European Whirl | Classic | Start London | Summer 2024
from $4439
Duration: 18 Days
Dreaming of your European adventure, but don't know where to start? Welcome to the European Whirl. Taking in all the iconic hotspots you could want through Paris, Rome and Amsterdam, it also ventures to the east to the trendy must-see cities of Berlin and Prague, not to mention swoon-worthy flings with the Austrian Tyrol and Michelangelo's Florence. Along the way you can expect private boats through Venetian canals, an exclusive Paris by Night tour and a blissful balance of active adventures, local experiences, foodie hotspots and total relaxation. It's the perfect way to see this blockbuster continent in all its glory.
Day 1
London to Amsterdam
The adventure of a lifetime kicks off today. Meet up with your new Contiki family in 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 through Belgium before reaching...Amsterdam! Tonight, the famed-for-fun Amsterdam is ours to explore. First fill up on your included group dinner, then an undisguised Red Light District & plenty of bars are there for the curious.
Day 2
Amsterdam is cute as a button & sure to win your heart with its canals, obscure museums & a café culture like no other. This afternoon use your time to get local, bar hop, museum crawl, and see what other tastes take your fancy, this town is famous for pancakes, frites and so much more.
Day 3
Amsterdam to Berlin
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.
Day 4
Get into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveler, 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.
Day 5
Berlin to Prague via Dresden
"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 re-birthed beauty of the 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 Bohemian Kings and gothic history.
Day 6
With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antiques & you cheers-ing local beer; not to mention life! Tonight, you could see yourself spending the evening indulging in traditional Czech cuisine while admiring the local folklore dancers as the sun goes down on the 'City of a Thousand Spires'.
Day 7
Prague to Munich
Pack your bags and say your goodbyes to the city of Prague. Germany is just next door and we've been invited in for a spot of fun! This place isn't just an Oktoberfest affair, Munich is lovable year round. And thankfully, it gets into the spirit of Bavarian beer culture year round too. The town square with a famous Glockenspiel is high priority on today's agenda.
Day 8
Munich to Austrian Tyrol
Goodbye Munich, hello mountains. We're hitting the road in search of lands so sweet they made The Sound of Music. Next up, Contiki’s very own Austrian Gasthof (guest house) is waiting for us with open arms. Before we swing into action with a themed party, get outside and explore the dreamy setting we've descended upon, or opt for tandem paragliding for those thrill seekers among us or take to the hills like Heidi on a bike ride.
Day 9
Austrian Tyrol to Venice
Wake up roamers, we have a bountiful breakfast and a floating city in Italy to tend to. Life's tough! You'll think you've seen enough beauty for one day after taking in the Central Austrian Alps & Brenner Pass en route to Italy. And then we'll arrive in Venice & your jaw will hit the floor over hidden lanes, story book bridges & a private canal boat ride.
Day 10
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 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 wasn't built in a day - so get up and get going early to make the most of this ancient city. You can also choose to uncover the home of the Pope at the Vatican Museums, including Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel with a Local Guide on your side, no question will go unanswered. Then hit the streets for your own discoveries. Snap pink azaleas by the Colosseum, throw coins in fountains and sip espresso in a pretty street watching Italian life float by.
Day 12
Rome to Florence
We may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over… The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Take a moment to take in the unique beauty of this beautiful city where culture and la dolce vita is evident in every direction you look at. We'll wander along the banks of the Arno before hanging a right into a cobble-stoned wonderland, filled with history and beauty alike. Then we'll learn the art of Florentine leather before venturing off to see what this "city of dreams" has in store for the afternoon. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at an optional dinner - think olives, cured meats, crostini & wine.
Day 13
Florence to Swiss Alps
That's it for our feasting on all things Florence. With the Swiss Alps in our sights, the devastation of leaving this place should be well and truly numbed. Arrive in a picture perfect setting ready for two nights at our accommodation in the heart of this traditional resort town. 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 14
Swiss Alps
Plenty of views await us today (and if you can find words to do them justice, we applaud you). We’ll head to the top of Jungfrau Mountain via cog train and cable car. Want to spike your adrenaline levels too? No probs. You’ll also have the chance to go on the canyon swing.
Day 15
Swiss Alps to Beaujolais Wine Region
Out with the altitude, into France for a brand new day and a brand new country. Once we've crossed the border out of Switzerland we will be coasting into wine and cheese territory on our scenic journey to Beajolais. Tonight's the night we camp out at Contiki’s very own 16th century Château. Well, we say camp, but this might be the most royal experience of your life. Pool parties, wine tasting at the fully functoning winery, strolling the dreamy French many ways to kill time, each as unforgettable as the next. We'll also try some local delicacies with an included group dinner (washed down with local wine, naturally). 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 16
Beaujolais Wine Region to Paris
Yes, yes, we know you want to stay here forever, but  the show must go on. And there is more French fabulousness just around the corner, we promise. 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.
Day 17
Pastries, paintings, perfume - Paris is yours! We'll take you to the glamorous Fragonard perfumery, then the time is yours to roam tree-lined quartiers, wander Le Marais for food, shop up a storm on the Champs Elysee, or get arty in the galleries of the Louvre. It's our last night together - make it count with can-can girls & a Cabaret show.
Day 18
Paris to London
Soak up your last dose of Paris and feel the astonishment of how much you've seen. And how close you've grown to your loved-up Contiki collective.  What a journey, on arrival in London say a fond farewell to the group as you wrap up the journey on arrival.
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