Ready for the beginning of your sweet love affair with Europe? This trip uncovers Europe's finest in 12 days, complete with Bavarian beer & a private boat through the Venetian canals. We'll discover Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich, Venice & Florence, flirting with many more destinations along the way, from a traditional German beer hall to the breathtaking Austrian Tyrol mountain range and a visit to our fave Roman gelateria (on us). You'll get a taste for all the best bits of the continent and travel through 9 countries in one trip. By the time you get back to London you'll be completely smitten.
Prep your taste buds for a culinary sensation. Hearty French, Dutch, Austrian and Italian cuisine will be on offer each day, with 11 continental breakfasts and 5 dinners included.
London to Amsterdam
Yourheart-pounding adventure kicks off today. Meet up with your Contiki posse & share notes on London town before hitting the road to Amsterdam.Shortly before we find our ferry for Europe, we'll be taking in the English coastline beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover. They owe their gorgeousness to their composition of chalk - you're learning and we haven't even left the UK!Off the ferry we arrive in the port town of Calais - French soil! We travel north via Belgium before reaching ... Amsterdam!Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam.Tonight, the famed for fun Amsterdam is ours to explore following an optional evening canal cruise. An undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
Amsterdam to Rhine Valley
Now it's time to pour some sunlight on the agenda & take in the beauty of canals, crooked buildings, obscure museums & a café culture like no other.After the scenic journey of fairytale castles, vineyards and valleys, you'll be charmed before we even arrive in Germany's famous Rhine Valley. This back-in-time town is our wine tasting host for the evening.
Rhine Valley to Munich
Too much grape juice last night? Not to worry, the prospect of Munich should lift your spirits as we travel south & swap wine culture for beer.Today our eyes will be treated to a famous gothic clock, a charming old town & traditional Bavarian culture. You'll have the option to explore the side streets by bicycle and afterwards why not choose to explore one of the cities many beer halls, where you can try a stein of beer or even a pork knuckle!
Munich to Austrian Tyrol via Innsbruck
Goodbye Munich, hello mountains. We're hitting the road in search of lands so sweet they made The Sound of Music.This part of the world is famous for adventure sports, so best put your name next to the optional White Water Rafting and get in the spirit of things. After some adventure time, its time to head to this famous Olympic town and your jaw will drop at the sight of the famous ski jump, and you'll have a chance to soak up the medieval old town atmosphere before it's back on the road to our Gasthof for the night! Tonight you'll rest up in a local Austrian Gasthof (guest house) that is waiting for us with open arms. With so much fresh air to breathe in outside, explore the dreamy setting we've descended upon. This is the perfect cosy retreat to swap stories with new friends while tucking into authentic Austrian food and local beer prepared on site and served by our amazing chefs and bar staff.
Austrian Tyrol to Venice
Wake up roamers, we have a bountiful breakfast and a floating city in Italy to tend to. Life's tough!You'll think you've seen enough beauty for one day after taking in the Central Austrian Alps & Brenner Pass en route to Italy. And then we'll arrive in Venice & your jaw will hit the floor over hidden lanes, story book bridges & a private canal boat ride.
Venice to Rome
Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City of Rome is just around the corner.The afternoon will really take it up a notch as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome as you get a glimpse of it's glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfecto!
Rome wasn't built in a day - so get up and get going early to make the most of this ancient city.When in Rome...take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine. This is also the day to learn a thing or two about the Colosseum & do a bit of your own exploring.Then hit the streets for your own discoveries. Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
Rome to Florence
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over…The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Take a moment to take in the unique beauty of this beautiful city where culture and la dolce vita is evident in every direction you look at. We'll become history buffs on a guided walking tour before we learn the art of leather. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine.
Florence to Lucerne
Say a fond farewell to Italy, and hello to the land of creamy chocolate, cheese and not to mention watches. Hello Switzerland!Swans float under wooden bridges, snowcapped mountains stand regally behind us & chocolate tastes like heaven on earth. You're in the Swiss Alps & you cannot wipe the smile off your face. Eeek!!!
Lucerne to Paris
Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy before our arrival in Paris.Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, tonight we fall in love with everything Paris. Our Trip Manager fills us in on the city's secrets, then to celebrate our first night in the city, we'll head up the Montparnasse Tower.
It's time to stroll the dreamy streets of Paris, moan over haute couture you can't afford, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, you will probably want to get involved with a ticket to an iconic cabaret show and dinner. With your last night looming, make it one to remember in the city of lights.
Paris to London
Soak up your last dose of Paris this morning over a coffee and croissant and marvel at how much you've seen. And how close you've grown to your Contiki pals. Sob! Hop back on the coach for a complimentary transfer to CDG airport this morning, or stay onboard for the ride back to London. Plenty of time to start planning the next reunion...What a journey! Say a fond farewell to the group as you wrap up the trip on arrival in London.