1 Depart From London By Eurostar And Onto Amsterdam.
At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Mingle and get to know your fellow travellers as you cruise along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals, to explore the heart of the Old City, before enjoying a pleasant evening of dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (DW) Stay: Hilton Amsterdam.
2 Onto Würzburg.
Cross into Germany and continue on to Würzburg. With a Local Expert, visit the imposing Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at intricate decorations and lavish staterooms boasting with French, Austrian and Venetian influences. (B/DW) Stay: Maritim Hotel Würzburg.
3 Rothenburg And Golden Prague.
In the morning, see the mighty Marienburg Fortress - the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Continue East to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city? (B) Stay: Hotel NH Prague City.
4 Prague, City Of A Hundred Spires.
In the morning, join a Local Expert for a guided exploration of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. At the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock's glockenspiel that delights onlookers each hour. An artisan baker shows you how the Trdelník or traditional Czech chimney cakes are made, and enjoy a tasting. Then, the city is all yours to explore. Perhaps rummage through the renowned antique stores or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal? In the evening, why not enjoy an Optional Experience in the Czech countryside? (B/MT)
5 Salzburg, City Of Mozart.
Journey through the Czech Republic and continue south over the Austrian border and onto Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music.' A Local Expert shows you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace which includes the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Later see Residence Square and its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence'. Witness the imposing fortress, immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. In the evening for your Farm-to-Table dining experience, dine at a local organic farm in an old barn or courtyard. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of farm life as you savour the taste of homemade dishes and locally-made cider. (B/DW) Stay: ARCOTEL Castellani, Salzburg.
6 The Tauern Mountains To Venice.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Salzburg to shop for local marzipan specialties. Perhaps take the opportunity to marvel at impressive views atop Kehlsteinhaus - the Eagle's Nest - a unique example of historic architecture in a stunning alpine setting? Later, stunning scenery surrounds you as you travel down the Tauern Mountains to cross the Italian border. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic, where your hotel is perfectly located in a quiet area full of quaint charm. (B) Stay: Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
7 The Magic Of La Serenissima.
Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Take a private water taxi to St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine? (B)
8 On To The Eternal City Of Rome.
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome. (B/DW) Stay: Hotel Mediterraneo, Rome.
9 Rome With The Locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your morning walking tour with a Local Expert includes this in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain and see the best-preserved monument from the Roman period - the Pantheon, before enjoying free time to do as the Romans do, in Piazza Navona. Perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum? (B)
10 Vip Vatican And Florence.
Start the day with your Local Expert they introduce you to the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community in the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP entry to avoid the crowds and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling.
Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. Your travels continue with a drive to the Chianti Hills, to arrive at the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo, where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. Lined with fountains and statues, it acts as an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take time to gaze at Neptune and David as you explore the historic city center. (B) Stay: Hotel Londra, Florence.
11 The Cinque Terre.
The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy's most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat (weather permitting). Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Savour authentic Italian cuisine as you dine for a Sea-to-Table lunch at Ristorante Da Ely in Cinque Terre. Continue by train to Levanto, then on to your resort in Rapallo. (B/LW) Stay: Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa, Rapallo, Italian Riviera.
12 Across The Alps To Lucerne.
Pass Milan as you head north for the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. Travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne, where you are leisure for the rest of the afternoon. (B) Stay: Renaissance Lucerne Hotel.
13 Lucerne’s Lakes And Mountains.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose between taking a walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a Swiss ranger and hear a talk to learn about local wildlife and flora in the area.
Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for fine watches and delectable chocolates. Tonight, enjoy a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening. (B/DW)
14 Sights And Delights Of Paris.
In the morning, travel through the Burgundy region to the City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows? (B) Stay: Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
15 The Food And Flavours Of Paris.
Your exploration of Paris today starts with an Insight Choice. Choose between shopping at Galeries Lafayette and a guided tour around the Right Bank led by a Local Expert. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, an avid foodie, to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. In the evening, indulge in refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker. (B/DW)
16 Au Revoir Paris.
Your discovery of Europe comes to an end after breakfast. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00. (B)