European Getaway

Glide through Venetian canals, whizz down the Swiss Alps, peek over the other side of the Berlin Wall & practice your Jungfrau mountain yodel so that France can hear you. Have your own Under The Tuscan Sun moment as you feast, take in the soaring pencil pines & attempt to be a very chic Italian (BYO wide brimmed hat & black sunnies).

At night douse yourself in glitter in Monaco, get cabs so that you don’t have to wear flats (oh the shame) & always bet on black. All topped off with as much pizza, gelato, strudel, beer, chocolate, herring & macarons as your poor stomach can handle.
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Price:
R32 300
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DETAILS
Starting fromR32 300
Package Validity

Selected departures between: 07 APR 2018 - 12 MAY 2018 & 06 - 20 OCT 2018.

Duration20 days
Destination

France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, 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}

- 2 nights hotel upgrade
- 10 nights accommodation in hostels
- 6 nights accommodation in bungalows at European campsites
- 1 night accommodation in an Austrian Gasthof
- 19 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 10 dinners
- English Channel ferry crossing
- Assistance of a trip leader & driver
- Touring by coach
- Touring & sightseeing of all sites as per itinerary

 

* High season supplement starting from an additional R2200 per person apply for travel  for set departures between 19 MAY 2018 - 09 JUN 2018 & 11 AUG 2018 - 22 SEP 2018

* High season supplement starting from an additional R4400 per person apply for travel  for set departures between 16 JUN 2018 - 04 AUG 2018

 

{tab Day 1}

Paris

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

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

Pinch yourself & 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 & the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion & 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 & Musée d’Orsay to the l’Arc de Triomphe & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 (& the Swiss government is sweeter than chocolate).

{tab Day 4}

Swiss Alps

Scenic hikes & 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’ & 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 & the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves lots of fur & bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino & 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 & 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}

Florence

Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants & it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) & get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide.

Then: learn about the art of leather craft from the city that brought you Gucci (new handbag, anyone?) & use the afternoon to meet a guy named David doing his best Blue Steel in the Accademia Gallery. You could do worse than hunting down a Florentine steak for dinner tonight.

Included today:  In-depth city tour with a local guide &  Leather works demonstration

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 9}

Rome

Travel Day: Florence to Rome (via Orvieto).

Southward & downward with a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto to see the grand cathedral & dig into a wild boar panini. Then step back to 753 BC in one of the world’s oldest open-air museums on an in-depth walking tour & give that bucket list a workout.

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

Included today:  Visit to Orvieto en route &  Guided 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 10}

Rome

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses & 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 & created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia's worth of history.

Shop till you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum & 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 11}

Venice

Travel Day: Rome to Venice.

Hark! Maketh haste to whence the lady Juliet was wooed in Verona. Snap a selfie at her balcony & join throngs of lovers leaving notes in the wall (or avoid the crowds & 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) & 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 & 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 12}

Venice

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

Also on the schedule: a lesson in traditional lace-making & an optional gondola ride through the maze of marble bridges & gelato shops we call Venice. Throw away your map in the afternoon & 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 13}

Austrian Alps

Travel Day: Venice to Austrian Alps, Austria.

Prepare your retinas for the scenery playing outside the coach windows & yodel around the mountain as we make our way to the Alps. So much more than schnitty, strudel & The Sound of Music, this day should have been sponsored by GoPro.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Optional Activities:
-Canyoning
-Tandem paragliding
-Skydiving
-Bike tour
-Mountain-side dinner
-Group photo

Did you know:
-62% of Austria's total land area is covered by the Austrian Alps. The rest is just covered with ridiculous beauty.
-A 5,300-year-old mummified man was discovered in the Alps in 1991 & scientists have since discovered 19 Tyrolean men alive today to descend from the iceman.

{tab Day 14}

Prague

Travel Day: Austrian Alps to Prague, Czech Republic.

Begin the day with a sobering visit to the former concentration camp Mauthausen, then set the sat nav for the gothic city. Guinness World Record-setting (& 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 & cobblestone streets. Suss out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world, cross medieval Charles Bridge & watch ‘Death’ toll the hour on an astronomical clock that’s over 600 years old.

Included today:  Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen &  Prague walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Did you know:
-The monasteries of Prague brewed the first beer in Czech Republic & it was so good the King paid his tithe in hops.
-Five steps to a successful “cheers” in Czech: raise your glass, make eye contact, say “Nazdravi”, touch your glass to the table, then drink.
-In black light theatres scattered throughout the city performers put on shows in pitch-black spaces with fluoro clothing & props. Daft Punk, eat your heart out.

{tab Day 15}

Prague

Another free day for the win. Channel your inner bohemian & seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it).

Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square & drink beer. Good beer.

Included today:  Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 16}

Berlin

Travel Day: Prague to Berlin, Germany.

Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden - a city virtually destroyed in WWII &  then rebuilt - & ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe & more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate & the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.

Included today:  Dresden walking tour &  Berlin driving tour.

Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

Did you know:
-The Doner Kebab was invented in 1972 by the Turkish immigrant, Kadir Nurman, in West Berlin, obviously knowing it would make an ideal midnight snack.
-Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days, boasting an impressive 175 to choose from.

{tab Day 17}

Berlin

Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Optional: Third Reich walking tour & local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park #picniconthetarmac. Tonight: hit the hot spots on an optional nightlife tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities:
-Third Reich walking tour
-Berlin nightlife tour

{tab Day 18}

Amsterdam

Travel Day: Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (& clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries & red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital & see the Dam Square, Royal Palace & National Monument. Then: explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.

Included today:
-Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration
-Guided Amsterdam walking tour

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

{tab Day 19}

Amsterdam

Join the 881,000 bicycles & get local on a city bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges & parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit & tasting at the brewery. Top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal. #imonaboat

Included today: Canal dinner cruise & Amsterdam bike tour

Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

{tab Day 20}

Amsterdam to London, UK

Travel Day: Amsterdam to London.

After all the Amster-damage is done and dusted, it's back on the ferry to ol' Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?

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