Monte Carlo to Barcelona
Day 1 - Monte Carlo Tiny, but packed with fun, Monte Carlo offers a wonderful combination of history, beauty, entertainment and leisure. The wealthiest spot in Monaco, Monte Carlo is an enchanting place, known as the international capital of luxury and for its celebrity-sightings, casinos and nightlife. Yet the old world shines through in its art and architecture. Palaces, cathedrals and museums dot this small municipality in an old town full of rich history. Be sure to catch the once-daily changing of the guard, then tour the public areas at the Palais du Prince, home to the royal family, whose most famous resident was famous actress Grace Kelly.
Day 2 - Saint Tropez Enjoy the exquisite hilly Provençal countryside beyond this resort and its charming villages with their narrow stepped streets, lovely churches and stunning scenic views. Visit a local winery or take a drive along the rugged coast and revel in the wonderful views of the landscape, the beaches, the islands and the magnificent Massif des Maures.
Day 3 - Portofino Picturesquely situated in a narrow cove, this tiny port owes its popularity to its beautiful setting, agreeable climate and lush and luxuriant vegetation. The town crowded around its small harbor is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. It has long been known as an exclusive gathering place for the wealthy, artists and actors with an ever-growing number of waterfront restaurants, cafes, and tourist hot-spots. Historic sites not to miss include to the Chiesa di San Giorgio, built on the site of a sanctuary Roman soldiers dedicated to the Persian god Mithra; and Castello Brown, with its lush garden and panoramic views of the town and harbor below.
Day 4 - Ajaccio Ajaccio is located on the west coast of Corsica, and is the island’s largest town. Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Napoleonic legacy dominates the city in its statues and street names. Surrounded by green-hued mountains, with shady palm fringed squares and pleasure boats bobbing in the bay, Ajaccio offers guests a pleasing number of sites to explore. View the Musee Fesch, with its fine collection of Renaissance paintings, and Napoleon’s birthplace, the Casa Bonaparte, now a museum. Relax at a local café, sip the local wines, taste the artisan cheeses and enjoy a bowl of Azimuno, a tasty fish soup.
Day 5 - Porto Torres (Sardinia),Italy
Day 6 - Mahon Visitors delight in Mahon’s charming shops and eateries, and the traditional Georgian buildings of its hilly old quarter. Explore the island and savor its dramatic views and landscape, quaint villages, farms and well-preserved taulas of the island’s megalithic civilization. Perhaps take in a castle or a monastery with impressive cliff-top views. Be sure not to miss the Plaza de Espana, with market stalls lining the arcades of the former Carmelite friary, where you can purchase local art work and souvenirs. Savor fresh seafood, some paella, delightful local wines, and its signature cheese at quaint local tapas bars.
Day 7 - Valencia Valencia was established by the Greeks and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. A 15th century artistic movement here gave the world spectacular paintings, sculptures, and jewels. Today a “City of Arts and Sciences,” Valencia offers visitors remarkable samples of modern architecture, alongside such notable classics as the 13th century Cathedral and Chapel of the Holy Chalice. Built on the site of a mosque which was originally a Roman temple the Chapel contains the chalice which legend says was used by Christ at the Last Supper. For a more historic view, take in the Quart Towers, a former gate of the medieval wall, built in 1444; and Serranos Towers, a former prison surrounded by a moat and built around 1391.
Day 8 - Barcelona One of Europe’s most visually stunning cities, Barcelona balances the medieval intimacy of its Gothic Quarter with the grace and distinction of the wide boulevards in the Moderniste Eixample. It was the home of architect Antoni Gaudí, whose Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Park Güell and Casa Milà are the most profound statements of Modernisme. View the splendid works at the Picasso Museum and the Miro Foundation, or discover Barcelona’s passionate ambiance at a flamenco show.
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