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Barcelona to Milano - Along the Cote d'Azur

Dynamic Outdoors

Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM - Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM (EDT)

Barcelona to Milano - Along the Cote d'Azur

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The luscious strip of coastline in the far south-east corner of France is officially contained within the département of the Alpes-Maritimes. The Côte d'Azur stretches from Théoule-sur-Mer in the west to Menton on France's border with Italy. Along the way take in Cannes, Nice, Antibes and even another country, the principality of Monaco (Monte Carlo). The mention of such names evokes the sun-drenched and easy-going lifestyle that the French Riviera (aka the Côte d'Azur) has to offer. Whatever you call it, the "azure coast" provides all the glitz and glamour you could wish for – as well as beaches, dramatic coastal vistas, medieval villages and untamed wilderness.

The Côte d'Azur may seem to be one long and crowded, sun-and-champagne-soaked party, but there are plenty of places where you can get away from it all. Nine out of 10 of the Alpes-Maritimes's one million inhabitants occupy its 120km coastal strip, so that leaves the rest – a stunning wilderness of snow-capped mountains, pine-clad valleys and undiscovered villages – to explore.

Rocky headlands, shingle and golden sand: you can find it all on the Côte d'Azur. Beaches are usually divided into public and private – the latter have entrance fees and offer facilities such as sun-loungers and restaurants. The Plage Mala, in Cap d'Ail, is where you'll find the beautiful people, and where you can party and sip cocktails well into the night. On Cap d'Antibes, the Plage de La Garoupe found immortality in F Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, and is one of the most beautiful beaches on the coast.

An optional deviation, The Painters of the Côte d'Azur, leads you in the footsteps of some of the Riviera's most celebrated creative residents and visitors, including Picasso, Chagall, Monet, Renoir and Bonnard. With this itinerary, we can visit the towns where they painted: Le Cannet, Mougins, St-Paul-de-Vence, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer and Menton. Each point has a board erected on the spot where the artist set up their easel, a reproduction of the painting and accompanying information.

Highlights Include: (but not limited to)
* Barcelona and its many sites of world fame
* Pond du Gard, The Roman aqueduct of Nîmes
* Avignon and Chateau du Pape, the seat of papal power for more than a century
* St-Tropez and its super yachts lined harbor
* Vieux Nice, the old town honeycomb of narrow streets, dotted with beautiful Baroque churches 
* Monaco, celebrity spotting in Monte Carlo

Included:
All transfers and ground transportation in private van
All destinations as per itinerary
All hotel accommodations

Not Included:
International airfare, please arrive in Barcelona any time on Friday, July 3
(Please note: the itinerary will end in Milano, please let us know if you need help with the airline tickets, we still have a few ways to obtain very reasonably priced air fares)
Meals and optional activities

Optional Activities:  Sailing, wine tasting, museums, and much more...

Pricing:  (Land Package only)
$1,050 - if you make deposit by April 23
$1,150 - if you make deposit by May 14
$1,250 - last minute, if space still available
Only $200 deposit to hold your spot; only 6 spots available

RSVP/ Questions:  IgorBass@DynamicOutdoors.com

Itinerary:
Thursday, July 2
Take any convenient overnight flight from New York to Barcelona
We are happy to help you find the best airline connection

Friday, July 3 - Barcelona
Airport pick up and transfer to the city center and our hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you will have a full day or half day to explore what makes Barcelona so amazing:  This beautiful place is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core centre of town, focused around the Ciutat Vella ("Old City") provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.  Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain's second largest city, with a population of over one and half million people.  Walk around the winding streets and hidden squares, fountains and palaces in the Barri Gòtic (Ciutat Vella).
End of day, suggested group dinner and drinks at a local bar.

Saturday, July 4 - Barcelona
After breakfast, we'll have a second day to venture into all that Barcelona has to offer; for example the Harbour Cable Car. The 1450 metre long harbour aerial tramway connects Montjuic and Barceloneta. It starts in Barceloneta on the top of the 78 metre tall Torre San Sebastian tower, which has also a restaurant at its top accessible by an elevator. It has an intermediate stop at Torre Jaume I tower (close to Columbus monument), which can be reached by elevator from ground. (The 107 metre tall tower is the second tallest aerial tramway support tower in the world. Or the Gaudi architecture and Modernist Barcelona; the famous Parc Güell in Gràcia, the Sagrada Família in Eixample and the houses La Pedrera/Casa Milà and La Casa Batlló.

Optional Activity/ Group Choice: Chartered yacht tour out onto the Balearic Sea for a day on the water. Sailing on a skippered boat to discover the wonders of the Catalan coastline.  (Half day or full day options available)
Alternative Option: take it easy with a visit to the beach: Named the #1 Beach City in the world by National Geographic, Barcelona's beaches are world-renowned. Although locals prefer that you do not stroll through the city in beachwear, the beaches themselves have a very open and relaxed atmosphere. You'll find fun and friendly "chiringuitos" common on Spanish beaches that offer you a place to sit down and listen to music while you have a drink and grab a bite to eat directly on the sand as you watch beach-goers strolling by.
End of day, suggested group dinner in Las Ramblas and maybe a dive into Barcelona's night life and club scene.

Sunday, July 5 - Barcelona to Montpellier
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll enjoy our drive north and into France, with frequent stops for photo shots and coffee breaks along the Spanish and French coast lines.  We will aim for Argeles sur Mer as our lunch destination, where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean, for some delicious seafood. Argeles sur Mer beach, South of France, is a broad sweeping bay that looks out onto the Pyrenees and the warm Mediterranean. Argeles Plage is one of the best beaches in South of France and the Languedoc coast, it has a blue flag award to recognize the quality of the water and cleanliness of the beach. Argeles-sur-Mer itself has along with nearby Canet, become a major Mediterranean beach resort, with excellent facilities and a big harbour area. The town also boasts some excellent restaurants and interesting shops.
Activity Option: Hiking Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a truly beautiful walk which includes several spectacular viewpoints: over Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert across the Hérault river, over the Hérault gorges and over the famous medieval Pont du Diable (Devil's Bridge). This bridge is part of the route of "El Camino de Santiago" (Way of St. James), a famous pilgrimage many hikers take from France to Spain.  
Before that, we follow a delightful track along vineyards, visit the idyllic Saint-Sylvestre-des-Brousses chapel and then spend some time on the serene Montcalmès plateau. The hike is a shorter version of this route: Les balcons de l'Hérault, which avoids the village of Puéchabon. It would be an easy hike if it were not for the newly built rocky path down to Pont du Diable, which is fairly steep but otherwise presents no particular difficulty. At the end of the walk, we can stop at a scenic riverside café and explore the Pont du Diable and its popular 'beach' at leisure.

End of day, suggested group dinner and drinks in a local restaurant, Montpellier.

Monday, July 6 - Montpellier to Marseille

After breakfast, we'll head to the famous Pont du Gard: one of the most grandiose examples of Roman engineering genius; the Pont du Gard stands 165 feet tall and 275 meters across. The bridge's 35 arches majestically straddle the River Gard. We will take our time for a hike along the river bank and offer the option to rent a canoe or kayak to paddle underneath the 2,000 !! year old bridge.
We will aim for Avignon to enjoy lunch and an afternoon stroll by the Palais des Papes.
Activity Option: Hiking Cirque de Labeil: An intermediate hike, spectacular and full of variety and contrasts:  At the bottom of this limestone cirque (in the shape of an amphitheater), we'll pass a fast-flowing river and the notable mediterranean scenery of olive trees and vineyards. In contrast, at the top we'll reach a dark spruce and beech forest with moss-covered rocks and later a dry, desolate plateau (this is the edgde of the Larzac and Escandorgue plateaux), covered with amazing dolomite rocks sculpted by the wind.
End of day, suggested group dinner and drinks in a local restaurant, Marseille.

Tuesday, July 7 - Marseille to St-Tropez
Today will continue our journey along some of the most amazing coastline France has to offer. The short ride from Marseille to Saint-Tropez will be dotted with frequent stops in towns such as Cassis, Toulon, and many hidden gems that will make for amazing photo opportunities. Lunch along the way in a waterfront or hilltop restaurant. Early arrival in St-Tropez will allow us time to explore the town and peninsula, its fine beaches and great eating and shopping. The evening is open to explore on your own. 
Activity Option: Hiking, rock climbing, or kayaking at Les Calanques:  South of the megalopolis that is Marseille, with its packed population in excess of 1.6 million, lurks a world of blinding white limestone, fragrant herbs, and the brilliant blue of the Mediterranean. The contrast really couldn't be more dramatic and once on the cliffs, one can be in complete isolation in magnificient surroundings.  We will have the option to visit the popular town of Les Goudes and/ or the way more picturesque fishing village of Calanque de Morgiou and decide on the activities of choice upon arrival.
End of day, suggested group dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.

Wednesday, July 8 - St-Tropez to Cannes
After a leisurely morning start, we're continuing east along the coast to Canne.  Once a small fishing village, Cannes is now a glamorous and luxurious seaside town considered to be one of the social hubs of Europe. Its moment to shine arrives in May as the venue for the Cannes Film Festival, entertaining the rich and famous. We will aim to check out the beauty and architecture of Le Suquet, with its cobbled streets and breathtaking views, or sit at street side tables and enjoy the favoured hobby of people watching up and down the lovely marina. Cannes' main thoroughfare is the Croisette, where you might catch a glimpse of a mega-star being bundled into a waiting limo.
Activity Option: Hiking, rock climbing, or biking at Saint-Raphael:
For the more ambitious, we can set you up to bike from Pilier de Soleil, all along and right on the coast all the way and into Cannes.  Alternative, we will venture out to the Massif de l'Esterel and hike up the Pilier de Soleil, an intriguing range of wooded hills, which plug the gap in the coast between Cannes and Frejus. This rock of red granite rises up to 2,000 feet above the sea and the Port du Poussai.
End of day, suggested group dinner and possibly drinks at a local restaurant, Cannes.

Thursday, July 9 - Cannes to Nice
A special treat for today: Optional stop in St-Paul-de-Vence, with its ancient ramparts and unique position teetering on a hill, is frequently cited as one of France's most captivating villages. It's also an important stop on the art-lover's itinerary.  Further east, after a short drive, we will arrive in Nice: a popular destination for vacationers both young and old, with something to offer for everyone. It is well known for the beautiful view from the Promenade des Anglais, its famous waterfront, and is an ethnically diverse port city. We will aim to visit the Colline du Chateau overlooking the Baie des Anges and harbour offering a spectacular vantage point overlooking the city and the old town (Vieux Nice). Beneath the hill is a maze of streets and alleys, with many picturesque houses, boutiques and home to the daily flower and fruit market of the Cours Saleya.

Near the central bus terminal, there is also the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) with four connected towers featuring modern and contemporary artists and their sculptures, paintings, and conceptual installations. Its open-air roof terraces offer one of the best panoramas of the city. The prize for the location with the deepest history goes to Eze, which occupies a magical spot 429m above sea level, just off the Moyenne Corniche and a short drive from Nice. Eze was one of the first settlements established by the Gallo-Romans. Its strategic position meant that it passed into different invading hands several times, with everyone from the Moors to the House of Savoy staking their claim. A wander around its labyrinth of streets, stopping off to visit its botanical gardens and generally soaking up the views, is a must.
End of day, suggested group dinner and night out and about town, Nice.

Friday, July 10 - Nice to Monaco
After breakfast, it will be like a skip over to Monaco: Monte Carlo - Somerset Maugham may have described Monte Carlo as "a sunny place for shady people", but its hedonistic formula of sunshine, casinos, high-rise apartments, ritzy shops and a yacht-filled harbour makes for an entertaining stay.  
The principality of Monaco is a tiny city-state on the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by France, although the Italian Riviera lies a few kilometres farther east. This is the second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican) and is almost entirely urban.

Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided into four areas: Monaco-Ville (the old city), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry). With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and the world's most densely populated independent country. The city's old town, Vieux Nice, is an atmospheric tangle of tiny streets lined with shutter-clad town houses and appealing restaurants. The Brits were not the only nationality with a taste for the Riviera lifestyle: the Russians even erected their own place of worship, the orthodox cathedral of St-Nicolas, on avenue Nicolas II, with its six glittering onion domes. 

We will aim to visit as many of the following as we can; however, it is entirely open to you which ones you'd like to add or to skip: Monaco-Ville, Palais Princier (Prince's Palace) in old Monaco-Ville, Monaco Cathedral, Jardin Exotique, and La Condamine is the second oldest district in Monaco, after Monaco-Ville. Here you can stop and marvel at the many luxurious yachts and cruise ships which usually adorn the docks in the marina.
End of day, suggested group dinner and possibly drinks at a local restaurant, Monaco.


Saturday, July 11 - Monaco to Milano
After breakfast, we will transfer to Milano, riding along the coasts of France and into Italy. The departure time will be a group choice, depend which location inspires more time to be spent at. Either the morning or afternoon are open to explore or shop on your own.  
Activity Option: Hiking and/ or rock climbing high above Monte Carlo, where the Maritime Alps complete their tumble down to reach the shores of the Mediterranean.  The city is ringed by picturesque hills, ancient fortified towns, and high cliffs.  Hiking up to La Turbie, we aim to enjoy a light hike or more, overlooking the coastline with views stretching as far as Italy and the Ligurian Coast.
End of day, suggested group dinner and night out on the town, Milano.

Sunday, July 12 - End of Itinerary
After breakfast, airport transfer to meet your outbound flight back to Barcelona or New York
(Please book a flight leaving no later than 1pm for us to facilitate the transfer)

RSVP/ Questions:  IgorBass@DynamicOutdoors.com

Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel more than 60 days before the date of travel, you will refund all minus $200
If you cancel less than 60 days before the date of travel, you would receive 75% refund
If you cancel less than 45 days before the date of travel, you would receive 50% refund
If you cancel less than 30 days before the date of travel, you would receive 25% refund
If you cancel less than 15 days before the date of travel, there won't be a refund possible unless we find replacement for you !
(We always highly recommend to take out travel insurance: www.travelex.com)

Have questions about Barcelona to Milano - Along the Cote d'Azur? Contact Dynamic Outdoors

When

Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM - Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM (EDT)


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Organizer

Dynamic Outdoors

We are an energetic and friendly club dedicated to offering the best outdoor adventures. All of our events are designed to ensure that everyone is involved and has a great time. Whether it is hiking in a lush forest, canoeing down a crystal clear river or galloping on horseback along the sandy beaches, we offer a personalized approach so that you gain the most out of each trip. Our goal is to provide a simple, convenient way to escape the concrete jungle for a day of fresh air, fantastic views and memorable interaction with other like minded individuals who share a passion for the outdoors.

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Barcelona to Milano - Along the Cote d'Azur
Tour Travel & Outdoor

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