This extensive holiday stretches through Central Europe from London to Rome, then along the Mediterranean to Spain and France to reach Paris. Begin with a ferry ride across the English Channel and join your motorcoach to Amsterdam for guided sightseeing and a canal cruise. Follow the banks of the Rhine with its many castles and visit romantic Heidelberg. Then travel on to Switzerland for two overnights by the shores of Lake Lucerne surrounded by impressive alpine landscapes. Stop in subtropical Lugano and continue south into Italy, visiting Verona en route to the unique floating city of Venice with its St. Mark’s Square and Basilica. More Italian masterpieces await in Assisi, St. Francis’ home; Rome with its Roman Forum and Colosseum; and Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance,” with its incredible architecture and works of art. On to the mild climate of the French Riviera. Experience an optional evening in Monte Carlo, visit Avignon, and overnight in Carcassonne, a wonderful example of a medieval fortified city. In Spain, spend two nights each in Barcelona and Madrid with included guided sightseeing tours. Travel north into Castile, stopping in El Cid’s Burgos, then to Basque Country for an overnight in Bilbao before exploring the jewels of France: Bordeaux, Poitiers, Loire Valley, Orleans, and Paris, the splendid “City of Light.”
2017-11-25
2017-12-17
$3544 $3544

The Grand European

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 23 DAYSPrice : FROM $3594Country : UNITED KINGDOM
Book now
Avignon, France
Provence, FranceFlorence, ItalyMadrid, SpainAmsterdam, HollandLe Louvre, Paris, France © Atout France - Maurice SubervieSpain

This extensive holiday stretches through Central Europe from London to Rome, then along the Mediterranean to Spain and France to reach Paris. Begin with a ferry ride across the English Channel and join your motorcoach to Amsterdam for guided sightseeing and a canal cruise. Follow the banks of the Rhine with its many castles and visit romantic Heidelberg. Then travel on to Switzerland for two overnights by the shores of Lake Lucerne surrounded by impressive alpine landscapes. Stop in subtropical Lugano and continue south into Italy, visiting Verona en route to the unique floating city of Venice with its St. Mark’s Square and Basilica. More Italian masterpieces await in Assisi, St. Francis’ home; Rome with its Roman Forum and Colosseum; and Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance,” with its incredible architecture and works of art. On to the mild climate of the French Riviera. Experience an optional evening in Monte Carlo, visit Avignon, and overnight in Carcassonne, a wonderful example of a medieval fortified city. In Spain, spend two nights each in Barcelona and Madrid with included guided sightseeing tours. Travel north into Castile, stopping in El Cid’s Burgos, then to Basque Country for an overnight in Bilbao before exploring the jewels of France: Bordeaux, Poitiers, Loire Valley, Orleans, and Paris, the splendid “City of Light.”

Included in the price

  • Individual Headsets
  • Sightseeing: Visits to Heidelberg, Lucerne, Lugano, Verona, Venice, Assisi, Pisa, Avignon, Carcassonne, Burgos, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Orleans.
  • Scenic Highlights: Rhineland, Swiss Alps, Pyrenees, Costa Brava, Basque Country, Cognac region, French Riviera, Chateaux Country.
  • Guides: Host service in London. Local Guides for city sightseeing in Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris. Professional Tour Director while touring.
  • Transportation: Round-trip transportation between London and the Channel ports; on the Continent, private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Cross-Channel ferry; canal transfer boat in Venice.
  • Hotels: Rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, porterage, tips, and service charges
  • Meals: 22 Buffet breakfasts (B); 7 dinners (D)including a dinner at a local restaurant in Florence.

Day 1: Arrive in London, England

Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2: London

A full day to savour our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London's landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight maybe a leisurely cruise on the Thames River? (B)

Day 3: London - Amsterdam Area, Holland

Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you embark on your FERRY for the Continent. Meet your Tour Director and board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area. (B)

Day 4: Amsterdam Area - Rhineland, Germany

Today, enjoy a CANAL CRUISE to see the town from water level, then watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTRE in Amsterdam. Later, sightseeing with a Local Guide points out the city highlights. In the afternoon, travel southward to the Rhineland area for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 5: Rhineland - Heidelberg - Lucerne Area, Switzerland

Drive through the scenic Rhineland this morning or, alternatively, take the optional Rhine River cruise and enjoy splendid scenery including the Lorelei rock. Next, drive into Germany's oldest university town, Heidelberg, nicely located at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine Rivers, for a short visit. In the afternoon, travel by way of the Autobahn into Switzerland for two overnights in the Lucerne area. (B)

Day 6: Lucerne

One of Switzerland's finest cities, Lucerne is nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and embellished by the clear mountain waters of the Reuss River. Your visit takes in the impressive city walls, CHAPEL BRIDGE, ornate patrician houses lining cobblestone streets, and the LION MONUMENT - a masterful stone sculpture in honour of the heroic Swiss Guard of Louis XVI. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cruise on the fjord-like lake or a cable-car ride to the 3 kilometre (10,000 foot) summit of Mount Titlis. (B)

Day 7: Lucerne Area - Lugano - Verona, Italy - Venice Area

More wonderful Alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround the massive St. Gotthard. Once through its great tunnel, you'll start your scenic descent into the warmer and sunnier ambiance of Canton Ticino. Stop in beautiful Lugano and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. Then, cross into Italy and drive across the Po Valley to Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. See Juliet's house and balcony, and stroll around the picturesque market square. Tonight you are in the Venice area. (B)

Day 8: Venice Area

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real live city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, and palaces. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE and is followed by some time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don't miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)

Day 9: Venice Area - Assisi - Rome

An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po Delta, and through the gentle Umbrian hills to Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (B)

Day 10: Rome

The "Eternal City" - a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in ST. PETER'S SQUARE, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM. (B)

Day 11: Rome - Pisa - Florence

Vistas of undulating hills, rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Take a break in Pisa to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, then on to Florence. (B)

Day 12: Florence

This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled for a whole day. Traffic is banned in part of the historic centre, so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city's timeless beauty in relative peace and quiet. Don't miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide that features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the "Gate of Paradise." Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 13: Florence - Italian Riviera - Eze, France - French Riviera

An early start this morning for the journey northwest with views of the Italian Riviera. Continue to France for a visit to a PERFUME WORKSHOP in Eze before travelling along the celebrated Cote d'Azur. An optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion with dinner is available. (B)

Day 14: French Riviera - Avignon - Carcassonne

Today's journey will take you through some of France's loveliest scenery, sun-drenched landscapes right out of Van Gogh's paintings, on the way through Provence. Stop for a visit in historic Avignon. Continue westwards to the impressive walled city of Carcassonne for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 15: Carcassonne - Barcelona, Spain

Enjoy a visit of this almost-untouched piece of medieval fortified architecture, still standing in all its walled glory with drawbridges, towers, battlements, watch turrets, ramparts, and even arrow-slits to repel the enemy. Later, drive by way of Perpignan across the border into Spain, to arrive in Barcelona for two overnights. (B)

Day 16: Barcelona

This morning's sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Montjuic to see the Olympic Stadium and a panoramic view of the port and city. The drive continues to the city centre to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi's architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batllo and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fee not included). (B)

Day 17: Barcelona - Madrid

See more of Catalonia as you drive northwest via Saragossa through the very heart of new Castille for two overnights in Spain's capital, Madrid. (B)

Day 18: Madrid

Not only because it's the capital of Spain, but also because it is situated 665 metres (2,180 feet) above sea level, the Spaniards say Madrid is the nearest thing to heaven. Enjoy the main highlights on the included sightseeing excursion. The optional trip to Toledo is most rewarding, too. The splendid setting is like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. (B,D)

Day 19: Madrid - Burgos - Bilbao

Climb Somosierra Pass, the boundary between Old and New Castille, before stopping in Burgos to visit the beautiful cathedral. On through Basque Country to Bilbao, now famous for four contemporary architects: Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Cesar Pelli, and Frank Gehry. (B,D)

Day 20: Bilbao - Bordeaux, France - Poitiers

A change of scenery as you travel into France across Gascony for an orientation of Bordeaux, the wine capital of France. Travel farther north by way of the Cognac area to Poitiers, of Black Prince fame. (B,D)

Day 21: Poitiers - Chateaux Country - Orleans - Paris

The autoroute L'Aquitaine will take you directly to Tours and along the Loire, passing the castles of Amboise and Chaumont. Stop in Orleans before reaching Paris in time to enjoy an optional excursion. (B)

Day 22: Paris

One full day to explore the city that's known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert shows off many of the best known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opera, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysees. Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles. (B)

Day 23: Paris

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Lucerne

Lucerne

Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, sited on Lake Lucerne, is embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, its souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby Excursion Mountains of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland.
Verona: Romeo & Juliet

Verona: Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare placed star-crossed Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Verona for good reason: romance, drama and fatal family feuds have been the city's hallmark for centuries. From the third century BC, Verona was a Roman trade centre, with ancient gates and a grand amphitheatre to prove it – but Shakespearean tragedy came with the territory. Lombard king Alboin, who conquered Verona in AD 569, was murdered by his wife three years later. After Mastino della Scala (aka Scaligeri) lost re-election to Verona's commune in 1262, he claimed absolute control, until murdered by his rivals. Mastino's son Cangrande I (1308–28) went on to conquer Padua and Vicenza, with Dante, Petrarch and Giotto benefitting from the city's patronage. But the fratricidal rage of Cangrande II (1351–59) complicated matters, and the Scaligeri were run out of town in 1387. Venice took definitive control in 1404, ruling until Napoleon's arrival in 1797.
Venice

Venice

Gliding gracefully on a gondola along a dreamy canal, it’s easy to see why a visit to Venice is on plenty of bucket lists. Known as the ‘City of Canals’ and the ‘City of Bridges’, the unique attractions in Venice are many. This magical island city gushes with beautiful bridges, arresting architecture and pulsating piazzas that will stir your soul and leave you longing for more.
Assisi

Assisi

The small town of Assisi is one of the Christian world’s most important pilgrimage sites as it is home of the Basilica di San Francesco. This small town has been an important place of pilgrimage for over 700 years and today now attracts an estimated 5 million visitors each year. Perched high above the flat valley floor next to Monte Subasio, the cobbled streets of Assisi wind across the hill with spectacular views of the valley below.
Pisa

Pisa

Once a maritime power to rival Genoa and Venice, Pisa now draws its fame from an architectural project gone terribly wrong. But the world-famous Leaning Tower is just one of many noteworthy sights in this compact and compelling city. Education has fuelled the local economy since the 1400s, and students from across Italy still compete for places in its elite university and research schools. This endows the centre of town with a vibrant and affordable cafe and bar scene, and balances what is an enviable portfolio of well-maintained Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas with a lively street life dominated by locals rather than tourists – a charm you will definitely not discover if you restrict your visit to Piazza dei Miracoli.
The historical centre of Avignon

The historical centre of Avignon

Avignon, located in southern France, in the very popular Vaucluse region, called the “City of the Popes”, has maintained its city walls and its historical centre, composed of the Papal Palace, the Episcopal ensemble and the Bridge of Avignon. These were registered as Unesco world heritage sites in 1995. The city is also the sublime backdrop for an international theatre festival.
The fortified city of Carcassonne

The fortified city of Carcassonne

Perched on a rocky hilltop and bristling with zig-zag battlements, stout walls and spiky turrets, from afar the fortified city of Carcassonne looks like something out of a children's storybook. It's most people's perfect idea of a medieval castle, and it's undoubtedly an impressive spectacle – not to mention one of the Languedoc's biggest tourist draws.
Burgos

Burgos

Burgos, a city in Castilla-Leon situated in the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela, still preserves important vestiges of its medieval splendour. The city, which was the capital of the unified kingdom of Castilla-Leon for five centuries, boasts a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture: the cathedral of Burgos, declared World Heritage. Aside from a visit to the historic quarter, you can take a quite interesting walk along the banks of the Duero and Arlanza rivers. Great places to approach a delicious, varied cuisine.
The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum

Instantly hailed as the most important structure of its time, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has celebrated more than a decade of extraordinary success. With over a hundred exhibitions and more than ten million visitors to its credit, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has changed the way people think about museums, and it continues to challenge assumptions about the connections between art, architecture, and collecting.
Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux, the capital of Southwest France has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007, the largest urban area ever to receive this acclaim. The heart of the historical sector offers a stunning beauty and unity of architectural style, with charming squares and parks, absorbing museums, and highly cultivated and bustling places of entertainment. It is a focal point of fine dining and shopping with fine cuisine in top class restaurants and friendly bistros at every turn inviting visitors to linger. High-fashion boutiques are situated in pedestrian streets featuring many famous international and well-known French brands. The name “Bordeaux” is always synonymous with quality, and often outstanding quality, for wine lovers. The largest and oldest fine wine vineyard in the world covers some 115,000 hectares of vines in 60 appellations. Bordeaux, the gateway to the most famous vineyards in the world…
Amsterdam

Amsterdam

What makes Amsterdam so attractive is the 17th century historical atmosphere combined with the mentality of a modern metropolis creating a friendly and relaxed environment. The small scale of the buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals and squares create an atmosphere that visitors find unique. The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Palace on the Dam, the Artis Zoo, Jewish Historical Museum and the Rembrandt House. Take a canal tour of Amsterdam and discover the historical canal district which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011. The best way to get around Amsterdam is on a bike. You won’t become any more local than by cycling around Amsterdam.
Florence

Florence

Florence's museums, palaces, and churches house some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. The most popular and important sites in Florence include the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Accademia. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are veritable art galleries, and the library of San Lorenzo is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural genius. Wander some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the "newest" area of Florence, the Oltrarno. Florence and its magnificent treasures await your visit!
Madrid: Plaza Mayor

Madrid: Plaza Mayor

Situated in the heart of Madrid, in the beautiful historic center, Plaza Mayor is the city’s main square and the point of departure for any visitor willing to discover the wonderful Madrid Old Town. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, this perfectly rectangular square, one of the largest in Europe, represents a major attraction in Madrid whether you’re looking for history, culture and impressive architecture, or just want to walk around and catch a glimpse of Madrilenos’ lifestyle.
Rhine River Cruise

Rhine River Cruise

The Rhine River in Germany boasts picturesque views of old castles, historical towns and cities, and German vineyards. In the summertime, "Rhine in Flames" takes place in the middle section of the river, featuring nightly fireworks. Travelers to Germany have a wide selection of many different types of Rhine River cruises from two-hour cruises to week-long cruises.
Vatican: St Peter's Basilica

Vatican: St Peter's Basilica

The Vatican City is the world's smallest sovereign state. What was once part of Rome was declared independent in 1929. The Vatican is the headquarters of the Holy Roman Church and it has fewer than 1,000 citizens. Inside its walls you will find vast collections of art, religious artifacts and rich traditions. In this city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro), Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular church. A monument to centuries of artistic genius, it contains some spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà , his breathtaking dome, and Bernini’s baldachin (canopy) over the papal altar.
Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome has two focal points: the Colosseum to the east, and the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) to the west. In between lie the forums: the more famous Roman Forum on the left of Via dei Fori Imperiali as you walk up from the Colosseum, and the Imperial Forums on the right. Rising above the Roman Forum, is the Palatino, and behind that the Circo Massimo. Continuing northwest from the Circo Massimo brings you to the Forum Boarium, ancient Rome’s cattle market and river port, where you’ll find the Bocca della Verità, Rome’s mythical lie detector. However, the ancient city’s most complete landmark, the Pantheon, is to be found in the Centro Storico, and the Vatican is home to Hadrian’s ancient mausoleum, adapted to become the Papal fortress of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Monaco

Monaco

Squeezed into just 200 hectares, this confetti principality might be the world’s second-smallest country (the Vatican is smaller), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in attitude. Glitzy, glam and screaming hedonism, Monaco is truly beguiling. Although a sovereign state, the principality's status is unusual. It is not a member of the European Union, yet it participates in the EU customs territory (meaning no border formalities crossing from France into Monaco) and uses the euro as its currency.
Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

In Barcelona, if you have time for only one sightseeing outing, this should be it. La Sagrada Família inspires awe by its sheer verticality, and in the manner of the medieval cathedrals it emulates, it’s still under construction after more than 100 years. When completed, the highest tower will be more than half as high again as those that stand today. Unfinished it may be, but it attracts around 2.8 million visitors a year and is the most visited monument in Spain. The most important recent tourist was Pope Benedict XVI, who consecrated the church in a huge ceremony in November 2010.
Paris: Eiffel Tower

Paris: Eiffel Tower

Once the tallest structure in the world, the Eiffel Tower is probably Europe's best known landmark and Paris's most famous symbol.You couldn't possibly visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Even if you do not want to visit this world famous structure, you will see its top from all over Paris. The tower rises 300 meters tall (984 ft); when it was completed at the end of the nineteenth century it was twice as high as the Washington Monument, at the time the tallest structure in the world.
Paris

Paris

A wealth of beautiful boulevards, inspiring monuments, impressive works of art and delicious French cuisine ensure Paris more than delivers on the ideals held of the ‘most romantic city in the world’. Millions of people flock to holiday in Paris every year; and with so much sightseeing, culture and romance to experience, your stay in the City of Love will no doubt leave you longing to return.
Paris: Champs Elysées

Paris: Champs Elysées

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is probably the most famous avenue in the world. This impressive street stretches from the Place the la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle, the site of the Arc de Triomphe.
Château de Versailles

Château de Versailles

Spotlight on the most famous jewels of France: Versailles Castle, well known as the Sun King's Estate ! The palace of Versailles is one of the most visited French monument because of its architecture, its gardens and also because of its history. It welcomes several millions of visitors each year. 
The Royal Chateau of Amboise

The Royal Chateau of Amboise

The Royal Château of Amboise welcomes you every day of the year (except on 1st January and on 25th December). This emblematic monument and its landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Loire valley, and are registered as a World Heritage site by Unesco. Each visit has its own special way of looking at this exceptional site of French history: its political and artistic importance within Europe in the Renaissance; intimate moments in the sovereigns' lives, daily life in Court and behind the scenes.

Departure : 2017-11-25

Arrival : 2017-12-17

$3544  $3594

Book now

Optional
1. Single Price from AU$5163
2. Choice of optional excursions available at reasonable prices to customise your own experience.


Terms and Conditions
1. Price are in AUD, subject to the availabilities and per person twin-share price.
2. For the best savings, and to avoid disappointment book early
3. Valid for sale & departure until 10 December 2015. 
4. LaCity Travel reserves the right to adjust the itinerary as it sees fi­t to ensure the smooth running of the tour and to substitute hotels of a similar standard if the hotels listed in our brochure are not available. Passengers must remain with the tour group at all times and must not deviate from the set itinerary unless otherwise stated such as “free at leisure”.