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European Contrasts

146 reviews
Group in Venice on gondola

The one that takes you through 13 countries including stops in Paris, Plitvice & Prague, for a taste of all the contrasts of Western Europe

Travel Style

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  • Duration

    27 days

  • Countries

    12 Countries

  • Meals

    26 Breakfasts, 1 Picnic Lunch, 10 Dinners

  • Transport Style


  • Group Size

    Maximum 53 people

  • Team

    Experienced Trip Manager & Driver Team and Local Guides

London, Paris, Beaujolais, Swiss Alps, Venice, Florence, Rome, Overnight Adriatic Ferry, Makarska, Plitvice, Ljubljana, Austrian Tyrol, Munich, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dover, Calais, Vatican City, Split, Dachau, Dresden, Belgium

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About this trip

The allure of Paris, the scenic views of the Swiss Alps, the glamour of the French Riviera, the ancient monuments of Rome, the resort beaches of Makarska...could this truly all be experienced in one trip? It can and it will, on this 27-day adventure that will take you from Europe’s famed cities like Rome, Berlin and Paris, to the charms of Venice, Florence and Prague, to the lesser known gems like Ljubljana, Plitvice & Assisi. Leaving no path untrodden on this trip, you’ll visit 13 countries in less than a month. Ready for the trip of a lifetime?

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Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

DAY 1 - London to Paris


Welcome to the first day of the best trip of your life - we're calling it early! After a few pleasantries in London we'll get the show on the road with Paris in our sights. 


A few hours in and your jaws are on the floor already. These chalk cliffs that edge the English coastline are known as the White Cliffs of Dover, the first of many natural beauties we'll see on our trip.


After we ferry across the English Channel for France we'll arrive in Calais, where we will take in the history of World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme. 


Kicking off night one, we arrive in none other than the lust-worthy Paris! It's straight down to business with a tour of the city lit up by the lights of night. 

DAY 2 - Paris


Today's the day to stroll the beautiful streets of Paris, with plenty of time to lust over designer haute couture or French vintage stores, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral, order coffee and crêpes, or get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Tonight, foodies will have the chance to eat a Parisian feast in Montmartre, surrounded by cobbled lanes, village-esque cafes, street artists and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Otherwise, this is your night to sign up for an iconic Parisian cabaret show. Either option will give you the perfect way to make it one to remember!

DAY 3 - Paris to Beaujolais Wine Region


Just before you get too comfortable in that beret and striped shirt combo, we're dragging you away in search of vineyards and a very special château.


Rolling into the Beaujolais region of France amidst vineyards, we'll arrive at Contiki’s very own 16th century château. This might just be our most decadent accommodation yet, complete with newly-renovated bedrooms & bathrooms, an on-site nightclub, artwork in every room, a games room, and a powder room for makeup and hair. And we haven't even shown you the pool or the gardens yet! Tonight we'll start off with an included dinner and wine tasting here at the Château, because, when in France...

DAY 4 - Beaujolais Wine Region


Pinch yourself, this is another day at the Château & another chance to live your best French countryside life with a full day here in Beaujolais. Rise & shine with optional sunrise yoga on the sprawling lawn of the Château's gardens, relax in the courtyard with a coffee & croissant, or loll about poolside in our castle-like setting. Our highlight today is a picnic in the picturesque gardens. Cue panoramic views & red wine.

DAY 5 - Beaujolais Wine Region to Swiss Alps


It's time to say 'au revoir' to our time in France. We'll never forget you, land of baguettes and wine, but Switzerland is calling us. Back on our coach we'll cruise out of Beaujolais, passing Lake Geneva as we climb onwards and upwards toward the Swiss Alps.

Swiss Alps

With magical views unfolding outside our windows, we’ll arrive in the picture perfect setting of the Swiss Alps. Home for the next 2 nights, we’ll start off with a traditional cheese fondue and an evening in an infamous 'bomb shelter' bar.

DAY 6 - Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Open the window of your room and drink in the incredible view. Today you’re free to explore this classic European adventure town. Feeling extra adventurous? Today is your chance to ascend Jungfrau mountain, aka ‘the Top of the World’, or sign up for a high ropes course in the treetops.

DAY 7 - Swiss Alps to Venice

Swiss Alps

Out with the altitude, in with sun-kissed streets and iconic waterways. Today we’re moving on to the passionate lands of Italy, bound for Venice.


Ah, Venice! Fresh pasta, lilting accents & romantic architecture - we've arrived in one of Italy's most famous cities. Tonight we'll relax here with free time to find some dinner, knowing we have all day tomorrow to cruise canals & explore picturesque cobbled streets.

DAY 8 - Venice


Buongiorno! Venice is ours for a full and glorious Italian day. We'll start exploring The Floating City by jumping aboard our own private motoscafo boat and cruising the canals en route to the historical heart of the city. Here we'll take selfies at the Bridge of Sighs, see the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square. Next, you have the chance to take a traditional gondola ride, or just explore these famous streets on your own. Tonight, you can choose to sign up for a city exploration combined with food in a Traditional Tastes of Venice walking tour.

DAY 9 - Venice to Florence


Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination Florence is just around the corner.  


Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is more proof that Italy has so many great places packed into one small region. Here you’ll be free to drift along the River Arno, get into the Tuscan vibes with a drop of Chianti wine, visit the markets and taste the local gelato, and admire the beauty of the city and its magnificent Duomo Cathedral. Take it all in! Tonight you’ll have the chance to sign up for a delicious Tuscan dinner, visit the historic Red Garter bar or enjoy a free evening.

DAY 10 - Florence to Rome


Ready for even more of Italy? The eternal city of Rome awaits...


The evening will really take it up to high key as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome. With a city tour on arrival, we'll get a glimpse of Rome's glory by night, ready to be fully unveiled tomorrow. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments, we're here for it all.

DAY 11 - Rome


Rise and shine, Rome awaits us! Today will be a whirlwind of Roman architecture and bucket list sights as we uncover all of Rome’s key features, from the Colosseum to St Peters Basilica, and even the Vatican City. Not enough? There’s also the option to head back in time and discover Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators.


DAY 12 - Rome to Overnight Adriatic Ferry via Assisi


Full of gelato and memories, we’ll cast our eyes over Rome one more time this morning before we hit the road, bound for new adventures.

Overnight Adriatic Ferry

Arriving at Ancona port, we’ll get ready for our overnight sail to Croatia. Let yourself be rocked to sleep as we cruise over the Adriatic Sea to Split.

DAY 13 - Overnight Adriatic Ferry to Makarska via Split

Overnight Adriatic Ferry

Last night we fell asleep in Italy, this morning we wake up in Croatia. How magical is Europe?


Landing in the atmospheric port town of Split, we’ll have some free time to soak up the Roman heritage of Diocletian's Palace, revel in Game of Thrones' filming locations or indulge in some local street food before jumping on the coach, bound for the resort town of Makarska.


Welcome to Makarska, where we’ll be greeted by the rugged Biokovo mountains, a nature reserve with golden eagles, and a long stretch of beach ready to be enjoyed. With 3 nights here in the ‘Makarska Riviera’, it’s like having a holiday within a holiday.

DAY 14 - Makarska


With no agenda today other than to live your best beach life, Makarska awaits! The beaches, seafront promenade and nightlife are calling your name, with paddle boats for hire, a cobbled main square to stroll around, and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic ready for diving into.

DAY 15 - Makarska Day 2


A new day, a new beach spot to laze about in. You also have food markets to explore, cafes to sit in, ice cream parlours to visit, and day trips to sign up to - the choice is yours.

DAY 16 - Makarska to Plitviče


Relaxed and sun-kissed after our time in Makarska, we’re ready to see more of Croatia - and knowing that UNESCO-heritage listed Plitvice Lakes is ahead of us makes leaving a lot easier.


Arriving at the mesmerising teal-blue waters of Plitviče, you’ll have the chance to tread the wooden boardwalks and discover the cascading pools of this breath-taking natural wonder. Why this place is not famous world over as one of the prettiest places in Europe, we have no idea! We'll enjoy an included dinner together this evening at our accommodation on the edge of the National Park.


DAY 17 - Plitviče to Ljubljana


Bidding farewell to Plitviče and Croatia today, the enchanting allure of Slovenia lies ahead as we make our way to the capital city of Ljubljana.


Although you might find nods to neighbouring countries, a distinct identity within Slovenian culture has evolved from the melody of influences surrounding it. After our guided walking tour, you’ll have the chance to explore the bohemian art district of Metelkova Mesto, sit by one of Ljubljana’s atmospheric watercourses or sign up for a BiteMojo food tour of the city.

DAY 18 - Ljubljana to Austrian Tyrol


So long Ljubljana, your unique charm will remain in our hearts forever. Hitting the road, we’ll journey north-west and cross-country into Austria.

Austrian Tyrol

Late this afternoon we arrive in Hopfgarten and will be welcomed with open arms to Contiki's very own Austrian Gasthof (guesthouse). Tonight is a welcome evening which means a traditional Austrian meal lovingly prepared for us by our on-site Contiki chefs, and tomorrow we'll get into the swing of things with more of the adventure activities this town is famous for.

DAY 19 - Austrian Tyrol

Austrian Tyrol

Wake up, peel open your curtains, and take in the magnificence of your view. If you're feeling lively you can jump onto a bike tour through green mountains and waterfalls. If you're feeling really lively you can go tandem paragliding. Not so lively? Stroll around and take in the incredible setting; drink endless hot chocolate, go up a mountain in a gondola or relax at our Gasthof.

DAY 20 - Austrian Tyrol to Munich

Austrian Tyrol

This morning you have the chance to sign up for some wild water sports - whitewater rafting - before we leave the breath-taking Austrian Tyrol. Then it’s time to say ‘adieu’ as we head on to the German city of Munich - where lederhosen, dirndls, steins of beer and gingerbread-style buildings await.


"Prost!”. Here in Munich, the home of Oktoberfest, you’ll have the chance to sign up for an optional guided bike ride with Mike’s Bikes and visit the city’s best spots. Otherwise you're free to roam the old town, buy yourself a pair or lederhosen or a traditional dirndl, or amuse yourself watching the antics of mechanical figurines in the city's famous Glockenspiel. Making the most of our time in Munich this evening, we'll get introduced to 800 years of history at a traditional Bavarian beer hall.

DAY 21 - Munich to Prague via Dachau


Today it’s goodbye Germany, hello Czech. But first, we have an important stop to make.


Journeying out of Munich, we’ll make a stop at Dachau for a sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp memorial. You;ll be able to spend some time here to learn and reflect, before we head on to Prague.


On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemian Kings & Queens and gothic history. Prague is a paradise for beer lovers and in the afternoon you have the chance to join a Pivo & Pubs experience, with a local expert ready to take you on a tour of some of Prague's coolest spots for a pint...or two. 

DAY 22 - Prague


Wake up and explore a UNESCO World Heritage city that’s begging you to come out to play. Roam pretty lanes and romantic courtyards, admiring the colourful baroque buildings and Gothic churches. Or shop for traditional bohemian treasures. Tonight join us for an authentic Czech evening complete with dumplings, goulash and plenty of local beer!


DAY 23 - Prague to Berlin via Dresden


Pack your bags and say your sincere thanks to the Czech Republic for being such a lovely host. As promised, we're heading back to Germany for a bout in Berlin. 


A drive from Prague to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, boasting the born-again beauty of the Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.


On the world map of party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this iconic city and we'll kick it off with a tour to learn about its troubled but fascinating past. Once we've gotten acquainted with the key sites, we’ll enjoy an included dinner together, ready for more exploring tomorrow.

DAY 24 - Berlin


Today you'll have the chance to really uncover Berlin. You can opt to take a historical walking tour, including a visit to the site of Hitler's bunker. Otherwise, you're free to explore all the obscurities tucked away off the main street of Unter Den Linden, see the Brandenburg gate, discover nature at the Lustgarten, or catch the U-bahn to one of Berlin's quirky neighbourhoods. Or, if you skipped the historical walking tour this morning, there'll be the chance to join an alternative walking tour of the city, showing you a side of Berlin not often seen by tourists. And if you're looking for a night out, now is the perfect time to scope out one of those underground raves or cocktail-lounge-in-the-basement scenarios that Berlin is famous for.

DAY 25 - Berlin to Amsterdam


We’ll journey out of Germany today and travel through the gloriously flat Netherlands with Amsterdam in our sights. 


We'll enjoy an included dinner in Amsterdam this evening, then you're free to explore this city with a peek of the canals, bicycles & 17th century gable houses lit up by night, plus plenty of nightlife to keep you going until the early hours.


DAY 26 - Amsterdam


It's our last full day on trip & our last night to party up a storm with the squad. Use the day to explore quirky museums & sample the endless array of cuisines this city has on offer. The best way to say farewell to this gorgeous city? Opt to take the A'DAM lookout swing, an incredible observation deck with unrivalled panoramas of the twisting canals below.

DAY 27 - Amsterdam to London


It’s been one heck of a trip, but all good things must come to an end. Whether you’re ending the trip in Amsterdam or returning to London, we’ll say our goodbyes and swap deets. New adventures lie ahead!





Top Experiences

22 included & 20 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Enjoy a French picnic in the beautiful countryside of the Beaujolais wine region



  • Feel the unique thrill of White Water Rafting in the stunning Austrian Alps (Summer Only)

    EUR 50.00

    Austrian Tyrol

  • Gain exclusive access to the A'DAM Lookout Tower & Swing and get an enthralling view of the city

    EUR 15.00


  • Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors at the Colosseum and Roman Forum

    EUR 45.00


  • Visit a traditional beer hall



  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral



European Contrasts

22 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Take a dreamy nighttime tour of the 'city of lights', Paris
  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See Chablis, Burgundy and Beaujolais Vineyards
  • Wine Tasting at Contiki's Chateau
  • Enjoy a French picnic in the beautiful countryside of the Beaujolais wine region
  • Unwind on the lawn with Yoga
  • Take a traditional Motoscafo across the iconic lagoon to the island of Venice
  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Peel back the layers of Rome's history on a city walking tour including the Trevi Fountain
  • Get included entry to the spellbinding lakes of Plitvice National Park
  • Explore the colourful city of Ljubljana on a walking tour
  • Special Stay Contiki's Austrian Gasthof
  • Dinner of traditional Austrian food prepared by Contiki Chefs
  • See this mountain region famous for adventure sports
  • Dinner of traditional Austrian food prepared by Contiki Chefs
  • Visit a traditional beer hall
  • Locally guided bike tour of Munich's famous landmarks (Summer only)
  • Trip to the moving Dachau concentration camp memorial
  • See the Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building
  • See the colourful East side Gallery and the iconic Berlin Wall

20 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Eat a Parisian feast in the oh-so-chic district of Montmartre EUR 38.00
  • Nouvelle Eve Cabaret Show EUR 82.00
  • Adventure Park EUR 37.00
  • Journey to the 'top of the world' as you take a cog train up Jungfrau Mountain in the Swiss Alps EUR 150.00
  • Glide down the canals of Venice on a traditional gondola EUR 26.00
  • Eat cicchetti in local bars and learn about the culinary traditions of Venice EUR 44.00
  • Enjoy an Italian Feast nestled in the heart of Florence with the local Chianti wine EUR 41.00
  • Walk in the footsteps of gladiators and emperors at the Colosseum and Roman Forum EUR 45.00
  • Witness Renaissance masterpieces on a guided tour of the holy Vatican City, the smallest country in the world EUR 41.00
  • Head to local bars and enjoy authentic cuisine with the Bitemojo app EUR 24.00
  • Soar over the spectacular Austrian Alps on a exhilarating paragliding experience (Summer Only) EUR 132.00
  • Bike along the vibrant green trails of the Austrian Alps followed by a BBQ at our Gasthof (Summer Only) EUR 33.00
  • Feel the unique thrill of White Water Rafting in the stunning Austrian Alps (Summer Only) EUR 50.00
  • Pivo and Pubs EUR 26.00
  • Enjoy an authentic Czech evening with traditional music, dancing & dinner EUR 32.00
  • Historical Walking Tour EUR 11.00
  • Alternative Berlin (Summer Departures Only) EUR 26.00
  • Gain exclusive access to the A'DAM Lookout Tower & Swing and get an enthralling view of the city EUR 15.00
  • Glide along the canals of Amsterdam with an evening sightseeing cruise and on-board bar EUR 24.00
  • Sea Palace Dinner EUR 35.00

Where You'll Stay

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