8 Night Italy, Greece, & France Cruise on Jewel of the Seas from Athens, Piraeus, Greece Nice (Villefranche), France, Aerial Beach View
The 8 Night Italy, Greece, & France Cruise from Athens, Piraeus, Greece visits Santorini, Greece; Olympia (Katakolon), Greece; Sicily (Catania), Italy; Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy; Ajaccio, Corsica; Nice (Villefranche), France; Sete, France; Barcelona (Tarragona), Spain. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
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8 Night Italy, Greece, & France Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Jewel of the Seas
Day 1 - Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Day 2 - Santorini, Greece
Day 3 - Olympia (Katakolon), Greece
Day 4 - Sicily (Catania), Italy
Day 5 - Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy
Day 6 - Ajaccio, Corsica
Day 7 - Nice (Villefranche), France
Day 8 - Sete, France
Day 9 - Barcelona (Tarragona), Spain
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Nice (Villefranche), France, Aerial Beach View
Aerial view of a beach in Nice, France
This is your

8 Night Italy, Greece, & France Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Onboard
Jewel of the Seas
Day Port
1
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Santorini, Greece
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
3
Olympia (Katakolon), Greece
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
4
Sicily (Catania), Italy
From 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
5
Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
6
Ajaccio, Corsica
From 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
7
Nice (Villefranche), France
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8
Sete, France
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9
Barcelona (Tarragona), Spain
Arrives at 6:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Sailing from {{ overview.startDate }} (+ {{ additionalDatesCount }} Additional Dates)

Your ship Jewel of the Seas

Your ship
Jewel of the Seas
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Jewel of the Seas, Exterior View, Caribbean and European Cruise Destinations
Exterior view of Jewel of the Seas Cruise With Destinations in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados, and more
Get to know
Jewel of the Seas
After a day spent wandering new shores, dive into a world of thrills on Jewel of the Seas®. Scale the Rock Climbing Wall or catch a movie on the poolside screen. Grab your playbill for West End to Broadway and raise a glass at Vintages. It's time to go all-in on adventure.

DECKED OUT FOR ADVENTURE

Discover countless ways to spend your days between ports, like fueling friendly competition in a round of mini golf and taking adventure to new heights on the Rock Climbing Wall. If you're after laid back lounging, catch a movie on the poolside screen or check into Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Center.

DIG INTO DARING

Whether you're sipping wines from around the world at Vintages, savoring fresh-rolled sushi at Izumi, indulging in prime steaks at Chops Grille℠ or sitting down to a five-course epicurean adventure at Chef's Table, you're bound to find flavors as thrilling as the shores you'll explore.

NOT THE SAME OLD SONG & DANCE

Travel from London's West End to New York City in West End to Broadway, a cross-continental celebration of music theater production. And journey from ancient Atlantis to colorful India in the celestial show City of Dreams. On this ship, every show's a hit.

Day 1: Athens, Greece

Day 1
Athens
Piraeus, Greece
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Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Acropolis and Pathenon
View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Things to do in
Athens
Departs at 5:00 PM
Athens offers a looking glass back in time into Greece's powerful ancient civilization. Art lovers, epicureans and history buffs will be delighted by the ancient ruins, museums and tavernas of this picturesque town. Just 10 minutes from the port, you'll find the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, filled with sculptures from the Bronze Age to the Romans. Walk to the Zea Harbour to discover how the Hellenic Maritime Museum will bring to life the grandeur of ancient Greece's naval capacities. Jump onboard an Athens cruise and relax at the small harbor of Mikrolimano, enjoying a meal of grilled octopus and chilled white wine at a small restaurant overlooking the sea.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Agia Triada Church
The Agia Triada church in Greece

Take Me to Church

The Agia Triada is one of the finest examples of Byzantine-style churches in Greece. The Church of St. Nicholas, which overlooks the port, has a magnificent interior filled with orthodox icons, frescoes and sculptures.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Mikrolimano Harbour
Mikrolimano harbour in Greece

Mediterranean Romance

Part of the Castella district, Mikrolimano is the smallest and most picturesque port of Athens, making it perfect for a romantic afternoon. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade to take in the amazing views, then settle in a cafe or taverna for some fresh seafood or a refreshing drink with your cruise to Athens.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece. Decorative Vases
Various decorative Greek vases

Boats and the Bronze Age

The Naval Museum has exhibits that present ship building from ancient times to the present day. You will be fascinated by the Neosoikoi, the archaeological remains of the ship sheds where local craftsmen maintained and repaired the boats. Art lovers will have plenty to see at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, from Bronze Age sculptures to classical Hellenistic pottery.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Grilled Octopus
Grilled octopus on a white plate with a lemon on the side

Local Cuisine

Try the local dishes prepared with sun-ripened tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and fresh seafood like mussels and grilled octopus. Look for trovolia, a typical fresh cheese to savor with marinated olives. Ask for recommendations on local wines — the most common white is lively, floral and aromatic Moschofilero, while the red of choice is Xinomavro, an indigenous grape with a bold, complex flavor.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Greek Souvenirs
An assortment of Greek souvenirs such as helmets and sculptures

Shopping

You may want to bring back home some of the typical liquors such as the anise-flavored Ouzo or the strong Tsipouro. Greek olives, spices and capers can be vacuumed-packed, making for convenient souvenirs. Look for locally made leather sandals, pottery and hand-painted ceramics. You'll find most shops in the Psyri district, not far from the Acropolis during your Athens cruise.

Day 2: Santorini, Greece

Day 2
Santorini
Greece
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Santorini, Greece Oia Houses
Scenic view of traditional cycladic houses on small street with flowers in foreground, in Santorini, Greece
Things to do in
Santorini
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Santorini is one of the world’s most popular islands, known best for its dramatic scenery, whitewashed villages and fiery volcanic activity. Here adventure bubbles above the Aegean Sea in the most bold and breathtaking ways. A cable car takes you to the capital of Fira, a bustling cliff-top town awash with old cathedrals, enthralling museum collections and cozy tavernas. Venture to the coast for a swim in the deep blue waters that lap red and black pebbled beaches. And peel back layers of lava and history among excavated Akrotiri. Whether it’s by bicycle, ATV or on your own two feet, exploring this Cyclades isle never fails to impress.
Santorini, Greece Volcano
Nea Kameni volcanic island in Santorini, Greece

VOLCANIC WONDERS

Explore the volcanic history and geology of Santorini, site of an immense eruption 3,500 years ago. Trek the rocky landscape of Nea Kameni, an island in the center of the Santorini caldera, to see its smoking craters. Then soak in the soothing hot springs of Palea Kameni.
Insider tip
Wear hiking boots or comfortable sneakers and plenty of sunscreen when hiking the caldera.
Santorini, Greece Byzantine Castle Ruins
Early morning in Byzantine Castle Ruins in Oia village, Santorini, Greece

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Considered the island’s most picturesque village, Oia radiates authentic Cyclades charm. Meander along tiny paths squeezed between stark-white villas. Snap selfies with the blue-domed St. Gerasimos Church, and view Byzantine castle ruins. Or dine on Greek seafood in a waterfront taverna— also the perfect perch for watching Oia’s fabulous sunsets.
Insider tip
Don’t be in a rush— dining in Greece is a laid-back, drawn-out affair.
Santorini, Greece Grapes Vineyard
Bunch of white grapes in the vineyard in the Wine Museum of Thira, Santorini, Greece

THE GLASS HALF FULL

Indulge your taste buds in a delectable tasting journey among the island’s traditional wine cellars. Vineyards dapple Santorini’s countryside, and many are among some of Europe’s oldest. White Assyrtiko and red Mantilaria are both popular varietals— and be sure to sample Santorini’s beloved dessert wine, Vinsanto.
Santorini, Greece Raki
Alcohol drink Raki with anis on wooden board in Santorini, Greece

LOCAL CUISINE

Thanks to Santorini’s rich volcanic soil, the island has a solid reputation for producing fantastic wines and vegetables— fresh cherry tomatoes, fava beans and white eggplant included. Try egg-based sfougato and fried tomatokeftedes fritters, two Santorini specialties. Pick up melitinia cookies from a local bakery. And for an after-dinner drink, sip unsweetened, anise-flavored raki.
Santorini, Greece Small white and blue houses
Small white and blue house souvenirs in Santorini, Greece

SHOPPING

Ypapantis Street in Fira is known for its dozens of jewelry stores selling pieces inspired by ancient Greek and Byzantine designs. You’ll find local artwork in the galleries of Oia and books about the Cyclades in Atlantis Books. A bottle of Santorini wine or Canava ouzo makes for a tasty souvenir.

Day 3: Olympia, Greece

Day 3
Olympia
Katakolon, Greece
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Katakolon, Greece, Building Ruins
The ruins of an ancient building in Greece
Things to do in
Olympia
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Experience ancient history and modern charm in Katakolon, a vibrant cruise port on the Greek coast. From here, you can catch a glimpse of Olympia, the birthplace of the original Olympic games and a shrine to the ancient Greek gods. Cruise to Greece and walk through the Olympia complex to get a historical tour of architectural styles, from the classical ruins to the red-tiled roofs of the traditional homes. Then, stroll through the Katakolon's lively center to discover unique local galleries and shops, and grab a seat at an oceanfront taverna with a glass of white wine and a dish of locally caught calamari.
Katakolon, Greece, Column Ruins
An ancient street in Olympia with columns on both sides

Relive History

The train to Olympia takes you through the splendid green hills of the Greek countryside, dotted with olive groves and vineyards. On the remains of the Olympic site, you'll find the Archaeological Museum at Olympia and the Museum of the Olympic Games.
Insider tip
While the main language is Greek, many locals speak some English. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to be prepared with some basic greetings.
Katakolon, Greece, Colorful Plates
Assorted colorful plates with painted designs hanging on a wall

Find Local Treasures

As you walk through the village, stop and chat with the locals who create ornate traditional goods. Choose from an array of handmade crafts made from olive wood, ceramic and leather at one of the many shops that line Katakolon's main street.
Insider tip
Local law mandates that shorts not be any shorter than six inches above the knee, so keep those thighs out of sight.
Katakolon, Greece, Fish Market
Various different kinds of fish for sale at a fish market

Eat Like an Olympian

Local tavernas offer a wide array of Greek traditional cuisine, served alongside views of the pristine blue water. Jump onboard a Greece cruise to enjoy a glass of the region's crisp white wine with some fresh seafood. If you're feeling adventurous, be sure to try the grilled octopus.
Insider tip
Be sure to plan your day around mesimeri, the Greek midday nap. Many shops close in the afternoon after lunch and reopen around 5:30 p.m.
Katakolon, Greece, Grilled Octopus Salad
A grilled octopus salad served on a blue plate

Local Cuisine

Katakolon's local cuisine is fresh and simple enough to be healthy but so delicious that you won't even notice. Locally caught seafood is prepared grilled with herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Flavorful vegetables are served plain or in dishes such as spanakopita, a spinach pie, or moussaka, a delicious combination of vegetables, meat and bechamel sauce.
Katakolon, Greece, Clay Pots
An assortment of clay pots in Greece,

Shopping

Pottery, olive wood, lace and leather are just a few of the materials used here to create traditional crafts. Local artisans pride themselves in making each piece a one-of-a-kind item. From hand-crocheted center pieces to ceramic bowls that tell a story, each item reflects Katakolon's local traditions and history.

Day 4: Sicily, Italy

Day 4
Sicily
Catania, Italy
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Sicily (Catania), Italy, City View
View of Catania in Sicily, Italy
Things to do in
Sicily
From 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
This plucky city on the Ionian sea is rich in folklore, history and beauty. Originally a Greek colony, Catania has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over. You'll find the city's symbol, the elephant, on everything from buildings to souvenirs across town. A wonderful combination of the modern and ancient, Catania's citizens tap into the black lava from Etna to grow rich vineyards for unique wines you can enjoy during your Sicily cruise.
Sicily (Catania), Italy, Bellini Theater Square
View of the Bellini Theater Square in Sicily (Catania), Italy

Pasta Andante

Music lovers will enjoy visiting the Bellini Theater, named after composer Vincenzo Bellini and inaugurated in 1890 with a performance of his masterpiece "Norma." Fun fact: The most famous dish in Catania, pasta alla norma, is named for this number.
Insider tip
Find a local guide to take you on a tour of the breathtaking Etna countryside. Visit family wineries and farmhouses and discover the best local food and wines produced on lava territory.
Sicily (Catania), Italy, Mt. Etna
A group climbing Mt. Etna in Sicily

Adventure of Great Magmatude

Hike through the lush landscape and cloudy mist as you visit the craters and lava pit stops on Mt. Etna. A local tour can guide you through the history of the eruptions. The vineyards planted in the volcanic soil of this area give life to unique, ethereal wines.
Insider tip
Take a peaceful break at the Monastero di Catania, a reprieve in the city center.
Sicily (Catania), Italy, Fish market
A fish market in Catania, Sicily, Italy

Fun for a Market Price

The vivacious fish market is a street theater of everyday life in Sicily today. The amusing banter among the customers and vendors is well worth the early morning stroll to the Pescheria. Cruises to Sicily allow you to enjoy local delicacies that include sea urchin and bottarga, a salt-cured tuna roe.
Sicily (Catania), Italy, Pasta alla Norma Egglant and Tomato
A bowl of pasta alla norma with eggplant and tomato

Local Cuisine

Catania is a culinary adventure. Head to a street vendor in the city center and pick up a slice of sfincione, the Sicilian pizza topped with anchovies, onions and cheese. Don't miss Catania's pasta alla norma, named for the composer Vincenzo Bellini's masterpiece, with eggplant, ricotta salata, basil and oregano. In the mood for seafood? Try sarde a beccafico, fried sardines stuffed with currants, with a glass of zibbibo, the local white wine.
Sicily (Catania), Italy, Volcanic stone bracelet
A volcanic stone bracelet

Shopping

Don't leave without bringing home a bottle or two of the complex, otherworldly wines produced from Catania's volcanic soil. Small shops offer up local wines made from grapes cultivated in the rich lavic turf of Mt. Etna. You'll find much of the best shopping in the Pigno neighborhood with your Sicily cruise. Head there to pick up a coffa bag — a colorful straw handbag unique to the area — or a vase, decorative bowl or piece of jewelry made from volcanic stone.

Day 5: Amalfi Coast, Italy

Day 5
Amalfi Coast
Salerno, Italy
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Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy Aerial View
an aerial view of the coastal city of Salerno, Italy
Things to do in
Amalfi Coast
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The lively cliffside village of Salerno is a gateway to the many historical and scenic coastal towns with cruises to the Amalfi Coast. Take a stroll by the water along the city's modern promenade, or stop into a cafe for a refreshing limoncello. Break a sweat with a hike up Mount Vesuvius before you wander through the ancient city of Pompeii. Or take a drive along the coast on the winding roads, and bask in views of steep cliffs over crystal blue water.
Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy Scenic Tunnel Road
A scenic road with a tunnel through a mountain in the Amalfi Coast

Coastal Cruise

The Amalfi Coast is bursting with beautiful pastel towns like Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento. Take a drive along the winding cliffside, and stop along the way to take in the views of the waves crashing against the rocks below. Then, stop by Positano for a glass of wine and a panino of sliced tomato, pesto and locally made mozzarella di bufala.
Amalfi Coast (Salerno), Italy Cathedral
view of a cathedral in Salerno, Italy

Stroll Through History

Get to know Salerno's roots onboard an Amalfi Coast cruise. The town's grand cathedral houses the Apostle Matthew's remains. Drop into a museum to learn about the city's history: During the 11th century, Salerno flourished as an epicenter for medical studies, which you can still see today at the museum of Scuola Medica Salernitana.
Amafi Coast Limoncello
Family Enjoying Limoncello on the Coast of Amafi

Local Cuisine

Salerno's cuisine is defined by fresh seafood, often caught earlier that day. Spaghetti alle vongole — topped with clams, tomatoes and herbs — is a must-try. Pick up a Neopolitan-style pizza, made with San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella di bufala. Finish your meal with a limoncello made from the massive lemons that grow in the region.
Amafi Coast Women Shopping
Amafi Coast Women Shopping Ceramics

Shopping

Head down to Via dei Mercanti to pick up souvenirs, wine, fresh cheese, handmade items, ceramics, leather goods and more. If you want to spend the whole day shopping, hop in a taxi and head to the pastel-hued Cilento Outlet Village nearby.

Day 6: Ajaccio, Corsica

Day 6
Ajaccio
Corsica
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Ajaccio, Corsica Coastal Citadel
A coastal citadel and beach in Ajaccio, Corsica
Things to do in
Ajaccio
From 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Located just south of France on the island of Corsica, Ajaccio is rich in history and astonishing views, all set in the sun-drenched Mediterranean climate. Napoleon is Corsica's most recognizable historical personality — when you're strolling through town, make sure to visit the Maison Bonaparte Napoleon's family home and a historical museum. Stop in the beautiful Baroque-style Notre Dame Cathedral, where Napoleon was baptized. Here, you'll also find important artwork by Tintoretto and Delacroix. Cruise to Corsica and hop on Le Petit Train, or "the little train," for a tour of town. For a taste of nature, head out to the Calanques de Piana, a range of dramatic red-rock cliffs.
Ajaccio, Corsica Napoleon Bonaparte Statue
A statue of Napoleon Bonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica

See Napoleon's Roots

Discover the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Napoleon Museum, built on the site of home where he was born. You'll come away with insight into the childhood of one of the most pivotal political figures of the 19th century.
Insider tip
Take the charming Little Train to explore Ajaccio and the surrounding area. You'll get guided historic tour in the old town and a visit to view the stunning Iles Sanguinaires.
Ajaccio, Corsica Colorful Homes
Colorful homes on a street in Ajaccio, Corsica

Old-Town Charm

Head to Place Foch to enjoy the vibrant and colorful atmosphere of the old town. Take in the laid-back approach to life at one of the picturesque cafes as you people watch and savor one of the local wines from Ajaccio.
Insider tip
Stroll over to visit the Citadelle. Although off-limits to the public, you can continue walking and enjoy the views from the lovely promenade along the beach.
Ajaccio, Corsica Coastal View From Cliff
Coastal view in Corsica from cliff

Naturally Adventurous

Looking for outdoor exploration? Check out the Calanques de Piana, a series of red-rock cliffs overlooking the pristine ocean. Cruise to Corsica and drive out to Scandola Nature reserve for views of stunning rock formations, caves and wildlife, including eagles.
Ajaccio, Corsica Boar Stew
A bowl of boar stew in Ajaccio, Corsica

Local Cuisine

Corsica is an epicurean's dream — a unique microcosm that offers the best ingredients from both land and sea. Try the signature civet de sanglier, a hearty stew made with wild boar. Don't miss langostine with sun-ripened vegetables, and enjoy flavorful cheese from the mountains along with the specialty cured meats. Wash it all down with a glass of Corsican red wine.
Ajaccio, Corsica Craft Jewlery
Assorted craft jewelry

Shopping

Corsica is home to one of the largest coral shops in the world, La Maison du Corail, which offers a splendid selection of jewelry. The island also produces local honey as well as olive oil and jams; pick some up at the small shops in the old town. Artisan workshops offer handcrafted items in leather and glass. You can also find boutique shops offering designer brands, and the rope bags typical of Corsica.

Day 7: Nice, France

Day 7
Nice
Villefranche, France
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Nice (Villefranche), France, View of coast and hills
View of the coast of Nice, France with homes on the hills in the distance
Things to do in
Nice
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Although originally called "Nakaia," France's Nice is as delightful as its name suggests to English speakers. Take a bus or taxi into Nice's Old City to explore its history-spanning architecture and pristine French Riviera beaches with your Nice cruise. Or stick closer to Villefranche-sur-Mer, where your ship will dock, and take a day-trip to the mountaintop town of Eze. No matter how you spend your time in the de facto hub of France's Cote d'Azur, you'll enjoy the added benefit of being close to Italy, which means delectable pizza, fragrant espresso and the sounds of a second Romance language.
Nice (Villefranche), France, Waves crashing on beach
Eaves crashing on a beach in Nice, France

Hit the Beach

Not surprisingly, Nice is a great place for a day at the beach. Sun yourself at Beau Rivage along the Promenade des Anglais, where Nice's chic locals come to see and be seen, or walk a few minutes east or west or Villafranche-sur-Mer to find a quiet spot for a swim closer to the ship. The pristine Mediterranean waters instantly reveal why this place is known as France's Cote d'Azur — the Azure Coast.
Insider tip
Many of Nice's city beaches are rocky. Consider laying out on a couple thick towels, instead of your usual beach blanket.
Nice (Villefranche), France, Matisse Museum
The Matisse Museum in Nice, France

Go Back in Time

Stroll the streets of Nice's Vieille Ville to take a trip back in time. Visit monuments such as the Baroque-era Palais Lascaris and the city's 19th-century Russian Orthodox cathedral, or explore the bevy of museums — don't miss the one dedicated to Nice's prodigal son, artist Henri Matisse. You'll find Nice is more than just a pretty face.
Insider tip
While Nice is politically part of France, it has a long and proud Italian history as well. Don't be surprised if you hear Italian being spoken — and don't by shy to practice yours!
Nice (Villefranche), France, Botanical Garden
A cliffside botanical garden in Nice, France

View From Above

Take a day-trip to see a little more of France's Cote d'Azur. A particularly popular option is Eze, which is less than a half-hour away from Villefrance-sur-Mer by public bus. Cruise to Nice and walk from the main town up to its mountaintop fortress, which provides a priceless panorama of the entire French Riviera.
Nice (Villefranche), France, Nicoise Salad
A Nicoise salad on a white and blue plate

Local Cuisine

Nice is home to the popular salade nicoise, but the culinary delights here transcend cold starters. Stop at a street vendor and order a crispy socca chickpea pancake, or enjoy la daube nicoise, a slow-cooked beef stew soaked in rich red wine and served with tender gnocchi. You'll find some of the best eateries in the heart of the Vieille Ville with your Nice cruise.
Nice (Villefranche), France, Soap Crates
An assortment of scented soaps in wooden crates for sale in France

Shopping

Bring the flavors of Nice along with you after a stop Galleries Lafayette Gourmand, which also offers a wide selection of fines wines from France's nearby Provence region. Shop for postcards, keychains and other local kitsch at Coqueto, hunt down high-end Southern French soaps, or take in the fresh scent of Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya, one of France's largest outdoor flower markets.

Day 8: Sete, France

Day 8
Sete
France
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Sete, France, Theater de la Mer
Theater de la Mer on the coast of Sete, France
Things to do in
Sete
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Think France's Mediterranean coast is all about fancy yachts and glamorous movie stars? The port town of Sete will make you think again. Understated and unpretentious, Sete sits along the coast of France's laid-back Occitanie region. No matter how long your stop in Sete lasts, a stroll through this humble harbor will feel like hitting the most satisfying reset button with your Sete cruise. Once you've taken in Sete's charming port and canal-filled Old Town, hike to the view point at Mont St.-Clair, or sit down at the shore for a lunch of oysters harvested from nearby Thau Lagoon.
Sete, France, Royal Canal
The Royal Canal in Sete, France

Quays and Canals

The most striking feature of central Sete is the system of canals that crisscross its old town. You'll find shops, kiosks and museums on the quays jutting out into the water. Start at the broad Canal Royal, built in the 17th century during the reign of King Louis XIV.
Insider tip
Sete's lack of mass tourism is charming, but it also means people here are less likely to speak English and not as accustomed to assisting tourists as those in, say, Cannes or Marseilles.
Sete, France, Pristine beach
A pristine beach in Sete, France

Be a Beach Bum

Easily accesible from town center, Sete's beaches offer fine white sand and sprawling vistas. Lazaret beach is the closest to town center. Other popular spots include the long Plage des Quilles and the smaller Plage de la Corniche, located along a scenic oceanfront boulevard.
Insider tip
If you happen to be visiting Sete in late August, check out Fete de Saint Louis, a festival dedicated to the local pastime of water jousting.
Sete, France, Coastal graveyard
A coastal graveyard overlooking the ocean in Sete, France

Drop-Dead Gorgeous

Why not do something a little strange while in Sete? Less than 30 minutes by foot from the port, the Cimetiere Marin offers a captivating duality: gorgeous ocean views in contrast with rows of graves dating back to the 1600s.
Sete, France, Half Dozen Oysters
A white plate with a half dozen oysters on ice

Local Cuisine

Seafood is the specialty in Sete, especially oysters and mussels, which live in the Thau Lagoon just offshore. Feeling adventurous? Try bourride de lotte a la Setois, a monkfish stew, or la tielle Setoise, a flaky-crust octopus pie. The best-loved restaurants are located conveniently near the port.
Sete, France, Lavender Soaps
An assortment of lavender soaps in France

Shopping

If you're looking for a quirky souvenir, visit the unique Bad George's shop in the heart of the Old Town, where you can find distinctive Sete-themed t-shirts, tote bags and more. Cruise to Sete, France to shop for traditional south-of-France souvenirs, including soaps scented with local lavender, at Le Pavois Setois near Corniche Beach.

Day 9: Barcelona, Spain

Day 9
Barcelona
Tarragona, Spain
View Itinerary
Spain Tarragona Aerial Cathedral Saint Mary
Spain Tarragona Aerial Cathedral Saint Mary
Things to do in
Barcelona
Arrives at 6:00 AM
Tarragona provides a window into the soul of the Catalonia region. A stroll through its cobbled streets is like a walk back in time, as well as a survey of Catalan gastronomy. Explore the ruins of Tarraco, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an amphitheater that dates back to the Roman era, or the 12th-century Tarragona Cathedral, built on the site of a destroyed Moorish mosque. Or follow your taste buds along the Neoclassical Plaça de la Font, where dozens of cafes serve classic Spanish tapas and sangria as well as some specialties you'll only find in Tarragona.
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Couple
La Sagrada Couple Walking

CHASE CULTURE ALONG THE COAST

Catch a train from Tarragona to beautiful Barcelona, one of Spain’s most famous cities. The ride itself is just over an hour and often costs around 10 euros, leaving you plenty of time to explore the best things to do in Barcelona before returning to port. Some of the most iconic sights include La Sagrada Familia, bustling La Rambla, and the city’s historic Gothic Quarter.
Insider tip
Tarragona locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists but can't always speak great English. A bit of Spanish (or Catalan), some patience and a smile will go a long way.
Spain Tarragona Salou Beach Cala Penya
Spain Tarragona Salou Beach Cala Penya

Nothing Comes Close to the Golden Coast

Is looking out at the ocean not enough for you? Dip your toes into the golden sands of Costa Dorada. El Miracle beach is the liveliest and closest to the city center, while the beautifully isolated Cala Fonda, just several miles north, evokes the Balearic islands that sit far off Tarragona's shores.
Insider tip
Tarragona is far less filled with tourists than Barcelona and other cities in Spain so enjoy the quieter streets as you explore the various attractions.
Spain Tarragona Bollards Old Street Artistic Colorful
Spain Tarragona Bollards Old Street Artistic Colorful

Art for the Afternoon

Whether you want a quick break from Tarragona's famous heat or are craving some culture, Tarragona's world-class art museums will hit the spot. Museu d'Art Modern de Tarragona spotlights Catalan artists like Antoni Gaudi and Joan Miro inside a series of 18th-century houses.
Insider tip
The farther north of the city center you go, the quieter Tarragona's beaches become, so long walks on the beach are especially rewarding here.
Spain Tarragona Paella Close Up of Local Cuisine
Spain Tarragona Paella Close Up of Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Fresh seafood is Tarragona's claim to fame. Dine near the port for classic Catalan paella (mussels and other shellfish stir-fried with fragrant saffron rice) or stop along Plaça de la Font for a carafe of sangria to wash down local takes on tapas such as grilled shrimp glazed with rich, nutty Romesco sauce.
Spain Tarragona Ceramics Spanish Porcelain Jugs
Spain Tarragona Ceramics Spanish Porcelain Jugs

Shopping

Whether you're looking for postcards and fridge magnets or locally made crafts, the Rambla Nova shopping street is the place to be. Galeria Tarraco sells artisanal crafts and textiles, including Catalan pottery and lace cushions made using techniques from the mid-19th century.

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