Europe at Leisure

10 Days, 5 Countries. Discover five unmissable European countries and enjoy plenty of time to explore Paris, Switzerland and Amsterdam.
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Summary

This is a tour that slowly brews to perfection. Immerse yourself in some of Europe's top destinations at a leisurely pace. Savour the charms of Paris. Eat lunch on the river Seine and try French macarons. Scale the epic Jungfrau glacier in Switzerland. Encounter the authentic allure of the Dutch countryside. Accompanied by a seasoned tour leader, you'll eat where the locals eat and discover the true rhythm of life in Europe's finest cities. From cruises on the Seine to cheese-making in Amsterdam, you will do as the Europeans do. La vie est belle, no?

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Why this Trip

  • All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
  • No minimum numbers required.
  • FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
  • Services of your Expat Explore tour leader.
  • Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees.

Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here

Start in: London

Greenwich train station, 06:30 hrs
Holiday Inn Express Hotel Greenwich, 07:00 hrs
End in: London

Greenwich train station, 19:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs
Duration: 10 Days
Ages: 10 - 75+
Places: 5 Countries
8 Experiences

DAY 1: London - Somme - Paris

Ready for the best 10 days in Europe, ever? Welcome to your Europe at Leisure Tour! Leave London behind and cross the English Channel bound for Paris. On our way we'll make a short stop in northern France in the Somme region. This area was the site of some of the bloodiest trench warfare during WWII. Arriving in the ‘City of Lights’ later this afternoon, join in on a driving tour to get a feel for the city. Catch the city’s highlights - the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe, to name but a few! Next we're off to the historic Latin Quarter to enjoy a 3-course French feast with bohemian ambience. The end of dinner signals the end of your first day on tour. Jump on the city’s world famous metro system to head back to the hotel - a genuine local experience.

DAY 2: Paris - Free day

Paris is yours. Enjoy exploring it at your leisure. Enjoy a macaron tasting, visit to a traditional parfumerie or head out for lunch cruise on the River Seine. Even consider going up Montparnasse tower to snap iconic city views and the perfect selfie. Ever dreamt of watching a live cabaret in Paris? Your tour leader can organise all of these unmissable experiences for you! For the art lovers, galleries abound at every turn, including the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay.

DAY 3: Paris - Free day

Paris is vast and wonderful, so enjoy your second full day of exploring the French capital. If you missed anything on your first day, now is your chance to see it. Alternatively opt for a full-day optional excursion to one of France’s most famous regions - the Loire Valley. Visit some of the finest chateaux in the region and stop to taste delicious Loire Valley wines. The region is best known for dry whites such as Sauvignon blanc, Pinot noir and Cabernet franc.

DAY 4: Paris - Burgundy - Swiss Alps

Au revoir, Paris! Leave the city behind to experience small town France, stopping in Beaune in the heart of the Burgundy region. Enjoy some free time for lunch and to explore the town - why not visit the Hospices de Beaune or sample local cheese and wines. Leaving France, take a scenic drive across the border into Switzerland. Head to the Swiss Alps for a stay in a quaint mountain village in the heart of the Jungfrau region. This UNESCO World Natural Heritage site is home to Europe’s largest glacier. On arrival at our beautiful partner hotel the Alpenrose Hotel & Gardens, settle into your rooms before we enjoy an included dinner.

DAY 5: Swiss Alps - Free day

The splendour of the Swiss Alps is all yours today. Join our optional group tour to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe! The scenic beauty unfolds as soon as you board the train. Look out for villages nestled in the valleys beneath the snow-capped peaks and tumbling waterfalls. Revel in snow-capped mountain scenery and visit the magical Ice Palace and Sphinx Observation Terrace. The views from 3,466 metres are incredible, and at this altitude you are guaranteed snow 365 days of the year!

DAY 6: Swiss Alps - Free day

Another gorgeous day in the village of Wilderswil in the picturesque Swiss Alps. Take full advantage of your second free day and join your Expat Explore tour leader on an optional excursion to the elegant city of Lucerne. Stop over in Altdorf to find out more about the story of William Tell, Swiss patriot and national symbol. Visit a Victorinox Swiss Army knife visitor centre in Brunnen and cruise the spectacular Lake Lucerne. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore Lucerne at your leisure. Alternatively in Wilderswil, you can follow walking and hiking routes into the mountains, or get your adrenaline pumping with skydiving, paragliding and other active sports in Europe’s adventure capital Interlaken.

DAY 7: Swiss Alps - Strasbourg - Heidelberg

Embark to our next destination: Strasbourg, France. This historic town is brimming with German and French influences and is best explored on foot. Strolling through the streets, gaze in wonder at the Strasbourg Cathedral and sweeping Rhine River views. After stretching your legs, we're back on the road, bound for Heidelberg in Germany. Once checked into your hotel room, the evening is yours to enjoy as you wish in this beautiful Baroque town. Maybe find a traditional beer garden and try some of the local brews. Prost!

DAY 8: Heidelberg - Cologne - Amsterdam

Back on the road today and heading for Cologne. This 2,000-year-old city spans the Rhine River in Western Germany. The area is a landmark for High Gothic architecture, with the Cologne Cathedral a classic example, and boasts being the tallest cathedral in the world. Enjoy the rest of your free time exploring the local sights and delights. Then we're off to our next stop - Amsterdam. And what better way to experience the iconic capital of the Netherlands than an included dinner cruise on the canals? This is a wonderful way to experience Amsterdam, seeing its historic architecture and other sights from the water.

DAY 9: Amsterdam - Free day

Today is a free day in Amsterdam! Choose to relax and take in the sights at your leisure. Or join your tour leader for a fun-filled day exploring the Dutch countryside. We begin with an entertaining demonstration showing you how clogs are made. Do you like cheese as much as us? Watch our hosts make cheese the traditional Dutch way. Next up is the historical windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Here you will learn how vital these structures were to the industrial development of the country. Head to the historic fishing village of Volendam, which will show you what Amsterdam would have looked like centuries ago. Wander the streets, discover cafes and shop for local souvenirs. Once we are back in Amsterdam, the rest of the afternoon is yours. Choose to relax, or visit a local landmark like the Heineken Experience, Van Gogh museum or Anne Frank’s House.

DAY 10: Amsterdam - Bruges - London

Today marks the last day of your 10-day Europe tour. Before heading back to London, the Belgian city of Bruges awaits. This a picturesque town with a whole lot of charm. Stretch your legs and explore the meandering canals and walkways of the “Venice of the North”. Then it’s onwards to London, crossing the English Channel along the way. This is the perfect time to exchange contact details with your new travel buddies and start planning a new adventure. You know what they say - the best way to overcome post-travel blues is to start planning the next trip!


Tour Accommodation


* Please note that we do use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here

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What's Included

  • 9 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
  • Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
  • 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • All taxes and fees
  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
  • Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
  • 8 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
  • Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.

Optional Excursions

Optional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
  • Paragliding
  • Sky-diving
  • White-Water River Rafting
  • Train to Jungfraujoch
  • Paris + Tour
  • Swiss Dinner
  • An Evening in Montmartre
  • Loire Valley Chateaux day trip
  • Lucerne day trip
  • Dutch countryside tour
  • Heineken Experience self-guided tour and tasting
  • Heidelberg Palace

Return customers get 10% off!

If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.

Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator

How we make awesome trips affordable

  • No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
  • As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
  • We book our hotels well in advance so we get great value rates that we can pass on to you!
  • Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.

Detailed Info Pack

  • Tour start & end points
  • Pre-departure information
  • Pre-tour accommodation

For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.

Helpful Pre-Trip Info

Visa

Certain nationalities may require a visa(s) for this tour. Please see our visas page for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements. We provide support documentation upon request. Simply contact us.

On tour costs

Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of what activities are included, which meals are included and what is excluded. We would recommend budgeting €25-€40 per day (this excludes optional excursions).

Room Sharing

Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.

  • Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender. 
  • Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
  • Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Free-time

In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.

Meeting Point

Your tour starts and finishes in London. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.

Passport

This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have several blank pages as Visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.

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Have a question?

Are children allowed?

Our tours are not suitable for young children, so we set a minimum age limit of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email for consideration. Expat Explore reserves the absolute right to accept or decline a booking at our discretion.

Are international flights included in the tour price?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting destination for the first day of your tour. Make sure you keep departure times and possible delays in mind when booking flights. Please click here to visit Skyscanner - a useful tool for comparing prices from the vast majority of airlines.

Are transfers included in the tour price?

No, you will need to make your own arrangements to get to the meeting point for the first day of your tour. Please see the meeting point information for details on how to reach the meeting point, and for booking a transfer through Expat Explore.

Can I access wi-fi on the tour?

All of the hotels on this tour offer Wi-Fi, which is available free of charge as part of your Expat Explore tour. In certain hotels this will be available in the hotel lobby only, while in others you will be able to get access in your room. The coaches do not have Wi-Fi on board. If you intend to buy a local sim card to use while you are in Europe, please check with your service provider if your phone will work abroad.

Can we start/finish the tour in Europe?

You can start and leave the tour at any point along the itinerary. For example, on a Europe multi-country tour, if you require a visa to visit London, you may wish to start at the first destination in mainland Europe (Paris or Amsterdam) and leave at the final destination (Amsterdam or Paris) so that you skip the UK and only need to apply for a Schengen visa. It is important to tell us when booking, or as soon as possible after, if you intend to do this so we can send you the relevant meeting point information. Please note that there is no discount for starting and/or finishing the tour in mainland Europe.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Before the tour starts, you will receive an email from us requesting your dietary requirements. There is always a vegetarian option, which is a meal without meat. We try as much as we can to offer you the traditional local cuisine.

Can you provide a triple room?

We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple room may consist of a double bed and a single bed, or a double bed and a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.

Can you send me a quote?

The price shown on the website for your departure date on the day you book is the price you will pay. If you would like to make a group booking for 10 or more people please contact us.

Can you tell me the name of the hotels I will be staying in?

On the tour page we have listed the hotels that we mainly use for our tours on our website, but this is not a definitive list. A full list of confirmed accommodation names and addresses for your particular departure will be emailed to you around 1 week before the tour starts. If you are not starting the tour at the designated start point, and are instead joining later on in the route, please email us to confirm the details of the hotel where you should meet the tour.

Do I get allocated a seat on the coach?

Your tour leader will implement a seat rotation policy, so that everyone on board the coach gets the chance to have a different view from their seats each day.

If you have any medical conditions that may be affected by where you sit, please discuss them with your Tour Leader, but note that the seat rotation policy will most likely mean that your request may not be honoured.

Do I need a visa to travel on this tour?

Certain nationalities may require a visa(s) for this tour. Please see our visas page and your pre-departure information for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassies to confirm your visa requirements.

Do I need to change money before the tour?

Please make sure you bring with you for the start of the tour the local currency(ies) you will need for at least the first three days, as there may not be an opportunity to change currency at the very beginning of the tour. You should budget for any optional excursions you wish to do in this period (see 'Optional Excursions' tab above, these are paid in cash on tour unless stated otherwise) and non-included meals. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash with you on tour; you are better off withdrawing enough cash to last you for the next 5-7 days, rather than carrying enough cash to last you for the entirety of the tour. Please refer to your pre-departure information for more information on the currencies you will require for your particular itinerary. When changing money please ensure that you are not given high denomination notes (for example €200 and €500 notes), as you will find most shops and restaurants will refuse to accept them, and your Expat Explore tour leader cannot accept them as payment for optional excursions.

Do you have storage/left luggage facilities?

No, we do not have these facilities. For security reasons, you will be required to keep your belongings with you at all times. Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to bring.

How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?

Expat Explore can provide travellers requiring visas with visa support documents on a request basis. Please note that you are required to pay for your tour in full in order to receive the documents. This is an embassy/consulate requirement by law. Once you have received confirmation that your booking has been paid in full, you can request your visa support documents by emailing info@expatexplore.com - please allow up to 10 working days to receive these documents.

How do I book/pay?

You can book online through our website or call our customer service team to make a booking over the phone. You must pay a deposit of the greater of 10% or 50 GBP (or equivalent if booking in a currency other than GBP) via our online payment platform to secure your place. You can pay the remaining amount up to 60 days before departure, with a debit/credit card or with a bank transfer.

How many other people will be on my tour?

It depends on how many other people book! There could be up to 51 other passengers, so you will have the opportunity to make lots of friends!

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to weight and space limitations, you are allowed to bring one main piece of luggage weighing no more than 20kg, and one small soft bag for hand luggage. On all tours, you will have to carry your own luggage (e.g. into hotels and up to your room if hotels don’t have elevators). Please bear this in mind when you are deciding what to pack.

How much spending money do I need for my holiday?

This is up to you, of course, and will vary depending on how much wish to spend on snacks, drinks, souvenirs etc. We do not include entrance fees to attractions and museums. We do, however, provide you with free time to see everything you want, and our tour leaders will have all the information on pricing and locations so you can manage your own budget. Please refer to your tours specific pre-departure information and optional excursions guide for further details.

How much time will be spent on the coach?

Many of the countries are vast and varied, and there will be some long driving days on your tour. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy watching the changing countryside as it rolls past your window, to share music with your fellow travellers, watch a few movies or get involved in some of the games and quizzes hosted by your tour leader. Where possible, we have also included stops at points of interest.

How much walking is involved in your tours?

We believe the best way to get to the heart and soul of a city is on foot, surrounded by the people and the culture. For this reason, we do walking tours through most of the cities we visit. Many of the cities you visit are vast and old, often with steps and cobblestones. Our walking tours can last up to 3 hours with plenty of opportunities to take photographs and soak up the history of these fascinating places, but you do require a certain level of fitness to enjoy your tour to its fullest.

Is Europe a safe place to travel to?

Europe has a low rate of crime and corruption, and travelling here is generally considered safe and hassle free. Your tour leader will be on hand to offer local advice on each area you visit. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides travel advice for each destination we visit – each country has a summary and general information as well as advice on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements and health.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit payment secures your place(s) on the tour and the price you pay. Your deposit paid at the time of booking is non-refundable. Our full Terms and Conditions can be viewed online.

Is travel insurance compulsory?

Yes, and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Passengers and their personal property travel with Expat Explore solely at their own risk. A suitable insurance policy should provide adequate cover for medical expenses arising through illness or accident prior to or during the holiday, and loss of holiday monies through cancellation or curtailment of the holiday or other insurable reasons. Clients should ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for the type of activities in their tour. When on tour, ensure you keep personal belongings on you at all times and that your suitcase/backpack has a lock on it, especially in tourist areas. It may be advisable to wear a money belt to store money, credit cards and passport.
For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please visit WorldNomads (for all nationalities) or Hollard (for South Africans).

Should I tip the tour leader and driver, and if so, how much?

Whilst we fully understand that some nationalities are not accustomed to tipping, this is a normal part of the culture in many of the countries we visit. Tipping has become an increasingly accepted practice in all areas of the service industry, but particularly in restaurants, bars and taxis worldwide. Expat Explore crew members (your tour leader and driver) will transform your trip experience from just good, to exceptional, and where this is the case a tip (even a modest one) is always highly appreciated. They will be travelling with you from just a few days, up to a few weeks, and you'll soon become good friends. It is sometimes easy to forget that they work hard to ensure that you get a once in a lifetime experience. At the end of your tour you will have the opportunity to thank your Expat Explore tour leader and driver by offering them a tip. We suggest somewhere between £3-5, €4-6 or $5-7 per person per day. Tipping is entirely voluntary and the above rate is offered as a suggested guide only. If you take a walking tour with a local guide, tipping these guides at the end of walking tours and excursions is always appreciated, but not expected.

The tour I want is unavailable, what does this mean?

If a tour is displaying as fully booked, then unfortunately at this point in time we do not have any available seats. However, we can sometimes add extra places, and we do occasionally receive cancellations, so if you cannot find an alternative tour or departure date, please contact our customer service team.

What about room sharing & single supplements?

If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.

What happens if I forget or lose my passport?

Unfortunately, you will be unable to continue the tour and you should make contact with your closest embassy immediately to replace the passport. Your passport is an essential travel document, and should be kept safe at all times.

What happens if I miss the coach during the tour?

You will have to make your own way to the next destination at your own expense. Please ensure you are on time for all departures to avoid being left behind.

What happens if my visa gets rejected?

Please allow sufficient time to complete the visa process (at least 4 weeks). Should your visa application be unsuccessful, you will be able to change or cancel your tour, but standard terms and conditions (and therefore fees) will apply. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for more information. Visa Deny Service: We now offer a Visa Deny Service for those passengers who have to apply for a UK visa or Schengen Visa. This service provides protection against the denial of these two visas which means that if your visa application is rejected, you will receive some of your tour money back. For more information please click here.

What is included in the tour price?

The tour price includes accommodation for the duration of the tour, transport by private coach, breakfasts and dinner as per your itinerary, ferry crossings (where applicable), and guided walking tours and excursions as per your itinerary. On top of this, you will have a tour leader to assist you along the way with great tips and handy advice! Please refer to the ‘Included’ section of the itinerary where a full breakdown is given.

What is the average age of your groups?

We have a very wide range of ages on our tours, and do not restrict our passengers to certain age groups or limits. A positive attitude and an open mind are more important than a number!

What kind of accommodation do you use on your tours?

We have searched and invested in excellent accommodation options, either located in cities or well placed with public transport connections. Clean linen is always included, so you do not need to bring a sleeping bag. Towels are always included; however you may want to bring your own for use at the beach, swimming pool etc, if applicable to your tour. Toiletries (shampoo, shower gel etc) and hair dryers are not always included, so you may wish to bring these with you. Accommodation is provided in twin share en-suite rooms. We use a mix of mostly 2, 3 & 4-star hotels, and some hostels.

What level of fitness do I need to participate in these tours?

All travellers are required to carry their own bags, get on and off the coach and use public transport. Our city walking tours can last up to 3 hours and certain places involve walking up and down lots of steps. We want you to enjoy your tour, so read through the itinerary thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough.

What time does each day start on tour?

Generally, we like to make an early start, so that you can spend more time at each destination. On your free days, you can have a lie in if you wish!

Where does my tour depart from?

Tours departing from London are usually scheduled to leave between 06:00-07:00 in the morning, please refer to 'Tour Start & End Points' for confirmation. You should arrive back in London at around 18:30-21:30 on the last day of your tour, depending on ferry crossing times (if applicable to the itinerary) and local traffic. For our guests travelling from other countries to join this tour, we strongly recommend that you arrive a day before the tour starts, and leave a day after the tour ends, to account for any travel delays.

Who will be my tour leader?

Our tour leaders come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and interests. They are all confident and well-travelled with an in-depth knowledge of the destinations they are working in, and a passion for helping you make the most out of your Expat Explore tour. You will be emailed the name and contact details of your tour leader approximately one week before your tour start date. It is important that you keep a record this number so that you can contact your tour leader if you have any issues when joining the tour or during the tour.

Will I get confirmation of my payment?

As soon as your payment has been processed by our accounts team, we will send you a confirmation email. Please note this may take up to 5 working days, depending on your method of payment.

Will there be an opportunity to do laundry on tour?

For shorter itineraries most travellers are able to pack enough clothes to last them for the duration of the trip. For longer tours, you may need to plan for doing your laundry during the tour. Your tour leader will be able to recommend the best place for this. Hotel laundry services are less common in Europe and can be very expensive, so the tour leader’s recommendation will most likely be a local laundromat in a destination where you have at least a two-night stay. In bigger cities you may be able to use a laundry service, who will pick up from the hotel and then deliver the clean clothes back to reception. These services are operated by third-parties so your tour leader and Expat Explore will not be responsible for any issues - try not to bring any clothes with you that are valuable or sentimental in case of loss or damage. Alternatively, you could wash your clothes in the sink/wash basin in your hotel room, particularly if it's smaller items like socks and underwear. If you do, take care not to be too obvious when you hang them up to dry as most hotels do not like guests washing and drying their clothes in the hotel rooms. We suggest doing this in destinations where you spend two or more nights so the clothes have as much time to dry as possible.
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