Per person, twin share
This tour is full of charm and splendour. With two nights spent in most cities, take the time to get to know each destination and uncover its secrets, whether it is mouth-watering Sachertorte over coffee in Vienna or delicious homemade pasta in Orvieto. Along the way you’ll be welcomed by passionate locals who love showing you the best Europe has to offer.
• 17 nights in Signature and Premium centrally located hotels
• 17 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Morning Tea (MT), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
• Touring with an experienced Travel Director
• Signature Experiences, priority access and authentic Signature Dining
• Travel in business class comfort on Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom.
• Smaller group sizes
• Arrival and departure transfers between the airports and your Insight tour hotels
unless sold out prior. Availability is limited.
DAY 1: DEPART FROM LONDON BY EUROSTAR TO AMSTERDAM.
At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar for a rail journey via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Alternatively, join at the Amsterdam hotel and meet your Travel Director at 17:00 for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests during a cruise, along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals, to explore the heart of the city, before enjoying a dinner and wine at a local restaurant. During your time in Amsterdam, see Dam Square, the Royal Palace, Mint Tower and the floating flower market.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam. Dinner with Wine
DAY 2: LEGENDS ALONG THE RHINE.
Cross into Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. Visit a castle set upon the Rhine, for a private estate viewing with the owner. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Continue to Würzburg where there is time to stroll through the heart of the Old Town and down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, admire the city at night and appreciate the mighty Marienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.
Hotel: Maritim Hotel Würzburg. Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 3: ROTHENBURG AND GOLDEN PRAGUE.
In the morning, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg-ob-der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Continue east to the Czech border. Pass through the town of Pilsen, renowned for its beer before reaching the Golden City of Prague. With the afternoon free, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city, rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal.
Hotel: Hotel Royal Prague. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 4: RELAXED START - PRAGUE, CITY OF A HUNDRED SPIRES.
Join a Local Expert in the morning for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, to admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel that delights onlookers each hour. Then, the city is all yours to explore with the rest of the day at leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Royal Prague. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 5: THROUGH BOHEMIA TO BUDAPEST.
Start the day with a journey through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia. Journey through Slovakia and travel on to Hungary, following the River Danube to Budapest. Stand atop Gellért Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue is positioned in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. With the afternoon free, perhaps join a cruise along the Danube to see the city form a different perspective. In the evening, enjoy an intimate dinner with the locals.
Hotel: Hotel President, Budapest. Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 6: RELAXED START - THE FLAVOURS OF BUDAPEST.
Join your Local Expert for a visit to the grand Central Market Hall. Spread over three levels, the market is a foodie's paradise, brimming with aromatic food stalls offering delicious salamis, spicy paprika, delicious Hungarian wines and an array of flavoured Pálinkas, a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. Then, enjoy free time to browse the boutiques of Vaci Street. Continue your travels, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border and through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna. At the market you will be given the opportunity to taste authentic Hungarian delicacies from the region.
Hotel: Hilton Vienna. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 7: RELAXED START - VIENNA AND THE HABSBURGS.
In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Later, join your Local Expert for a walk through Innere Stadt, the first district and historic core of Vienna. Get your camera ready for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament building. At a typical Viennese Coffeehouse, meet a local who will share tales from a by-gone era as you enjoy coffee and delicious Sachertorte - a Viennese chocolate speciality.
Hotel: Hilton Vienna. Buffet Breakfast, Morning Tea
DAY 8: LAKE WÖRTHERSEE TO VENICE.
This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain en route to the unique city of Venice. Head via private water taxi along the Grand Canal to arrive at your central hotel. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before sipping Bellini cocktails at twilight whilst you are serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians. Admire the tranquility of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels.
Hotel: Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa, Venice. Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 9: RELAXED START - THE MAGIC OF LA SERENISSIMA.
Wake up to one of Europe's most romantic cities. Witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Only minutes away by private launch is St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Also admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. A highlight is meeting a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise along the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialities and wine?
Hotel: Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa, Venice. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 10: TO THE ETERNAL CITY OF ROME.
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli, with an included special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince'. Visit the Italian garden with views of the Florence Cathedral and the historic cellar, which has a secret underground tunnel connecting the cellars to the oldest restaurant in Italy. Savour a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
Hotel: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome. Buffet Breakfast, Morning Tea
DAY 11: PAPAL AND IMPERIAL ROME.
Receive red-carpet treatment with a VIP visit and fast-track entry to the superb Vatican Museums and enjoy behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican normally closed to the public. A Local Expert guides your tour, culminating in a viewing of Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, to see another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.
Hotel: Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 12: RELAXED START -ORVIETO AND ON TO FLORENCE.
Stop in Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain. Here you will savour the flavours of the region and learn about the Italian food culture as you join Chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live cooking demonstration. Sit down to your Highlight Lunch, served with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine - a magical culinary experience! Continue on to your hotel in Florence.
Hotel: UNA Hotel Vittoria, Florence. Buffet Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
DAY 13: RELAXED START -RENAISSAINCE FLORENCE.
Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Renaissance capital. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the famous Leaning Tower?
Hotel: UNA Hotel Vittoria, Florence. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 14: ACROSS THE ALPS TO LUCERNE.
Head north towards the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world, before travelling alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit Church.
Hotel: The Hotel Astoria Lucerne. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 15: LUCERNE AND THE STANSERHORN.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? At night, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
Hotel: The Hotel Astoria Lucerne. Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 16: SIGHTS AND DELIGHTS OF PARIS.
In the morning, travel through France to the City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the banks of the River Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?
Hotel: Le Meridien Etoile, Paris. Buffet Breakfast
DAY 17: THE FOOD AND FLAVOURS OF PARIS.
Split into small groups for a more personal experience and meet your Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge in some local delicacies at a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. With the afternoon free, perhaps venture to the Bohemian quarter and artist's retreat of Montmartre? In the evening, embrace the charms of the City of Light as you toast the end of your journey through Europe at a festive Celebration Dinner, of course accompanied by delicious French wines.
Hotel: Le Meridien Etoile, Paris. Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
DAY 18: AU REVOIR PARIS.
Bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
*Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 20 Sep 2017 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfare not included. All savings are included in the advertised price. Exclusive offer applies to tour component on advertised dates only. Deposit of $200 per person is due within 7 days of booking or 13 Oct 2017, whichever is earlier. Full payment required by 14 Dec 2017. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking. Insight Vacations and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.
*Conditions apply. Prices correct as at 20 Sep 2017 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Offers subject to availability. Agents may charge service fees, rates vary. Payments by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfare not included. All savings are included in the advertised price. Exclusive offer applies to tour component on advertised dates only. Deposit of $200 per person is due within 7 days of booking or 13 Oct 2017, whichever is earlier. Full payment required by 14 Dec 2017. Offers may be withdrawn without notice and are not combinable with any other offers unless stated. Please check all prices, availability and other information before booking. Insight Vacations and Helloworld Travel booking terms and conditions apply, see in store for details.Read more