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: From London to 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.(Dinner with Wine)Day 4: Castles of the Rhine Valley and on to Heidelberg.
Cross into Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. 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. Continue to the university town of Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 5: Innsbruck, Mountain-ringed Capital of the Tyrol.
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head towards the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig's Neuschwanstein, rumoured to have inspired Walt Disney's iconic castle. Once over the Austrian border, continue to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the Old Town.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 6: Across the Dolomites to Venice.
Continue your journey, crossing the Italian border and on through the Dolomites. Amongst the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at a local winery where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguishable prosecco with a natural balance. Savour a tasting of these luxurious sparkling wines and discover how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. In the evening, enjoy a dinner with wine.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 7: Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
Waking up to the sights and sounds of Venice is a thrill for even the most experienced traveller. A morning boat transfer brings you to Giudecca Island to witness the skills of glassblowers. Then cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to explore St. Mark's Square including Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the adjacent prison. In the square, the bell tower comes into view, plus the beautiful mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica and the Clock Tower Moors, who have been striking the hour for over 500 years. Meet a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation and how this skill is handed down from generation to generation. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades or take an Optional Experience cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano to dine on local specialties and wine?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 8: The Eternal City of Rome.
Italian culture is deeply rooted in hospitality with food, friends and family being central to everyday life. You're invited into the home of a Roman local to experience Italian hosting at its best, as you enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with your EatWith host.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 9: Papal and Imperial Rome.
During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art housed in the Vatican Museums and the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican usually closed to the public. Then explore St. Peter's Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world. Cross the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 10: Over the Chianti hills to Florence.
Drive to the Chianti Hills and 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 a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. A leisurely afternoon give you time to shop for quality goods, like gold and leather, which Florence is famous for. Alternatively, there is the option to visit the Accademia Gallery with an art historian to see Michelangelo's famed masterpiece, 'David.' In the evening, savour an authentic family-style dinner of home-made cuisine at a local trattoria. Perfectly set among the beautiful Tuscan countryside, you are served fresh ingredients prepared to traditional recipes.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 11: Lake Maggiore.
Travel past Milan, the capital of Lombardy, as you journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with luxuriant subtropical vegetation. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at this popular resort and beautiful lake. Perhaps choose to take a cruise to the lovely Isola Bella for a guided tour of the incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens? Later, the choice is yours for your Dine-Around Evening. Enjoy your preferred dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering their own unique cuisine and ambience.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 12: The Alps and on to Lucerne.
In the morning, enjoy your last moments among the charming Italian Lake District before your travels continue across the Swiss border. Appreciate the Alpine terrain as you embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the regional flora and fauna. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Continue to lakeside Lucerne where the afternoon is at your leisure.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 13: Lakeside Lucerne.
The emotive Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff, is a memorial dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, which is a source of great pride to the people of Lucerne. See this beautiful work before strolling across the Chapel Bridge to see the ornate Jesuit Church. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a cruise on Lake Lucerne with its dramatic vistas.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 14: Sights and delights of Paris.
In the morning, travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant Ville-LumiÃ¨re or City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the imposing facades of the Louvre and the banks of the River Seine with its many romantic bridges. See the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs ElysÃ©es 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?(Buffet Breakfast)Day 15: The food and flavours of Paris.
Split into small groups for a more personal experience and meet your Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge local delicacies in a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. With the afternoon free, perhaps see the city from the second elevation of the iconic Eiffel Tower? In the evening, embrace the charm of the Latin Quarter, during your Celebration Dinner at a typical Old Paris style bistro, Le Petit Prince de Paris. Enjoy home-style cooking, using local ingredients, accompanied by delicious French wines.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)Day 16: Return to London by Eurostar.
In the morning, there is an included coach transfer to Paris Gare du Nord station for your high speed Eurostar train journey to London. On arrival, you are transferred to the Amba Hotel Marble Arch hotel where your trip ends.(Buffet Breakfast)
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