A few weeks up your sleeve to really discover the west of Europe - no running around maniac style? Coasting around the best spots on The European Inspiration holiday is your answer. With 2-nights in each major location - think Paris, Prague, Florence, Berlin - you'll settle into the groove of Europe & know which places deserve a round two.
Sample Dutch croquettes and tasty Italian pizza as we meander through the culinary heaven that is Europe. All your breakfasts will be taken care of, as well as 8 dinners.
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. An undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
Amsterdam is cute as a button & sure to win your heart with its canals, obscure museums & a café culture like no other. Today use your time to get local, bar hop, museum crawl, and see what other tastes take your fancy, this place is famous for pancakes, frites and so much more, and that's all before we enjoy a delicious included dinner with the rest of our Contiki fam.
Amsterdam to Berlin
Out of Amsterdam, onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin. That's on today's agenda.On the world map of cool party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this amazing city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of history into the city and its troubled and interesting past. Once we arrive your Trip Manager can point you in the right direction to go and see the sights.
Get into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the obvious icons like Checkpoint Charlie to all the obscurities tucked away in the side streets.
Berlin to Prague via Dresden
"More city hangs" you'll all scream in unison as we motor out of Berlin, high on life & still wanting more. Since you asked so nicely, let us present you with Prague, the darling of Europe.A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemia Kings and gothic history. The night is yours to amble around the Old Town Square and find a few haunts to let the hours slip away in.
With a full day to explore, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antics & you cheers-ing Czech beer; not to mention life!
Prague to Munich via Dachau
We warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry team, you cannot live here forever. Unless....?After departing Prague and journeying out of the Czech Republic, we traipse into Germany and have a change of mood with a sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp memorial. Vibes will be lifted a little later when we arrive in the city of Munich.It would seem we were born in need of some delightful Bavarian culture, we just didn't know it until now. Munich may be famed for its Oktoberfest festivities, but the spirit of things kicks on year round. A trip to a traditional beer hall will get you very well acquainted with things, just after you've swooned at a Gothic clock complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.
Today is the day to dive deep into Munich's cute culture and urban life. Take an optional guided bike ride to really get off the beaten track, or just roam the old town and the buzzing streets and cafes of the university district.
Munich to Venice via Austrian Tyrol
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 thingsPassionate lands abounding in fresh pasta, smooth locals & romantic architecture - we've arrived in Italy! Relax in Venice tonight knowing we have all day tomorrow to cruise canals & explore pretty streets.
Wake-up sleeping beauties! Venice is yours for the entirety of this glorious Italian day. We'll be jumping aboard our own private boat and hitting the canals en route to the historical heart of the city. A guided walking tour and a gondola ride are up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you. Or why not choose to take a guided cruise out to the UNESCO heritage site of Burano? At this picture-perfect fisherman’s island decorated with gorgeous technicolour houses, you’ll visit a local family restaurant and indulge in the best seafood feast you’ve ever experienced. A guided walking tour and a gondola ride are up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.
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 evening 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 its 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 via Chianti Region
Cast your eyes on Rome one last time before we hit the road on the hunt for Tuscany. Which, if we're completely honest, means going on hunt for antipasto and unimaginably good vino. Saying goodbye to Rome doesn't feel to bad now, does it?A working winery in a 16th Century villa - ladies and gentlemen we presume we have your attention! Here in our ever so elegant stop off we will learn about the region's wines and check out the old cellar and vats of the winery. And we guess you should try a bit of Chianti & eat some antipasti...since we're in the neighbourhood.Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is more proof that Italy has so many great places packed into one small region. Potter along the River Arno, be totally Tuscan with another drop of Chianti wine, and take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral. We have all day tomorrow to let the explorations continue.
Today is a perfect balance of guided wisdom and free time to roam. We'll uncover the beautiful art of traditional leather & explore streets bursting with heritage. Take to the local markets, down some gelato & make yourself known for the evening of optional festivities.
Florence to Lucerne via Pisa
Say a fond farewell to Italy, and hello to the land of creamy chocolate, cheese and not to mention watches. Hello Switzerland!As if we were going to leg it from Florence to Switzerland without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.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!!!
There's no reason why today can't be wasted strolling these beautiful streets or sitting in a coffee shop pondering mountain life, and consuming more chocolate - that's perfectly acceptable too. However! Those wanting to spice up their day can visit the top of a Swiss Mountain and enjoy a fondue lunch & show. Spoilt for choice much?
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 to the viewing platform on 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.