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The best way to explore Europe when you’re short on time

Adventures don’t have to be long to be epic. They just need to be well organised. Take European Horizon, for example. It’s our bucket-list-friendly tour of the world’s most visited continent. 8 magnificent countries in 11 days. 

Kicking off in London, we’ll see red lights in Amsterdam, drink red wine in the Rhine Valley, swing on high ropes in the Austrian alps, glide through Venice’s canals and of course, dine like culinary connoisseurs in France.

It’s the dream itinerary. Trust us, we checked. When you travel with us, everything’s sorted so all you need to worry about is getting to the airport on time. Better still, you’ll explore with fellow 18-35-year-olds who are just as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you are (except maybe after a night out in Amsterdam). 

See Europe’s iconic sights

Not to name-drop, but… 

First up, it’s England. Our trip begins here, and you’ll admire the White Cliffs of Dover en-route to Calais, France. From there, we’ll head north to Amsterdam (and you’ll cross Belgium off your list during the journey). 

After one night of Amsterdam’s canals and gable houses, we’re off to the Rhine Valley to taste German wine and admire fairytale castles. Next up, it’s Munich to see Lorelei Rock and the Glockenspiel. Love your natural landmarks? You’ll visit the Austrian and Swiss Alps either side of a trip to everyone’s favourite. The Floating City—Venice.

We’ll spend the last three days exploring France. From the remote Beaujolais wine region, it’s off to Paris for the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and The Louvre. You’ll get one last glimpse of Calais and Dover on the journey back to London.     

Image source: Contiki

Stay in awesome accommodation

So someone else is organising where you’ll stay. The catch? There isn’t one. 

We’ve sourced some of Europe’s best hostels. We’re talking location (central), atmosphere (vibesy), cleanliness (your parents would approve), facilities (great bars, great WiFi) and amenities (ironing board).

And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get two Special Stays. Exclusive to Contiki and 100% included. We’re talking about our Gasthof (guest house) in the Austrian Tyrol and our luxury 16th century Château in Beaujolais where you’ll be wined and dined like such royalty, you’ll end up down on one knee… for yoga the next morning. 

 

Image source: Contiki

Truly unique experiences

Memories are why we travel, and you’ll come away with plenty after this trip. Two of the eleven days are Adventure Days, where you’ll get the chance to cycle, paraglide and white water raft your way from Munich to the Austrian Tyrol before swinging from branch to branch on high ropes in the Swiss Alps. For hardcore adrenaline junkies, there’s also the canyon swing. 

But life is all about balance. That’s why for every bicycle there’s a French perfumery. For every dingy boat there’s a traditional Parisian feast. For every 90-metre drop, there’s a 90-litre barrel of light-bodied red wine, with definite smoky notes and a hint of cranberry (to share of course).     

 

Image source: Contiki

Extra history, hilarity and lie-ins

Keen to look beyond the horizon? Want to sprinkle some interesting history and legendary nights out onto your otherwise perfect holiday recipe? We feel you. 

Meet European Whirl. Otherwise known as 10 countries in 18 days. It’s simple, you get all the magic of ‘Horizon’, plus Berlin, Prague and Rome (and Vatican City and Florence). 

This trip takes its time. Keen for a few leisurely nights and lazy mornings? This could be the one for you. You’ll experience Berlin’s unique history, plus castles, Kafka, Colosseums and the Catholic Church.  

 

Image source: Contiki

Visit Europe’s lesser known gems

Or you could put two feet in. The full shebang. With bragging rights for life.

Yeah you’ve eaten snails in Paris, but have you ever cooked traditional Polish dumplings in Poland? Sure, you ran your fingers through a Venetian canal, but have you swam underwater in Lake Bled? Scrubbed your pits in a Hungarian spa bath? 

This is European Trail. 13 countries. 23 days. All the European landmarks you know, plus a few you don’t. 

If you’re one to go hard or go home, like to do things thoroughly, or just plan to visit Europe once, this is the trip for you. 

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