Eastern Highlights Tour - XMEH
Number of Days: 11
Meet the east and spend 11 days exploring 7 picturesque and magical countries, on an Eastern Europe coach tour with a difference. Starting from Munich, the fairytale begins, and the story will have you dancing through lands made famous by classical musicians, composers, artists and royalty. Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Ljubljana, Vienna and Salzburg are stunning cities, with unmistakeable gothic and medieval architecture and history. This Eastern Europe holiday tour is perfect for those who have limited time, yet want to explore the heart of bohemian Eastern Europe.Tour Highlights:
DAY 1: Munich
Welcome to Munich! The first day of the tour is our arrivals day. Meet your fellow travellers, and depending on what time you arrive, head into Munich and see the sights ahead of the start of your tour. A city that exhibits both prosperity and a certain amount of comfort and cosiness, Munich’s apparent contradictions will delight the avid explorer. Along with modern high-powered industry, designer shopping districts and sleek BMWs, you’ll find a wealth of cultural hotspots in Munich. Even with all its smart sophistication, Munich has a certain charm that visitors find irresistible. Tonight we’ll take you to a traditional German beer hall to get a taste of German culture. Prost!
DAY 2: Munich - Prague
On our way to Prague, we take a comfort stop in Nuremberg. Bavaria’s second-largest city, you’ll find incredible architecture here, painstakingly restored using original stone after the bombings of the Second World War. On arrival in Prague, we’ll take a walking tour of this incredible city, which since freeing itself from communism has joined other European jewels like Paris, Rome and Amsterdam to take its place as one of Europe’s most fascinating destinations. Famous for its art, architecture, cobbled lanes and ancient chapels, this is also home to some of Europe’s finest beer. The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square is a ‘must see’ - the intricate puppetry and show which is performed on the hour, draws hundreds of people throughout the day and night.
- Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 3: Free day in Prague
The day is yours to treat yourself to the fairytale magic of Prague - often aptly described as the "Jewel in the Crown" of central Europe and maybe revisit some of the places you saw on yesterdays’ walking tour. The majestic Prague Castle, the famous Charles Bridge (you need to also see the views from the bridge at night - simply stunning...), the ‘Old Town’ and the Jewish Quarter. There is also a ‘Secret Garden’ which leads to a man-made grotto - see if you can find it! Prague's dramatic history is reflected in the beauty of the architecture of churches, opera houses, concert halls and parks. There are numerous beer halls in which to sample a local brew, and for those who wish to put your stamp on the city, why not visit legendary Lennon wall - a tribute to John Lennon and words of peace, which is added to on a daily basis by the thousands of visitors to the city. Did we mention ‘fairytale’ city earlier?...Maybe it is worth noting that Prague is the home of the "green fairy” – absinthe. Some say that Vincent Van Gogh’s love affair with absinthe is considered to be he most famed in history and a possible cause of his madness.
DAY 4: Prague - Krakow
Leaving Prague behind us, we continue on to Krakow. The royal capital of Poland for centuries, Krakow today is home to some of Europe’s most impressive Gothic and Renaissance architecture – and over 2.3 million artworks to complement its historic buildings and monuments. But before taking a walking tour of this treasure-trove of a city, we take a look at a darker time in Krakow’s history, with a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Originally constructed to hold Polish political prisoners in 1940 it went on to become a major site of the Nazi extermination of Jews transported to the camp from all over German occupied Europe. At least 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, which is is now a museum, a horrific reminder of the holocaust.
- Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 5: Free day in Krakow
The day is yours to explore the city further if you wish. The renaissance cloth hall in the main market square, the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, or maybe sample the local cuisine such as Zurek, a very traditional Polish soup with a distinctive sour taste is dished up in a special hollowed out loaf of bread. There is also the option of taking an optional excursion to the Krakow Salt Mine. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the mine dates back to the Middle Ages and is a fascinating look at the area’s history. Descending underground, you’ll walk through 2km of tunnels, chapels, reliefs and freestanding sculptures carved from salt rock walls; along with underground lakes and archaeological displays. Alternatively, explore Krakow even further.
DAY 6: Krakow - Budapest
On our way to Budapest we stop briefly in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, a picturesque town with beautiful buildings dating back to the late Middle Ages. Then we’re off to Budapest, the Hungarian capital. Blessed with natural beauty (it straddles the Danube River) as well as baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture, this is a city to behold. Get a good overview of it all with our Budapest driving tour when you arrive. Starting on the Pest side of the Danube, head across the river and stop at the Fisherman’s Bastion for spectacular views of the city and the river below. See the Houses of Parliament and drive along the river admiring the city – take note of spots to revisit tomorrow on your free day. Tonight’s meal is at a local restaurant, so savour the chance to try some of the local cuisine!
- Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 7: Free day in Budapest
With traces of the past evident in the interesting and unusual details, this is your chance to get up close and personal with Budapest. Look out for remnants of the conflicts of WWII and the uprising of 1956, try Hungarian cuisine (so much more to it than just goulash), sample world-renowned wines, and soak your weary rambler’s bones in one of the city’s bath-houses – something Budapest has been known for since the Roman times, with some 123 thermal and 400 mineral springs from 14 different sources. Some of the most popular ones are Szechenyi Medicinal Bath.
DAY 8: Budapest - Ljubljana
Heading for the Slovenian capital, we stop at Lake Balaton on the way for a photo stop. The largest lake in central Europe, it’s also where most locals spend their summers. On arrival in Ljubljana, we’ll have a walking tour of this little gem of a city. Despite its small size, you’re sure to be entranced by the beauty of this city, which features a wealth of cultures, activities and sights. Ljubljana Castle overlooks the city, and dates back to the 16th century. Tonight after dinner, explore a little more and take advantage of the fact that pretty much everything is just a stroll away!
- Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 9: Ljubljana - Vienna
Leaving Ljubljana behind, we head for the grandeur of Vienna, stopping for comfort stop in Bratislava. You’ll have time to explore for a while, taking in the sights and scenery. On arrival in Vienna we’ll take a driving tour of the city – which ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities. Few cities can show off such cultural and historical splendour and maintain a profile as an exciting, modern city, but Vienna does it well. Along with a musical past that includes luminaries like Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, and artworks by masters like Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka, Vienna has a buzzing modern culinary scene, cheerful, bustling pubs and bars, and a host of clubs and music venues in which to dance the night away.
- Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 10: Vienna - Munich
Leaving Vienna behind, we stop off in picture-perfect Salzburg. Featuring gorgeous architecture, a formidable cliff-top fortress and imposing cliffs in the distance, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in a fairy-tale. This was also Mozart’s home-town – see if a little of the genius rubs off! Shortly afterwards we press on for Munich. The evening is free for you to spend as you wish. Relax in your hotel, go for dinner in a local restaurant, or even visit another beer hall with your new found friends on the tour as a reminder of your first day.
DAY 11: Munich
Today is our last day, our Eastern European adventure concluding after breakfast. We hope you’ve loved every minute of your Eastern Highlights tour, and we wish you a safe onward journey!
This is a Comfort Guided holiday and includes:
- 10 nights' accommodation in twin rooms.
- 10 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- 7 Experiences
- Free Wi-fi in all hotels
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet.
- Services of your tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips.
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- From $2450. Single supplement +$765