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A remarkably immersive holiday experience covering just shy of 4 full weeks of exploration. Follow in the slipstream of passionate tour leaders through 15 European countries. Discover France, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, Monaco and Berlin. Witness clog-making in the heart of the Netherlands. Learn about the history of age old cities of Rome, Venice and Florence in Italy. Follow the sun along the famous French Riviera and walk along the Gaudi trail in Barcelona, Spain. With plenty of time set aside to explore by yourself, this tour showcases European travel at its absolute best! Ready? Let’s go.
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 your 26 day tour of Europe. Aptly named the Ultimate Europe tour, you're going to visit the most popular cities, sights and destinations. Goodbye, London! Cross the English Channel and stop off in a beautiful medieval Belgian city - Bruges, Ghent or similar, depending on timings. Onwards to the Netherlands. Notice the landscape change to windmills and waterways as you approach Amsterdam. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Amsterdam has a stunning canal district with an incredible dining scene with an endless list of restaurants and cafes, hundreds of museums. Take a bicycle tour or simply wander the streets and canals to explore the city further.
Today is a free day to explore Amsterdam further. Design your own itinerary and go where you please, or join us on an optional tour of the Dutch countryside. This excursion begins with an entertaining demonstration of how traditional Dutch clogs are made (by hand), followed by a lesson in local cheese making. There is time to pop some clogs on, and taste the cheesy treats. Your next stop is to the historical windmill village of Zaanse Schans, where you will discover how they were vital to industrial development to the Netherlands. This is a great chance to get some fabulous photos! A visit to the quaint seaside village of Volendam allows you to stretch your legs, wander the main street filled with cafes and local nick-nacks and admire the sprawling views. This afternoon we meet back up to enjoy an included dinner cruise of the iconic canals.
Today you continue your Europe tour into the German capital, Berlin. You'll find the city has a positive energy bursting in every direction. Enjoy an eclectic mix of different music styles and street art. This provides a stark contrast to when the city was divided during the Cold War. But, Berlin does offer a reminder of the oppression suffered. Tomorrow you will have plenty of time to explore the city in depth.
Today, you will be introduced to Berlin on a local guided walking tour. You will visit a number of poignant locations. Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Site of Hitler’s Former Bunker, Luftwaffe HQ, 17th June Street, The Berlin Wall, The Former SS Headquarters, and Checkpoint Charlie. After the walking tour you'll have the afternoon free to explore the city some more. Maybe join our optional excursion to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. A gloomy yet enlightening encounter with the injustices of WW2.
Farewell, Berlin. Head for Prague this morning stopping off in the German city of Dresden. A city rebuilt from the ground up after bombing attacks in WW2. Today the grand buildings are no reflection on the pain they suffered. Try the local German food - such as Bratwurst - and wander the paved streets. Heading to the Czech Republic, it's time to get excited about what's ahead! Prague is an amazing city! The historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A locally guided walking tour will introduce you to many locations. Prague has a vibrant nightlife and a stunning silhouette. Watch the lights dance across the river as you cross the Charles Bridge. Marvel at the castles lit against the night sky.
Treat yourself to the fairytale magic of Prague. This city combines youthful curiosity with old school wisdom. Visit the majestic Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, the ‘Old Town’ and Jewish Quarter. There's even a ‘Secret Garden’ which leads to a man made grotto - go find it! Prague's history reflects in the architecture of its churches, opera houses, concert halls and parks. Those wanting to put their stamp on the city, visit legendary Lennon Wall. A tribute to John Lennon and words of peace added by travellers. End the day with a visit to a beer hall and sample the local brew. Fun fact: beer in Prague is cheaper than water - Prost!
Continue your tour of Europe towards Bratislava in Slovakia. The city is a melting pot of nationalities and religions. Your tour leader will take you on a tour to show you some of the highlights. We then travel on to the Austrian city of Vienna. The city boasts some of Europe’s most impressive architecture and a cultural heritage steeped in glorious flamboyance and style. This was home to Sigmund Freud and some of the world's most celebrated composers (...try Mozart, Beethoven & Brahms). The city centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Catch a glance of the famous Schonbrunn Palace as you approach Vienna. Once you arrive, explore the centre on your guided walking tour of the city. Taking in the Golden Mile, Imperial Castle and St Stephen’s Cathedral. Let the history wash over you and marvel at Vienna’s significance in modern and ancient history.
This morning we head for Slovenia, and the small city of Ljubljana. A local guide will escort you on a walking tour of this fairytale city. Gaze at the many bridges and preserved baroque, Gothic and medieval buildings. Take in the scenery as you head south, crossing the border into Italy. Welcome to Venice - a city straddling 118 islands. An area known for canals, gondolas, art and traditional glass and lace making. In the evening you have free time to relax at the hotel. Or join an optional excursion - Venice by water taxi.
After breakfast, your tour leader will escort you into the heart of Venice. Get oriented with Venice on a walking tour passing by all the major attractions. Have your cameras ready for St Mark's Square, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge! The rest of the day is yours to enjoy as you wish. Maybe revisit your favourite sights again or shop for local curios. Visit one of the many cafés to enjoy wine and the local cuisine. Maybe join our optional excursion to Murano & Burano islands. You'll learn how Venetian glass and lace art are created. Or opt for a dip with the locals at popular Lido Beach. Make the most of your day - you're in Venice!
Today we continue on the Italian leg of your Europe tour. We will be substituting the vibe of Venice for the richness of Rome! Enjoy a picturesque drive through the Italian countryside along the way. Approaching Rome, you'll start feeling the energy of the city. Rome is full of history, tradition, passion and activity. A local guide will introduce you to the locations that make Rome so unique. You'll visit The Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum and Colosseum. Make sure to toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Legend has it that if you do you'll return to Rome again! We will head back to the hotel in the evening. Make sure to use this time to plan your free days.
Today is a free day for you to experience Rome. Marvel at the city's ancient history, exquisite culture and delicious food. Don't know where to start? Maybe join our optional tours. A food tour and excursion to Castel Gandolfo (the pope's summer home). You'll also have time to enter the Vatican City! Make sure you visit the Sistine Chapel and see the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo.
Another special day in Rome to explore as you wish. We have two optional excursions for you to choose from if so wish. Either join your tour leader on a trip to Pompeii - an old Roman city and proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or enter the spectacular Colosseum with a local tour guide. Go back in time when gladiators, chariots and lions ruled the arena. Italians believe in taking it easy - "Dolce far Niente". Follow suit by relaxing at the trattoria with some local food and wine.
After breakfast in Rome, journey to Florence, the capital city of the Tuscan region. Upon arrival head out for an orientation tour of the city. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and the replica of the statue of David all feature in this guided tour. After the tour, step inside the world of Italian leather-crafting as you visit a leather demo in a local leather shop. Spend lunchtime exploring at your leisure, and then head to your accommodation in the ancient spa town of Montecatini Terme.
Before leaving Italy, we visit one more attraction - the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It draws millions of visitors every year. All of them with the same goal in mind - to take the perfect selfie! Pretend to push the tower back up or maybe kick it down. Get creative, get into position - these shots are the most memorable. Leaving the Italian countryside, we cross over to the French Riviera. Bonjour! It's time to experience one of the most picturesque strips of coast in the world. On the French Riviera, it's holiday season all year round.
Today you will have the morning free to explore the French Riviera. The playground for the wealthy. Keep your eyes open for celebrities and stars whilst enjoying the sights! This afternoon we'll experience the glitz and glamour of world-famous Monaco. A microstate on the southern coast of France. On our journey, we'll learn about fragrances at a local perfumery. Arriving in Monaco, we visit the Prince's Palace - residence of the Prince of Monaco. Take in the amazing vistas from a viewpoint overlooking the harbour. We'll visit the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo. Have some free time trying to win your fortune on the tables (entrance not included).
Leaving Nice behind, we're back on the road bound for Barcelona! But first, we head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arles. It's famed for inspiring Van Gogh's paintings and influenced the art displayed in Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. And it was a provincial capital of ancient Rome. Make sure to check out the colourful houses and Roman Amphitheatre! Arriving in Barcelona, get accustomed with its energy of the city. We take you on a city tour to catch all the must see sights. Look out for the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and Gaudi's eclectic architecture. Experience La Ramblas - a walkway full of stalls, cafes, entertainers and life. Following dinner, head to the heart of the city for some music and dancing.
Ah, a free day in Barcelona! We recommend taking in the panoramic splendour and city views from Park Guell. The park offers an interesting design typical of Anton Gaudi. Another Gaudi classic is the unfinished Sagrada Familia. Don't skip a beat there's so much to explore. Museums, the 'Old Town', art galleries and some of the best shopping in Europe. You can even consider catching a traditional Flamenco show. A dance of passion, style, flair and energy - not to be missed.
Hola! Another free day in the Spanish capital. Continue to explore the historical splendour of the city. Visit the sights, indulge in some shopping, watch a game at the Barcelone FC stadium! Maybe laze in the sun at one of the many beaches. Or take an ocean tour and cruise up the coastline. This is sure to give you a unique perspective of the city. Barcelona is brimming with things to do so make the most of it. If you're really stumped for ideas, speak to your tour leader. They have plenty of ideas and may even know of some off-the-beaten-track gems. It's time to fiesta, not siesta!
Adios, Barcelona! Today we head back to France through the countryside to the historic Pont du Gard. Pont du Gard is a 2,000 year old aqueduct built with no nails, cement or mortar. It is truly magnificent. Our final stop of the day is Avignon known as 'The City of Popes'. The city has a long history, stunning architecture and religious significance. Enjoy a walk through the city taking in the sights of Papal Palace and other structures. Indulge in a delicious dinner before enjoying some free time. Feel free to explore the streets some more!
Goodbye, France. Hello, Switzerland! Today we head to the spectacular Swiss Alps for fun in the snowy mountains. Departing Avignon, we make our way to the small city of Geneva. Home of the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters. This is a lunch stop, so grab some food and marvel at Lake Geneva. Or explore the old town, do some shopping and breathe in the fresh air. In the afternoon, we are mountain bound and headed for the Jungfrau Region. Enjoy the stunning scenic drive through the Swiss Alps as we meander through the mountains. When we arrive, the rest of the day is yours. Relax and watch the sun set over the mountain peaks. after a hearty Swiss dinner, feel free to stroll through the streets. Tomorrow promises to be a real treat.
Ready for a snow day? Today is absolute Swiss bliss! Join our optional excursion that takes you to Jungfraujoch - a 4,000m glacier offering stellar views. The journey to the "Top of Europe" is an experience in and of itself. For 365 days of the year, Jungfraujoch is blessed with snow. You board a train on the continent's highest railway and pass by small mountain villages we ascend. At the top, enjoy a host of activities. Perhaps snowboarding, skiing and a classic snowball fight. For those wanting to spend their day in lower altitudes, visit Interlaken. A Swiss village where you can observe the Swiss way of life, enjoy the cuisine and shop for souvenirs.
Goodbye Switzerland. Today we head to Germany. Stopping in Liechtenstein for lunch, you have time to get food and do some shopping. Look out for Vaduz Castle, the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. After our stop, we head to the German city of Munich. On foot is the best way to explore the city so enjoy a walking tour through the city. Munich is home to Oktoberfest - the biggest beer festival in the world! But it doesn't need to be October to get a taste of the festivities. Tonight we dine in a traditional German beer hall - Prost! After a beer or two, we head back to our hotel.
This morning, we head to Germany's famous Rhine Valley. Relax on a riverboat as we cruise passed castles, towns and vineyards! The area is home to the highest concentration of castles in all of Europe. You'll learn the stories and myths of the castle, many of which are now in ruins. Finding our way back onto land, we visit a wine merchant for a tasting. If we're lucky, we'll get to sample the local eiswein (ice wine). A dessert wine harvested when the temperatures get below freezing!
After breakfast, we make our way back to the French border - this time bound for Paris! For lunch, we'll stop in the smallest country in Europe - Luxembourg. Observe the Renaissance architecture of the Grand Ducal Palace. Or choose to have lunch in the central square where you'll find cafes and restaurants. Next stop, Paris! Enjoy a driving tour of the City of Love. You'll see Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and, of course, the Eiffel Tower! Have your cameras ready - there are photo stops along the way. Tonight we feast in the Latin Quarter, a bohemian and historic neighbourhood. It's then back to the hotel on Paris' world famous metro system.
Bonjour! Time for some French Couture to make Paris the perfect fit for you. A Seine River cruise to the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, perhaps? Or visit the Louvre to catch a glimpse at the famous Mona Lisa. Sample the alfresco cuisine in Montmartre while taking in the city views. For something different, sample some dishes in the Spanish Quarter. You'll be able to find affordable frogs legs and snails on the menu. Wash it down with some wine and you're living like a local! For something different and for the young at heart, visit Paris Disneyland. Or simply stroll the streets as the locals do, checking out the bookstalls, cafes, fromageries and perfumeries. For anything else, speak to your tour leader - they can give you expert advice.
Sigh. It's our last day on tour. Following breakfast, it's back on the coach. Au revoir Paris! We head through the French countryside towards the English Channel. Once we board the ferry, use this time to swap contact details with your new travel buddies. Feel free to talk to your tour leader about our other tours. The best way to cure the sadness following your holiday is to plan a new one! We hope you had the best holiday with us and look forward to welcoming you on a new adventure soon!
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