Road to Athens

Tour Length
18 days
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29 May 2014
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Overview Reviews
18 days
10 World Heritage Sites visited.
Type: Superior
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ See reviews
Tour Map

You will visit: France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Greece

Anyone can fly direct to Athens but why fly over Europe when you can take your time & explore the cities at leisure? That's exactly what the Road to Athens tour offers. Paris, Austrian Tyrol, Venice, Florence & Rome with a little bit of Switzerland & Germany thrown in for good measure. Relax on the island of Corfu in Greece before reaching your final destination & the birthplace of democracy, Athens. Seems like a long way to go to end here, so why not take a cruise through the Greek Isles while you're in the neighbourhood?

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Top Offers & Tour Notes

Photo from Road to Athens Photo from Road to Athens Photo from Road to Athens Photo from Road to Athens Photo from Road to Athens Photo from Road to Athens

Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals

ME Time Optionals

ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.

Backstage Pass

Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.

1 Arrive London

Check-in to your hotel after 2pm and the remainder of the day is free to relax before meeting your fellow travellers for your Kickstart meeting this evening. Afterwards why not grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants or take a short walk to explore nearby Covent Garden

2 London to Paris

Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. We travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme, to Paris.

Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the ‘Tour of Illuminations’, which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most-recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!

Hotel Dinner

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Check out Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
3 Paris

Next up: Fragonard! This perfumery has an elegant interior and is a unique setting for a look into the history of perfume. It’s also a chance to pick up some French perfume at great prices.

This town is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank. Step into the Notre Dame or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre, where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. In your free time, try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many city parks.

Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don’t stop there – afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your time here with a big Parisian night out.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit a French perfumery
  • Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Show
    Euro 123.00
4 Paris to Lucerne

With down-time on the coach, plug in your MP3, chill out to some music and chat with friends while travelling through the scenic wine producing regions of Burgundy and Chablis.

Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne. Wind down the day with an optional cruise on one of Europe’s most striking lakes, where stunning scenes of the Swiss Alps reflect back across the water.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See Chablis & Burgundy vineyards
  • Scenic drive through the Alps
  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
  • Lake Lucerne Cruise
    Euro 22.00
5 Lucerne to Munich

Make sure your camera is charged - first up this morning there's a chance to take in some amazing views of the Alps, with an optional cable car ride up to the summit of Mt. Stanserhorn.

Next, we travel past the stony cliffs of Liechtenstein into the capital Vaduz, where you can grab some lunch and eat it in the shadow of the Royal Family’s 12th century castle.

Afterward, it’s northbound to the home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich - a city that blends traditional Bavarian culture and modern lifestyle.

Explore the heart of Munich’s old town with the crew, and head to Marienplatz. It’s a central gathering spot famous for the Glockenspiel - a Gothic clock, complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.

Then get a taste of tradition at a typical beer hall and park yourself at a long wooden table. Order yourself some hearty local food, like roasted pork knuckle, and quench your thirst with a stein of one of Germany’s 5000 brews.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz
  • See the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz
  • Visit a traditional beer hall
  • Mt. Stanserhorn
    Euro 43.00
6 Munich to Austrian Tyrol

Get off the beaten track this morning in Munich - on two wheels - with our Local Guide in a fun bike tour around the city. It’s a great way to see lots more of the sights!

Later we head south, rolling on through the Tyrol’s massive mountains to a cute Austrian village in a region famous for adventure sports.

With a night in an Austrian Gasthof (guest inn), there’s time to do your own thing – laze about or get out for a walk in the surrounding hills. Our resident crew will give you pointers on the best stuff to do in the region and make sure you get everything out of your time here.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Swarovski Crystal World
    Euro 8.50
7 Austrian Tyrol

This morning, fill your lungs with clean mountain air, jump on a bike and get into the region’s outdoor lifestyle with a fully guided optional tour through the Tyrol’s picture perfect scenery, complete with waterfalls and mountain fields. Work up an appetite – a BBQ lunch is waiting for you at the end!

With time to do your own thing, laze about or get out for a walk in the surrounding hills. Catch up on some emails or postcards at the inn or take a gondola up the mountainside for more spectacular views of the area. For something different, pop into the local trout farm.

For adrenaline-junkies, an optional tandem paragliding experience will give you an awesome angle on the surrounding Alpine scenery.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See this pretty mountain region famous for adventure sports
  • Mountain bike tour & BBQ lunch
    Euro 32.00
  • Tandem paragliding
    Euro 123.00
8 Austrian Tyrol to Venice

Start the day with a plunge into some whitewater rafting in an adrenalin-pumping optional activity on the river.

Later on, wind through the Austrian Alps and the Brenner Pass to fairy tale Venice.

Known as the “floating city”, Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Scenic drive past vineyards, orchards & castles
  • Whitewater rafting
    Euro 41.00
9 Venice

Today we travel on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge’s Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice’s unique beauty and way of life.

Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. There’s an optional walking tour where you can discover the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazzi and markets with our Local Guide. You’ll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market – a local favourite for food shopping.

Maybe grab a table on St. Mark’s Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco.

Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share the amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!

Hotel Breakfast

  • Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice
  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Venice walking tour
    Euro 11.00
  • Gondola ride
    Euro 22.00
  • Venetian restaurant
    Euro 32.50
10 Venice to Florence

Wind through the Apennine Mountains and Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence, with a stop at the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. After dinner, walk along the River Arno with your Tour Manager, take in the atmosphere and head into the heart of Florence, where you can sit back and relax Tuscan style with a glass of Chianti wine.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
11 Florence

Jump start the day uncovering this open-air museum. Our Local Guide gives you the inside track as the group learns about Florence’s cultural beginnings and explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then take a look into a skillful demonstration of Florentine leather making and understand this region’s traditional art.

With bargains and bustle, the city’s markets are a great place to hang out. Grab a gelato and enjoy this gorgeous city.

Tonight, there’s a choice of a group dinner - an authentic Tuscan feast. Try regional dishes in a fantastic Tuscan country setting. Then keep it moving with a night out and get your groove on at Florence’s biggest nightclub.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Discover the Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence
  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry & Piazza della Signoria
  • Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
  • Souvenir group photo
    Euro 11.00
  • Space Electronic Disco
    Euro 16.00
  • Tuscan Evening
    Euro 39.00
12 Florence to Rome

Travel through Tuscany’s rustic hills, past the recognisable cypress tree landscapes of this olive oil-producing region, to vibrant Rome.

Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back with a few slices of pizza and people watch.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Special access Rome sightseeing coach tour
  • See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
  • See St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City
13 Rome

This morning, make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then check out Rome’s imperial glory by visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys.

In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Vatican Tour
    Euro 34.00
  • Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators including the Colosseum
    Euro 26.00
14 Rome to Corfu

Pass gritty Naples, see Mt Vesuvius and plunge into Pompeii’s well-preserved past in an interesting optional excursion and retrace ancient history with our expert Local Guide.

Then there’s time to chill out on the coach, crossing through the rugged landscapes of southern Italy, before boarding the overnight ferry to Greece in Brindisi. Check out the amazing 360 degree views from the deck!

Adriatic Ferry Breakfast

  • See Mt. Vesuvius
  • Pompeii Guided Walking Tour
    Euro 19.50
15-16 Corfu

Corfu is all that’s great about Greek island living. You’ll immediately find yourself on “local time”, browsing the markets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and bargaining with the laid-back locals.

Jump on board the Caique Tour optional with a bunch friends for a fun day out on the water. It will give you another angle on idyllic Corfu. Work up an appetite swimming in the secluded spots and then feast on a lunch of olives, salad, cheeses, fresh bread and dips – prepared with ingredients from the Captain's back yard.

Corfu also gives you the chance to dive into action with a selection of water sports, like parasailing, banana-boating and waterskiing. Otherwise hire a car for a deeper look into Corfu and venture across the island to explore some beautiful, remote beaches.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner, Breakfast

  • See the Venetian fortress in Corfu's old town
  • Party in a toga on Corfu
  • Captains Cruise of Corfu
    Euro 36.00
  • Ionian Experience
    Euro 33.00
  • Water sports Corfu
    From Euro 18.00 - 50.00
  • Car Hire
    Euro 55.00-155.00 (cost per day depending on car)
  • Tour t-shirts
    From Euro 20.00 - 30.00
17 Corfu to Athens

From Corfu, head to the mainland and travel to the impressive, man-made Corinth Canal.

Athens is next, a city crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul. Wrap up the day on the shady slopes beneath the Acropolis with an optional dinner in the rustic district of Plaka, full of traditional tavernas spilling out onto the pavements.

Hotel Breakfast

  • See the Corinth Canal
  • A Traditional Athens Affair
    Euro 36.00
18 Depart Athens

Step back in time in Europe’s oldest city to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide, as you wander around the marble columns perched above the city sprawl. Then we check out the first modern Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Games.

The tour winds down in the heart of the city at Syntagma Square, home to the Greek Parliament. Make the most of a last look at the Parthenon before you farewell your friends.

Breakfast

  • Learn about the birthplace of modern society on a guided tour of Athens & the Acropolis
  • Visit the Acropolis & Parthenon with a local guide
  • See the first modern Olympic Stadium

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Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Accommodation

  • 17 nights twin or triple share accommodation: 16 nights in hotels, +1 night onboard a ferry
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with electrical outlets for charging
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
  • Ferry crossings

Exclusive Team

  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations

Exclusive Food

  • 16 continental breakfasts
  • 8 three-course dinners

Exclusive Inclusions

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
See More

Me Time

  • Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Show
  • Lake Lucerne Cruise
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$181
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Layaway

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