Check in to your hotel after 2:00pm and head out into the humming capital of Britain for a sneak peek at what’s to come. At 4:00pm meet up with your Trip Manager and get to know your fellow travellers.
London to Paris
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.
Paris and Versailles
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.
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.
Paris to Beaujolais Wine Region
Just before you get too comfortable in that beret and striped shirt combo, we're dragging you away in search of vineyards and châteaus.Southbound, we roll on through Burgundy’s wine country to Beaujolais’ green hills and vineyards.
Beaujolais Wine Region
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.
Beaujolais Wine Region to Barcelona
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.
Barcelona to The Riviera via Arles
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.
French Riviera including Moncao
Missing an opportunity to see this part of the world up close and personal would be criminal. Speaking of things you shouldn't miss, this region is famous for lavender honey, aioli & rosé wine; all 3 in one meal should be your mission.But not before we pay a guided visit to Fragonard Perfumery, part museum experience & part discount perfume shopping extravaganza, where you'll have the chance to dabble in the olfactory arts.A night in glamorous Monaco should complete your day slash life. Don a fancy necklace and pop a plum in your mouth - we're about to embark on the lifestyle of the rich and the famous.After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
French Riviera to Venice via Verona
Today we say our farewells to the French Riviera and take our first jaunt into Italy. Pizza, pasta, & charming locals are about to warm us from the inside out.In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, a posse of travellers, all alike in excitement, check out the place that inspired Romeo & Juliet. We'll also check out the Roman Arena where other love stories were told.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 to Florence via Pisa
Venice we love you, but we need to see a bit more of this boot to satisfy our hungry wanderlust ways.As if we were going to leg it from Venice to Florence without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.For those of you not familiar with the whole Florence deal, we have two words for you: it's heaven. Potter along the River Arno, be totally Tuscan with a drop of Chianti wine, and take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral.
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.
Florence to Rome
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.
Rome to Overnight Adriatic Ferry via Pompeii
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.
Overnight Adriatic Ferry to Athens via Patras
Oh hello there...we're pulling up in Greece! The awe of this country's mainland will begin shortly after our arrival as we catch a glimpse of Corinth Canal. This man-made passageway squeezes boats through it's path, sandwiched by two steep cliffs and sitting over gloriously blue ocean.Yes, yes, you're hearing the call of cocktails on Mykonos Island. But let's get acquainted with Athens for a day before we set sail. This city is a time capsule of life on earth. We'll explore the famous Plaka area and give you the chance to enjoy a traditional Athens affair in the eve.
Athens to Mykonos
A time capsule of life before us, Athens will leave you stunned from sun up 'til sun down. We will drive around the city to see old temples, the first modern Olympic Stadium and of course the gem in Athens crown, the Acropolis. With more than 3000 years of history, this place is #throwback central and the best place for learning about the birthplace of democracy. 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.
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.
Remember when you first looked at our itinerary and wondered if 3-nights in Mykonos 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.
Mykonos to Preveza
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened! Ah, whoops, we're leaving the Greek Islands you're in no mood for corny quotes. The good news is we have over 2-weeks left, filled with incredible countries to fall in love with. To the mainland of Greece we go!Once on shore we will journey across the Peloponnese, through the mountains to the coastal town of Preveza. This cute little fishing village known for its friendly locals will play home for the evening. Soak up the chilled vibes before we swap countries tomorrow.
Preveza to Tirana
Greece, it's been real. You are splendid in countless ways & we don't have enough words to thank you for the hella good times. But now we're off to Albania!After a weave along the dramatic Adriatic Coast we find Albania’s colourful capital. Congratulations, wander folk! You are ticking off Tirana at precisely the right time. Rapidly changing and slowly being recognised for its unique blend - a Communist, Italian and Ottoman heritage with a foot stepped firmly in the modern world. And not yet overrun by tourists, you can explore with a bit of space at your side.
Tirana to Dubrovnik via Kotor
Obscure off the beaten track capitals one day, trusted favourite cities the next. Such is the beauty of a see it all trip!We're making a stop in this coastal heaven before Dubrovnik. A 2,500 year old town famous for its beautiful beaches and its cobbled stone roads. A coffee maybe before we make our way to Dubrovnik?...we make our way to Croatia.The spectacular seaside fortress town of Dubrovnik, also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is yours to explore for the evening - not forgetting it has an enviable party scene.
The city of Dubrovnik is so much more than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones location - not that either of those claims to fame are even mildly mediocre. After you've been guided around the city with intricate detail you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content.
Dubrovnik to Zadar via Split
Saying goodbye to Dubrovnik isn't too tough this morning, given we're heading to Zadar and taking the scenic route past crystal clear waters and the scattering of green islands that make up the Dalmatian Coast. Many whimsical thoughts coming right up.With quick cruise through Bosnia & Herzegonvina, it's on to the next stop.We can't tease you the whole way to Zadar - a stunning stop off in Split is 100% necessary. Wander through the domain of Diocletian’s Palace in the city centre, gob-smacked by the sheer talent of those way back when Romans. 220 buildings and a huge cathedral will be enough to make your head spin.Medieval churches and marble streets mark our evening in Zadar. Take a dip by the steps of the man-made masterpiece of Sea Organ, or head out to enjoy the buzzing nightlife of this student town bursting with bars and cafés.
Zadar to Ljubljana
Vibes stay youthful and vibrant today as we border cross out of Croatia to the Slovenian town of Ljubljana. From one student town to another!Little Ljubljana packs a punch with its colourful eclectic energy. The capital of Slovenia & home to a gorgeous hill-top castle, it is easy to discover on foot and boasts many shaded riverside paths. Together with your Trip Manager you will roam the central town square, unlock the hidden legends of the city and watch street performers bring the place to life - anything you do in Ljubljana is sure to make your heart sing.
Ljubljana to Vienna
Laters Ljubljana! Thanks for proving you don't have to be a well known tourist hub to wow a discerning crowd like us. Speaking of discerning, let's go critique some classical beats in Austria, bypassing the glassy Lake Bled along the way.WOW is probably the one word we hear in unison as we pull up at this jaw dropping lake. Don't forget to keep your swimmers out today, this is the perfect place for a dip to break up the journey, and grab a few lust-worthy snaps.
After carving our way to the top of Austria through sinfully good-looking countryside, we arrive in Vienna. A booming cultural hub and a piece of architectural eye-candy, Vienna is impressive to say the least. Tonight we can play sophisticated by immersing ourselves in Vienna’s musical legacy with a Mozart and Strauss concert in one of the city’s imperial palaces. Darling!
A whole day lies ahead to uncover the ethereal Austrian capital. Our Trip Manager will uncover the historical heritage of Schönbrunn Palace, the State Opera House and the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. And once you've seen all that, you'll have a bit of free time to check out art galleries and local coffee houses, maybe even try a slice of homemade apple strudel.
Vienna to Austrian Tyrol via Mauthausen
From the bustling city to the open countryside. We’ll leave Vienna this morning in search of hills that are alive with the sound of music.Before we arrive in the blissful Alps, we make a sobering stop to remember the dark past and pay tribute at Mauthausen Concentration Camp memorial.2-nights at Contiki’s very own Austrian Gasthof (guest house) are coming right up. Tyrol will prove a haven for both adrenaline junkies and those in need of a bit of R&R after all the globe trotting we've been doing.
Wake up, peel open your curtains, and take in the magnificence of your view...and your life in general. If you're feeling lively you can jump onto a bike tour through green mountains and waterfalls. If you're feeling really lively you can go tandem paragliding. Not so lively? Stroll around and take in the incredible setting; drink endless hot chocolate, go up a mountain in a gondola, carry on sighing with happiness.
Austrian Tyrol to Munich
Polish off your stay in Austria with an optional whitewater rafting adventure - that should get the adrenaline pumping and excitement high for our impending visit to Germany.A city famous the world over for its annual beer festival is a city we need to know about. And luckily enough, its Bavarian culture is a year round attraction. You can explore the side streets of Munich on an optional bike tour, or go it on your own and see what you stumble upon.
Munich to Swiss Alps via Liechtenstein and Lucerne
Goodbye Munich, hello mountains.We'll make a well earned pit stop in the capital of the tiny country of the Principality of Liechtenstein - famous for being landlocked by not one but two countries, now there's a fact we bet you never thought you would learn.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. Eeek!!!Arrive in this picture perfect setting ready for two nights at our very own Swiss Chalet, starting off with a night in the infamous 'bomb shelter' bar.
Open the window of your Swiss chalet & drink in the incredible view - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! If you're feeling audacious, catch a cog rail to Europe’s highest railway station on Jungfrau Mountain, keeping your balance on what's known as the 'Top of Europe'.
Swiss Alps to Rhine Valley via Heidelberg
Out with the altitude, into Germany for a brand new day and a brand new country. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting into beer and wine territory in the castle dotted landscapes of the Rhine Valley.We keep the suspense with a stop off in Heidelberg and its medieval vibes which are matched only by its student vibes before we're back on the road and the alpine air.After the scenic journey of fairytale castles, vineyards and valleys, you'll be charmed before we even arrive in Germany's famous Rhine Valley. This back-in-time town is our wine tasting host for the evening. Squeal!!!
Rhine Valley to Amsterdam via Edam
This morning we'll drag you all away from Germany kicking and screaming that you want to stay forever. Only to see you equally infatuated with another dot on the European map hours later...You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. We'll cycle into the countryside to see windmills & picturesque Dutch houses on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house.
Flashing red lights, pretty canals, crooked buildings, cafes bursting with pizza + chocolate + French fries. Amsterdam is all that and way too many bags of chips.
It's our last full day on tour & our last night to party up a storm with the squad. Use the day to explore quirky museums & sample the endless array of cuisines this city has on offer.
Get your tissues ready, it's time to say goodbye to your new Contiki family. We'll escort you to Schiphol Airport by about 10am.For those not leaving us until London, we'll travel south through Belgium - cross another country off your list.This afternoon we cross from France to England and then back to London-town, where you'll be left to start dreaming up your next big adventure.