Duration: 5 Days
COUNTRIES VISITED: Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherland, Belgium & Switzerland
PLACES VISITED: Rome, Venice, Innsbruck, Munich, Amsterdam, Ghent, Paris, Tuscany, and Florence
Welcome to this Europe Escape Christmas and New Year Tour. Meet up with tour leader and travel group and get ready to hit the road. Grab a seat, relax and enjoy the scenery of vineyards, orchards and countryside on the journey to Venice. Arrive in Venice and prepare to be wowed! This famous floating city is perched across over 100 islands and connected by numerous canals. Explore the city on an orientation tour with your tour leader. See St. Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal. Tonight is free to spend as you wish. Enjoy the piazzas, art, food and unique Venetian vibe! Embark on a gondola ride excursion to see Venice the traditional way.
Say farewell to Italy for now and continue onto the next exciting destination on the itinerary – Innsbruck in Austria! Take a trip through the spectacular Brenner Pass and admire the gorgeous countryside en route. Make a comfort stop in Innsbruck before arriving in Munich, Germany this afternoon. Set off on an orientation tour of the city with your Tour Leader and discover more about Munich which was largely rebuilt after WW2. See the highlights and find out more about Munich’s most famous event – Oktoberfest (Sep-Oct)! This evening, enjoy an authentic taste of Germany during an included dinner at a local beer hall. Prost!
It’s Christmas Eve and the German adventures continue today as the tour travels onwards to the picturesque Rhine Valley! Arrive in the Rhine Valley and embark on a Rhine river cruise en route to the hotel located in the heart of the region. Admire the views of the dramatic cliffs and medieval towns and castles
along the river banks. After the cruise, visit a local wine merchant for a complimentary Rhine Valley wine tasting where you may even get to taste Eiswein (ice wine). Enjoy free time once the wine tasting is complete. Spend the evening exploring local sights. Why not embrace the festive atmosphere at the near-by Boppard Christmas market and enjoy the lights, decorations and traditional German food?
Merry Christmas! Celebrate this festive holiday with the unique gift of travel! Start the day in the Rhine Valley before travelling onwards to the Netherlands and Amsterdam! Get ready to experience three Dutch icons: cheese, clogs and windmills! Enjoy a photo stop at an iconic Dutch windmill before enjoying an entertaining and rather merry cheese and clog making display. Arrive in Amsterdam later today. Head to the centre of the city for a twilight canal cruise. The Amsterdam Light Festival is out in full blast at this time of year, and a cruise offers the best views of the elaborate displays. Join the group for a delicious Christmas dinner before enjoying a free night in this ever-popular city!
Wave goodbye to the Netherlands this morning. Today’s first stop is Ghent in Belgium. This picturesque port city is well-known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and is also a cultural hub in Belgium. Grab a bite to eat and stroll through the historic city centre. Next up on the itinerary is Paris! Arrive in the “City of Lights” and embark on a driving tour of the French capital. See iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc du Triomphe and Notre Dame. Finish up the driving tour and head to Paris’s lively Latin Quarter. Here, enjoy an included group dinner in this historic, bohemian neighbourhood this evening.
Today is yours to explore Paris on your Own. Whether you’re after a visit to Disneyland Paris, a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a few hours in one of the countless museums – Paris awaits! Perhaps you fancy going shopping at the Christmas Markets along the Champs-Élysées. Or sampling some of that famous French cuisine..Join the fabulously French “Paris +” optional excursion for a fun-filled day tour complete with a trip to a perfumery, a macaron tasting, a trip to the Tuileries Gardens, a cruise down the River Seine and visit to the Montparnasse Tower for incredible views of the city. The evening is yours to spend as you wish. You may finish off with a cabaret show or evening in Montmartre!
Today we depart from the city of love, Paris. But our love affair with France is not over as we have a lunch stop in Burgundy. Here, you can try the famous wine or visit the beautiful Hospices de Beaune. After lunch we cross the border into Switzerland. Prepare to be amazed by your first glimpse of the Swiss Alps! Arrive at the home-base in the Swiss Alps for the next two days. Breathe in that fresh Alpine air and take in the magnificent views. Snow-capped peaks, green fields and crystal-clear lakes are all around! Enjoy the surroundings and festive spirit!
Today is yours to enjoy the local scenery. You could take a train or gondola high up into the snow-capped mountains ,views and photos! Alternatively, why not wander through a local village and see what winter-time festivities you can find.. Whatever you choose to do – be sure to make your way to higher ground and admire the magnificent views. Sip some gluhwein and enjoy the snowy surroundings – it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this! Make sure to capture all your photos and memories in this winter wonderland. Tonight you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Swiss dinner with your fellow travellers. After a day in the mountains you’re sure to sleep soundly tonight!
Wave goodbye to the Swiss Alps this morning. Today, the trip continues to Italy! Make a lunch stop at the famous Lake Como. This beautiful destination is complete with picturesque lakeside villages, sparkling blue waters and impressive mountain backdrops. Next stop today is the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa. Be sure to have your best poses prepared and snap some pics! Afterwards, it’s onwards to Tuscany. This region of Italy is famous for its food, wine, art and architecture. Settle in at the hotel for tonight with a glass of wine!
It’s New Year’s Eve and time to visit the enchanting city of Florence after breakfast this morning. Join your tour leader for an orientation tour and learn more about the city that was the birthplace of the Renaissance. Enjoy free time in Florence before the final leg of the journey back to Rome. Enjoy an optional Vatican City guided tour this afternoon or spend some time exploring solo. Excitement will be in the air as La Festa di Roma begins tonight! Ring in the New Year with your new travel friends! Be sure to watch the Midnight Fireworks which go off from Palatine Hill. Circus Maximus is the best place to take in the show!
Kick off the brand new year with a full free day in Rome! What a treat! Whether you want to explore solo or join in one of the fantastic option excursions – the choice is yours today. Choose to visit the famous Colosseum and learn more about Ancient Rome and the ruins of the Roman Forum on a guided tour. This afternoon, opt to join the captivating Conquer the Capital optional excursion led by your Tour Leader who will share the history of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. La Festa di Roma continues on til this evening and you could also venture to St Peter’s Square where thousands gather to celebrate and receive the Pope’s New Year’s Day blessing.
After 12 days filled with festive Christmas and New Year fun, the tour comes to an end after breakfast today in Rome. We hope you have enjoyed this festive trip and that we can welcome you back to Europe again in the future