Insight Vacations

Your Dargal vacation planner has access to hundreds of unadvertised rates & tour options from Insight Vacations, please call 1-800-690-3223 today for pricing and availability.

**Rate shown is based on the lowest available fare for the date range shown.  Some dates may be slightly higher in price. Please note that the price shown is the lead in price, therefore prices may vary depending on season.  Air fare is not included with these tours.


Tour Name (click name for details) Duration Region Date(s) Price From Description
Best of Italy end Rome (Summer 2019) 11 Days Italy Aug 31, 2019 $2925

Roman antiquities, saintly Assisi, Venetian canals, Renaissance Florence and Capri’s brilliant sunlight come together on this superb journey across Italy, with the option to end in Naples or Rome.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
Vatican City: Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Staircase before admiring the genius of Michelangelo's painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. You'll also visit St. Peter's Basilica.
Florence: Gain a fascinating insight into the work of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over of the city and see the Florence Cathedral. During your guided walking orientation, see the bell tower, Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria.
Florence: Witness a leather-work demonstration and visit the area around Piazza Santa Croce, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: Enjoy a traditional gondola serenade along the romantic canals.
Assisi: With your Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Tuscany: Taste locally-made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. Visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote 'The Prince.'
Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Assisi: Hotel Giotto Assisi is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. Guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Rome the Eternal City (flight not included)
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for the your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special VIP entry to avoid the lines and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,’ and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. There’s free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Renaissance Florence.
Travel north through glorious, peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Visit the Italian garden for views of Florence's iconic domed cathedral and see the historic cellar which connects to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret underground tunnel. Taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Continue on to Renaissance Florence.
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Florence Sightseeing.
Join an art historian for a walking orientation of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Accademia Gallery to study Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and Gates of Paradise, recreated in all their glory. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence, and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leatherwork, there's free time to shop or venture on your own. In the evening, why not sample the fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and rich pastas accompanied by Chianti wine?
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Pisa to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles as well as the baptistery, with its intricately detailed marble facade, and the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral. Then relax and enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennine Mountains, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile plains. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway into the floating city of Venice.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing by skilled artisans. After, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals. In the afternoon, your private boat takes you past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark's Square. The first sight is the pink marble of the Doge's Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Turn the corner, and the gilded regalia of St. Mark's Basilica comes into view.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 Into the Hills of Umbria to Assisi.
(Relaxed Start) Leave Venice and journey to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis' death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. With your Local Expert, step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.
Hotel: Hotel Giotto Assisi.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 8 Sorrento on the coast.
(Relaxed Start) Travel south passing Cassino, the scene of a fierce battle during World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvious. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take one of the island's iconic open-top taxis up to Capri town where your Local Expert will take you around the narrow alleyways to browse exclusive boutiques and enjoy views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around Capri? Descend to the port on a funicular ride and return to Sorrento for some time to relax. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a memorable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Pompeii, frozen in time and onto Rome.
Continue to Pompeii, the opulent Roman town which was preserved by layers of ash from the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. A walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets and extensive excavations reveals the daily life of ancient Roman civilisation. Visit the Forum and peer into shops and patrician villas, decorated with colourful wall paintings. Then continue north as you travel to your hotel in Rome.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Arrivederci Rome.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30.
Meal: Breakfast

Best of Spain & Portugal end Barcelona (Summer 2019) 15 Days Spain & Portugal Aug 16, 2019 $3055

Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings plus an impressive foreign collection as you tour the Prado Museum with an expert art historian.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Madrid: With your Local Expert, travel along the Paseo de la Castellana and see the Cibeles Fountain, the Royal Palace and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España and cross the Puerta del Sol.
Segovia: Walk the medieval streets of this fortified city with your Local Expert and see the 14th century Alcazar Palace.
Salamanca: See the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings as you explore the city with your Local Expert.
Porto: See the iconic bridges and buildings decorated in tiles.
Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Belém Quarter to see the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
Lisbon: Visit the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Seville: From the Moorish Patio de los Naranjos, guided by your Local Expert step inside the cathedral and pass the altarpiece dripping with gold, to the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings.
Seville: Alongside your Local Expert you will visit the Giralda Tower and lead you through the streets of the Santa Cruz Quarter to the Alcazar.
Gibraltar: With your Local Expert, explore the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, affording magnificent views and see the meeting of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. Visit St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes.
Mijas: Journey to this white-washed village and stroll the streets to admire the coastal views.
Alfarnatejo: Visit the beautiful, quiet town and walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla.
Granada: Explore 'The City of the Pomegranate' with a Local Expert. During sightseeing you'll see the icons dedicated to this fruit throughout the city.
Granada: Best interpreted with the help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the gardens of the Generalife.
Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.
Peñíscola: See the castle featured in the film 'El Cid'.
Barcelona: A Local Expert will show you the narrow lanes and old squares of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter. View the lively Las Ramblas, see the wrought-iron street lamps and Modernist buildings as you travel along Passeig de Gràcia.
Barcelona: A Local Expert will take you inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to admire the beautiful architecture.
Scenic Drives: Enjoy the scenery as you travel along the River Douro, Costa del Sol, through the Provence of Malaga, across the Sierra Nevada and along the Costa Dorada.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Porto: Sample a selection of famous Port wines at a tasting at the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores.
Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
Seville: Tables are reserved for dinner, drinks and a fiery evening of Spanish dance and music! Get ready for throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
Torremolinos: Taste a selection of freshly pressed olive oils with locally made farmer bread when you stop at Almazara, the oldest olive grove in the region.
Torremolinos: Hear the stories of local life as you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a freshly prepared, traditional lunch, with wine.
Valencia: Learn the authentic recipe of paella when you join a local chef for a Cooking Demonstration. Savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
Sant Sadurni d'Anoia: Join a wine expert when you visit Cava Dorada. Enjoy a tasting at the great Cava vineyards during your delicious Highlight Lunch.
Barcelona: With fantastic sea views, be seated for an exceptional Catalan Celebration Dinner incorporating classic cooking with only the freshest produce.
Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunches with Wine (LW) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with wine tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Salamanca: The centrally located Hotel Alameda Palace is close to a range of restaurants and shops and only a short walk to the Plaza Mayor. The spacious rooms all have marble bathrooms and antique-style furniture.
Lisbon: Dom Pedro Palace is located across the street from one of the largest Lisbon shopping centres: the Amoreiras Shopping Centre with 250 high-quality shops, cinemas and restaurants. On the top of the hotel there is the most exclusive Lisbon Penthouse Suite with a 360º degree view overlooking the city. This deluxe hotel offers elegant guest accommodation with great city views and a fantastic spa.
Granada: The 4-star Vincci Albayzín is located in the centre of Granada and is typically Andalusian in style. It boasts a magnificent enclosed patio that bathes its rooms in natural light.
Valencia: The Barceló Valencia hotel is situated right in the centre of the City of Arts and Sciences opposite the Queen Sofia Palace of Arts, a building which was designed by the renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and is situated in one of the most modern and attractive areas of the city of Valencia.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Madrid (flight not included)
Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine.
Hotel: Barceló Torre de Madrid/Barceló Emperatriz.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Madrid of the Bourbons.
Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your trip is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum with an art historian to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.
Hotel: Barceló Torre de Madrid/Barceló Emperatriz.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Segovia and Golden Salamanca.
Travel to the fortified city of Segovia where you will walk through the medieval streets from the ancient aqueduct to see the magnificent Alcazar fortress. Journey west, passing the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca. During your orientation see some of the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.
Hotel: Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro.
(Relaxed Start) Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city, admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges (or ‘Eiffel Towers on end’ according to one Frenchman).
Hotel: NH Collection Porto Batalha.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5 Holy Fátima, Ancient Obidos and Lisbon.
Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the Basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to the fortified town of Obidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets with houses covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisboa/Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Portuguese Riviera? It is often visited by surfers, occasionally royalty, and even James Bond.
Hotel: Dom Pedro Lisboa/Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 Seville, the City of Carmen.
Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, visit the immense cathedral to see the Tomb of Christopher Columbus and the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Free Time and Flamenco in Seville.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed start and a day to relax, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. In the evening you are treated to dinner, wine and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.
Hotel: Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 Head for Gibraltar, the Costa del Sol and Mijas.
Head south to Gibraltar, part of mainland Spain yet an overseas territory under British control since 1704. With your Local Expert, visit the Rock of Gibraltar and St. Michael’s Cave to see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast.
Hotel: Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 At Leisure on the Costa del Sol.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
Hotel: Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Dining with Locals and the Alhambra.
(Relaxed Start) Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited to into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace with your Local Expert. Built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century, it is a wonder of beautiful gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace.
Hotel: Vincci Albayzín, Granada.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 12 On to Valencia.
Journey to Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass through the Old City and see its ancient gates. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Or sit back with a drink and watch the Valencian’s go about their day. Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the old town and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
Hotel: Barceló Valencia.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 13 Along the coast to Peñíscola and on to Barcelona.
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film 'El Cid'. Continue along the Costa Dorada to the Cava Bodegas at Sant Sadurni d'Anoia. During a delicious light lunch, enjoy a tasting as you learn the sparkling secrets of Spanish bubbly. Continue along the coast to reach Barcelona.
Hotel: Meliá Barcelona Sarriá.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 14 Barcelona Sightseeing.
(Relaxed Start) A Local Expert joins you for a drive along the Passeig de Gràcia adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. See the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. At a local restaurant, join your fellow travellers to toast newfound friends and a wonderful journey as you enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine.
Hotel: Meliá Barcelona Sarriá.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 15 Depart Barcelona.
Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Italian Escapade (Summer 2019) 13 Days Italy & Sicily Aug 20, 2019 $3265

Revel in the riches of Rome and Florence, observe the beauty of the Italian Lakes and mix with the fashionable crowd on sun-kissed Capri during this adventure.

 

 

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Vatican City: Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Be among the select few to admire the Bramante Staircase, a dizzying spiral of carved stone. Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the Living Room of Rome.
Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with a local art historian to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Siena: See the Fountain of Joy, striped cathedral and vast Piazza del Campo.
Florence: See the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower, the Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Santa Croce during your guided exploration.
Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
Verona: During your orientation, walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: Delight your senses as you are serenaded through the canals by gondola, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
Assisi: With you Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
Assisi: With a Local Expert, find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of Europe.
Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
Scenic Drives: Admire the beautiful passing scenery as you travel through the regions of Umbria, Chianti, Tuscany, past the Apennine Mountains, through the Italian Lake District and to Bay of Naples.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Florence: Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a specialty not to be missed.
Lake Maggiore: For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Lake Iseo: Learn about this historic winery, passed down through the generations, and taste its latest vintages.
Rome: Enjoy a Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine, accompanied by the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved songs.
Dining Summary: 12 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Assisi: Hotel Giotto Assisi is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. All guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome (flight not included)
Welcome to Rome, once the hub of a vast empire that spread from Britain to the Persian Gulf and from Africa to Germany. On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, you're welcomed and taken to your hotel with transfers departing at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Relax and settle in before joining your Travel Director at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Get to know your fellow travellers as you mingle over a pleasant evening.
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
A Local Expert leads you through the priceless art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry to the museums and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase. Later, continue to St. Peter’s Basilica. Embark on a leisurely walking exploration to see the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Then there is time to relax and absorb the atmosphere of Piazza Navona.
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Medieval Siena and on to Florence.
Travel north to medieval Siena and stroll through the winding stone-paved streets to the vast Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race takes place amid great festivities. See the Fountain of Joy and then walk up to the hilltop cathedral, striped with marble. Continue through the cypress-clad hills and vineyards of Tuscany to Florence. Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a specialty not to be missed.
Hotel: Michelangelo Florence.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Join a local art historian as you venture inside the Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo’s statue, David. Gaze up and truly appreciate the significance of Michelangelo’s work. Continue to the cathedral to see Giotto’s bell tower and the Gates of Paradise adorning the baptistery. Visit Piazza della Signoria filled with works of art and finally pause in Piazza Santa Croce, overlooked by its basilica, the final resting place of Galileo and Michelangelo. By night, don’t miss the chance to try the delicious local cuisine and sample rich Chianti wine.
Hotel: Michelangelo Florence.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Pisa and Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lakes.
Stop at Pisa, to see the incredible Leaning Tower from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity, as well as the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Your journey continues, past the marble quarries at Carrara, used since the time of Ancient Rome, through the dramatic Apennine Mountains to the fertile valley of the River Po. Continue to your lakeside resort on beautiful Lake Maggiore. As night time draws in, why not work up an appetite before dinner with a traditional evening stroll, or passeggiata as they say in Italy?
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 At Leisure in the Italian Lake District.
(Relaxed Start) The day is set aside for you to relax and enjoy all the fantastic sights of this beautiful lake-land area. Perhaps take a cruise over to Isola Bella, one of the picturesque Borromean Islands. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Venice with Wine and Verona along the way.
Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to the vineyards, close to the shores of Lake Iseo. You will see that winemaking traditions run deep here when you visit a family-owned estate that goes back generations. Listen to passionate stories as you taste the delicious vintages together with a master vintner. Continue to Verona, the setting for one of literature’s saddest love stories. Walk with your Travel Director to Juliet’s balcony in the reputed courtyard of the Capulet home and see the well-preserved Roman Arena, still used for open-air opera performances. Carry on to Venice. Arrive at your hotel by boat, in true Venetian style, a city of 118 islands and no motorcar traffic to mar its beauty.
Hotel: Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 8 Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
(Relaxed Start) Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. While here, visit a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island where you can see how their beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers. What better way to see Venice than from a private boat, cruising past palazzos and churches to St. Mark’s Square. See the gilded basilica, the Doge's Palace and Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the myriad of beautiful canals. Relax and enjoy the local traditional songs, as you drift along in romantic awe. Spend the afternoon as you wish. As night falls, why not savour the magic of St. Mark’s square with its orchestras and al-fresco cafes?
Hotel: Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 Hilltop Assisi.
Skirt the Venetian Lagoon and cross two of Italy’s most important rivers, the Adige and Po. The scenery will then change dramatically as you drive through the wild Apennines. Your destination is the stone-built, hill-top town of Assisi, home of St. Francis. See the Church of St. Mary of the Angels before continuing up Mount Subasio, with a Local Expert to visit the Basilica of St. Francis.
Hotel: Hotel Giotto Assisi.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Along the Autostrada del Sole to Sorrento.
Journey along the clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius. With the evening at leisure, why not try some of the local specialties during a local dining experience?
Hotel: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
In the morning, cruise to Capri, known as the Isle of Dreams. In one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, head up the steep, winding roads while a symphony of cicadas sing away in the pines. With your Local Expert, explore the narrow alleyways of Capri town, browse in exclusive boutiques and wonder at the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento for some relaxation time. Perhaps join an optional visit to Positano and the Amalfi Coast?
Hotel: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Sorrento.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12 The ancient cities of Pompeii and Rome.
Journey to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, eerily preserved by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Walk with a Local Expert through cobbled streets to explore some of the shops, villas and temples. In the heart of the Eternal City, you are treated to the quintessential Italian experience – fine food, wine, music and a private performance of enchanting operetta.
Hotel: Hotel Mediterraneo, Rome.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 13 Arrivederci Roma!
Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.
Meal: Breakfast

Northern Capitals and Russia (Summer 2019) 18 Days Northern Europe & Russia Aug 28, 2019 $4145

An all-embracing journey of Scandinavia, the Baltic, Russia, Lithuania and Poland, showcasing Baroque splendour, fine design and historic conflicts and resolutions.

 

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Vilnius: Led by your Local Expert, explore the Old Town to see the Jesuit University and the Gates of Dawn.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Berlin: With your Local Expert, travel along the Unter den Linden to see Humboldt University, the Opera House and Museum Island. Pass Brandenberg Gate and view the Reichstag building before travelling through Tiergarten.
Rocstock: Cross the Baltic Sea from Germany to Denmark.
Copenhagen: Make the most of the long summer nights at Tivoli Gardens, the famous entertainment park.
Copenhagen: With a Local Expert, witness the regal interior of Christiansborg Palace, with its stunning tapestries, furnishings and décor. See the cathedral, university, Rosenborg Castle, the Renaissance Stock Exchange, Amalienborg Palace and Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid on the harbour.
Øresund Bridge: Cross this magnificent fiat of engineering. It's the longest road and rail bridge in Europe, spanning 8 kilometres.
Elsinore: See the Kronborg Castle, referred to as the home of Hamlet.
Stockholm: Led by your Local Expert, venture to Gamla Stan, the medieval heart of the city to see the cathedral and the Royal Palace.
Stockholm: Venture inside City Hall, the fabulous Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall is covered with 18 million gilded mosaic tiles and the Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, is the venue for the Nobel Prize banquets.
Minsk: Gain an understanding of Minsk's Soviet past as you are led through the city with your Local Expert. See the wide avenues and gargantuan concrete buildings. Pass Lenin, standing in front of the government headquarters. In Victory Square, see the obelisk honouring the heroes of World War II and the Church of St. Simon and Helena.
Cruise: Admire the beautiful views from your high-class, sea-view cabin as your cruise through the largest archipelago in the world, from Stockholm to Helsinki.
Helsinki: Visit the Church in the Rock as you explore with your Local Expert. See the interesting Sibelius Monument and Finlandia Hall.
St. Petersburg: Guided by your Local Expert, see the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and Nevsky Prospect, the bustling main street of the city.
Petrodvorets: Cruise by hydrofoil to visit the epic formal gardens of Peter the Great’s Summer Palace, bursting with cascades, sparkling fountains and golden statues.
St. Petersburg: Explore the spectacular Hermitage Museum with a Local Expert, one of the world’s great repositories of European art and housed in the stunning former Winter Palace of the Tsars.
Sapsan Train: Sapsan in Russian, translates to falcon. Relax in modern luxury and comfort while you swoop by rail from St. Petersburg to Moscow in just four hours.
Moscow: Explore this fascinating capital with your Local Expert. Visit Red Square to admire the landmark buildings of St. Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin and Lenin's Mausoleum.
Moscow: Explore the opulent Metro stations, described as 'underground museums.'
Vilnius: Visit the church of St Peter and St Paul and see the cathedral.
Trakai: Take in the idyllic lake setting as you cross the wooden footbridge to the red-brick Gothic castle.
Warsaw: Your Local Expert will show you the city's highlights. See the Old Town, Palace of Culture and visit the Chopin Memorial in the Łazienki Park before paying your respects at the Ghetto Heroes Memorial.
Scenic Drives: Delight in the beautiful scenery as you travel through the Danish Countryside, along Lake Vättern, the Gulf of Finland and through Augustow and Masuria.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Vilnius: Your Travel Director offers you a varied selection of charming restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening – a culinary experience not to be missed.
Warsaw: Join your travelling companions and Travel Director for your Celebration Dinner at a prized local restaurant.
Dining Summary: 17 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Overnight Cruise: Enjoy the additional comfort of your high-class, sea-view cabin onboard your overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
Cruise in high-class cabins with sea views.
One-way Sapsan train journey from St Petersburg to Moscow is included.
Complimentary transfers from Berlin Tegel Airport are available at scheduled times, on arrival day. Complimentary transfers to Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports are available at scheduled times, on departure day. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way.

Day 1 Welcome to Berlin (flight not included)
On arrival at Berlin’s Tegel Airport, your transfer will leave for your hotel at 10:30 or 12:30. With the afternoon free, perhaps walk along the bustling Ku' Damm, shopping centre of West Berlin, which during 40 years of division, became the shop window of the West. At 18:00, join your Travel Director and travel companions at a local restaurant for your Welcome Dinner.
Hotel: Hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 The Spirit of Berlin.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the Unter den Linden past the Humboldt University and Opera House. Stop a while on Museum Island before passing Brandenberg Gate, a symbol of the reunification. See Norman Foster’s glass dome which crowns the Reichstag building before embarking on a journey through the Tiergarten. Spend the afternoon exploring at your leisure or relaxing at your hotel.
Hotel: Hotel NH Collection Berlin Mitte am Checkpoint Charlie.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Across the Sea to Copenhagen.
Depart Berlin and continue through northern Germany to Rostock for the sea crossing to Denmark. A peaceful journey through Danish countryside brings you to the capital, Copenhagen. In the evening, delight in the enchanting atmosphere of the famous Tivoli Gardens.
Hotel: The Square, Copenhagen.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Wonderful Copenhagen.
With a Local Expert, begin your sightseeing with a visit the Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Government, to marvel at the opulent interior. Journey past Copenhagen Cathedral and the university to see Rosenborg Castle, the Renaissance Stock Exchange and Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family. Visit the waterfront to admire Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid gazing across the harbour. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Hotel: The Square, Copenhagen.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 To Stockholm, City of Islands.
Enjoy a view of Kronborg Castle, reputedly the Elsinore home of Hamlet, during the short ferry crossing to Sweden. Your journey then continues through fertile farmlands, dotted with neat farmhouses and barns. Travel along the shores of peaceful Lake Vättern to Stockholm, beautifully situated on an island studded bay.
Hotel: Grand Central by Scandic, Stockholm.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Stockholm and Baltic Cruise.
With a Local Expert, visit the imposing City Hall with its impressive Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, covered with 18 million gilded mosaic tiles and the Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, is the venue for the Nobel Prize banquets. Cross the harbour to Gamla Stan, the medieval heart of the city to see the cathedral and the Royal Palace. In the afternoon, board your cruise ship for the overnight voyage to Finland. Enjoy dinner onboard and then take in the breathtakingly beautiful sea views from the comfort of your A-Class, sea-view cabin, while the northern sun hangs over the horizon, showing almost no sign of setting in mid-summer.
Hotel: Serenade/Symphony, Tallink Silja Line.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Fashionable Helsinki.
(Relaxed Start) Disembark your Baltic cruise and explore Helsinki, the trendsetting city of top fashion and design, alongside a Local Expert. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the modern Church in the Rock, which has been cut right into a boulder in the centre of Helsinki. Continue to the Sibelius Monument and Finlandia Hall in the new quarter.
Hotel: Klaus K Hotel, Helsinki.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 St. Petersburg.
From Helsinki, you will travel through rural lands and villages, following the coast of the Gulf of Finland. Tonight, dine in a local restaurant
Hotel: Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 The Gardens of Petrodvorets.
Join a Local Expert to see the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and the bustling main street of the city, Nevsky Prospect. Cruise by hydrofoil along the Baltic shore to Peter the Great's summer residence of Petrodvorets, which for over 200 years was used for official ceremonies, lavish feasts and formal receptions. Alight to explore the grand gardens and see cascading fountains.
Hotel: Courtyard St. Petersburg Vasilievsky.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 High Speed Train to Moscow.
(Relaxed Start) Visit the opulent Winter Palace with your Local Expert. This is the former home of the Tsars, but now houses the Hermitage Museum. Witness a treasure trove of magnificent works of art, ranging from Egyptian carvings to Impressionist masterpieces. Board your high-speed Sapsan train and relax in modern luxury and comfort as you swoop to Moscow in just a few hours.
Hotel: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Moscow, a Russian Revelation.
(Relaxed Start) Join your Local Expert in Red Square, lined by Moscow’s landmark buildings, for an insightful tour. At one end rises the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral while in front of the Kremlin stands Lenin’s Mausoleum. Enter the Kremlin to visit one of its cathedrals. Explore the Metro stations, rich in marble, mosaics, sculptures and chandeliers, often referred to as underground art museums. With the afternoon at your leisure, why not visit the Kremlin Museum to gaze at the treasury of the Tsars? In the evening, don't miss the chance to absorb the atmosphere and admire the magic of the Red Square and the Kremlin at night.
Hotel: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12 Moscow at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed start and a full day set aside to explore Moscow at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Borodino Panorama Exhibition or enjoy an Optional Experience in Zagorsk, the renowned centre of ancient Russian art and architecture?
Hotel: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13 Minsk, the Supreme Soviet City.
Depart Moscow and pass near Borodino as you follow the route taken by Napoleon’s retreating army in 1812. Stop in Yartsevo, Smolensk Oblast for an included lunch, then enter Belarus and continue to the capital, Minsk, rebuilt after the war in utmost Soviet style.
Hotel: Renaissance Minsk Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine

Day 14 Minsk Sightseeing and Vilnius.
(Relaxed Start) Your Local Expert will take you along wide avenues, passing gargantuan concrete buildings, a legacy of Minsk’s Soviet past. Lenin still stands in front of the Government headquarters! See the obelisk in Victory Square honouring the heroes of World War II and the Church of St. Simon and Helena. Continue to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. In the evening, you can choose from a variety of hand-selected local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Vilnius.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 15 The Island Castle of Trakai.
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing in the morning starts at the Baroque church of St. Peter and St. Paul. See the neoclassical cathedral before joining your Local Expert for a leisurely walk through the Old Town. See the Jesuit University and the Gates of Dawn. Visit the splendid Trakai Castle, built on a fortified island at the beginning of the 15th century and now faithfully restored in all its glory.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Vilnius.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 16 Rejuvenated Warsaw.
Pass lakeside Augustow during a scenic journey through Masuria, a region blessed with a plethora of lakes and forests. Your destination will be the Polish capital, faithfully rebuilt after the devastation of World War II.
Hotel: The Westin Warsaw.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 17 Exploring Warsaw.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for an exploration of the city. Pass the tiered Palace of Culture and stroll through Łazienki Park to the Chopin Memorial. Take a moment to reflect at the Monument to Ghetto Heroes, before walking to the Market Square in the Old Town. In the evening, join your newfound friends and Travel Director for a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a fine selection of local dishes and wine.
Hotel: The Westin Warsaw.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 18 Depart Warsaw.
Your transfers will arrive at Warsaw airport at 07:30 and 10:00.
Meal: Breakfast

The Bohemian (Summer 2019) 9 Days Eastern Europe Aug 31, 2019 $1895

Walk in the footsteps of Prague’s Bohemian Kings and fall under the spell of Český Krumlov. Explore the legacy of the Habsburgs in Vienna and Budapest.

 

Included:

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Český Krumlov: Your Travel Director will lead you an orientation of the city as you explore the medieval streets of this fairy-tale town.
Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, this majestic city is where you’ll experience a private tour with a Local Expert, through the atmospheric courtyards of the historic Prague Castle.
Prague: Led by your Local Expert, explore the delightful Old Town Square and see the detailed Astronomical Clock that delights onlookers each hour.
Auschwitz: Accompanied by your Local Expert, experience a powerful and moving visit to the memorial and museum of Auschwitz and a stop at Birkenau, which bears witness to the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust.
Kraków: The medieval heart of Kraków is rich in legend, a kind of Polish Camelot. Join your Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of this historic Holy Grail. Walk past Jagiellonian University, through the Old Town to the town square and see the medieval Sukiennice Cloth Hall.
Kraków: Visit the cathedral atop Wawel Hill, see the castle and look for the iconic dragon, accompanied by your Local Expert.
Kraków: Visit the 14th century St. Mary’s Basilica, the most important church in the city.
Budapest: Join a Local Expert and visit the colourful Matthias Church. From the heights of the Fisherman’s Bastion, gaze out over the Danube to the beautiful facades of the giant-domed Hungarian Parliament Building.
Budapest: See Heroes' Square and Andrássy Boulevard. Spend time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca and see the mighty Danube with its many bridges linking Buda and Pest.
Budapest: Visiting the Central Market Hall is a foodie's dream. Wander across three levels of stalls, brimming with mouthwatering salamis, spicy paprika, sumptuous Hungarian wines and a whole lot of Pálinka.
Vienna: Led by your Local Expert, indulge your senses at the Schönbrunn Palace as you stand beneath frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers and gilded Rococo frames where Mozart performed as a six-year-old prodigy.
Vienna: Travel along the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
Scenic Drives: Admire the passing scenery as you travel through the Vienna Woods, Bohemia, the Orava region and Low Tatra Mountains.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Krakow: For your Dine-Around Evening, choose you style of dining from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, unique in Polish flavour.
Budapest: Tonight you are in for a treat with your Highlight Dinner at Gundel, one of Budapest's most renowned restaurants for over a hundred years. Dine in elegance as you savour hearty, Hungarian delicacies accompanied with specially-selected Hungarian wine.
Vienna: For your Celebration Dinner, savour a delicious meal of Austrian fare with drinks included, while being entertained by acclaimed soloists and dancers.
Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Krakow: The very trendy and centrally-located andel's by Vienna House Cracow is designed to provide luxury comforts with a home-away-from-home feel.
Budapest: Located in the heart of the city, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest blends classic opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning!

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Vienna (flight not included)
At Vienna airport, transfers to your hotel will leave at 10:00, 13:00 and 15:00. The Austrian capital is famous for coffee and delicious pastries, so why not stroll to a local cafe? At 17:30, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a drink, followed by a pleasant Welcome Dinner served with wine at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hilton Vienna.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Charming Český Krumlov and Golden Prague.
Once over the Czech border, head for picturesque Český Krumlov where you'll start with a brief orientation tour of this fairy-tale town, straight out of the Middle Ages. Enjoy some free time to explore and appreciate views of the Vltava River. Wander through the cobblestone, traffic-free streets, past colourful houses that lead up to the finest castle in the land. In the afternoon, continue through the green Bohemian countryside to Golden Prague.
Hotel: Hotel Royal Prague.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.
Join a Local Expert for a tour of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Start with the historic Prague Castle where you'll admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and appreciate amazing views of the Old Town. Continue to Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel delight onlookers each hour. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Royal Prague.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Reflect on Auschwitz then on to Kraków.
Enjoy a gentle drive through the stunning Czech landscapes before crossing into Poland where you will stop at Oświęcim, better known by its German name of Auschwitz. Join a guided tour of the memorial and museum of Auschwitz and stop at Birkenau, which bore witness to the terrible atrocities of the Holocaust.
Hotel: Vienna House Andel's Cracow, Kraków.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5 The Damsels and Dragons of Kraków.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning why not join an Optional Experience and journey into a glistening subterranean world at the 600-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mines? In a maze of tunnels deep below the surface, witness unique salt sculptures, sunken lakes and even a glorious cathedral carved entirely out of rock salt by the miners. Alternatively, enjoy a morning at leisure before joining a Local Expert to ascend Wawel Hill and visit the cathedral. Walk past the former residence of Pope John Paul II through the Old Town, to Europe’s largest and most beautiful town square. See the medieval Sukiennice Cloth Hall and visit the 14th century St. Mary’s Basilica, the most important church in the city, keep your eyes and ears peeled for the trumpeter in the tower. In the evening, choose from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
Hotel: Vienna House Andel's Cracow, Kraków.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 Through Sleepy Slovakia to Budapest.
Journey into the Slovakian region of Orava, where villagers still live in traditional wooden houses. See the picturesque Oravský Hrad Castle before continuing through the breathtaking Low Tatra Mountains. Cross into Hungary to arrive in Budapest where in the evening, you are treated to a Highlight Dinner at the elegant Gundel restaurant. Savour mouthwatering Hungarian specialties, accompanied by specially selected Hungarian wine, as you dine in sophisticated style.
Hotel: Corinthia Hotel Budapest.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Budapest, the Queen of the Danube.
(Relaxed Start) Venture into the heart of Buda’s medieval Castle District with a Local Expert to visit Matthias Church and take in the vista from the Fisherman’s Bastion. Cross the Danube to the Pest district to visit Heroes’ Square and drive down elegant Andrássy Boulevard. Enjoy time in the foodie's paradise of the Central Market Hall. Wander across its three levels brimming with aromatic food stalls offering delicious salamis, spicy paprika, Hungarian wines and an array of flavoured Pálinkas, a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax by the Danube or browse the boutiques of Vaci Street.
Hotel: Corinthia Hotel Budapest.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Stately Vienna and the Habsburgs.
Cross the border, continuing to stately Vienna to join a Local Expert for a private tour of Maria Theresa's magnificent Schönbrunn Palace and it's formal gardens. Be transported to a time of opulence and extravagance as you marvel at the intricacies of gilded Rococo frames, frescoed ceilings and crystal chandeliers. Then get your camera ready for a drive around the Ring Road, a grand boulevard built along the lines of the old city walls showcasing many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence, Austrian Parliament Building and Karlskirche. As night falls, experience an extraordinary concert of Viennese classical music. The best-loved works of Johann Strauss and Mozart, performed by highly acclaimed soloists and dancers, are complemented with a delicious meal of traditional Austrian fare, accompanied with wine for your Celebration Dinner. This is an incredible way to toast your adventures with newfound friends.
Hotel: Hilton Vienna.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 Depart Vienna.
Your Bohemian journey concludes after breakfast with transfers arriving at Vienna airport at 07:00 and 09:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Northern Spain end Barcelona (Summer 2019) 11 Days Spain Aug 24, 2019 $2590

Discover the scenic delights and delicious cuisine of this forgotten part of Spain. Compare Oviedo's ancient churches and resting relics of St. James with Barcelona's captivating Sagrada Família.

 

 

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive foreign collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
Santiago de Compostela: The Romanesque interior of the cathedral is magnificent. Let a Local Expert take you through the Gateway of Glory to witness the final stage of one of the world’s most ancient pilgrimages.
Santiago de Compostela: Enjoy an guided tour of the Old Town.
Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe’s oldest churches. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe, when you visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour.
Picos de Europa National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
Picos de Europa National Park: Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
Santillana del Mar: Step back in time when you visit this perfectly preserved and ‘most beautiful village in Spain.’
Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry and sites of this Basque region gem during your orientation with your Travel Director.
Getaria: See the rock known as El Ratón, or the mouse.
San Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
San Sebastián: Ascend Monte Igueldo to marvel at the views of the town and La Concha Bay.
Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Gràcia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família and marvel at the contrasts of architecture. Above see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows.
Scenic Drives: Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Rueda: Some of Spain’s finest wines hail from the Rueda region. During your tasting, learn about the Verdejo grape and what to look for in a fresh white.
Oviedo: A stay in Oviedo would not be complete without a stop in at a Sideria to relish in the taste of their locally made Asturian cider.
Gijón: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, to join her for a delicious meal of locally sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Madrid: Located on Madrid’s most chic avenue, the Hesperia Madrid is a centrally located, modern hotel offering comfortable and contemporary rooms.
Santiago de Compostela: The NH Collection Santiago De Compostela delivers modern luxury in a timeless setting, just minutes from the historic Plaza del Obradoiro.
Oviedo: The Barceló Oviedo Cervantes is situated in the heart of Oviedo, 10 minutes from the Old Town and cathedral. This striking and stylish designer hotel is restored from an early 20th century mansion.
Santander: The luxury 5-star Eurostars Hotel Real is at the heart and soul of Santander and is a hallmark of excellence and prestige, facing the Playa de los Peligros beach.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Madrid (flight not included)
On arrival at Madrid airport, your airport transfer leaves for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. Relax and settle in before meeting your Travel Director at 17:30. Your Welcome Dinner is at a local restaurant and provides the opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests over a pleasant evening of good food and wine.
Hotel: Barceló Torre de Madrid/Hotel Hesperia Madrid.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Madrid of the Bourbons.
Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your escorted journey will be to visit the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.
Hotel: Barceló Torre de Madrid/Hotel Hesperia Madrid.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Through the Guadarrama Mountains to Santiago.
Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and pass the impressive Castillo de la Mota. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Continue past historic Tordesillas, and on to Santiago de Compostela.
Hotel: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Saintly Santiago de Compostela.
(Relaxed Start) Become acquainted with some of Europe’s finest historical buildings during an orientation with your Local Expert. The monumental square, Praza do Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the cathedral facade to see an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Venture inside and once through the Gateway of Glory, you’re privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful may choose to pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James and follow in the steps of the pilgrims along The Way of St. James. In the evening, relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.
Hotel: NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Along the Costa Verde to Oviedo.
Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias - one of Spain's most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Stop at the delightful city of Gijón that has a history dating back 5,000 years. Meet Flor, a local who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life in this seaside city as you enjoy a delicious meal that Flor has prepared from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. A Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe. A short drive brings you to the Asturian coast and the Bay of Biscay.
Hotel: Barceló Oviedo Cervantes.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 6 Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to Santander.
See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the holy cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa?
Hotel: Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastián.
(Relaxed Start) In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Head to Monte Igueldo for breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.
Hotel: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you'll want to explore the nearby French villages of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris and Biarritz? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?
Hotel: Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 Pamplona and on to Barcelona.
Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises.' Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.
Hotel: Hotel NH Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 Barcelona, City of Gaudí.
Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner.
Hotel: Hotel NH Hesperia Barcelona Presidente.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 11 Depart Barcelona.
After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 or 11:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Highlights of Europe (Summer 2019) 15 Days Europe Aug 17, 2019 $3789

This journey is perfect for those who want to experience the best of Europe.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Rhine Valley: Delight in a private estate viewing of one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.
Stanserhorn: Journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn where you will learn about local wildlife from a Swiss Ranger.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the Channel Tunnel.
Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the old waterways, where the wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town with your Travel Director.
Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you drive along the Romantic Road and later pass the areas of Tyrol, the Dolomites, Veneto, Apennine Mountains, Tuscany, Umbria, the Chianti Hills, Italian Lake District, the Swiss Alps and Burgundy.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Heidelberg: Revel in the merriment as you raise a stein and feast on local German specialties in a beer hall-style restaurant. Prost!
Veneto: Delight in a prosecco tasting with the expert vignerons at a local family winery and learn the secret to making the perfect Bellini.
Rome: Food and family go hand in hand in Italy and are pillars of the Italian way of life. Experience it for yourself with an invitation from your local EatWith host to join them for a truly Italian, home-cooked meal.
Italian Lake District: Choose your dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering their own unique cuisine and ambience on your Dine-Around Evening.
Tuscany: Savour homemade cuisine at a family-style dinner with fresh ingredients prepared to traditional recipes, set among the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Sample some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking tour that takes you off the beaten track.
Paris: Rendezvous at Le Petit Prince de Paris, an atmospheric French bistro that believes 'There is no love more sincere than that of good food'. Your Celebration Dinner offers home-style cooking, using local ingredients and is accompanied by delicious French wines.
Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Rome: The 19th century Bettoja Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio contains many original paintings from the 1860s.
Florence: Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.
Lucerne: The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Paris: The Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River near the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Recently renovated, this modern property offers luxurious bedding in all rooms.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way to the airport. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to London (flight not included)
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Hotel: Amba Marble Arch Hotel, London.

Day 2 From London to Amsterdam.
Meet your Travel Director at 07:00 and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you through the Channel Tunnel en route to Amsterdam. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests as you cruise along some of the quaint, tree-lined canals to explore the heart of the Old City, before enjoying a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hilton Amsterdam.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 3 The Rhine Valley and Heidelberg.
Take a scenic drive through the Rhine Valley to see quaint villages, hilltop castles and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock. Follow the Neckar River to Heidelberg and visit the red sandstone castle with a Local Expert.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Mountain-ringed Innsbruck.
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head towards the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein, rumoured to have inspired Walt Disney's iconic castle. Once over the Austrian border, continue to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the Old Town.
Hotel: AC Hotel Innsbruck.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Across the Dolomites to Venice.
(Relaxed Start) Continue your journey, crossing the Italian border and on through the Dolomites. Amongst the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at a local family winery where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produces distinguishable prosecco with a natural balance. Savour a tasting of these luxurious sparkling wines and discover how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. In the evening, enjoy a dinner with wine.
Hotel: Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 The Magic of La Serenissima.
Waking up to the sights and sounds of Venice is a thrill for even the most experienced traveller. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Then cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to explore St. Mark's Square including Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the adjacent prison. In the square, the bell tower comes into view, plus the beautiful mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Clock Tower Moors, who have been striking the hour for over 500 years. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades or take an Optional Experience cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano to dine on local specialties and wine?
Hotel: Hotel Indigo Venice - Sant'Elena.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 The Eternal City of Rome.
Head into the Apennine Mountains and venture through the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. Follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome. Italian culture is deeply rooted in hospitality with food, friends and family being central to everyday life. You’re invited into the home of a Roman local to experience Italian hospitality at its best, as you enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with your EatWith host.
Hotel: Bettoja Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 8 Papal and Imperial Rome.
During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art housed in the Vatican Museums and the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican usually closed to the public. Then explore St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Cross the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.
Hotel: Bettoja Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 The Chianti Hills to Florence.
Drive to the Chianti Hills and the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city, lined with fountains and statues it acts as a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. A leisurely afternoon give you time to shop for quality goods, like gold and leather, which Florence is famous for. Alternatively, there is the option to visit the Accademia Gallery with an art historian to see Michelangelo's famed masterpiece, 'David.' In the evening, savour an authentic family-style dinner of home-made cuisine at a local trattoria. Perfectly set among the beautiful Tuscan countryside, you are served fresh ingredients prepared to traditional recipes.
Hotel: Hotel Londra, Florence.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Lake Maggiore.
(Relaxed Start) Travel past Milan, the capital of Lombardy, as you journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with luxuriant subtropical vegetation. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at this popular resort and beautiful lake. Perhaps choose to take a cruise to the lovely Isola Bella for a guided tour of the incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens? Later, the choice is yours for your Dine-Around Evening. Enjoy your preferred dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering their own unique cuisine and ambience.
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 11 The Alps and on to Lucerne.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, enjoy your last moments among the charming Italian Lake District before your travels continue across the Swiss border. Appreciate the Alpine terrain as you embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the regional flora and fauna. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Continue to lakeside Lucerne where the afternoon is at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12 Lakeside Lucerne.
(Relaxed Start) The emotive Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff, is a memorial dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, which is a source of great pride to the people of Lucerne. See this beautiful work before strolling across the Chapel Bridge to see the ornate Jesuit Church. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a cruise on Lake Lucerne with its dramatic vistas.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13 Sights and Delights of Paris.
In the morning, travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant Ville-Lumière or City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, facades of the Louvre and banks of the Seine, with its many romantic bridges. See the Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 14 The Food and Flavours of Paris.
Split into small groups for a more personal experience and meet your Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge local delicacies from small shops such as a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. In the evening, embrace the charm of the Latin Quarter, during your Celebration Dinner at a typical Old Paris style bistro, Le Petit Prince de Paris. Enjoy home-style cooking, using local ingredients, accompanied by delicious French wines.
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 15 Au revoir Paris.
Having covered the Highlights of Europe transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Best of Britain (Summer 2019) 11 Days UK & Scotland Aug 20, 2019 $2575

From the home of Shakespeare, to the moors of Scotland and the beautiful Cornish Countryside, this really is the best of all that Britain offers.

Another great date and rate: Aug 27, 2019  $2445

 

Included:

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Stratford: To see or not to see? Visit the timber-framed building where Shakespeare was born and grew up. Then enjoy some time to explore this pretty town.
York: Walk with your Travel Director within the city walls to see the York Minster and crocked Shambles.
Hadrian's Wall: Stop to see part of the ancient wall that once marked the border of the Roman Empire.
Jedburgh: See the Abbey, now in ruins.
Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the majestic castle perched on its rock, to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
Edinburgh: Your Local Expert reveals why this is Scotland's City of Culture. Explore the city as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Glasgow: See the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.
Stirling: Travel via the historic site of Bannockburn and view Stirling Castle.
Grasmere: Learn about the life of the poet William Wordsworth and visit his grave.
Ludlow: See the walls of the castle and Jacobean buildings.
Cardiff: During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the castle and Principality Stadium.
Bath: Visit the ancient Roman Baths with its colonnaded pool filled by natural thermal springs. Explore the city with your Travel Director and witness the town's fine Georgian architecture.
Bath: During an orientation you will see the Royal Crescent, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey.
Glastonbury: Pass the ruined Abbey where King Arthur is allegedly buried when you visit this town, famous for its yearly music festival.
Plymouth: During your orientation tour with your Travel Director see Plymouth Hoe and the Citadel then continue to the Barbican and Mayflower Steps. Then head out to explore a quaint Cornish fishing village.
Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, which stands as strong today as it did 3,500 years ago.
Scenic Drives: Enjoy the beautiful Scottish countryside and scenery of the Trossachs and Loch Lomond before continuing through the English Lake District, over Severn Bridge and past Dartmoor and the Welsh Marshes.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Devon: Savour an unforgettable Celebration Dinner at Heskyn Mill. Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for the ultimate Farm-to-Table dining experience with mouthwatering meals prepared from organic seasonal produce, freshly-picked from the surrounding fields, and of course served with a glass of wine.
Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B), 1 Dinner (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
York: The Hilton York is situated within the city walls, close to the York Minster and the best this city has to offer.
Edinburgh: Macdonald Holyrood Hotel is situated in Edinburgh’s beautiful old town, within walking distance of the Scottish Parliament building.
Glasgow: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow features award-winning architecture, boasting a stunning atrium and rooms with wall-to-ceiling windows.
Bowness-on-Windermere: The Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is contained in a 17th century building and rests on the shores of Windermere, England’s largest lake.
Cardiff: Clayton Hotel Cardiff is located in the heart of the city on St. Mary Street, just a short walk from Cardiff's premium sporting facility, Millennium Stadium.
Cornish Countryside: Enjoy the best of Cornish hospitality at the plush St. Mellion International Resort, featuring a unique blend of contemporary style and unique facilities sprawled across 450 acres of peaceful countryside.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
You may purchase transfers from/to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival and departure days, or when additional night accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to London (flight not included)
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Hotel: The Grosvenor Hotel/Amba Hotel Marble Arch, London.

Day 2 London and Medieval York.
At 07:30, meet your Travel Director to begin your journey north to Stratford-upon-Avon with its wealth of black and white timber-framed buildings. Discover how William Shakespeare and his incredible works continue to shape society today when you visit his birthplace, full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts relating to his life. Continue to historic York to stroll the narrow lanes including the Shambles and view York Minster, England's largest medieval cathedral. Later, join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to mingle other over a pleasant evening.
Hotel: Hilton York.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 3 Hadrian's Wall to Edinburgh
See a part of Hadrian's Wall, once spanning 80 miles from coast to coast, marking the northern frontier of the mighty Roman Empire. Continue past Jedburgh Abbey en route to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh for your two-night stay in this stunning city.
Hotel: Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Edinburgh Sightseeing.
In the morning, see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen, at the end of the Royal Mile. Continue past the Sir Walter Scott Monument to the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Adam facades. Join a Local Expert at Edinburgh Castle, home of the Honours of Scotland, to view Mons Meg, with the option to see the Stone of Destiny. The afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, select departures will attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Hotel: Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Loch Lomond to Glasgow.
Drive via historic Bannockburn and Stirling and enjoy the scenery of the Trossachs. Continue along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, before arriving in Glasgow for an orientation of the city with your Travel Director. See the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 The Glorious Lake District.
Travel via Gretna Green to the English Lake District, with scenery so beautiful it inspired a host of writers. Learn about the life of William Wordsworth and visit his grave in the picturesque, stone-built village of Grasmere.
Hotel: Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Windermere.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 The Welsh Marches and Cardiff.
Stop in ancient Ludlow, one of England’s most attractive towns, dominated by its castle, rich in tragic royal history. Why not spend time exploring the traditional open-air market, admiring the local crafts and perhaps sampling the produce? Afterwards, cross into southern Wales and head for the capital city of Cardiff for an orientation of the port city, upon the River Taff. See Cardiff Castle and the impressive Principality Stadium.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Cardiff.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Georgian Bath and Cornwall.
Cross the Severn Bridge back into England and drive to the Georgian City of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built amphitheatre-style on the surrounding hills and above one of Britain's thermal, mineral springs, its curative waters have been famous since Roman times. See the 15th century Abbey Church with angels climbing Jacob's Ladder. Visit the Roman Baths to see the incredibly well-preserved remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world, still flowing with the natural hot water from the springs below. Continue on to Glastonbury, steeped in legend and reputed to be the final resting place of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Then head to your fabulous resort in the Cornish countryside.
Hotel: St. Mellion International Resort, Saltash, Cornish Coast.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 The Cornish Coast Experience.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit a quaint Cornish fishing village and continue to Plymouth on the Cornish Coast. Numerous famous voyagers have set off from this ancient port and you will see the Barbican, Citadel, Plymouth Hoe and the Mayflower Steps, from where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America. Return via the hilly countryside of Dartmoor, home to wild ponies. For your Celebration Dinner, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Farm-to-Table dining experience of freshly prepared West Country produce.
Hotel: St. Mellion International Resort, Saltash, Cornish Coast.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Stonehenge and London.
Travel across Salisbury Plain to visit the pre-historic and mysterious Stonehenge, where the strange and awe-inspiring monoliths are reputed to be up to 5,000 years old. Your journey concludes upon arrival at The Grosvenor Hotel in London.
Hotel: The Grosvenor Hotel
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Homeward Bound.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast.
Meal: Breakfast

Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley (Summer 2019) 8 Days France Aug 24, 2019 $2125

Investigate Normandy's role in the 1066 and 1944 invasions that changed the course of history. Explore the beautiful city of St-Malo, the châteaux of the Loire and gleaming Paris.

 

Included:

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Bastille Day: Celebrated across France on 14 July, Bastille Day commemorates the end of the French monarchy. Witness the remarkable display of fireworks lighting up the warm summer sky and perhaps join in one of the traditional balls.
Rouen: See the cathedral, the Great Clock, the Old Market square and Place du Vieux-Marché where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
Honfleur: See this charming fishing town.
Normandy Beaches: Join an emotive journey tracing the story of the D-Day landings - the 75th anniversary will be commemorated on the 6th June 2019. See the remains of the artificial Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and with a local war historian, visit the American Military Cemetery at St-Laurent-sur-Mer, the D-Day Museum and the bunkers at Pointe du Hoc.
Mont-Saint-Michel: Savour your first sight of the fortified island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Cross the causeway for a guided tour with your Local Expert through the maze of halls and vaults of the abbey.
Saint-Malo: Your Local Expert guides you trough the intertwined streets of the walled city to arrive at the cathedral. Later enjoy the chance to walk along the fortifications and explore the cities nightlife at your leisure.
Angers: Enjoy exploring the western gateway to the Loire Valley in the little town of Angers and see its imposing chateau.
Loire Valley: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates. Accompanied by your Local Expert, visit France’s finest formal gardens that surround Villandry Castle, standing beside the Cher River.
Château d'Ussé: During your visit to Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, take your time to admire the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley.
Chartres: Inside magnificent Chartres Cathedral, marvel at the stained-glass windows, a riot of rich blues and reds, justly considered the finest medieval glass in France.
Scenic Drives: Fall in love with the French countryside as you travel along the River Seine and through Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Paris: Enjoy your Welcome Dinner at Le Sud, a local brasserie with a Mediterranean and similarly inspired menu.
Loire Valley: At Château de Rochecotte you will enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table Dinner, prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Saumur: Fun and informative, discuss the grape varieties and local terroir while sampling wines of the Loire Valley.
Loire Valley: Your chateau hotel enjoys a high standard of creative cuisine and is featured in many prestigious food guides. Experience it for yourself with an elegant Celebration Dinner of fresh, seasonal produce and wine.
Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Normandy: L'Hôtel du Golf is located just 10 minutes from Deauville Beach, known as a weekend getaway for Parisians. With it's Tudor-style facade and tasteful, modern interiors, relax in comfort during your stay. Perhaps play a round of golf on one of the three 9-hoole courses, known as some of the most beautiful in France.
Saint-Malo: Hotel Le Nouveau Monde is a 4-star hotel, perfectly located in the heart of Saint-Malo, facing the sea and close to the old town.
Saint Patrice, Loire Valley: Stay two fabulous nights at the Château de Rochecotte in the Loire Valley, the former private estate of Prince Tallyrand and the Duchess of Dino. Sit with a drink on the terrace and enjoy the beautiful setting or take a stroll through the magnificent gardens.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search or foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Paris (flight not included)
On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. After checking in, the capital’s grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at Le Sud, a local brasserie with a Mediterranean-inspired menu.
Hotel: Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville.
Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of the Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets beneath the Great Clock to the Old Market Square. Here, a superb modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc on this very spot in 1431. Continue to the charming fishing town of Honfleur and to your luxurious hotel located in the chic seaside resort of Deauville.
Hotel: Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville, Normandy.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings.
2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which occurred on the 6th June 1944. Following the route of the Rangers and visiting the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Then with a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent near Omaha Beach before a visit to the D-Day Museum to see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay of Arromanches. There are poignant reminders of World War II as you travel past Juno and Gold beaches, which both played a part in the Normandy landings. This evening you are treated to a sumptuous dinner, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and local wines.
Hotel: Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville, Normandy.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo.
Journey through Bocage country for an exploration of the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. The abbey stands on an island and is reached by a causeway across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defences huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes and hotels. Continue along the Emerald Coast to stunning Saint-Malo, situated on the Rance Estuary and one of the most charming places in France. A Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the City of the Corsairs. Walk through the maze of streets of Intra Muros, the walled city, to the cathedral, the burial place of Jacques Cartier and other celebrated voyagers. At your leisure, you can wander around the ramparts of the thick city walls, offering fantastic views over the old town and the bay. By night, the town’s medieval maze of winding streets is abuzz with quaint bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you may wish to join an Optional Experience to Cancale, known throughout France of its oyster beds, for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other Breton specialties?
Hotel: Hôtel Le Nouveau Monde, Saint-Malo.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Scenic drive along the Loire Valley to the Chateau de Rochecotte.
Head south to follow the valley of the Loire, passing the moated Angers Castle. Cross the Loire to Saumur, where a local vintner will guide you through tastings of the region's delicious wines. Journey to the fairy-tale Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restorations, take your time to admire the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings.
Hotel: Château de Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Villandry Experience.
With a Local Expert, head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious gardens. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens – a stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil. Return to your own superb chateau for relaxation and free time. At night, your Celebration Dinner starts with a glass of local sparkling wine and continues with excellent service and delicious Farm-to-Table dishes in the most wholesome setting, ensuring the memory of your meal will linger long after you've returned home.
Hotel: Château de Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
Meal: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 La Beauce and Chartres to Paris, City of Light.
Travelling through the vast wheat fields of La Beauce, Chartres Cathedral looms large on the horizon. Auguste Rodin called it the 'Acropolis of France,' and once inside you can marvel at the beautiful stained-glass rose window which floods the cathedral with colour and light. From here, return to the French capital, where your Travel Director introduces you to all the fabulous sights including the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the immense facades of the Louvre. Behold the vast Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood, then travel down the Champs Elysées to Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe. After dark, the City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to experience one of the world-famous cabaret shows.
Hotel: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Au revoir Paris.
Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Italian Elegance (Summer 2019) 12 Days Italy Aug 16, 2019 $3090

Experience the epitome of Italy's historic cities, exquisite resorts, rustic towns and idyllic fishing villages.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Vatican City: Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
Florence: Stand beside Michelangelo’s monumental statue, David, in the Accademia Gallery, while an art expert explains the exquisite technique and absorbing history behind the world's most famous sculpture.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing as you watch artisans create delicate works of art.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Florence: During your guided walk see the cathedral, bell tower and Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. Visit the political heart of the city, Piazza della Signoria, and the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
Siena: With your Local Expert explore the cobbles streets of Siena. Learn about the Palio horse race while standing in Piazza del Campo. See the 14th century Town Hall and its Mangia Tower.
Siena: Led by your Local Expert, wander your way through the medieval streets to visit the black-and-white striped marble cathedral.
San Gimignano: Visit the medieval Manhattan of Italy!
Pisa: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
Lucca: Your orientation with your Travel Director will show you the churches, squares and palaces within the medieval ramparts.
Cinque Terre: With your Local Expert, cruise to and explore two of the villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Portofino: Cruise from Santa Margherita and get a taste of the sweet life in this elegant fishing village.
Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
Verona: During your orientation, walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
Cortina: Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Cortina, a small town framed by magnificent alps as your Travel Director conducts an orientation.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces where once the likes of Casanova would have come calling.
Scenic Drives: Fall in love with the iconic scenery of the rolling Tuscan Hills, the Apennines and Dolomites mountain ranges and the Italian Lake District.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Vatican City: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums and see Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Visit the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. Then you'll be privileged an exclusive VIP Highlight Dinner at the Vatican's Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, whilst enjoying views of the cupola of St. Peters, should weather permit.
San Gimignano: Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan gelato parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli for a taste of his finest frozen treats.
Tuscany: In the Tuscan countryside, where deep-green cypress trees pierce blue skies and olive groves hug the rolling hillsides, taste the wines of an eminent estate.
Lucca: Visit a traditional steam bakery and sample Buccellato, the sweet raisin bread typical of the region.
Cinque Terre: Savour a freshly-prepared Farm-to-Table meal, made of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients typical of the region.
Venice: Enjoy a special Venetian Celebration Dinner with wine in a restaurant situated in the heart of this historic city.
Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Tuscany: The Borgo San Luigi is a restored 17th century country palazzo, once owned by the Duchy of Tuscany, offering high-quality service in a peaceful setting in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.
Cortina d'Ampezzo: Encircled by the beautiful Dolomite Alps, Cortina's delightful Hotel Ancora is built in the characteristic Ampezzano style with wooden balconies and intricately carved and painted interior details.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome (flight not included)
On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. In this unique city, ancient monuments happily co-exist with some 900 churches, fine palaces, bustling piazzas, green parks and a vast urban sprawl. At 17:30, join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner, a fun evening of Italian cuisine and wine.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Rome with Vatican Dinner.
In the morning enjoy the very best of the city’s highlights including visiting the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican with your Local Expert. With some free time, why not head to the Colosseum to learn about the city’s ancient past? In the afternoon, enjoy special fast-tracked VIP entry into the Vatican Museums with a Local Expert. Admire the Papal art collection and observe the stunning Museo Gregoriano Profano which documents various moments and themes in classical art, from Ancient Greece through to the late Imperial Roman age. Enter the Sistine Chapel to marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece on its ceiling. After, dine in the Vatican's elegant Cortile del Giardino Quadrato, should weather permit, where you will enjoy incredible views of the cupola of St. Peter's during your private VIP Highlight Dinner.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia, Rome.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 3 Renaissance Florence and on to Monteriggioni.
Take the autostrada north to Renaissance Florence. Accompanied by an art expert, venture inside the famous Accademia Gallery to admire Michelangelo’s original statue, David. From there, see the cathedral, campanile and the baptistery, adorned with the Gates of Paradise. Walk on to Piazza della Signoria with its open-air gallery of Renaissance sculpture. There is time to shop for Florentine leather or gold before continuing to your elegant Tuscan villa near the walled town of Monteriggioni. After spending two days in the metropolis of Rome, your villa resort will be a welcome retreat. Rest in the shade of the lush, verdant gardens, swim in the pool, or participate in a variety of leisure activities.
Hotel: Borgo San Luigi/Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo, Monteriggioni, Tuscany.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Siena and San Gimignano.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit medieval Siena where narrow cobbled streets lined with palaces and patrician mansions, lead to Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race. Explore with your Local Expert and visit the beautiful, striped cathedral. Continue to hilltop San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers that scrape the azure Tuscan sky. Ascend serpentine alleyways to the artisan gelato parlour of world champion gelato maestro, Sergio Dondoli, for a taste of his finest frozen treats. On return to your hotel, stop at a local winery to sample some of the robust red wines of Tuscany and learn about their origins.
Hotel: Borgo San Luigi/Hotel Palazzo San Lorenzo, Monteriggioni, Tuscany.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5 The Chianti Hills to Pisa, Lucca and Santa Margherita.
Drive through the patchwork of vines, olives and cypresses that typify the Chianti hills. Head for Pisa and see the incredible Leaning Tower, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble, before continuing to the delightful town of Lucca. See a traditional steam bakery and taste the lavish loaves of buccellato, Lucca's sweet raisin anise bread. Should weather permit, cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to the elegant seaside village of Portofino, the epitome of la dolce vita. Enjoy leisure time to admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques or simply stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour. Continue along the coast to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.
Hotel: Best Western Regina Elena, Santa Margherita Ligure.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 The Cinque Terre.
Head for the port of La Spezia for a highlight of your travels, the Cinque Terre - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat. There is time to explore the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach before returning to your hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, perhaps make the most of the hotel’s private beach?
Hotel: Best Western Regina Elena, Santa Margherita Ligure.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Portofino and Lake Maggiore.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, head north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with lush subtropical vegetation.
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Verona and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Journey to the town of fair Verona, legendary home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. Enjoy free time to admire the well-preserved Roman Arena still used for opera performances, or perhaps recite Shakespeare’s immortal words and get cozy with Juliet’s well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Continue through the magnificent Dolomites, to the mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Hotel: Hotel Ancora, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 Experience the Dolomites.
(Relaxed Start) The whole day is free for you to explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites, one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. During summer, once the snow and ice have melted away, a breathtaking landscape is revealed. There are a number of walking tracks through pristine Alpine wilderness for the adventurous to explore, or for a more relaxed pace, perhaps take a thrilling Optional Experience cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360-degree views.
Hotel: Hotel Ancora, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 Venice, Queen of the Adriatic.
(Relaxed Start) Descend through the mountains to the romantic city of Venice. A private launch ferries you past canals lined with ornate palaces to St Mark’s Square. See the basilica, the Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs, before checking into your intimate and luxurious hotel. With the afternoon at leisure, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine?
Hotel: Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 The Magic of La Serenissima
(Relaxed Start) Visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Then there is free time to enjoy the magical atmosphere of this incredible city at your own pace. Mingle with the locals at the open air markets near the Rialto Bridge and explore the back lanes and squares where Venetians go about their day. Later, on your romantic gondola serenade, glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. In the evening, toast the finale of your journey with great food, wine and company at your Celebration Dinner in a magical setting.
Hotel: Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12 Arrivederci Venice.
Bid farewell to Bella Italia and your newfound friends. Your departure transfer arrives at Venice Marco Polo Airport at 08:00 or 09:30.
Meal: Breakfast

Country Roads of Ireland end Belfast (Summer 2019) 12 Days Ireland Aug 24, 2019 $2429

Experience the wild, enchanting coastal routes as you explore the Emerald Isle. Along the way you'll encounter ruined castles, quiet lakes, natural wonders and some legendary characters.

 

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a university insider.
Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud. Then visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life' as you wander by the beautiful floral displays.
Kilkenny: Kilkenny has the greatest amount of All-Ireland titles of its national sport of hurling. Meet a player to gain an exciting insight into this unique Irish cultural experience, through a demonstration of skill.
Killarney: Hear the history, legend and folklore of Killarney from a local Jarvey, while on-board a famous jaunting car ride.
Londonderry: There's no better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls. See the Gothic Guildhall and the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street.
Belfast: Meet Hilda, a true Belfast local, having lived in the same house her entire life. During your panoramic tour, hear the history of the city and learn why Hilda is proud of its progress and current prosperity. You'll also see the City Hall, Queen's University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O'Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
Cahir: See one of the largest castles in Ireland.
Cork: Relish this university city with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades of houses.
Blarney: Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the magical Ring of Kerry. Journey through Sneem, pass the Black Mountains, Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View.
Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive to Slea Head.
Adare: Experience a village walk through the main street lined with thatched cottages.
Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
Giant's Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns - a geological spectacle to behold.
Ballygally: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
Carrickfergus: See the immense Castle as your drive around it.
Scenic Drives: Irish scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world. Relax and admire the views as you travel past the Derrynasaggart Mountains, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Burren, the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal and the Antrim Coast.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Killarney: Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Your Farm-to-Table experience is all about locally-sourced ingredients prepared with skill, so that you can taste the freshness in every mouthful.
Ballygally: The Irish call it 'craic' - the warm feeling resulting from the confluence of music, drink, good food, laughter, and conversation. And after circumnavigating the Emerald Isle, there's bound to be a fair share of craic at your grand finale Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 2 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
Galway: Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
Londonderry: The Maldron Hotel Derry is the only hotel situated in Londonderry’s 17th century walls and very close to all that the city has to offer.
Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
Belfast: The Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers elegant décor, a contemporary bistro and a relaxing piano bar.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Dublin (flight not included)
On arrival at Dublin airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a meal with wine.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 In Dublin’s Fair City.
(Relaxed Start) Become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during an orientation of the city. Discover famous O’Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a university insider, who will share their insights into modern life and the establishment’s impressive history. The afternoon is free to explore.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 A Journey from Dublin to Cork.
In the morning, visit one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres. Continue to the acclaimed 100 year old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life’ during a walk through the beautiful surrounds. Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny, home of the world's fastest field game. The ancient Celtic sport of Hurling is over 3,000 years old and Ireland's national sport. Meet a player who will share his passion though a demonstration of skill. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film 'Excalibur', on the way to Cork. On arrival, your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city, with its vibrant waterfront and grand Georgian parades.
Hotel: Maldron Hotel South Mall, Cork.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Across the Mountains to Killarney.
(Relaxed Start) Travel to the ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Travel across the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the peaceful town of Killarney. For your Farm-to-Table dining experience, enjoy some Irish home cooking in the kitchens of chef John Sheehan. Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Then, settle down for a night of great food and drink in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5 Ring of Kerry Experience.
Start your day with a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys. Take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs as you appreciate sweeping sea views. Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll’s Gap to admire Queen Victoria’s Ladies View. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to hire a bicycle and enjoy one of the many scenic trails around the lake or through the National Park?
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Around the Dingle Peninsula.
In the morning, take to the wide skies, peaceful towns and coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula - the setting for the film Ryan’s Daughter. Drive to dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula’s far end, then continue through the picturesque thatched village of Adare and pass Limerick, famous for rhymes, before reaching your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, with access to the Dromoland Castle Estate.
Hotel: The Inn At Dromoland.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 The Cliffs of Moher and Galway.
Journey to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. On arrival, see the Lynch Memorial and Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his voyages to America. See the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 Free day Galway or Aran Islands.
(Relaxed Start) Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Aran Islands - a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 Londonderry.
Continue on to County Sligo, stopping at a peaceful churchyard in Drumcliffe to visit the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Admire the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal as you cross into Northern Ireland bound for the ancient walled city of 'Derry.' What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall.
Hotel: Maldron Hotel Derry, Londonderry.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 Walk in the Giant’s Steps on the way to Ballygally.
(Relaxed Start) Journey to the legendary Giant's Causeway, a geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava which burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago. Next, prepare yourself for miles of breathtaking beauty as you travel along the road clinging to the Antrim Coast. Continue onto your hotel, overlooking Ballygally Bay. For those who are brave enough, perhaps check out The Ghost Room, in one of the castle’s turrets? In the evening, please join us for a finale Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses.
Hotel: Ballygally Castle.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 11 The Antrim Coast to Belfast.
(Relaxed Start) Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet Hilda, your Local Expert, for a passionate city tour including views of the City Hall, Queen's University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.
Hotel: Europa Hotel, Belfast.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12 Depart Belfast.
Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 07:15 and Belfast International Airport at 08:00.
Meal: Breakfast

 

Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2019) 14 Days Switzerland Aug 27, 2019 $3715

An intimate journey of discovery amid stunning Alpine panoramas. This itinerary includes riding on the famous Glacier Express and staying in some of Switzerland's most enchanting hotels.

 

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife.
Bellinzona: Julia Guidotti is your Local Expert as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the capital of Italian Switzerland. Having married and now living in the region, Julia is very passionate to share her story and why she loves the area.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Zürich: Your Travel Director will show you the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster.
Lucerne: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge.
Bern: Your exploration with a local historian through Switzerland's capital includes seeing the floral displays, Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace, clock tower and Ogre Fountain.
Gruyères: Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères. Your Travel Director leads an orientation tour where you will see See the main street and 13th century castle.
Montreux: At the foot of the Alps this town boasts one of the most beautiful walks along Lake Geneva and there is free time to explore.
Chillon Castle: Led by your Local Expert, visit the castle set on a rocky islet in the lake. Following his walk through the dungeons in 1816, Lord Byron wrote the poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon'. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar.
Geneva: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the Jet d'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument.
Lake Geneva: Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
Martigny: View the Roman Amphitheatre during your orientation.
Sion: Your Travel Director will show you the two fortress-churches, the cathedral and Old Town Hall.
Zermatt: Ride the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway up to the traffic-free Alpine resort. Should weather permit, you may even see the majestic peak of the Matterhorn.
Zermatt: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this picturesque village, high in the mountains.
Baveno: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the cobbled streets and 16th century square.
St. Moritz: During your orientation of this alpine resort see the spa quarter and glacial lake.
St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you'd be mistaken! With your inclusive pass, travel on 13 cable cars, funiculars, chairlifts and select public transport options (when available). The crisp Alpine air is included in the deal.
Glacier Express: Travel on-board the world-famous Glacier Express, journeying through looping tunnels and dizzying viaducts. Enjoy a glorious adventure in the scenic heart of the Swiss Alps, only possible by rail.
Lauterbrunnen: Enjoy your orientation of the village that takes its name from 'many fountains,' referring to the 72 waterfalls that are within the surrounding valley.
Staubbach Falls: In the Valley of the Waterfalls, witness these magnificent falls that plunge 300 metres.
Grindelwald: Explore this glacier village during an orientation led by your Travel Director.
Brienz: Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
Scenic Drives: Swiss countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy drives along Lake Geneva, passing the Vaud Alps and Rhône Valley. Continue through the Simplon Pass, Italian Lake District, Grison Region, San Bernardino, Julier Pass and Engadine Valley. Journey by the Schöllenen Gorge, Grindelwald Valley, through the Brünig Pass and pass Lakes Lungern and Sarnen.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Lake Geneva: Visit Domaine Bovy, a family-run winery overlooking Lake Geneva. After a tasting enjoy delicious Farm-to-Table fare, of course accompanied with these local wines.
Zermatt: Choose between fine local restaurants, with an option to experience the typical Swiss meal of fondue, on your Dine-Around Evening.
Zürich: Raise your glass and enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant for your Celebration Dinner.
Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Montreux: Located in the heart of Montreux, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic of boasts luxurious facilities and spectacular views of Lake Geneva.
Zermatt: The unique Resort Hotel Alex is one of Switzerland's most original hotels, cleverly combining modern and traditional elements into a hospitality experience that’s full of fun and surprises.
St. Moritz: The elegant Crystal Hotel is located close to shops in the town centre, where all the prestigious names, including Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are lined up together.
Grindelwald: The stately Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof place you minutes away from the village center and offers a range of boutique facilities.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to Lucerne (flight not included)
Welcome to Switzerland, a land of snow-capped summits and romantic lakes that has attracted poets, musicians and travellers for centuries. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 18:00 for drinks, followed by a pleasant Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Ascend the summit of Mount Stanserhorn.
Step aboard a funicular railway and open-top cable car for a spectacular journey to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Admire unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains and, on a clear day see as far as Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about working in this serene area filled with wildlife and natural beauty. Return to the beautiful 14th century city of Lucerne to see its storybook wooden bridges, Baroque church and sorrowful Lion Monument. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to walk along the lake or perhaps shop for a special timepiece or chocolate.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Bern, Gruyères and Montreux.
Join a local English teacher in Bern to see the Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace and floral displays. Gather at the clock tower to watch the mechanical procession of painted figures before viewing the Ogre Fountain. Your travels continue into the wide, green valleys of the Vaud Alps with snowy summits filling the horizon. Continue through vineyards and alpine meadows to the fortified town of Gruyères, that gives its name to the well-known cheese. Enjoy time on your own to explore the pretty main street and 13th century castle. From Montreux, travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to visit Domaine Bovyand admire the stunning panorama overlooking the lake. Savour a tasting of these tantalising, local wines and delight in a delicious Farm-to-Table light supper.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Lake Geneva & the Swiss Countryside.
On the western bay of Lake Geneva, a Local Expert will show you the medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalised by Lord Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. Return to Montreux where the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own or relax as you wish at your quayside hotel.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise Experience.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a morning at leisure before before following the shores of the lake to the international city of Geneva, seeing the Jet D’Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. Next, relax in first-class comfort on the waters of Lake Geneva during a highlight cruise. This evening, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Martigny, Sion and the Matterhorn Village of Zermatt.
(Relaxed Start) Journey into the upper Rhône Valley to Martigny to view the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue to the town of Sion, dominated by two rocky peaks, each crowned with episcopal fortresses, and see the cathedral and Old Town Hall. Complete your journey via cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. This evening, take your pick from a selection a local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Perhaps you will delight in the typical Swiss dining experience of fondue?
Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Zermatt at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure possibilities: try swimming, hiking or spend a whole day relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds. Perhaps take a trip to the Kleiner Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?
Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 The Italian Lake District to Baveno.
Descend to Täsch for a scenic drive through Brig where you'll commence your ascent of the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping along the shores of Lake Maggiore. The afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 The Glamour and Glitz of St. Moritz.
Journey along the shores of Lake Maggiore, and head north to the three castles at Bellinzona to meet your Local Expert, Julia Guidotti, for a fascinating insight into this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally from the midwest of the USA, Julia was married in Ticino - the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland of which Bellinzona is the capital. Having lived in the area for many years, Julia is passionate about this city and is always keen to share her knowledge and delighted to assist with any questions you have about the region. Your travels continue through the Grison Region, travelling via San Bernardino and the town of Tiefencastel, as you follow the young Rhine River. Head east towards the Julier Pass and the glamorous resort of St. Moritz, set in the Engadine Valley with the majestic Grisons Alps towering above.
Hotel: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 Leisure Time in St. Moritz.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at leisure to jostle with the jet-set in the elegant boutiques or take an exciting train journey over the Bernina pass. To help you make the most of your day, your Travel Director will provide you with a mountain railways pass, offering free travel on all cable cars (when available), funiculars and chairlifts in Engadine St. Moritz.
Hotel: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 The Glacier Express and on to Grindelwald.
Step aboard the Glacier Express to experience one of the world’s great railway journeys. Cross the Landwasser Viaduct before heading down through the Oberalp Valley to rejoin the coach at Andermatt. Drive through the dramatic Schöllenen Gorge passing the Devil's Bridge. Marvel at the Wetterhorn Peaks as you travel along the Grindelwald Valley. Follow the sparkling Lütschine River to Lauterbrunnen, at the head of the Valley of Waterfalls, and see the Staubbach Falls plunge 300 metres from the plateau above.
Hotel: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12 Grindelwald at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further. Perhaps take a cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau mountain?
Hotel: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13 Rural Switzerland to Zürich.
Take in the spectacular lake views, as you journey to Brienz, famous for its woodcarving traditions. Visit the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre to trace the history of the trade back to the early days of the 19th century. Continue over the Brünig Pass and drive alongside the lakes of Lungern and Sarnen to return to Zürich. See the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster on an orientation of the city with your Travel Director. Join your travel companions at a local restaurant. Your Celebration Dinner is accompanied with wine - raise your glass to toast to your adventures.
Hotel: Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 14 Depart Zürich.
Your stylish hotel is conveniently situated only a five-minute drive from the airport. Complimentary transfers to the airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes.
Meal: Breakfast

Irish Elegance (Summer 2019) 8 Days Ireland Aug 18, 25, 2019 $2240

Showcasing the very best sights and scenery of Ireland including the Wild Atlantic Way and a night at the magnificent Ashford Castle.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entry to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a University insider.
Killarney: Join a Local Expert for a one-hour hike on wooded paths and lakeside trails along West Meadow Bay.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O'Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
Cashel: Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. Visit the spectacular rock, reputed to be the site of the conversion of King Aengus by St Patrick.
Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. You are invited to dangle from the ramparts of Blarney Castle to acquire the gift of the gab.
Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lakelands and remote villages as you travel the Ring of Kerry.
Shannon Estuary: Cross the estuary by ferry.
Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
Galway: See the stunning cathedral of the City of Tribes.
Connemara: Visit the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey, steeped in history and tales of tragedy and romance.
Cong: Enjoy time as you wish to explore this delightful, quintessential Irish village, used as the location for 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' See the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey.
Ashford Castle: On arrival to Ashford Castle, you are escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper for a majestic entrance fit for royalty.
Scenic Drives: The Irish scenery is one of the most beautiful in the world. Relax and admire the views as your travel along the Ring of Kerry and through County Clare, Burren and Connemara.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Ashford Castle: One of the finest culinary experiences in the world - a delicious Farm-to-Table menu awaits at you.
Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B), 2 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Dublin: Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.
Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
Galway: Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
Ashford Castle: Formerly the home of the Guinness family, the magnificent Ashford Castle is now an award-winning hotel boasting sumptuous suites, antique furniture and unique historic features in a regal setting. Its recent multi-million-dollar renovation only adds to its allure. Set in a 350-acre estate in the countryside, it is the perfect destination for those looking for a romantic getaway or for guests who simply want to get back to nature. Expect warm Irish hospitality and charm aplenty.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 In Dublin’s Fair city (flight not included)
Welcome to Dublin. On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Meet your Travel Director at 14:30 for an orientation tour that brings to life Dublin’s architectural treasures and history, stretching back more than 1,000 years. As you travel along O'Connell Street and the River Liffey you will see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle. Walk the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College while accompanied by a university insider who will share insights into modern life and the establishment's impressive history. Then, enjoy VIP priority entry to the 9th century Book of Kells. Back at your hotel, join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Cashel and Blarney, heading for Killarney.
Depart Dublin, and pass the famous Curragh Racecourse and green meadows where many of the finest Irish racehorses are bred. Driving south, stop to visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, crowned with medieval buildings that dominate the flat countryside for miles around. Continue to Blarney Castle where you climb to the ramparts and kiss the magical stone to ensure a lifetime of eloquence. Head to Killarney, where you may fancy a ‘pint of porter.' This town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs so in the evening why not join in the ‘craic’?
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 Ring of Kerry Experience.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, marvel at spectacular mountain and sea views as you travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. There is a chance to join a hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the spectacular scenery. Walk by West Meadow Bay and see Muckross House. While there are no mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. For those who do not want to join the hike, the coach will return to Killarney, where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 The Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway.
Cross the Shannon Estuary by ferry and enter County Clare. Stop at the Exhibition Centre and enjoy a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, raised approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves. Then travel north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape, scarred with interesting limestone creases. Journey to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and visit the lovely cathedral. Take in the scenery from your hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 Captivating Connemara.
(Relaxed Start) Embark on a superb excursion through the Connemara National Park and see a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Stop at lakeside Kylemore Abbey - a neo-Gothic mansion surrounded by lush, green forest; occupied today by a Benedictine community of nuns who came from Ypres after World War I.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Majestic Ashford Castle.
(Relaxed Start) Sitting on the edge of Lough Corrib and nestled on the border of County Galway and County Mayo, is the delightful Cong. You may recognise much of the town as it was used as the location in the 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' With free time to explore this quintessential Irish village, see the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey. Then a short drive down the road leads you to the highlight of your travels, where a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge to majestic Ashford Castle. Your exquisite hotel provides a romantic backdrop in superior surroundings, offering both relaxation and comfort. There are many opportunities to explore the vast estate, pamper yourself at the spa, or get to know the hawks and woodland surroundings at the hotel's falconry school. Dining at Ashford Castle ranks among the finest culinary experiences in the world. Creative cooking, locally sourced ingredients and an innovative menu await at your Celebration Dinner. Gentlemen, a jacket is required.
Hotel: Ashford Castle, Cong.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Across the Emerald Isle to Dublin.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and perhaps a stroll on the estate? Then cross the midlands to Dublin where the rest of the day is free for independent activities and maybe some last minute shopping.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Depart Dublin.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Grand Italy & Sicily (Summer 2019) 17 Days Italy & Sicily Aug 23, 2019 $4165

Explore the wonders of Italy, as you enter the Vatican Museum in VIP style, visit the fishing villages of the famous Cinque Terre and join an expert vintner for a tasting of Puglia’s most celebrated blends. From picture-perfect Capri to romantic Sicily, discover the very best of Italy.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Vatican City: Be among the select few to gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Venture inside St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.
Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the Living Room of Rome.
Venice: Visit an artisan showroom and workshop to see master craftsmen honouring age-old Venetian crafts.
Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with a Local Expert to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Pisa: Your Local Expert will show you the baptistery bristling with marble spines, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the 11th century cathedral and of course, the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles.
Cinque Terre: Led by your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site with dedicated time to explore two of the five charming fishing villages.
Portofino: Get a taste of the ‘sweet life’ when you visit this elegant fishing village, before cruising to Santa Margherita.
Italian Lake District: Experience the social ritual of la passeggiata.
Verona: During your orientation, walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, travelling through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
Florence: Enjoy a walking exploration with your Local Expert to see the Florence Cathedral, with its bell tower and baptistery and wander through the open-air gallery of Piazza della Signoria.
Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a leather-work demonstration.
Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
Isle of Capri: Explore Capri town with your Local Expert and see the whitewashed houses, winding alleyways, small cafes, fashionable boutiques and artisans studios.
Isle of Capri: Ride in style back to the port by open-top taxi.
Matera: Visit this UNESCO World heritage Site and see famous Sassi or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.
Alberobello: Led by your Travel Director, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the Trulli of Alberobello. Circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within, built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar.
Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
Palermo: With a local historian, see the Teatro Massimo en route to Quattro Canti Square to glimpse the Fountain of Shame.
Palermo: Visit Palermo Cathedral and walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for an up-close look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Florence: Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina dinner in the city known for its delicious cuts of steak.
Alberobello: Stop at a cellar for a local insight into the robust wines of the region with tasting.
Alberobello: After embracing the town as its natives do, enjoy Dine-at-Home experience as you are welcomed into the home of a local for a freshly-prepared meal, typical of the region. Dine with the family for dinner and learn more about their life.
Dining Summary: 16 Breakfasts (B) and 8 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Rome: Located in the heart of Rome, the luxurious Hotel Romanico Palace offers easy access to all the historical sites of the Eternal City.
Alberobello: The Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome (flight not included)
Rome is not only the modern capital of Italy, but also a spectacular encyclopedia of living history. You will be met on arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport. At 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30 transfers depart for your hotel. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 and get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
In the morning, you will be joined by a Local Expert to guide you through the art collection of the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican usually closed to visitors. More of Michelangelo’s genius is on display next door in St. Peter’s Basilica. With time at leisure, perhaps venture inside the Colosseum to learn about the mighty Gladiators? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Pisa and Santa Margherita Ligure.
Enjoy a delightful drive through rolling countryside dotted with cypress trees, passing vineyards and olive groves to Pisa. With a Local Expert, view the incredible Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. See the splendid cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. Your journey continues to the pretty seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure.
Hotel: Best Western Regina Elena, Santa Margherita Ligure.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 The Charms of the Cinque Terre.
Head for the famous Cinque Terre, which translates to Five Lands, located on a gorgeously wild yet hospitable part of the coastline and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit two of the picturesque fishing villages before taking the train to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then journeying on to Portofino. There is plenty of time for you to admire the coloured houses, browse the boutiques and stay a while in the cafe bars on the piazzetta, watching the yachts moored in the harbour. Should weather permit, return with a cruise along the rugged Ligurian coast to your hotel in the resort of Santa Margherita.
Hotel: Best Western Regina Elena, Santa Margherita Ligure.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Lake Maggiore.
(Relaxed Start) Head north to the beautiful Lake Maggiore in the Italian Lakes District and the town of Baveno, noted for its narrow cobbled streets and charming 16th century square. On arrival, settle into your hotel and take in the magical scenery. In the evening, why not join an optional cruise to Isola Bella to explore the palace and admire the stunning and immaculate Italian style gardens.
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 Fair Verona and onto Venice.
Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to romantic Verona, the setting of one of literature’s most tragic and best known love stories between star-crossed lovers. See the ancient Roman Arena, still used for opera performances and stand beneath Juliet’s balcony in a Renaissance courtyard of the supposed Capulet home - can you recite Shakespeare’s immortal words? Your travels continue through the Soave vineyards, passing Padua, and on to the canals of Venice.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 The Magic of La Serenissima.
(Relaxed Start) Even for the experienced traveller, there can be no better joy than waking up in Venice. Admire the art of glassblowing by master craftsmen when you visit a traditional arts centre on Giudecca Island. Then cruise by private launch along canals lined with ornate palaces to arrive at St. Mark’s Square where St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs await. Board your gondola to be serenaded through the beautiful canals, passing water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces. Relax amongst the romantic atmosphere as you drift along before having an afternoon to enjoy at leisure.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 A Scenic Journey to Florence.
Bid farewell to Venice and begin your journey to Renaissance Florence. Join your Local Expert to see Michelangelo's David when you visit the Accademia Gallery. Walk to the cathedral and see Giotto’s bell tower and the Gates of Paradise on the baptistery. Wander through the open-air gallery of Piazza della Signoria, gazing at statues such as Neptune, Hercules and Cacus, along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Your exploration will finish in front of the basilica where Michelangelo lies buried in Piazza Santa Croce, famous for its quality goods. Enjoy a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina steak dinner paired with delicious local wine, a specialty not to be missed.
Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 Florence, Birthplace of the Renaissance.
Start the day with a traditional Florentine leather-work demonstration, then there is plenty of time to shop with the rest of the day at your leisure. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to explore the hilltop town of San Gimignano?
Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 Ill-fated Pompeii and on to Sorrento.
Journey south through the volcanic hills of Frascati to Pompeii, which was buried in A.D. 79 by Mount Vesuvius' catastrophic eruption. Walk with a Local Expert through the preserved cobbled streets for a glimpse into the daily life of civilisation during the Roman Empire. Follow the clifftop road to the resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples.
Hotel: Hotel Regina, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
Meet your Local Expert and cruise to the beautiful Isle of Capri. The funicular railway takes you up to Capri town where you will explore the narrow alleyways and have time to browse exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by open-top taxi, just as the jet-set do and return to Sorrento where the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Regina, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 12 Sassi di Matera and Alberobello.
After breakfast, discover two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First you will visit Matera for an in-depth guided exploration of the extraordinary Sassi which are troglodyte dwellings and churches dug out of the rock. Here is the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean and were inhabited by about 20,000 people up until 1950. Matera was also used as the setting for 'The Passion of the Christ'. Continue to Alberobello, the second UNESCO World Heritage Site and your home for the next two nights.
Hotel: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 13 Alberobello.
(Relaxed Start) Join your Local Expert to admire the Trulli of Alberobello - small, circular structures with conical roofs and clustered together like mushrooms. They are built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar. Venture into the surrounding region, a paradise for wine-lovers. Join an expert vintner for a tasting of Puglia's most robust and structured red wines. For your Dine-at-Home experience, you are invited to join a local and their family. See Nonna making pasta and enjoy a freshly prepared meal together, traditional of southern Italy.
Hotel: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 14 Sicily and the Taormina Riviera.
The local roads will take you south, following the shores of the Gulf of Taranto to the mountainous Calabria region. Travel along the Purple Coast to the very 'toe' of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily. According to ancient legend, it was here at the Straits of Messina where the twin whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis carried unwary seafarers away to their doom! After you disembark, continue to the Taormina Riviera.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 15 Taormina and the Dawn Coast of Europe.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for a visit to the Greek theatre. Set on a cliff and open to the sky, take a moment to sit in this ancient theatre and absorb the view through the crumbling arches to Mount Etna. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina’s grandest building. Further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy at your own pace. Perhaps join an optional experience to Mt. Etna?
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 16 Palermo, Capital of Sicily.
Head to the Sicilian capital of Palermo. On arrival, your Local Expert will show you the highlights of the capital. Pass the huge Teatro Massimo to the Baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the beauties of the Fountain of Shame. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years and a venture inside will help you to appreciate the composite architectural styles. Next, head to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. With the outside completely covered in glittering 12th century mosaics, it provides an insight to what's within. Join your travelling companions and Travel Director at a local restaurant for an unforgettable Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine.
Hotel: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 17 Depart Palermo.
Your journey draws to an end with departure transfers arriving at Palermo's Falcone–Borsellino Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily (Summer 2019) 14 Days Italy & Sicily Aug 24, 2019 $3095

Experience the treasures of Rome, Pompeii and the Neapolitan Riviera. See the unique trulli houses of Alberobello and the Sassi di Matera, and witness the rich heritage of Sicily.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Rome: Explore the backstreets of Rome and experience local life, alongside a passionate Roman who will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures like the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, the Living Room of Rome.
Vatican City: Gain VIP access to the Vatican Museums and be among the select few to admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Admire the Popes’ treasure-trove and witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel before venturing inside St. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pietà, and the splendid dome.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of this ill-fated town.
Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.
Matera: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and see famous Sassi or cave dwellings, which were home to about 20,000 people until 1950.
Matera: With your Local Expert explore this town that Mel Gibson chose as the setting for his film 'The Passion of the Christ.'
Alberobello: With your Local Expert, explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the Trulli of Alberobello. Circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within, built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar.
Maratea: Wander through the rugged streets with your Travel Director to see why this peaceful little coastal town has been named the pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea.
Straits of Messina: Cross to Sicily by ferry.
Taormina Riviera: Visit the ancient Greek Ampitheatre with your Local Expert. Set on a cliff, open to the sky, take your seats and enjoy the view through the crumbling arches to snowy Mount Etna.
Taormina Riviera: During your orientation with your Travel Director, visit the courtyard of Palazzo Corvaja, seat of the first Sicilian parliament, and stroll along Corso Umberto to Piazza IX Aprile.
Agrigento: A Local Expert will lead you through the magnificent remains of the Greek colony in the Valley in the Temples. See the massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno.
Palermo: With a local historian, see the Teatro Massimo en route to Quattro Canti Square to glimpse the Fountain of Shame.
Palermo: Visit Palermo Cathedral and walk through the Palace of the Normans to stand in the jewel-like Palatine chapel for an up-close look at some of the finest examples of Norman art.
Scenic Drives: Admire the beauty of southern Italy as you travel along the Bay of Naples, past the Apennines and Calabria mountains, along Sorrento cliff top road and Capri cornich.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Alberobello: Meet the owner of Trattoria Terra Madre, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.
Taormina Riviera: Choose from our handpicked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening, each with its own ambience and distinctive cuisine.
Palermo: At a local restaurant, enjoy fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine at your Celebration Dinner.
Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Alberobello: The Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
Taormina Riviera: Overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Hilton Giardini Naxos boasts traditional Mediterranean hospitality and fabulous rooms and facilities.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome (flight not included)
On arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport, complimentary transfers leave for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner and the opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a family run restaurant near Via Veneto.
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 Rome with the Locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration with a Local Expert has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time to do as the Romans do. Perhaps join a tour to discover an unknown quarter of Rome, Trastevere?
Hotel: Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 VIP Vatican, St. Peters Basilica and onto Sorrento.
Meet your Local Expert, for a guided visit through the Vatican Museums, culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-tracked entry and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue with your Local Expert to visit St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Later depart for the picturesque resort of Sorrento, perched upon the southern cliffs of the Bay of Naples and looking over to Mount Vesuvius.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 Exploring Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
Wake up full of anticipation for your trip to Capri, the Isle of Dreams. Meet your Local Expert and cruise to the island. Under the Mediterranean sun, ride up to Capri town in one of the island's iconic open-top taxis, where you can explore the narrow alleyways, browse in exclusive boutiques and enjoy the views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Descend to the port by funicular railway and return to Sorrento where rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Pompeii, Matera and Alberobello.
Start your day in Pompeii, buried in A.D. 79 by the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Walk with your Local Expert through the cobbled streets to see a city frozen in time. Journey along the country roads to the ancient town of Matera, specially selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Meet with a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the extraordinary Sassi, a complex of cave dwellings carved into the mountainside, the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mel Gibson chose Matera as the setting for his film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Venture on to Alberobello.
Hotel: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 The Trulli of Alberobello.
(Relaxed Start) Admire another of Italy's record number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a Local Expert. The Trulli of Alberobello are circular structures with conical roofs that are domed within. They are built from local limestone and stacked without using mortar. In the evening, meet the owner of Trattoria Terra Madre, who will share his philosophy of using only organic, seasonal produce that he grows himself. See Nonna making orecchiette pasta, before savouring the fresh flavours of your Farm-to-Table Highlight Dinner.
Hotel: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 Alberobello at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) The day is free for you to enjoy this fascinating town. Perhaps visit Ostuni - reminiscent of a North African Arab Medina - with its stark, white-washed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and arched stairways? Later, relax and indulge in the facilities of your remarkable hotel.
Hotel: Grand Hotel La Chiusa di Chietri, Alberobello.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 Journey South to Maratea.
(Relaxed Start) The local roads take you south to the coastal town of Maratea. Known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian, its beautiful and peaceful location has offered an idyllic hideaway for many of the rich and famous over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Princess Diana. After checking into your hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure, you may wish to spend it relaxing by the pool, sipping cocktails and enjoying the spectacular views of the rugged coastline.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Pianeta Maratea Resort, Maratea.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9 To Sicily and the Taormina Riviera.
In the morning, travel along the Purple Coast to the very toe of Italy and board your ferry bound for Sicily across the Strait of Messina. According to ancient legend, it was here at the Straits of Messina where the twin whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis carried unwary seafarers away to their doom! You will soon arrive at your hotel where you will spend three glorious nights on the Taormina Riviera. Join a Local Expert for a visit to the Greek Theatre of Taormina, graced with the most spectacular of backdrops. Stroll on to the tiny courtyard of the Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina's grandest building. Further along the elegant Corso Umberto, the Piazza IX Aprile offers panoramic views. Take your pick of specially selected restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Free time on the Taormina Riviera.
(Relaxed Start) The day is at leisure to relax at your resort's private beach, or perhaps explore the medieval quarter? Don't miss the chance of an optional drive through the vineyards to Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 11 The dawn coast of Europe.
(Relaxed Start) Early risers may experience what D.H. Lawrence christened the ‘dawn coast of Europe.' The day is free to explore Taormina at your leisure or to embark on an Optional Experience to Syracuse, where you can witness Caravaggio's celebrated painting, the 'Burial of St. Lucy'. In the evening, venture to a local restaurant for a tasty meal accompanied by wine.
Hotel: Hilton Giardini Naxos, Taormina Riviera.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12 Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples and on to Palermo.
Drive to Agrigento, on the southern coast of Sicily, where the Valley of the Temples once formed part of the ancient Greek colony of Akragas. Meet with a Local Expert and walk along the fortified ridge of the Valley of the Temples. The massive Temple of Concord and clifftop Temple of Juno, overlooking the sea, are especially impressive. In the afternoon, continue to the Sicilian capital of Palermo.
Hotel: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 13 Palermo and the Golden Age of the Normans.
Join a historian to see the highlights of the city. Pass the huge Teatro Massimo to the Baroque Quattro Canti Square and glimpse the beauties of the Fountain of Shame. Palermo Cathedral has been altered over the years and a venture inside will help you to appreciate the blend of architectural styles. Continue to the amazing Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans. Outside, there are few clues to its astonishing interior, completely covered in glittering 12th century mosaics. In the afternoon, there is free time to explore or shop in Palermo or continue sightseeing. In the evening, join your fellow guests and Travel Director at a local restaurant for a Celebration Dinner of delicious local cuisine and wine.
Hotel: Best Western Ai Cavalieri Hotel, Palermo.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 14 Depart Palermo.
Your journey draws to an end. Departure transfers arrive at Palermo Falcone–Borsellino Airport at 06:00 and 08:00.
Meal: Breakfast

Best of Italy end Naples (Summer 2019) 10 Days Italy Aug 31, 2019 $2805

Roman antiquities, saintly Assisi, Venetian canals, Renaissance Florence and Capri’s brilliant sunlight come together on this superb journey across Italy, with the option to end in Naples or Rome.

Included:

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES
Rome: Sightsee the local way with a leisurely passeggiata through the backstreets, where a friend in Rome will explain how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
Vatican City: Gain VIP fast-track entrance into the Vatican Museums and enjoy a special private viewing of the Bramante Staircase before admiring the genius of Michelangelo's painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. You'll also visit St. Peter's Basilica.
Florence: Gain a fascinating insight into the work of Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David, with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing while watching artisans create delicate works of art.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum. You will also see other medieval buildings, including Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered throughout the city.
Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over of the city and see the Florence Cathedral. During your guided walking orientation, see the bell tower, Gates of Paradise on the baptistery and visit Piazza della Signoria.
Florence: Witness a leather-work demonstration and visit the area around Piazza Santa Croce, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
Venice: Enjoy a traditional gondola serenade along the romantic canals.
Assisi: With your Local Expert, visit this hill-town with its stone-built structures. See Mount Subasio and the Church of St. Mary of the Angels.
Assisi: Find out why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe with a Local Expert.
Sorrento: Perched upon the cliffs, lookout to see the mighty Mount Vesuvious across the Bay of Naples.
Isle of Capri: Cruise to this famous isle through beautiful blue Mediterranean waters to meet your Local Expert.
Isle of Capri: Wander through the narrow streets led by your Local Expert and see all the boutiques as you enjoy captivating sea views.
Isle of Capri: In unique style, ascend by open-top taxi and return to the port by funicular.

AUTHENTIC DINING
Tuscany: Taste locally-made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. Visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote 'The Prince.'
Sorrento: Enjoy a glorious Celebration Dinner of fresh, rustic dishes served with local wine.
Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE
Assisi: Hotel Giotto Assisi is located in the centre of the medieval village of Assisi with beautiful views over the Umbrian countryside. Guest rooms are decorated in local Umbrian style.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Day 1 Rome the Eternal City (flight not included)
Welcome to Rome, a glorious city filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers depart from Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport for the your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Join your Travel Director at 17:30 for a uniquely Roman Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 VIP Vatican and Rome with a Local.
The day is devoted to the Eternal City. Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art treasures collected by the Popes. Insight has arranged special VIP entry to avoid the lines and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to visitors. Visit the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected, to admire Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, to wonder at another of his works, the emotive ‘Pietà,’ and stand beneath the dome completed after his death. There’s free time to do as the Romans do, or perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum? Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and our included walking exploration has it in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain, see the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from the Roman period, and enjoy free time in Piazza Navona.
Hotel: Hotel dei Borgia/Hotel Romanico Palace, Rome.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 Renaissance Florence.
Travel north through glorious, peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Visit the Italian garden for views of Florence's iconic domed cathedral and see the historic cellar which connects to one of the oldest restaurants in Italy by a secret underground tunnel. Taste wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Continue on to Renaissance Florence.
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 Florence Sightseeing.
Join an art historian for a walking orientation of the historic city centre. A highlight is the visit to the Accademia Gallery to study Michelangelo's monumental statue, David. Continue to the multi-coloured marble cathedral to admire Giotto's bell tower and Gates of Paradise, recreated in all their glory. Visit the Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence, and explore the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. After a demonstration of leatherwork, there's free time to shop or venture on your own. In the evening, why not sample the fine Florentine cuisine of tasty starters and rich pastas accompanied by Chianti wine?
Hotel: Hotel Athenaeum Florence/Hotel Londra.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 Pisa to Venice, the Queen of the Adriatic.
In the morning, journey to the coastal town of Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles as well as the baptistery, with its intricately detailed marble facade, and the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral. Then relax and enjoy the scenery as you cross the spectacular Apennine Mountains, through the Emilia-Romagna region - one of Europe's most intensely farmed fertile plains. Continue through the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon before crossing the causeway into the floating city of Venice.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 6 Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, visit an arts centre on Giudecca Island will allow you to admire the age-old skill of glassblowing by skilled artisans. After, board a traditional gondola for a serenade along the romantic canals. In the afternoon, your private boat takes you past Palladian churches and 13th century palaces to St. Mark's Square. The first sight is the pink marble of the Doge's Palace, connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. It was from here that Casanova made his daring escape. Turn the corner, and the gilded regalia of St. Mark's Basilica comes into view.
Hotel: Bellini Venezia, Venice.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 Into the Hills of Umbria to Assisi.
(Relaxed Start) Leave Venice and journey to peaceful Assisi, one of Italy's most beautiful mountain towns. In the valley, see the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, much venerated as the place of St. Francis' death, then continue up Mount Subasio to the upper town. With your Local Expert, step inside the huge Basilica of St. Francis, built in the 13th century, where the frescoes by Giotto heralded a new era in Italian art.
Hotel: Hotel Giotto Assisi.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 8 Sorrento on the coast.
(Relaxed Start) Travel south passing Cassino, the scene of a fierce battle during World War II. Follow the spectacular clifftop road to the picturesque resort of Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvious. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 Capri, the Isle of Dreams.
In the morning, cruise to the Isle of Capri. Under the Mediterranean sun, take one of the island's iconic open-top taxis up to Capri town where your Local Expert will take you around the narrow alleyways to browse exclusive boutiques and enjoy views over the Tyrrhenian Sea. Perhaps join an optional cruise around Capri? Descend to the port on a funicular ride and return to Sorrento for some time to relax. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a memorable Celebration Dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and wine.
Hotel: Hotel Regina/Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto, Sorrento.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 10 Transfer to Naples Airport.
In the morning, transfers arrive at Naples airport at 06:00 and 08:00.
Meal: Breakfast