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23-days of heart pounding adventure kick off today. Meet up with your Contiki posse & share notes on London town before hitting the road to Amsterdam.
Shortly before we find our ferry for France, we'll be taking in the English coastline beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover. They owe their gorgeousness to their composition of chalk - you're learning and we haven't even left the UK!
Off the ferry we arrive in the port town of Calais - French soil! We travel north via Belgium before reaching ... Amsterdam!
Tonight, the famed for fun Amsterdam is ours to explore following an optional evening canal cruise. An undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. This morning we'll head into the beautiful countryside for a taste of tradition, as we visit a local clog and cheese makers house.
Out of Amsterdam, onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin. That's on today's agenda.
On the world map of cool party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this amazing city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of history into the city and its troubled and interesting past. Once we arrive your Trip Manager can point you in the right direction to go and see the sights.
Get into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the obvious icons like Checkpoint Charlie to all the obscurities tucked away in the side streets. Spend the day lapping up history, scouting the Berlin Wall and dialing up your intellect at sites like the Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate & historic Reichstag building. That way you can let loose a little in the evening without a hint of remorse.
"More city hangs" you'll all scream in unison as we motor out of Berlin, high on life & still wanting more. Since you asked so nicely, let us present you with Prague, the darling of Europe.
A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence.
On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemia Kings and gothic history. The night is yours to amble around the Old Town Square and find a few haunts to let the hours slip away in.
Today we exchange the Czech Republic for Austria, waving goodbye to pretty Prague knowing that cultured Vienna is coming right up.
Before Vienna we'll be stopping in the Bohemian city of Kutna Hora, remembering that Bohemia is the name of the place and not a nod to the fashion sense of the people that live there. Make the local Sedlec Ossuary chapel a high priority, it's decked out and furnished in the bones of over 40,000 ... humans. Eeep!
Austria, we have arrived! And we're ready to get straight into your musical legacy. Put your name next to the optional Mozart and Strauss concert in one of the city’s imperial palaces, you will not regret it.
A whole day lies ahead to uncover the ethereal Austrian capital. Our Trip Manager will uncover the historical heritage of Schönbrunn Palace, the State Opera House and the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. And once you've seen all that, you'll have a bit of free time to check out art galleries and local coffee houses, maybe even try a slice of the famous Sacher Torte.
Rise up travellers and start practicing your Polish pleasantries, we'll be in Krakow later today so they may come in handy.
Today once we cross the border into Poland, why not choose our fantastic optional to the famous Wieliczka salt mines, where you’ll head underground into a labyrinth of tunnels and learn about the oldest mine in the world - salty!
Then afterwards its onto the city of Krakow, which is now known for its silver mining heritage and tales of mythical dragons. Relax tonight as we have all day tomorrow to explore.
Today we will change pace once we cross the border, as we drop to an unfamiliar and sobering level by visiting the concentration camp memorials of Auschwitz & Birkenau. Learning and growing is what us travellers do.
A Jewish Quarter, a jaw-dropping castle & museums aplenty are just some of the relics found in the relatively untouched Krakow. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre should occupy your free time, but conserve some energy for the option to get involved with a traditional Polish Pierogi evening.
Alpine scenery and traditional villages will make our departure from Krakow more manageable. Particularly with the knowledge that we have Budapest coming up in the eve.
Pastel painted and manicured to perfection, Banska Bystrica is a lunch break that will charm you to no end. Being in Slovakia, it's also your chance to brag 3 countries in one day - you crazy globetrotter you.
Welcome to Hungary! Coming in at number 3 on our list of countries ticked off through the day. From the moment we arrive in the river split city, you'll understand why we needed a couple of nights here. Waste no time getting involved with Budapest by joining the optional river cruise and dinner.
The day is yours to tackle Budapest however you see fit. After all the travelling we've done, you've probably earned yourself an afternoon soaking in the cities famous outdoor thermal pools set amongst Art Nouveau architecture. Blissed out in Budapest - there's an insta caption for you. If gardens, fountains, pools and ruins are the call of your day, put St Margaret Island top and centre of your to do list.
This morning we say goodbye to the city of Budapest and head south to Slovenia! Though the name Ljubljana might not be as well known as Budapest, that doesn't diminish its delight as a European city. In fact, its undiscovered charm is all part of the fascination...
Aesthetically wonderful and filled with youthful moods, Ljubljana is one to love for its off the tourist trail vibes and casual attitude. Without a list of monuments to tick off, you're free to get cozy in a cafe and lap up the endless local feels.
Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City is just around the corner.
The afternoon will really take it up a notch as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital of Rome as you get a glimpse of it's glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfecto!
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Rome just yet. Make the most of it this morning with our Local Guide's optional tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then afterwards, we hit the road as we have one more city in Italy to lust over…
For those of you not familiar with the whole Florence deal, we have two words for you: it's heaven. Potter along the River Arno, be totally Tuscan with a drop of Chianti wine, and take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral.
Today is a perfect balance of guided wisdom and free time to roam. We'll uncover the beautiful art of traditional leather & explore streets bursting with heritage. Take to the local markets, down some gelato & tonight you can choose to end your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine.
Say a fond farewell to Italy, and hello to the land of creamy chocolate, cheese and not to mention watches. Hello Switzerland!
As if we were going to leg it from Florence to Switzerland without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.
Swans float under wooden bridges, snowcapped mountains stand regally behind us & chocolate tastes like heaven on earth. You're in the Swiss Alps & you cannot wipe the smile off your face. Eeek!!!
When it's cold at home you just want to curl up in bed. But when it's cold in Europe, you just want to bounce out with endless vigor and explore those Swiss mountain chills. Start the day by opting to head up one of the famous mountain's of the region, for some of the greatest views in Europe, maybe even spotting some traditional horn players if the day is right. Back in town later, there's no shortage of things to do. Cross the Wooden Chapel Bridge, dating back to 1333 and the oldest covered bridge in Europe. Hungry? Opt for a deliciously creamy cheese fondue lunch to keep hunger pangs at bay before seeing more of the city, tempting yourself with chocolate, or treat yourself to a watch along the way, another famous Swiss export. Dream day!
Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy before our arrival in Paris.
Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, tonight we fall in love with everything Paris. Our Trip Manager fills us in on the city's secrets, then to celebrate our first night in the city, we'll pop the champagne & experiment with escargot.
Moan over haute couture you can't afford, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral whilst juggling coffee and crêpes, & get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Smitten yet?
Soak up your last dose of Paris and feel the astonishment of how much you've seen on this trip. And how damn close you've grown to your loved-up Contiki collective.
What a journey, if you've chosen to end your trip on arrival in London say a fond farewell to the remainder of your group as you wrap up the journey on arrival.
European Trail (Winter) DELETE
- European Trail (Winter) DELETE
- Booked from New Zealand
- Traveled Mar 2015