European Contrasts | Start London | Summer | 2024
from $6620
Duration: 27 Days
So, fancy the scenic views of The Swiss Alps, the Croatian Riviera & Austria? What about roaming cities like Prague, Rome and Paris? With this trip you will leave no path untrodden visiting 10 countries in less than a month.
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
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... Please note: Due to so many people wanting to party with us, certain departures will be moved from Contiki's Chateau de Cruix to the French Gastronomic Capital of Lyon (a title which ain't given lightly, believe us!) We'll get the party started with an included meal at a local restaurant, accompanied by local wine. We'll also uncover all the city's magic on a guided tour.
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. 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 this evening.
Day 6
Swiss Alps
Today you’re free to explore this classic European adventure town. If you're feeling extra adventurous, today is your chance to discover the Jungfrau mountain - then take a ride in a Jetboat too.
Day 7
Swiss Alps to Venice
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
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
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 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
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.  Arriving at Ancona port, we’ll get ready for our overnight sail to Croatia. We'll hop aboard our Overnight Adriatic Ferry and set sail. Let yourself be rocked to sleep as we cruise over the Adriatic Sea to Split.
Day 13
Overnight Adriatic Ferry to Croatian Riviera
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 Riviera. Welcome to the Croatian Riviera, 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, it’s like having a holiday within a holiday.
Day 14
Croatian Riviera
With no agenda today other than to live your best beach life, the Croatian Riviera 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
Croatian Riviera
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
Croatian Riviera to Plitvice Lakes
Relaxed and sun-kissed after our time on the Riviera, 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.   Plitvice Arriving at the mesmerizing 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
Plitvice Lakes 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 orientation of the city, you’ll have the chance to explore the bohemian art district of Metelkova Mesto or sit by one of Ljubljana’s atmospheric watercourses.
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. 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
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
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
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. Don't miss our optional 'Hidden Prague' adventure, where a local guide will show us the city's best kept secrets.
Day 22
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 colorful 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
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
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 neighborhoods. 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
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 unrivaled 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!
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