European Grandeur (Summer 2019)
About London, United Kingdom
- Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests to enjoy dinner and wine in the heart of Paris at a local restaurant.
- Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on a gourmet walking tour off the beaten track.
- Bordeaux: Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner which has been cooked with local, fresh produce.
- San Sebastian: Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, with an evening of pintxos. Your progressive dinner enables you to select a variety of snack-sized treats, each with their own flavour and presentation, making each guest's meal unique. Be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.
- Avignon: At a local farm learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce.
- Venice: In St Marks Square at sunset, long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels, sip Bellini cocktails canal-side before dinner at a local restaurant.
- Vienna: Café Central has been frequented by many of the elite, including revolutionary Trotsky and psychoanalyst Freud, since 1876. Still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers, a local shares tales of a by-gone era, as you enjoy delicious Viennese specialities of coffee and Sachertorte.
- Lucerne: Choose from a selection of fine restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
- Dining Summary: 26 Breakfasts (B), 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 8 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.
- Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
- Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
- Stanserhorn: Meet a Swiss ranger on your spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn, where you will learn about the local wildlife.
- Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is punctuated by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing of one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments located along the Middle Rhine.
Stay in Style
- Paris: Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine, Paris Marriott Rive Gauche hotel is a modern property offering luxurious accommodation within close proximity to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
- Bordeaux: The modern Pullman Bordeaux Lac is located on the lakefront and surrounded by vineyards.
- Madrid: The unique Sercotel Gran Hotel Conde Duque near the Gran via of Madrid provides a lovely base for exploration of Madrid.
- Avignon: The Cloître Saint-Louis has been recently-renovated and was originally a 16th century Jesuit building and a military hospital.
- Nice: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice is set on a stunning seafront location along the famous Promenade des Anglais.
- Rome: The Veneto Palace Hotel is located in the monumental and unique scenery of ancient Rome, not far from Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain and Villa Borghese, which is the largest park in central Rome. The guest rooms offer a classic style that blends in perfect harmony with the style of the building.
- Venice: A hotel with traditional and modern elements, the Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio is complete with a door opening onto a canal.
- Vienna: Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
- Lucerne: The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
- Amsterdam The Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam is a five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from the city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.
Top Rated Highlights
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London to Paris via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Amboise: See the Royal Château beside the Loire River.
- Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Théâtre, Triangle d’Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
- Burgos: See the burial place of El Cid in the magnificent Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
- Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert.
- Toledo: Visit the Church of Santo Tomé to see an El Greco's masterpiece.
- Barcelona: Explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter with your Local Expert. See the cathedral, walk through the Roman gate and tour the narrow lanes and old squares. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.
- Avignon: View the Pont d'Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
- Nice: Take some time to stroll the Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.
- Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit and wander the old town with your Travel Director to see the Royal Palace and the yacht-filled harbour.
- Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated baptistery.
- Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
- Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
- Postojna Caves: Explore the remarkable natural wonder of the Postojna Caves. Venture through a series of caverns and passages, hollowed out by the Pivka River for over two million years.
- Zagreb: Your Local Expert will show you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark’s Church and the Tower of Lotrščak.
- Vienna: Tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- Salzburg: Join your Local Expert for a visit to the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and Residence Square - both locations used in 'The Sound of Music'. You will also see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse.
- Innsbruck: Enjoy an orientation with your Travel Director as you walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
- Vaduz: Admire the Royal family’s residence, Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital and is surrounded by year-round snow peaked mountains.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
- Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the old waterways, where the wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
- Eurostar: Travel to Brussels to board the high-speed Eurostar train to London via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Scenic Drives: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates. Relax and take in the scenery of the Pyrenees Mountains, Guadarrama Mountains, Castilian Plain, French Riviera, Tuscany, Chianti, Umbria, Apennine Mountains, Valley of the River Po, Styria, Swiss Alps and Rhine Valley.
You will visit the following 11 places:
The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country, a land of colourful tulip fields and canals, sophisticated cities and some of the most striking coastline in Northern Europe. The people, language, and culture of the Netherlands are referred to as "Dutch". At the head of the state sits the country's constitutional monarchy, whose palaces dominate many of the larger cities, including The Hague and the gorgeous capital city, Amsterdam. Its small size, welcoming attitude to travellers and many wonderful sights make it a unique and fairly easy to discover destination and a great addition to any European trip.
Croatia is an Eastern European country with a long coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Ranking the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, Croatia is blessed with a wealth of natural riches, boasting almost 2000km of rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, many blanketed in luxuriant vegetation. Even during the heavily visited months of July and August there are still enough off-the-beaten-track islands, quiet coves and stone-built fishing villages to make you feel as if you’re visiting Europe at its most unspoiled.
Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Central Europe. It is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire and an independent nation with very close ties to Switzerland. It enjoys a very high standard of living and is home to some incredibly beautiful mountain scenery. The principality's capital, Vaduz, is mainly a modern city and a major centre of commerce and international banking. Liechtenstein is also known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes and villages linked by a network of trails.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. While still named the Swiss Confederation for historical reasons, modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, called '"federal city". Situated in Western-Central Europe, Switzerland is also a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. One of the most developed countries in the world, Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails.
Spain – one of Europe’s most top travel destinations for its fantastic beaches, islands, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning and diverse countryside, buzzing nightlife, delicious cuisine and world-famous fiestas! The country is a friendly, multicultural society dedicated to building curious minds, positive attitudes and creative spirits. With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip.
Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most unique and charming countries on the continent. Since reunification Germany has at last gained a higher profile as a place to visit, thanks partly to the remarkable resurgence of its capital, Berlin, one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in Europe. It's no surprise at all that today’s Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured nationalism and tradition with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.
Austria is a German-speaking federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is characterized by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, Imperial history and rugged alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schonbrunn and Hofburg palaces, and has counted Mozart, Strauss and Sigmund Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Lake Traun and eastern hillside vineyards.
Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend, particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction. All these people come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, long Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian's dream that is Normandy. The country seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. France citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development.