ROME | Welcome to Rome; the start of this Western Adventure! Arrive in Rome, check into the hotel, and meet up with the rest of the tour group. Later, a local Roman guide will introduce you to the locations which make this city so beloved and famous, on an evening walking tour of the city. The Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Piazza Na- vona, Roman Forum and the Colosseum...just for starters! Whilst at the Trevi Fountain, toss a coin over your shoulder - legend has it that if you do, you will return to Rome again one day! Make note of all the spots you want to explore further on your free days ahead! Tonight, get to know the tour group at a welcome dinner.
ROME - FREE DAY | Today is a free day for you to experience Rome's ancient history, exquisite culture, and delicious food. Embark on an optional Roman food tour for an authentic taste of this enchanting city. Later this afternoon, you'll also have the opportunity to visit Vatican City- the smallest country in the world and home of the Pope! Wander through the gilded halls, and visit the Sistine Chapel where you can admire the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo, as well as numerous other famous art pieces dotted around the buildings. Make the most of this full day in the "Eternal City"!
ROME - FREE DAY | Enjoy another free day to explore Italy's capital city. Today, you have the opportunity to join your tour leader on an optional excursion to Pompeii. Step back in time and explore the ancient city of Pompeii which is one of Europe's most famous archeological sites! Nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, destroying the town, and burying it in meters of ash. Thanks to this ash and pumice however, Pompeii has been preserved for nearly 2,000 years! Alternatively, stay in the city and see any top sights you may have missed, and revisit your favourite spots! The Italians believe in taking it easy, so why not relax at a trattoria with a tasty meal, a coffee and some good conversation this evening?
FLORENCE - TUSCANY | This morning, travel through the Tuscan countryside, and marvel at the magical landscapes along the way. Florence is the next stop. Arrive in the Tuscan capital, and set off on a fascinating city tour with a local guide. See some of the city's most iconic attractions, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio. After the tour, find out more about Italian leather at a local leather shop. Explore more of the city during free time. You can also join an optional Taste of Tuscany experience. After getting your fix of Florence, it's time to travel into the Tuscan countryside where the hotel is located.
PISA - FRENCH RIVIERA| Before saying bonjourto France, make a stop at one of the most iconic landmarks of Italy - the Leaning Tower of Pisa; A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with the neighbouring cathedral, cemetery and baptistry, this 56m, 840-year-old bell tower draws millions of visitors from all over the globe, namely for one thing; to have their picture taken with the tower! After a scenic drive through the last of the Italian countryside, cross the border into France. Welcome to the French Riviera! Having made it to the south of France, enjoy a trip along one of the most picturesque strips of coast in the world, where the ocean laps the shore, and it's holiday season all year round!
MONACO - FRENCH RIVIERA | Enioy free time in the French Riviera this morning. This is the playground for the rich ana famous - keep your eyes open for celebrities and stars whilst you enjoy the sights! This afternoon, it’s time to experience the glitz and glamour of the world-famous Principality of Monaco. On the way, stop at a perfumery, and learn more about the history and science behind French fragrances. Arrive in Monaco, and enjoy a tour of top sights! Including the stunning walk to the Princes Palace; the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Also see the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo, where you'll have some free time to try and win your fortune on the tables and slots (entrance fee not included).
ARLES - BARCELONA | Enjoy the last few views of the French Riviera before hitting the road to Barcelona! En route, stop in Arles; famous for its historical buildings and links to such artists as Van Gogh. Next, it's time to travel on to the capital of Catalonia. Arrive in Barcelona, and enjoy a driving tour of this cosmopolitan Spanish city. See highlights including the magnificent Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas. Keep note of the places to visit on the free day tomorrow! The hotel for the next few nights is located just outside of Barcelona, in the historic town of Sant Cugat. Arrive, check in, and enjoy an included dinner with the group tonight.
BARCELONA - FREE DAY | Experience Barcelona at your own pace today! Make the most of your time in this vibrant city. Continue to explore the historical and cultural centres, indulge in some high-end shopping and retail therapy, and much more! Football fans can use the extra day to visit Barcelona FC's stadium. Why not take advantage of the beaches or cruise up the coast for a truly unique perspective of the city? Spend some time in the peaceful green areas of the city - Park Guel boasts unbeatable views across Barcelona. This magnificent city is full of things to do. For something off the beaten track, join your tour leader for an optional excursion to Montserrat; a monastery in the mountains north of Barcelona!
BARCELONA - FREE DAY | Hola! Enjoy another free day in Barcelona. There are countless things to do from sightseeing and shopping to simply relaxing. Stay in the city and seek out more of Gaudf's fantastical architectural creations. Stroll down Las Ramblas and enjoy the market stalls, cafes, restaurants and street entertainers. A great way to see it all is on the Highlights of Barcelona optional excursion - visit Palau Guell, La Boqueria market, the Gothic Quarter and the magnificent Saqrada Familial Tonight is the perfect time for a real taste of Spanish culture - join the optional Flamenco show and dinner this evening. The dance of passion is performed with style, flair and energy and is an authentic experience not to be missed.
PONT DU GARD - AVIGNON | Adios, Barcelona! Travel back across the border into France and continue through the French countryside. Enjoy stops at Sete on the coast and the 2,000 year old Pont du Gard, built by ancient Rome in the first century AD! The final stop of the day will be in Avignon; also known affectionately as 'The City of Popes'. It is an amazingly preserved, fortified city commune with a long history, stunning architecture and religious significance. Enjoy an orientation walking tour of Avignon, which will show you the Papal Palace as well as other significant structures, and, after an included group dinner, your evening is free to explore as you wish.
GENEVA - SWISS ALPS | Travel towards the magnificent Swiss Alps today! First stop of the day is Geneva; home of the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters. After some free time for lunch, travel onwards to the spectacular Swiss Alpine region, and fill your lungs with the fresh mountain air. Marvel at the beautiful views on a stunning mountain drive through the Swiss Alps while meandering past rugged mountain faces, forests and Alpine lakes. Arrive in the Swiss mountain village, check into the hotel, and relax witn a sunset view of the mountain peaks. After a hearty included dinner, feel free to stroll the streets, and breathe in that crisp, fresh air. Get some rest, and be ready for a day filled with Swiss adventures tomorrow!
SWISS ALPS - FREE DAY | Today is all about Swiss bliss! Embrace the Swiss way of life, and enjoy a Swiss mountain experience! Travel to the top of Europe on the Jungfraujoch: Journey to the Top of Europe optional experience. Travel by train or cable car to Jungfraujoch and enjoy the incredible scenery and year-round snow! Enjoy plenty of time to enjoy the views and do a bit of exploring - make sure to snap lots of photographs! Alternatively, for those choosing to spend their free day at lower altitudes, exploring a local village offers great insight into the Swiss way of life. Why not head to Lucerne which is a short train ride away to see the sights, pick up some Swiss souvenirs, or simply enjoy strolling through the streets? A great way to spend the day in Switzerland! Choose to complete the day with a hearty fondue dinner.
VADUZ - MUNICH - BAVARIA | So long, Switzerland! Savour the last of the Alpine views as the tour departs Switzerland and heads to Germany. Enjoy a stop for lunch in Vaduz; the capital of Liechtenstein. Eat, shop and see Vaduz Castle (the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein) overlooking the city. Afterwards, it's time to travel on to Munich; the capital of Bavaria, and home of Oktoberfest! Arrive, and head off on an orientation tour of the city. Tuck into an included group dinner tonight, and enjoy a local beer on us... Prost! At the end of an adventure -filled day, continue on to the hotel in Bavaria for the night.
BAVARIA - RHINE VALLEY | Travel to Germany's famous Rhine Valley this morning. Arrive, hop aboard a riverboat, and cruise along the Rhine River. Views abound as this area is home to the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe! The banks are also dotted with vineyards, medieval towns, and lofty cliffs. Once the cruise is over, visit a local wine merchant for an included wine tasting. If the harvest has been good, you may even get to try eiswein (ice wine); a very sweet dessert wine that is produced in very small quantities as it can only be harvested when the temperature drops below freezing. Enjoy an included dinner with the group tonight.
LUXEMBOURG - PARIS | It's auf wiedersehen to Germany, and bonjour once more to France today! Heading back towards Paris, enjoy a stop in one of Europe's smallest countries; Luxembourg. Arrive in Paris, and enjoy a driving tour of the French capital. Get your cameras ready - you'll be seeing some of the city's most treasured landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe! After the driving tour, head towards Paris' Latin Quarter - a historic bohemian neighbourhood - to enjoy a dinner with the group. After a delicious French dinner, travel back to the hotel using Paris world famous metro system. Get some rest, and be ready to explore the city further on the free day tomorrow!
PARIS - FREE DAY | Savour this free day in this city famous for its culture, cuisine, fashion and art! Discover more on a Paris+ tour, enjoy a river cruise and the views from the Montparnasse observation deck. Explore on your own, and take a trip up the Eiffel Tower. Visit the Louvre to see famous artworks. Tickle your taste buds with traditional French delicacies - think sweet treats like croissants and macaroons or try something different like escargot (snails) or frogs legs! Wash it down with a glass of French wine. Tonight, opt to explore Montmartre with a local guide. Finish this exciting day off with a lively Cabaret show. Paris never disappoints!
PARIS - GHENT - AMSTERDAM | It's the last day of this European tour already and there is still more fun to be had! After breakfast, it's time for one last adventure during a visit the Belgian city of Ghent on the way back to Amsterdam. With a bustling university and a city centre known for its medieval architecture, this port city is home to the perfect mix of history and modernity. On the way back to Amsterdam, remember to swap information with your fellow travellers! Expat Explore hopes you had the time of your life on this Western Adventure!