European Escapade | Start London | Summer | 2024
from $5708
Duration: 23 Days
From Rome to the Rhine Valley, not a minute of your European Escapade will be wasted. For 23 unforgettable days, you'll travel through all of your bucket list destinations, for a heart-pounding, non-stop adventure. From Contiki's exclusive Chateau in the vineyards of the Beaujolais Wine Region, through Spain, Italy, Germany and more - not to mention an eye-widening encounter with the Swiss Alps - this kaleidoscope of history, culture and nature will leave you dizzily devoted to all things Europe.
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.  We'll kick off our trip as we arrive in the glittering city of love, Paris. It's straight down to business with a tour of the city lit up by those famous lights. Then, we'll bond with our Contiki fam with a delicious included dinner. The French are proud of their culinary culture for a reason.
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
Farewell French capital! We're off in search of charming countryside & legit, straight from the source vino. With its medieval stature and grand surrounding ponds, Château Fontainebleau will take your breath away. We'll amble around the gardens then recommence our scenic journey to Beaujolais. Tonight's the night we camp out at Contiki’s very own 16th century Château. We say "camp" but this might be the most royal experience of your life. Wine tasting at the Château’s working winery is just one of the ways we'll kill time while we're here.  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
Chateau de Cruix to Barcelona
Bye-bye Beaujolais! And hello Barcelona. The Pyrénées mountains will keep our eyes satisfied today as we roll across the border for Spain's most lively city. Each day as sweet as the last. Well would you look at that for timing, we've pulled into Barcelona just on sangria o'clock. Fate, you've done it again! Tapas and a night exploring the city should have us in the Spanish mood before we know it.
Day 6
Cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter, Montjuic hilltop vistas, & wild Spanish architecture will season our day to perfection. There's plenty of free time to roam free or take a dip in the Mediterranean sea, just don't tire yourself out - chances are you'll want to partake in the evening of Flamenco fun.
Day 7
Barcelona to French Riviera
As smitten as we are by Barcelona, we have more of Europe to conquer. Much, much more... After a dreamy drive across the border into France through landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs, we'll arrive at our lunch break town of Arles. Here we will get a peek at an ancient Roman Arena and at a typical provincial French town. You're not a real celebrity until you've frolicked on the French Riviera, and who are we to keep you off the A-List? Sapphire waters & endless glamour as we roll through this glitzy coastline.
Day 8
French Riviera
This morning we'll take in the crystal blue waters of the Riviera, cobble stone streets and charming markets! Later we take a scenic drive along the Côte d'Azur shows us everything we want to know about the French Riviera, as we make our way to the heart of it all, Monaco. It wouldn't be a true visit to Monaco without seeing the Royal Palace and the Monte Carlo casino, and that's exactly what we'll look for first. Then, what better place to spend your last night in France? You have a free evening to don your glad rags, spritz on some of your new perfume & rub shoulders with the high rollers, before it's back along the coast tonight. Monaco, you've been a real winner today. Winding our way back along the Côte d'Azur, we'll say goodbye to the flash pack and set our sights for bed.
Day 9
French Riviera to Florence via Pisa
After almost a week in France you'll be full to the brim with all things French and ready for new ground. Italy, perhaps? No trip around Europe is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, we'll be on the fast-track to Florence. Dancing and dinner in Tuscany. Is that the Duomo Cathedral we see, looming large over the pretty city? Now you know you’re in Florence. Tonight we’ll start our Italian adventure with an optional Tuscan feast (yum), then afterwards we’re off for a night out with dancing aplenty.
Day 10
Today is a perfect balance of guided wisdom, food and free time to roam. Take the opportunity to explore streets bursting with heritage and delicious flavors in an optional walking tour, or take yourself to the local markets and down some gelato.  Tonight, opt to learn how to make the perfect pizza at a local restaurant and indulge in your very own culinary masterpiece
Day 11
Florence to Rome
Farewell Florence - today we have the epicenter of Italy on our horizons. Pizza, piazzas...we're coming in hot. When in Rome...take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine. After our drift through the rustic Tuscan hillsides of cypress trees and glowing fields, we'll be back city side in the Italian capital of Rome. The Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona are just some of the icons we'll be casting our eyes upon before the sun sets.
Day 12
Open your eyes this morning and give yourself a few minutes to let the reality sink in … you may even need to pinch yourself a few times. Yes, you are actually in Rome! Opt to be guided around the Roman Forum and Colosseum first up, continuing to file info into the brain under "mind-blowing historical facts." The rest of the day is yours to chow pizza, sip coffee, watch the Vespas fly by, and just generally get in the swing of all things Italian.
Day 13
Rome to Venice
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over... Kudos to the cats of decades gone who constructed this lagoon fairytale. Boats, bridges, gondolas; your heart is going to pound. Start off this evening with an optional walking tour that not only shows you the sights but also finishes with traditional Venetian cicchetti, washed down with an aperitivo.
Day 14
Wake-up sleeping beauties! Venice is yours for the entirety of this glorious Italian day. We'll be jumping aboard our own private boat and hitting the canals en route to the historical heart of the city. You have the chance to become truly Venetian with a gondola ride up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.
Day 15
Venice to Austrian Tyrol
Today we'll arrive in the adventure sports mecca of Tyrol, where you can explore the nooks of this scenic little mountain region & get to know its wild side with thrill-seeking experiences.
Day 16
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 17
Austrian Tyrol to Munich
Farewell life in the blissful Austrian Alps, but don't give up on your Sound of Music image just yet. We'll leave Austria this morning in search of lands that prove the setting still exists. Farewell life in the blissful Austrian Alps, but don't give up on your Sound of Music image just yet. We'll leave Austria this morning in search of lands that prove the setting still exists. Bavarian culture, a famous Glockenspiel and charm aplenty. Munich doesn't just turn it on during Oktoberfest! Explore peaceful gardens and legendary beer halls or join in the bike tour and explore the side streets you wouldn't usually see, starting out with a city tour and a visit to a beer hall.
Day 18
Munich to Swiss Alps
Goodbye Munich, hello mountains. We'll make a well earned pit stop in the capital of the tiny country of the Principality of Liechtenstein - famous for being double landlocked - surrounded by the two already landlocked countries of Switzerland and Austria, now there's a fact we bet you never thought you would learn. Arrive in this picture perfect setting ready for two nights. This place comes to life as the sun sets, so tonight we'll have a chance to spend our free time checking out the local nightlife and foodie scene.
Day 19
Swiss Alps
Open the window of your room & drink in the incredible view - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! Feel free to explore this classic European adventure town.
Day 20
Swiss Alps to Rhine Valley
Out with the altitude, into Germany for a brand new day and a brand new country. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting into beer and wine territory in the castle dotted landscapes of the Rhine Valley. We keep the suspense with a stop off in Heidelberg and its medieval vibes which are matched only by its student vibes before we're back on the road. After the scenic journey of fairytale castles, vineyards and valleys, you'll be charmed before we even arrive in Germany's famous Rhine Valley. This back-in-time town is our wine tasting host for the evening. Squeal!!!
Day 21
Rhine Valley to Amsterdam
This morning we'll drag you all away from Germany kicking and screaming that you want to stay forever. Only to see you equally infatuated with another dot on the European map hours later. You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. We'll cycle into the countryside to see windmills & picturesque Dutch houses on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house.  Flashing red lights, pretty canals, crooked buildings, cafes bursting with pizza + chocolate + French fries. Amsterdam is all that and way too many bags of chips.
Day 22
It's our last full day on tour & 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.
Day 23
Amsterdam to London
Get your tissues ready, it's time to say goodbye to your new Contiki family. We'll escort you to Schiphol Airport by about 10am. This afternoon we cross from France to England and then back to London-town, where you'll be left to start dreaming up your next big adventure.
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