14 Day France and Spain History Culture and Wine

2 Madrid, 2 Bilbao, 2 St. Emilion, 2 Sarlat, 1 Carcassonne & 3 Barcelona
Round trip airfare from JFK, 12 nights accommodation, all transfers, most meals and sightseeing

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Price Includes
  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights New York-Madrid, Barcelona-New York
  • Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights First Class accommodations
    • 2 nights Madrid
    • 2 nights Bilbao
    • 2 nights St. Emilion
    • 2 nights Sarlat
    • 1 night Carcassonne
    • 3 nights Barcelona
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges including Barcelona city taxes
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 21 meals: 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners (including welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Wine, coffee and tea served with all meals
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Visit the renowned Prado Museum - stand before masterpieces by Goya and El Greco
  • Tour a traditional Spanish winery and cellar in the Rioja region and enjoy a wine tasting
  • In the Basque city of Bilbao, visit the inspirational and glittering Guggenheim Museum
  • Visit the stunning seaside resort of San Sebastian, called the "Pearl" of northern Spain
  • Stay at a Chateau in the countryside near the UNESCO World Heritage village of St. Emilion
  • Specially arranged wine tasting at a local vineyard of fabulous Bordeaux wines
  • Travel to the exquisite pilgrimage site at Rocamadour, set precariously into limestone cliffs
  • Visit the impressive fortified walled city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Play a local game of Petanque with your fellow travelers
  • In the Catalonian city of Figueres, visit the Dali Theatre-Museum, designed by the artist
  • Visit Gaudi's masterpiece, the unfinished fanciful La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for Spain
Depart for Madrid, Spain

DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Madrid
Bienvenidos!  Welcome to Madrid, Spain's exuberant capital; transfer to your hotel. Time to rest and relax or spend the day getting acquainted with this vibrant city. There's so much to see! This evening, a Welcome Drink and orientation meeting at approximately 7 pm with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers. Afterwards, enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Friday - Madrid City Tour
Your introduction to Madrid's striking architecture begins at grand Plaza de Cibeles Square, a neoclassical complex of marble sculptures and spectacular fountains that have become an iconic symbol for the city. Pass the elegant Plaza Mayor before continuing on to view the ornate 18th century Royal Palace, Europe's second largest. Then, on to the world-renowned Prado Museum, one of the finest art museums in the world - you'll stand before masterpieces by Velazquez, Goya, El Greco and other important Spanish artists. Afternoon is at leisure or join the optional tour of Toledo. Enjoy a walking tour among the most famous monuments, visiting the St. Tome Church with its El Greco masterpiece and Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue with its beautiful Moorish architecture, the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing
Optional: Tour of Toledo (PM)
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Saturday - Wine Tasting in Rioja, Bilbao
Driving north, the scenery changes from arid plains to green fertile valleys, dramatic mountains and picturesque villages as you approach the beautiful wine region of Rioja. Here, visit a traditional Spanish winery (bodega) and walk through the lush vineyards. At the cellar, enjoy a wine tasting followed by a delectable lunch. Then, travel north to the extraordinary Basque city of Bilbao, home to the glittering Guggenheim Museum
Overnight: Bilbao
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5, Sunday - Bilbao's Old Quarter, Guggenheim Museum
In Bilbao, visit the heart of the Casco Viejo, the city's charming Old Quarter, with its original seven streets dating back to the early 1400s. View the 14th-century Gothic Cathedral de Santiago with its impressive Renaissance entryway. The day's highlight is your visit to the astonishing Guggenheim Museum. Designed by architect Frank O. Gehry, the structure is dominated by his inspired use of flowing canopies, ship shapes, towers and flying fins, all gleaming with titanium tiles. Considered one of the 20th century's most influential architectural masterpieces, the museum houses the world's most important collections of avant-garde art. Dinner tonight is at a restaurant known for its Basque Country signature dish of pintxos coupled with wonderful local wines
Overnight: Bilbao
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Monday - San Sebastian, Biarritz, St. Emilion
The day begins at the stunning seaside resort of San Sebastian, encircled by leafy mountains and sandy beaches looking out onto sparkling bays. Often called the "Pearl" of northern Spain, in this coastal gem, view the gorgeous architecture and the lovely plazas and flower-filled parks that dot the city. After, cross the border into France and arrive in the elegant coastal town of Biarritz. Once a whaling and fishing town, it was totally transformed into a resort for royalty and the rich and famous when Napoleon III and his Spanish wife Eugenie built their palace here. The drive then takes you through the forested green region of Les Landes to the French wine country around Bordeaux. In this fertile area, viticulture was first introduced by the Romans and further intensified in the Middle Ages. The tradition was carried on by the monk Emilion, who was the very first to begin commercial wine production in Bordeaux. Dinner and overnight at a Chateau in the lovely countryside near the UNESCO World Heritage village of St. Emilion
Overnight: St. Emilion
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - Bordeaux City Tour, Wine Tasting
Today discover Bordeaux nestled on the Garonne River. Distinguished for the wines that bear its name, Bordeaux is considered by connoisseurs to be amongst the best wine producers in the world. This bustling city with its 18th-century buildings has been totally revitalized with a lively waterfront area with chic boutiques and cafes. A guided tour will show you the gargoyle adorned La Fleche St. Michel tower, one of the tallest medieval stone towers in France. At the vast Place des Quinconces, view the inspirational Girondins Monument. In the historic Old Town, view the Grand Theatre and continue to the Triumphal Arch (or Victory Arch) a monumental landmark erected to celebrate the reign of the Roman Empire. There will be time to independently enjoy the cosmopolitan city and perhaps stroll the Rue St. Catherine. After a specially arranged wine tasting of fabulous Bordeaux wines, return to the town of St. Emilion. Stroll among Romanesque churches and fascinating historical ruins stretching along the narrow streets and ramparts. Enjoy free time to wander on your own in this delightful town before returning to the Chateau for dinner
Overnight: St. Emilion
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Wednesday - Dordogne Province, Lascaux Caves, Sarlat
Magnificent vistas await you today on the drive into Dordogne Province marked by scenic river valleys, dense chestnut forests and hundreds of 13th and 14th-century chateaux dotting the landscape. Pause in Montignac, a pretty village on the Vezere River, to visit the world-famous Lascaux Caves with their astonishing cave paintings. Mostly pictures of animals, there are also carvings and images of people. In total, there are over 1,000 images in the caves. Their vibrancy and color make them the prehistoric equivalent of the Sistine Chapel, except they were painted almost in complete darkness over 17,000 years ago. Discovered by accident, the caves are now a protected monument. Travel to Sarlat, a picturesque medieval village where you stay for two nights. Share dinner together at a traditional farm in the region
Overnight: Sarlat
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Thursday - Dordogne River Cruise, Rocamadour
A full day to marvel at the treasures of this remarkable region. In the morning, an idyllic cruise on the Dordogne River takes you into the Perigord area. Along the way, enjoy the splendid panorama of this contrasting area with its limestone hills, medieval cities, and dark green forests. Later, travel to exquisite Rocamadour, set precariously into limestone cliffs overlooking the valley of the Alzou River. For pilgrims, Rocamadour's importance lies with the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, a complex of religious structures centered on a miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary and the tomb of an ancient saint. As you descend, explore the maze of narrow streets, old stone houses and charming shops of the main village before stopping for a taste of the local goat cheese. Return to Sarlat for an evening at leisure with time to discover some of the town's superb restaurants on your own
Overnight: Sarlat
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Friday - Travel to Carcassonne, Local Game of Petanque
Depart Sarlat, arriving in the impressive fortified walled city of Carcassonne, perched on a rocky hilltop surrounded by ancient towers and turrets, with expansive views of the city below. A guided stroll takes you along the cobbled streets to the St. Nazaire Basilica, adorned with magnificent stained glass and intricate carvings. Play a local game of Petanque with your fellow travelers and browse the tiny shops selling medieval wares. Enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel
Overnight: Carcassonne
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Saturday - Figueres Dali Museum, Girona, Barcelona
Departing France, cross back into Spain, skirting the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean coast. In the small Catalonian city of Figueres, where Salvador Dali was born, visit the famous Dali Theatre-Museum, designed by the artist himself. The extended collection of his work covers Dali's entire career and highlights some of his most outstanding artistic creations. Afterward, on to Girona, northern Catalonia’s largest city. The historic quarter, with its ancient arcaded houses and cobbled streets, is crowned by a magnificent Cathedral on the eastern bank of the River Ter. In the Old City, Arabic-style bathhouses and the preserved Call (medieval Jewish Quarter) are all enclosed by defensive Roman walls. Then, continue to sensational Barcelona
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12, Sunday - Visit Montjuic, Cooking Class
The day starts with a visit to the Montjuic recreational area housing the National Palace, built as the central pavilion for the 1929 International Exhibition. Montjuic is home to the Olympic complex, a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Summer Olympics, and at its center is the impressive Olympic Stadium. Afterwards, take part in a step by step paella cooking class to prepare a meal in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. For lunch, savor your own creation! The afternoon is at leisure
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Monday - Discover Gaudi's Architecture
This artistic city is renowned for the famous works of Gaudi, the master architect. Visit Gaudi's legendary and still unfinished fanciful masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, a colossal church that was first started in 1882. Along the Paseo de Gracia view the unique La Pedrera (Casa Mila) with its stone like facade and Casa Batllo, which appears to have been constructed from skulls and bones. Visit Parc Guell, where the colors and expressions of Gaudi’s work are boldly displayed. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, bid a fond farewell to Barcelona, and your newfound friends at a festive Farewell Dinner
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Tuesday - Depart Spain
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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Notes :
  • Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
  • Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates.
  • All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary.
Not Included
optional tours and gratuities for guides/ tour managers

All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability at the time of booking. The from price reflects the lowest available price at time of publication, which is valid for a specific start date or dates and also based on availability at the time of booking.