Enjoy a unique travel experience through two of Europe's favourites

Join this adventure from romantic Paris to cosmopolitan Barcelona and be captivated by the culture and history of France and Spain. Visit castles, travel through the Loire Valley on a bicycle and hike in the majestic mountains of the Pyrenees. Peruse paintings, get funky in Madrid, admire Gaudi's quirky architecture and marvel at an illustrious Moorish past in Spanish byways and boulevards before partying the night away. This trip will make sure you come away with truly unique memories of two of Europe's most popular holiday destinations.

Start
Paris, France
Finish
Barcelona, Spain
Countries
France,
Spain
Themes
Explorer
Code
AMSQC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
351kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Fall in love with captivating Paris
  • Amble down elegant boulevards in Bordeaux
  • Conquer trails in the mighty French Pyrenees
  • Sample pintxos in sunny San Sebastian
  • Shop in the fashionable city of Madrid
  • Be captivated by medieval monuments in Toledo
  • Relax on the beaches of the Costa de la Luz
  • Marvel at Gaudi's creations in Barcelona

Itinerary

Upon arrival in Paris, why not peruse iconic paintings in the Louvre or sculptures in the Musee Rodin. Alternatively, relax in the Jardin du Luxembourg, go shopping in Marais, descend into the Catacombs or scale the Eiffel Tower.
Venture into the Loire Valley, a region renowned for its wealth of art, history and medieval houses. Cycle to the breathtaking Chateau Villandry and take a walk through its manicured Renaissance gardens.
Travel by train into the Dordogne region and soak up its relaxed pace. Explore the striking limestone scenery of the Dordogne River, visiting sights like the towering Chateau de Beynac on a kayaking excursion. In the evening, why not indulge in a decadent degustation meal in a local restaurant.
Step back in time in the World Heritage-listed Old Town of Bordeaux. France's internationally acclaimed wine region is a food and wine lover's heaven, so treat taste buds to full-bodied local blends paired with mouth-watering French fare. If feeling energetic, be sure to clamber up the 243 steps of Saint-Michel Basilica's tower.
Head into the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Take in crisp mountain air and awe-inspiring views while enjoying a day of hiking.
Travel to Spain and make tracks for the sunny playground of San Sebastian. While here, soak up the sun at La Concha or head down to the Parte Vieja, which apparently boasts the most bars per square metre in all of Spain. If cultural pursuits are of interest, catch a local bus to Bilbao and lose track of time in the incredible Guggenheim Museum, famously shaped like a ship to flatter its portside location.
Continue onwards to the walled city of Segovia, a picturesque city framed by undulating green mountains. Visit Alcazar, a fairytale castle perched on a cliff and mosey through the World Heritage-listed Old Town.
Discover the captivating Spanish capital, a city bursting with exquisite architecture, superb museums and spectacular nightlife. See timeless masterpieces in the Museo del Prado or visit Reina Sofia to view the Picasso and Miro exhibitions. Perhaps cap off the European adventure with a night on the tiles in one of Madrid's famous nightclubs.
Discover the mesh of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in the architecture and cuisine of the southern city of Cordoba. Visit the Mezquita, with its golden arches and intricate columns, and then perhaps stroll through a labyrinth of cobbled laneways in the old quarter, discovering open squares and quirky cafes.
Visit Seville and be swept up in the emotions of a fiery flamenco performance. See the world's largest Gothic cathedral and its imposing Moorish tower or enjoy the tranquil gardens in the Parque de Maria Luisa. Revel in the city known as the tapas capital of Spain, where restaurant windows are full of tasty morsels. In the evening, take a wander through lively El Centro.
Travel to Costa de la Luz and enjoy an optional day tour across the border to the British territory of Gibraltar, home to the famous Rock of Gibraltar, or go one step further to Tangier in Morocco. In free time, relax on the beaches of Tarifa, perhaps taking the opportunity to go whale watching off the coast.
Leave the Andalucian hills and journey to Ronda, a whitewashed town split in half by a deep chasm and joined by the amazing Puente Nuevo. Perhaps toil down the hand-hewn stairs of La Mina to the river below or learn about secret smuggler hideouts at the Bandits Museum.
Explore the Arab quarter of Albayzin, a maze of alleyways with sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada. For the best view of Granada at sunset, head to the Mirador de San Nicolas at the very top of the city's steep streets. Visit the exceptional Alhambra fortress.
Travel further north to Valencia, Spain's third-largest city. Why not do as the locals do and start the day with a breakfast of tortillas or churros at the morning market. Then, visit Valencia's cathedral, which reputedly houses the Holy Grail, and spend free time wandering through lush parks and gardens or go museum-hopping.
Arrive in vibrant Barcelona and make a stop at Gaudi's eccentric La Sagrada Familia. Then, squeeze in a spot of shopping, soak up the relaxed vibe in Las Ramblas or visit the Picasso Museum before saying hasta luego to wonderful Spain.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
12 breakfasts
Transport
Bicycle, Bus, Kayak, Metro, Taxi, Train
Accommodation
Hotel (28 nights)
Included activities
  • Alcazar
  • Alhambra entrance
  • Chateaux Villandry & Gardens
  • Cycling tour
  • Flamenco performance
  • Hiking in the Pyrenees
  • Kayaking, Sarlat
  • Mezquita
  • Valencia Cathedral
  • Wine tasting Bordeaux

Dates

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Important notes

1. Please note itinerary change for days 4-8 since print of 2012 brochure.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
3. 2013 Itinerary change:
The updated price and full itinerary will be available later this year.
The revised itinerary is from Day 14:
Days 14-15 Madrid
Days 16-17 Granada
Day 18-19 Seville
Days 20-21 Costa de la Luz
Days 22-23 Ronda
Day 24 Cordoba
Days 25-26 Valencia
Days 27-29 Barcelona

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes