France & Spain
Join this adventure from romantic Paris to cosmopolitan Barcelona and be captivated by the culture and history of France and Spain. Visit castles, cycle through the Loire Valley and hike in the majestic mountains of the Pyrenees. Peruse paintings, admire Gaudi's quirky architecture and marvel at an illustrious Moorish past in Spain's byways and boulevards before partying the night away. This trip will make sure you come away with the best memories of two of Europe's most-visited countries.
Day 1: Paris
Upon arrival in Paris, why not peruse iconic paintings in the Louvre or sculptures in the Musee Rodin. Alternatively, relax in the Jardin du Luxembourg, go shopping in Marais, descend into the Catacombs or scale the Eiffel Tower.
Days 2-3: Tours
Venture into the Loire Valley, a region renowned for its wealth of art, history and medieval houses. Cycle to the breathtaking Chateau Villandry and take a walk through its manicured Renaissance gardens.
Days 4-5: Sarlat-la-Caneda
Travel by train into the Dordogne region and soak up its relaxed pace. Explore the striking limestone scenery of the Dordogne River, visiting sights like the towering Chateau de Beynac on a kayaking excursion. In the evening, why not indulge in a decadent degustation meal in a local restaurant.
Days 6-7: Bordeaux
Step back in time in the World Heritage-listed Old Town of Bordeaux. France's internationally acclaimed wine region is a food and wine lover's heaven, so treat tastebuds to full-bodied local blends paired with mouth-watering French fare. If feeling energetic, be sure to clamber up the 243 steps of Saint-Michel Basilica's tower.
Days 8-9: Bagneres de Luchon
Head into the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Take in crisp mountain air and awe-inspiring views while enjoying a day of hiking.
Days 10-11: San Sebastian
Travel to Spain and make tracks for the sunny playground of San Sebastian. While here, soak up the sun at La Concha or head down to the Parte Vieja, which apparently boasts the most bars per square metre in all of Spain. If cultural pursuits are of interest, catch a local bus to Bilbao and lose track of time in the incredible Guggenheim Museum, famously shaped like a ship to flatter its portside location.
Days 12-13: Segovia
Continue onwards to the walled city of Segovia, a picturesque city framed by undulating green mountains. Visit Alcazar, a fairytale castle perched on a cliff and mosey through the World Heritage-listed Old Town.
Days 14-15: Madrid
Discover the captivating Spanish capital, a city bursting with exquisite architecture, superb museums and spectacular nightlife. See timeless masterpieces in the Museo del Prado or visit Reina Sofia to view the Picasso and Miro exhibitions.
Days 16-17: Granada
Explore the Arab quarter of Albayzin, a maze of alleyways with sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada. Stroll through the extravagantly decorated rooms and sprawling gardens of the imposing Alhambra Fortress palace complex. For the best view of Granada at sunset, head to the Mirador de San Nicolas at the very top of the city's steep streets.
Days 18-19: Seville
Visit Seville and be swept up in the emotions of a fiery flamenco performance. See the world's largest Gothic cathedral and its imposing Moorish tower or enjoy the tranquil gardens in the Parque de Maria Luisa. Revel in the city known as the tapas capital of Spain, where restaurant windows are full of tasty morsels. In the evening, take a wander through lively El Centro.
Days 20-21: Tarifa
Travel to Costa de la Luz and enjoy an optional day tour across the border to the British territory of Gibraltar, home to the famous Rock of Gibraltar, or go one step further to Tangier in Morocco. In free time, relax on the beaches of Tarifa, perhaps taking the opportunity to go whale watching off the coast.
Days 22-23: Ronda
Leave the Andalucian hills and journey to Ronda, a whitewashed town split in half by a deep chasm and joined by the amazing Puente Nuevo. Perhaps climb down the hand-hewn stairs of La Mina to the river below or learn about secret smuggler hideouts at the Bandits Museum.
Day 24: Cordoba
Discover the mesh of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in the architecture and cuisine of the southern city of Cordoba. Visit the Mezquita, with its golden arches and intricate columns, and then perhaps stroll through a labyrinth of cobbled laneways in the old quarter, discovering open squares and quirky cafes.
Days 25-26: Valencia
Travel further north to Valencia, Spain's third-largest city. Why not do as the locals do and start the day with a breakfast of tortillas or churros at the morning market. Then, visit Valencia's cathedral, which reputedly houses the Holy Grail, and spend free time wandering through lush parks and gardens or go museum-hopping.
Days 27-29: Barcelona
Arrive in vibrant Barcelona and make a stop at Gaudi's eccentric La Sagrada Familia. Then, squeeze in a spot of shopping, soak up the relaxed vibe in Las Ramblas or visit the Picasso Museum before saying hasta luego to wonderful Spain.
Be romanced by Paris, the City of Love. The Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees are unforgettable when lit up at night
Enjoy a day of cycling through the Loire Valley, and tour the exquisite 16th-century ornamental gardens of the Chateau Villandry
There's nothing like tasting wine from the source. Visit one of the many wineries in Bordeaux to gain insight into the wine-making process
Canoe down a calm river in the unspoiled Dordogne region of southwestern France
Hike through the forests and slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains. This mighty range separates the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe
Experience the Basque way of life on the sandy shores of San Sebastian. Indulge at the local pintos bars and throw yourself into northern Spanish nightlife
The Art Walk in Madrid is every art lover's dream. In one small stretch you can browse the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofia and the Prado, one of the world's most celebrated galleries
Experience the fiery passion and rhythm of a traditional flamenco dance performance in Seville
It's a pretty special thing to chill out on a beach in Andalusian Spain, knowing North Africa is just across the water. Explore the scenic Costa de la Luz, and kick back with some tapas and sangria in Tarifa
The town of Ronda is split in two by a deep rocky chasm. Follow in the path of the Romans, as you cross from one side to the other along an ancient bridge
Discover Cordoba's great mosque - the Mezquita, one of the most accomplished examples of Moorish architecture in the world. The lavish gardens and opulent rooms of Granada's spectacular Alhambra Palace aren't bad either
Witness a spectacular Spanish sunset on a beach in Valencia, while feasting on a bowl of the world's best paella.
The cosmopolitan city of Barcelona pulses with culture, art and an outstanding drinking and dining scene. Discover the eccentric modernist architecture of Antonio Gaudi, who made Barcelona his artistic playground. The unfinished masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia is particularly mind-blowing
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