From London to Paris via Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Italy, discover many of Europe’s highlights on this memorable vacation. Do you enjoy seeing historical sites? Do you enjoy architectural wonders? Do you enjoy tasting new cuisine? If so, this tour is for you.For history buffs, you’ll delight in seeing many of Europe’s historical sites. In Rome, visit the Roman Forum, dating back to the 7th century BC, and the Colosseum, completed in the 1st century AD. In Lucerne, see the Chapel Bridge, built in 1333 as part of the city’s fortifications and now the oldest preserved wooden bridge in Europe. Or how about the medieval houses and Golden Roof in Innsbruck, built around 1500 for Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I? Or if you are more interested in art and architecture, you’ll enjoy the experiences and treasures offered on this tour. Visit Florence, known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and often referred to as the art capital of Italy. A highlight of Florence is the magnificent east door of the Baptistery of St. John, with the gilded bronze doors depicting scenes from the Old Testament. The doors got their nickname—Gates of Paradise—from the great artist, Michelangelo, who said the 12 bronze reliefs were “so fine that they would grace the entrance of paradise.” Of course, no traveler to Europe should miss the distinct architecture of Paris, and on this tour, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Paris’ famous architectural sites. From London and Paris to Venice and the French Riviera, this enriching tour offers something for everyone—historical sites, amazing architecture, culinary opportunities, and more.
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 savor 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 River Thames? (B)
Day #3 London–Brussels, Belgium. Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you board your ferry for the Continent. Here, your Tour Director and luxury coach meet you and you’re off across Belgium to Brussels. (B)
Day #4 Brussels–Luxembourg–Lucerne, Switzerland. Extraordinary vistas on the drive south today! Take a break in Luxembourg, capital of the world's only sovereign Grand Dutchy, then drive through the wine-growing farmland of Alsace before crossing the border into Switzerland. Finally, approach the Swiss Alps before arriving in Lucerne. (B)
Day #5 Lucerne–Liechtenstein–Innsbruck, Austria. This morning, take advantage of the Lucerne visit and maybe join the optional excursion to the top of one of the famous mountains. Later, head for Vaduz in the tiny but very wealthy Principality of Liechtenstein. To the east are the picture-perfect villages of Austria’s Vorarlberg and, once you’re through the Arlberg Tunnel, the scenic splendor of the Inn Valley. Overnight in Innsbruck, with time for a walk in the city center and to see the Golden Roof. (B)
Day #6 Innsbruck–Venice Area, Italy. Enjoy vistas of the Tyrolean Alps and the foothills of the Dolomites while crossing Brenner Pass into Italy. Reach Venice by private motorboat to view the Bridge of Sighs and Doges' Palace plus St. Mark's Square before the visit to a glassblowing factory. Don't miss out on the optional gondola serenade, gliding through century-old canals. (B,D)
Day #7 Venice Area–Assisi–Rome. An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po plain, then 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 #8 Rome. Today's sightseeing of the “Eternal City” with a Local Guide features St. Peter’s Square, and includes an inside visit of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. (B)
Day #9 Rome–Florence–Montecatini. Say "Arrivederci, Roma" this morning as you drive northwards through lovely Tuscan countryside to reach Florence in the afternoon. On the included walking tour with a Local Guide, discover the landmarks of this Renaissance city, like Piazza Signoria with the Loggia dei Lanzi, Palazzo Vecchio, and the breathtaking cathedral on Piazza del Duomo. Overnight in the spa town of Montecatini. (B)
Day #10 Montecatini–Pisa–Èze, France–French Riviera. Stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and the Square of Miracles. Bypassing the great port of Genoa, head northwest, getting glimpses of the Italian and French Rivieras. Visit one of the famous perfume workshops in Èze before reaching your overnight destination on the lovely French Riviera. (B)
Day #11 French Riviera–Lyon Area. Leave the French Riviera this morning and head inland, crossing sun-drenched Provence into the vineyards of the Rhône Valley. Overnight in the Lyon area. (B,D)
Day #12 Lyon Area–Beaune–Paris. Vistas of famous vineyards on the way to Beaune, famous for wines such as Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges. Its Hôtel-Dieu is one of the oldest hospitals in Europe. Head for the final excitement of Paris, the most sparkling city in the world. Time to enjoy an optional cabaret show. (B)
Day #13 Paris. One full day to explore the city that’s known throughout the world for its fashion, 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, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles and, to celebrate the success of your tour, a French farewell dinner might be just the ticket. (B)
Day #14 Paris. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)