BCN-Sant Feliu de Guixols
The fun begins as we leave Barcelona and devour swooping curves as we coil into the Massis del Montesy along deliciously convoluted mountain roads. After lunch in the idyllic village of El Brull, we’ll spill out of the mountains to the Mediterranean coast. The road is the stuff of coastal ride dreams and offers a magnificent feast of dramatic headlands and picture-postcard beaches. We end in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, an ancient coast town in a sweeping bay.
Sant Feliu de Guixols - Carcassone (France)
Our grin-inducing morning consists of almost endless twisties and sensuous curves as we head north along the coast to Cadaqués, a picturesque fishing village of whitwashed houses.
We’ll then enter France and traverse Langeudoc-Roussillon via Perpignan and the Corbieres wine region. Our destination is the perfectly preserved fortified city of Carcassone - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most remarkable cite mediévale in France. Tonight we’ll feast on local delicacies, such as cassoulet of meat and white beans.
Carcassonne - Aix en Provence
With regret we bid farewell to Carcassone, but the beauty of the French countryside ahead soon induces broad smiles. Our route weaves through the medieval market town of Narbonne… the fishing ports of Grau d’Agde and Sète (famous for oysters)… and stylish and stately Montpellier, where we’ll lunch.
We continue through the wetlands of Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue (famous for flamingos and wild white horses) to arrive Aix-en-Provence. We’ll dine and overnight in this charming Provençal capital city exuding a Parisian chic.
Aix en Provence - Nice
Enjoy an exhilarating morning reveling in sinewy mountain roads and a wild landscape of breathtaking grandeur as we ride through the Verdon gorges, then auger down to the French Riviera.
This Mediterranean coastline is synonymous with sensual beauty and glamour, and nowhere more so than in Nice - largest city along the Côte d'Azur, and our destination today.
Nice - Florence
From Nice, the coast road rolls in swooping curves the short distance to Monaco, the royal principality of luxurious villas and yachts and James Bond allure. Of course, we’ll ride the legendary Monaco Grand Prix circuit and stop to photograph the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino.
We then cross into Italy and follow the Italian Riviera via Genoa to utterly romantic Florence - cradle of the Renaissance.
There’s no better city in which to enjoy a rest day than this irresistible Tuscan charmer, with its cinematic cityscapes, 15th and 16th century palazzi (palaces), Ponte Vecchio, Piazza del Duomo, frescoed basilicas, haute-couture boutiques, and world-class museums - such as the Uffizi Gallery - teeming with Renaissance treasures by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and more.
Florence is also a gourmet ghetto. We’ll savor its gastronomic sensations and the traditional lifestyle anchored by faith, family, and food that combine to form la dolce vita.
Florence - Siena
Speaking of gourmet delights… the Chianti region is postcard-perfect Tuscany, and a gift for the senses synonymous with earthy Chianti wines and hearty regional fare. Our route takes us through an undulating landscape corduroyed with vineyards and olive groves, and past imposing castles, Renaissance villas, honey-colored stone farmhouses, and picturesque medieval villages - such as Volterra and San Gimignano - pinned by towers.
We end our sensational ride today in Siena, the quintessential Tuscan medieval city. We’ll spend our afternoon exploring this UNESCO World Heritage City, including the majestic 13th century black-and-white striped Duomo (cathedral) and a drink on the terraces of the bell-shaped Piazza del Campo, setting for the world-famous Il Palio horse race.
Siena - Civitavechhia
Tuscany’s seduction continues today as we ride east through rolling landscapes punctuated by hilltop stone farmsteads and stately cypress trees. Our stops include the medieval walled villages of Cortona, where “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed; and Montepulciano, perched atop a volcanic ridge.
After savoring a fantastic typical Tuscan lunch at a local trattoria, we sweep downhill to the Mediterranean port city of Civitacecchia to embark on the ferry that will take us back to Barcelona.
Ferry: Civitavechhia – Barcelona
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