Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to England (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to London!
Check in to your hotel, then there is time to relax.
Day 3 Discovering London
An included half day sightseeing tour of London's West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is also on hand today for help and advice.(Full Breakfast)
Day 4 Depart from London by Eurostar for Paris
After a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris. Alternatively, join at the Paris hotel. Join your Tour Director for an orientation, passing the imposing façades of the Louvre. During your time in Paris, see the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Get together for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day 5 Paris, the 'City of Light'
Meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. The rest of the day is at leisure.(BB)
Day 6 Beautiful Burgundy and on to Lucerne
Journey through the Burgundy wine region, before passing the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne and enjoy a traditional Swiss supper of hearty specialties at a local restaurant.(BB / RD)
Day 7 Lucerne’s Lake and Lion
Join your Tour Director to see the covered Chapel Bridge and stirring Lion Monument. Embark on an exhilarating journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Admire the panorama of snow-capped peaks, before descending back to terra firma. There is time set aside to shop for fine watches and chocolate in Lucerne.(BB)
Day 8 Lucerne to Innsbruck
Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps to visit the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, with its castle located on a hillside overlooking the city. Drive into Austria and continue through the Arlberg Tunnel to mountain-ringed Innsbruck. Your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of the old town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof.(BB)
Day 9 The Dolomites to Venice
Leave Innsbruck to travel across the impressive Europa Bridge and through the Dolomites into Italy. Follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery to glorious Venice, known for over a thousand years as 'La Serenissima'.(BB)
Day 10 Venice & the Magic of 'La Serenissima'
In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Your hotel is only steps away from St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica and overlooked by the great Clock Tower. Also in the square stands the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace which is connected to the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. A visit to Venice would be incomplete without a gondola serenade. Glide along the atmospheric canals, exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. Enjoy a free afternoon.(BB)
Day 11 Journey through Tuscany to Pisa and on to Florence
Head into the wild Apennines and on to the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Stop to see the incredible Leaning Tower of Pisa with a Local Expert, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. Also see the splendid cathedral and baptistry, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. The journey then continues to Renaissance Florence.(BB / DW)
Day 12 Florence Sightseeing
Walk with your Local Expert to the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti's 'Gates of Paradise' have been recreated in all their glory. Next stop is Signoria Square, an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces and spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The rest of the day is at leisure. In the evening, why not make the most of warm summer evenings and venture into the Tuscan countryside to taste the fine rustic dishes with some local Chianti wine.(BB)
Day 13 Hilltop Orvieto and the Eternal City of Rome
Stop in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto; its cathedral is one of Italy's most celebrated buildings. Immerse yourself in the flavours and culture of the region at Zeppelin Restaurant. Join a master chef for a fascinating live cooking demonstration, followed by lunch and a glass of the Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Once in Rome, perhaps start the evening with a ‘passeggiata' (traditional evening stroll).(BB / HL)
Day 14 Papal and Imperial Rome
Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art collected over the ages by the Popes. In order to avoid the crowds, Insight has arranged special VIP entrance, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture, normally off-limits to the general public. Next, head to the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter's Basilica, view another masterpiece by Michelangelo, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome, completed after his death. Cross the River Tiber to see the Colosseum, still echoing with the ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat and overlook the Forum. Later, there is time for last-minute shopping or sightseeing at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course dinner with unlimited local wine at a Roman restaurant. As you dine, you'll be serenaded with a private performance of popular songs and arias from some of Italy's best-loved operas.(BB / CD)
Day 15 Arrivederci Roma
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 & 09:30.(BB)