Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. Next stop: the buzzing, free-wheeling city of Amsterdam. Check out Amsterdam’s eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7. With an optional evening canal cruise, you’ve got a chance to get to know the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover Amsterdam at water level. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Trip Manager and head into town for a fun night out.
You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. We'll cycle into the countryside squealing at windmills & going hysterical over tulip fields on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house. Hello Germany, we're here and we're ready. We'll make a quick stop in Heidelberg for a look at what's going on, from the gothic Heiliggeistkirche church, the little town square in the Altstadt (Old Town) and known for it's red-sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle before it's back on the road for destination two. Before the day is out we've hit the Rhineland, listen out for oh's and ah's on the drive in, as we settle in for a night in a setting straight out of a fairytale.
Germany, you were fast but wonderful, and the show must go on. Passing gorgeous landscapes as far as the eye can see is on the cards as you relax and get ready for jaw drops in our overnight stop. With a warm Wilkommen (welcome) we arrive in picture perfect Lucerne for a look at what's in store. 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. We're sure you couldn't get enough of the Lucerne landscapes, so we'll head for even more incredible views at our Swiss Alps stay tonight. Sleep soundly in knowing that tomorrow brings endless options for chill times or adventuring in pinch-yourself surroundings
Open the window of your hotel & drink in the incredible views - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! There's the option to visit a beautiful Swiss Mountain today, for some views that will take your breath away - trust us. Other options include hiking some of the trails around this outdoor lovers paradise, or for those that are craving some chill time, cosy up in a cafe, grab yourself a coffee and a Meitschibei (pastry stuffed with delicious flavoured nuts) and contemplate just how good life is.
Leave this gorgeous area behind, then we cross through tiny Liechtenstein & arrive in lively Munich, home of the Oktoberfest
On the coach, take it easy and catch up on some sleep or watch the world go by as we wind through the Bavarian Alps and the Brenner Pass to Italy, land of passion! But first, pull into Innsbruck, a down-to-earth student city. Walk around the medieval streets of the old town, grab some lunch, and check out Innsbruck’s landmark Golden Roof and Royal Palace. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the impressive Olympic Ski Jump, used in both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.
With an entirely free day in Venice, the choice is yours as to where, how and when you go. Ask your Trip Manager for tips, or just make sure your camera has enough juice to last the day. Tonight we've got a final night treat lined up for you - a sunset photography session and tasty Italian feast over on Isola Burano, possibly Venice's prettiest and most colourful little island.
Venice we love you, but we need to see a bit more of this boot to satisfy our hungry wanderlust ways.
In your free time live a bit of the lifestyle with a visit to the local markets. Try out the region’s produce like lavender honey, aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and mouth-watering rosé wine. Window shop the chic boutiques or choose a beach and catch some sun among all the bronzed bodies! Tonight get a taste of the high life in Monaco, the glamorous principality packed into just 1.92km2 and home to the Formula 1. Get the inside story on the royal family and their place of residence from your Trip Manager. Try your luck at a casino later on!
We stop by Pisa’s iconic Leaning Tower this morning, before sticking to the Italian coastline and crossing over into France. Then we hit the rugged coast line of the stunning Côte d’Azur. Follow the beautiful sapphire waters to the palm trees and sun-soaked shores of Nice.
Driving past Cannes, unwind on the coach and take in the rustic beauty of Provence, known for its pretty landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs. We keep heading south through the rugged and dramatic scenery of the Pyrénées mountains, over the border into Barcelona. A sizzling, festive capital any night of the week, Barcelona is all about action. In Spain fiesta time starts late, so settle in at one of the city’s many outdoor squares to enjoy a glass of sangria and nibble on tapas (plate-sized snacks) before a fun night out exploring Barcelona’s nightlife with your friends.
Well hello Boutique travellers. Who's ready for 12 days of trendy European hangouts, dreamy hotel sleeps and a travel crew of dreams? This evening we'll keep things low key and casual with a tasty welcome dinner, followed by an evening walking tour to get you a little better acquainted with Barcelona.
We can't get enough of you either, Spain, so with that in mind we are onwards, to Madrid, Spain's capital city and packed with stunning wide boulevards, perfect parks, and big city vibes. We'll make a stop to strech out and explore Zaragoza, as we roam the casco (old town) soaking up historic architecture, the colourful cathedral and good vibes aplenty. You'll be itching to get out and see what the fuss is about, so grab some friends and get into the metro magic of Madrid. Make sure to take it easy on the Sangria tonight, as tomorrow will be a whole world of discovery.
An epic collision of new-age vibes & tradition, Madrid is going to leave you love-struck. Artistic, vibrant and filled with culinary hotspots, your spare time between seeing the Gran Via, the Puerta del Sol, Royal Palace (entry included) & Plaza de Espana (the city's main square) will not go to waste as you explore the heart of the city with our Local Guide giving you the fast track on everything Madrid. This afternoon you could opt to get out of the city and explore the spectacular Valley of the Fallen, a tomb dedicated to the infamous dicator Franco with a deep historical past. Madrid's nightlife is pumping, so grab some tapas, sangria and your dancing shoes, for a night out on the town.
We continue our Iberian roadtrip kicks off this morning as we travel north in search of another slice of Spain. Pamplona may be known for its Running of the Bulls mayhem, but that doesn't interfere with its popularity and worth right through the year. Venture through the well-preserved old town and its incredible gothic cathedral on our walking tour, maybe ending the historical fix with some regional specialities, just ask your Trip Manager for some local places to try out tonight. For those curious about the bull fest, our team will be on hand to show you the bullring and guide you along the running route.
This morning we head into France, but not before our last Spanish port of call, the glamorous San Sebastian. What a way to start your day - dipping in the Bay of Biscay. San Sebastian is a postcard city where cobbled lanes slope towards pristine beaches. Take a dip, do some shopping, or sit in a bar eating endless plates of pinxtos (the basque word for tapas) before we head up into France, to the picture perfect wine country, Bordeaux. Wise folk tell us that wine has been produced in Bordeaux since the 1st Century - that's a long time. Which means they know what they're doing. And it's not just the vino that has dragged us here, it's a damn pretty place to boot including it's famous Miroir d'eau (water mirror).
Roll through the green Loire Valley and take in the castles, manors and vineyards from the coach window as we head for the French capital. Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the ‘Tour of Illuminations’, which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Trip Manager will fill you in on the world’s most recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!
You can drool over haute couture, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre.
This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (estimated arrival 10:00am) where your trip ends. Or choose to take a complimentary transfer to central London & extend your stay.
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Trip Name: European Impressions
Duration: 19 Days
From Price: 2859
Trip Code: 163469
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