Small budget, small window of time, big list of Must Dos? The European Encounter should do the trick. Make your way through 10 countries, catching some rays on the Italian Riviera, downing pizza in Rome & exploring castles in Prague. If you know a better way to spend just under two and a half weeks, we need to hear about it!
Yourheart-pounding adventure kicks off today. Meet up with your Contiki posse & share notes on London town before hitting the road to Amsterdam.
Shortly before we find our ferry for Europe, 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 travel north via Belgium before reaching ... Amsterdam!
Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam.
Tonight, the famed for fun Amsterdam is ours to explore. An undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
Out of Amsterdam, onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin. That's on today's agenda.
On the world map of cool party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this amazing city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of history into the city and its troubled and interesting past. Once we arrive your Trip Manager can point you in the right direction to go and see the sights.
Get into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the obvious icons like Checkpoint Charlie to all the obscurities tucked away in the side streets.
"More city hangs" you'll all scream in unison as we motor out of Berlin, high on life & still wanting more. Since you asked so nicely, let us present you with Prague, the darling of Europe.
A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.
On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemia Kings and gothic history. The night is yours to amble around the Old Town Square and find a few haunts to let the hours slip away in.
With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antiques & you cheers-ing local beer; not to mention life! We'll explore the city one of our favourite ways today, by bike, with our Local Guide to show us all the sights and sounds of this epic spot including the Charles Bridge, St Vitus Cathedral and city spots that have put this Eastern city on the map. Tonight, you could see yourself spending the evening indulging in traditional Czech cuisine while admiring the local folklore dancers as the sun goes down on the 'City of a Thousand Spires'.
We warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry kids, you cannot live here forever.
Onwards we go - it's time for the mountain ranges that made the Sound of Music famous. Also home to Mozart, you can be pretty certain this place knows a beat. Today we'll also see the largest preserved fortress in Central Europe - Hohensalzburg - and have the chance to partake in the Sights & Sounds of Salzburg optional. Never a dull moment!
Austria, you are an overwhelming beauty. Although it would be nice to stay forever, it's time for us to cross the border and prepare to stuff ourselves full of all things pizza & pasta. Yes, traveller we're making our way to Italy!
You'll think you've seen enough beauty for one day after taking in the Central Austrian Alps, and then we'll arrive in Venice & your jaw will hit the floor over hidden lanes, story book bridges & a private canal boat ride.
Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City of Rome is just around the corner.
The afternoon will really take it up a notch as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome as you get a glimpse of it's glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfetto!
Rome wasn't built in a day - so get up and get going early to make the most of this ancient city.
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.
Then hit the streets for your own discoveries. Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over…
The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Take a moment to take in the unique beauty of this beautiful city where culture and la dolce vita is evident in every direction you look at. We'll become history buffs on a guided walking tour before we learn the art of leather. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine.
Hopefully by now you are head to toe in fresh leather, you've eaten your body weight in antipasto, and you're feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to farewell Florence.
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 the Italian Riviera.
Hello beautiful! The 'Five Lands' or Cinque Terre is completely beautiful and will take your breath away with their stunning colours, washing hanging out windows and picture perfect setting. Perched on a cliff and overlooking the Ligurian Sea this is 100% bucket list worthy destination, use the included day pass to explore this colourful heaven, stopping for an Aperol Spritz on the way too, all in the name of culture of course!
Walk away from the Italian Riviera with plans to come back here for a few weeks or months, why not?
Swans float under wooden bridges, snow-capped 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.
There's no reason why today can't be wasted strolling these beautiful streets or sitting in a coffee shop pondering mountain life, and consuming more chocolate - that's perfectly acceptable too. However! Those wanting to spice up their day can visit the top of a Swiss Mountain and enjoy a fondue lunch & show. Spoilt for choice much?
Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy before our arrival in Paris.
Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, tonight we fall in love with everything Paris. Our Trip Manager fills us in on the city's secrets, then to celebrate our first night in the city, we'll head up to the viewing platform on Montparnasse tower.
Fragonard Perfumery now there's a place to check out, and stock up on perfume, obviously! Especially given the greatly discounted prices and authenticity of buying in France. Later you can drool over haute couture, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many exhibitions of the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, you will probably want to get involved with dinner and the Nouvelle Eve cabaret show. With your last night looming, make it one to remember in the city of lights.
Soak up your last dose of Paris and feel the astonishment of how much you've seen during this awesome trip. And how close you've grown to your Contiki pals.
What a journey!? On arrival in London say a fond farewell to the group as you wrap up the journey on arrival.
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Trip Name: European Encounter
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $2,460
Supplier Tour ID: 18.546/220377
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