Day 1: MADRID
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Evening transport to the Gran Vía district. Welcome to Madrid! Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Check the informative panels in the hotel reception area for the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers to receive information about the circuit. Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod temple, Plaza de España and Gran Via; a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant: Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options.
Day 2: MADRID
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Madrid city tour. Stroll through the Retiro Park. Visit the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas bullring. Night transfer The day starts about 08.30 hrs with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá, Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. Visit Retiro Park, an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. Admission to Las Ventas Bullring included. This is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of “corridas” in the Bullfighting Museum. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon. At sunset, we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different exquisite cuisines (Indian, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Spanish, International) in which to enjoy a pleasant dinner. Return to the hotel.
Day 3: MADRID – ZARAGOZA (SARAGOSSA) – POBLET – BARCELONA
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: Basílica del Pilar. Visit a medieval monastery. Ride on a rack train. We depart early in the morning from Madrid. Heading towards Aragón, we pause our journey in ZARAGOZA. Our guide will join the group to Basílica del Pilar. Afterwards, the group will have free time to visit this impressive sanctuary and enjoy the city centre. Later, we make our way to Cataluña to the Monastery of Poblet, surrounded by walls in a beautiful setting, this is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in the world (entrance and guided tour included). We then go on to the Monastery of Montserrat where we include a ride on the rack train for the fantastic views this gives. Continuation of BARCELONA, arrival in the late afternoon. Important note: in the winter months, from November to March (both included), due to the shorter days, the Monastery of Poblet will not be visited (so that we can reach Montserrat in the daylight)
Day 4: BARCELONA
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: city tour of Barcelona. Night transfer to Olympic Port. In the morning, we make a tour of the city, its Ramblas, the works of Gaudi, the memories of the Olympic Games. Afternoon free. In the evening we include a transfer to the Olympic Port, an area with numerous restaurants and lots of nightlife and entertainment.
Day 5: BARCELONA – GIRONA – MIRMANDE – GRENOBLE
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Girona, Provenzal region in France. Dinner included. We leave Barcelona for the North of Catalonia. A stroll in GIRONA and its very beautiful historic centre, with the cathedral standing out with its great staircase. We pass the border to France and cross Provence. We stop in NIMES, which was an important city in the Roman Empire, where concerts and bullfighting are still held in its ancient amphitheatre, almost 2000 years old. We also see the PONT DU GARD, or Gard Bridge, an impressive Roman aqueduct. At the end of the afternoon, we make a stop in MIRMANDE, a magnificently well preserved ‘Provencal’ village, with great views over the Rhône Valley. On our arrival at the hotel, near GRENOBLE, dinner included and accommodation.
Day 6: GRENOBLE- GENEVA – GRUYERE – GSTAAD
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Switzerland with Lakes and Mountains. Chocolate factory. We travel to Switzerland. GENEVA, arrival. With our guide, we will go to the Palace of Nations (the headquarters of the United Nations in Europe) to the pretty English Garden with its clock made of flowers and we can admire the “Jet d’Eau”, the tallest fountain in Europe. After this, we go on to CHILLON CASTLE, built in the waters of the lake. (entrance included to this fantastic mediaeval castle). We go on to the picturesque walled village of GRUYERE, known worldwide for its cheese. Very nearby are a few of the main chocolate factories in Switzerland(NESTLE amongst them), and we visit the Cailler chocolate factory, with tasting included! Continuation along little roads amidst bucolic Mountain countryside and very picturesque wooden villages.- Arrival in GSTAAD a pretty little village with its wooden houses.
Day 7: GSTAAD – GRINDELWALD- LUCERNE – ZURICH
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Swiss Alpine scenery with glaciers and mountains. Grindelwald, cable car and lunch included. Lucerne. Today’s stage takes us through us beautiful high mountain scenery. We pass Interlaken and go around its very beautiful lake. Arrival in GRINDELWALD, time for a coffee before taking the cable car (ticket included) to Grindelwald first. We will walk down a track (30 minutes) to get to the “Bridge over the void” an ideal place to be seduced by the Swiss Alpine scenery surrounded by its glaciers and mountains. Lunch included. After this, we go on to LUCERNE, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. We continue to ZURICH, where there is time for a stroll in the centre before going to the hotel.
Day 8: ZURICH- BURGLEN- LUGANO – MORCOTE – MILAN
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: We will know the town of William Tell. Picturesque villages as Morcote. Shores of Como. We travel to BURGLEN, the tiny village where William Tell was born, we shall see the chapel of the XVI century with paintings illustrating his life. Afterwards, we reach the enchanting little town of MORCOTE, with its houses made of stone, and covered with flowers. We enter Italy and stop in COMO, on the shores of its lake. The city highlights the Gothic Cathedral. Arrival in MILAN where our guide will take us to the impressive Duomo Square. There will be time to dine at the Porta Venecia (Port of Venice) where an outstanding variety of restaurants can be found to delight your palate. From restaurants serving Swiss and Italian food to French, Chinese and international food. Transfer to hotel.
Day 9: MILAN – PISA- ROME
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Coast of Liguria, Leaning Tower of Pisa. We continue towards PISA. On a little tourist train, we will travel to the Piazza Dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), where there will be time to admire one of the most alluring and beautiful art complexes in Italy, including the well known Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then, we continue to Rome, arriving at the end of the afternoon.
Day 10: ROME
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Rome. Roman Coliseum (admission price included) and Vatican City. In the morning, we have a scenic tour of the city, which will be a great introduction to “The Eternal city”. We enter the tiny state of the Vatican. The Vatican City is a principal centre of Christianity in the world. You will be able to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. And we have also included admission to the Roman Coliseum, the principal symbol of Rome. This impressive construction dates back 2,000 years and will transport us in time so that we can learn about ancient society in the Roman Empire. In the evening we provide transport to the Via Cavour area, where you will find restaurants serving Italian, Indian, Chinese and international food. Return to the hotel.
Day 11: ROME- FLORENCE
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Tour with a local expert from Florence. View from Piazzale Michelangelo. We will leave Rome, heading north. This route is graced with beautiful landscapes. Upon arrival in FLORENCE, we head straight to Piazzale Michelangelo, an impressive site in the city. In the evening we provide a tour with a local expert, and walk through the historic centre, taking in places such as the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and Piazza Della Signoria. This city is truly an outdoor museum. Free time to explore. In the evening, you can dine at your favourite restaurant. In this district, you can find restaurants serving Italian, Indian, Chinese and international food.
Day 12: FLORENCE – VENICE
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Vaporetto boat on Venice’s Grand Canal. Visit and admission to the St Mark´s Basilica. Admire the technique of crafting Murano Glass. Today we enjoy stunning mountain landscapes while crossing the Apennine Mountains. Arriving in VENICE, we will board a Vaporetto to travel around on the canals in the historic centre. With a local guide, we will visit the marvellous St Marck´s and enter the marvellous basilica (entry cost included). Afterwards, we shall be able to visit the Murano glass factory. It is marvellous to see the technique of how this ancient glass is made. Free time. At the end of the afternoon, you will have the chance to eat dinner in the Mestre area, where you can choose the type of restaurant that you prefer (Indian, Oriental, Italian, etc.).
Day 13: VENICE – INNSBRUCK – KITZBUHEL
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Breathtaking landscapes. Dinner included. We will depart from Venice, travelling to Austria!. Arrival to INNSBRUCK, time to stroll in the historic centre and have lunch. After this, we travel along a very pretty scenic road between the mountains to KITZBÜHEL – Arrival and time to see this picturesque little village, a famous ski resort where we can enjoy the snow for a large part of the year! Free time. Dinner included(vegetarian option possible). Note: In case of few travellers on the trip, the journey from Venice to Innsbruck may be done by a train.
Day 14: KITZBUHEL – SALZBURG – VIENNA
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Salzburg, the city of Mozart. Fantastic scenery. Cruise on a lake. We will get to know Austria more thoroughly. We travel between mountains to SALZBURG, our guide accompanies us to the most beautiful streets of the historic centre of this city declared a World Heritage site. We then go on our way between lakes and mountains. A very beautiful scenic stage in the Alps. We stop at ST. WOLFGANG, a famous place of pilgrimage in Austria. We continue to TRAUNKIRCHEN along with the very beautiful TRAUNSEE lake, where we include a cruise on the lake to see four castles and disembarking in GMUNDEN. Continuation to VIENNA, arrival at the end of the afternoon.
Day 15: VIENNA
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Vienna city tour. Gardens of the immense Schönbrunn Palace. After breakfast, at around 12.00h, we start with a scenic visit around Vienna with a local expert. Here, we experience its majestic avenues, its palaces and the vibrant city centre. Directly afterwards, we head the Schönbrunn Palace where visitors can stroll around and enjoy its beautiful gardens. In the evening we go to the City Hall Square to enjoy the lighting and the nightlife in the neighbouring streets, where you can dine at your preferred restaurant with cuisines from around the world including Austrian, Chinese, Indian and Italian.
Day 16: VIENNA
After breakfast, the end of our services.