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Europe Jewel

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Experience some of the best highlights of Europe, including a Dutch countryside tour, cruise the Rhine Valley, local guided walking tour of Prague, walking tour of Bratislava, driving tour of Budapest, walking tour of Vienna, walking tour of Ljubljana, experience Venice, Florence and Pisa, take a scenic drive through the Swiss Alps and explore Pari

From
GBP
1,009
pp

Day 1

1: Visit Amsterdam. Welcome to the Europe Jewel from Expat Explore! Leaving London behind us, we make our way to Amsterdam, crossing the channel on the way and driving through rural France and Belgium. Arriving in Amsterdam in the late afternoon, we’ll check in to our hotel before joining a complimentary Amsterdam canal cruise! Get on board and have those cameras at the ready – this is the best way to be introduced to Amsterdam, a city of beautiful 17th Century architecture, and a charm all its own. Keep an eye out for spots to revisit later on during your free time. Watch the city drift past as you sail by, and listen out for tips and interesting insights into the city from your tour leader. Later on, join your tour leader for a walking tour of the infamous Red Light District! The evening is yours – explore the canals some more, or head to Dam Square, one of the most important parts of the city. Included: Dinner.

Day 2

2: Visit the Rhine Valley. This morning we’ll take a look at a cheese-making demonstration, revealing how cheese has been made in the traditional way in these parts for many years. Following that, we’ll learn about that most quirky of Dutch footwear choices – the clog – and see how these traditional shoes are carved. Stopping off at the Riekermolen windmill for a photo stop, you’ll be able to appreciate the scenery that the Netherlands is famous for. If the season is right, look out for flowers in the fields! Continuing on to the Rhine Valley, we’ll board a Rhine Valley river boat and sail from St Goar to Boppard. Admire the passing scenery - with the highest concentration of medieval castles in all of Europe, this is a memorable trip, especially with all the vineyards, cliff faces and medieval German towns! Later we will visit a wine shop to sample the famous wines of the region, including ice wine and Riesling. Ice wine (eiswein) is an intensely sweet wine made from the juice of naturally-frozen grapes. The frozen grapes concentrate the sugars of the juice, intensifying the flavour profile. This evening, enjoy a traditional German meal. Included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 3

3: Visit Nuremburg and Prague. Today we’re off to Prague via Nuremburg, stopping in the Bavarian city for a comfort stop. Having served as a residence for German kings over many centuries, Nuremburg was an architectural marvel, and famous for its artists too. Heavily bombed during WW2, the city was painstakingly rebuilt, and today has been returned to some of its former glory – many buildings being rebuilt in the original stone. Prague is a beautiful city, boasting elaborate baroque, gothic, art nouveau and cubist architecture, and rewarding those who explore it with quirky bars, cobbled lanes and courtyards. Known for its brilliant beer and abundance of art, any exploration of Prague will be a rewarding one. After dinner, get your bearings with a walking tour of the city. Included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 4

4: A free day in Prague. Your time is your own today to explore Prague the way you want to. Described by some as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Central Europe, you’ll find that Prague is just as engaging as Rome, London or Amsterdam, and is at least as beautiful as Paris. Let your guard down and explore today – you never know the wonders you might find! Start off with the Charles Bridge, which joins the old and the new town, and marvel at how Prague’s dramatic history is reflected in the beauty of its churches, opera houses, concert halls and of course Prague castle. See the famous main square and the Astronomical Clock too – just a few of this city’s famous attractions. Included: Breakfast.

Day 5

5: Visit Bratislava and Budapest. Moving on to the Slovakian capital, Bratislava! Located in a country dominated by mountains, vineyards, ski runs and wilderness, Bratislava is a charming city. Here you’ll find medieval castles overlooking the old town, along with more recent Socialist-era architecture. After an included lunch we'll make for beautiful Budapest. With a huge number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we start things off with a driving tour to help you get acquainted with the city. With a huge variety of architectural styles adorning the city, Budapest promises all manner of untold treasures. Featuring hundreds of thermal and mineral springs, bathing in Budapest has been in vogue since Roman times. Hungarian food, too, is experiencing something of a revival after being somewhat repressed in the Soviet era. Explore and be amazed at the bounty of Budapest! Included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 6

6: Visit Vienna. Heading next to Vienna, we’ll have lunch in one of the city’s traditional beer halls before taking a walking tour of the city led by one of our expert local guides. As a centre for art and culture in Europe for centuries, Vienna was host to some of the world’s leading musical minds at one time or another – including luminaries like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. But along with its classical heritage, magnificent concert halls, palaces and museums, Vienna is also a modern city, with a vibrant café, restaurant and nightclub culture. Explore the city this afternoon and take it all in! Included: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 7

7: Visit Graz and Ljubljana. After leaving Vienna, we’ll take a comfort stop in Graz – Austria’s second-largest city, but also one of its liveliest. Admire the verdant parkland and Renaissance architecture, and get a glimpse of the small, fast-flowing river which gushes through the centre. Our final stop of the day is the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, often thought of as a hidden gem of Europe. With its castles, stunning architecture and natural beauty, Ljubljana packs a punch more powerful than its small size would suggest, and we’ll take a walking tour of the city with a local guide to soak it all in. Included: Breakfast.

Day 8

8: Visit Venice. Venice is our next stop, a city immortalised in literature, film and art for centuries. Its timeless waterways and artistic masterpieces (more per square kilometre than anywhere else on earth) make it truly unique – this is a city that will capture your heart and imagination. Being Italian, there’s no shortage of incredible food and culture either! Your tour leader will introduce you to the city with an orientation walk, during which you'll see sights like the world famous St Marks Square, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore this unforgettable city on your own. Included: Breakfast.

Day 9

9: Visit Florence and Tuscany. Although we leave Venice today, ahead of us are the hills of Tuscany – marvel at the countryside as we head for Florence. On arrival we’ll get a fabulous panoramic view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo, then take a fascinating walking tour of the city with a local guide. Learn about the history of the city and see historical landmarks dating from Roman times to the glory days of the Renaissance. After exploring, we make our way to the Tuscan countryside, where we spend the night. Included: Breakfast.

Day 10

10: Visit Pisa, travel onward to Switzerland. Departing Tuscany, we make for one of the world’s most famous buildings, and definitely a place you’ll want to have your camera charged – Pisa! Learn the story behind the leaning tower, and be sure to grab some photos! We continue on to the Alps, climbing higher into the mountains to our accommodation in a typical Swiss mountain village in the Jungfrau region. One of the most popular alpine destinations, it’s a great introduction to the magic of the mountains. Included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 11

11: A free day in the Swiss Alps. The splendour of the Alps is yours today – don’t miss the chance to join our optional excursion up to Jungfraujoch, also known as the top of Europe! The trip to Europe’s highest train station is a real highlight; you might find yourself pressed up against the windows as the picture-perfect Swiss countryside rolls beneath you. Look out for quaint villages nestled in the valleys beneath snow-capped peaks and tumbling mountain waterfalls. Once we’ve reached the top, enjoy the year-round snow and breathtaking views of the surrounding glaciers and craggy mountaintops. Once you’ve had a chance to explore and capture as many photos as possible, it’s back down to lower altitudes for the rest of the afternoon. Included: Breakfast.

Day 12

12: Visit Paris. It’s an early start today as we make our way out of the mountains and make for the city of lights and love: Paris! We'll take you on a driving tour of the French capital; get your cameras ready - you’ll be seeing some of the city’s most treasured landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe! After the driving tour we'll enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter, an eclectic, bohemian and historic neighbourhood. We'll then travel back to the hotel on Paris' world famous metro system, ready to explore the city further on our free day tomorrow! Included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 13

13: A free day in Paris. Today is all yours to explore as you wish. Take an optional cruise up the River Seine, head up the tower of Montparnasse for exquisite views, visit L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, the River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite or the Louvre Museum. Get a glimpse of that most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, overlooked by the famous Arc de Triomphe. Alternatively, why not head to the boutiques of La Marais? Or visit the graves of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery? Those with a taste for the macabre can even descend to the infamous catacombs! Alternatively, stay above ground and explore the museums, people-watch from a roadside café, or simply stroll the city, following in the footsteps of great painters, musicians and writers. Included: Breakfast.

Day 14

14: Return to London. It’s our last day already! Today we leave the mainland and cross the Channel on our way back to London. Be sure to swap details with your fellow travellers – we hope you’ve loved every minute of your Europe Jewel adventure! Included: Breakfast.

13 Nights accommodation in twin rooms. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room. 13 Breakfasts, 2 lunch, 5 dinners. 17 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences). Free Wi-Fi in hotels. Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet. Services of your Expat tour leader who will be on hand with advice and tips and ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader All taxes and fees. Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days). Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
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