Upon arrival at Madrid Airport, meet your driver in the arrivals hall for a private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore on your own.
After breakfast, your English speaking driver will meet you in the lobby for a private panoramic city tour. Enjoy a 2-hour tour that covers the most important highlights of the city. Your driver guide will also ask you if you have any special requests or preferences. Some of the sites you will see include the facade of the Royal Palace, the Sabatini Gardens and Campo del Moro, as well as the church of San Francisco El Grande, the fountains of Paseo del Prado, the Toledo Bridge, the Prado Museum, and Puerta de Alcal.
In the evening enjoy a walking tour on which will you will discover some of the taverns and markets sprinkled throughout the city. Visit the world renowned San Miguel Market, as well as one of the oldest taverns in all of Madrid. Taste typical samples of ham and various kinds of cheese in addition to wines, some of which are considered to be oenological jewels.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Madrid)
Enjoy this day in Madrid at your leisure to explore more of the city on your own.
This evening, make your way to the renowned Tablao Torres Bermejas and enjoy a lovely and lively dinner and flamenco show*. A 3- course dinner will be served prior to the show and will also include your choice of soft drinks, red or white wine, and water. At the conclusion of the show, you can return to your hotel by taxi.
(Breakfast, Dinner & Accommodations, Madrid)
After breakfast, you'll take the AVE High Speed train to the Catalan capital of Barcelona, arriving in less than 3 hours. After checking into your hotel, enjoy a private tour of Barcelona by luxury car with an English-speaking driver. Your driver/guide will meet you at the hotel reception, and will also ask you for your preferences if there is a particular site you have in mind. Some of the highlights will include the historic Cathedral, and the Sagrada Familia; the unique creation of Antonio Gaudi, that has become Barcelona's most universal symbol. Your tour continues to the Olympic Village, the Columbus monument, and then on to the Montjuic Mountain, where you'll have impressive views of this cosmopolitan Mediterranean city.
(Breakfast, Madrid; Accommodations, Barcelona)
In the late morning you'll meet at the designated location for a traditional Paella Cooking Class. In this fun, hands-on class, you'll learn how to cook the most famous Spanish dish: paella (a rice-based dish with seafood, meat and vegetables). First, you'll stop at a local market and select the ingredients that you will prepare. Later, following the instructions of your chef, you'll prepare your own full menu consisting of paella, gazpacho (cold tomato soup) and sangria. After lunch the rest of the day is yours to do some sightseeing or return to your hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Barcelona)
This morning will be at your leisure to continue to explore the city of Barcelona. Revisit some of the places you saw on your panoramic tour, or spend some time relaxing on the beach. In the evening, enjoy a tour not to be missed on any trip to Spain, a tapas walking tour. Experience this staple of the Spanish culture, accompanied by a local guide.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Barcelona)
After breakfast, meet your driver for a privater transfer to the rail station for your 1st class train to Lyon. After arriving in Lyon and checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
(Breakfast, Barcelona; Accommodations, Lyon)
Later in the morning, meet your guide for a Private 2 Hour Walking Tour. France's third largest city is at the junction of the Rhone and Saone rivers, and is a treasure house of renaissance art and architecture. The historic highlight of Lyon is its Old City, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and your guide will lead you through the winding streets of this medieval center. Along the walk, you'll hear why Vieux Lyon is a secret and mysterious district, revealing itself mainly behind closed doors, where hidden passageways or traboules enabled people to pass discreetly from one street to another without leaving the building. For over 80 years, Lyon has been recognized worldwide by chefs and foodies as the gastronomic capital of France. At the conclusion of this tour, you'll have the chance to sample some of their superb pastries with a stop at a local bakery.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Lyon)
After breakfast, take the TGV train in 1st class for your swift 2 hour ride to Paris. Arriving at ironically at Gare de Lyon, make your way to your appointed hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to relax or explore on your own.
(Breakfast, Lyon; Accommodations, Paris)
Today meet your driver in your hotel reception for a Small Group City Tour with lunch cruise. With a maximum of 8 passengers utilizing a mini-van, the tour ensures a more personalized experience. Sights include one of the most impressive squares of the city, the Place de la Concorde with its Egyptian obelisk, fountains, statues and columns. The next few locations include the neo-classical Le Madeleine Church, the 19th-Century Paris Opera Garnier, the luxurious jewelry stores on the rue le Paix, Napoleon`s Column in the Place Vendome, Faubourg St. Honore, where the most fashionable boutiques of Paris are located, and then on to the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. At the Eiffel Tower the tour will make a 15-minute photo stop.
Continuing on the right bank, the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Museum and other historical buildings will come into view. Before crossing over to the left bank, there will be a 20-minute photo stop at Notre Dame Cathedral. A few more historic sites can be seen as the tour continues through the Latin Quarter on the left bank: La Sorbonne, Le Pantheon, the Luxembourg Gardens, St Sulpice Church, St. Germain Church, and Napoleon`s Tomb at Les Invalides.
Crossing over on the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, the tour will finish with a visit to the village of Montmartre where you will have another 20 minutes to stroll around the Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Place du Tertre where all the artists and painters used to show their works. The tour will end with a 2-hour lunch cruise on the River Seine. Boarding takes place at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. All tables on the boat are close to panoramic windows. The four-course menu includes a choice of four starters, four main courses, and four desserts, with a welcome kir aperitif, wine, mineral water, and coffee. After the cruise you can return to your hotel or continue sightseeing on your own.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Paris)
The morning is free for shopping or exploring on your own. At 12pm, make your own way to Angelina Tea Room (226 Rue de Rivoli, Metro-Tuileries) by the confirmed reservation time. Founded in 1903, this Belle Epoque tearoom became the place to be among the elite like Proust, Coco Chanel and the biggest French fashion designers. Today Parisians and tourists are queuing to taste the signature Mont-Blanc and the famous hot chocolate "L'Africain". You'll be offered a hot beverage (tea, coffee, or chocolate), the Angelina club sandwich, and a choice of pastry. Afterwards, you'll have the option of a complimentary guided visit to 'Musee du Parfum Fragonard', that's within easy walking distance from the tea room. You're led by a professional guide on this 30 minute tour and learn about the history and creative process of perfume. After discovering the manufacturing techniques and history of the precious elixirs, you can test your nose with an olfactory game at the end of the tour.
Rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Paris)
After breakfast, meet your driver for a private transfer to the airport, to return home or on to your next Avanti destination.