Romantic European - Eurostar (2014)Tour Package USD6344
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Day 1: Eurostar to BrusselsAfter a warm welcome from your Tour Director, transfer to London’s St Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable two hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to the Belgian capital. On arrival transfer to your hotel in the heart of Brussels.(Welcome Dinner)Day 2: Amsterdam the City of CanalsAfter seeing the space-age Atomium, leave Brussels and drive north into The Netherlands. Continue through the pleasant Dutch countryside to the old fishing village of Volendam, set on the shores of the former Zuidersee. This is followed by a photo-stop at one of the windmills and a visit to a cheese farm and ‘Klompenhuis’, to witness a demonstration of traditional clog making. Then on to lively Amsterdam, the "City of Canals". Drive across Dam Square, the heart of the city, past the Royal Palace and Mint Tower. Round off the day with a taste of glamour as you visit one of the great diamond-houses for a demonstration of diamond cutt ing and polishing - a chance to wear a fortune in diamonds and dream!(Buffet Breakfast)Day 3: Castles of the Rhine Valley & WürzburgLeave Amsterdam today, en route for Germany. Pass the border town of Arnhem, renowned for its 'Bridge Too Far' - the Rhine bridge which was the object of bitter fighting at the end of World War II. Cross the extensive Ruhr Basin and head for the Romantic Rhine Gorge. In the quaint wine village of Boppard, take to the water for a delightful cruise past fortified towns and leafy vineyards. Pass the twin strongholds of the ‘Enemy Brothers’, the Cat and Mouse castles and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to Würzburg, where you see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque Palace of the Prince Bishops, one of the most important landmarks in Germany. There's also time to stroll through the heart of the old town, down to the Alte Mainbrucke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here you can admire the mighty Marienburg fortress on the opposite side of the river.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)Day 4: Nuremberg & Golden PragueFirst stop today is Nuremberg, still entirely enclosed by its massive town ramparts bristling with 46 towers! Tour the old town, carefully rebuilt after wartime destruction, with a charming blend of stone and timbered dwellings. See Albrecht Durer’s house and explore the bustling Hauptmarkt in the heart of the Altstadt - a picturesque setting for the aptly named Beautiful Fountain, local farmers' market and gingerbread shop dating back to 1610. Continue east to the Czech border, past the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the ‘golden city’ of Prague.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)Day 5: Prague, City of a Hundred SpiresIn the morning, join a local expert for a guided tour of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1000 year old Prague Castle, where you admire the stained glass of St Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Czechs are passionate about their beer so there is also a visit to a Monastic brewery whose origins date back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. Meet a beer expert for a short history of Bohemian brewing and a taste of some of the delectable amber nectar. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock’s glockenspiel delight on lookerseachhour. Now the city is all yours to explore. Maybe take a river cruise through the heart of the city, rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 6: Bratislava & Budapest - Grand Dames on the DanubeIt’s away through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia this morning. Skirt the major industrial centre of Brno to drive through the wine producing area of South Moravia. After crossing the Slovakian border, continue to the capital of Bratislava, dominated by its imposing 9C castle, perched high above the Danube. There's free time to take a leisurely walk through the Old Town, to see the Maximillian Fountain. Look out for the Napoleonic soldier and Cumil ‘the peeper’. After free time to explore, cross into Hungary and follow the River Danube to Budapest for the evening.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 7: The Highlights of Buda & PestAfter a restful night’s sleep, you are chauffeured along elegant boulevards to visit Heroes’ Square. Now cross the mighty Danube to walk with your guide along the medieval cobblestoned streets of the Castle District. Visit Matt hias Church and enjoy sweeping views from the Fisherman’s Bastion over the exquisite Parliament building, one of the largest in Europe. Spend the afternoon at the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váciutca where the city’s fine museums, historic squares and monuments are within easy reach.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)Day 8: On to Stately ViennaBefore leaving the Hungarian capital, look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest from the heights of Gellert Hill - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. Drive on, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border. Continue through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 9: Vienna & the HabsburgsVienna owes much of its present day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs, so in the morning, join a guide for a tour of Maria Theresa’s Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. The grandiose rococo interior of the palace is a dazzling confection of gilded mirrors, crystal chandeliers and frescoed ceilings. Your city tour continues around the famous Ring, seeing the Parliament, Winter Palace and Opera House. The afternoon is at leisure.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 10: Down to Venice, Queen of the AdriaticToday's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Worthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain on your way to the unique city of Venice, where your hotel is close to the Grand Canal.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)Day 11: Venice & the Magic of La SerenissimaWake up refreshed and ready to embrace this romantic city. Cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark’s Square. Alight to see Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doges’ Palace to the prisons and the dazzling domed basilica. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen hand-blow Venetian glass. Then, set off through the canals by gondola while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. The afternoon is at leisure to browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge or sit a while at a canal side cafe to sip the local wine.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 12: On to the Eternal City of RomeHead into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. En route, hear an informative tutorial about the famous Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 13: Papal & Imperial RomeIn the morning, you are joined by a local expert who guides you through the superb Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fasttrack entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue inside the cavernous St Peter’s Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, seeing another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pieta, as well as the splendid dome, completed after his death. Leave the Vatican City and cross the Tiber to stand outside the Colosseum and imagine yourself back in the days of the gladiators, then see the Forum. The afternoon is at leisure.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 14: Exploring Renaissance FlorenceDrive north into Tuscany and Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views over Florence. This afternoon, a local expert takes you to Santa Croce Basilica to see the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo. Continue to the Cathedral where the ‘Gates of Paradise’ adorn the Baptistry. Visit the open-air gallery of sculpture in Signoria Square and witness a leatherwork demonstration.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)Day 15: Florence at LeisureThe next day is at leisure in the Renaissance capital. Traverse the medieval streets to the Ponte Vecchio, haggle for leather goods at the market around San Lorenzo or relax amid the terraces of the Boboli Gardens. Maybe explore the museums, have lunch al fresco or perhaps venture into the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The choice is all yours!(Buffet Breakfast)Day 16: Through the Alps & on to LucerneHead north for the Italian and Swiss Lake Districts via the lake of Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world, then alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 17: Lucerne’s Lions & DragonsIn the morning, view the emotive Lion Monument before enjoying some time shopping or strolling along the Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church. Later, embark on a highlight excursion by cog-wheel train and cable-car to the summit of Mount Pilatus. In medieval times, it was believed that dragons lived in these rugged clefts, but now the only amazing sights to see are over the snow-capped Jungfrau and Eiger peaks. Tonight, on your Dine-Around evening, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.(Buffet Breakfast / Dine Around)Day 18: A Diner de Célébration in ParisDrive to Basel before crossing the Rhine to enter France. Travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to glittering Paris. Tonight head for the famous Champs Elysees for a ‘diner de célébration’, served with wine in an amazing Parisian bistro celebrated for its cuisine(Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner)Day 19: Paris, the ‘City of Light’The following morning’s sightseeing tour with a local expert takes you by Notre Dame Cathedral, the imposing façades of the Louvre and Garnier’s splendid Opera House. See the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Now survey the city from the heights of the Eiffel Tower, built for the World’s Exhibition of 1889. The afternoon is at leisure for last minute shopping or your own pursuits.(Buffet Breakfast)Day 20: Au revoir ParisIncluded coach transfer to Paris Gare du Nord station for your high speed Eurostar train journey to London. On arrival you are transferred to the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel for the night.(Buffet Breakfast)
- Brussels: Walk through the Grand Place to view the Mannekin Pis Statue. See the Atomium.
- Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
- Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace. Explore the old town. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke. See the Marienburg fortress
- Nuremberg: See the city walls, Albrecht Durer’s house and walk through the old town to the Hauptmarkt to see the Beautiful Fountain.
- Prague: Enjoy views over the Old Town and Vltava River. Visit the Old Town Square and see the Astronomical Clock.
- Bratislava: Enjoy free time amid the cobbled squares and labyrinthine streets of Bratislava’s Old Town.
- Budapest: Enjoy panoramic views over the city from Gellért Hill. Walk through the cobbled streets of the medieval Castle Hill district. Visit Heroes’ Square in Pest. Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci utca.
- Vienna: Tour the RIng Road seeing the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles’ Church.
- Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St. Mark’s Square. See the Doges’ Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Basilica.
- Rome: Visit St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. See the mighty Colosseum and overlook the Forum
- Florence: Enjoy panoramic views over the whole city from Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk with your guide to the Cathedral, see the ‘Gates of Paradise’ and open-air gallery of Signoria Square. Witness a traditional Florentine leather-work demonstration
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument. See the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
- Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the façades of the Louvre Museum, the Place de la Concorde & Opera House. Drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
- General Note
- Departures on May 4th and September 7th stay at the Hotel Rappen, Rothenburg instead of Würzburg. Departures on May 19th and 26th, August 25th, and September 15th and 22nd stay at the Sofitel instead of the Corinthia Hotek, Budapest. Departure on December 21st has Christmas/New Year’s Eve celebration dinner included.
- Airport Transfers
- Locations Visited
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom