Europe West Adventure - XEU2L
Number of Days: 17
Our holiday tours from Rome to London are popular all year round, and it's easy to see why with just a glimpse at the itinerary we've put together for this 17 day Western Adventure Tour. Whether you're looking for a little romance in the Italian capital, some time to relax in the sun, or even the chance to take in some snow in the Swiss Alps, there is something here for everyone.
Our travellers come from all over the world, so we make sure that our tour packages from Rome to London cater for all. You begin in the heart of Italy, and gradually work your way west and north as your trip takes you from Rome to London, stopping off in the French Riviera, Barcelona, Avignon, the Swiss Alps, Munich, Luxembourg and Paris, before concluding in London.
Arrive in Rome, and make your way to our hotel where you will meet up with the rest of the tour group (meeting details can be found in the meeting letter). Join us for a local guided walking tour combining ancient wonders with Renaissance master pieces. See the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum and the Coliseum before heading back to your hotel for your evening meal.
Today is yours to spend however you choose, allowing you to explore this ancient city to your heart’s content. Most of the historical landmarks and ancient Roman structures are located within the city centre, making it easier to navigate. Want to visit Vatican City and witness Michelangelo’s famous painting on the roof of the Sistine Chapel? Today’s optional excursion is a must! Your Expat Explore tour leader can organise fast tracked tickets for you, and once you are ahead of the queues, you have access to Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! The Sistine Chapel awaits, as does St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums and one of the world’s best private art collections. You never know...maybe the Pope will be in residence! The rest of your day is yours to explore as you wish, and this is the perfect opportunity to return to your favourite landmarks from last night’s walking tour, or indulge in delicious traditional Italian fare. Pizza, pasta, vino, espresso... Belissimo!
This is your opportunity to either catch up on what you have missed, head off on a day trip to somewhere like Pompeii, or simply enjoy a chance to catch your breath and take in the atmosphere of the city. The Italians believe in taking it easy, so don’t miss the chance to chill out at a trattoria with some tasty morsels, a cold beverage and some good conversation. This is also the perfect opportunity to explore the city away from the large crowds. Research some favourite local haunts, or maybe visit the catacombs for something different. Many of our Expat Explorers actually prefer to relax and enjoy the atmosphere for the day. It is up to you. Whatever you do, take your time and don’t rush. That coin you threw in to the Trevi Fountain last night means you will return to Rome someday to catch up on what you may miss this time around.
Today, we head straight to the heart of the picturesque Tuscan region, made famous for wine, great food, art, architecture and the birthplace of the Renaissance. Your first stop is the romantic city of Florence, where your local Italian guide can’t wait to show you around. The Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and Santa Croce Basilica all feature in this guided tour, as well as many other works of art - the street sculptures are amazing! This evening, you will head to your accommodation in the beautiful Tuscan hills, where the soft afternoon light radiates across the land and everyone looks good in a ‘selfie’ at this time of day - is it any wonder this region attracts and inspires so many famous artists?
Under the Tuscan morning sun, you will depart Montecatini Terme, in search of stunning coastlines, the rich and famous, and a holiday spirit. Your destination? The French Riviera! However, before saying “ooh la la” to France, you will spend some time visiting one of the most iconic landmarks of Italy - the Leaning Tower of Pisa! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the neighbouring cathedral, cemetery and baptistery, this 56m, 840 year old Bell tower draws millions of visitors from all over the globe, namely for one thing...to have a picture taken pretending to push the tower back up! So get creative and get into position - these snaps are always the most memorable. (Make sure you share your favourites on our Facebook page!) After a scenic drive through the last of the Italian countryside, you cross the border into France. Bonjour French Riviera! You have arrived! Having made it to the South of France, you will see one of the most picturesque strips of coast in the world, where the ocean laps the shore, and it’s holiday season all year around. After dinner, head into town to join the locals in one of the many bars and restaurants.
Today, you can do whatever your heart desires! As the saying goes ‘It is always nice in Nice’ - so now is your chance to find out why. One thing is for sure though - this is the playground for the rich and famous. Keep your eyes open for celebrities and stars while you are enjoying the sights yourself! Today, you also have a free optional excursion to visit Monaco (which is also a principality, and the 2nd smallest and most densely populated country in the world!) If you choose to come with us, you will be taken on a scenic coastal drive from Nice in the afternoon, and have the rest of the day to explore. The city offers stunning views over an enormous private harbour, where super yachts and ships come to rest. The Grand Casino is particularly spectacular, and the castle district offers beautifully preserved architecture and views of the coast and city. In the evening, why not chill out in the ‘Old Town’ of Nice where the restaurants serve a range of tasty French cuisine and wonderfully fresh seafood? The night markets offer great choices in the way of souvenirs.
Time to brush up on your Spanish greetings - you will need them this afternoon! As you depart Nice and get back on the road headed for Barcelona, you will make a stop in the UNESCO Heritage Site of Arles, famous for its historical buildings and links to such artists as Van Gough (many of his paintings were inspired by this city). Don’t forget to check out the colourful houses and Roman Amphitheatre on this comfort stop. Barcelona is nearing, and you should be getting excited about exploring this cosmopolitan Spanish metropolis. Once you arrive, Expat Explore will acquaint you with its vibrant energy with a city coach tour, so you can decide where to start first on your free days. Keep your eyes open for the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, and any of Gaudi’s spectacular examples of eclectic architecture. Then there is the lively La Ramblas - a pedestrian walk way down the middle of the city that is full of market stalls, cafes, restaurants and street entertainers, and is just brimming with life. The city comes alive at night, so, after dinner, head back into the heart of the action for some music and atmosphere
Today is all yours to do with as you please! The best views of the city can be had from Park Guell, and you can take in the panoramic splendour and skyline of Barcelona. The park itself offers a very interesting design which is a product of Antoni Gaudi’s challenging architectural visualisations. Barcelona is home to many of Gaudi’s building designs and you could spend the whole day simply locating each one and recognising the signature design features. One of his most famous works is that of the unfinished Sagrada Familia - an interpretation of a gothic cathedral which is unlike any building you will have ever seen. You can’t miss it from Park Guell, or most other vantage points in the city. If you wish to participate in our optional excursion, we can organise tickets for you to see a traditional Flamenco show! The dance of passion is performed with style, flair and energy, and is a real experience not to be missed.
Hola! You have another free day in the Spanish city of Barcelona! Today you can make this your own, by continuing to explore the historical and cultural centres, indulge in some high end shopping and retail therapy, and much more. Football fans can use the extra day to visit Barcelona FC’s stadium - Camp Nou (there may even be a game on while you are here). Why not take advantage of the beaches and hit the shores? Ocean tours depart from the harbour and take you for a cruise up the coast to give you a unique perspective of the city. Barcelona is full of things to do, so there is no excuse not to get out and make the most of things. Fiesta, not siesta!
Adios, Barcelona! You have been wonderful! Heading back into France, continue through the French countryside, and get up close and personal with a 2000 year old Roman Built aqua duct, at Pont du Gard. Walking along it, you will notice that there are no nails, cement or mortar holding the arches together. The Pont du Gard has been an attraction for centuries, primarily based on its immaculate three tiered construction, which carried over 44 million gallons of water a day to the local townships. A very important historical site, UNESCO have included it in their heritage listing - and rightly so. Your final stop of the day will be in Avignon - also known affectionately as ‘The City of Popes’. It is an amazingly preserved, fortified city commune with a long history, stunning architecture and religious significance. Another UNESCO Heritage Site; and you will see many more during your tour. Enjoy an orientation walking tour of Avignon, which will show you the Papal Palace as well as other significant structures, and, after dinner, your evening is free to explore as you wish.
Today, you will head to Geneva - home of the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters, and then onto the spectacular Swiss Alpine region to fill your lungs with the freshest mountain air. After departing Avignon, we leave France behind in search of mountains and snow. On the way, we make a lunch stop in Geneva where you can wander the small city centre and marvel at Lake Geneva. There is also an Old Town to explore, and some great shopping to be had. Now you are mountain bound, and heading into the heart of the famous Jungfrau Region. We take you on a stunning mountain drive through the Swiss Alps, as we meander our way through rugged mountain faces, forests and Alpine lakes. Once in your mountain village, you can check in and then relax with a sunset view of the mountain peaks, and the grazing cows that are responsible for the wonderful milk that makes Swiss chocolate so amazing. After a hearty dinner, feel free to stroll the streets and breathe in that crisp, fresh air. Tomorrow will be a real highlight of your Europe tour.
Are you excited? Today is all about Swiss bliss! We have an optional excursion to blow your mind, which offers a guaranteed snow day! For 365 days of the year, Jungfraujoch is blessed with snow, and today you can visit the ‘Top of Europe’. The journey up the mountain is a highlight in itself, with unmatched views that will really make your Europe tour unforgettable. You will alight onto Europe’s highest railway station, and be able to view the 4000m glacier from un-obscured viewing platforms. The majestic combination of ice, snow, rock and epic views will stay with you for life - time to take a deep breath and have some fun! A snowball fight is a must, and for those artistic types, so is a snowman building competition. Snow angel anyone? Don’t forget those cameras... say “swiss cheeeese”! Alternatively, for those choosing to spend their free day exploring a local village, why not head to Interlarken, a short train ride away, and try a traditional fondue, pick up some Swiss souvenirs, or just enjoy a wander through the streets?
So long, Switzerland; you will depart the Jungfrau region, and savour the last of the Alpine views as you head once more for Germany. A lunch stop is scheduled for Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, and you will have time to eat, shop and see Vaduz Castle (the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein) overlooking the city. We then travel on to Munich, visiting Germany’s first ever concentration camp on the way, Dachau. The museum houses photos and documents of the camps’ history from 1933 until it was liberated in 1945. We then arrive in Munich! Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city before dinner in a traditional beer hall. Enjoy a local beer on us...Prost! NOTE: Some tours may stay overnight in Nuremberg instead of Munich.
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 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. 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.
It’s time to leave the Rhine... but there is no sign of slowing down - there is still so much to see! Heading back towards the French border on the way to Paris, you will make a short stop in one of Europe’s smallest countries - Luxembourg. Known as a global financial and banking centre, during your stop you may wish to view the spectacular Renaissance architecture of the Grand Ducal Palace or have an early lunch in Luxembourg’s central square, Place d’Armes, with its numerous cafes and restaurants. Luxembourg also offers excellent shopping opportunities, from modern high-end fashion stores to traditional boutiques. Onwards to the capital of France, Paris, and after we have checked into our hotel we will be back out again to explore the ‘City of Lights and Love’, from the comfort of the coach on your Paris driving tour. Taking in many of the architectural and historical landmarks that have made this city famous, this is the perfect way to get yourself a bit more familiar with the city and help you decide how you will spend your free day tomorrow.
Bonjour! Whether it's culture, cuisine or cruising the city you crave, Paris will not disappoint. A Seine River cruise to the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, perhaps? Maybe a visit to the Louvre to see famous artworks and paintings? Tickle the taste buds with some traditional French delicacies in the bohemian Spanish Quarter (affordable frogs legs and snails are on the menu, washed down with a nice local wine - divine!). Not forgetting, Paris Disneyland is always popular choice for the ‘young at heart’!
The last day of you European tour already? Don’t worry. It’s not over yet. After breakfast, savour the French countryside, one last time and prepare for your final crossing of the English Channel. Once you are back on UK soil you only have a short way to go to complete your Europe tour in London.
- 16 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- 16 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 18 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- From $4600. Single supplement for private room +$1197.