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Select Cosmos Europe tours are limited to an average of just 24 guests per tour. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos European tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery Europe vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Not only is Madrid the capital of Spain, but because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards rightly say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven. On the included guided city tour, discover the main sights and end the tour with a walk in the Barrio de La Latina and stop in one of the many bars to taste the famous tapas. Consider an optional trip to Toledo. The splendid setting of this old walled city was made famous in El Greco’s painting and, even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art.
Travel southeast to Cuenca, perched high above the precipices of the Jucar and Huecar Rivers, famous for its “hanging houses” that are suspended over the Huecar ravine. On to Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, for a guided sightseeing tour.
Today’s Distance: 255 mi/ 410 km
Today, visit Peñíscola Castle in Castellon, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century. The promontory on which the castle and town are located is a fine reminder of medieval times. Continue your journey through orange groves and seaside resorts past Tarragona to Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona.
Today’s Distance: 236 mi/ 380 km
Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue to the city center of Plaza Catalunya and to Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batllò and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included). Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Leave Spain today and cross the border into France to visit Collioure. This picturesque village is nestled in an idyllic place on the rocky Mediterranean coastline and is sheltered by the Pyrenees. Carry on to the oldest city in France, Marseille.
Today’s Distance: 354 mi/ 570 km
Capital of Provence, Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC. See the city’s bustling ancient heart—the picturesque Vieux Port (old port), where elegant markets and handsome townhouses surround the boat-filled harbor. Then, head for the hilltop Basilica Notre Dame de La Garde, with stunning views of the city. Follow the coastal route toward Cassis, a small fishing port lined with cafés and restaurants, and stop to explore the town before reaching Nice. Later, why not join the optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion?
Today’s Distance: 143 mi/ 230 km
Start the day with a visit to a perfume workshop in Èze. Later, spend time at leisure to do as you please! Continue to Nice, and spend time at leisure to do as you please! Dabble in the Mediterranean Sea, stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais, or join our optional excursion to the artists’ town of St. Paul de Vence.
Today’s Distance: 19 mi/ 30 km
Enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery along the French and Italian Rivieras as you travel toward Cinque Terre. Take the train in Levanto and stop in some of the most enchanting villages of the spectacular Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired Lord Byron. There are several breathtaking trails carved into the rocks connecting the villages, affording dramatic sea views.
Today’s Distance: 205 mi/ 330 km
Travel through the areas of culinary excellence in the Po plains to reach the romantic city of Verona to enjoy some time at leisure. Continue to the Venice area, where you will spend two nights.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km
Venice is a city of unparalleled beauty and a feast of wonderful sights. Your included orientation starts with a boat ride to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.
Cross the Po Delta and head into the verdant Apennines to medieval Assisi. Enclosed by ramparts, little has changed since the Middle Ages. This is the town of the deeply mystical and poetic St. Francis. See the Upper and Lower Basilicas with the beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome.
Today’s Distance: 342 mi/ 550 km
The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive, exciting, and absolutely unique! Start the included introduction to Rome’s landmarks from St Peter’s Square with a Local Guide. Enjoy a drive along the iconic landmarks of the city: the Tiber River, the Caius Cestius Pyramid, the Aurelian Walls and the Caracalla Baths, and complete the experience with a walk back in time from the Circus Maximus to the Arch of Constantine and to the fascinating Colosseum, symbol of the Roman Empire. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the treasures of the Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel on our optional excursion.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Set in the traditional district of Chamberì, very close to Paseo de la Castellana, one of Madrid's major streets and is surrounded by nice shops and restaurants. The Sorolla Museum and the Nuevos Ministerios financial district are reachable within walking distance and a nearby Metro Station provides good connections to the historic city centre. The hotel is split into two different buildings, offering 257 spacious, soundproof guest rooms, all equipped with stylish furniture and modern facilities, such as climate control, satellite TV and Free Wi-Fi. Other amenities include a 24/7 fitness room, with modern equipment, an onsite restaurant offering delicious Asian and meat dishes, while the all-day bar is a relaxed spot for a coffee or a quiet drink.
Located in a quiet area, just a short walk away from the City of Arts and Sciences and the Port, where the Americas Cup takes place. This modern hotel offers 149 stylish guest rooms with parquet floors, which are air-conditioned and decorated in a contemporary style. Each room has Free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a work desk. Other amenities include a mini-gym, which is ideal to stay in shape and a nice bar cafeteria, serving local snacks.
Comfortable Hotel located 500 meters from train station, 2 km from city center & 20 km from El Prat Airport.
Situated in the heart of a modern, dynamic district in the center of Marseilles this 192-room hotel offers a restaurant combining authenticity and variety with fresh ingredients. Also available is a bar with an outside lounge area to enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast with regional products during the summer.
The hotel has 114 spacious, air-conditioned and fully renovated rooms and a paying enclosed car park.
Facing the sea and located only a five-minute walk from the main pier, the NH La Spezia hotel in Cinque Terre is the ideal base for discovering the enchanting city of Cinque Terre, one of the main attractions of the Italian Riviera and La Spezia in Liguria.
Situated on the Riviera del Brenta and founded in 1965,the hotel is still family run. hotel Poppi offers 100 rooms and a renowned restaurant.
The Hotel Pineta Palace is a 4-star hotel in Rome, located not far from Vatican City.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.