RR34300
This wonderful tour of Europe uncovers the real spirit of the continent as it presents all the splendour of Western Europe, while also introducing you to magnificent yet less familiar treasures of Eastern Europe. Transcend the former ideological divide as you discover timeless cities steeped in history, quaint villages packed with romanticism and breathtaking scenery that exceeds expectation. Get into the spirit of travelling in Europe on this fascinating journey of discovery!
DETAILS
ex JNBR34 300
ex CPTR34 300
Package ValiditySet departure date: 25 APR 2017
Duration24 days
DestinationFrance, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands & Belgium
Starts inLondon
Ends inLondon
Age GroupThis is a group tour (max 45 people) for ages 18 - 38 years

{tab Description}

- Return fights to London
- Pre-payable airport/security taxes
- 4 nights hotel upgrade
- 13 nights in hostels
- 6 nights in bungalows at European campsites
- 23 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 15 dinners
- English Channel Ferry crossings
- Touring by coach
- Assistance of a tour guide & driver
- Touring & sightseeing of all sites as per itinerary

* A high season supplement starting from an additional R1600 per person applies for travel for set departure dates 30 MAY 2017 & 06 JUN 2017 

 {tab Day 1}

Paris

Travel Day: London, UK, to Paris, France.

All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel to Paris via the white cliffs of Dover.

Pinch yourself and instagram your first selfie over dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided night tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader (aka living guide book). Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. And you're about to find out why.

 Included today: City lights tour of Paris

 Meals: Dinner.

 Did you know:
 -When the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris in 1974, he had to be issued with a passport stating his occupation as "King (deceased)".
 -The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US from France. She's totally French.
 -The Paris municipal government has banned Tom Cruise from ever becoming an honorary citizen of the city. #staystrong.

{tab Day 2}

Paris

This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay to the l’Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you’ll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own before our gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

 Included today:  Free day &  Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower

 Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

 Optional activities:
 -Paris bike tour
 -Seine River cruise
 -Traditional cabaret show in the Latin Quarter

{tab Day 3}

Swiss Alps

Travel Day: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland.

Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is obviously where we're spending the night. Urban charm ain't got nothing on Swiss scenery. Upon arrival, chow down on Swiss cuisine at a local restaurant and hit the bar for a nightcap.

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

 Did you know:
 -The Dalai Lama owns the smallest vineyard in the world, consisting of three vines, spanning a mere 1.67 square metres. It's in Switzerland too.
 -Here in the Swiss Alps you can lease a cow and score all the cheese produced from its milk. Best. Idea. Ever.
 -It's illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland. You must have at least two because they like having a buddy (and the Swiss government is sweeter than chocolate).


{tab Day 4}

Swiss Alps

Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are on today’s agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit.

 Fairytale villages en route, sky-diving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don’t scare you). Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.

 Included today:
 -Free day

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Optional activities:
-Visit the highest station on the European continent on top of Jungfrau Mountain via the Jungfraubahn railway. Also known as ‘the roof of Europe’ and the spot that guarantees snow, year round.
 -Helicopter ride.
 -Skydiving.

{tab Day 5}

French Riviera

Travel Day: Swiss Alps to French Riviera, France.

 Trade in your gruetzi for bonjour as we follow in Napoleon’s footsteps downwards to the glamorous French Riviera. Try your hand at celeb spotting as you explore the world’s most lavish waterfront property.

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.


{tab Day 6}

French Riviera

Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. This afternoon, we'll hit up Eze for a first-hand look into the world of French scent making on a guided tour of a 16th century factory.

 Later: Roll with the jet set as we hit up the Monaco for a guided tour and the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves lots of fur and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).

 Included today:
 -Guided tour of Monaco

 Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 7}

Florence

Travel Day: French Riviera to Florence, Italy.

 You'll only have a few minutes to swap your 'bonjour' to a 'buongiorno' this morning and it's on to the renaissance romance of Florence. Take THAT shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa before trucking on to the Tuscan hills outside Florence to eat, sleep, repeat in the foodie capital of the world.

 Included today:
 -Visit to Pisa en route to Florence

 Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

{{tab Day 8}}

Rome

Travel Day: Florence to Rome.

 Onwards to Rome. Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history’s version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you’re in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.

 Included today:
 -In-depth walking tour of Rome

 Meals: Breakfast.

 Did you know:
-Wishful thinkers throw about €3,000 into the Trevi Fountain every day so it’s illegal to remove coins from it. Not that it stopped the notorious Mr. d’Artagnan. He stole from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in 2002.
 -Real Italians never drink cappuccinos after 10am.
-In Italian, ‘fiasco’ is a bottle. In English, it’s a big fail. We don’t get it either.


{{tab Day 9}}

Rome

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia's worth of history.

 Shop til you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness). Your Topdeck chef will feed you tonight.

 Included today:
 -Free day

 Meals: Breakfast.

 Optional activities:
 -Vatican City tour

{tab Day 1}0

Venice

Travel Day: Rome to Venice.

 Hark! Maketh haste to whence the lady Juliet was wooed in Verona. Snap a selfie at her balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes in the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check in to our hotel, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out your own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.

 Included today:
 -Walking tour of Verona

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Did you know:
 -Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimetres a year, five times faster than originally estimated. All the more reason to cross it off your bucket list.
 -The Medico della peste (the one with the long beak) is one of the most recognisable Venetian masks but it was born out of practicality - doctors wore them with perfume in the end to block the scent and prevent the spread of disease while treating Plague victims.
 -The narrowest street in Venice (Calle Varisco) is only 53cm at chest level. Breathe in!

{tab Day 1}1

Venice

You know it as the floating city, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Check out St. Mark's Square, Accademia Bridge and a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour then jump on a vaporetto and explore the Grand Canal.

 Also on the schedule: a lesson in traditional lace-making and an optional gondola ride through the maze of marble bridges and gelato shops we call Venice. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.

 Included today:
 -Walking Tour
 -Lace School Demonstration
 -Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal

 Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

 Optional activities:
 -Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

{tab Day 1}2

Vienna

Travel Day: Venice to Vienna, Austria.

 More stunning scenery out the window today as we cross from Ciao to Grüß Gott. Wave hallo to the President as we go past the Hofburg Palace. And because one palace isn’t enough, we also take peek at the Schonbrunn. Three things you need to know about Vienna: famous musicians, grand coffee houses and, of course, apple strudel. Also invented the croissant. Sorry, France. Top off your day with a schnitzel at Cafe Central, the regular hangout of Freud, Trotsky and Lenin.

 Included today:
 -Guided tour of Vienna
 -Schonbrunn Palace visit

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 Did you know:
 -Vienna has a cat cafe, so if you want some real-life LOL cats in your life, grab a coffee and cake at Cafe Neko while stroking the oh-so-cute felines (and making the most of the free WiFi).
-Pez candy was invented in Vienna! Who didn’t love those little dispensers?
-Vienna has been named the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year in a row! Coffee + smooth orchestral tunes equals a sweet quality of life.

{tab Day 1}3

Vienna

Vienna is yours for the day. Walk the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace, see the Spanish Riding School train (if it's in town) or feed your brain exploring the Museum Quarter. Primp your pinkie for an optional Schnapps Museum visit to taste the local aperitif. Classical music fans, opt in for a night out to hear the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Strauss at the Viennese Chamber Orchestra. #adulting

 Included today:
 -Free day

 Meals: Breakfast.

 Optional activities:
 -Alt-Wiener Schnapps Museum Excursion
 -Viennese Chamber Orchestra
 -Orchestra with dinner


{tab Day 1}4

Budapest

Travel Day: Vienna to Budapest, Hungary.

 Hungary for more? First a pit stop in Bratislava to get the 411 on Slovakia’s capital city. While checkin’ out Bratislava Castle, see if you can spot the city’s quirky bronze statues in the Old Town. Then, your house in Budapest awaits. A driving tour will get you down and Danube (that be the river) with twin cities, Buda and Pest. Check out Hero's Square, Parliament House, the National Palace, Fisherman’s Bastion and swanky Andrássy Ave. Then it’s time to meet the major food groups: goulash and cabbage rolls and dumplings, oh my!

 Included today:
 Bratislava walking tour.
 Budapest driving tour.
 Dinner in a local restaurant.

 Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

 Did you know:
-Keen to improve your writing? Rock up to the main gate of the Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park and touch the pen held by the Statue of Anonymous Rock. It’s supposed to help.
-Budapest is a high roller of a city. In fact, in 1946 they printed a bank note worth 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo (that’s a quintillion). Dolla dolla bills ya’ll.
-Both the noiseless match and Rubik’s cube were invented by Hungarians.


{tab Day 1}5

Budapest

Free day = Put down your Rubik's Cube and take on a city with enough baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture to keep you puzzled for hours. Take to the waters at the art nouveau Gellert Baths and don't leave til you're pruny.

 There are 80+ thermal springs in Budapest but this is its most famous. Wave pool, anyone?! Indulge in a spa treatment then visit the Buda Castle or House of Terror Museum. Tonight, hang with the hipsters and drink local fruit brandy at Szimpla Kertmozi - the original ruin bar.

 Included today:
 -Free day

 Meals: Breakfast.


{tab Day 1}6

Krakow

Travel Day: Budapest to Krakow, Poland.

 Legend has it a dragon had to be smited in order for Krakow to be built (with a sulphur-stuffed lamb as bait). Bit tougher than the usual council approvals, no? Meet Poland’s beating heart – and the largest medieval town square in Europe – on foot. Buff up on history at Wawel Castle, feed the ducks amongst the slushy snow on the bank of the Wisla and after dinner, slay a few glasses of mead.

 Included today:
 -Krakow walking tour

 Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

 Did you know:
 -Attention foodies, sweet local cuisine ahead. The candy section is always the biggest section of any Polish grocery store.
-Every single hour, on the hour, a trumpet call with an all-too-abrupt ending plays from the top of the tallest tower of St Mary’s Basilica – an ode to a 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat with an arrow while playing the same tune to warn of the approaching Mongol attack. Tough act to follow.


{tab Day 1}7

Krakow

Get all up in the streets of Krakow today on a walking tour. Then let the statement, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire" really sink in at Oskar Schindler's factory (optional). Go 327 metres underground to see hundreds of shades of rock salt in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, visit a centuries-old synagogue and discover the city's inner-hipster in the Jewish district and shop for Amber in the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall. Your day, your choice.

 Included today:
 -Krakow orientation tour

 Meals: Breakfast.

 Did you know:
 -Attention foodies, sweet local cuisine ahead. The candy section is always the biggest section of any Polish grocery store.
 -Krakus, a legendary Polish prince defeated the Wawel Dragon by feeding him a dead sheep filled with sulfur. Krakow was then established in his name and honour.


{tab Day 1}8

Prague

Travel Day: Krakow to Prague, Czech Republic.

 Begin the day with a sobering visit to the former concentration camp Auschwitz, then set the sat nav for the gothic city. Guinness World Record-setting (and Disney-inspiring) castle spires are Prague's way of welcoming weary travellers.

 Fuel up on trdelník (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst the spires and cobblestone streets. Suss out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world   /tabs
 
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