Ultimate European plus Egypt | Start London | 2024
from $12217
Duration: 45 Days
Two week holidays are for the time poor, and that ain't you. A month and a half will get you through an entire Europe guidebook. From Romania to Switzerland & Istanbul to Amsterdam, you're about to cover some serious ground. With included flights and ferries and enough activities to take your breath away, this is nothing short of a trip of a lifetime. And it's all topped off with a trip to the exotic lands of Egypt.
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 Swiss Alps
Out with the city life, in with the fresh mountain air. On leaving Paris we’ll coast through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy before crossing the border to Switzerland. With magical views unfolding outside our windows we'll find ourselves in Switzerland, 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 check out the local nightlife and foodie scene, as well as load up on Swiss chocolate.
Day 4
Swiss Alps
Open the window of your room and drink in the incredible view. Today you’re free to explore this classic European adventure town. Feeling extra adventurous? Today is your chance to ascend Jungfrau mountain, aka ‘the Top of the World’.
Day 5
Swiss Alps to Beaujolais
It’s been sweet, but we’re swapping Switzerland back for France again this morning. 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 6
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 sunrise yoga on the sprawling lawn of the Château's gardens 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 7
Beaujolais 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 8
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 9
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 10
French Riviera
Relaxation on the French Riviera... what could be better?! Market hopping, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and an optional bike ride with the coastline as the backdrop are on the agenda today.  This evening we add even more glamour to your life with a visit to Monaco. Don a fancy necklace and pop a plum in your mouth - we're about to embark on the lifestyle of the rich and famous. After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
Day 11
French Riviera to Venice
Wake up and smell the… French perfume! Today you’ll visit a Perfumery, where you’ll take a look around and even have the chance to craft a signature scent of your own. Afterwards, it’s farewell to the French Riviera and off to Italy. Pizza, pasta, and charming locals are just around the corner. The floating city of gondolas, canals and pretty bridges - what a splendid way to commence our Italian love affair. Rest up tonight, you'll want to be ready for tomorrow's magical agenda.
Day 12
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. Next, you have the option to discover Venice on a traditional gondola ride, or take a guided cruise out to the UNESCO heritage site of Burano. At this picture-perfect fisherman’s island decorated with gorgeous technicolour houses, you’ll visit a local family restaurant and indulge in the best seafood feast you’ve ever experienced.
Day 13
Venice to Florence
After winding through the Apennine Mountains & visiting the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, we'll glide through Tuscany towards Renaissance Florence. Here we will drink up the secret streets & sacred art around the city's towering Duomo Cathedral. 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. The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair at a Free Time Add-On dinner - think olives, pastas, focaccia, meats & wine.
Day 14
Florence to Rome
This morning is the perfect balance of guided local wisdom and free time to roam. First we'll uncover the beautiful art of traditional leatherwork, then you’re free to make the most of your final hours in Florence. Finally with a heartfelt ‘ciao’ to Florence, we’re bound for the epicenter of Italy: the Eternal City of Rome. After we drift through the rustic Tuscan hillsides of cypress trees and glowing fields, we'll be back city side in the Italian capital of Rome. Starting with a city walking tour, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona are just some of the icons we'll be casting our eyes upon before the sun sets.
Day 15
When in Rome... This is the day to learn a thing or two about the Colosseum & do a bit of your own exploring. Espressos and people watching should be high priority, as well as stuffing yourself to the brim with pasta, gelato and caprese salad all washed down with a glass of red at a local trattoria.
Day 16
Rome to Adriatic Ferry
The majestic site of Mt. Vesuvius will interlude our trip from Rome to Bari, our ferry port for today's border leap into Greece. Once a totally vibing hang-out of the Romans, Pompeii is now an archaeological site showing remains of what was destroyed by a mountain eruption in the year...wait for it...79AD. The saying "step back in time" is about to take on a whole new meaning. Let your feet walk their last few steps on Italian soil before we hit the seas for an overnight ferry ride en route to Greece.
Day 17
Adriatic Ferry to Athens
Full steam ahead this morning, our course is set for Athens via the Corinth Canal. Oh hello there...we're pulling up in Greece! The awe of this country's mainland will begin shortly after our arrival as we catch a glimpse of Corinth Canal. This man-made passageway squeezes boats through it's path, sandwiched by two steep cliffs and sitting over gloriously blue ocean. The awe of Greece's mainland will begin shortly as we catch a glimpse of Corinth Canal. This man-made passageway squeezes boats through it's path, sandwiched by two steep cliffs and sitting over glorious blue ocean. Docking here, we’ll make tracks overland for Athens. A collage of ancient wonders & modern magnificence, the allure of Athens is hard to resist. We'll jump straight in with a sightseeing tour of Athens. Our Local Guide will escort us through the history of the city visiting the Parthenon & Acropolis, followed by a visit to the first & original 'modern' (read: 1896) Olympic stadium.
Day 18
Athens to Cairo
This morning is ours to soak up the last few hours of Athens, before we swap one ancient city for another and jet plane it to Cairo. Landing in Cairo, we'll find a city of ornate mosques, sparkling skyscrapers & sprawling avenues of 19th-century faded grandeur awaiting us. Egypt's capital is full of energy, but we'll save the proper exploring for tomorrow. Tonight, how about a cruise on the Nile with a buffet dinner & show?
Day 19
Cairo to Aswan
Get ready for a sensory overload of the best possible variety. Markets & mayhem are on every corner, with stops for hummus and tea proving very essential. Of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World only one remains, and today you will be seeing it up close and personal. Get the tissues ready, seeing the iconic Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza in all their 4,600 year old glory will make for a day that stirs you to the very core. Tonight it's an overnight train to Aswan - nothing gives you a more up-close look at a place than riding local!
Day 20
Today is all about the African vibes - how easy it is to forget that Egypt actually spans North Africa! Also in Aswan you'll be pleased to no end by colorful markets, bakeries & cafés. Walk along the Nile before we hop aboard a wooden felucca sailboat and float up to lush botanical gardens. After a few drinks with the team we'll continue our epic journey, following the yellow desert road to Luxor.
Day 21
Aswan to Luxor
Taking a flight over Abu Simbel's Temple of Ramses II, an Egyptian desert and Lake Nasser - now there's a way to spend a day. If that isn't quite enough, perhaps listening to some Nubian music, eating spicy tomato okra and enjoying the palm-fringed Nile will see you satisfied. After a few drinks with the team we'll continue our epic journey, following the yellow desert road to Luxor.
Day 22
Luxor to Red Sea
Only on a trip to Egypt would ancient royal tombs make a casual appearance on our daily agenda. Venturing to the Valley of the Kings known as 'City of the Dead,' our local guide will take us to some of the 63 royal tombs found here. Later, choose to visit the Temple of Karnak where we can find the world’s largest religious structure, the Temple of Amun. Across the Eastern Desert to the Red Sea Resort of Hurghada - tonight we are retracing ancient trade routes & getting in the mood for tomorrow's day of ocean magnificence.
Day 23
Red Sea to Cairo
No matter which choose-your-own-adventure path you take today, it's probably going to land you submerged in the sea and absorbing a good burst of Egyptian sunshine. If beach hangs aren't quite enough, take the optional cruise to the jaw dropping coral reefs of the Red Sea & see if that hits the spot. Back to where our Egyptian odyssey kicked off - the colorful city of Cairo. It's our last evening here before we head back to Europe and reconnect with the rest of the pack. Make the most of it.
Day 24
Cairo to Athens
That's it for Egypt, time to hit the skies and head back to Europe where another 19-days of endless extraordinary times are waiting for us. Oh hey Athens, it feels like forever since we last hung out! And same goes for our Contiki posse. Enjoy this reunion night then it's back on the road tomorrow - the good times never stop.
Day 25
Athens to Kavala
By now you should be well and truly acquainted with all things Athens and ready to embark on our next venture. This time tomorrow we'll be on a whole new continent. Before arrival in our final destination in this fine country we'll see Greece’s highest peak, Mt Olympus, and the grounds of Thermopylae, where an ancient battle of 300 vs. thousands proved size really doesn't matter. The coastal town of Kavala is our nest for the evening. Down your last Greek salad, cheers the country over a glass of ouzo and sleep well in preparation for our next few days in Turkey.
Day 26
Kavala to Canakkale
From the comfort of our ferry as it crosses the Dardanelles, get your pout out and blow your final kiss in the direction of Greece. We'll be carving up the seas making our way to...ASIA! Ah, the traveler's life. This afternoon we discover that "Troy" means more than just a Hollywood blockbuster; so much more. Our Local Guide will unravel the historical layers of a ten year war & what is now a mythical excavation site. Continent crossed!! There aren't likely to be many times in your life that you'll do that at sea level. Welcome to Asia & just as importantly, welcome to Turkey.
Day 27
Canakkale to Istanbul
So long Canakkale, we're off to the only city in the world split over two continents, incredible Istanbul. Though a few days of fun times and city frolics are ahead of us, we will start our Turkish explorations on a sobering note by visiting the battlegrounds of Gallipoli. Unlike anywhere else on earth, Istanbul is set to capture your heart and imagination. Rest up tonight and the city is yours from sunrise.
Day 28
The Blue Mosque with its interior of 20,000 handmade tiles; lively spice markets; bazaars bursting at the sides with silver & jewels. Istanbul is one place we'll really have to drag you away from. Our Local Guide will show you the hotspots, and you're always free to  get lost and uncover some secrets of your own. Just be sure to find your way back if you're keen for the traditional Turkish evening with dinner and a show.
Day 29
A city like this needs more than a day on our calendar. Take in the sites you missed yesterday or if you're all explored out, go unwind at a "hammam" spa for a Turkish bath. Then drink endless tea and eat  your body weight in baklava and you've had the full Turkey experience.
Day 30
Istanbul to Black Sea
Crossing the border from Turkey to Bulgaria, we'll arrive at the Black Sea late afternoon. Here we'll be greeted by coastal resort towns and bar-lined waterfronts, where we'll be headed this evening to enjoy some dinner and a taste of the local nightlife.
Day 31
Black Sea to Bucharest
After a free morning to spend beachside, we'll set our sights for Romania.  Crossing the border, we'll arrive in Bucharest this afternoon to discover beautiful architecture, street art, rooftop cafes, and an ornate Parliament building with enough steel, bronze, marble, crystal and wood that combine to make it the heaviest in the world! You'll have free time this afternoon and evening to explore the city, maybe checking out the open air museum 'Dimitrie Gusti' with depictions of village life, exploring the colorful umbrella passage between Universitate and Victoriei, or tasting an authentic traditional meal in the Old City or one of the local bistros.
Day 32
Bucharest to Transylvania
Departing Bucharest after breakfast, we'll set our sights for none other than Transylvania. Of course, a stay in Transylvania wouldn't be complete without a drive to Bran Castle to visit the real life setting that inspired Dracula, before driving on towards Cluj-Napoca. Here we'll get acquainted with the city, with Saxon and Hungarian landmarks, one of the biggest old town squares in Southeastern Europe, a beautiful Botanical Garden, fortified Cetățuia Monastery and a 15th century tower. With a free evening tonight, you'll also have the chance to explore the local nightlife and bar scene.
Day 33
Transylvania to Budapest
We'll leave behind the ghosts of Transylvania's past and hit the road for Budapest.  Fun fact #1: Buda and Pest are two different cities separated by a river, together they make Budapest. Fun fact #2: You're going to be head over heels with both of them by the time we scoot outta here. Down goulash and cabbage rolls on tonight's optional cruise to get into the Hungarian spirit of things.
Day 34
Throw yourself into the sightseeing this morning with the church of St. Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge. That way you'll really earn an afternoon soaking in the city's famous outdoor thermal pools set amongst Art Nouveau architecture. Blissed out in Budapest - there's an insta caption for you.
Day 35
Budapest to Salzburg
Bye Budapest! Normally we’d be devastated to be leaving, but with Austria on the horizon we have strudel and music to look forward to. Onwards and upwards we go, into the mountain ranges that made the Sound of Music famous. Also home to Mozart, you can be pretty certain Salzburg knows a tune! This evening you’ll have the chance to venture off the beaten track and visit a working farm in the hills above Salzburg where the local family will invite us into their home to eat, drink and learn about their lives. This family have lived on the farm for many generations and now look to tourism to help support them and their local community, with food sourced from local farms and fruit for the schnaps from the village.
Day 36
Salzburg to Austrian Tyrol
Morning Salzburg! Today you’ll have the chance to sign up for a tour of the Sights & Sounds of Salzburg before we say goodbye to Salzburg and continue on in our discovery of Austria. Breathe in that fresh alpine air and take in the dreamy setting we’ve descended upon. Here in the Austrian Tyrol we'll be resting up in a Contiki Special Stay, a local Austrian Gasthof (guest house) that's waiting for us with open arms. This is the perfect cozy retreat to relax and swap stories with our crew, while tucking into authentic Austrian food and local beer prepared fresh on site.
Day 37
Austrian Tyrol
Wake up, peel open your curtains, and take in the magnificence of your view...and your life in general. 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, carry on sighing with happiness.
Day 38
Austrian Tyrol to Munich
Polish off your stay in Austria with an optional whitewater rafting adventure - that should get the adrenaline pumping and excitement high for our impending visit to Germany. A city famous the world over for its annual beer festival is a city we need to know about. And luckily enough, its Bavarian culture is a year round attraction. You can explore the side streets of Munich on an optional bike tour, or go it on your own and see what you stumble upon.
Day 39
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 40
Today is the day we get to know the real Prague. The evening will see us immerse ourselves in Czech culture with an optional Traditional Czech evening, featuring a folklore show and dinner.
Day 41
Prague to Berlin
You may have fallen head over heels for Prague, but we have so many more places to be! Back on the coach, we'll roll on to our next country, Germany. A drive from Prague to Berlin wouldn't be complete without stopping in Dresden. Sadly destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence. We'll spot them all on a tour of the best spots before hitting the road again. 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 an included dinner tonight, ready for a full day of exploring tomorrow.
Day 42
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 43
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 it’s off to the A’DAM Swing for potentially the best view of the city (plus a go on Europe’s highest swing.) After that, you're free to explore the city however you like – there’s plenty of nightlife to keep you going ’til the early hours.
Day 44
Today starts with some free time to explore Amsterdam however you like – don’t miss the canals, bars and wonderful museums. We’ll reconvene this evening for an (optional) dinner at 1ste Klasse, a historic Amsterdam restaurant built into the old first class waiting room at Central Station. Afterwards, we’re off for a canal cruise (aren’t we lucky?)
Day 45
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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