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This tour is Europe distilled to its very core. Walk among famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower & Leaning Tower of Pisa. Traverse the halls of erstwhile German Kings. Summit the Swiss Alps to gaze out over lakes, mountains and glaciers. Indulge in Tuscan cuisine and get in on the fun at a proper, old-school beer hall. Take time to enjoy free days in Paris, Rome, and Berlin. Fast-paced and expertly planned, this European coach tour hits all the high notes without missing a beat. Ticking a bucket list? This is the tour for you.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to the first day of the tour, where you will arrive at the hotel and meet your fellow travellers and your Expat Explore tour leader. This evening, we travel into Amsterdam centre for a canal cruise of Amsterdam. Complete with pizza and ice cream, you will explore the city from a unique perspective and gain an alternative perspective of this eclectic and bohemian city, while drifting past famous landmarks, and learning about Amsterdam’s interesting history.
On our journey to Paris, we take a comfort stop at the capital of Belgium, Brussels, where you will see famous landmarks such as the Mannekin Pis statue and the Atomium. In the afternoon we travel on to Paris - 'The City of Lights and Love'. We'll take you on a driving tour of the French capital; get your cameras ready - you’ll be seeing some of the city’s most treasured landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe! After the driving tour we'll enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter, an eclectic, bohemian and historic neighbourhood. We'll then travel back to the hotel on Paris' world famous metro system, ready to explore the city further on our free day tomorrow!
The wonderful thing about Paris is that it there is so much to experience, regardless of the time of day, or season. The Seine River is the backbone of the capital, and flows through the heart of the city. The banks are peppered with book sellers and market stalls if you wish to walk. But, why not choose a cruise, and cruise your way past the grandeur of the gothic Notre Dame cathedral, to the epic Eiffel Tower? The commentary from the river boats will give you invaluable knowledge and information of the city. For the art buffs amongst you, The Louvre (home of the Mona Lisa) and Montmartre are a classic choice. Famous architecture is scattered through the city, and ‘strolling’ is the best mode of transport for taking in every ounce of history. Paris Disneyland is perfect for the ‘young at heart’, and is only a short distance away. Your Expat Explore tour leader is brimming with ideas and local knowledge, so that you can get the best out of your time here. Don’t forget to find out where you can sample such French delicacies as frogs legs and snails - not your typical garden variety!
Au revoir Paris! Today we sample a taste of small town France with a lunch stop in Burgundy. In the town of Beaune you can visit the beautiful Hospices de Beaune, or try the famous wine. After lunch we take a long scenic drive across the border into Switzerland and head towards the Swiss Alps for our stay in a typical alpine resort town. Welcome to the Swiss Alps, your home for the next two days!
It’s a guaranteed snow day! For 365 days of the year, the summit of Mount Titlis is covered in snow, and your tour leader can arrange a full day excursion to the top of this mountain in the heart of the Swiss Alps! The journey up the mountain is a highlight in itself, providing panoramic views of mountains, lakes and glaciers. Alternatively, for those who wishing to spend their free day exploring the local sights, you can explore Engelberg, feast on Swiss chocolate fondue, take in a spot of sight-seeing and souvenir shopping, or just wander through the town, breathing in that crisp, fresh, Alpine air!
It’s time to swap snow for gelato as you continue your European tour from your mountain adventure towards stunning Italian vistas. Make sure you prepare you camera for a photo opportunity of a lifetime when we stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa! This world-famous 840 year old Bell Tower is immaculately presented, and aching for you to creatively try to ‘push’ it back up, in one of your cleverly crafted photos. A World Heritage UNESCO Site, The Leaning Tower is visited by tourists from every corner of the globe, and is one of the most popular cultural European landmarks. Onwards to the exquisite Tuscan region - famous for wine, food, art and architecture. You will settle in Montecatini Terme, a spa town north-west of Florence. The light here is beautiful at this time of day... time for a local wine or two.
Today, your Italian adventure continues to amaze, as you continue through the Tuscan region to the city of Florence, and then on to the capital - Rome! Once in Florence, your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour of this Renaissance city. History oozes out of every pore of this artistic and cultural centre - the city is home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’. The architecture lining the streets is astounding and so well-preserved, you wouldn’t imagine these buildings are centuries old. We then continue on to the capital, Rome! This afternoon is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of an optional excursion to visit the Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! Inside the walls, you can visit the Sistine Chapel and see for yourself the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo, as well as numerous other famous art pieces dotted around the buildings.
Today is a free day for you to experience Rome's ancient history, exquisite culture and delicious food. The Colosseum is spectacular, offering an unbelievable feeling of drifting backwards in time, to when gladiators, chariots and lions dominated the arena. Your tour leader can arrange for a combined tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum with an expert local guide. You also have the option of joining our 'Conquer the Capital' excursion, seeing sights including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, and enjoying a delicious lunch and gelato tasting.
Take note of the scenery as we make our way to Venice - vineyards and orchards flash in front of a majestic mountain backdrop. The diversity of the Italian landscapes will continue to impress. Venice is a unique city, perched across 118 islands, and known for its canals, gondolas, Venetian masks, piazzas, art, traditional glass and lace making. Your tour leader will introduce you to the city with an orientation walk so you can use your free time in the early evening to explore. See the world-famous St Marks Square, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. The evening is yours to wine and dine, with hundreds of local restaurants and bars on offer. After an espresso, explore Venice the traditional way - from the canals. Your tour leader can arrange for gondola and water taxi rides that give you a completely different perspective and appreciation for the amazing structure of this unique destination.
We leave Italy for Munich, the capital of the Bavarian region of Germany. With much of the city having to be restored after WW2, the modern and ancient history of Munich is fascinating, and the appreciation of the effort to rebuild the city is gilded with respect. Your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour of the city, showing you some the highlights, including Karlsplatz and Marienplatz, and explaining more of its history. This evening, we will enjoy dinner in a traditional German beer hall.
Leaving Bavaria behind, we stop off in picture-perfect Nuremberg. Having served as a residence for German kings over many centuries, Nuremberg was an architectural marvel, and famous for its artists, too. We then drive on to Berlin, Germany's capital. On arrival, we'll take a driving tour through the city and see some of the city's more famous landmarks. Having prospered until the outbreak of the Second World War, it then endured division during the cold war, symbolized in the infamous Berlin Wall. This is a fascinating city with a firm understanding of what it takes to rebuild and regenerate - over and over again; the very essence of creativity. Reminders of the past are everywhere, but Berlin has a vibrant culture to enjoy, too.
Today is a free day in Berlin, so take time to investigate some of the sights you would have seen yesterday on the driving tour, or strike out on your own to discover more of the city for yourself - the choice is yours! For an incredible bird's eye view of the city, head up the Berlin TV tower - located close to Alexanderplatz, it has become an icon of the capital. Fancy some museum action? Then head over to the museum island, a collection of five world-famous museums on an island in the heart of Berlin’s city centre. After a day of exploring you may wish to relax or party; Berlin has you covered, with an incredibly vibrant nightlife offering plenty of bars, clubs and shows - from theatre to cabaret.
This morning, you will say your goodbyes to Germany on the final leg of your tour as you return to the Netherlands. With your Expat Explore tour leader giving you a run down on local traditions and culture, you will be given an opportunity to indulge three of the most iconic Dutch products - cheese, clogs and windmills! A very entertaining cheese and clog making display will have you fascinated and wanting to taste the cheese and try on the clogs. Checking into your hotel you have a chance to freshen up, before making the most of your last evening of the tour. Why not wander round the city centre - the cafes, restaurants and bars will be buzzing with activity and atmosphere. This is your last night on tour, so squeeze every last drop out of it!
The tour concludes today in Amsterdam after breakfast. Don’t forget to swap details with your fellow travellers before your onward journey home!
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