Your senses will be delightfully overwhelmed on this 28 day cruising experience from Paris to Madrid. France, Spain and Portugal have never looked so good.
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France is an aesthetic paradise, with a Gallic refinement few countries can match. Spain, on the other hand, is a fiesta of the senses – a bright and delightful celebration of sights, sounds and tastes that will leave you happily breathless. Portugal, again, has its own unique persona – friendly and fiercely proud. This 28 day journey will transport you through the heart of all these ancient lands, where you’ll encounter beautiful vineyards, dramatic landscapes, cultural wealth beyond measure, and endless architectural wonders.
Celebrate the start of your France holiday at this evening’s welcome reception and relax at one of our luxurious city central hotels for an overnight stay in Paris. A world of wonder awaits you.
Traverse the Île de France countryside aboard the TGV train to Dijon. Known worldwide for its famous mustard exports you’ll enjoy an orientation tour and time at leisure before transferring to Chalon-sur-Saône. Your friendly crew await to welcome you on board your luxurious Scenic Space-Ship for your journey through France’s iconic south.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Freechoice: This morning explore Beaune, including a visit to Les Hospices de Beaune. Alternatively, visit the estate of Château de Savigny-les-Beaune to see the impressive collection of motorcycles, race cars, and fighter planes.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Freechoice: Experience the magnificent Château de Cormatin, boasting beautiful gardens and water features. Alternatively, join the intelligent hounds and their owners in nearby quaint villages to locate and sample French truffles – a gastronomic delicacy. Enjoy leisurely cruising to Mâcon this afternoon, or opt for a class in French cuisine in Scenic Culinaire on board. Alternatively, cycle from Tournus to Mâcon and meet the ship there.
You’re sure to love Mâcon. Be fascinated by its history and delighted by the surrounding picturesque farming region acclaimed for its five wine appellations and gastronomy.
Freechoice: Retrace the traditional life of the region on your visit to the Bresse Museum, or enjoy wine tasting in the celebrated Beaujolais region. Alternatively, visit Cluny, a village in Burgundy that was constructed around the great Benedictine Abbey, once the world’s largest basilica.
Awake today in Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France.
Freechoice: Discover Lyon’s historic significance by traversing its hidden traboules – secret passageways that date back to the 4th century, and visit Notre Dame Basilica, offering a fabulous vantage point for views across Lyon. Alternatively, walk the cobblestone paths of yesteryear in the medieval hilltop town of Pérouges. Or, if you wish, visit the exclusive culinary school of Paul Bocuse and perfect the art of French cuisine before sampling some of the delicious fare (available on selected dates, will be replaced with In Cuisine Lyon when not available, enquire for details).
Lyon’s Botanical Gardens and Zoo are perfect for a leisurely bike ride this afternoon.
Experience the French extravaganza that is the can-can amidst other performances when you are treated to the exclusive gala spectacular, Scenic Rouge, under the big-top onshore this evening in Lyon.
Cruising from Lyon you’ll have the opportunity to soak in the picturesque riverside panoramas as you glide effortlessly toward Tournon. You may choose to visit Scenic Culinaire whilst cruising and pick up a trick or two to add to your culinary prowess. On arrival in Tournon enjoy a fun lecture on the French paradox and etiquette.
SundownersOverlooking the Rhône, Tournon Castle is a must-see for visitors, both for its historic interest and its breathtaking outlook. Enjoy an afternoon aperitif on the terrace of the castle accompanied by local musicians. You’ll find it a great soundtrack to a truly awe-inspiring backdrop.
Freechoice: Enjoy a unique wine tasting in the wine cave of Tournon Castle, or join a guided walk of Tain l’Hermitage including a tasting at Valrhona Chocolates. You could also enjoy a group bike ride along the Rhône to neighbouring villages, or hike the famed Saint-Joseph vineyard for a tasting of the delicious varietals amidst the vines.
Scenic cruising to Viviers this afternoon.
Enjoy a walking tour of Viviers including an organ recital in the town’s cathedral.
Freechoice: Explore the Ardèche National Park and immerse yourself in the Caverne du Pont-d’Arc Museum, or visit the aromatic Lavender Museum. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can canoe through one of Europe’s largest natural canyons, or drop into the beautiful provincial town of Grignan (seasonal option, operating on select departures, enquire for details).
Freechoice: Join an exclusive cooking class in Scenic Culinaire on board, or sample the celebrated wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a charming Côtes du Rhône vineyard.
Enjoy picturesque cruising to Avignon this afternoon. Then take a walking tour that includes a visit to the city’s architectural jewel, the Pope’s Palace.
Freechoice: Shop with a Chef at a local food market and cook up a storm in Scenic Culinaire with your fresh ingredients. Alternatively, drop in to the villages of the Luberon region including Gordes and l’Isle-sur-la-Sourge, or take an excursion to Uzès and Pont du Gard.
Explore Avignon at leisure this afternoon.
EnrichBe treated to a truly unforgettable experience at the prestigious Pope’s Palace of Avignon, among the most visited sites in France. After the doors close to the general public, you’ll be ushered in for an exclusive gala dinner and classical concert in the grandiose Grand Tinel room.
Choices today include the spectacular La Camargue National Park.
Freechoice: Enhance your French cooking skills by joining a lesson in Scenic Culinaire. Or take in the wild beauty of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and visit the 60 hectare Parc Ornithologique whilst there. You can also choose to visit the fortified Mediterranean village of Aigues-Mortes.
This afternoon, relax on the Sun Deck while cruising roundtrip from Tarascon towards the Mediterranean Sea. Tonight, a Camargue gypsy band performs live for your listening pleasure on board.
The riverside town of Tarascon exudes a charming medieval character.
Freechoice: Explore the artistic heritage of Arles, and see the striking Arles Arena, or stop in at the pretty hilltop village of Les Baux before touring a charming family-run olive farm to sample their delicious products in a delightful setting. Alternatively, pay a visit to Saint-Rémy and Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery where Van Gogh was held for a year.
After breakfast disembark your cruise and travel to Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, a tapestry of surreal delights, before arriving at your hotel Barcelona for a two night stay.
Meals included: Breakfast
Take full advantage of a guided tour through lively Barcelona, including the zany architecture of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Then, enjoy a full afternoon at leisure, immersing yourself in the atmospheric charms of this delightful seaside metropolis. Perhaps you’ll choose to wander the famous La Rambla pedestrian precinct, or take in the Mediterranean vistas from the seaside promenade.
Originally established by the Knights Templar, the fortified seaport of Peniscola always makes for a fascinating visit. Afterwards, travel to Valencia where you’ll check into your hotel before enjoying a city tour.
Take a scenic drive to Guadix, home to the Alcazaba de Guadix and the Cave District of Barrio de Santiago. This afternoon you’ll arrive at your captivating hotel in Granada, and this evening you’ll dine within Andalucia’s largest bullring, at Restaurant El Coso, whilst enjoying a traditional La Tuna Folk Band performance.
The highlight of your time in Granada is a visit to the amazing Alhambra Palace, which dates back to the Middle Ages. From there, a scenic drive will take you to a Spanish mountain village where you’ll enjoy the warm hospitality of locals over a traditional lunch. This afternoon arrive at your luxury hotel in Córdoba.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Discover all that Córdoba has to offer, including the Aljama Mosque, before travelling to Ronda, which stands atop the magnificent El Tajo Canyon. You’ll tour this magnificent location including it’s bullring and Casa Don Bosco before dinner at your splendid hotel for an overnight stay in Ronda.
Today you’ll journey to Andalucia’s capital city of Seville. Your guided tour will showcase the city’s beautiful sites such as the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the cathedral that houses Christopher Columbus’ tomb, and the Alcazar of Seville. Relax for two nights.
Today, journey to Jerez and visit the celebrated bodega of Williams & Humbert where you’ll sample some of the world’s finest sherries, with a heritage dating back to 1877. Back in Seville, take advantage of a free afternoon before enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride. Savour traditional tapas for dinner this evening, to be enjoyed whilst being entertained by fiery Flamenco dancers.
This morning you bid adios to Spain to embark on your discovery of Portugal. This afternoon you’ll arrive at your charming hotel in in Lisbon for a two night stay.
Enjoy a tour of Lisbon this morning before a guided visit of the Hieronymite Monastery and a tasting of the famous Pasteis de Nata. Enjoy lunch at Visconde da Luz in Cascais before a leisurely afternoon in Sintra, visiting the 500-year-old Palacio Nacional, with stops in charming Guincho and Estoril en route.
This morning you’ll visit the seaside village of Nazare before a picturesque journey to Porto where you’ll tour the city’s atmospheric streets. Following a scenic cruise on the Douro river, dinner showcases incredible local foods. Afterwards, retire to your hotel in Porto.
Today you return to Spain where on arrival in Salamanca, you’ll check into your Salamanca hotel before a guided walking tour of the delights of Salamanca.
Today, you’ll get to see Segovia en route to Madrid. On arrival in Spain’s bustling capital, you’ll check into your hotel for a two night stay before walking to the delightful Prado Museum where your guide will escort you through the collections. This evening, there’ll be a wonderful farewell dinner with the friends you’ve made over the last couple of weeks.
Enjoy a morning tour of Madrid, taking in Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the “Austrian” Quarter, and the 18th century Royal Palace.
Try a fun Flamenco Dance workshop or, if you love the beautiful game, visit the Bernabeu Football Stadium.
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Madrid airport for your onward or homebound flight.
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