Highlights and hidden wonders of Europe
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Group Size: Avg 45
Trip code: CTET
Duration: 23 days
With an epic 23 day itinerary, spanning 13 countries, this trip is the perfect combo of Europe’s biggest bucket list musts, as well as a fine selection of off-the-beaten-track gems. Explore the Renaissance wonders of Michelangelo’s Florence, marvel at the unforgettable beauty of Paris lit up at night, walk through a living fairy-tale at Lake Bled in Slovenia, sample la dolce vita in passionate Rome and gaze out over snow-capped peaks in the Swiss Alps. This is a real Europe ‘best of’, with some hidden wonders and seriously underrated destinations thrown in as well. What are you waiting for?
- Pay an emotional and thought-provoking visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau
- Walk in the footsteps of gladiators with a tour of Rome’s Colosseum and the Forum
- Take a twinkling night-time tour of Paris – the City of Lights
- Enjoy an open-air soak in Budapest’s famous thermal baths
- Drink in snow-capped views that’ll make your jaw drop in the stunning Swiss Alps
Day 1: London to Amsterdam. Meet the gang in London town and get ready for an unforgettable adventure. Our first destination is the one and only Amsterdam! Check out the city’s famed canals and gabled houses before a delish dinner and getting to grips with the ‘Dam’s famed nightlife.
Day 2: Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s your oyster today. Rent a bike to explore the centre like a local, sample some local ales, marvel at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, or enjoy views across the city from the A’Dam Lookout Tower. Then how does a night-time cruise down the canals sound?
Day 3: Amsterdam to Berlin. Time to hit the Autobahn to uber-cool Berlin. Kick off with a tour of the most iconic sights, including the Berlin Wall and East Side Gallery. After dark, explore some of the best nightlife in Europe with basement clubs, cabaret joints, micro-breweries and more!
Day 4: Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie is on the menu today, and for the hungry traveller, there’s a historical walking tour of the city (including Hitler’s bunker) and an alternative walking tour for those who want to uncover a different side to the city. This evening, hit the beers with the locals. Prost!
Day 5: Berlin to Prague (via Dresden). We’re off to the Czech Republic today with a pit-stop in baroque beauty, Dresden. See the highlights before continuing on to Prague. We’ll see the enchanting Castle and the Cathedral of St Vitus before leaving you to sample some of Europe’s finest beer!
Day 6: Prague. Take a tour of Prague’s highlights today including Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square and the Astronomical Clock. There’s also a city bike tour on offer if you’d like to explore on two wheels, and an authentic Czech evening with traditional music, dancing and dinner. Na Zdravi!
Day 7: Prague to Vienna (via Kutna Hora). Austria’s next, but before we cross the border, we’ll stop in pretty Kutna Hora. Don’t miss the Ossuary, decorated with the bones of over 40,000 people – spooky! Next up, it’s Vienna. Get a taste for the city’s musical chops with a Mozart / Strauss concert.
Day 8: Vienna. Discover some of the finest jewels in the city’s crown, with a scenic drive taking in St Stephen’s Cathedral, the State Opera House and Schönbrunn Palace. The rest of the day’s yours. This evening, hit up one of the pub-like BeislnI for hearty fare (schnitzel anybody?) and a beer or two.
Day 9: Vienna to Krakow (via Auschwitz). Today’s first stop is emotional and thought provoking, as we visit the concentration camp memorials at Auschwitz and Birkenau, Afterwards, we’ll continue on to Kraków. Head out to sample some kielbasa (Polish sausage) washed down with some vodka.
Day 10: Kraków. Get cracking early this morning with a tour of the Cathedral and Royal Castle. We’ve also got a bike tour on offer if that takes your fancy, including some delicious pierogi for lunch (Polish dumplings). Make sure you save some energy for our pivo (Polish lager) and pinball evening!
Day 11: Kraków to Budapest (via Banksa Bystrica). Take in three countries today, with a first stop in Banksa Bystrica, Slovakia. Then cross the border into Hungary and keep on trucking to beautiful Budapest. We’ll take a walking tour of the city before an optional dinner cruise on the Danube.
Day 12: Budapest. Today’s yours to explore the wonders of the Hungarian capital. We’ve got a guided tour on offer if you’d like to learn about the city’s history (including a stop at one of the famous thermal baths). Tonight, grab some drinks in one of the city’s iconic ruin bars.
Day 13: Budapest to Ljubljana (via Lake Bled). We’re making our way into Slovenia today towards lovely Ljubljana. We’ll stop at living fairytale, Lake Bled, on the way (keep your swimmers handy for a dip in the emerald water!) Then it’s onwards to Slovenia’s capital for an evening of fun.
Day 14: Ljubljana to Venice. Destinations don’t come much more special than Venice. Take a motoscafo across the lagoon before touring the highlights including the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square. Then hop on a gondola, before sundowners over the lagoon and a mouthwatering cicchetti (Venetian tapas) tour.
Day 15: Venice to Rome. The Italian big hitters just keep coming with the hot-blooded capital. Take a walking tour of the top spots, then explore at your own pace. Tonight, join our add-on pasta making experience followed by a delicious dinner, or hit one of the local pizzerias.
Day 16: Rome. We’ve got a full day to enjoy the spoils of Rome. Walk in the footsteps of gladiators with our optional tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, visit the Pantheon, or just sample la dolce vita by sipping cappuccino and watching daily life unfold in this most exciting of cities.
Day 17: Rome to Florence. We’re hitting the road today, but not before squeezing in a tour of the Vatican Museums – Michelangelo here we come! We’ll arrive in Renaissance gem, Florence, in time for an aperitivo on the Arno, before seeking out some lip-smacking Florentine fare in a trattoria.
Day 18: Florence. Get to grips with one of the city’s top trades today with an included leather craft demo. Follow it up with our guided walking tour and round up your Florence experience with an optional tasting in a 16th Century winery, followed by a delicious dinner – yum!
Day 19: Florence to Swiss Alps (via Pisa). Farewell Florence, we’re heading to the Swiss Alps, with a stop in vibrant Pisa. Take some pics of you holding the tower up for the ‘gram before we speed our way onwards to Switzerland’s snowcapped mountains.
Day 20: Swiss Alps. Drink in the spectacular views this morning (you’ll have to pinch yourself to check you’re not dreaming). Join our cog train excursion up Jungfrau Mountain, or if you’re feeling daring, how about a paragliding experience? Tonight, grab some fondue and local wine for an alpine party in your mouth.
Day 21: Swiss Alps to Paris. From dazzling mountain views to Parisian chic. We’ll cross the border into France today, travelling through picturesque Burgundy on our way to the City of Lights. After an included dinner, tick off some iconic sights with a twinkling night-time tour – dreamy.
Day 22: Paris. Visit a perfumery, where you’ll learn all the secrets of the trade, then spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your leisure. Save some energy though. We’ve got an optional feast in Montmartre on the table for our last night, followed by some classic Parisian cabaret – ooh-la-la!
Day 23: Paris to London. Au revoir Paris, you’ve been wonderful! Hop on to the trusty coach for the last time as we drive through the WWI Battlefields on our way back to Calais. Our amazing adventure ends up back where we started, in London.
Did you know this trip runs all year round? Top travel tip - check out our off-peak deals from October to April for less crowds and more winter beauty.
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Your trip departs London at 6:30am on day 1. For this reason we recommend you arrive into London the day before your trip starts.
The trip ends in London around 18:30pm on day 23. In case of delays, we recommend that you spend the night in London before departing the following day.
22 nights’ accommodation is included on this trip. All accommodation is in comfy and centrally located hostels. Rooms are usually single sex with 4 people per room.
22 breakfasts and 4 dinners are included. You’ll have to buy the rest of your meals yourself. This is a great opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine.
The age requirements for this trip is 18 - 35 years. This trip requires you to show evidence that you have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 (final dose administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the trip).
UK citizens can travel to countries in the European Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days. Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.
All visa, passport and entry requirements are subject to change so we recommend travellers check the most up to date information with the relevant embassies before travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.