In this enchanting city the past and present intersect in perfect harmony. Casually intermingled among ancient ruins and majestic cathedrals are the trappings of a modern metropolis: Skyscrapers,cafes, boutiques selling designer footwear. But of course what you seek first in the heart of Rome is its breathtaking history. A good place to begin is the Vatican, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Works by Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Raphael are just a few of those on display, any one of which is worth hours of contemplation. Then the ancient ruins—Colosseum, Forum, Circus Maximus. And of course the Trevi Fountain for the obligatory coins promising your return to the Eternal City.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
day 2 Portoferraio, Italy
Pine-scented forests and miles of sandy beach await your arrival on the tranquil island of Elba. Enjoy a glass of local Moscato with the fresh catch of the day before pondering your next move. Perhaps you’ll visit the nearby countryside with its small fishing villages and dramatic mountain passes. Or see the calming beauty of Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Or maybe you’ll decide to walk to the nearest beach and dip your toes into the warm Mediterranean.
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
day 3 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.
8:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
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.
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.
8:00 AM TO 4:00 PM
Palma de Mallorca
day 7 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.
7:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
The old meets the new in this sunny Catalan metropolis, where narrow alleyways contrast with grand boulevards, trendy cuisine meets homemade tapas, and everywhere you’re greeted by the warm, welcoming smiles of the fashionable locals. Don’t miss UNESCO sites like the mind-boggling architecture of Antoni Gaudí or La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, with its eight decorative spires soaring hundreds of feet into the sky.
7:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
The beautiful, sunny port city of Tarragona has lovely beaches, a spectacular cathedral, and Spain’s second most important Roman ruins of Tarraco, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many other ruins around Tarragona as well including an amphitheater by the sea. Also known as the city of human towers, Tarragona originated this deep-rooted tradition that has been recognized by UNESCO on their Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The city lives and breathes this tower building spirit which requires the commitment and bravery of many people.
Ibiza (translated “Party until you drop”) boasts more than 100 miles of coastline with over 50 beaches, and a myriad of restaurants. It has also become famous for the electronic music that originated there. Large portions of the island are UNESCO World Heritage Sites including “God’s Finger” in Benirras Bay, Ses Feixes Wetlands, Sa Caleta, site of the first Phoenician settlement, and Ibiza Town. Said to be the spot where Ulysses was lured by the sirens, there is also a magnetic field here that makes compasses useless.
11:00 AM TO 6:00 PM
The walled town of Cartagena is a popular seaport with a large naval shipyard. The seashore offers a wide range of activities from windsurfing to good snorkeling to sailing. From Cartagena you can easily explore the ancient city of Murcia, the coastal resorts of Mazarrón, Cala Cortina, and Cabo de Palos or a little further north, the world famous resort of Mar Menor.
9:00 AM TO 8:00 PM
day 12 Almeria (Granada), Spain
Enjoy a walking tour of this ancient city. If you prefer, opt for a beautiful drive through the Andalusian countryside to Granada and the magnificent UNESCO site, the Alhambra Palace. Built in the 14th century, this breathtaking example of Moorish architecture combines intricate mosaics and stone-cast latticework in a tapestry of grace and sophistication unparalleled in western civilization. Or take an optional excursion into nature at one of three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
9:00 AM TO 9:00 PM
Here, on the shores of Costa del Sol, the Andalusian spirit thrives. Be sure to include an optional visit to see the brilliant and comprehensive collection of Picasso’s work at Museo Picasso Málaga, a tribute to this artistic genius in the city of his birth. Or you may choose to opt for a visit to the beautiful village of Mijas, where picturesque Andalusian country life creates some of the world’s best wines.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Fascinating Tangier is a traveler’s delight with beautiful vistas, lovely unspoiled beaches, intriguing history and friendly people. Separated from Spain by only 20 miles across the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier is considered by many to be the gateway to Africa. With its cosmopolitan mix of African and European influences, there are many interesting sites in Tangier. The two UNESCO sites of the Medina (the old-walled city) a bustling place, and the Kasbah which offers beautiful views and fine Moroccan art, and the Place de France in the heart of the new city is an entertaining place to sip mint tea and enjoy the view.
The rhythm of Lisbon invites you to join its captivating dance. This splendid capital city on the banks of the Rio Teja offers a warm welcome and an unparalleled blend of architectural styles. Elegant outdoor cafés line the cobbled sidewalks. Turn-of-the-century funiculars climb the scenic hills. Find the UNESCO sites of the Tower of Belem and the Monastery of the Hieronymites. And, everywhere, the city engages you with its easy style and remarkable charm.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.