Barcelona to Rome
15 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Barcelona
Welcome to Barcelona, Spain. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hostel lobby or ask the reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, use free time to get your bearings of Barcelona. There are plenty of galleries, cafes and historic corners to keep you busy. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is not be missed. As there's not much time in Barcelona, we suggest you head to the city a few days earlier so you can get under the skin of this great city.
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the welcome meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 Pyrenees
Travel north today by train and climb into the Spanish Pyrenees to the small town of Ribes de Freser (approximately one hour). On arrival, enjoy a free afternoon and relax with the views of beautiful Pyrenees mountains in the background. Perhaps head out for dinner in the evening with the group.
Day 3 Ribes de Freser
Today, enjoy stunning views from the cogwheel train into Nuria Valley, along with time to stretch your legs on a hike in the scenic surrounds. Take to the hills for a day of hiking in the Pyrenees and be prepared for some steep ascents. Climb up through the forest to a fantastic viewpoint of the mountain peaks (weather permitting). Don't forget your camera, as the scenery is alpine and spectacular. The terrain can be quite rough around this region so please make sure you bring the sturdy trainers or light hiking boots for this.
Day 4 Carcassonne
Continue your adventure across the French border today, as you take the long train journey to Carcassonne via Toulouse (approximately six hours). The stunning medieval French city of Carcassonne looks like it's straight from a classic fairytale with its surrounding defensive walls and towering turrets. You'll have plenty of time to explore and uncover its secrets.
Day 5 Provence
Leave Carcassonne behind today and take the train into the French region of Provence, settling in the town of Arles (approximately four hours). On arrival, take a walk around the town and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes that surround you. Go on an included trip to Arles Amphitheatre in the afternoon and tour the the vast arches of this ancient Roman arena. The evening is then free to do as you wish.
Day 6 Arles
Enjoy a free day in the town of Arles. There's plenty to see and do during your time here, so use your time wisely. Perhaps head to the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation and browse the permanent art exhibitions of the Post-Impressionist painter, as well as temporary exhibitions of other famous artists. Discover Gothic architecture in a walled city where the Pope once took refuge, stroll past an ancient multi-storey aqueduct and cycle among pink flamingos frolicking in sandy reed beds. The Antiques Museum, Arlaten Ethnographic Museum and Reattu Museum provide tonnes of culture to discover, or simply relax by The Rhone river and watch the world go by.
Day 7 Nice
Take the train to Nice today, which should take you around four hours. The star of the Riviera and a great base from which to explore the rest of the Cote d'Azur, Nice boasts both public and private beaches, and many water sports are also available. Your afternoon and evening are free, but try not to miss the flower and evening markets on Place Saleya.
Day 8 Nice
Aside from an included lunch time picnic, the rest of your day in Nice is free to explore. There's even the option of taking a day trip to the glitzy city of Cannes, which only costs around EUR 14 by train, bus or boat. Possibly visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest'. Just 10 minutes from Nice, this medieval town is a true gem. Vaulted, narrow streets are filled with art galleries, workshops and gastronomic restaurants. At the top is a ruined medieval castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur.
Day 9 Cinque Terre
After breakfast this morning, take the long train ride for around seven hours and cross the Italian border to Cinque Terre. On arrival in Cinque Terre, there won't be too much time to explore. After checking in to your hotel perhaps get your bearings of the area with a short walk or head out for dinner with the group.
Day 10 Cinque Terre
This morning venture out on the footpaths of Cinque Terre (Five Lands), a region of Italy famed for its coastline and pastel villages. The footpaths that run between the villages were once the only way to travel in the region, and take you through olive groves, vineyards and to idyllic vistas. Walking the entire network of paths can take around five hours (12 km in total) and will need a good level of fitness. Some sections of path can be difficult, as there are challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Please remember to bring comfortable footwear such as trainers or light hiking shoes.
Cinque Terre path sections:
- Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path.
- Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path.
- Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about one and a half hours on a rocky path.
- Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about two hours on a rocky path.
It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to the group's base whenever you want. After working up an appetite, take advantage of the foods of the Liguria region with a pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch. In the late afternoon, the rest of your day is free.
Day 11 Pisa/Florence
Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Pisa, which normally takes between one to two hours. There's ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo (Piazza dei Miracoli) and Pisa Baptistry. Please note that it's not always possible to climb the tower, although you'll have plenty of time to take pictures and explore the city. Return to the station in the afternoon and take the train to Florence (approximately two hours). After checking in to your hotel in Florence, the rest of your evening is free to explore the city of Renaissance.
Day 12 Florence
After breakfast, head out into Florence and visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, and see Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. We recommend that you book at least two months in advance, especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences queues of up to five hours all year round (please see notes below). Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River. There are plenty of sights to see during your time in Florence.
Notes: Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance.
Day 13 Siena
Say goodbye to Florence today and take the bus to Siena, which should take you around one a half hours. Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards of chianti, Siena is one of the most idyllic cities of Tuscany. Wander the tiny alleyways and lively piazzas, and search out the unique Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio horse race takes place (twice annually in mid-July and the end of August). Siena has an energetic and friendly student atmosphere that has endured since the 13th century, thanks to one of the oldest universities in the world being located here. Your evening is free to enjoy the cuisine and nightlife of Siena.
Day 14 Rome
In the morning, take the train to Rome (approximately two hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, where you see some of the iconic sights such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free and there's a small charge to climb the dome for a panorama over the city. Use your free time to also visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds).
For meals, Rome is packed full of restaurants and trattorias that cater to every taste and budget. Local specialities tend to be quite heavy, and include pastas such as carbonara (egg, cheese and bacon) and amatriciana (tomato, bacon and chilli). Eating in trattorias will give you a chance to sample some Italian wines, with house choices usually very good and affordable. Head out in the evening with the group for a final farewell dinner.
Day 15 Rome
Your Barcelona to Rome adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no more activities planned for today and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time.
All This Included
Lose yourself in three of Europe's most enchanting countries. From the vibrant streets of Barcelona, travel into the heart of the picturesque Spanish Pyrenees. Discover Provencal food and world-class wines then frolic with Europe’s high rollers in the French Riviera. Feast on breathtaking sights in the cliff-top towns of the Cinque Terre, see master works of art in Florence and marvel at the leaning Torre de Pisa. Call into beautiful Siena then conclude this European adventure tour in the ancient city of Rome.
Hotel (14 nights)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.