Barcelona to Rome
from $5785
Duration: 15 Days
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, then discover Provencal food and world-class wines as you 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 in the ancient city of Rome.
  • Spend your free time in Barcelona visiting Gaudi's modern basilica, La Sagrada Familia – a Gothic masterpiece that embodies the city’s artistic and progressive heart.
  • Hike in the majestic Spanish Pyrenees mountains, revelling in the fresh air, panoramic views and an exhilarating sense of freedom.
  • Explore the idyllic Provencal landscapes of southern France and gain an understanding as to why this part of the world is so adored by artists.
  • The Leaning Tower may be Pisa’s most iconic image, but there’s so much more to discover – The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture.
  • Enjoy plenty of free time in Rome to discover the ancient Colosseum, stroll through Vatican City and gaze up towards the gods inside St Peter's Basilica.
  • Pyrenees - Cogwheel Railway to Nuria Valley
  • Pyrenees - Hiking in Nuria Valley
  • Ribes de Freser - Paella Dinner
  • Arles - Amphitheatre Visit
  • Cinque Terre - Day Trip, including Cinque Terre Pass
  • Siena - Day Trip
  • Day 1 Location: Barcelona
    Welcome to Spain! Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a ground-breaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7 pm today – you can arrive at any time before this. 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 Basilica is not be missed. As there's not much time in Barcelona, we suggest you arrive a few days early so you can get under the skin of this great city. The heart of Catalonia prides itself as a gastronomic centre and so this evening, perhaps venture out to taste the reputation for yourself. You could take a tapas crawl through rustic Catalan dishes in the funky neighbourhood of El Born.
    Day 2 Location: Pyrenees / Ribes de Freser
    Travel north today by train and climb into the Spanish Pyrenees, which form a mighty barrier between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, arriving in the small town of Ribes de Freser (approximately 2 hours). This is your base for next two days. Beautifully placed Ribes de Freser is a low-key town situated at the confluence of three different rivers; Freser, Rigard and Segadell. The town is not only an important tourist centre in this part of Pyrenees, but it’s also well known for its mineral water and milk products. Make sure you sample these, perhaps in your free time during the rest of today. The town is a great place to relax with the views of beautiful Pyrenees Mountains in the background. In the evening, perhaps head out for dinner with the group.
    Day 3 Location: Pyrenees / Ribes de Freser
    Today, enjoy stunning views from a cogwheel train ride into the Nuria Valley. This train line was first opened in the 1930s and connects Ribes de Freser with Queralbs, making a spectacular and magical snaking journey up to the small ski town and pilgrimage site of Nuria. It crosses viaducts, travels past dramatic cliffs, through tunnels, forest and waterfalls, finally arriving at 2000 metres above sea level after one of the most magnificent rides in the Pyrenees. Along with the cogwheel train journey, you will find 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 alpine scenery is spectacular. Return to Ribes de Freser in late afternoon. Tonight it's time for an included paella dinner.
    Day 4 Location: Carcassonne
    Continue your adventure across the French border today with a combination of a train journey and private transfer to Carcassonne (approximately 4.5 hours). The stunning medieval French city of Carcassonne looks like it's straight out of a classic fairytale and is famous for its 53 watchtowers and double-walled fortifications. The first walls were built in Gallo-Roman style with later additions made in 13th and 14th centuries, making it the biggest and most beautiful medieval construction in Europe. For good reason, this World Heritage-listed fortress is the second most visited tourist site in France after the Eiffel Tower. There’ll be plenty of time to explore and uncover the memorable castle and ramparts, crossing the medieval stone-arched bridge and navigating the cobbled streets that form a spider’s web through the town. You'll have plenty of time to explore and uncover Carcassonne’s secrets. Chateau Comtal, a 12th-century fortress within Le Cite, which offers archaeological exhibits and a tour of the inner ramparts, is certainly an interesting option for a free afternoon. This evening, if weather permits, watch a golden sunset over this medieval landscape.
    Day 5 Location: Provence / Arles
    Leave Carcassonne behind today and take the train into the French region of Provence, through heartland scenery that has long attracted the brushes of Impressionist painters, settling in the town of Arles (approximately 3 hours). Once a provincial capital of ancient Rome, Arles is now famed for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh, which can be seen at the local gallery that takes his name. On arrival, take a walk around this town stepped in Provençal culture and immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes that surround you. There’s also an included trip to see the beautiful double rows of arches of the Arles Amphitheatre in the afternoon, an ancient Roman arena still in use after 1000 years. Later, what better way to round off the day than a leisurely stroll, relax, and a coffee or ‘pastis’ at the shaded terraces of the atmospheric outdoor cafe that once paid host to the famous painter.
    Day 6 Location: Provence / Arles
    Enjoy a free day in the town of Arles. Perhaps follow the Van Gogh trail to see sites that the artist drew on as subjects for his paintings, finishing at the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation to browse the changing 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, uncover an ancient Roman necropolis and theatre, or stroll past an ancient multi-storey aqueduct. You could also head outside of the town to the Camargue Nature Park, a beautifully bio-diverse region, and cycle among pink flamingos that frolick in sandy reed beds. The Antiques Museum, Arlaten Ethnographic Museum and Reattu Museum back in town also provide lots of culture to discover. Otherwise, you might simply relax by the Rhone River and watch the world go by. A wander around the town at night becomes an art history lesson, with scenes recognisable from famous artworks like ‘Cafe Terrace at Night’.
    Day 7 Location: Nice
    Take the train to Nice today, which should take you around five 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, with countless opportunities to relax. Your afternoon and evening are free but try not to miss the flower and evening markets on Place Saleya. Take some time to explore Nice’s old centre, walking its maze of staircases and lanes, fine Baroque churches, and the famous Promenade des Anglais – a hot spot for street theatre and local artists. The Old Quarter is a warren of alleyways, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants just waiting to be discovered.
    Day 8 Location: Nice
    Today is free for you to further explore Nice as you like, there's even the option of taking a day trip to the glitzy city of Cannes, which only costs around EUR14 by train. The famed film festival host is a place of sun, sand, style and shopping, while the old town still maintains a Provencal feel. You might like to visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest' which is just a few kilometres outside of Nice. This medieval town is a true gem – it’s vaulted, narrow streets are filled with art galleries, workshops and gastronomic restaurants and at the top is a ruined medieval castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur. Back in Nice there are museums to explore, tiny shops in the retro neighbourhood of Vieux to browse, beaches to lounge on, scenic gardens to discover, and delicious French fare to feast on.
    Day 9 Location: La Spezia
    This morning after breakfast, spend the day travelling by train across the Italian border to the once important naval base of La Spezia, now the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre, or ‘Five lands’ in English (approximately 6 hours). The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – whose position, wedged into a series of coves between sheer cliffs, makes it one of the highlights of the whole of Italy. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore yet, but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings of the area with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione to the gardens along the harbour, or head out for dinner with the group. Afterwards, you might like to relax and rest up before the walk along the famous Cinque Terre route tomorrow.
    Day 10 Location: Cinque Terre / La Spezia
    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 on to idyllic vistas. Walking the entire network of paths can take around five hours (12 kilometres in total) and you will need a good level of fitness. You can also choose to walk just a few sections, which will still unveil a great amount of majestic scenery. 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. 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. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at your own leisure. In the evening, there's no better way to recover from your day of walking with more indulgence in delicious Mediterranean food.
    Day 11 Location: Pisa / Florence
    Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Pisa (approximately 1 hour). Divided in two by the River Arno, the heart of Pisa is the Santa Maria quarter on the north bank. Here there'll be ample time for you to visit the world-famous Leaning Tower, as well as the Duomo (Piazza dei Miracoli, once the largest in Europe) 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. The tower was built in the 12th century, but its foundation was on shifting sand and clay, meaning that it now leans at an angle of 4 degrees (after restoration and stabilising work). Wander the shopping streets, from high-end boutiques to speciality book and antiques stores, and perhaps enjoy lunch and an aperitif in a backstreet restaurant before returning to the station in the afternoon and taking the train to Florence (approximately 2 hours). After checking in to your hotel, join your leader for quick orientation walk. The rest of your evening is free to explore the city of the Renaissance.
    Day 12 Location: Florence
    After breakfast head out into Florence, one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the beating heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so take your time and enjoy it. Perhaps visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries, or walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, to take in beautiful views of the city – a lovely way to while away the day. There are plenty of sights to see during your time in Florence – don't forget to visit Michelangelo's David, housed in the Galleria dell'Accademia. As the evening comes around, join the locals in taking a passeggiata, a leisurely socialising stroll, perhaps between piazza Beccaria and piazza della Repubblica.
    Day 13 Location: Siena / Florence
    Leave Florence early in the morning by bus for a day tour to Siena (approximately 1.5 hours). Surrounded by olive groves and the 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, a grand fan-shaped piazza built on the site of the old Roman forum, and 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 thanks to one of the oldest universities in the world being located here. Be sure to visit the small but stunning Siena Cathedral, and see the statue of the Capitoline Wolf which was brought here by Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome. You will be back in Florence for the evening, which is free to enjoy as you please. Food is also a major part of the city's identity, so perhaps explore some of the culinary delicacies on offer from across Tuscany. Regional specialities are noted for their simplicity and fine flavour, and the use of high-quality olive oil, cannellini beans and fresh herbs.
    Day 14 Location: Rome
    In the morning, take the train to Rome (approximately 2 hours), and remember that while here, the best attitude is ‘when in Rome’! Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city, where you can 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, so check with your leader for options and tips on how to fit that in a day. 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. Rome is packed full of restaurants and trattorias that cater to every taste and budget. 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 gastronomic fling.
    Day 15 Location: Rome
    Your Barcelona to Rome adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no activities planned for today and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see in Rome, we recommend you stay a little longer. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.
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    Departure Date:
    26MAR2022
    Return Date:
    09APR2022
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    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Barcelona to Rome

    Trip code

    ZMSC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    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, then discover Provencal food and world-class wines as you 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 in the ancient city of Rome.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Bus,Cog wheel railway,Metro,Public bus,Train

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate. EXPLORING EUROPEAN CITIES One of the pleasures of travelling in Europe is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. Your leader will take you on frequent orientation walks, and you will be able to further explore in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip. Many of our customers are surprised at how much they end up walking, however this is entirely up to you, and public transport to take you back to our accommodation is never far away. PYRENEES HIKE On the hike in the Nuria Valley please be prepared for some steep sections on uneven and rocky terrain. Please make sure you bring sturdy trainers or light hiking boots. Feel free to opt out of the hike if you prefer to take it easy upon arrival at the final stop of the cogwheel railway. CINQUE TERRE HIKE Your leader will take you on a hike along the paths of the Cinque Terre. There are many options, so the length of the hike will be determined according to the ability of the group. If you're feeling energetic, walking additional sections of the path (up to 12 kilometres, approximately 5 hours) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside, though it will require a good level of fitness. Some sections of path have challenging uphill stretches, narrow segments, steep cliffs and foot bridges. It's possible to take the train between any of the villages or back to your base in La Spezia whenever you want, so it’s up to you if you prefer to opt out of the hiking activity, and how much or how little you would like to walk.

    Joining point

    Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia

    Calle Aragon 577-579

    Barcelona

    SPAIN

    Phone: +34 932458905

    Joining point description

    Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is located on Aragon Street, in the heart of Barcelona. Metro Lines L1 and L2 will deliver you to Ciutat Vella (Barcelona's Old Town) and the famous La Rambla. The comfortable and fully equipped rooms come with private bathrooms with shower and hairdryer, TV, phone, room service, safety deposit box, free Wi-Fi, heating and air-conditioning.

    Joining point instructions

    Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is just minutes from Barcelona Clot Metro and Regional Railway Station. Clot can be reached from Barcelona airport (airport code BCN) by frequent bus A2 with a connection at Plaza Espana to Metro Line L1. In addition there is a direct train (R2, R2N) from Barcelona airport station to Clot every 30 minutes. Alternatively there are taxi ranks opposite the arrival areas of all terminals. Pre booked arrival transfer from Barcelona airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +34 657 547 304

    Finish point

    Hotel Stella

    Via Castelfidardo 51

    Rome

    ITALY

    Phone: +39 064441078

    Finish point description

    Hotel Stella, a former 19th century mansion, is centrally located near Termini Station (Rome's main railway station) and the biggest park in Rome, Villa Borghese. All rooms have private facilities, air conditioning, room safe, TV and hairdrier.

    Finish point instructions

    If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception. Alternatively, Hotel Stella is approximately 10 minutes walk away from Roma Termini, the main railway station, from where there are trains and/or buses to both of Rome's airports. Pre booked departure transfer to Rome Fiumicino (airport code FCO) and Rome Ciampino (airport code CIA) airports: You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +39 335 568 5666.

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exception of the following nights where single rooms are not be available. Days 9-10 - Cinque Terre (La Spezia) ITINERARY You don't have a lot of time in Barcelona and in Rome at the start and end of the trip, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth we recommend you arrive a day or two before the start of the trip or extend your stay at the end of the trip.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. Visas for Spain, France and Italy are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

    Why we love it

    Spend your free time in Barcelona visiting Gaudi's modern basilica, La Sagrada Familia – a Gothic masterpiece that embodies the city’s artistic and progressive heart.

    Hike in the majestic Spanish Pyrenees mountains, revelling in the fresh air, panoramic views and an exhilarating sense of freedom.

    Explore the idyllic Provencal landscapes of southern France and gain an understanding as to why this part of the world is so adored by artists.

    The Leaning Tower may be Pisa’s most iconic image, but there’s so much more to discover – The Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa Baptistry are masterpieces in Medieval-Italian architecture.

    Enjoy plenty of free time in Rome to discover the ancient Colosseum, stroll through Vatican City and gaze up towards the gods inside St Peter's Basilica.

    Is this trip right for you

    Less time spent travelling; more time to explore each destination. The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section. Europe is steeped in majestic old buildings, and often there are no lifts or escalators, particularly in some train stations or hotels. You may have to carry your bags up and down stairs, but the trek will be worth it. Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. MEAL TIMES IN SPAIN Please note that meal times in Spain are later than in many other countries. Dinner is usually served between 8pm and 10pm. While this takes some getting used to it is a great way to observe Spanish food culture. VEGETARIANS Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. BREAKFASTS There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

    Money matters

    CURRENCY The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 525.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

    What to take

    PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

    WATER BOTTLE Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

    Climate and seasonal

    SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around. SPANISH SIESTA Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time. One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel BULLFIGHTING Bullfighting is illegal in most countries, but remains legal in some areas of Spain. While supporters consider bullfighting an art form or cultural event, and in a recent court ruling has even been declared to be part of Spain's 'national heritage', we discourage our travellers to support this activity due to the pain, fear and discomfort the animals experience during these public shows. Please see our stance on animal welfare for further details: intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfare DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

    Transport notes

    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action. TRAINS The main mode of transportation on this trip is by train. European trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning. Toilets are always available. Some of the trains have snack bars (or vending machines) and power points next to the seats but that cannot be guaranteed on every journey. Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes even Tuesdays). We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where required/possible.

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