Go everywhere, all at once, without spending your life savings! This is where it all began for Contiki, a bunch of friends, travelling to amazing places and having a great time while getting there. This trip heads south to Spain, East to Turkey and Bulgaria, winds along the Dalmatian Coast, up to Prague and Amsterdam. No stone is left unturned! Camping is all about getting in and helping out which is what makes it so much fun.
Welcome to the first day of the best trip of your life - we're calling it early! After a few pleasantries in London we'll get the show on the road with Paris in our sights.A few hours in and your jaws are on the floor already. These chalk cliffs that edge the English coastline are known as the White Cliffs of Dover, the first of many natural beauties we'll see on our trip.After we ferry across the English Channel for France we'll arrive in Calais, where we will take in the history of World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme.Kicking off night one, we arrive in none other than the lust-worthy Paris! It's straight down to business with a tour of the city lit up by the lights of night.
Croissant in one hand, cappuccino in the other - this should be your signature look for the next few days. See Louis the XIV's favourite Palace of Versailles, then head back to Paris to window shop with wishful eyes, admire old world art works, & take in the iconic sites, you have plenty of time to fall head over heels for the city of love.
Miss the Mona Lisa yesterday? Didn't get a chance to stroll the Seine river and watch artists brushing ballerinas on easels? Keen to pack a cheese picnic and sit near Montmartre for a new view on the city. Luckily for you Paris is still your oyster (or snail) - we're in no great hurry to move on from this bliss.
Just before you get too comfortable in that beret and striped shirt combo, we're dragging you away in search of vineyards and châteaus.Southbound, we roll on through Burgundy’s wine country to Beaujolais’ green hills and vineyards.
Bye-bye Beaujolais! And hello Barcelona. The Pyrénées mountains will keep our eyes satisfied today as we roll across the border for Spain's most lively city. Each day as sweet as the last.Well would you look at that for timing, we've pulled into our accommodation just on sangria o'clock. Fate, you've done it again! Enjoy a night at the campsite before...
Cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter, Montjuic hilltop vistas, & wild Spanish architecture will season our day to perfection. There's plenty of free time to roam free or take a dip in the Mediterranean sea, just don't tire yourself out - chances are you'll want to partake in the evening of Flamenco fun.
As smitten as we are by Barcelona, we have more of Europe to conquer. Much, much more...After a dreamy drive across the border into France through landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs, we'll arrive at our lunch break town of Arles. Here we will get a peek at an ancient Roman Arena and at a typical provincial French town.You're not a real celebrity until you've frolicked on the French Riviera, and who are we to keep you off the A-List? Sapphire waters & endless glamour as we roll through this glitzy coastline.
This morning we'll take a guided visit to Fragonard Perfumery, part museum experience & part discount perfume shopping extravaganza, where you'll have the chance to dabble in the olfactory arts. Then it's back to glamorous beach resorts, coastal villages, superyachts & members of the Jet Set - a scenic drive along the Côte d'Azur shows us everything we want to know about the French Riviera, as we make our way to the heart of it all, Monaco.It wouldn't be a true visit to Monaco without seeing the Royal Palace and the Montecarlo casino, and that's exactly what we'll look for first. Then, what better place to spend your last night in France? You have a free evening to don your glad rags, spritz on some of your new perfume & rub shoulders with the high rollers, before it's back along the coast tonight.Monaco, you've been a real winner today. Winding our way back along the Côte d'Azur, we'll say goodbye to the flash pack and set our sights for bed.
Today we say our farewells to the French Riviera and take our first jaunt into Italy. Pizza, pasta, & charming locals are just around the corner. In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, a posse of travellers, all alike in excitement, check out the place that inspired Romeo & Juliet. We'll also check out the Roman Arena where other love stories were told. The floating city of gondolas, canals and pretty bridges - what a splendid way to commence our Italian love affair. Rest up tonight, you'll want to be alert for tomorrow's magical agenda.
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. A guided walking tour and a gondola ride are up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.
Venice we love you, but we need to see a bit more of this boot to satisfy our hungry wanderlust ways.As if we were going to leg it from Venice to Florence without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.For those of you not familiar with the whole Florence deal, we have two words for you: it's heaven. Potter along the River Arno, be totally Tuscan with a drop of Chianti wine, and take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral.
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.
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-13.
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.
One more destination is left to cement our Italian love affair. And it could be one of the European destinations you've been lusting over the most.The island of Capri; we'll sail over the Tyrrhenian Sea taking in the glorious waters and majestic beauty of coastal Italy. Once on Isle of Capri, you can roam the hillside town of Anacapri, sip too many cups of coffee, and marvel at how the cliffs meet the sea."So so so so in love with Sorrento" are about the only words you'll muster up this evening as you sit seaside in the #InstaFamous town of beauty. Back on the mainland we will toast our time in Italy and begin discussing our fanciful ideas about what Greece has in store.
Arrivederci Italy! You've been real. And the next few days have a lot to live up to. Luckily, with Greece on the horizon, we're in pretty safe hands. After less than an hour gazing lovingly out of our windows at the Italian countryside, it will be time for a stop. Here in the ancient city of Pompeii you will have the chance to partake in a guided walking tour taking through Roman city remains.After taking in the rugged beauty of the boot's south, we board our overnight ferry to Greece. Don't be ashamed if you need to wipe away a tear or two as we plough through the Ionian Sea watching Italy get smaller.
The best version of island time? Greek island time. And you'll settle straight into it on the dream scene of Corfu. A heritage listed old town, water sports aplenty & the option to hit the seas again on a cruise - this is a what your first day in Greece will look like.
Another day, another chance to get salty & eat a smorgasbord of feta, olives and grapevines stuffed with delectable rice. Our time in Corfu is a great way for everyone to try a bit of Greek dancing - why not give it a go at our Ionian Dinner?
Remember when you first looked at our itinerary and wondered if 3-days in Corfu would be too much? LOL! What a joke those feels are now. It's our final full day here and we all wish it would last for 3-months. Do any daredevil things you've been putting off or give yourself a day to relax if you've been giving it a nudge since we first arrived.
Before we lose all sense of reality and morph into sea-soaked island dwellers, we're making tracks to Athens for a dose of city meets history.The awe of Greece's mainland will begin shortly after our arrival as we catch a glimpse of Corinth Canal. This man-made passageway squeezes boats through it's path, sandwiched by two steep cliffs and sitting over gloriously blue ocean.A collage of ancient wonders and modern magnificence, the allure of Athens is hard to dismiss. Relax tonight with the knowledge that we have plenty of time to soak up the city tomorrow.
Today is ours to absorb the best of Athens. Our Local Guide will escort us through the history of the city visiting the Parthenon and the Acropolis. In the afternoon we'll head to the first modern Olympic Stadium, host of the 1896 (!!) Games.
By now you should be well and truly acquainted with all things Athens and ready to embark on our next venture.Before arrival in our final destination in this fine country we'll see Greece’s highest peak, Mt Olympus, and the grounds of Thermopylae, where an ancient battle of 300 vs. thousands proved size really doesn't count.The coastal town of Kavala is our nest for the evening. Down your last Greek salad, cheers the country over a glass of ouzo and sleep well in preparation for our next few days in Turkey.
Ah, the traveller's life. Today we leave Greece to embark on our first day of Turkish adventures.Though a few days of fun times and city frolics are ahead of us, we will start our Turkish explorations on a sobering note by visiting the battlegrounds of Gallipoli.
Continent crossed - squeal!! There aren't likely to be many times in your life that you'll be in a country that spans two continents.This afternoon we discover that "Troy" means more than just a Hollywood blockbuster. Our Local Guide will unravel the historical layers of a ten year war & what is now a mythical excavation site.Unlike anywhere else on earth Istanbul is set to capture your heart and imagination. Rest up tonight and the city is yours from sunrise.
The Blue Mosque with its interior of 20,000 handmade tiles; lively spice markets; bazaars bursting at the sides with silver & jewels. Istanbul is one place we'll really have to drag you away from. You can opt in for a walking tour, where your local guide will show you the hotspots, and you're always free to get lost and uncover some secrets of your own. Just be sure to find your way back if you're keen for the traditional Turkish evening with dinner and a show.
With Istanbul firmly imprinted in our hearts and minds, we can leave Turkey in search of Bulgaria's capital to see what all the fuss is about.Once a sleepy spot on the European map, Sofia is experiencing its own mini renaissance. The pretty streets, quirky galleries and hip locals are almost enough to distract you from the astounding Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Sofia you were short and sweet, sometimes we gotta roll that way if we're going to see the rest!Cut across Macedonia and stop off for lunch in Skopje, known for its thriving outdoor cafés. Try some Macedonian specialities like burek (delicious local pastry) with white cheese or a local pizza.Next up it’s Struga, tucked in between mountains and one of Europe’s oldest lakes. Our campsite is located right beside the water, so you can take a dip whenever you feel like it. After dinner, position yourself at a lakeside terrace with a local beer and take in the peaceful surroundings.
Today we say farewell Macedonia and head over the border and into Albania.Albania serves up mind-blowing scenery scattered with the remains of old war-bunkers – a sad reminder of its recent past. Your Trip Manager will give you this country’s story on the coach as we follow the coast to our overnight stop.
Obscure off the beaten track capitals one day, trusted favourite cities the next. Such is the beauty of a see it all trip!We're making a stop in this coastal heaven before Dubrovnik. A 2,500 year old town famous for its beautiful beaches and its cobbled stone roads. A coffee maybe before we make our way to Dubrovnik?...we make our way to Croatia.The spectacular seaside fortress town of Dubrovnik, also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is yours to explore for the evening - not forgetting it has an enviable party scene.
The city of Dubrovnik is so much more than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones location - not that either of those claims to fame are even mildly mediocre. After you've been guided around the city with intricate detail you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content.
Another day in this glorious city to set off and explore, perhaps go for a walk along the city walls, or relax and enjoy the glorious Croatian weather by soaking up the sun, or finding one of its famous buza bars.
Weaving up the Dalmatian Coast towards Split, we pass crystal clear waters scattered with green islands....we make our way to Split.Meet with Roman heritage when you wander through the domain of Diocletian’s Palace in the city centre, complete with 220 buildings and an imposing cathedral.
Cruise through the stunning Paklencia National Park as we make our way out of Croatia. Before we reach Budapest, we'll pass by Central Europe’s largest lake, Lake Balaton, often dubbed the ‘Hungarian Sea’.With two cities rolled into one, this exotic town has a bit of everything. Buda and Pest sit on different sides of the river, but together they make the stunning city Budapest
Throw yourself into the sightseeing this morning with the church of St. Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge. That way you'll really earn an afternoon soaking in the city's famous outdoor thermal pools set amongst Art Nouveau architecture. Blissed out in Budapest - there's an insta caption for you.
Under normal circumstances we'd all be devastated to be leaving Budapest. But with Austria on the horizon, it's smiles all round. Giddy up!There's nothing like stopping for lunch in an entirely new country before moving onto another, this is Europe after all. We'll stretch our legs in the Slovakian capital with a stroll in the Old Town and come across its famous statues. They all have a story behind them, and you'll learn about them all.Many can't shake the Austrian association of singing on sprawling mountains and conservative blue dresses, which makes the sophisticated city of Vienna a very pleasant surprise. A palace, a cathedral, an opera house and a ... SCHNAPS MUSEUM!! Will all welcome us into the arms of Austria. Tonight we will head to Prater, the famous amusement park in the city for a fun filled night!
A whole day lies ahead to uncover the ethereal Austrian capital. Our Trip Manager will uncover the historical heritage of Schönbrunn Palace, the State Opera House and the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. And once you've seen all that, you'll have a bit of free time to check out art galleries and local coffee houses, maybe even try a slice of the famous Sacher Torte.
Today we travel out of Austria to its northern neighbour, Czech Republic. But don't despair, we will be in the fine country of Germany in just a few days for you to keep practising your German!Just after we cross the border we'll take a break in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Český Krumlov. Old-world charm meets glorious cafes meets cobblestone lanes & cute shops.Now positively inspired by our newest crush, the Czech Republic, we head north out of Český Krumlov to its capital city of Prague. Fast becoming a European hotspot, Prague will woo you with its cathedrals & pretty bridges.
With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, old buildings and quirky street art before you Czech-out the traditional cuisine and cheap beer.
We warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry kids, you can not live here forever. Unless....?After departing Prague and journeying into Germany, we'll stop in the medieval town of Dachau near the border, for a visit back into Europe's history. We'll spend some time here in Dachau with a sobering but eye-opening guided tour of Dachau concentration camp memorial. Once the original working 'camp', this memorial house the stories of a generation never to be forgotten.Onwards, upwards & seeing the world with more grateful eyes than ever before, we'll settle back on the road and soon arrive in the culture-steeped town of Munich. It may be known for its Oktoberfest activites, but this delightful Bavarian hub is a charmer all year round. Tonight we'll get into the heart of it all by seeing the famous Marienplatz and commemorating with our first proper beer stein.
Today is the day to dive deep into Munich's culture and urban life. Take an optional guided bike ride through the Englischer gardens, where if you are lucky you may just spot some of Munich's more intriguing locals. Then, spend the afternoon finding out more about what put Munich on the map; beer and BMWs.
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.
Wake up and 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'.
This is one morning drive that you will want to be awake for as we make our way from our valley filled with waterfalls and the sound of cowbells. Today we head back into Germany.This afternoon we stop off in Heidelberg, known for its medieval castle which sits above a vibing student city. As you wander the cobblestone streets you will discover the many little secrets hidden within. This is a city that is sure to surprise.
The coach follows the Rhine River, weaving through valleys dotted with castles.Next stop - the pretty, old-world village of St. Goar, complete with fairy tale castle and even a free-hanging cuckoo clock! Learn about local know-how and get savvy on the craft of beer steins.Head into the buzzing capital of Amsterdam and check out the eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and the wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7.
You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. Why not opt in for a chance to cycle into the countryside squealing at windmills & going hysterical over tulip fields on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house.It's our last full day on trip & 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.
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.
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Trip Name: The Original
Duration: 46 Days
From Price: £3,575
Supplier Tour ID: 213/210427
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