Take the slow & steady road from London to Athens, allowing yourself time to sip wine in Contiki's French Château, drift along the famous canals of Venice & roam Barcelona's romantic Gothic Quarter. After all that exploring, you're going to need the 9-day trip around the delicious Greek Islands.
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.
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.
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.
Just before you get too comfortable in that beret and striped shirt combo, we're dragging you away in search of vineyards and châteaus.We call it "Château Hopping," but you can just call it "the good life" if you'd prefer. Southbound, we roll on through Burgundy’s wine country to Beaujolais’ green hills and vineyards.
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.
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 Barcelona just on sangria o'clock. Fate, you've done it again! Tapas and a night exploring the city should have us in the Spanish mood before we know it.
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.
Fragonard Perfumery in the French Riviera, 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 on enjoy free time on theCôte d'Azur.Please tell us you didn't throw away all of your pennies on perfume today? Because you're going to want a few spare coins tonight so you can play fancy. We're visiting the Monte Carlo Casino & the Royal Palace in Monaco.After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
Today we say our farewells to the French Riviera and take our first jaunt into Italy, taking in the sights of Liguria, Lombardia, & the Veneto regions along the way. Pizza, pasta, & charming locals are just around the corner.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. Florence we are on our way! We are now nesting under the Tuscan sun in the breathtaking city of Florence. The adventures commence pronto with a tour of the city, a leather craft demo and many sites. Conserve some energy for the evening of Tuscan feasting and disco dancing on offer.
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.
Rome wasn't built in a day but we sure can try and see it all in one day!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.Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
As completely satisfied as we already are with our Italian odyssey, we have one more stop before we're a walking talking guidebook on this beautiful boot. Goodbye Rome, hello Pompeii.Once a totally vibing hang-out of the Romans, Pompeii is now an archaeological site showing remains of what was destroyed in the year...wait for it...79AD. The saying "stepping back in time" is about to take on a whole new meaning.Although we don't arrive in Athens tonight, it's in our sight! Drift off to sleep to the sway of our boat knowing tomorrow you'll wake in a brand new country.
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?
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.
Remember when you first looked at our itinerary and wondered if 3-nights 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 its 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. Choose to sample more traditional Greek food with an optional dinner and then make the most of the final night with your new friends in this ancient city.
With two full days in Athens you have heaps of free time to uncover all the unique sides of this ancient city. From the urban hustle and bustle, the magnificent Acropolis, traditional tavernas, street art and tangible political energy. Tick off all the antiquities, shop the boutiques and markets or eat your way through the best souvlaki, tzatziki and dolmades you can get your hands on.
See, just like we told you. Our time in Athens was amazing and well worth delaying our island time for. But delay it further? We shall not...Let's do this! 3 nights on the island of Mykonos, how did we get so lucky? Even the boat ride across the Aegean will have you awe struck and in love. Overnight: Paradise Mykonos (Superior Bay View Rooms) Overnight: Paradise Mykonos (Superior Bay View Rooms)
Windmills; cafes overflowing with olives, feta and tzatziki; storybook streets - and that's before you've even taken a dip in the ocean! Explore with the crew, take up a few optionals, or simply waste the day away as you please.
Here we are on yet another day when it feels completely fabulous to be alive. You're still in Mykonos baby! And the day is yours to soak up sunshine and play in the sea. Overnight: Paradise Mykonos (Superior Bay View Rooms)
This morning, let's spare a thought for all those travellers who only have the time and money to visit just one Greek Island. Those poor unfortunate souls...Saddle up! We're taking to the seas again, this time in search of the island of Santorini. It's finally your turn to be the one lulling about the white-washed blue dome churches looking like a sultry summer babe. Home to the famous Oia sunset, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Ah, life. Overnight: Okeanis Beach Hotel
Rise and shine, Greek Island travellers! The island of Santorini will not explore itself. Take a swim at Perissa Beach, eat the local specialty of fried tomato balls known as domatokeftedes, and roam the streets of Fira. Just remember to plan your day around the excursion to the iconic sunset of Oia - this is not an optional you're going to want to miss.The beautiful thing about having two full days on the one island is you have time to both relax and explore. Whatever you didn't do yesterday is still up for grabs today. If you feel like you've crammed it all in already, just head to the black or red sand beaches and spend another glorious day ocean-side. Ain't life grand? Overnight: Nikos Hotel
It's our last full day on trip - best hit up a big city we know and love and cause a little harmless havoc. Goodbye Santorini you sun soaked beauty, we're off to Athens.On arrival in Athens, tick off any last sightseeing you missed in this time capsule of a city tonight.
Hugs, tears, and a final batch of reminiscing; it's astounding how close a group can get in just two short weeks. Nothing says bonding quite like the good life. The Croatia Island Hopper is probably the only way to really ease the pain of this goodbye. #NOREGRETS
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Trip Name: London to Athens
Duration: 29 Days
From Price: $8,108
Supplier Tour ID: 149.784/241697
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