Paris and Madrid Educational Tour

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Paris and Madrid tour map

Paris and Madrid

8 Days Paris 3 • Madrid 3


Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a triple basis. Double rooms: $240 per person.


Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline.


All breakfasts. All dinners.


Services of a specially-trained passports Tour Director throughout.


Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.

Travel Protection

passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.

Days 1-2: Arrival Paris

Arrival transfer

Day 3: Paris

Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris: Local Guide

Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral

Seine River cruise

Day 4: Paris

Optional Excursion to the Loire Valley: Visit to the Château de Chenonceau, Lunch in Chenonceaux, Visit to the Château de Chambord, Chambord HistoPad interactive tablet

Eiffel Tower Level Two: Optional Eiffel Tower Summit, Optional Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

Day 5: Paris - Madrid

Departure transfer, Flight Paris-Madrid, Arrival transfer

Day 6: Madrid

Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Visit to the Prado Museum, Prado headset

Day 7: Madrid

Optional Excursion to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen: Local Guide

Day 8: Departure

Departure transfer

Days 1-2: Arrival

Weeks, or even months of preparation come to fruition at last as you board your airplane bound for Europe and the glittering jewel at her heart, Paris, the "City of Light." Bienvenue!

Settle into your hotel, then set out to explore one of the world's most beautiful capital cities.

You may want to head to Montmartre, Paris' highest hill and its most celebrated bohemian district. Artists still flock to the charming Place du Tertre, as they did when Toulouse-Lautrec painted the French Cancan dancers at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the city as they make their way to the Sacré-Coeur, the white-domed basilica that anchors the Parisian skyline.

Day 3: Paris City Sightseeing, Excursion to Versailles, RER train to Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Seine River Cruise

Set out on a coach tour of the city in the company of a local guide. On the Right Bank of the River Seine, see Napoléon's Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde, and the exuberant Opéra Garnier. On the Left Bank, discover the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Local Guide

A full-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Paris and its surroundings, will accompany your group.

Visit to the State Apartments and Hall of Mirrors

Enjoy a bit of relevant French history today at the palace where the Sun King, Madame de Pompadour and Queen Marie-Antoinette all come to life. In this ultimate example of Baroque architecture, you will marvel at the lavish decoration, abundant gilding and exuberant ornamentation, particularly in the Royal Apartments of Louis XIV and in the Hall of Mirrors. Imagine the sense of self-importance that must have inflated the egos of these kings and queens.

Then, take a stroll around the Main Gardens.

Return to Paris using the efficient RER transit system.

Visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral

Cross the River Seine to get to the boat-shaped island known as the Ile de la Cité, the very heart of the ancient city which the Romans called Lutetia. There, visit Notre-Dame de Paris. This cathedral has presided over centuries of glorious and somber French history, from its construction in the Middle Ages to its desecration during the French Revolution, and the coronation of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1804 (the 35-year-old upstart crowned himself emperor, with the Pope and all of Europe watching). Admire its bas-reliefs, statuary, gargoyles and remarkable rose windows.

Seine River cruise

See Paris transformed into a wonderland like no other during a cruise along the River Seine.

Day 4: Paris, Optional Excursion to the Loire Valley, Eiffel Tower

Plan your free time or consider an optional excursion.

Optional Excursion to the Loire Valley

An excursion takes you into the very essence of the history and culture of France. See two of France's loveliest châteaux, which define the sophistication of the Renaissance.

Visit to the Château de Chenonceau

Visit the prettiest of the Loire Valley châteaux, which spans the River Cher. In 1547, King Henri II gave this property to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. On her orders, splendid gardens were added and a bridge was built to link the castle to the other bank of the Cher. The famous gallery later erected upon that bridge by Queen Catherine de Medici served as an escape route during World War II between Nazi-occupied northern France and unoccupied southern France.

Lunch in Chenonceaux

Lunch is included on this excursion.

Visit to the Château de Chambord

Visit the largest of the Loire Valley castles, with 440 rooms and 80 staircases. At the age of 25, King François I decided to build this sumptuous residence, but over the 32 years of his reign he spent only 42 days at Chambord! Today, visitors marvel at the park (enclosed by a wall 18 miles long), at the grand façade, and at the spirals of the Grand Escalier, which cross and recross as they rise from the Salle des Gardes to a 100-foot turret crowning a roof adorned with 365 chimneys!

Let the 3D and virtual reality technology of your HistoPad Chambord fill up castle rooms as they were in their heyday, back in the 16th century, while you listen to automatically triggered commentaries.

Eiffel Tower Level Two

Take an elevator to the deuxième étage of the most famous cast iron structure ever built, la Tour Eiffel, for an unforgettable panorama of Paris.

Optional Eiffel Tower Summit

Availability permitting, you'll ascend to the third level of the tower.

Optional Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

Enjoy a three-course dinner at the restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel.

Day 5: Paris, Flight to Madrid

Enjoy some free time in Paris today.

Take a stroll along the glamorous Avenue des Champs-Elysées, which stretches for more than a mile from the Place de la Concorde, where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette encountered Dr. Guillotin's invention and their fate. The obelisk at the center of the square was presented by Egypt to France in 1831 and dates back to the 13th century BC, a relic of Ramses II. In the vicinity stands the Palais de l'Elysée, built in 1718, which now serves as the residence of the President of the Republic. At the other end of the avenue, the Arc de Triomphe looms over the city's craziest rotary. (You may want to climb up to the monument's platform for a great overview of the area!)

You may wish to visit the Musée de la Parfumerie Fragonard housed in the Théâtre des Capucines, a theater built in 1900 that was transformed into a museum in 1993. Its collections illustrate the history and manufacture of perfume. A mini-factory with a 19th-century copper distilling apparatus demonstrates the extraction of essences. Visitors also learn all about the esoteric artistry of the "Noses."

Check out Rue Cler, a pedestrian-only street lined with shops that are quintessentially French. You will see boulangeries with crunchy breads, pâtisseries with scrumptious pastries, boucheries and charcuteries with their array of meats, poissonneries with freshly caught seafood and fromageries with the proverbial 365 kinds of French cheeses. There are also wine shops and épiceries with fresh fruit and produce. In addition, every morning (except Mondays) and again in the late afternoon (except Sundays), Rue Cler hosts an open-air market whose stalls overflow with more foodstuff and goods. This is the place to shop for a truly-French picnic (there's a park nearby).

Flight to Madrid

Today's flight takes you from France to Spain.

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Madrid, the bustling capital of Spain.

Get settled in your madrileño hotel and explore your surroundings.

Day 6: Madrid City Sightseeing, Madrid

On a tour of the city, you will be introduced to the sights and the city grand squares: Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España with the Cervantes Monument, Gran Vía, Calle Alcalá, Plaza de Colón, and Plaza de Cibeles with its fountains.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Madrid and its surroundings, will accompany your group.

Visit to the Prado Museum

View world-famous paintings by El Greco, Goya, and Velázquez, and much. much more, at the magnificent Museo del Prado.

Prado headset
Free time in Madrid

The remainder of the day is free to plan as you wish.

For lunch, why not duck into a sidewalk mesón for a sopa de pescado or some calamares?

Consider a visit to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which houses one of the largest private collections of paintings ever assembled, with some 800 works ranging from the 13th century to the present day.

Day 7: Optional Excursion to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen, Madrid
Optional Excursion to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen

Set out for the the wooded slopes of Mt. Abantos, watershed of the Guadarrama River, where Spanish royalty retreated from the summer heat and from the bustle of the capital city.

Travel to the religious retreat of King Philip II, El Escorial, where he and other Spanish kings lie buried. On a guided tour, see the Royal Pantheon and Crypt of the Royal Children, the apartments of King Philip, and the basilica with Titian's fresco of St. Lawrence's martyrdom, as well as the lavish library which contains 40,000 rare manuscripts, including St. Teresa of Avila's diary.

Then, head to the Valley of the Fallen, nestled in the Guadarrama Mountains. Intended as a monument to Fascism, this site is now a memorial to soldiers from both sides who died during the 1936-39 Civil War. See the world's largest monumental cross and the entrance to the underground basilica (currently closed to visitors) that General Franco ordered carved inside a hill of solid granite by prisoners of war. Walk across the vast esplanade for a panoramic view of valleys and mountains.

Local Guide

A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Madrid and its surroundings, will accompany your group.

Free time in Madrid

The afternoon is unscheduled.

Stroll through Retiro Park. Once royalty's playground, El Parque del Retiro now opens its gardens and recreational areas to the public. You may be tempted by a row boat ride on the lake (you row!), or by a solar boat ride (you relax!).

Of course, in Spain one must experience the tapas, the delightful snacks served in any bars de tapas; why not sample them today?

Day 8: Departure

¡Adios España! Madrid's airport recedes and you're 500 miles closer to home with each hour in the air. Race the sun westward, arriving home later today, eager to share your experiences with family and friends.

Departure Date is required.
Departure City is required.


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