Spain, Italy & Greece

Spain, Italy & Greece
Stroll through Madrid’s bustling city square, visit Spain’s most popular vacation spot, set sail for imperial Rome, boat to the stunning island of Capri, and get a taste of Ancient Greece with a stop at the archaeological site at Mycenae.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Hola Madrid
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Madrid city walk
Puerta del SolPlaza MayorPlaza de España
Details: Madrid city walk
Life in Madrid is centered around talking, toasting and tapas-eating. In a walk through this crowded and social city, your Tour Director will help you get to know the lay of the land. Then stroll over to the Puerta del Sol, the bustling city center. Next, you'll relax at the Plaza Mayor, a grand square where every sort of human drama has taken place—trials of faith, public burnings of heretics, royal marriages, the canonization of saints, and countless balls and bullfights. End at the Plaza de España for a stop at an outdoor café.
Details: Prado visit
Visit the Museo del Prado, home of works by Spain's great masters, including Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, and El Greco. Please note that on some occassions the Prado could be substituted for the Reina Sofia Museum, featuring works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí among others.
Day 3 Madrid landmarks
Madrid guided sightseeing tour
Calle MayorGran VíaCibeles FountainPuerta de AlcaláColumbus SquareRoyal Palace visit
Optional  Toledo guided excursion  $70
Toledo Cathedral visitChurch of Santo ToméSt. Mary’s Synagogue
Details: Madrid guided sightseeing tour
Get a taste of Spain's cultural, political and economic center with a tour led by a licensed local guide. See Madrid's mix of traditional and modern as you visit the Royal Palace, an 18th-century masterpiece. The enormous Baroque palace currently has more rooms (2,800) than any other European palace, but it was originally supposed to be four times as large. The palace is dripping with porcelain, jeweled clocks, amazing ceiling frescoes—the most magnificent, in the Throne Room, was done by the Venetian artist Tiepolo when he was in his seventies. Next take a look at the Neoclassical architecture of the Prado Museum and the Puerta de Alcalá triumphal arch, built to honor Carlos III’s entry into Spain.
Details: Flamenco evening
Originating from gypsy music and dance in Southern Spain, flamenco dancing has become a Spanish institution. Dancers use intricate footwork and elaborate arm gestures to convey the mood of the music, which can range from lamentation to celebration. Learn about the history of Flamenco, watch dancers perform and give it a whirl yourself!
Day 4 Madrid--Barcelona
Travel to Barcelona via Zaragoza
Basilica of the Virgin of Pilar visit
Details: Tapas dinner
Tapas purportedly originated when bartenders set a small plate (''tapa'') over patrons' glasses of sherry and wine to keep the flies out. The bartenders starting piling the plate with cold cuts, olives, or salad, and the bite-size snack was born. (We're unsure how they kept the flies out of the cold-cuts... maybe that's how the sandwich was invented?) Over time these working-class snacks have become more elaborate, with each region adding its own specialties and cooking techniques to create unique tastes and combinations.
Day 5 Barcelona landmarks
Barcelona guided sightseeing tour
Gaudí’s Sagrada FamíliaMontjuïc HillPark Güell visit
Barcelona city walk
Mercat de la BoqueríaLas RamblasColumbus Monument
Paella dinner
Details: Barcelona guided sightseeing tour
See brilliant Barcelona, a city of graceful Gothic churches, wrought-iron balconies and wide, grand avenues filled with outdoor cafés. Throughout the city, daringly innovative buildings sit side-by-side with the medieval past. A licensed, local guide will show you some of the high points of this architectural showcase. First stop: the pointy spires of the La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family), a half-finished church complex that became the obsession of Barcelona's famously eccentric architectural genius, Antoni Gaudí. Then step back to the past with a journey up to Montjuïc (Hill of the Jews). See the fortress built atop an ancient Jewish cemetery. Site of numerous battles to control Barcelona, this hill was also the location of the 1992 Olympics.
Details: Barcelona city walk
Flowers, pedestrian boulevards, and decorative pavement make Barcelona a great walking city, and your Tour Director will show you where to stroll. See the Mercat de la Boquería, where the bright colors of fruits and vegetables, spices, fresh seafood and meat -- not to mention about a hundred different types of cheese -- vie for space in the market stalls. In the city center you'll see the Monument a Colom, a towering statue of Christopher Columbus. Gaze at the city stretched out before you, the mountains in the distance, and the Mediterranean Sea at your back. Then it's on to the best walk in the city, Las Ramblas, a mile-long pedestrian street that offers up the carnival of urban Barcelona. Have your palm read or browse through the strip's famous open-air shops. Enough walking for one day? Pull up a chair, order a café con leche, and watch the parade of street performers from your seat.
Day 6 Barcelona--Rome
Optional  Sitges excursion  $45
Overnight ferry to Rome
Day 7 Rome
Day 8 Rome landmarks
Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel visitSt. Peter’s Basilica visitColosseum visitPiazza VeneziaForum Romanum visit
Rome city walk
Spanish StepsTrevi FountainPantheonPiazza Navona
Authentic trattoria dinner
Details: Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
Gods and gladiators, glory and gore. Ancient Rome lives on in its spectacular monuments, flavoring the frenetic present with tastes of the past. Don a space-age Whisper headset to get the inside scoop on the most spectacular, the Colosseum, a grisly battle arena that seated more than 45,000. An enormous retractable roof awning system kept spectators cool on sunny days. The nearby Forum provides a glimpse into everyday ancient life, with markets, meeting places, and temples all combined into one vast space. Move into Christian Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, the triumphal Renaissance church flanked by rows of columns radiating outward like welcoming arms. Within the church Michelangelo’s masterpieces are on display, the “Pietà” in the main church and the recently restored ceiling frescoes and “Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. Continue your trek through time at Piazza Venezia, site of the enormous monument to Victor Emmanuel II, Italy’s first king, and of the Palazzo Venezia, where Mussolini set up his headquarters and from whose porch his mother was said to eavesdrop on citizens below. (The Sistine Chapel is closed on most religious holidays and Sundays, except for the last Sunday in each month).
Details: Rome city walk
Baroque-en hearted? Revive your spirits with a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes once favored by visiting Brits and Americans surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini. At the Pantheon, you'll see the largest concrete dome ever constructed. An oculus, or hole, in the dome lets sunlight into the beautiful temple, dedicated to all the gods.
Day 9 Rome--Sorrento
Travel to Sorrento
Details: Capri & Blue Grotto excursion
From the Bay of Naples the island of Capri is less than an hour away by boat. Weather permitting, you will take a boat to the Blue Grotto, where sunlight reflected from beneath the water bathes the cave in a silver-blue light.
Day 10 Sorrento--Patras
Travel to the port
Pompeii guided visit
Overnight ferry to Patras
Day 11 Patras--Tolo
Travel to Tolo via Olympia
Details: Ancient Olympia guided visit
Once one of the most important sites in Greece, the former locale of the Olympic games now has some of the most picturesque ruins in the country. Surrounded by shady olive trees and flowing rivers, the stones of the original temple and stadium still inspire awe – and the occasional victory lap.
Day 12 Tolo--Athens
Travel to Athens
Corinth Canal
Greek dinner in Plaka
Details: Mycenae & Epidaurus guided excursion
See the sacred precinct of Epidaurus, a former health clinic and spa with a 4th-century BC amphitheater. Continue to Mycenae. Framed by twin mountains and looking out over the plains, Mycenae was a palace, a workshop, and a grave. Gold cups, jewelry, bronze armor, swords, and daggers, as described by Homer, were discovered here. Walk up to the remains of the citadel. Look out over the rolling hills. Imagine the bonfires blazing in all directions, signaling that Troy had fallen to Agamemnon.
Day 13 Athens landmarks
Athens guided sightseeing tour
ParthenonAcropolis visitTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
Athens city walk
Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
Details: Athens guided sightseeing tour
Not just another crowded dusty city, Athens has developed from the birthplace of democracy to a bustling modern metropolis. With a local licensed guide, start your time travel at the ancient hot spots of the first Olympic site and the sprawling Acropolis, classical Athens’ religious and civic center. The awe-inspiring Parthenon -- a temple dedicated to Athens’ patron saint Athena -- is the obvious centerpiece, but take time to examine the building next door, where sculpted women hold up the roof with their heads, and the amazing view of modern Athens below. Jump back to the present in Syntagma Square, the center of the modern city, to see the Parliament building and the British-style changing of the guards ceremony. (There’s a rather un-British flair to it, however -- the Greek guards wear white skirts, head scarves, and shoes and knee bands adorned with pom-poms.) Continue to Omonia Square, Athens' other main meeting point, to relax by the splashing central fountain ringed with palm trees.
Details: Athens city walk
You’re never more than a few steps away from the past in Athens. Accompany your Tour Director to the Plaka, the historic district that borders the Acropolis. In its twisting narrow streets you’ll catch glimpses of an older city, from wrought-iron balconies bursting with geraniums to traditional Greek dancing in basement tavernas. Continue on to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, begun in the 6th century B.C. and finished in A.D. 132 by the emperor Hadrian. Its enormous columns provide a sense of the scale of the original temple. Nearby, the elaborate Hadrian’s Arch separated the ancient and imperial sections of the city.
Day 14 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 13 Start cruise extension (tour must depart North America on Wednesdays to do extension)
    Optional shore excursions available (purchased on tour)
    Details: Cruise for four days on the Aegean
    Head to six of the most beautiful coastal destinations in the world on this four-day Aegean cruise. Your first stop is Mykonos, where bright white houses contrast with Crayola-colored boats and the international jet set relaxes all day long on the beach. Continue on to Kusadasi, an ancient Turkish town that’s one of the Mediterranean’s most popular resort destinations, and then continue to Patmos for gold-leafed Byzantine icons at the Monastery of St. John. Rhodes is next, with whitewashed medieval buildings and spectacular views. Cruise on to Heraklion, the capital of Crete and a former Minoan seaport, for an unparalleled collection of Minoan archaeological artifacts. End your jaunt at Santorini, where villages cling to the edge of a volcano and exotic black sand beaches stretch into the sea. Cruise excursions are provided by the liner and can be purchased during the voyage. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change and the island stops may vary, more commonly in July and August.
    Day 14 Aegean cruise
    Cruise
    Day 15 Aegean cruise
    Cruise
    Day 16 Aegean cruise
    Cruise
    Day 17 Athens landmarks
    Athens guided sightseeing tour
    ParthenonAcropolis visitTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
    Athens city walk
    Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
    Details: Athens guided sightseeing tour
    Not just another crowded dusty city, Athens has developed from the birthplace of democracy to a bustling modern metropolis. With a local licensed guide, start your time travel at the ancient hot spots of the first Olympic site and the sprawling Acropolis, classical Athens’ religious and civic center. The awe-inspiring Parthenon -- a temple dedicated to Athens’ patron saint Athena -- is the obvious centerpiece, but take time to examine the building next door, where sculpted women hold up the roof with their heads, and the amazing view of modern Athens below. Jump back to the present in Syntagma Square, the center of the modern city, to see the Parliament building and the British-style changing of the guards ceremony. (There’s a rather un-British flair to it, however -- the Greek guards wear white skirts, head scarves, and shoes and knee bands adorned with pom-poms.) Continue to Omonia Square, Athens' other main meeting point, to relax by the splashing central fountain ringed with palm trees.
    Details: Athens city walk
    You’re never more than a few steps away from the past in Athens. Accompany your Tour Director to the Plaka, the historic district that borders the Acropolis. In its twisting narrow streets you’ll catch glimpses of an older city, from wrought-iron balconies bursting with geraniums to traditional Greek dancing in basement tavernas. Continue on to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, begun in the 6th century B.C. and finished in A.D. 132 by the emperor Hadrian. Its enormous columns provide a sense of the scale of the original temple. Nearby, the elaborate Hadrian’s Arch separated the ancient and imperial sections of the city.
    Day 18 End tour
    Map of Spain, Italy, & Greece Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 9 overnight stays in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 2 overnight stays in cabins on ferries
    • 4 overnight stays in cabins on cruise ship on extension
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Guided sightseeing tours with high-tech headset as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Flamenco Evening
    • Tapas Dinner
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Tips to cruise staff on extension
    • Cruise excursions not included
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    3662.00 total fee
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