French Riviera & Spain

DAY 1: TORONTO – NICE

Photo of Madrid, Spain. Madrid offers terrific nightlife

Depart Toronto on your overnight flight to Nice. Meals will be served at appropriate times and earphones will be supplied so you may enjoy the full-length movie and the many audio channels available.

DAY 2: NICE (D)

Arrive in Nice, a city of French and Italian heritage and the capital of the Cote d’Azur. On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day is free. You may like to visit the old town, cars are forbidden on the streets so narrow that their buildings crowd out the sky. Old Nice is dominated by Castle Hill, a cliff with ruins of a 6th century castle which can be explored; an elevator operates between 2-7 pm from the quayside.

Dinner and overnight in Nice.

DAY 3: NICE – ST PAUL DE VENCE – GRASSE – NICE (B/D)

After breakfast at the hotel, depart on a half day guided tour to St. Paul de Vence, a gem of a town whose medieval atmosphere has been perfectly preserved. Walk the narrow, cobbled streets and explore the shops offering anything from candles to dolls, dresses and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries.

Continue your excursion to visit the old city of Grasse. Four centuries ago, the town specialized in leather gloves. In the 16th century when scented gloves became fashionable, the town began cultivating flowers and distilling essences and today three-quarters of the world's essences are made here. It takes 10,000 flowers to produce 2.2 pounds of jasmine petals and nearly 7 million flowers to distill 1½ quarts of essence. Most famous perfumeries mix Grasse essences into their own secret formulas (a factory will be visited). Your tour will finish at your hotel and after dinner you may like to explore the old town once again. The winding alleyways are lined with faded 17th and 18th century buildings. Flowers cascade from window boxes on soft pastel-coloured walls.

Rue St-François-de-Paule becomes the pedestrian only Cours Saleya, with its colourful morning market selling seafood, flowers and orange trees in tubs. Toward the far end of Cours Saleya is the Musée International de Malacologie with a collection of seashells from all over the world.

DAY 4: NICE – EZE – MONACO – NICE (B/D)

Today a half day guided tour to Eze, a strange and isolated hill village perched precariously on the mountainside. You will enter through a fortified 14th century gate into narrow, cobbled-stoned streets with vaulted passageways and stairs. The Chapel of the White Penitents within the 18th century church dates back to 1306 and contains a 13th century gilded wooden Spanish Christ.

From Eze it’s just a short-albeit spectacular drive up the coast to Monaco.

The 473 acres of the Principality of Monaco would fit comfortably into one of Toronto’s larger parks, and its 5000 citizens would fill only a small fraction of the seats in the Skydome. This country is so small that the residents have to go to another country to play golf. See the old town, the cathedral, Prince Rainier's Palace and gardens in fabulous Monte Carlo, playground of the rich and famous. Return to Nice by the coast road.

Dinner and overnight in Nice.

DAY 5: NICE – BARCELONA (B/D)

After an early breakfast, take the coastal road as much as possible via Marseille, Montpellier and then south west to Barcelona. Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city and the capital of Catalonia is big, beautiful, rich and commercial. The city’s oldest buildings of historic interest are located in Bari Gotic, the old medieval heart of Barcelona, an area crisscrossed by alleyways waving among ancient palaces, churches and apartment blocks.

Placa Nova is the heart of the Gothic Quarter, here the Romans built a rectangular site with walls 9 metres high with attendant watch towers, of which the two that guarded the West Gate remain to this day. Upon arrival you will check in to your hotel.

Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.

DAY 6: BARCELONA (B/D)

This morning you will go on a sightseeing tour which will include all the major sights: the Columbus Monument, the 13c Cathedral, Renaissance houses, Provincial Council, Town Hall, Royal Palace and much more. In the afternoon, a guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter ending at the Picasso Museum.

Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.

DAY 7: BARCELONA - VALENCIA (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning is left free for you to explore this vibrant city on your own. Optional tour: You may take a 1 ½ hrs trip to the town of Figueres where you can have a guided tour of the famous Dali Museum.

Late afternoon, depart for Valencia.

Overnight in Valencia.

DAY 8: VALENCIA – GRANADA (B/D)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will board the coach and travel by the coastal road to Granada. The city of Granada rises majestically on three hills, dwarfed by the mighty snow-capped peaks of Sierra Nevada.

Dinner and overnight in Granada.

DAY 9: GRANADA (B)

This morning enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Granada, including Generalife Gardens, the Royal Chapel and a visit to the pink-gold palace of the Alhambra. No amount of description can do justice to its exquisite delicacy and proportions. Proclaimed as one of the unofficial wonders of the world, it is the epitome of Moorish imagination and artistry. Remainder of the day is free for you to explore.

Overnight in Granada.

DAY 10: GRANADA – CORDOBA – SEVILLE (B/D)

Today, there will be an early departure to Cordoba. Narrow winding streets, small squares and low whitewashed houses, gives it an atmosphere which is inherited from 500-years occupation by the Moors. It is a kind of western European Mecca, with its famous Great Mosque ranked as one of the most splendid examples of Islamic art and architecture in Western Europe. Cordoba is also famed for its silverware and leather goods.

Your tour will include a visit to the Great Mosque, the Roman Bridge and the Old Jewish Quarter. Continue on to Seville. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy a group dinner. This evening, you will attend a colourful Flamenco Show.

Dinner and overnight in Seville.

DAY 11: WEDNESDAY MAY 5: SEVILLE (B)

Seville is the vibrant capital of Andalucia and one of Europe’s most romantic and beautiful cities. Your sightseeing tour will include the Giralda; one of the largest and richest Gothic cathedrals in Christendom, the Patio de los Naranjos (court of Orange-Trees), the Alcazar; a Moorish 14c medieval fortress, Barrio de Santa Cruz; in Moorish times the Old Jewish Quarter and the Plaza de España; situated in Parque de Maria Luisa. Remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in Seville.

DAY 12: THURSDAY MAY 6: SEVILLE – MADRID (B/D)

The olive and orange groves of Andalucia give way to the more barren landscape of Don Quixote’s La Mancha as you head north to Madrid. Madrid, a city filled with grandiose architecture, gracious squares and parks, ornate fountains and fine museums such as the world renowned Prado Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and the Museo Nacional de Reina Sofia, Madrid’s new museum of contemporary art. Upon arrival in Madrid you will have a panoramic tour of this capital of Spain since 1561, featuring Puerta del Sol, the Cervantes Monument, Plaza Mayor and the elegant Alcala shopping street.

Dinner and overnight in Madrid.

DAY 13: FRIDAY MAY 7: MADRID – TOLEDO – MADRID (B/D)

Today, enjoy an excursion to Toledo, a fascinating blend of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures. Visit the El Greco Museum, Santa Tomé Church; home of El Greco’s most famous masterpiece “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz”, the Cathedral and the 14c Synagogue. Toledo has long been famed for its sword blades and its gold and silver inlay work “Damasquinados”, a craft tradition brought in by the Moors. Return to Madrid.

Dinner and overnight in Madrid.

DAY 14: SATURDAY MAY 8: MADRID (B/D)

After breakfast, guided visit to the Prado Museum featuring priceless art treasures and the Royal Palace, a magnificent granite and limestone residence with its 2,800 rooms with lavish Rococo decorations, precious carpets, porcelain, time pieces, mirrors and Chandeliers. The main front of the Palace with its royal coat of arms was modeled on the Louvre in Paris. Remainder of the time is at leisure.

Overnight in Madrid.

DAY 15: SUNDAY MAY 9: MADRID – TORONTO (B)

HASTA LA VISTA, ESPAÑA! Transfer to Madrid airport for your flight back to Canada.

INCLUSIONS:

  • Return flight Toronto – Nice – Madrid – Toronto
  • Accommodations based on twin occupancy rooms:
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary: breakfast daily, 10 dinners
  • Deluxe tour coach with A/C and WC
  • Tour Manager throughout
  • Guided sightseeing tours in: Nice, ST Paul de Vence/Grasse, Eze/Monaco, Barcelona, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, Madrid
  • Entrance fees for attractions as per the itinerary
  • Flamenco Show (including 1 drink)
  • Porterage
  • Taxes and service charges on destination

EXCLUSIONS:

  • Airport departure taxes
  • Cancellation and Comprehensive Insurance (see chart)
  • Any meals and tour components not specifically mentioned in cost inclusions
  • Single supplement
  • Drivers, Tour Escorts & Tour Guides gratuities

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