DAY 1 - Warsaw to Krakow via Auschwitz
Welcome aboard! Wave ‘pa!’ to Warsaw, we have our sights set on Krakow this morning.
En route, we’ll stop off at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp for a sobering reminder of Poland’s dark past.
Once the capital of Poland, Krakow is now known for its rich history, tasty pretzels, excellent vintage markets (you heard it from us) and salt mining heritage. Tonight you’ll have time to explore the local restaurants for a traditional dinner, then you can rest up knowing we have all day tomorrow to get our Krakow on.
DAY 2 - Krakow
Good morning Poland! Today is all about getting up close and personal with Krakow life. We’ll cover the basics on our included sightseeing tour in the morning, and you have a free afternoon to stroll the charming streets of Krakow. Check out Kazimierz, the UNESCO-listed Old Town & historic Jewish Quarter with its jumble of street art, vintage markets, crumbling cafes & 14th century synagogue. An optional Pierogi making class will keep us entertained into the evening.
DAY 3 - Krakow to Budapest via Banska Bystrica
We say a fond farewell to Krakow and head for the bright lights of Budapest this morning.
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. Take you're time exploring this evening, stop for a drink in a ruin bar tucked away in the Jewish Quarter and keep our eyes peeled for a delicious Langos.
DAY 4 - Budapest
Those still keen to explore can jump on the Budapest Past and Present Tour and continue learning about this incredible city. The House of Terror, the Parliament Building and more, we will take you on a journey of old and new. After all the beauty and knowledge you soaked up yesterday at the church of St Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge, you’ll probably be feeling like a day soaking in the city's famous outdoor thermal pools, set amongst Art Nouveau architecture while getting a bargain-priced massage. As the evening draws in, why not take an optional River Cruise and dinner? Gliding across the shimmering night-lit river of Danube, you’ll get to experience the beautiful sights of Budapest while enjoying a delicious al-la-carte Hungarian feast.
DAY 5 - Budapest to Austrian Tyrol
Bye bye Budapest, your unique charm will remain in our hearts forever. Hitting the road, we’ll journey west and cross-country through Hungary and into Austria.
Late this afternoon we arrive in Hopfgarten and will be welcomed with open arms to Contiki's very own Austrian Gasthof (guesthouse). Before we settle in, we'll get outside and explore the dreamy setting we'll call home for the next two nights. This is also your chance to sign up for some wild water sports - whitewater rafting in the breath-taking Austrian Tyrol. 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 6 - 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 7 - Austrian Tyrol to Ljubljana
Farewell life in the blissful Austrian Alps, but 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. We'll have a walking orientation to get acquainted with our surroundings and after that, you're free 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 8 - Ljubljana to Venice
Ever the advocates of a balanced holiday, today we're trading in the obscure unknown for the globally adored hot spot of Venice. Whoop!
Yes, it's as cute as you imagine. Yes, you'll feel like you're part of an Italian fairytale. Yes, you are actually hanging out in the gondola clad floating city of Venice! A private boat ride, gothic architecture and a web of lanes to explore will keep your day filled quite nicely.
DAY 9 - Venice to Rome
Farewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City of Rome 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 - perfetto!
DAY 10 - 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 11 - Rome to Sorrento via Pompeii
Full of gelato and memories, we’ll bid ‘ciao’ to Bella Roma and head south for Sorrento, with a special stop on the way.
Driving down the coast today, we have the option to check out the ruins of Pompeii, the fascinating Roman town that was destroyed by Vesuvius and then perfectly preserved in volcanic ash.
Soak up the sweeping views on route to gorgeous Sorrento, where sun-bleached pastel houses perch along cliffs, tumbling down to the Mediterranean sea. Here you’ll have the chance to treat yourself with a visit to La Sorgente, a nearby locally-owned family mozzarella farm, for an authentic Italian meal complete with fresh homemade mozzarella, rich olive oil and sunshine-coloured limoncello.
DAY 12 - Sorrento
Today you’ll have the chance to wander the cobbled streets of Sorrento or visit the glamorous Isle of Capri. With its gorgeous cragged coastline and opulent cafes, it's easy to see why this is such a playground for the rich and famous. An optional Capri cruise will let you take plenty of swim stops for a dip in the clear blue waters. Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasty real Napolitano-style dinner with ‘the best pizza in Sorrento’ at Pizzeria Trianon.
DAY 13 - Sorrento to Florence
See you, Sorrento! Thanks for making our Instagram feeds look like shoots for Italian Vogue!
The famous dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city, making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Tonight you can continue your Tuscan love affair with a stroll along River Arno & ponder the prettiness of Florence over another vino or two.
DAY 14 - Florence to Milan
Florence, you’ve been a dream, but today will see us moving onwards and upwards to Milan.
Arriving in super-chic Milan, where Italy’s fashionistas and divas alike gather in their droves, you can find bucket list sights like the famous Milan Duomo, Galleria and La Scala. Here you’ll have the option to sign up for an EatWith Milan foodie experience, dining in the home of a local who'll teach you how he makes pasta like a pro, before feeding you a delicious meal of local specialties.
DAY 15 - Milan to Lucerne
Leaving Milan this morning we’ll be saying a final ‘ciao’ to Italy, but the dreamy destinations don’t stop coming as we cross the border over the Swiss Alps.
With magical views unfolding outside our windows we'll find ourselves in Switzerland, pulling up in the fairytale town of Lucerne, famous for its wooden bridges, cobbled lanes and beautiful setting against the lake it's named after. Here you'll have the chance to ascend Mt Pilatus on the world’s steepest (and most charming) cogwheel railway, or take an optional lake cruise, giving yourself a better look at the epic Swiss Alps reflected off the water. Our other recommendation for tonight? Swiss chocolate.
DAY 16 - Lucerne to Beaujolais Wine Region
It's been sweet, but our time in Lucerne is up this morning. Out with the altitude, in with the French countryside bliss. We'll jump back onto our coach to cross the border out of Switzerland and into France.
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 17 - Beaujolais to Paris
Wake yourself up with some morning yoga on the Chateau's lawn, survey the garden and give those limbs a good stretch before we pack up for Paris today.
Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, tonight we fall in love with everything Paris. After an included dinner at the hotel, our Trip Manager will fill us in on the city's secrets with a dreamy night-time tour of the 'city of lights', passing the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral. We’ll also take a trip up the Montparnasse Tower for the best views of the Eiffel Tower you’ll find anywhere in Paris.
DAY 18 - Paris
Pastries, paintings, perfume - Paris is ours! First we’ll visit the glamorous Fragonard perfumery for a lesson in the olfactory arts, then the time is yours to roam tree-lined quartiers, explore Notre Dame Cathedral, hunt for vintage treasures in Le Marais, or get arty in the galleries of the Louvre. Can you believe it’s our last night together? You’ll have the chance to make it count with can-can girls & champagne over dinner at an optional Nouvelle Eve cabaret show.
DAY 19 - Paris to London
Soak up your last dose of Paris and feel the astonishment of how much you’ve seen during this awesome trip, not to mention how close you’ve grown to your Contiki pals.
What a journey! On arrival in London say a fond farewell to the group - the adventure has come to an end.