The European Discovery
27 day tour

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Our ultimate tour of the South of France, Spain and Portugal.

Highlights

Palaces
Wine
Roman Ruins
Art
Boat Cruises
UNESCO Heritage Sites
National Parks
Beaches

Places you explore


Gavarnie Waterfalls & the Pyrenees - Stare in awe at the beauty of the tallest waterfall in France in the majestic Cirque de Gavarnie.

La Rioja – The famously delicious wines here perfectly compliment the views of the Cantabrian Mountains.

Granada with Alhambra and Sierra Nevada Mountains - Get mesmerised by the lavish palace built by the Moors and explore the rugged mountains of the Sierra Nevada National Park

Seville - Get dazzled by the history, spectacular architecture and magic of Flamenco in the city influenced by a number of civilisations.

Porto - A historic centre, charismatic locals, sumptuous food, and famous wine: no one can resist the charms of this UNESCO city

Douro Valley - Admire steep terraced vineyards by the Douro River and indulge your taste buds with the finest ports and wines

Costa Brava – ‘The Rugged Coast’ of Catalonia dotted with golden sand beaches, hidden rocky coves, and inspirational seaside towns.

Arles - Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh and you’ll understand why he painted over 200 works around this inspiring city.


Your journey


The starters of this tour are delectable.

You travel from Nice and enjoy a taste of the medieval towns of Southern France, the Pyrenees mountains, and the beautiful red wines of Spain’s Rioja region.

After a small break in the city of Madrid, it’s on to the main course. A delightful buffet of the larger-than-life Moorish architecture of Andalusía and the towns and marvels of Portugal and Galicia.

Then for the dessert, it’s a sprinkling of Costa Brava and Southern France’s coastal villages and scrumptious sights.

Join this delicious trip to get a full helping of the best of south-west Europe.


Tour Details

Starts
08:30 - Nice
Finishes (approx.)
19:00
Nice
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
  • Children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
Important information
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
  • Carry swimwear and a towel for wild swimming spots
  • Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun
  • This journey combines four of our tours, two free days in Madrid and a free day in Lisbon. This means you swap your bus and guide during the journey.
  • Secure your tour with 10% deposit. See FAQs for more details.
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide and driver
  • 26 nights in a three-star hotel with continental breakfast
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • A few European destinations charge tourist taxes. These funds help them keep the locations clean, safe, and beautiful. You usually pay these at the accommodation suppliers, and cost between 1€ and 5€ per night.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Admire a palette of ancient architecture and leafy avenues in Aix-en-Provence
  • Go back in time and discover how Roman and Gallic culture collided in Ambrussum

You say ‘au revoir’ to glamorous Nice and head west towards Aix-en-Provence.This classy city is full of lively streets, elegant fountains and leafy squares. You can explore the winding streets and visit local cafés; or trace the life of Paul Cézanne, from the house he was born to the painter’s atelier and final resting place.

Next on the agenda is the archaeological site and museum of Ambrussum. This is where the Gallo-Romans existed 2,000 years ago. It’s located on one of the most ancient Roman routes and gives you an insight into the history of this region.

Continue south and leave the Romans behind as you delve into the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne. This peaceful area is a haven for Fontfroide Abbey which held considerable power during the Middle Ages. Enjoy the tranquillity of this place and breathe in the fresh air before you travel to the walled city of Carcassonne, your base for the night.

Day 2

  • Traverse the medieval monuments of Carcassonne
  • Delve into humanity’s prehistoric past in the Mas d’Azil Cave

Wake up, enjoy your breakfast, and start exploring this fascinating medieval city. Carcassonne has more stone towers, spiky turrets, and zigzag battlements than you can shake a sword at. So, it will come as no surprise it boasts a UNESCO title.

All this sightseeing must have worked up your appetite, so we travel to the fortified medieval town of Mirepoix for lunch. Here, you can enjoy the local specialities in the main square surrounded by timber-framed houses before we head deeper into the Midi-Pyrénées.

Next, instead of travelling up the mountains, you descend to the fascinating underground world of The Mas d’Azil Cave. The immensity of the grotto (the only one in Europe you can drive through) and the rich discoveries will leave you speechless.

In the early evening, you arrive in Lourdes, a small Pyrenean town, a spiritual centre, and your home for two nights.

Day 3

  • Explore the spiritual beauty of Lourdes, the most visited pilgrimage shrine in the Christian world
  • Chose to go to a hike to the hidden waterfall of Cirque de Gavarnie

Today, it’s up to you how you spend your time.

You can stay in the Lourdes and discover the sites at your own pace. There’s the soaring sanctuary of Notre Dame de Lourdes, a nearby castle, and a funicular ride to the top of Pic du Jer for a great view of the Pyrenees.

Alternatively, you can spend half a day in Lourdes and half a day on tour exploring the village of Gavarnie deep in the Pyrenees. It’s a perfect opportunity to wander around this little commune and try some local specialities.

And if you feel the wilderness calls you, you can spend the whole day with us in the great outdoors. Why not go on a hike to Cirque de Gavarnie? The effort is worth it, this majestic amphitheatre-like valley with tumbling waterfalls will reward you with one of the Pyrenees’ most stunning vistas.

Whichever option you choose, you spend the evening enjoying the atmosphere of Lourdes.

Day 4

  • Journey through the peaks and valleys of the Pyrenees
  • Take a swim in the Yesa Reservoir

It’s time to travel through the impressive Pyrenean mountain passes into Spain. You start your journey through this massive national park and descend into Jaca.

This Spanish town is nicknamed ‘Pearl of the Pyrenees’ and has a captivating history. It was founded by the Romans, conquered by the Moors, and taken over again by the Christians. Ponder over the bravery of the locals as you explore the city and savour your lunch.

Hopefully, you’ve got your swimwear with you, because you head to Yesa Reservoir, where you may find thermal pools for bathing. And if the water level is low, you can even have a free spa treatment when you plaster yourself with skin-softening mud.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to get out your swimming costume, you can spend your afternoon visiting the peaceful Leyre Monastery built on a mountain range overlooking the greenish and bluish shades of the reservoir.

Refreshed by the afternoon’s adventures you head to La Rioja region, the wine connoisseur’s heaven, to spend two nights in Haro.

Day 5

  • Soak up the famous wines of La Rioja region
  • Savour the flavours and picturesque Nature Parks of the Basque Country

You wake up in a hilltop town surrounded by the vineyards of La Rioja. This is a fantastic base for exploring this rich region where wine has been cultivated since Roman times.

In the morning, you venture off the beaten track to Tobera in Montes Obarenes Nature Park. You travel through mountains and forests and arrive in the picturesque hamlet with Romanesque hermitages. Here, you go for a relaxing walk to Tobera waterfall and have a comfort break in the nearby Frías. This tiny medieval city is as old as it is beautiful and is adorned with a ruined castle that will make you stare in wonder.

Next, you jump over to the Basque Country. Here you take in views of Sobrón Gorge and River Ebro, which nurtures the precious vineyards of La Rioja.

After this scenic morning, you’ve got an opportunity to uncover the culture and history of the wine of this fertile land. You’ve got a chance to call on a local bodega where you can savour the aromas and flavours of this beverage. You may also try a superb food and wine pairing to complete your experience.

If you think it’s time for your siesta, you can stay in Haro and relax for the rest of the day. But if you still want to carry on indulging in the regional delights, you can enjoy more excellent wine in another winery.

Whatever you do, spend your evening discovering gastronomic gems of Haro.

Day 6

  • Learn the terrific tales of the folk hero El Cid while aside his famous tomb
  • Appreciate ancient Roman engineering at the grand Aqueduct of Segovia

Say farewell to La Rioja and the vineyards because it’s time to travel to Burgos. This proud city, situated on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, is famous for its Gothic cathedral looming over the skyline. Marvel at this jewel of Spanish architecture and visit the tomb of Burgos’ favourite and most roguish son, El Cid.

You then travel through the vast plains of Castile and León and arrive in Segovia. This city still has the spirit of an old Spanish city and is steeped in history.

Start uncovering the city’s rich heritage by gazing in awe at the perfectly engineered Roman aqueduct now standing in the vibrant centre. Then wander the cobbled streets and get dazzled by Alcázar de Segovia. With soaring towers and turrets topped with slate witches' hats, this castle looks like straight out of a fairy tale. So much so it supposedly inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.

Drink in the last panoramas of this magnificent city and travel south where the grand metropolis of Madrid awaits you in the evening.

You will say goodbye to this group here and will join a new group on the morning of day eight.

Day 7

  • Marvel at the opulence of the Royal Palace in Madrid
  • Try tapas in one of the La Latina district’s local bars

You have a free day in the golden metropolis of Madrid and can decide how you want to spend it. Packed with tapas bars, world-renowned art, and amazing architecture; this city really knows how to live.

Start your day by trying delicious pan tumaka; crusty bread rubbed with ripe tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil.

You’re really spoilt for choice here because no two districts are the same.

You can begin with the oldest part of Madrid, home to the lavish Royal Palace. It boasts a staggering 3,418 rooms decorated with the paintings by world-renowned artists.

After admiring the splendour of the Royal Family’s official residence, you can stroll around the city’s grand plazas. The portico-lined square of Plaza Mayor used to be the centre of Old Madrid. And Puerta del Sol, is where the symbol of Madrid; The Bear and the Madroño Tree resides.

Next, fuel your batteries in one of their many restaurants before an exciting afternoon. For the art lovers; there’s Prado Museum and other exhibitions lined with Spanish, Italian and Flemish masterpieces. For the nature lovers; there’s El Retiro Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city where you can row a boat.

And in the evening head to La Latina; the city’s top district for tapas, mojitos, and terraces. But don’t get carried away by the city’s energy too much, because tomorrow you join the next leg of your tour.

Day 8

  • Uncover the fusion of cultures that shaped Toledo, the former capital of Spain
  • Travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the backdrop for the Don Quixote’s adventures

You leave the heart of Spain and head south to the former capital of the country, Toledo.

Sitting atop a hill and overlooking Río Tajo, this city used to be known as the ‘city of three cultures’. To get the real feel of the place, wander through the cobbled streets and try to spot the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues and Gothic cathedrals. Make sure to sample the local specialities while you admire this amazing architectural ensemble.

You catch a glimpse of the iconic windmills as you travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the setting for the adventures of the literary hero Don Quixote. Next, you stop on the way through the Despeñaperros Natural Park, a river gorge that forms a dramatic gateway to Andalucía.

Córdoba, your home for the night, welcomes you with its bustling squares and delightful architecture.

Day 9

  • Get dazzled by the gems of Moorish architecture in Córdoba
  • Discover the process of olive-making and take in the views of endless olive groves

In the morning, you have free time to explore the city.

Once the heart of the western Islamic empire, Córdoba feels exotic and sophisticated.

Here, you have time to admire the countless rows of decorated arches in the serene interior of La Mezquita, the most spectacular mosque constructed by the Moors in Spain. Or wander through the lush gardens of Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, the ‘Castle of the Christian Kings’. Whatever you choose, soak up the unique atmosphere of this city shaped by various cultures.

Next, you travel through the rolling hills blanketed with the silvery-grey-green leaves of olive trees. It’s a sign you’ve entered the oil-producing province of Jaén. You have a chance to visit an ecological olive oil plantation to find out more about the secrets of the trade and enjoy some lunch.

You continue south and stop at Fortaleza de la Mota, a ruined hilltop fortress before you arrive in Granada early evening, where you stay for two nights.

Day 10

  • Set your sights on the dramatic slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • Become entranced by the ornamentation of the Alhambra Palace

You wake up in the city adorned with the most sensual palace of Europe, Alhambra.

The day is yours, so you can decide how you want to spend your time in this dazzling location.

In the morning, you may contrast the bustling city with the peaceful mountain scenery of the dramatic and rugged Sierra Nevada National Park. This is a half day option through the landscape of sheer-sided gorges and torrential rivers. To learn more about this land, you visit a botanical garden where you can discover plants that are native to the region. You’ll be back in Granada by lunchtime to try some local delicacies which are a mixture of Arabic influences and native traditions. And the rest of the day is yours to enjoy.

Alternatively, you can spend the whole day discovering the fusion of the Arabic and Christian heritage of Granada. From the Great Bazaar to the Granada Cathedral, this city will carry you away with its energy.

And then there’s the pearl of Moorish architecture, Alhambra, with its arabesques, stylish arches, graceful columns, and exotic gardens. When you look at it, you feel like you’ve been transported to the world from the tales of 1,001 Nights. Originally a fortress and then a palace, this UNESCO heritage site will seize your imagination and haunt you with its beauty.

You spend tonight in Granada. Use this time to discover tapas restaurants and more of the culinary delights.

Day 11

  • Stare in awe at the steep walls of El Chorro Gorge
  • Discover the charm of Ronda, the most stunning of the pueblo blancos

Today is all about exploring the other faces of Andalucía; the beautiful wilderness and iconic pueblos blancos.

Your adventure takes you west through Malaga’s ‘Lake District’. It’s home to three stunning turquoise lakes, pine forests, and the spectacular El Chorro gorge. Simply looking at the sheer walls and rough rocks of the chasm can give you goose bumps. Here, you have time to enjoy a walk and take in views of the lake and the spectacular canyon.

The landscape of Andalucía wouldn’t be complete without the picturesque white towns known as pueblos blancos. And the most spectacular of them is Ronda, your next highlight and an ideal place for lunch. Precariously clinging to a steep cliff of the El Tajo gorge, this commune will capture your imagination with its literary connections and history full of outlaws.

Then, you leave the rural part of the region and travel past Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. It’s your last chance to spot other pueblos blancos glittering in the distance before you arrive in Seville in the early evening.

Day 12

  • Marvel at the allure of the palace of Real Alcázar in Seville
  • Soak up the grandeur as you stroll through the Plaza de España

Seville signifies the essence of Spain. This city will seduce you with its rich Moorish heritage, the orange trees, tapas and passionate flamenco.

Today it’s up to you to decide how to spend the day. Start the morning with a typical Spanish breakfast and then get your teeth into Seville.

You’re really spoilt for choice here. Lose yourself in one of the 80 chapels in the enormous Seville Cathedral or take in views of the city from La Giralda, the bell-tower which used to be a minaret.

Then, delve into the exotic gardens of the palace of Real Alcázar and marvel at its dream patios, opulent domes and intricate carvings.

Finish your afternoon with a stroll through the shaded arches of the grand Plaza de España and get ready to discover the night pulse of Seville. Warning: with the hypnotic Flamenco performances, delicious tapas and buzzing bars, this city can keep you entertained till the small hours.

Day 13

  • Soak up the sun in a little town of Isla Cristina on Costa de la Luz
  • Wander through Tavira, one of the most charming towns of the Algarve

Say farewell to Seville and enjoy the last glimpses of the Andalusian countryside as you travel west towards Costa de la Luz. It translates into ‘the coast of light’, this refers to the bright sunlight and golden sandy beaches.

Hopefully, you’ve got your swimwear because you head to a little town called Isla Cristina where you’ll have time to enjoy a beach. Alternatively, you can stroll through the area’s sand dunes and pine woods or have a bite in a local fish eatery and tapas bar.

Next, you cross the Portuguese border and stop at Tavira in the Algarve. Set on the River Gilão, this town exhumes an irresistible charm and makes you want to discover its hidden corners. Wander through the cobblestone streets, cross an old Roman bridge and try Portuguese cuisine for the first time.

Take in the last views of the Algarve and journey north where the laid-back and charming Lisbon awaits you in the evening.

You will say goodbye to this group here and will join a new group on the morning of day fifteen.

Day 14

  • Catch a ride on the iconic 28 tram in the Alfama district
  • Get mesmerised by soul-stirring fado music

Bom dia! You have a free day to explore Lisbon; a European capital boasting a wonderful waterfront location, a balmy climate, and loads of charm.

This inspiring and lively place was shaped by four cultures, colonial riches, a catastrophic earthquake, and a period of restoration.

Start the day delving into the oldest part of the city; the Alfama district. Here, you can visit the iconic São Jorge Castle, an ancient Moorish fortification that rises up from a hill; explore the cobbled alleyways; and stop at one of the many stunning miradouros (viewpoints) to drink in the coastal panoramas. In this area you can also learn the history of the haunting and melancholic Fado music in the Fado Museum before you savour delicious Portuguese specialities.

If Lisbon’s hilly terrain is a bit too much to brace after a delicious meal, jump on the legendary yellow 28 tram and travel through the city’s exciting districts.

In the afternoon, head to the charming district of Belém. It used to be the docs and shipyards’ district. And it was here Vasco da Gama sailed on his voyage to reach India. Stroll along the promenade, cast your eyes on the mighty Tagus River, and admire the Belém Tower.

Continue your walk to the Monument to the Discoveries and ponder over the Portuguese Age of Discoveries and what impact it had on the world as you know it. And if you want some peace, pop into the shady cloisters of Jerónimos Monastery located nearby. This stunning religious building was erected to commemorate the return of Vasco da Gama from India and is where his body is buried.

After a whole day of discovering the delights of Lisbon, spend your evening enjoying delectable food and wine accompanied by Fado music in the Alfama or Bairro Alto district. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the next leg of your tour.

Day 15

  • Marvel at the Moorish architecture in the town of Óbidos
  • Learn about the thinkers of the past in one of the oldest universities in the world in Coimbra

You say ‘bom dia’ to your guide and fellow travellers, leave the coastal capital city of Lisbon, and travel the short distance to Óbidos.

This quaint walled town has wealth of wonders for you to discover. You can study the sturdy walls of their Moorish Castle; amble through the little cobbled shopping lane; or combine two of your favourite guilty pleasures in a drink of Ginjinha d’Óbidos, a sweet liqueur served in a chocolate cup.

Back on the road, you venture further north to Coimbra. This former Portuguese capital is famous for being the home of one of the oldest universities in the world. You have time here to explore the town’s churches and history and eat some of the delicious local food for lunch.

After you’ve soaked up the history, it’s time to head to Aveiro. You feel like you’ve been teleported into Venice in this town that’s lined with canals and art-nouveau architecture.

Your final stop of the day is in Porto, your home for the next two nights. It’s been a busy day, but hopefully you’re not too tired to walk to a sunset spot in this many-tiered town.

Day 16

  • Peruse through shops and restaurants of Porto’s cobbled lanes
  • Discover the quintessential flavours of famous port wines in the lush Douro Valley

Today, you have an important decision to make.

Do you lounge around and take in the cathedrals, cellars, and cuisine of beautiful Porto? Or do you hop on the mini-coach with us and venture through the Douro Valley?

Lucky for you, there’s no wrong option.

If you come with us, your day begins with a boat cruise down the Douro Valley. This is a chance to ogle at the wine producing hills of the region from a new angle. Once you’re back on dry land, you travel to a local quinta. Here, you can go on a guided tour of a winery and taste different styles of the famous Porto wine.

You travel back to Porto in the late afternoon to continue indulging in the wines and flavours of the city in your own style. And if you’re a fan of live music, don’t miss out on a performance of Fado, Portugal’s emotionally stirring traditional music.

Day 17

  • Rejuvenate your senses in the natural landscapes of Portugal’s peaceful national park
  • Cross the border into Northern Spain

Your last few days have been packed with bustling towns and boozy flavours. So now it’s time to refresh your senses with a taste of the great outdoors.

You head to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the only national park in Portugal. You spend the whole morning here enjoying views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls before travelling to the tiny town of Soajo.

This town not only boasts beautiful views, it’s also one of the most rustic villages you’ll have ever laid your eyes upon. You have time here to take look at their famous 17th-century granite granaries and grab lunch here.

And now, it’s over the border and into Spain. You arrive in Santiago de Compostela with enough time to admire the huge cathedral that’s famously built over the remains of St. James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

Day 18

  • Explore the architecture, atmosphere, and history of Santiago de Compostela
  • Journey to Cape Finisterre, the furthermost edge of ancient Europe

Today, you can relax and enjoy the sights of Santiago de Compostela at your own pace or come on an adventure with us to the Costa da Morte, ‘Coast of Death’.

And no, this isn’t a shoreline infested with pirates and cannibals, it’s a place that was once notorious for shipwrecks.

If you join our trip to the coastline, you start the day by going to Carnota Bay. Here, you can clamber over a timber boardwalk and say hello to crystal clear blue seas and a lovely white 7km stretch of sand.

After you’ve enjoyed the beach, we travel to the ‘End of the World’ at Cape Finisterre. Ancient civilisations believed this was the end of the earth. You have time here to admire the lighthouse and look out over the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Your next stop is in Muxía. This lovely, historic harbour town is the perfect spot to sample the fresh seafood that this region is famous for and watch the ships set off to sea.

You arrive back in Santiago de Compostela in the early evening.

Day 19

  • Roam upon the ramparts of the ancient Romans in Lugo
  • Survey the other-worldly landscapes that were created by the Roman gold excavating technique, ruina montium (wrecking of mountains)

Your first stop of the day is in Lugo. This town has a lot to be proud of. They have the only fully intact Roman city walls in the world, a stunning cathedral, and oodles of charm. You have free time here to choose what you visit.

You continue to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans and travel to Las Médulas. Strange red pinnacles and holes in the mountains make this landscape look and feel otherworldly. The Romans created what you see before you by boring into the earth in their quest for gold.

You explore this area, have your lunch, and make the journey to one of the best viewpoints in the area, Mirador de Orellán.

From here, you travel to Salamanca for your overnight stay. This mesmerising city is adorned with the riches of the Spanish Golden Age.

Day 20

  • Admire the artistic achievements of the Spanish Golden Age in Salamanca
  • Become envious of the lifestyle of kings in the palace of El Escorial

You have time in the morning to explore the cathedral, university, and pretty plazas of Salamanca before we head off. Or you can enjoy a lie-in if you decided to enjoy the famous nightlife a little too much the night before.

Your first stop is in Ávila. Orson Welles once said this was the place he would most like to settle down in. And you can see why; the huge medieval walls and gothic churches are cinematic and steeped in stories. You have time here for lunch and a walk around town.

You travel further east to El Escorial. This is one of the most remarkable historical buildings in all of Spain. The huge structure was built by king Philip II and has functioned as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, school and hospital.

After you’ve learned about the riches of Spain, we take you to Madrid.

You will say goodbye to this group here and will join a new group on the morning of day twenty-two.

Day 21

  • Tour the epic Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid
  • Stroll along Gran Via, the grand boulevard lined with belle-époque facades

You’re back in Madrid for another free day. You can spend your time recharging your batteries in your hotel or get out and take advantage of the abundance of things to see and do.

If you’re a sports fan or simply enjoy epic architecture, you should check out Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. This is the home of the Real Madrid C.F, one of the most successful football clubs in history. You can tour the stadium, ogle at their trophy chest, and find out what it’s like to step onto one of the world’s grandest stages.

If you prefer to investigate the vaults of time, Madrid has an excellent archaeological museum that boasts artefacts from ancient civilisations from around the world.

Or if you’ve simply lost a few pieces of clothing on your journey, you can go for a shopping spree in Gran Via, one of the city’s bustling shopping districts.

Back at your hotel, it’s time to rest before the next part of your tour.

Day 22

  • Marvel at the ‘hanging houses’ of Cuenca
  • Savour one of the most delicious Spanish wines in Requena

You leave the grand metropolis of Madrid and head east through the landscapes of Castile-La Mancha.

Your first stop of the day is Cuenca, a medieval town perched upon cliffs overlooking a river canyon. This unusually well-preserved city is famous for its ‘hanging houses’. Feeling curious? Then wander around the old town and try to spot these architectural marvels. With their balconies jutting out over the gorge, these houses appear to defy gravity.

Next, you leave the Cuenca’s mind-boggling engineering behind and continue east to the Utiel-Requena region. This undulating plain surrounded by mountains is home to countless vineyards. And its wine making tradition goes back to the 7th century BC. Get your taste buds ready because you have a chance to taste wine and have lunch in a local vineyard near Requena.

After savouring local specialities and tipples, you continue the adventure towards the Mediterranean coast. You stop for a photo of Sagunto Castle, a hill-top fortress that’s history spans over four civilisations.

In the evening, you arrive in Peñíscola, nicknamed the City in the Sea. Spend the evening strolling along the promenades and probing into the secrets of its old town.

Day 23

  • Step back in time and explore the Roman Amphitheatre in Tarragona
  • Experience the serenity of the mountain of Montserrat and its monastery

Today, you continue exploring the coast of Spain and head to Tarragona on the Costa Dorada.

Here, you have enough time to discover the city’s rich history and heritage. And you’re spoilt for choice. If you’re a history buff, visit some of Roman archaeological sites like the Tarragona Amphitheatre, Praetorium, and Roman Circus. Or if it’s atmospheric photos you’re after, head to the old town or the city’s golden beaches.

Now it’s time to contrast the beaches of Costa Dorada with the serrated peaks of Montserrat. This majestic mountain with strangely shaped crags is home to a Benedictine Monastery and one of Spain’s most venerated statues of the Madonna and Child. Enjoy your lunch here, contemplate the life of monks and hermits, and admire the magnificent cathedral or follow the footpaths.

Full of nature and spiritual delights, you travel through the green hills and mountains and arrive in Girona in the evening. This medieval city will be your home for two nights.

Day 24

  • Soak up the beauty and history of the Cap Roig Botanical Gardens
  • Laze around Begur’s beautiful beaches or discover its medieval old town
  • Stare in wonder at the surrealist art of Salvador Dalí in Figueres

There’s more to Costa Brava than the beaches, and today is all about discovering different faces of this fascinating region.

You start off with a visit to the lush Cap Roig Botanical Gardens perched on a cliff near Palafrugell. This is a truly special place where nature, art, culture and history come together. Wander through the romantic paths, breathe in the smell of over 1,000 plant species, and admire sculptures from renowned artists.

After you’ve taken in all the beauty of Cap Roig, you head to Begur, one of the most stunning spots on the Costa Brava. You’re free to choose how you spend your time here. Roam the medieval streets, enjoy your lunch, and visit a striking 11th-century castle with panoramic views of the area. Or, head to one of the nearby dreamy little coves and spend some time on the beach.

In the afternoon, you embark on a surreal journey as you discover Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. Known for his eccentricity and grand visions, the surrealist genius converted an old theatre into a museum showcasing his most spectacular sculptures and painting. And he did it in a very flamboyant style. From a rooftop decorated with giant eggs to an interactive way of experiencing his work, this wonderfully bizarre place will give you an insight into the life and art of Salvador Dalí.

After a day full of artistic and natural experiences, you return to Girona in the early evening. Spend the evening wandering through the beautiful walled medieval old town and the Jewish Quarter or explore the Game of Thrones locations.

Day 25

  • Discover the seaside village of Collioure, an inspiration for some of the greatest artists
  • Travel to the traditional, remote village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

Picturesque towns, colourful harbours and stunning vistas. This is the route along the Mediterranean Coast you take today as you leave Spain.

Your first stop of the day is the romantic seaside village of Collioure. This little slice of Mediterranean paradise will steal your heart with its pastel houses, bobbing boats, and beautiful beaches. And you won’t be the first to fall under its spell. Matisse, Derain and Picasso all loved this location.

Next, you travel north through the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Nestled in the remote area of the Séranne Mountains, this UNESCO heritage site is an oasis of serenity. Enjoy a walk through the cobbled streets and visit the abbey that witnessed more than a thousand years of history.

Then, you travel through the rolling countryside and arrive in Nîmes, where you spend two nights. The evening is yours to uncover this fascinating city full of Roman remains.

Day 26

  • Enjoy an optional cruise through the stunning Regional Park of Camargue
  • Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh in Arles
  • Rub your eyes in disbelief at the perfection of Pont du Gard, the Roman aqueduct

In the morning, it’s time to explore the Regional Park of Camargue. This is where the Petit Rhône and Grand Rhône meet the Mediterranean to create an unforgettable sanctuary to flora and fauna. The vast wetland encompasses land, salty lagoons, marshland and beaches. And did we mention it’s roamed by black bulls, white horses and pink flamingos?

You’ve got the option to explore the heart of the park on a typical paddle boat. Guided by the captain’s commentary, you observe interesting wildlife and lush vegetation. Keep your camera ready because you’ll meet a herdsman and his bulls and horses.

Alternatively, you can spend some time in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a little town almost completely surrounded by water with numerous beaches and dunes. Here, you can explore its charming centre, discover its legendary origins, or bask in the sunshine on the beach.

Then, you leave the magical park and head to Arles. This city has it all; fascinating history, Roman treasures, shady squares and rich art heritage. You’ll have time to discover some of the Roman remains or follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh. And remember, lunch in one of the picturesque cafes is a must while exploring this place.

Next, you head to Pont du Gard to admire a masterpiece of Roman engineering, a three-tiered aqueduct built almost two thousand years ago. Ponder over the engineers’ precision and walk across the tiers of this UNESCO site before you head back to Nîmes in the early evening.

Day 27

  • Take a walk through the rugged landscapes of Calanques National Park
  • Succumb to the charms of the picturesque village of Cassis

Say au revoir to Nîmes and its history and head to the stunning Calanques National Park on the Mediterranean coast. This gorgeous stretch of land is dotted with fjord-like inlets carved into the white limestone, which will make you feel miles away from civilisation. Get your sturdy boots on and have a ramble through the pine-clad gullies, breathe in the sea breeze, and marvel at the azure waters of the coves.

Feeling rejuvenated by the visit to this coastal heaven, you head to Cassis, a fishing village on the French Riviera. Hidden away from the glamour of the rich and famous, Cassis is as charming as it is authentic. Enjoy your lunch here and try some local lavender ice cream.

With all this newly discovered joie de vivre, you continue your leisurely ramble along the coast towards the glamorous French Riviera. Feast your eyes on the stunning vistas at your photo stops and enjoy Mediterranean vibe before you arrive in Nice la Belle in the evening.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay one night in Carcassonne, two nights in Lourdes, two nights in Haro, two nights in Madrid, one night in Córdoba, two nights in Granada, two nights in Seville, two nights in Lisbon, two nights in Porto, two nights in Santiago de Compostela, one night in Salamanca, two nights in Lisbon, one night in Peñíscola, two nights in Girona, and two nights in Nîmes.


How does the accommodation work?

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel.

So, we’ve hand-picked three to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want double rooms, twin rooms, or single rooms.

In Paris, Nice, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome, you stay at a hotel by the airport. These have excellent transport connections all across the city and let us avoid contributing to central traffic congestion.


Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour's accommodation and for the tour itself. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.


FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.


Do I need to pay all at once?

Our Europe Tours have flexible payment options to help you budget for your dream holiday.

If you book more than three months before your tour departs, you can reserve your trip with a deposit of 10% or more. The full payment is required three months before your departure.

Call us on +44 (0) 131 226 3133 or email tours@rabbies.com to pay a deposit, discuss more payment options, or let us know of any changes to your travel arrangements.


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we only start our trips from the airport hotel specified in your departure information.

Our friendly team will send you more information about your departure location closer to your departure date.


When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.


What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this timeframe, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.


What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.


What can I expect?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.


Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches have huge windows, So you always get a good view.


Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.


Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .


Do you take children on your tours?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to have children under the age of five on our Europe tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.


How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.


Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.


Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.


What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to all our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.


Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.


What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.


What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you choose to let us book your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

BTA_2018.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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