The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city where old meets new and arts and culture shine, making it one of the must-see cities in the world. Fascinating sights abound whether you are exploring the narrow winding streets of the Barri Gothic, strolling on the beautiful boulevard known as La Rambla, admiring the waterfront and beaches, or trying to understand the fanciful modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudi – including his La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where construction has been ongoing since 1882. A fun pastime in Barcelona is sampling tapas (a variety of small dishes). Dine like a local, accompanying your meal with Spanish cava (champagne). The colorful La Boqueria food market, with its small restaurants, is a foodie must-do stop. In addition to his famous multi-spired cathedral, where Gaudi himself is buried in a crypt, check out Gaudi’s Casa Mila on the Passeig de Gracia – the white stone façade looks to some like a skeleton, and inside not a single wall is straight. Passeig de Gracia is also a prime place to shop for Spanish designer goods.
9:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Palma de Mallorca
day 2 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is steep, green, and fringed with enticing coves and more than 200 lush beaches. But all that natural beauty is just the beginning. Stroll along the tree-shaded Paseo de Born in search of tapas. Shop for a Siurell; a traditional red, green, and white clay whistle dating back to the time of the Moors. Watch the street performers on the piazza around the church, or cross the island to beautiful Sóller. Not to be missed is the cultural landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
What an entrance you will make as you cruise into one of the deepest natural harbors in the world. Picturesque Mahon is home to lovely white-sand beaches and delightful architecture, a gin distillery, and a dairy plant where delicious white cheese is made.
The popular tourist spot of Calvi with its crescent-shaped bay and gorgeous beaches, is distinguished by a large medieval citadel that overlooks the marina. Built between the 13th to the 16th centuries, it is basically an entire small town enclosed by fortified walls but offering panoramic views of the harbor and the Corsican coast. Another must-see is the “Big Pink Church,” Orthodox-style L’Eglise Santa Maria and make time to take a walk along the Quai Landry esplanade, lined with interesting restaurants.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
day 6 Bastia, Corsica, France
As the principal port of Corsica, Bastia has vibrant historical neighborhoods with narrow streets and alleys between ancient shuttered buildings of the 18th century. One of the main squares is the Place du Marche, home of a morning market and the impressive 16th century Saint-Jean-Baptiste church. On the other side of the harbor sits the substantial citadel, the beautiful gardens of Jardin Romieu and the once very-elegant houses of the Terra Nova district.
7:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
day 7 Portoferraio, Italy
The tranquil island of Elba is an oasis of pine-scented forests and miles of sandy beaches, vineyards, and delightful fishing villages. The island was not quite as appealing to French emperor Napoleon, who was exiled on Elba for nine months beginning in May 1814, though he did live in two mini-palaces that are both open today for visitors. One is a hillside villa in Portoferraio, the other a summer home in the countryside called Villa San Martino, where the décor includes an Egyptian room with a ceiling painted in the signs of the Zodiac. Elba is one of seven islands in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Hikers can enjoy trails up mountains and through pine-scented forests. Biking from Portoferraio along the north of the island brings breathtaking views of lush vegetation and the Ligurian Sea.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.