Day 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 PARIS.
A world-class city for centuries, Paris probably has more familiar landmarks than any other place in the world. See the highlights on an included sightseeing tour with an expert Local Guide. Later, sample what life must have been like for 17th-century French aristocrats on an optional tour of the opulent Palace of Versailles. Tonight, consider joining an optional dinner.
Day 3 PARIS–REIMS–LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG.
Depart the “City of Light” and head east to Reims, home to many of the country’s largest champagne producers. A maze of tunnels and caves dating back to Roman times exists under the city, and these are used to this day for the aging of the champagne. A fascinating visit to a CHAMPAGNE CELLAR teaches you all about how this sparkling wine is made. Also see the city’s exceptionally beautiful gothic cathedral, the traditional coronation site for French kings. Continue to Luxembourg City, situated at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers and capital of one of Europe’s smallest sovereign states.
Day 4 LUXEMBOURG–STRASBOURG, FRANCE–FREIBURG AREA, GERMANY.
Explore Luxembourg City with its celebrated UNESCO World Heritage status and many European Union institutions, including the European Court of Justice, European Investment Bank, and more. Re-enter France and arrive in Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament. On your guided walking tour, see the monumental gothic cathedral with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock; experience the unique Franco-German culture; and explore the city’s historic heart in the magical La Petite France district. Cross the border into Germany, and spend the night in the Freiburg area.
Day 5 FREIBURG AREA–NEUSCHWANSTEIN–INNSBRUCK AREA.
A scenic drive takes you along the shores of pretty Lake Constance, Central Europe’s third-largest lake, and into the heart of Bavaria. Ascend the foothills of the Alps for a visit to “Mad” King Ludwig’s romantic NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Dinner and an overnight in the Innsbruck area.
Day 6 INNSBRUCK AREA–ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND–LUCERNE.
Cross the border into Switzerland to arrive in the canton of St. Gallen. The city grew up around the 7th-century Convent of St. Gall. Visit the abbey’s rococo-style LIBRARY, one of the richest medieval libraries in the world and UNESCO Heritage Site, which houses antiquities, including 400 books that are more than a thousand years old and a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy. Carry on to Lucerne.
Day 7 LUCERNE.
Nestled amid snowcapped Alps and surrounded by its lake, Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s finest cities. This morning’s visit takes in the historic city walls, which still include eight watch towers and a gated tower; CHAPEL BRIDGE, Europe’s oldest covered bridge, dating back to 1333; ornate patrician houses lining cobblestone streets; and the LION MONUMENT, a masterful stone sculpture honoring Louis XVI’s heroic Swiss Guards. In your free time this afternoon, you could choose from a great selection of optional activities.
Day 8 LUCERNE–LIECHTENSTEIN–ST. MORITZ.
Majestic alpine scenery and glimpses of Lake Walen will enchant you on the way to Liechtenstein. Stop briefly in its capital, Vaduz, whose castle is visible from almost any spot in the city. Drive towards the Swiss National Park in the Engadine, the country’s biggest nature preserve. Watch for ibexes, marmots, northern hares, and other wildlife as sparkling lakes, larch forests, soaring peaks, and quaint, Grisons-style villages usher you on to glamorous St. Moritz, the oldest and most famous winter resort in the world.
Day 9 ST. MORITZ–BERNINA EXPRESS TRAIN TO TIRANO, ITALY–COMO–MILAN.
Today, experience a memorable trip aboard the BERNINA EXPRESS TRAIN. Crossing the Alps to Tirano in Italy, this spectacular rail journey ascends to altitudes exceeding 6,560 feet above sea level. Rejoin the coach and skirt Lake Como before visiting the quaint historical town center of Como before reaching Milan.
Day 10 MILAN.
Hub of Italy’s economic miracle and the capital of fashion, Milan is a vibrant city. During your guided sightseeing tour, see the awe-inspiring, gothic Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the world and which took nearly 500 years to complete. This afternoon, you could spend time in Milan’s famous fashion district to catch up on the latest designs.
Day 11 MILAN.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.