Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to London
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Day 3 Depart from London to Paris by Eurostar.
Meet your Travel Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the Channel Tunnel to Paris where you can spend the afternoon as you please. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, before you are escorted to the heart of Paris for your Welcome Dinner at La Bouteille d'Or, an elegant restaurant perfectly positioned facing Notre Dame Cathedral and boasting four centuries' of culinary excellence.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 4 Paris, the City of Light.
In small groups, venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives, with your local foodie guide. Explore a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier, all tiny and wonderful and a treat to your senses as you sample the delicacies along the way. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower, or why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 5 Amboise and on to Bordeaux.
Head southwards towards Chateaux Country. Take a scenic drive along the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is known as the Jardins de France for the beautifully maintained gardens that were created on vast estates as outdoor living areas. Stop in Amboise, set beside the Loire River to see the impressive Royal Chateau. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 6 Bordeaux and San Sebastian.
Join a Local Expert for a guided tour of France's best 18th century architecture. The facades of the quaysides, the Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Journey on to Chateau Doisy-Daene to visit the cellars, learn about traditional viticulture techniques and sample a variety of high quality wines which make up the region's world-reknowned reputation. Next, continue to picturesque San Sebastian where you will have the chance to dine with the locals in the evening. In small groups, wander through the Old Town for a progressive dinner, as you enjoy the gastronomic Basque tradition of pintxos. Similar to tapas, enjoy a variety of snack-sized treats to make your meal and be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 7 Burgos and Madrid.
Drive south through the Pyrenees foothills. Stop in Burgos, the land of 'El Cid,' and see his burial place in the cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the Guadarrama Mountains to the plateau of New Castile and Spain's elegant capital of Madrid. In the evening why not see the city lit up in it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 8 Madrid and hilltop Toledo.
Join your Local Expert for a sightseeing tour of the Old Town as well as, along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana and past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Travel down the Grand Vía to the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol. A short journey will take you to Toledo, an ancient walled city, once the capital of Spain and beautifully set upon a hilltop, bordered by the Tagus River. Your Local Expert will walk you through the Old Town to the fascinating Iglesia de Santo Tomé, home of El Greco's 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. Upon your return to Madrid, the evening is free to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 9 From Madrid to beautiful Barcelona.
Cross the Castilian plain, past Zaragoza, and continue to the vibrant port of Barcelona. In the evening, why not try delicious local Catalan cuisine and as night descends, view the city from the heights of Montjuic, with lights sparkling below from the mountains to sea.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 10 Barcelona, City of Gaudi.
Join your Local Expert to explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Travel by the Ramblas and along the Passeig de Gracia, adorned with some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudirs extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Familia.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 11 Avignon, the City of Popes.
Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the Rhône and immortalised in songs. Walk within the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to stand in the shadow of the old Palais des Papes, resembling a fortress. In the evening, enjoy a short drive over the Rhone to Villeneuve-les-Avignon where you dine at Maison Bronzini, housing one of the oldest working olive oil mills in Provence. Here you will enjoy a tasty Farm-to-Table meal, prepared on site by a chef who emphasises the importance of fresh local produce, using olive oil produced by the mill and accompanied by a selection of regional wines. For your main course, perhaps try the farmhouse chicken or a succulent lamb shoulder cooked with Provencal herbs and finish your meal with a choice of a white chocolate dome served with forest berries or a delightful apple ‘Tarte Tatin’ with vanilla bourbon chantilly cream.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 12 On the shores of Nice.
Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant resort of Nice, where the the rest of the day is at your leisure to stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 13 Along the Riviera to Pisa and the Tuscan Hills.
Travel to Monaco where you are driven along part of the Grand Prix circuit, before walking with your Travel Director through the old town. See the Royal Palace where the Grimaldi family live, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, housing the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Cross into Italy and follow the arc of the Italian Riviera before arriving in Pisa. In the Square of Miracles, 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 11th century cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. A short drive through the rolling Tuscan Hills brings you to your hotel in Tuscany.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 14 Exploring Renaissance Florence.
Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods. There is free time to explore, or perhaps join an Optional Excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano. The wines of Tuscany are famous worldwide - in the evening, enjoy your chance to taste regional reds and learn about their origins.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 15 The Eternal City of Rome.
Relax and enjoy the grand landscapes of the Chianti hills and Umbria, before passing the Apennine Mountains to arrive at the Eternal City, filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 16 Exploring Papal Rome.
A Local Expert introduces the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community on the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP, fast-tracked entry to avoid the crowds, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. The rest of the day is yours to shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 17 Rome at Leisure.
The day is yours to enjoy Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Alternatively, spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps? As night falls, why not sip a glass of prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by?(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 18 Follow the Autostrada del Sole to Venice.
Journey through peaceful Tuscan landscapes, to descend past Bologna into the fertile Valley of the River Po. Arrive at the glorious city of Venice by water taxi along the Grand Canal and sip a Bellini cocktail at sunset, long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 19 Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre before cruising by private launch to St. Mark's Square where St. Mark's Basilica exudes the city's former wealth and power. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. A highlight is meeting a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 20 Venice to Zagreb's Twin Towers.
Depart Venice by water taxi and continue your journey, crossing Slovenia. Stop to explore the remarkable natural wonder of the Postojna Caves. Venture through a series of caverns and passages, which were hollowed out by the Pivka River over two million years. Next, travel to the Croatian capital of Zagreb. A Local Expert shows you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St Mark’s Church and the Tower of Lotrščak.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 21 Zagreb to Vienna.
Follow the Drava River and cross over the Slovenian border to reach the 700-year-old university town of Maribor. Continue past Graz through Styria’s forested mountains and onto Vienna.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 22 Vienna and the Habsburgs.
In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schonbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Ready your camera for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital’s architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Austrian Parliament Building. Visit the famous Cafe Central, frequented by many of the elite since 1876, including revolutionary Trotsky and psychoanalyst Freud. A meeting place for philosophers and storytellers, a local shares tales of a by-gone era, as you enjoy delicious Viennese specialities of coffee and Sachertorte.(Buffet Breakfast / Morning Tea)
Day 23 Salzburg and on to Innsbruck.
Pass the impressive Benedictine monastery of Melk before reaching the enchanting city of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and the iconic musical 'The Sound of Music'. A Local Expert will show you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, including the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Cross Residence Square with its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence' and see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart’s birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. Continue to the mountain ringed Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 24 Through Liechtenstein to Lucerne.
Journey past flower-filled meadows and picturesque chalet-style villages to the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, then cross into Switzerland and through glorious mountains to lakeside Lucerne. On arrival, visit Lucerne's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose your own style of cuisine from our selection of local restaurants.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 25 Lakeside Lucerne and the Stanserhorn.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Take in the pristine mountain air and on a clear day you can see as far as Alsace and the Black Forest. Once you return to Lucerne, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for fine watches and delectable chocolates.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 26 Legends along the Rhine.
Journey north to visit a castle set upon the Rhine for a private estate viewing with the owner. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Next, follow the Rhine Valley north to Bonn, former capital of Germany and home of Ludwig von Beethoven.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 27 Cruising the canals of Amsterdam.
The best way to see this remarkable city is from the water as you cruise through the canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge.25 In the evening, toast your adventure and new-found friends during a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 28 Depart Amsterdam.
After breakfast, transfers arrive at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 08:00 and 10:00.(Buffet Breakfast)