This tour begins in London with two overnights and free time to see the major landmarks. Then, travel by Eurostar train to Amsterdam, a fascinating city built along 165 canals. Travel along the banks of the legendary Rhine River to Germany and stop in Heidelberg before crossing into Switzerland. In Lucerne, marvel at the famous Lion Monument. Absorb beautiful views of the Swiss mountains, and cross the St. Gotthard Tunnel to the shores of Lake Lugano to then enter Italy. Pause in Verona to see Juliet’s balcony; in Venice, enjoy a canal boat ride to St. Mark’s Square and see the Bridge of Sighs, Doges’ Palace, and the Basilica; visit Assisi and St. Francis’ Basilica, then head for Rome, the “Eternal City,” for a visit to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Travel south to the archaeological site of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Stay in Sorrento for two nights, and enjoy a boat trip to the glamorous Isle of Capri. On the way to France, visit Florence the Renaissance city, and Pisa, famous for its Leaning Tower. Finally, reach the French Riviera and a drive through Provence to the alpine town of Grenoble. Stop in Burgundy’s Beaune on the way to Paris, the “City of Light,” for two final overnights. A Local Guide will show you the highlights, which you will be able to continue exploring on your own.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
A full day to savour our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London’s landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, how about a leisurely cruise on the Thames River? (B)
Transfer to the railway station and board the EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels with your Tour Director. Board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area. (B)
Today, enjoy sightseeing in Amsterdam with a Local Guide pointing out the city highlights, followed by a CANAL CRUISE to see the city from water level, then stop to watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTRE. This afternoon, continue your journey to the scenic Rhineland. (B,D)
Drive through the picturesque Rhineland or, alternatively, take the optional Rhine River cruise and enjoy splendid scenery including the Lorelei rock. Next, drive into Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, nicely located at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine Rivers, for a short visit. Continue to the Lucerne area. (B)
One of Switzerland’s finest cities, Lucerne is nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and graced by the clear mountain waters of the Reuss River. The orientation includes the LION MONUMENT, erected in memory of the 800 Swiss Guards who defended Louis XVI and his wife, and the wooden CHAPEL BRIDGE. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cable-car ride to the 3,048-metre (10,000-foot) summit of Mount Titlis; a cruise on the fjord-like lake; and, of course, time to shop for an authentic Swiss watch. (B)
More wonderful alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround the massive St. Gotthard leading to the warmer and sunnier ambiance of Canton Ticino. Stop in beautiful Lugano and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. Then, cross into Italy and drive across the Po Valley to Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. See Juliet’s house and balcony, and stroll around the picturesque market square. Tonight, you are in the Venice area. (B)
Venice is more like a marvellous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and busy little piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by free time to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere and a chance to visit a GLASSBLOWING WORKSHOP. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)
An interesting drive southward, crossing the rolling Apennines. Stop in medieval Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182, and visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto. Then, head for Rome. (B)
The “Eternal City,” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre ever built; the Roman Forum; Piazza Venezia, and Campidoglio. (B)
An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. South all the way today, with the Vesuvius volcano in the distance. Visit Pompeii, where time stopped in 79 AD when the Vesuvius eruption totally buried it. On the included visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, see the luxurious villas, temples, theatre, and forum. Just a few more kilometres to reach the lively Neapolitan Riviera. (B)
Cross the blue sea for a full-day excursion to the legendary island of Capri. Surrounded by rose-tinted rocks, Capri has incredibly beautiful coves of translucent blues and greens. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and cozy restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. An optional tour takes you around the island with its steep roads and panoramic views. (B,D)
An early journey north to Florence. Vistas of rolling hills, austere rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Arrive in Florence in the afternoon in time to enjoy its magnificent architectural and artistic treasures; the included walking tour with a Local Guide will take in the highlights. (B,D)
Stop in Pisa to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the famous Leaning Tower, 54 meters (180 feet) high and no less than 3.6 meters (12 feet) out of the perpendicular. Bypassing the great port of Genoa, drive northwest, getting glimpses of the Italian and French Rivieras. Stop in Eze to visit an interesting PERFUME WORKSHOP and reach the shores of the charming Cote d’Azur. (B)
Today we follow the footsteps of Napoleon as he escaped from exile in Elbe. Once he landed on the shores of the Cote d’Azur, he made his way to Paris via Grasse. Following the Route Napoleon from St Andre Les Alpes, reach Grenoble, an alpine town that hosted the 1968 winter Olympic Games. (B,D)
Enjoy the very heart of the Burgundy wine-growing region, making a stop in lovely Beaune, surrounded by some of the world’s finest vineyards. Continue northwards to the exciting city of Paris, capital of France. (B)
Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see the main ones during the included city tour with a Local Guide. In the afternoon, a chance to feel like a French aristocrat as you join the optional walking tour through the immense Palace of Versailles. This evening, why not join an optional farewell dinner? (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)