What do you want from your European tour—historic treasures, amazing architecture, scenic beauty, and exciting cities? Whatever it is, this European vacation offers it to you! You’ve heard about a tiny but powerful state with a treasure cove of masterpieces, Vatican City – now it’s your chance to visit St Peter’s square. You’ve seen photos of the Leaning Tower in Pisa—now’s your chance to take a photo of yourself pushing back at it. You’ve heard of the French Riviera—now’s your chance to drive along both the French and Italian Riviera’s. You’ve watched the Olympics—now’s your chance to visit the birthplace of the Olympic Games in Greece. You’ve heard how gorgeous the Swiss Alps are—now’s your time to see them in person. You’ve read how the former communist countries in Eastern Europe have transformed into wonderful vacation destinations—now’s your time to visit Budapest, Bratislava, Sofia, and Belgrade to see for yourself. You’ve wondered about the Eurostar train, connecting the UK to continental Europe through the Channel Tunnel – it’s part of this experience!All of this and much more are included on this European tour that starts and ends in London, and travels through France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Spend time in the French Riviera and France’s beautiful wine region. Experience lively Barcelona and visit some of the world’s oldest sights, including Athens’ Acropolis, dating back to the 5th century BC; the towers, cobblestones, and turrets in Carcassonne, perhaps Europe’s best-preserved medieval fortified town; Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge, built in 1333 as part of the city’s fortifications and now Europe’s oldest-preserved wooden bridge; Niš in Serbia, one of the oldest cities in the Balkans; and much more.But that’s not all…you’ll also witness gorgeous scenery throughout this Europe tour—from the rolling hills in Tuscany to the majestic Swiss Alps, Greece’s Peloponnese coast and the Danube valley. It’s a dream vacation for value-minded travelers!
Buffet breakfasts daily; 11 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Budapest
Day 1 ARRIVE IN LONDON, ENGLAND.
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts and the CosmosGO app are available to help you make the most of your stay
Day 2 LONDON.
Enjoy free time for independent activities. Take a panoramic tour of London’s famous landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, how about dinner followed by a leisurely cruise on the Thames River? Breakfast
Day 3 LONDON–PARIS, FRANCE.
Transfer to the railway station and board the EUROSTAR TRAIN to scintillating Paris with your Tour Director. Transfer to your hotel Breakfast
Day 4 PARIS.
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in Paris starting with an included guided tour to see the best known sites and monuments Breakfast
Day 5 PARIS–CHÂTEAUX COUNTRY–TOURS–BORDEAUX.
Travel south to Blois and along the Loire Valley, stopping in Tours to see the well-preserved historic center. Continue to Poitiers, beautifully situated on a rocky plateau. South again to the Grande Champagne wine-growing area. Spend the night in Bordeaux on the banks of the Garonne Breakfast Dinner
Day 6 BORDEAUX–CARCASSONNE–BARCELONA, SPAIN.
From the vineyards of the Gironde and the Garonne, travel eastward to Carcassonne in the foothills of the Pyrenées. Spend some time to admire what is perhaps the best-preserved medieval fortified town in Europe. Later, cross the Spanish border and travel through Catalonia to Barcelona Breakfast Dinner
Day 7 BARCELONA.
Your guided city tour includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a panoramic view of the port and city. It continues to the city center to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces (entrance fees not included) Breakfast
Day 8 BARCELONA–ARLES, FRANCE–FRENCH RIVIERA.
Back in France, head into the vineyard-covered region of the Hérault for a stop in Arles. This is where Vincent van Gogh lived from 1888-1889, and produced more than 300 paintings and drawings. Continue skirting the stunning shoreline of the Mediterranean to arrive in the heart of the world-famous French Riviera Breakfast
Day 9 FRENCH RIVIERA.
A full day at leisure allows you to take advantage of everything the splendid Côte d’Azur has to offer. You might like to explore the Old Town, climb up Castle Hill for panoramic views of Nice, or spend some time in the Marc Chagall National Museum. Tonight, consider joining our optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion to the nearby Principality of Monaco Breakfast
Day 10 FRENCH RIVIERA–VENICE AREA, ITALY.
Enjoy a scenic drive along the French and Italian Flower Rivieras. Then, cross the fertile Po River plains to the shores of the Adriatic to reach the Venice area Breakfast
Day 11 VENICE AREA.
Your day begins with a BOAT RIDE to monumental St. Mark’s Square. Time at leisure here enables you to explore and absorb the unique atmosphere of this unforgettable city built on water. Watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER at work. How about a romantic optional gondola trip? Breakfast Dinner
Day 12 VENICE AREA–FLORENCE.
Today, cross the verdant Apennine hills into Italy’s most popular region—Tuscany! Arrive in Florence, the renowned “Cradle of the Renaissance.” An included walking tour with a Local Guide features all the most important sites, including Piazza della Signoria and the copy of the “David” by Michelangelo Breakfast Dinner
Day 13 FLORENCE–PISA–ROME.
Today, hop on a mini train in Pisa to see the famous Leaning Tower, part of the Square of Miracles and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 Breakfast
Day 14 ROME.
The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built, and Circus Maximus Breakfast
Day 15 ROME–ANCONA (EMBARKATION)–OVERNIGHT FERRY CROSSING TO PATRAS, GREECE.
A day of scenic beauty awaits as you travel through the rugged Apennines past quaint, old-world villages on your way to Ancona on the Adriatic Sea. This afternoon, embark an overnight FERRY for your sea crossing to Greece Breakfast
Day 16 PATRAS (DISEMBARKATION)–OLYMPIA.
Awaken surrounded by fresh sea air this morning as you cross the Mediterranean. This afternoon, disembark in Patras and make your way south for a visit to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, first held in 776 BC. An optional guided visit to the archaeological site unveils the sacred precinct of Zeus, whose temple once housed a statue that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Breakfast Dinner
Day 17 OLYMPIA–TRIPOLI–ATHENS.
This morning, travel through the mountains of Arcadia into the heart of the Peloponnese peninsula. Cross the mighty Corinth Canal, then to Athens, capital of Greece and one of the world’s oldest cities. This evening, bask in the lively atmosphere of the old Plaka district with its welcoming tavernas and festive bouzouki music, or you could choose to join an optional Greek dinner Breakfast
Day 18 ATHENS.
The cradle of Western civilization and birthplace of democracy, Athens offers so much to see and experience. Included city sightseeing this morning features the highlights and a visit to the ACROPOLIS and the Parthenon. Later, explore the shops and museums or spend the afternoon swimming off the coast Breakfast Dinner
Day 19 ATHENS–DELPHI–THERMOPYLAE–THESSALONIKA.
On the way to Delphi, your Tour Director will tell you all about the area’s fascinating history rooted in Greek mythology. Enjoy a guided tour of Delphi’s ancient sanctuary, dedicated to the god Apollo. Hear about the mystical Oracle and tour the EXCAVATION SITE, then visit the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Next is Thermopylae, the cavernous entrance to Hades in Greek mythology and site of the famous battle between the Spartans and Xerxes’ overwhelming Persian forces in 480 BC. See the LEONIDAS MONUMENT, which commemorates the Spartan king. Travel along the coast to Thessalonika for an overnight Breakfast Dinner
Day 20 THESSALONIKA–SOFIA, BULGARIA.
Cross the Bulgarian border and head north through the Struma River Valley, Spartacus’ mountainous homeland. In Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, join your Local Guide for a city tour that includes the Parliament building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Theater, and St. Sophia Church Breakfast Dinner
Day 21 SOFIA–NIŠ, SERBIA–BELGRADE.
On to Serbia. In Niš, visit the well-preserved 18th-century Ottoman FORTRESS. Continue to Belgrade, capital of Serbia Breakfast
Day 22 BELGRADE–SZEGED, HUNGARY–BUDAPEST.
Enter the autonomous Serbian province of Vojvodina and cross into Hungary. Stop at the border town of Szeged, with fabled ties to Attila the Hun and the ancient home of paprika. Later, arrive in Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe Breakfast
Day 23 BUDAPEST.
Included sightseeing with a Local Guide today features Buda Castle, which dominates the twin cities of Buda and Pest, separated by the broad ribbon of the Danube River. See Heroes’ Square with its iconic monument and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Also see the Royal Castle, the awe-inspiring Hungarian Parliament, Margaret Island, Fishermen’s Bastion, and Matthias Coronation Church. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant Breakfast Dinner
Day 24 BUDAPEST–GYÖR–BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA–VIENNA, AUSTRIA.
Head toward the Austrian border today and, along the way, stop in colorful Györ with its narrow lanes, characteristic corner balconies, and baroque town center. Continue to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, where medieval towers, fortifications, St. Michael’s Gate, and gothic St. Martin’s Church await your discovery. Cross into Austria and arrive in its dazzling capital—Vienna Breakfast
Day 25 VIENNA.
Once the seat of the mighty Habsburg Empire and home to Strauss, Brahms, Beethoven, Hadyn, and Mozart, Vienna blends ornate baroque architecture with an irresistible musical heritage. There’s much to enthrall you today on the included guided sightseeing tour. Admire the fabulous State Opera House and Parliament, and stroll through Heroes’ Square for views of splendid Hofburg Palace. In your free time, be sure to pop into one of the traditional coffee houses for a slice of heavenly Sachertorte, or you can join one of our exciting optional excursions! Breakfast
Day 26 VIENNA–SALZBURG–MUNICH, GERMANY.
Travel along the Danube to Mozart’s splendid hometown, Salzburg. There’s time here to discover the charming Getreidegasse, the town’s elegant main shopping street. On to Germany through green Bavarian landscapes to arrive in Munich Breakfast
Day 27 MUNICH–BREGENZ, AUSTRIA–LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND.
Your day begins with an orientation drive. See its beautiful main square, Marienplatz, and marvel at the world-famous Glockenspiel. Later, stop in Bregenz before skirting Lake Constance, then cross into Switzerland to head for Lucerne Breakfast
Day 28 LUCERNE.
This morning’s visit introduces you to one of Switzerland’s finest cities. See the impressive city walls; CHAPEL BRIDGE, Europe’s oldest covered bridge; and the LION MONUMENT, a masterful stone sculpture honoring Louis XVI’s heroic Swiss Guard. A selection of optional activities is available to round out your day Breakfast Dinner
Day 29 LUCERNE–STRASBOURG, FRANCE–TRIER, GERMANY.
Cross into France today and spend some time at leisure in magical Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament. See the monumental gothic cathedral; taste the unique Franco-German cuisine; or explore the city’s historic heart in the magical La Petite France district. Return to Germany and head to ancient Trier for an overnight Breakfast
Day 30 TRIER–AMSTERDAM AREA, HOLLAND.
Through the industrial Ruhr region and then into the canal-crossed countryside of Holland to Amsterdam, vibrant capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On an included CANAL CRUISE, experience the city from water level, then stop to watch skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTER. Discover the main sites with a Local Guide and spend some time at leisure Breakfast Dinner
Day 31 AMSTERDAM AREA–BRUSSELS–LONDON, ENGLAND.
Drive to Brussels and board the EUROSTAR train to London Breakfast
Day 32 LONDON, ENGLAND.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.