If you're looking to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas this year, then look no further than the Europe Christmas and New Year Escape. A comprehensive Europe coach tour taking in some of the continent's most famous sights, including Paris, Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Florence, The Vatican City, you will even head up to the highest train station in Europe in the shadow of Switzerland's Jungfraujoch on this tour. And that's not all... with stops in Germany's Rhine Valley and Amsterdam, too, this is the best way to celebrate the festive season in Europe.
Welcome to the tour! Leaving London behind us, we make our way to Paris, crossing the English Channel and arriving in the ‘City of Lights’ in the afternoon. 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!
Today is yours to explore Paris any way you like. Whether you’re after a visit to Disneyland Paris, a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a few hours in one of the countless museums – Paris awaits! Perhaps you fancy going shopping? Or visiting Notre Dame Cathedral? How about sampling some of that famous French cuisine? Make the most of the day, and be sure to ask your Expat Explore tour leader for hints and tips. Optional excursions include a River Seine cruise and a trip up Montparnasse to admire an incredible view of the city. The evening is yours to spend as you wish.
Today we depart from the city of love, Paris. But our love affair with France is not over as we have a lunch stop in Burgundy. Here, you can try the famous wine or visit the beautiful Hospices de Beaune. After lunch we cross the border into Switzerland and you get your first glimpse of the Swiss Alps! Breathe in that fresh Alpine air and take in the magnificent views around you. You are now surrounded by snow-capped peaks, green fields and crystal-clear lakes. Time to get into the festive Christmas spirit!
Merry Christmas! Today is yours to enjoy the local scenery. You could take a train or gondola high up into the snow-capped mountains - imagine those views and photos! Alternatively, why not wander through a local village and see what Christmas festivities you can find. Whatever you choose to do - be sure to make your way to higher ground and admire the magnificent views. Sip some gluhwein and enjoy the snowy surrounds – it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this! Make sure to capture all your photos and memories in this winter wonderland. Tonight you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Christmas dinner with your fellow travellers. After spending the day in the mountains or on the slopes you’re sure to sleep soundly tonight!
It's time to swap snow for gelato, as you continue your European tour through northern Italy to Florence. Once we arrive, a local guide can’t wait to show you around on a walking tour of the city. History oozes out of every pore of this artistic and cultural centre - the city is home to Michaelangelo’s ‘David’. After some free time to further explore Florence we head to our accommodation for the evening, either in Florence or the spa town of Montecatini Terme.
Today, your Italian adventure continues! Make sure you prepare your camera for a photo opportunity of a lifetime..when we stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa! This world famous Bell tower is immaculately presented. 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. 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.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but luckily you have a free one, in which to explore the city to your hearts content! This morning you will have the option of joining our 'Conquer the Capital' excursion, a fun-filled day of exploring Rome, seeing sights including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon, and enjoying a delicious lunch and gelato tasting. The city centre boasts ancient ruins, historical landmarks, religious buildings and a buzzing atmosphere like no other. The Colosseum is a spectacular icon of Rome, offering fabulous views of the city, and an unbelievable feeling of drifting backwards in time, to when gladiators, chariots and lions dominated the arena. For those who wish to enter, your tour leader can organise a tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum with a local guide this afternoon.
After roaming Rome, you shall now visit Venice on the next leg of your 12 day Europe Tour! Take note of the scenery on the way - vineyards and orchards flash in front of a majestic mountain backdrop. The diversity of the Italian landscapes will continue to impress. And then...Venice. 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 enjoy authentic Italian delights, with hundreds of fantastic local restaurants and bars to choose from. After an espresso, you can explore Venice the traditional way - from the canals. Take an optional gondola ride which gives you a completely different perspective and appreciation for the amazing structure of this supremely unique location.
Arrivederci, Italy...until we see each other again. Heading north toward Germany, you will encounter some of the most beautiful countryside in central Europe. The famous Brenner Pass will appear before you, and simply take your breath away. Arriving in Munich in the afternoon, there is plenty of time for an escorted walking tour of the city centre. 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 German capital is gilded with respect. Munich plays host to one of the most famous beer festivals in the world - Oktoberfest! To give you a taste, this evening you will dine in a traditional beer hall, and enjoy a local beer on us! Prost!
Tonight is New Year's Eve! Before we celebrate, your German adventure continues on to the Rhine Valley. Once we arrive, relax on board a Rhine riverboat as we head to our hotel in the heart of this picturesque region. This is the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe, and it also features vineyards, charming medieval towns and lofty cliffs. Learn the story of the castles, many of which are now in ruins since the river barons left long ago. Once the cruise is over we'll visit a local wine merchants for an included wine tasting - if the harvest has been good, you may even get to try eiswein (ice wine), a very sweet dessert wine that is produced in very small quantities as it can only be harvested when the temperature drops below freezing. After an included dinner of traditional German food, it's time to celebrate and ring in the New Year!
This morning we continue into 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 in indulge three of the most iconic Dutch products - cheese, clogs and windmills! Checking into your hotel you have a chance to freshen up, and then whisked to the centre of Amsterdam for a twilight canal cruise. Complete with pizza and ice cream, you will explore the city from the canals, and gain an alternative perspective of this eclectic and bohemian city, whilst drifting past famous landmarks, and learning about Amsterdam’s interesting development.
After your Amsterdam adventure, you have one more stop before you set off for the UK. The Belgian city of Bruges, is a small but picturesque city, with breathtaking architecture and a wonderful personality. Described as the ‘Venice of the North’, take some time to stretch your legs and indulge in a spot of sight-seeing. Gastronomy is its forte, You will find plenty of chocolatiers ready to educate you on the quality of their produce. After your visit, you will then be on your way back to London, crossing the English Channel on the way. This is the perfect time to exchange contact details with new friends and travel buddies as you prepare to disembark in the capital. Make sure you upload the highlights of your 12 day Europe tour onto our Facebook page, and we look forward to having you on tour with us again soon.
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.
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
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).
Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in London. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.
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.