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Rome to Marrakech
Travel west across Europe from Italy to Morocco
Combine the best of Western Europe with a Moroccan sojourn on this unforgettable adventure tour. Cycle through the Tuscan countryside, hike the velvet-grassed valleys of Switzerland, discover champagne caves in Reims, travel south to the white-sand beaches of the Algarve and end the odyssey amid the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Taste each region along the way - from the simplicity of Ligurian cuisine, the aromatic pleasures of Loire Valley wine and the rich flavour of Jerez sherry, to tastebud-tickling piri-piri in Portugal, tasty tapas in Spain and flavoursome tajines in Morocco. This comprehensive trip is a treat for all the senses.
What's included in this trip
Rome to Marrakech SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Of all the cities in Italy, Rome poses an aura and energy that is simply impossible to resist. Between exploring the Colosseum, marvelling at the gilded tombs of St Peter's Basilica and walking through atmospheric piazzas, travellers will be enchanted by Rome.
See the landscape transform from Romanesque cities to rolling hills and olive groves on a train journey to Tuscany. Cycle alongside the scenic Serchio River, glimpse Michelangelo's David on a visit to Florence, marvel at the La Torre de Pisa, then head back to cosy apartments in lovely Lucca.
Travel by train, bound for La Spezia (approx 3 hrs). Cinque Terre ('Five Lands') is an area famed for the beauty of its coastline and its picturesque villages. Before the advent of the railway, its ancient systems of hillside footpaths were the villages' only link to the outside world. Walk along the famous path of the Cinque Terre. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea - the vistas here are breathtaking. If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approx 5 hrs) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. However, you can jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to our base whenever you want. Please note that some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Appropriate footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes) are required for this day. 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 1.5 hours on a rocky path. - Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path. Important note for 2014 departures. During October 2011 this region was hit by record flooding and serious mudslides, particularly Monterosso and Vernazza which were evacuated and closed for access. In addition, in the summer of 2012 a number of coastal walking paths were closed due to rockslides. Local authorities have since indicated that the restoration and repair work should be complete by summer 2014 and many walking routes will be re-opened, however, please be aware that there may be delays.
Stroll through the ever-fashionable Milan and marvel at its magnificent Duomo. Travel by train to pristine Stresa, which boasts magnificent views of the Alps. Board a ferry and head out to explore the beautiful Borromean Islands - perhaps take in the hanging gardens of the romantic palatial residence on the shores of serene Lake Maggiore.
Farewell Italy and travel into idyllic, lush Switzerland. Enjoy a boat tour of placid Lake Lucerne, learn the story behind the emotive Lion Monument or take a ride on the world's steepest cogwheel railway to the summit of Mt Pilatus.
Visit the spectacular Trummelbach Falls while taking in crisp alpine air. Be sure to try traditional Swiss treats such as fondue and rosti. Perhaps head to the peak of the Schilthorn for a James Bond experience.
Travel through the Swiss capital of Bern and cross the border into Dijon, France. Embark on an odyssey of indulgence in a region renowned for its boeuf bourguignon and mustard. A day trip to Beaune, where Burgundy's best wines are produced, is a tempting introduction to the Cote d'Or.
Raise a glass to Reims, a city renowned for its bubbles and royal ties. Visit champagne caves for an insight into the drink's effervescent magic.
Stroll along the Seine and be enchanted by Paris, a city that has inspired artists and lovers throughout the ages. There is plenty of time to explore and discover the myriad of tourist attractions in Paris, so perhaps wander the art-filled corridors of the Louvre or visit Sacre Coeur in vibrant Montmartre. Indulge in fine French cuisine before saying 'au revoir' to this romantic destination.
Aptly named 'Le Jardin de la France', Tours boasts verdant parks, peaceful river settings and a famed Old City with wonderfully preserved half-timbered buildings and picturesque open-air cafes.
Time seems to have stood still in Sarat-la-Caneda with a slow winding river and a town so impeccably preserved that it still resembles its charming 14th-century self.
A lovely port city famed its wines, Bordeaux exudes charm with celebrated architecture, fascinating museums and alluring cafes in which to linger over the region's famous tipple.
Head for the French Pyrenees and the spa town of Bagneres de Luchon by train and bus (approx 6 hrs). The French Pyrenees stretch from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and form a natural 450 km long barrier between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. As well as their spectacular natural beauty, the Pyrenees are also famous for their thermal springs, where curistes (those seeking a cure) have been coming for hundreds of years. Luchon is one such spa town, and a great base for exploring the surrounding trails. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and the gateway to many outdoor adventures, Luchon is a charming town to explore with its 19th-century buildings and famed flower gardens. Take to the hills for a day of hiking in the Pyrenees. Be prepared for some steep ascents, climbing up through the forest to a fantastic viewpoint of the mountain peaks (weather permitting). The scenery is truly alpine and absolutely breathtaking - don't forget your camera! Please note that you'll need appropriate footwear (sturdy trainers or light hiking boots) for this.
A vibrant cultural heart beats within this relaxed, coastal city - San Sebastian is a perfect place to relax at the beach or enjoy the finer points of Spanish culture.
With its stunning backdrop of mountains, twisting alleyways, the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in the world and delicious local cuisine, Segovia is atmospheric, photogenic and memorable.
Madrid offers a remarkable blend of sights, sounds and experiences. Soak up the art, be wowed by the architecture and swoon over the exceptional food.
Head west to the university city of Salamanca. Soak up the student vibe on a stroll through Plaza Mayor and past historic stone buildings.
Travel from Spain to Portugal to sample rich red wines, delicious spicy fare and enjoy the local tradition of Fado - soulful music about love.
Start explorations of Lisbon with its towering medieval citadel and many interesting museums - or check out the nightlife in Barrio Alto.
There's plenty of time to relax on the beach, explore hidden coves and soak up the holiday atmosphere of the Algarve.
Visit Jerez and discover the secrets to a perfect aperitif on a bodega tour or enjoy a tipple of sherry - the drink named after this town.
Travel across the Strait of Gibraltar and explore Chefchaouen, a sleepy mountain town of delightful blue-washed buildings.
Arrive in the city of Fes and step back in time into a huge medieval medina thick with exotic smells, tastes, sights and sounds. Fuel explorations of this imperial city with a glass of mint tea and some sweet Moroccan dates. After time spent sightseeing in Fes, be sure to unwind with an evening drink at the Palais Jamai while the haunting call to prayer floats over the city.
Find everything from genie lamps to leather slippers in Marrakech, an exotic city of souqs. Take a refreshing walk through the lush gardens at Majorelle Jardin, visit the lavishly decorated Saadian Tombs or end the adventure among the bustle of Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech's bustling main bazaar.
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