Alternatively there are taxi ranks opposite the arrivals areas of terminal T1, the Barcelona-Madrid shuttle, and terminals T2 A and T2 B. A taxi will cost approx. €30 to the hotel.
If you have pre booked an arrival transfers: Your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall.
In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact to the emergency +34 91 7477570
Arrival complications
EUROPE:
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) please follow the instructions under the "Joining point instructions" in order to find your driver. Should you have any problems locating your driver, please call the number of our transfer company which can be found under the joining point instructions as well. Should you continue to experience any difficulties, please call the emergency number for our local operations team which is available on the 'Emergency Contact' section in these trip notes.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Barcelona
If you have any issues locating your driver please contact Grup Limo on +34 687 838 887 or Hotelbeds on +34.660.409.789
Finish point
Hotel Stella
Via Castelfidardo, 51
Rome
ITALY
Phone: 0039 064441078
Finish point description
Hotel Stella is centrally located near Termini Station and the biggest park in Rome, Villa Borghese. The hotel is a former 19th century mansion. All rooms have private facilities, air conditioning, room safe, TV and hairdrier.
www.hotelstellaroma.it/en
During your stay in Rome you may be asked to complete a City of Rome visitor tax exemption form.
Finish point instructions
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
Alternatively, Hotel Stella is approximately 3 minutes walk away from Roma Termini, the main rail station.
Pre booked departure transfer to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA) airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +39 335 568 5666.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57.
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
EUROPE:
On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
Cold tap water is generally safe and good to drink so you can avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap or public water fountains. A “NON POTABLE” caution will be posted In areas where water is not recommended straight from the tap.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Safety
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches that modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 214.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.