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European Experience

A scenic roadtrip peppered by charming cities & iconic sites, you're onboard the European Experience. The perfect midpoint for those feeling unsure about how much time they have and what their budget is. Questions that will be long behind you when you're sipping vino at Contiki's Château & boating through the canals of Venice.

  • Duration: 20 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 16/209988
  • Starts: London, United Kingdom
  • Finishes: London, United Kingdom
  • Age requirement: 18 - 35
You will Visit
  • London
  • Paris
  • Beaujolais
  • French Riviera
  • Florence
  • Rome
  • Venice
  • Austrian Tyrol
  • Munich
  • Swiss Alps
  • Rhine Valley
  • Amsterdam

Itinerary

01

Day 1: London to Paris

Join forces in London & get to know the wolf pack you're about to take on Europe with. We'll hit the road this morning and make tracks for 20 days of adventure.Shortly before we find our ferry for France, 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 will travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme, before reaching .... Paris!Pop the champagne, dial up the romance, & pass the escargot - we're in Paris, baby! Don't waste a second unpacking, we're going to hit the streets and see how this city comes alive by night.

02

Day 2: Paris

Drool over haute couture, 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 dinner and the Nouvelle Eve Champagne show. Smitten and it's only day two!

03

Day 3: Paris to Beaujolais Wine Region via Fontainebleau

Farewell French capital! We're off in search of charming countryside & legit, straight from the source vino.With its medieval stature and grand surrounding ponds, Château Fontainebleau will take your breath away. We'll amble around the gardens then recommence our scenic journey to Beaujolais.Tonight's the night we camp out at Contiki’s very own 16th century Château. We say "camp" - LOL. This might be the most royal experience of your life. Wine tasting at the Château’s working winery is just one of the ways we'll kill time while we're here.

04

Day 4: Beaujolais Wine Region

Pinch yourself, this is another day at the Château & another chance to live your best French countryside life with a full day here in Beaujolais. Rise & shine with optional sunrise yoga on the sprawling lawn of the Château's gardens, relax in the courtyard with a coffee & croissant, or loll about poolside in our castle-like setting. Our highlight today is a picnic in the picturesque gardens. Cue panoramic views & red wine.

05

Day 5: Beaujolais Wine Region to French Riviera incl Monaco

Yes, yes, you could stay here forever, but unfortunately the show must go on. And there is more French fabulousness just around the corner, we promise.Driving along the Côte d'Azur will you get excited for what's to come...and that's in the form of one of the world's most glamorous towns, Monaco.Home to the Righteous Royals as well as the world's most famous casino, yes that's right, we've arrived in Monaco. Ogle at supercars, and snack on nibbles before trying your luck on the blackjack table (if you wish) all dressed in your best at Monte Carlo casino.Oh, what a night! Hopefully with some winnings in hand, we'll head back for a sleep before our next day of adventure tomorrow.

06

Day 6: French Riviera to Florence via Pisa

Full to the brim with all things French and ready for new ground. Italy, perhaps? But first, we'll visit Fragonard Perfumery in the French Riviera, now there's a place to check in on Facebook! And stock up on perfume, obviously. Especially given the greatly discounted prices and authenticity of buying in France.No trip around Europe is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, we'll be on the fast-track to Florence.The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Tonight, begin your Italian adventure with a night out with your group with dancing a plenty.

07

Day 7: Florence

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.

08

Day 8: Florence to Rome

Farewell Florence - today we have the epicenter of Italy on our horizons. Pizza, piazzas...we're coming in hot.After our drift through the rustic Tuscan hillsides of cypress trees and glowing fields, we'll be back city side in the Italian capital of Rome. The Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona are just some of the icons we'll be casting our eyes upon before the sun sets on day-8.

09

Day 9: Rome

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. Espressos and people watching should be high priority.In Italy any time is Aperol Spritz time, but there’s definitely no better time than on our last evening in Rome, watching the sun set over the city. Tonight we'll learn how to mix, shake & pour our way to the perfect blend of bitter and bubbly magic in an included Italian Cocktail making class. All the ingredients we need will be supplied to master Italian’s unofficial national drink along with a selection of other Italian classics. One more for the road?

10

Day 10: Rome to Venice

We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over...Kudos to the cats of decades gone who constructed this lagoon fairytale. Boats, bridges, gondolas; your heart is going to pound. Start off this evening with an optional walking tour that not only shows you the sights but also finishes with traditional Venetian cicchetti, washed down with an aperitivo.

11

Day 11: Venice

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. You have the chance to become truly Venetian with a gondola ride up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.

12

Day 12: Venice to Austrian Tyrol

Confident we have ticked off all the Italian essentials, we're off to Austria for some mountain vibes like nowhere else. Along the way, we'll drive through the Brenner Pass, spotting vineyards and castles as we gear up for more of the good times.Start your stay in Austria with the excitement high for our impending visit to our Special Stay, Contiki's own Gasthof (guest house).

13

Day 13: Austrian Tyrol

Wake up, peel open your curtains, and take in the magnificence of your view...and your life in general. If you're feeling lively you can jump onto a bike tour through green mountains and waterfalls. If you're feeling really lively you can go tandem paragliding. Not so lively? Stroll around and take in the incredible setting; drink endless hot chocolate, go up a mountain in a gondola, carry on sighing with happiness.

14

Day 14: Austrian Tyrol to Munich via Dachau

Polish off your stay in Austria, with the excitement of our impending visit to Germany, but not before a visit to the home of Swarovski Crystal.They say that the more you learn about the past, the better prepared you are for the future. And today the past will unfold itself at the Dachau concentration camp memorial.A city famous the world over for its annual beer festival is a city we need to know about. And luckily enough, its Bavarian culture is a year round attraction. You can explore the side streets of Munich on an optional bike tour, or go it on your own and see what you stumble upon.

15

Day 15: Munich to Swiss Alps via Liechtenstein and Lucerne

Goodbye Munich, hello mountains.We'll make a well earned pit stop in the capital of the tiny country of the Principality of Liechtenstein - famous for being landlocked by not one but two countries, now there's a fact we bet you never thought you would learn.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!!!Arrive in this picture perfect setting ready for two nights at our very own Swiss Chalet, starting off with a night in the infamous 'bomb shelter' bar.

16

Day 16: Swiss Alps

Open the window of your Swiss chalet & drink in the incredible view - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! If you're feeling audacious, catch a cog rail to Europe’s highest railway station on Jungfrau Mountain, keeping your balance on what's known as the 'Top of Europe'.

17

Day 17: Swiss Alps to Rhine Valley via Heidelberg

Out with the altitude, into incredible Germany for a second time. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting into beer and wine territory in the castle dotted landscapes of the Rhine Valley.We keep the suspense with a stop off in Heidelberg and its medieval vibes which are matched only by its student vibes before we're back on the road and the alpine air.After the scenic journey of fairytale castles, vineyards and valleys, you'll be charmed before we even arrive in Germany's famous Rhine Valley. This back-in-time town is our wine tasting host for the evening. Squeal!!!

18

Day 18: Rhine Valley to Amsterdam via Edam

This morning we'll drag you all away from Germany kicking and screaming that you want to stay forever. Only to see you equally infatuated with another dot on the European map hours later...You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. We'll cycle into the countryside to see windmills & picturesque Dutch houses on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house. Flashing red lights, pretty canals, crooked buildings, cafes bursting with pizza + chocolate + French fries. Amsterdam is all that and way too many bags of chips.

19

Day 19: Amsterdam

It's our last full day on tour & our last night to party up a storm with the squad. Use the day to explore quirky museums & sample the endless array of cuisines this city has on offer.

20

Day 20: Amsterdam to London

Get your tissues ready, it's time to say goodbye to your new Contiki family. We'll escort you to Schiphol Airport by about 10am.For those not leaving us until London, we'll travel south through Belgium - cross another country off your list.This afternoon we cross from France to England and then back to London-town, where you'll be left to start dreaming up your next big adventure.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • At night, we'll be kicking back in some of the coolest accommodation options you'll ever encounter. Spend 2 nights in Contiki's very own French Ch�teau, another 2 in our Austrian Gasthof, 2 more in our Swiss Chalet, 6 in our cosy village cabins, 3 in funky hostels and 4 in hotels
      Food
    • This culinary tour of Europe will awaken taste buds you didn't even know existed. Slurp on snails in France and twirl spaghetti on the cobbled streets of Italy. Breakfast is included every day, and you'll also be treated to 1 picnic lunch and 12 scrumptious dinners on us
      Staff
    • You'll be safe in the hands of your professional Trip Manager, who knows the streets of Europe better than you know the hairs on your toes. When it comes to transport, an experienced and legendary driver team will be taking the reins; trust us, they're always a hoot
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Tour Highlights:
  • Beaujolais Wine Region: Picnic in the French countryside,Unwind on the lawn with Yoga and a glass of wine!
  • French Riviera to Florence: Visit a French perfumery
  • Florence: Discover the Secrets of Michelangelo's Florence – see Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence,See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistery & Piazza della Signoria,Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
  • Venice: Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice,See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square,See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Austrian Tyrol: See this pretty mountain region famous for adventure sports