Book a 2018 holiday before 31 July and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 12 breakfasts, 3 dinners
A charming European adventure that uncovers the hidden gems of France and Spain: take in the enchanting island of Mont St-Michel, see the pre-Celtic standing stones of Carnac, and admire the towering Dune of Pilat.
Fly to Paris where you will be met by your representative and transferred to your hotel.
After breakfast, join an included sightseeing tour that explores some of the best known Parisian landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral, La Sorbonne, Boulevard St Germain, the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées and the Rue de Rivioli to name a few. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Today, depart the 'City of Light' and journey west towards the unique sometimes-island of Mont St Michel. It's distinctive 8th-century abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and when the tide is in, creates an inspiring scene as it stands sentry on a small island just a kilometre off the French coast. When the tide is out, the 'island' is simply part of the mainland. Later, drive along the shoreline to the fortified seaside resort of St Malo.
This morning, visit the ancient walled city of St Malo. Situated on the English Channel, this attractive port town has an infamous past as the haunt of corsairs and pirates. Stroll along its cobblestone streets to admire the granite mansions that line the characteristic lanes and squares, encircled by massive ramparts. Later, travel across Brittany to coastal Brest, nestled in a beautiful natural harbour. It's amazing architectural feature is the Pont de l'lroise, a cable-stayed bridge spanning the Élorn River.
Today, follow the coastal road towards Carnac, catching glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean. Stop in Carnac, known for its standing stones erected by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany - one of the most extensive Neolithic collections in the world. Visit one of the sites with a Local Guide and learn about the mystery of the Carnac stones. Later, head for Nantes, set alongside the Loire River. Visit the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, and the cathedral of St Peter and St Paul.
Today includes excursions to two coastal towns. First, stop at picturesque La Rochelle, situated off the Atlantic Coast in the Bay of Biscay and known as La Ville Blanche (the White City) due to its luminous limestone facades that reflect the bright sunlight. Next, visit historic Rochefort whose naval origins date back to Louis XIV. End today in beautiful Bordeaux.
Built on the banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux is known as the 'Pearl of Aquitaine' and is a flourishing port town. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to 362 historic monuments, some dating back to Roman times. Join your Local Guide for a walking tour featuring many of the important highlights, including Esplanade des Quinconces, one of the largest squares in Europe. The afternoon is at leisure.
Drive to Arcachon today to see the amazing Dune of Pilat, the highest sand dune on the continent. Next, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive through Les Landes, the largest maritime-pine forest in Europe. Later, arrive in Biarritz, an ancient fishing village turned chic seaside resort.
Today, cross into Spain's Basque Country to visit the seaside resort of San Sebastian, one of just two European Capitals of Culture in 2016. Later continue to Bilbao, where you'll discover a colourful tapestry of architecture, history, natural beauty, and tantalising cuisine. Why not enjoy an optional visit to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, considered one of the 20th century's great architectural masterpieces? This afternoon, head to the port city of Santander, a renowned tourist destination for the Spanish elite in the 19th century.
Begin your journey inland today, stopping en route to visit to Burgos. Visit the magnificent limestone cathedral of Santa Maria, dating back to the 13th century, and where the legendary national hero El Cid is buried. Continue on to Salamanca, just six miles from the spot where Wellington routed Napoleon's army in 1812. Be sure to spend time strolling around the Spanish-baroque Plaza Mayor, the heart of the city and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful plazas in Spain.
Depart Salamanca this morning and journey to Ávila, home to well-preserved medieval town walls and many towers. Join the guided walking tour of the medieval walls. Next, head to pretty Segovia, set on a rocky hill. Visit its awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct and Gothic cathedral before heading to Madrid. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Not only because it is the capital of Spain, but because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say Madrid is the nearest thing to heaven. Here you'll find a multitude of delights from palaces and museums to shopping and colourful gardens and squares. Enjoy the main highlights of this cosmopolitan, sophisticated city on your included sightseeing excursion with a local guide.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for- like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating holiday adventures since 1961. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.