Romantic European (Summer 2019)
About London, United Kingdom
- Amsterdam: Toast to the travels ahead during your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine at Humphrey’s Restaurant Spuistraat, a trendy eatery located in the heart of the city and surrounded by 17th century homes.
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting.
- Budapest: Enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's night time beauty as you float along the Danube.
- Vienna: Traditional coffeehouses are still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers. Feast on delicious Viennese specialties alongside a local who shares tales from a bygone era.
- Venice: Savour dinner at a local restaurant and then enjoy a short stroll to St Mark’s Square at twilight.
- Venice: Sip Bellini cocktails alongside the canals, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels.
- Tuscany: Enjoy a tasting of locally made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. While here you will visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the ofﬁce where he wrote 'The Prince.'
- Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Lorenzo and observe how he makes fresh pasta by hand. Afterwards, enjoy a Highlight Lunch paired with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
- Lucerne: Choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening and hand-pick your preferred ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
- Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Paris and try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on an off-the-beaten-track, gourmet walking tour.
- Paris: Rendezvous at Le Petit Prince de Paris, an atmospheric French bistro, with the motto 'There is no love more sincere than that of good food'. Your Celebration Dinner offers home-style cooking with traditional French ingredients, and of course accompanied by delicious French wines.
- Dining Summary: 18 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunches with Wine (LW) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is supplemented by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing at one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stanserhorn: Journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn where you will learn about local wildlife from a Swiss Ranger.
Stay in Style
- 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.
- Würzburg: The Maritim Hotel Würzburg is situated directly in front of the banks of the river Maine and offers views of the imposing Marienberg fortress.
- Prague: The brand new, boutique-style Hotel Royal Prague is a short drive from Old Town Square, set across from the Vltava River. It offers quiet and comfortable rooms, perfect for your two-night stay.
- Vienna: Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
- Venice: A hotel with traditional and modern elements, the Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio is complete with a door opening onto a canal.
- 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.
- Florence: The UNA Vittoria Hotel is located in the historic district of San Frediano.
- Lucerne: The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Top Rated Highlights
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the city's historic waterways, where wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
- Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace as you explore the old town with your Travel Director. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke and see the Marienburg fortress.
- Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, this majestic city is where you’ll join a Local Expert on a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle. Enjoy views over Vltava River before visiting Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock.
- Budapest: Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca. From the heights of Gellért Hill, in front of the Citadella, see the mighty Danube with its many bridges linking Buda and Pest. Visiting the Central Market Hall is a foodie's dream. Accompanied by your Local Expert, wander three levels of stalls, brimming with mouthwatering salamis, spicy paprika, Hungarian wines and a whole lot of Pálinka.
- Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Expert reveals why this is the historic core of the city. You will also tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- 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.
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
- Orvieto: Visit this pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
- 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.
- Florence: Enjoy watching the masters at work as you visit a leather workshop.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
- 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.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from Paris to London via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you drive along the Romantic Road and later pass the areas of Bohemia, Carinthian Lake District, Tuscany, Umbria, Chianti Hills, Swiss Alps, Italian Lake District and Burgundy.
You will visit the following 9 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.
Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country offers many diverse destinations – relatively low mountains in the north-west, the Great Plain in the east, lakes and rivers of all sorts (including Balaton - the largest lake in Central Europe), and many beautiful small villages and hidden gems of cities. Top this off with Hungary's great accessibility in the middle of Europe, a vivid culture and economy, and you get a destination absolutely not worth missing if you're in the region. The country's largest city and busy capital, Budapest, is an elegant, stylish and lively city made up of two separate settlements clustered on either side of the Danube River: hilly Buda has a wealth of graceful Habsburg and neoclassical buildings, while sprawling Pest is its commercial centre with a generous scattering of art nouveau architecture and an ad-hoc party scene.
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.
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe. Although the country may not be large it has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command our respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast of amount of architectural treasure and has beautiful forests and mountains to match.
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.