Our challenge is to show off to you 15 European countries in just 30 days, to give you a taste of the beauty for each country, a feeling for how great it is. It depends on your interests and how we can customise them to the local environment. Whether it is from the nature, adventure or the history, the food or the drink, the pictures you can capture or the views you have seen. Memories for you to take home. Take Europe Home forever your treasure!
Meet and greet, transfer to hotel for check in, depending on arrival time, city sightseeing as well as a night visit to the Eiffel tower (tickets must be booked long in advance).
Paris is one of the grand old capitals of Europe so there is much to see. The river Seine runs through the city. Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame are on the river island Ile de la Cite. The key sights are all very central. Place de la Concorde, Centre Pompidou, Musee d’Orsay, Jardin du Luxembourg, Sacre-Coeur, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre.
Before leaving for Brussels we may still be visiting attractions in Paris.
Brussels is the Belgian capital and the headquarters of the European Union.
Grand Place is the grand and elegant old square featuring the old Town Hall and many cafes spilling into the square. The Royal Palace is the home of the Belgian king. Mannekin Pis is a famous statue of a little boy “peeing” into a fountain. The Atomium is a magnified molecule showing its atoms, it hosts a museum and special events. Belgian chocolates are famous.
This day we are going from city to city with something to see.
Antwerp is the world’s diamond centre with historic old town.
Rotterdam is renowned for its large port and we make a city orientation tour.
The Hague hosts the International Court of Justice, houses the Dutch Parliament and a much loved site is the miniature park at Madurodam.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, we overnight here.
Places to see in Amsterdam: a canal cruise, Van Gogh and Rijks museums and a drive to Zaanse Scans to see wooden houses and windmills. Between late March and mid May Keukenhof Tulips fields are open.
Then we begin to follow the river Rhine, heading south, upstream, on the way a little orientation tour of the city Düsseldorf and onwards to overnight in Cologne, Germany’s 4th largest city. There is fierce rivalry between Düsseldorf and Cologne.
Check out the city highlights of Cologne then on to Frankfurt for lunch and the city’s sights. This major city is a finance hub, has a historical heart and is the birthplace of Germany’s most famous writer Goethe.
Now we proceed to the romantic and historic city of Heidelberg, the picturesque old university city is most renowned for its castle and old bridge. We stay overnight here so strolling the old town is a good option.
After viewing the Heidelberg castle we drive through Baden Wurttemberg state towards Stuttgart visiting either the Mercedes Benz museum or the Porsche museum. Stuttgart is on the same river as Heidelberg, the Nektar. Heading south we take an orientation drive through the city of Tubingen then past the ancestral seat of the Prussian Royal House, Hohenzollern Castle. We stay overnight in the Hohenzollern castle area.
On into the Black Forest to visit to a Cuckoo Clock manufacturer in Triberg, then a Black Forest lunch by Lake Titisee before crossing the Swiss border to visit the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen. Late afternoon we reach Zürich for hotel check in. Zurich is a global centre for banking and finance. The old town, town hall and lakeside promenades are enchanting. Bahnhofstrasse is the main old shopping street.
This morning we see the main attractions of Zürich, in the afternoon heading to the central Swiss city of Lucerne. We make a brief orientation tour of Lucerne including the old town with its Chapel Bridge and the Lion Monument. The finishing touch to the day is the boat cruise on Lake Lucerne. We stay two nights in Lucerne.
Today’s programme takes us through a paradise of lakes, mountains and glaciers in the Bernese Alpes. We visit charming towns and villages around Interlaken giving access to Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Top of Europe Jungfraujoch, the Staubbach Falls, the Trummelbach Falls and the Murrenbach Falls. Also nearby is the village of Murren with its 2970m summit of Schilthorn with its revolving panoramic restaurant, used in the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. , Lauterbrunnen is known as the valley of 72 waterfalls. The Trummelbach Falls is rather special as a series of waterfalls inside the mountain in a cave-like environment. Melt water flowing down from Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau form a powerful raging torrent that carries water 20 000 litres per second through the caves. The torrent carved its way through solid rock over thousands of years and sculpted elegant and impressive rock formations. The result is spectacular and the thunder from crashing waters deafening. For adventure lovers in this area we also have the chance of paragliding and white water rafting.
Today the scenic drive is through beautiful landscape of Swiss Alps crossing into Liechtenstein for a tea break in its capital Vaduz. We pass the Austrian city of Bregenz, then near the German city of Lindau and further into Bavaria to the small town of Fussen. We visit King Ludwig’s fairy-tale castle Neuschwanstein and stay the night in Fussen. This is the south end of Germany’s Romantic Road.
From Fussen we head to Oberammergau for its characteristic decorations on the houses. Then we cross into Austria’s Tyrol and at Wattens visit Swarovski Crystal World. A short drive to Innsbruck for lunch and a look at the old town with its Imperial assets and golden roof. From Innsbruck we have some views of the Inn river and the surrounding mountains before crossing back into Bavaria, passed the lake Chiemsee reaching the beautiful city of Salzburg.
Most important in Salzburg is walking in the old town, visiting the castle and the Mirabell Gardens. There are two Mozart museums and a good choice of other museums, We can go to a view point to overlook the city and surrounding mountains called Maria Plain, spend some time at the Designer Outlet Shopping Center, view the cars, airplanes and other machines at Red Bull’s Hanger 7. A choice of staying in and around Salzburg, or other side trips possible would be to “The Sound of Music” film locations , the Salt Mines and the Ice Caves.
We go east into the countryside visiting the Austrian lake district, known in German as the Salzkammergut. The villages of St.Gilgen (Mozart’s mother’s birth place), St.Wolfgang with its White Horse Inn, past Bad Ischl, an old spar town with the Kaiser Villa (Emperor Franz Joseph’s summer residence) and Hallstatt (Austria’s charming village with the oldest salt mine in the world) then a scenic drive passing Austrian villages and the Admont Abbey to reach the medieval walled city of Waidhofen an der Ybbs for an overnight stay.
The first stop is to visit the impressive Melk Abbey, we then follow along the Blue Danube river passing by cute little villages (Spitz, Durnstein, Krems) in the Wachau valley renowned for its apricots, grapes and wine. After lunch in the Wachau we head to Vienna visiting Schonnbrunn Palace, overnight in Imperial Vienna, the Austrian capital. By evening strolling in the old town is to be recommended.
Vienna city tour concentrating on the splendid buildings of the Ring, and of the many museums the Natural History Museum is particularly recommended. Then we go to Prague.
Prague – the “Golden City of a Hundred Spires” – was residence of the Bohemian Kings. It was a seat of residence of the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and became a political and multi-cultural center of middle Europe.
By evening strolling in the old town is recommended, having dinner at Vlata riverside or on a river cruise.
We spend the morning in Prague city including a visit to Prague castle. Then we drive towards Poland. Time permitting little detours could include the cute little city of Kutna Hora, Litomysl Renaissance Arcade Castle and the manor house Namest na Hane (more like a palace!) with its antique coach collection.
We stay the night in Olomouc, the 6th city of the Czech Republic. Despite its considerable charms, Olomouc has not been so discovered by tourists. It is the spiritual centre of former Moravia (eastern Czech) visited by Mother Theresa of Kolkata and the Pope John Paul II (of Polish origin).
Olomouc city orientation and sights, then heading to Poland and the historic city of Krakow. Depending on the routing, on the way for the young at heart by the village of In wald there is a Miniature Park, Dinolandia, Cave of Secrets and other entertainment, then passing Wadowice – the birth place of Pope John Paul II – which is a typical Polish small cosy town. An alternative route can give access to the Nazi era concentration camp of Auschwitz.
We take the overview and sights of Krakow, the 2nd city of Poland, capital of “Lesser Poland”, with Wawel hill, castle and cathedral. Overnight we stay in Krakov.
Today we are country hopping, from Poland to Slovakia to Hungary via the mountains. The High Tatras is the highest part of the Carpathian mountain range. It is rich in flora and fauna including Brown Bears, Chamois, Marmot, Deer, Fox, Wild Boar, Lynx, Wolves, Grouse and Golden Eagle. We pass medieval Kezmarok, Spissky with its castle ruins, Levoca is famous for its winged gothic altar, Kosice the 2nd city of Slovakia bringing us into Hungary south to Budapest for the night.
Budapest city orientation and sights drive. Then we take the road to Lake Balaton, for the locals the Hungarian Sea – the largest lake in Central Europe, perhaps good for a scenic lunch break at Siofok, Hungary’s most popular summer holiday resort. Before reaching Lake Balaton we could visit the porcelain factory at Herend founded in 1826. We leave the lake and Hungary crossing into Slovenia.
Maribor is the second city of Slovenia with the river Drava passing through it. It is well known for its wines and in the old town a 400 year old vine can be seen, with medieval towers and city walls to see too. We stay the night in Maribor.
Our first stop of the day is the Slovenian Alpine resort of Bled. A scenic lakeside town with Slovenia’s only island. So photogenic!
Then we are off to see the capital city Ljubljana with a riverside walk in the old town, maybe pop into the famous riverside market for lunch.
Then we head to Postonja for a visit to the caves, 24km of passages, galleries and magnificent halls. Time permitting we could also visit the nearby Predjama castle. We stay the night at Postojna.
We cross the river Pivka and soon reach Lipica which is the origin of the famous Lipizzana horses, used by the Imperial Court in Vienna. We can visit the Stud farm for a tour. Crossing into Italy we make an orientation tour of the sights of the historic city of Trieste then arriving in the romantic city of Venice, an enchanting walk between the canals looking for a cosy restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Venice.
This morning spend a little more time at leisure in St Mark’s Square, known as the Piazza, then to the historic and beautiful city Florence in the heart of Toscany. On the way options are Ferrari museum and factory tour, and a lunch break in Bologna for a real Italian food experience. Depending on timing and guest wishes before descending into the city of Florence it can be rewarding to sop up the view and atmosphere from the view point called Piazzale Michelangelo.
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance. There are many things to see in Florence especially the Uffizi Gallery, cathedral, palaces, museums and the old bridge Ponte Vecchio.
In the afternoon we go to the medieval city of Siena to catch its sights and feel, then on to Rome, the Italian capital, of ancient and imperial fame. We stay two nights here.
Rome in a day, so much to see, the Colossus and the smallest country in the world, The Vatican City with its St Peter’s Square.
This morning we have the scenic route north along the Mediterranean coast passing Italian seaside towns all the way to Pisa, renowned for its Leaning Tower, which we shall visit. Then time at leisure to enjoy Pisa, we are staying the night here.
We continue along the Italian Riviera to the old port town of Genoa. The highlights of Genoa are around the port and the main square, Piazza de Ferrari. The basil leaf paste called Pesto originates from Genoa. After the Genovese sights we continue along the Riviera to Savona, where we stay tonight. Ten times smaller than Genoa, on a bay between the sea and the Ligurian Alps it has many narrow streets, old houses, towers and squares, a fortress and is home of the other Sistine Chapel. In addition to the port there are also nearby beaches.
This day we are leaving Italy still on the Riviera passing many beautiful Italian villages and saying Ciao (goodbye) to Italy, and now Bonjour to France! We arrived in Nice for an overnight stay. It is France’s 5th largest city. There are several museums and a famous seafront promenade called Promenade des Anglais due to the importance of the English clientele in the 18th century.
Of course an evening excursion to nearby Monte Carlo in Monaco can be fun at the Casino de Monte Carlo.
Today we are driving to Lyon. Excursions along the way could include:
Frejus has a medieval part but was founded by the Romans with ruins to see.
Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Avignon is an old city on the Rhone that was the 14th century Papal Seat.
Montelimar is a village famous for nougat, still in production!
Parc Naturel Régional du Pilat – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Lyon is France’s 3rd largest city on the rivers Rhone and Soane, a Unesco World Heritage Site and renowned for its gastronomy.
Today we are driving to Versailles. Excursions along the way could include:
Perouges is an adorable medieval walled village.
Saint-Amour, Morgon, Fleurie are villages in the Beaujolais wine region.
Mersault – a wine village in the Burgundy region.
Parc Naturel Regional Du Morvan – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The destination where we stay tonight is the city of Versailles, south west of Paris, famous for its palace the Château de Versailles built for King Louis XIV in 1682 on the site of an old hunting lodge.
Today time at your leisure either in Versailles or Paris depending on your flight departure.
Now you are really full of Europe – your Mind, Heart and Luggage.
Are you ready for take off any way?
Your chauffeur-guide will give you a warm send off.