Europe Explorer Tour - XEX

Number of Days: 18
Destination: Europe

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Overview
Itinerary
Inclusions
Available Dates
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  • 18 days of stunning scenery, mind blowing architecture, art, history and culture - the Europe Explorer has both beauty and brains! Barcelona and the French Riviera are popular deciders for those seeking sun drenched holiday destinations. And the contrast of the Swiss Alps and Rhine Valley, with the iconic cities of Rome, Venice, Paris and Amsterdam, blend to make a perfect medium length Europe holiday tour, which allows enough free time to explore, whilst getting the most out of the 9 countries you visit. Travelling has never been so attractive. 

    Tour Highlights: 

    • Barcelona
    • French Riviera
    • Swiss Alps
    • Rhine Valley
    • Rome
    • Venice
    • Paris
    • Amsterdam

     

  • DAY 1: Paris

    Welcome to the start of your 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!

    • Dinner

    DAY 2: Free day in Paris

    Paris is yours to explore! Use your free day wisely – there’s so much to see! Optional excursions include a River Seine cruise, which offers the perfect way to see some of the city’s main sights. You can also opt for a trip up Montparnasse for incredible views of the city and the Eiffel Tower. Towering high above the city, it’s the perfect place to get an eyeful of the City of Lights, especially at sunset. Look out for the hourly light show at the Eiffel Tower – time your visit to coincide with this spectacular display! There’s even an optional cabaret show in the evening! Alternatively, head to the Eiffel Tower, visit the world-famous Louvre museum, stroll around the boutiques and bistros of La Marias, wander down the Champs Elysees, or head to famous monuments like Notre Dame Cathedral, see Oscar Wilde’s gravestone at Père Lachaise Cemetery or venture deep underground to the infamous catacombs.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 3: Visit Beaune and Avignon

    On our way to Avignon, we'll stop off in the beautiful Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region, where you can explore a local wine cellar and sample some of the wines. We then continue on to the ancient fortified town of Avignon and take an orientation tour before enjoying a typical French dinner at a local restaurant. You can then spend the rest of the evening relaxing in the city famous for its Papal Palace.

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 4: Visit Barcelona

    Leaving Avignon, we continue on through the idyllic French countryside to Pont du Gard to see a famous relic of the Roman Empire – the famous 2000 year-old Roman aqueduct. Afterwards, we make our way to Spain and the vibrant city of Barcelona, taking a driving tour of the city and learning a little more about its extraordinary main sights before having dinner. Take note of all the places you want to see during your free day tomorrow!

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 5: A free day in Barcelona

    Today is yours to spend as you like! Stroll Las Ramblas and take a peek at Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece: the glorious La Sagrada Familia. You could also go shopping, eat tapas (which the city is famous for), relax on the beach or head into one of the city’s many parks. With its distinctive Catalan ambience, Barcelona is an incredibly rewarding city to explore on foot, filled with hidden cantinas, intriguing boutiques and winding walkways – particularly in the old town. Seek out the food markets too – the perfect place to introduce yourself to the distinctive taste of Catalan cuisine!

    • Breakfast

    DAY 6: Visit Arles and the French Riviera

    Off we go to the French Riviera! On the way, we’ll stop off in Arles, a region you may recognise from the canvasses of Van Gogh. A favourite of the Romans, there’s no shortage of historical artefacts to see, including an impressive theatre and amphitheatre – which still host bull-fights, festivals and street parties. We’ll also stop at a French perfumery where you’ll learn about what it takes to craft some of the world’s finest fragrances, and then travel onward to the French Riviera. Known worldwide for its glitz and glamour, the Cote d’Azur is where high society has always assembled to enjoy art, food and entertainment. Enjoy the sea views and prepare for tomorrow – when you’ll have a free day to explore the region yourself!

    • Breakfast

    DAY 7: A free day on the French Riviera

    Today is yours to explore! Whether you choose to people-watch on the streets of Nice, sun-bathe on the beach, sip cocktails in the chic bars, or take advantage of the huge range of incredible restaurants, you’re sure to have a brilliant day. Join us on a free optional excursion to the principality of Monaco! This beguiling region (the second-smallest country in the world after the Vatican) is the epitome of glitz and glamour.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 8: Visit Pisa and Florence

    Heading inland once more, we make for nearby Italy and one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the leaning tower of Pisa! Be sure to have your cameras at the ready, this is one photo opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss. After Pisa, Florence is our destination, where we’ll have a guided walking tour of the city. Learn about the history of the city and see historical landmarks dating from Roman times to the glory days of the Renaissance. Be sure to get photos of Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica of Santa Croce, the Florence Baptistry and of course, Michelangelo’s famous statue of David – a replica of which stands in the Palazzo della Signoria. (The original can be seen in the nearby Accademia Gallery.) After exploring, we make for the hills of Tuscany, arriving at the ancient Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme where we’ll spend the night.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 9: Visit Rome

    We make our way to the country’s capital, Rome. You’ll be taken on a walking tour of the city, which will introduce you to the incredible history of this unique city, which reigned supreme as the focal point of the Roman Empire. The history of the city is everywhere you look, melded with style and culture from every age that followed. Highlights today include the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Roman Forum and of course the Coliseum. And let’s not forget the Trevi Fountain – legend has it that if you drop a coin into the fountain, you’ll return again one day. After our time in the centre of Rome, we’ll be driven to our accommodation, where dinner is included.

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 10: Free day in Rome

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, but luckily you have a free one in which to explore this Italian capital to your hearts content. The city centre boasts ancient ruins, historical landmarks, religious buildings and a buzzing atmosphere like no other. The Colosseum is spectacular, and for those who wish to enter, there are fabulous views of the city, and an unbelievable feeling of drifting backwards in time, to when gladiators, chariots and lions dominated the arena.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 11: Visit Siena and Venice

    Our first stop is the Tuscan town of Siena, Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Later we travel to the medieval walled town of Monteriggioni, right in the heart of the Chianti wine region for a quick photo stop. We arrive into Venice in the early evening, a city immortalised in literature, film and art for centuries. Its timeless waterways and artistic masterpieces (more per square kilometre than anywhere else on earth) make it truly unique – this is a city that will capture your heart and imagination. Being Italian, there’s no shortage of incredible food and culture either! You’ll start your stay in Venice with an orientation tour to get your bearings, after which you have time to explore this unforgettable city on your own.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 12: A free day in Venice

    Take today to explore Venice on your own. We highly recommend a visit to a Murano glass-blowing workshop and see a live demonstration of this traditional – and hugely impressive – art-form. Alternatively you can simply relax and soak up the sun on the sandy beaches at Jesolo or Lido. There’s also St Mark’s Square, The Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace to see – and any number of culinary delights to sample too! Take a gondola ride along this city of canals to get the full Venetian experience.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 13: Visit Switzerland

    We continue on to the Alps from Venice, climbing higher into the mountains to our accommodation in a typical Swiss mountain village in the Jungfrau region. One of the most popular alpine destinations, it’s a great introduction to the magic of the mountains – and makes for a memorable drive too. Dinner is at your hotel and afterwards relax, drink , chat with your fellow explorers and grab an early night as tomorrow you can join us on our most popular optional excursion – the Top of Europe.

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 14: A free day in the Swiss Alps

    The splendour of the Alps is yours today – don’t miss the chance to join our optional excursion up to Jungfraujoch, also known as the top of Europe! The trip to Europe’s highest train station is a real highlight; you might find yourself pressed up against the windows as the picture-perfect Swiss countryside rolls beneath you. Look out for quaint villages nestled in the valleys beneath snow-capped peaks and tumbling mountain waterfalls. Once we’ve reached the top, enjoy the year-round snow and breath-taking views of the surrounding glaciers and craggy mountaintops. Once you’ve had a chance to explore and capture as many photos as possible, it’s back down to lower altitudes for the rest of the afternoon.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 15: Visit the Rhine Valley

    This morning we board the coach once more as we make for Germany’s famous Rhine Valley! Relax on board a Rhine riverboat as we head to our hotel in the heart of the idyllic Rhine Valley. This is the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe, and it also features vineyards, charming medieval towns and lofty cliffs. Once you’re done, enjoy a traditional German dinner, then walk it off with a stroll along the riverside. The perfect end to the day!

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 16: Visit Amsterdam

    The Netherlands is our next stop, and we arrive first at the windmill for a quick photo stop. Afterwards enjoy a traditional cheese-making demonstration, and learn about how that most quirky and quaint of footwear choices – the clog – is made, before travelling onward to Amsterdam. Here we’ll check in to our hotel before joining a complimentary Amsterdam canal cruise! Watch the city drift past as you sail by, and listen out for tips and interesting insights into the city from your tour leader. Later on, join your tour leader for a walking tour of the infamous Red Light District! The evening is yours – explore the canals and Dam Square, and enjoy your time in this fascinating city.

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    DAY 17: A free day in Amsterdam

    The day is yours to further explore Amsterdam. Marvel at the sheer volume of artwork available here – and don’t miss a visit to the Van Gogh museum! There’s also the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandthuis, the Stedelijk, and of course the Hermitage Amsterdam. Don’t forget the Anne Frank Museum too – commemorating the life of Anne Frank, one of the most discussed victims of the Jewish Holocaust. Her diary documented her ordeal hiding from the Nazis in war-torn Europe, and the museum in Amsterdam is a must-see for anyone visiting Amsterdam. Tired of museums? Hire a bicycle or board a barge to explore the city further, visit the cafes, or simply stroll along and see what the next corner brings – Amsterdam is chock-full of charming details, a rewarding city for those who seek out its best bits.

    • Breakfast

    DAY 18: Visit Bruges and return to London

    After breakfast, we bid farewell to Amsterdam and make our way back to London via the Belgian city of Bruges. Famous for its beer, waffles, chocolate and moules et frites, this is definitely a good place to be if you’ve brought your appetite. An extremely popular medieval city with no shortage of cobblestone streets, historic old churches and lofty towers, this is a great city to explore and a good spot to pick up any last-minute souvenirs. Once you’ve had a look around, it’s back to the coach for the final leg of our journey back to London.

    • Breakfast

     

    Paris - 1 Included Experience | 3 Optional Experiences

    Included: Driving Tour of Paris

    Driving tour of this famous city where you may see L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, The River Seine, l'Ile de la Cite, the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Lovers Bridge, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Pigalle (the Red Light District) and see the Moulin Rouge.

    Optional Excursions:

    • River Seine Cruise
    • Cabaret Show
    • Montparnasse Tower

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

    • Disneyland Paris
    • Notre Dame
    • Rodin Museum
    • Louvre
    • Sainte-Chapelle
    • Catacombs
    • Pantheon
    • Jardin du Luxembourg
    • The Arab Institute
    • Orangerie Museum
    • Latin Quarter
    • Place de la Bastille
    • Arc de Triomphe
    • Eiffel Tower

    Beaune - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Visit to French Chateau

    Visit a classic French chateau and explore the vineyard and wine cellar in the wine capital of the Burgundy region.

    Avignon - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Orientation walking tour of Avignon

    Your tour leader will take you on an orientation walking tour where you will see the Palais des Papes, the old Avignon town walls, Notre-Dame des Doms and Pont d’Avignon.

    Pont du Gard - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Visit to Pont du Gard

    A stop to see Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River. The bridge has three tiers of arches, stands 160 ft tall, and once carried 44 million gallons of water a day to the fountains, baths and homes of the citizens of Nîmes.

    Barcelona - 1 Included Experience | 1 Optional Experience

    Included: Driving tour of Barcelona

    Take a driving tour of this vibrant and diverse city which you can then explore further on your free day.You can see La Monumental Bullring, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Joan Miro Park, Fountain of 3 Rivers, The Venetian towers, Magic Fountain, Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village), Olympic stadium,

    Port of Barcelona, Christopher Colombus Column, Las Ramblas, and a photo stop with views over the city.

    Optional Excursions:

    • Flamenco Show - Enjoy a late night show in the heart of Las Ramblas. Feel the rhythm of the hands and power of the voice with these Spanish singing story tellers.

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

    • Basillica Sagrada Família + Gaudi House
    • La Pedrera by Antoni Gaudí
    • Barcelona Football Club Museum
    • Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture
    • Museum of Catalunya
    • Catalan museum of Archaeology
    • National Museum of Catalonian Art
    • The Dalí Museum
    • The Beach

    Arles - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Visit to Arles

    A comfort stop in this fascinating city with colourful houses that you may have seen in many of Van Goghs’ paintings of Arles. You will have time to see the impressive Roman Amphitheatre.

    French Riviera - 2 Included Experiences | 1 Optional Experience

    Included: Visit a perfumery & optional visit to Monaco

    Visit a perfumery dating back to the 18th century; this traditional French perfumery is one of the oldest in the region. Perfume making is an art that dates back to antiquity and during your guided tour you will learn all about the complex processes involved in capturing and bottling these exquisite scents. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to visit the gift-shop if you wish to take a keepsake home.

    Monaco:

    Optional visit to Monaco - This optional excursion is included at no extra charge if you wish to visit Monaco

    We will take you on a scenic coastal drive from Nice to Monaco and we will even drive on the famous Formula One track. You will see the Grimaldi Palace, castle district and visit another Monaco icon – the Grand Casino.

    Other places of interest in Monaco:

    • Museum of Napoleon souvenirs and historical archive collections court
    • Cathedral of Monaco
    • Flower Garden of Princess Grace
    • Oceanographic museum and aquarium
    • Museum of Stamps and Coins

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time in the French Riviera:

    • Cannes

    Pisa - 1 Included Experience

    Included: View the Leaning Tower of Pisa

    Your chance to see the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, or even take some iconic pictures of you ‘holding up’ the tower.

    Florence - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Walking Tour of Florence

    The capital city of the Tuscan region of Italy and considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. We will take you on a walking tour with a professional local guide where you will see Florence's Baptistery, Bell Tower, Gates of Paradise, Brunelleschi's Dome, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio.

    Rome - 1 Included Experience | 1 Optional Experience

    Included: Walking tour of Rome.

    Rome has so much to see and do we can’t list everything here but your walking tour of Rome with a professional local guide will give you a great start for further exploration in your free time. You will see the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Arch of Septimus Severus, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona (Fountain of the Quattro Fiumi) and the Spanish steps.

    Optional Excursions:

    • Vatican City - Take a guided tour around the amazing art works in the Vatican Museums and bask in the beauty of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Tour includes queue jumping privileges for both the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica.

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

    • Castel Sant'Angelo
    • Vatican Museums
    • Villa Borghese
    • Villa Borghese bike rental (in the park)
    • Catacombs
    • Saint Peter Basilica
    • Saint Peter Cupola (tower) Campidoglio / Cordonata / Palazzo Nuovo & Senatorio: Famous sights around Capitoline Hill
    • Castel St Angelo
    • Piazza del Popolo
    • Trastevere
    • Capitoline Hill
    • Campo dei Fiori
    • Piazza Venezia - Vittoriano
    • Coliseum

    Venice - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Orientation tour of Venice.

    Your tour leader will take you into the heart of this unique floating city for an orientation to help you explore and see St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Museum, Campanile (Elevator to the top), Doge’s Palace , Rialto Market and Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

    • Grand Canal Tour
    • Glass-Blowing / Murano Island
    • St. Mary of the Friars
    • Santi Giovanni e Paolo
    • San Giorgio Maggiore
    • Peggy Guggenheim Collection

    Jungfrau, Switzerland - 1 Included Experience | 4 Optional Excursions

    Included: Scenic Mountain Drive

    Spectacular views as we drive through mountain passes and alongside lakes, breath-taking mountain vistas and scenic views of quaint Swiss towns.

    Optional Excursions:

    • Train to Jungfrau ‘Top of Europe’
    • White-water River Rafting
    • Sky-diving
    • Paragliding

    Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

    Interlaken – situated between two lakes in the heart of the Jungfrau mountain region. Amazing views and a great place to enjoy a traditional Swiss fondue in one of the many restaurants. Along with the restaurants and bars you can shop for some great souvenirs – of course including the famous Swiss chocolate, the choice of flavours and combinations is truly astounding.

    Rhine Valley - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Rhine River Cruise

    Cruise down the Rhine and see the beautiful scenery and the largest concentration of gothic castles (Sterrenberg, Liebestein, Katz and Fortess Rheinfels).

    Opportunity to visit a cuckoo clock and beer stein-making shop.

    Amsterdam - 4 Included Experiences

    Included: Cheese and clogs demonstration, Riekermolen Windmill, Amsterdam canal cruise & Amsterdam walking tour

    We stop the Riekermolen Windmill

    Cheese and clogs demonstration – see how these famous shoes are traditionally made by hand and taste some fantastic cheeses. Of course the chance to shop and get those unique souvenirs.

    Amsterdam Canal Cruise - Sail along Amsterdam's stunning canals at twilight and enjoy a delicious pizza as you cruise. A perfect introduction to Amsterdam you will cruise along Amsterdam's atmospheric canals. Choose from six types of pizza, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and you can also upgrade to include unlimited soft drinks, beer and wine.

    Amsterdam orientation walking tour where your tour leader will show you Central Station, the infamous Red light district, Dam Square, Damrak, Royal Palace, National Monument, Old and New Church and of course the canals that weave through the city.

    Bruges - 1 Included Experience

    Included: Visit to Bruges

    A stop in this beautiful medieval town with some free time so you could try the signature national dish of frites and moules, see or even climb the Belfry Tower, have a Belgian beer or buy some amazing Belgian chocolate.

    Monteriggioni and Siena - 2 Included Experiences

    Included: We visit Monteriggioni and Siena


     

  • This is a Guided holiday and includes:

    • 17 nights' accommodation in twin rooms.
    • 17 breakfasts, 7 dinners
    • 21 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)

  • Available Dates

    • From $3349. Single supplement +$1341

    Ref: XEX18

    24-Apr-2018 11-May-2018

    Per Person, Twin Share

    $3,349.00 Book Now

    Enquire Now

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