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Saturday, May 18, 2013


Something new in the Cosmos 2013 Europe Brochure.

Cosmos has been turning travel dreams into reality for the past 50 years for travelers here in the United States as well as overseas.  They have been offering escorted tours for as little as $75 per day, a greater choice of activities, and plenty of free time for you to explore your destination the way you want, and longer stays in key cities so that you, the traveler, can immerse yourself in the local culture.

Their brochure offers tours from as few as 6 days (the new A TASTE OF IRELAND), one 7-day (A TASTE OF SCOTLAND), several 8 days (one being the new HIDDEN TREASURES OF NORTHERN ITALY and another the DISCOVER PROVENCE) ), several 9 days( one being PRAGUE, VIENNA AND BUDAPEST),  three 10 day (one being JEWELS OF MOROCCO), 12 days (one being FOCUS ON SCANDINAVIA), 13, 15, 16, 18 and as long as a 24 days (THE BRITISH ISLES IN DEPTH). 
12 of the COSMOS tours are less than $1000.  Examples are: the 9-day JEWELS OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL (from $969), the 6-DAY TASTE OF IRELAND (from $949), the 13-day GRAND TOUR OF TURKEY (from $969), the 10-day JEWELS OF MOROCCO (from $939), and more. 

One of the COSMOS new 2013  offered tours is the 14 day (incl travel) from Madrid to Rome 

Your itinerary: 
DAY 1- Saturday:  You arrive in Madrid Spain after an overnight flight from LAX.  In the evening you will meet  your Tour Director and fellow travelers at an included dinner.  Your hotel for the next two nights:  Rafaeles Hotel Ventas. 
DAY 2-  Sunday:  You have the opportunity to explore Madrid on your own but why not take the optional excursion to Toledo.  The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus is like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art.  Later in the day you'll be learning more about Madrid on an included sightseeing tour.  In the evening join your tour director and fellow travelers for an optional Madrid by Night excursion which will include dinner.  
DAY 3-Monday:  You and your traveling companions will leave Madrid and travel southeast to the magnificently located old town of Cuenca, which stands high above the precipices of the Rivers Jucar and Huecar.   The city is famous for its "hanging houses" that are suspended over the Huecar Ravine. You'll then arrive in Valencia, Spain's third-largest city and learn more from the Local Guide as you travel through its streets.  Also on the agenda is a visit to the Science Park.  Dinner is included.  Your hotel:  Abba Acteon.
DAY 4- Tuesday:   Your morning begins with a drive north to nearby Castellón for a visit to Peniscola Castle, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century.  The promontory on which the castle and tower are located is a fine reminder of medieval times.  Your journey will continue through orange groves and seaside resorts past Tarragona to Catalonia's lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona.  Dinner will be on your own.  Your tour director will have many suggestions.  Your hotel:  Abba Garden for the next two nights.
DAY 5- Wednesday:  Begin your day with sightseeing with a Local Guide which includes a drive around Monjuic to see the Olympic Stadium and da great panoramic view of the port and city.  The drive continues to the city center of Plaza Catalunya and to Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi's architectural masterpieces Houses Batiló and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included).  Your afternoon is at leisure to explore Barcelona on your own or join an optional excursion to Montserrat.
DAY 6-Thursday:  Leaving Barcelona you'll be crossing the border into France.  Your sojourn into France will begin with a visit to Collioure.  The picturesque village is nested on the rocky Mediterranean coastline and sheltered by the Pyrenees.  Your deluxe motorcoach will then had north to the oldest city in France- Marseille.  Dinner is included tonight.  Your hotel:  Alliance Marseille.
DAY 7- Friday:  A city orientation will find your learning that Marseille was founded by the Greeks in 600 BC and is France's oldest city.  Capital of the Provence the city is packed with fascinating sights-the picturesque Vieux Port (old port), where elegant markets and handsome townhouses surround the boat-filled harbor.  You will then head for the hilltop Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde for a visit and stunning views of the city.  In the afternoon you'll follow the coastal route toward Cassis, a small fishing port lined with cafés and restaurants.  Your day includes a visit to a perfume workshop in Grasse before heading to Nice for an overnight stay.  Your hotel:  Quality at Menton, LA Spezia.  Dinner is on your own.
DAY 8- Saturday:  Your day will begin with your enjoying the coastal scenery along the French and Italian Rivieras you head toward Cinque Terre.  You get to experience a short train ride that will take you to the spectacular Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages that once inspired Lord Byron.  If you wish you can walk along the famous Sentiero dell' Amore (Love Path), a breathtakingly beautiful trail carved into the rocks, affording dramatic sea views. Continue to La Spezia for the overnight.  Dinner is included.  Your hotel:  NH.
DAY 9-Sunday:   Today begins with travel via Parma, known for its Parmesan cheese and ham, and Modena, famous for its balsamic vinegar, before reaching the romantic city of Verona.  You'll get to see the famous Romeo and Juliet's balcony and enjoy exploring the city at leisure.  This afternoon you continue on to Venice where you will spend two overnights.  Your hotel:  Antony Palace.  Dinner is on your own and I"m positive your tour director will have several suggestions exploring Venice in the evenings.
DAY 10- Monday: Your Venice orientation will begin with a boat ride and is followed by time at leisure. You'll also have a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago.  Don't miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.  You'll find Venice more like a film than a city with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and piazzas.  Dinner is included tonight.
DAY 11- Tuesday:  You'll find the drive along the Po Delta interesting.  There is a break in the journey to Rome with a stop in Assisi, enclosed by ramparts and where little has changed since the Middle Ages.  This is the town of the deeply mustical and poetic St. Francis.  Before heading to Rome you'll be seeing the upper and lower Basilica and the medieval castle.  In Rome your hotel for the next two nights is the Princess.  Dinner is on your own tonight.  Again, your tour director has several suggestions.
DAY 12- Wednesday.  Your day will begin with sightseeing with a local guide.  The tour will start in St. Peter's Square, followed by an optional visit to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.  Later enjoy an included visit to the Roman Forum and iconic Colosseum.  Later in the day there is time for optional excursions or to continue enjoying Rome at your own pace.  Your tour director has many suggestions for exploring Rome at night.
DAY 13- Thursday:  You bid farewell to your traveling companions and head for the airport and home.

The Cosmos MEDITERRANEAN FLAVORS tour will run from June through October 31st.  Fare per person from $1899-$1949 pp/double occupany.  Single supplement $600.  

For more information about this and other Cosmos journeys please consult your travel agent or me at Corporate Travel Center (800) 870-9345 or e-mail me at