From London to Rome and onto Paris, this grand tour takes in Cinque Terre, abundant Florence sightseeing and a delectable Lucerne Dine Around evening. After speeding from London to Amsterdam aboard Eurostar, the perfect introduction to the Netherlands is a curated cruise through the canals led by local experts. Onwards in style into Germany, the Rhine's UNESCO world heritage sites give way to the golden city of Prague—where your local guide will lead you through the hilltop castle courtyards and the grandiose St Vitus Cathedral or through the Jewish Quarter. A tour of Italy serves up the gondola-filled canals of Venice and the opulence of Rome, before Swiss delights beckon in Lucerne. Paris dazzles last with a chance to shop the city's boutiques like a local and enjoy views of iconic sights, including Notre-Dame and the Louvre.
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.
Depart from London by Eurostar and onto Amsterdam
Meet your Travel Director at 07:00 and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you through the Channel Tunnel en route to Amsterdam. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests as you cruise along some of the quaint, tree-lined canals to explore the heart of the Old City, before enjoying a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
Legends along the Rhine
Cross into Germany, through the Rhine Valley and into Würzburg, where there is time to stroll through the heart of the Old Town and down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. With a Local Expert, visit the imposing Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at intricate decorations and lavish staterooms boasting with French, Austrian and Venetian influences.
Rothenburg and Golden Prague Relaxed Start
In the morning, see the mighty Marienburg Fortress - the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Continue east to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires
Explore Prague with Insight Choice. Choose to walk the courtyards of the Castle and visit the imposing St. Vitus Cathedral. Alternatively, join your Local Expert through the Jewish Quarter and hear about the history, traditions and legends of the Jewish people and taste Trdelník, a traditional Czech pastry. Then, the city is all yours to explore. Perhaps rummage through the renowned antique stores or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal? In the evening, why not enjoy an Optional Experience in the Czech countryside?
Salzburg, City of Mozart Relaxed Start
Journey through the Czech Republic and continue south over the Austrian border and onto Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music.’ A Local Expert shows you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace which includes the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Later see Residence Square and its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence'. Witness the imposing fortress, immense cathedral and Mozart’s birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. In the evening, experience authentic Farm-to-Table dining at a local organic farm and enjoy the flavours of homemade dishes.
The Tauern Mountains to Venice Relaxed Start
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Salzburg to shop for local marzipan specialties. Perhaps take the opportunity to marvel at impressive views atop Kehlsteinhaus - the Eagle’s Nest - a unique example of historic architecture in a stunning alpine setting? Later, stunning scenery surrounds you as you travel down the Tauern Mountains to cross the Italian border. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic, where your hotel is perfectly located in one of the quietest peaceful and authentic Venetian districts.
The Magic of 'La Serenissima' Relaxed Start
In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. See the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace on St. Mark's Square, connected to the ancient prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades?
Onto the Eternal City of Rome
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome with the locals Relaxed Start
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your morning walking tour with a Local Expert includes this in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain and see the best-preserved monument from the Roman period - the Pantheon, before enjoying free time to do as the Romans do, in Piazza Navona. Perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?
The Vatican and Florence
Start the day with your Local Expert they introduce you to the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community in the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special priority entry to avoid the crowds and 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. Your travels continue with a drive to the Chianti Hills, to arrive at the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo, where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. Lined with fountains and statues, it acts as an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take time to gaze at Neptune and David as you explore the historic city center.
The Cinque Terre
The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat (weather permitting). Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Savour authentic Italian cuisine with a delicious Sea-to-Table lunch at Ristorante Da Ely in Monterosso. Continue by train to Levanto, then on to your resort in Rapallo.
Across the Alps to Lucerne
Pass Milan as you head north for the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. Travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne, where you are leisure for the rest of the afternoon.
Lucerne’s Lakes and Mountains
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Mount Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose to explore scenic pathways, with a chance to see native animals. Alternatively, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and hear a conservation talk by a Swiss ranger, to learn about local wildlife and flora. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town'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. Then, 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. Tonight, enjoy a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
Sights and delights of Paris
In the morning, travel through storybook scenery of forests and imposing mountain ranges, crowned by famous snowy peaks. Continue through the Alsace region, famous for its vineyards and wine, to arrive in the vibrant City of Light. 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 Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
The food and flavours of Paris
Your exploration of Paris today starts with an Insight Choice. Choose to shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian for fashion, perfume or cosmetics with your Local Expert. Alternatively, join an avid foodie as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. In the evening, indulge in refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker.
Au Revoir Paris
Bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.