Best of Europe - 22 Day - XEB

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Mike and Stephie
Nov 04, 2020

Experience the highlights of western, central & eastern Europe over 22 incredible days on our Best of Europe coach tour. Starting in London, you will enjoy your first night in the UK capital exploring the historic Greenwich neighbourhood and getting to know your tour leader and fellow travellers at the included welcome dinner. The next morning we cross the English Channel to begin our exploration of mainland Europe! You'll visit capital cities like Paris, Zagreb, Budapest and Prague, where you can experience the historic architecture, rich culture and vibrant nightlife. Foodies will also have plenty of opportunity to indulge their passion, as we enjoy 5 days in Italy and all the pizza and pasta you can manage!

One of the many benefits of a tour is that you will visit more little-known, but nonetheless stunning destinations, that you would miss if you travelled by train or plane. Heidelberg, for example, is Germany's oldest university town with a beautiful ruined castle overlooking the old town and the Rhein Falls in Switzerland is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in London

Meet your tour leader at the starting hotel. This afternoon, head out to explore the Royal Borough of Greenwich. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s a must-see with many historical buildings and gardens. We’ll wander through the historic Greenwich docklands, past the Old Royal Naval College and the famous Cutty Sark ship, and go on a boat orientation tour before enjoying an included welcome dinner together in a traditional British pub.

Day 2: London - Paris

Departing London, we cross the English Channel and travel to 'The City of Lights and Love' - Paris! Your experienced tour leader will introduce you to all the key Parisian sites on a relaxing coach tour of the city. Keep an eye out for such iconic landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and Notre Dame - take a mental note of what you wish to explore more further on your free day. This evening 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!

Day 3: Paris: Free Day

Enjoy a full free day to explore the French capital! The Seine River is the backbone of the capital, and flows through the heart of the city. Why not choose a cruise, and sail past the Notre Dame Cathedral, to the epic Eiffel Tower? You can explore on your own or join a full day of exploration in Paris! The Paris+ excursion will take you to all the iconic sights including the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, and much more! Paris Disneyland is perfect for the ‘young at heart’, and is only a short distance away. Your tour leader is brimming with ideas and local knowledge for you to make the most of your time here.

Day 4: Champagne region - Luxembourg - Heidelberg

This morning we’ll depart Paris and head east to our first stop in the champagne region of Reims, where we’ll taste one of France’s most famous and highly prized exports - champagne! We’ll then continue our journey to Luxembourg, where you’ll have some free time to explore the capital of one of Europe’s smallest countries; Luxembourg City features a charming Unesco-listed centre with plenty of restaurants and cafés. Our final destination of the day is Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town which is renowned for its Altstadt (old town). Your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour of the city centre and give you some free time to explore the old town before we meet back up for dinner.

Day 5: Black Forest - Lake Titisee - Rhine Falls - Lucerne region

This morning we head into Germany’s Schwarzwald (Black Forest), home of delicious Black Forest gâteau, cuckoo clocks and Hansel and Gretel! Pick up an authentic German cuckoo clock from a local family business in the heart of the forest. Arriving on the shores of Lake Titisee, explore the spa town of Titisee and grab some lunch. We’ll then cross into Switzerland and stop off at the stunning Rhine Falls, the largest plain waterfall in Europe. You’ll have some time to explore, with the option to take a boat ride on the falls. Once in Lucerne, your tour leader will give you a quick orientation tour to introduce you to the city before we travel on to our accommodation.

Day 6: Lucerne: Free Day

Today you’ll have a free day to enjoy the Lucerne region. Renowned as one of Switzerland's most beautiful cities, Lucerne is a place you'll definitely want to have your camera at the ready for! All the ingredients for the quintessentially picturesque Swiss experience are here - a cobalt lake and well-preserved old town complete with waterfront promenades, covered bridges and perfect plazas are surrounded by the natural skyscrapers of the Swiss Alps. It's no wonder that Goethe, Queen Victoria and Wagner savoured the stunning views that Lucerne has to offer. There's charm and grace around every corner, but it's not all about history - there's certainly enough of a pulse here to keep things current, with carnivals, concerts and exhibitions aplenty.

Day 7: Liechtenstein - Neuschwanstein Castle - Innsbruck

Four countries in one day! Our first stop is the Alpine principality of Liechtenstein, the sixth smallest nation in the world. Stopping in the capital Vaduz, we'll have some time to stroll around and enjoy the scenery. We’ll then visit Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th Century German hilltop castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, and the inspiration for the famous Disneyland castle. Entrance to the castle is included in the tour package price. Our final destination of the day is Innsbruck, Austria. Home to Austria's third-largest student population, there's no shortage of vibrant bars and beer gardens to enjoy. Your tour leader will introduce you to the city on a quick orientation tour.

Day 8: Modena - Siena

This morning we head south into Italy. One of the most visited destinations in the world, Italy serves up centuries of incredible history, rich culture and, of course, fantastic food! As we make our way to Siena we'll stop in Modena, where you'll enjoy a tasting of balsamic vinegar. Arriving in Siena this afternoon, your tour leader will take you on a short orientation tour of the historic city centre, and you'll then have some free time to take photos and explore.

Day 9: Pisa - Florence - Siena

Today we’ll explore the undoubted highlights of Tuscany: Pisa and Florence! Now over 800 years old, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a classic sight in Italy and well worth a photo! Upon arrival in Florence, take an orientation walking tour of the city with your tour leader to see all the iconic sights, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and the replica of the statue of David. After the tour, step into the world of Italian leather crafting as you visit a local leather factory and shop. Learn more about famous handmade Florentine leather products. Spend some free time over lunch to explore before returning to Siena where you’ll spend the night.

Day 10: Rome

There is more of Italy to see - we’re off to the capital, Rome! This European metropolis buzzes with activity, tradition, passion, and an energy of its own. Our local Roman tour guide will introduce you to the city and its many historic sights, including the Spanish Steps, Pantheon and Piazza Navona, and if you choose to, the Colosseum. Why not join a food tour of the city led by an expert Roman chef and savour exquisite local dishes but remember to save some room for an included traditional dinner later this evening.

Day 11: Rome: Free Day

Rome boasts ancient ruins, historical landmarks, religious buildings and a buzz like no other, and you’ve got a full free day to explore! Visit the Colosseum or the Roman Forum and drift backwards in time to when gladiators, chariots and lions dominated the arena. Join an excursion to the papal palace of Castel Gandolfo in the morning or spend the afternoon in the Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! Explore St Peter’s Basilica and see Michelangelo’s artwork in the Sistine Chapel. One of the best areas for sampling authentic Roman food is in Trastevere where restaurants, favoured by the locals, serve original and classic dishes you may not find elsewhere. Enjoy!

Day 12: Venice

Leaving the churches and basilicas behind, today we head to the canals of Venice! On arrival, we’ll take an orientation walking tour with your tour leader, who will show you the sights including the Rialto Bridge and St Marks Square. You’ll also have the option to explore Venice the traditional way - from the canals on a gondola ride, which gives you a completely different perspective and appreciation for the amazing structure of this unique destination.

Day 13: Ljubljana - Zagreb

We head for Zagreb; Croatia’s capital today and drive through the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. Often thought of as a hidden gem of Europe, its castles, stunning architecture and natural beauty mean it packs a punch more powerful than its small size would suggest. Once in Zagreb, your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk of this fascinating city. Explore the interesting mix of Hapsburg and Communist architecture, learn historical and cultural facts, and get a glimpse of everyday life in this charming city. We'll check into the hotel and have some time to freshen up before the included dinner this evening.

Day 14: Zagreb - Budapest

Today we’ll cross into Hungary and head for the capital, Budapest. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it straddles the historic Danube River and boasts numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites - its natural geo-thermal springs are a highlight. Enjoy a driving tour of the city, and then use your free time this evening to explore, or join our optional excursion to the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath, one of the most famous icons of the city and Europe’s largest medicinal bath.

Day 15: Bratislava - Vienna

Moving on to the Slovakian capital, Bratislava! Surrounded by mountains, vineyards, ski runs and wilderness, Bratislava is a charming city. Your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour to see some of the main sights. Once in Vienna, a local guide will take us on a walking and driving tour of the Austrian capital. As a centre for art and culture in Europe for centuries, Vienna was host to some of the world’s leading musical minds at one time or another – including luminaries like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. But along with its classical heritage, magnificent concert halls, palaces and museums, Vienna is also a modern city, with a vibrant café, restaurant and nightlife culture.

Day 16: Vienna: Free Day

Enjoy a free day to explore Vienna! Awash with imperial splendour, Vienna was once the centre of the powerful Habsburg monarchy, which dominated central Europe from the 16th-18th centuries. History fans should check out the incredible palaces of the era - Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere. Classical music lovers can enjoy a concert by one of the greatest composers of the Viennese classical period, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Day 17: Prague

Today we’re off to the Czech Republic! Prague is a beautiful city, boasting elaborate baroque, gothic, art nouveau and cubist architecture, and rewarding those who explore it with quirky bars, cobbled lanes and secluded courtyards. Known for its brilliant beer and abundance of history, any exploration of Prague will be a memorable one. A local guide will take us on a walking tour and introduce us to the must-see sights of the city, before you have a free afternoon to explore more at your own pace. You have the option to experience a traditional Czech folk music and dancing evening including a traditional four-course meal tonight.

Day 18: Dresden - Berlin

Our first destination today is a lunch stop in the German city of Dresden. Virtually rebuilt from the ground up after bombing attacks in WW2 destroyed the city centre, Dresden is immaculate and stylish. Try some of the local German food - such as Bratwurst, and have a wander around the beautifully paved streets. We’ll then carry on to the capital of Germany, Berlin. Your tour leader will introduce you to the city on a driving orientation tour - stopping off to see such poignant locations as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Checkpoint Charlie.

Day 19: Berlin: Free Day

Enjoy a free day to further explore the history of the German capital. The Berlin Wall stands as a sombre reminder of the controls imposed on Berlin during and after WW2, however, the bright street art that adorns it today seems to give it a peaceful purpose. Berlin also offers numerous free museums and galleries to visit, which all contribute to the understanding of this city's modern history.

Day 20: Berlin - Amsterdam

This morning, we’ll say our goodbyes to Germany as we journey on to The Netherlands, where you will notice the landscape change to windmills and waterways, as you approach the city of Amsterdam. This evening we’ll enjoy a canal cruise, and is accompanied by interesting commentary about the city’s development and history. After seeing the bridges and city from the waterside, we’ll sample local cuisine at an included dinner and then, you'll have some free time to hit the cafés, bars and coffee shops!

Day 21: Amsterdam: Free Day

You have a full free day to experience the delights of Amsterdam! There are numerous museums and art galleries to choose from - why not visit Anne Frank’s house, the Van Gogh museum, take a bicycle tour or simply wander the streets and canals? Alternatively, you can join your tour leader on a Dutch countryside tour optional excursion, or indulge in modern and contemporary art at the MOCO Museum followed by a history lesson on Dutch Gin with a rewarding cocktail at the end!

Day 22: Bruges - London

After your Amsterdam adventure, you have one more stop before you set off for the UK. The Belgian city of Bruges is small but picturesque, 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 sightseeing. After your visit, you will journey 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. Make sure you upload the highlights of your Best of Europe tour onto our Facebook page, and we look forward to having you on tour with us again soon.

Accommodation
  • 21 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities
  • Single travelers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room
Meals
  • 21 breakfasts, 9 dinners | *Vegetarian options available for all meals on request
Transport
  • Modern air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet onboard
  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
Extras
  • Services of your tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip
  • All taxes and fees included
Not Included
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
29 Experiences!
  • Orientation tour of Greenwich
  • Dinner in a traditional British pub
  • Head out on a driving tour of Paris
  • Champagne Tasting in Reims
  • Spend free time in Luxembourg city
  • Orientation tour of Heidelberg
  • Stop off at a cuckoo clock centre in the Black Forest
  • Lunch and free time in historic centre of Titisee
  • Spend free time at the Rhine Falls
  • Orientation walk of Lucerne city centre
  • Stop in Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein
  • Enter and explore the famous Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Explore Innsbruck at your leisure
  • Taste traditional balsamic vinegar in Modena
  • Visit the famous leaning tower of Pisa
  • Orientation tour of Florence
  • Leather demo in a local leather shop
  • Walking tour of Rome with a local guide
  • Orientation tour to the heart of Venice
  • Enjoy a visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Orientation tour of Zagreb
  • Drive along and see the best-loved sights in Budapest
  • Visit Bratislava, capital of Slovakia
  • Go on a walking tour of Vienna, Austria's capital
  • Explore the historic streets of Dresden
  • Driving tour of Berlin, capital of Germany
  • Cruise of Amsterdam's canals
  • Visit Bruges with free time to explore
  • See the highlights of Prague on a walking tour

  • 18 Apr 2021 - 09 May 2021
  • 09 May 2021 - 30 May 2021
  • 30 May 2021 - 20 Jun 2021
  • 13 Jun 2021 - 04 Jul 2021
  • 07 Jul 2021 - 28 Jul 2021
  • 31 Jul 2021 - 21 Aug 2021
  • 24 Aug 2021 - 14 Sep 2021
  • 17 Sep 2021 - 08 Oct 2021

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