Mediterranean Discovery

Travel Idea:

Mediterranean Discovery

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Destination for this trip:

Barcelona, Spain; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France

Length of trip:

12 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 6000 to $ 7000

Best travel dates to go:

June


Detailed Description of this trip:

The wonders of the Mediterranean coast, from Spain's magnificent Costa Brava to the glamorous Cóte d'Azur, charming but seldom-visited islands unfold before you during this magical 12-day adventure. Between a 2-night stay at Le Méridien Barcelona and two nights at Monaco's famous Fairmont Monte Carlo, the sporty sailing yacht Le Ponant takes you to explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path ports where the big cruise ships can't go. Delve into Salvador Dali on the Costa Brava, visit Girona on the Spanish coast and call at both Majorca and Minorca in Spain's Balearic Islands. Savor the tranquil beauty of Le Carmargue in France. Indulge your passion for history in Narbonne and Carcassonne in the lovely Languedoc region of France. Take in all the scenic beauty for which the “Wild Coast" and the “Blue Coast" are so famous.


Trip Properties:


Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Monte Carlo

    Arrive Monte-Carlo
    Hotel

    Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Fairmont Monte Carlo. A transfer is included from Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to Fairmont Monte Carlo, a luxury hotel set next to the stunning Belle Époque casino in the heart of Monte-Carlo.

    Join us this evening for a welcome cocktail reception. Meals D

  • Day 2 - Monte Carlo

    Magic of the Riviera.
    Sightseeing

    The Principality of Monaco, smaller than New York City’s Central Park, is one of the most alluring destinations on the Mediterranean. A guided sightseeing tour of Monaco includes the many sights of Monte-Carlo, the best known of Monaco’s four quarters. Visit Monaco-Ville (the seat of government) to see 13th-century Palais du Prince, and the Cathedral with the tombs of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Just beyond the horizon lies Italy – and the afternoon is spent exploring along the Italian Riviera. Panoramic views of the seascape, with its cliffs, coves and beautiful beaches, include a chance to glimpse the lifestyle of the aristocracy who live in luxurious villas. Return to Monte-Carlo, where the rest of the day is free. Meals B

  • Day 3 - Nice

    Nice / Embark Le Ponant.
    Sightseeing

    Nice is not only one of the largest Mediterranean resorts, with its temperate climate, gorgeous flowers and lively atmosphere, but it is also steeped in a colorful history going back to the Greeks and Romans. An orientation sightseeing tour shows you landmark sights, followed by time at leisure to explore as you please. A visit to Musée Matisse in the hilly Cimiez district overlooking the town provides a wonderful opportunity to view some of the finest works by Henri Matisse, who spent years in Nice inspired by the Mediterranean light.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Late afternoon, board Le Ponant for the start of your 7-day cruise. Meals BD

  • Day 4 - At Sea

    River or Barge Cruise

    The best benefit of cruising the Mediterranean by small ship is the opportunity to explore ports, harbors and islands that are not easily accessible. Glamorous Iles d’Hyères (also known as Iles d’Or due to the islands’ gold cliffs) are comprised of three islands off the southern French coast. Make a wet landing on the largest island, Porquerolles. A walking tour introduces you to the unusual vegetation, much of which was imported from exotic climates, as well as historic sites such as Fort Ste. Agathe and the lighthouse. The rest of the day is spent as you please, enjoying the island’s marvelous beaches, visiting the colonial town, or weather permitting, swimming off Le Ponant’s stern platform.

    Join us for the Captain’s welcome dinner. Meals BLD

  • Day 5 - At Sea

    La Camargue, Nature’s Sanctuary
    River or Barge Cruise

    A full day ashore brings you to one of the world’s great ecological preserves, La Camargue. This vast plain is an island surrounded by water, and is one of Europe’s largest river deltas; you’ll learn about the natural history of the Rhone Delta, and about the famous fleur de sel (flower of salt) that is harvested by hand. La Camargue is a wildlife sanctuary, home to black bulls that eventually engage in bullfighting; wild white horses, free to roam without stables; a kaleidoscope of flamingoes; and birds of prey. Meals BLD

  • Day 6 - At Sea

    Abbeys and Fortresses
    River or Barge Cruise

    A full-day journey first takes you to the beautiful wine region of Narbonne for a visit to Abbaye de Fontfroide. Set in a peaceful valley, surrounded by cypress trees, the cloisters of this 12th-century Benedictine Abbey will long be remembered. A visit to the Citadel of Carcassonne, in one of Europe’s best examples of a medieval town, includes a walk along the ramparts and Basilique St-Nazaire. Meals BLD

  • Day 7 - At Sea

    Spain’s Marvelous Costa Brava
    Sightseeing

    Dock at Palamós for a choice of sightseeing today. For those who are inspired by the works of Salvador Dali, we’ve arranged visits to Figueres, his home town, and the lovely seaside resort of Cadaqués, where he spent time. Alternatively, visit the medieval town of Girona, where Roman and Moorish history blends together. Meals BLD

  • Day 8 - At Sea

    Hidden Coves of Minorca
    Sightseeing

    You’ll discover that the Balearic island of Minorca is rich with beautiful beaches, archaeological treasures and a really colorful history when you go ashore in Ciutadella for a walking tour. Afternoon brings a swim in a cove and a visit to Mahón, the island’s capital. Dine tonight on the ship at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. Meals BLD

  • Day 9 - At Sea

    Majorca / Leisure Time for a Swim
    River or Barge Cruise

    Le Ponant docks near the center of famous Palma de Majorca, where a sightseeing tour includes a visit to the magnificent Gothic Cathedral – views of the cathedral from the sea are more than memorable. Free time in Palma de Majorca is followed by an afternoon of swimming in small coves (weather permitting) directly from Le Ponant. Meals BLD

  • Day 10 - Barcelona

    Disembark Barcelona
    River or Barge Cruise

    Your Mediterranean voyage concludes in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Disembark Le Ponant.

    Sightseeing

    Sightseeing tour with local guides includes some of the magnificent works of architect Gaudí – Sagrada Família, his unfinished basilica, and Parc Güell. Explore Las Ramblas before spending the rest of the day as you please. Meals B

  • Day 11 - Barcelona

    Barcelona – Gothic and Gaudí
    Sightseeing

    Delve into Barcelona’s history this morning on a visit to the Gothic district, Barri Gòtic, where a walking tour reveals traces of civilizations dating back thousands of years.

    Museums

    You have a choice of a visit to the Maritime Museum, or Gaudí’s La Pedrera, or the Museu Picasso.

    Join us this evening for a farewell dinner. Meals BD

  • Day 12 - Barcelona

    Journey Home.

    Tour ends: Barcelona. Transfers are included from Le Méridien Barcelona to Barcelona International Airport. Allow 21/2 hours for flight check-in. Meals B

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