The itinerary is the starting point to your tour, but it’s not set in stone. Your group leader may make changes leading up to departure.
Day 1, Wednesday July 12: Overnight Flight
Depart from the USA.
Day 2, Thursday July 13: Barcelona
¡Bienvenidos a España! Arrive in Barcelona, capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city. Take time to stroll through the old town and acquaint yourself with this vibrant culture. (D)
Day 3, Friday July 14: Barcelona
Begin your day with a panoramic sightseeing tour. Our local expert will point out all the major highlights of Barcelona, including the unique Gaudí-designed houses. Antoni Gaudí, one of Catalonia's most famous sons, was a Modernist architect whose distinctive style is revered to this day. After, you'll be able to study the intricate design inside and out of his still-unfinished Sagrada Familia and stroll whimsical Parc Güell. ater discover the Gothic Quarter by foot including entrance to the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia. Before dinner apply your new knowledge of the artist Gaudí during a
Trencadís workshop where you will create your own mosaic in his style. (B,D)
Day 4, Saturday July 15: Provence
Depart this morning across the French border for the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. See the well-preserved fortified center before continuing to lovely Provence dinner and a night’s rest. (B,D)
Day 5, Sunday July 16: Provence
Explore Avignon in the morning. View the imposing Papal Palace and Pont Saint-Bénézet (famous from the children's song). Then visit the nearby Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct preserved in almost perfect condition. A true wonder of Roman engineering, the 161-foot tall bridge is still standing nearly 2,000 years after its construction and your ticket includes access to the wealth of information available on the structure's history, architecture and more in the excellent on-site museum. (B,D)
Day 6, Monday July 17: Paris
Begin your day by traveling on one of the fastest trains in Europe, the high-speed TGV, to Paris. After arriving in the City of Light, a guided sightseeing tour takes you past some of the most famous attractions in Paris. Your expert local guide will show you the magnificent Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs-Élysées, Napoleon's final resting place at Les Invalides and the Gothic wonder of Notre Dame. This evening perhaps explore your hotel's quartier. (B,D)
Day 7, Tuesday July 18: Paris
Breeze by the crowds with your timed entrance to the Louvre this morning and discover the many famous masterpieces that call it home. Insightful commentary from your local guide highlights the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo and more as you wander through the galleries. From its beginnings as a royal fortress to its current status as the world's most visited art museum, the Louvre has long been at the center of Parisian culture and home to a collection of 35,000 works of art from around the world. The art theme continues in the afternoon with a
Paint Paris painting lesson and walking tour of Montmartre. As you explore this artistic haven—once the haunt of luminaries like Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Claude Monet—a local artist explains the area's history and instructs you in painting techniques important to French art history for capturing its streets and buildings. You may even dine with some real artists this evening at an authentic French dinner on the Place du Tertre at the heart of Montmartre. (B,D)
Day 8, Wednesday July 19: Paris
Today take an excursion to Giverny, the inspiration for Claude Monet's water lily paintings, where you will see Monet's house with its famous pink walls, green shutters, sunflower-yellow furniture and Japanese prints. Enjoy some time to create art before returning to Paris. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Musee Marmottan. (B,D)
Day 9, Thursday July 20: Departure
Depart for the USA.
Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:
Enhance your European experience with a two-night extension to London via Eurostar, including a city sightseeing tour with an expert local guide, entrance to the Tower of London and an Oyster Card to help you get around. (B)