Duration: 7 Days
COUNTRIES VISITEDItaly, Switzerland, Netherland & France
PLACES VISITED: Paris, Burgundy, Rhine Valley, Jungfrau & Amsterdam
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.
Arrive in Paris and Check in Hotel and Today is all yours to explore. Take a look at our optional excursions – enjoy a cruise up the River Seine, and head up the tower of Montparnasse for exquisite views of the city, the perfect way to see Paris at its best. Visit L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, the River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite or the Louvre Museum. Get a glimpse of that most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, overlooked by the famous Arc de Triomphe. Why not head to the boutiques of La Marais. Or visit the graves of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery.. Those with a taste for the macabre can even descend to the infamous catacombs! Alternatively, stay above ground and explore the museums, people-watch from a roadside café, or simply stroll the city, following in the footsteps of great painters, musicians and writers.
Today we sample a taste of small-town France with a lunch stop in Burgundy. In the town of Beaune you can visit the beautiful Hospices de Beaune, or try the famous wine. After lunch we take a long scenic drive across the border into Switzerland and head towards the Swiss Alps for our stay in a typical mountain village in the heart of the Jungfrau region. This is one of the most-visited regions of the Alps and also a World Heritage site, containing Europe’s largest glacier. Tonight it’s New Year’s Eve! Although most traditional celebrations in the region happen on New Year’s Day, there are activities nearby to get involved with. Your tour leader will have all the information to help you plan your day.
Happy New Year! The splendour of the Alps is yours today – don’t miss the chance to join our optional excursion up to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe! The trip to the top is a real highlight; you might find yourself pressed up against the windows as the picture-perfect Swiss countryside rolls beneath you. Look out for quaint villages nestled in the valleys beneath snow-capped peaks and tumbling mountain waterfalls. Once we’ve reached the top, enjoy the year-round snow and breath-taking views of the surrounding glaciers and craggy mountaintops. Once you’ve had a chance to explore and capture as many photos as possible, its back down to lower altitudes for the rest of the afternoon. Take the chance to head into nearby Interlaken to see the celebrations, including a spectacular fireworks display and a festive market.
This morning we board the coach once more as we make for Germany’s famous Rhine Valley! Relax on board a Rhine riverboat as we head to our hotel in the heart of the Rhine Valley. This is the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe, and it also features vineyards, charming medieval towns and lofty cliffs. Learn the story of the castles, many of which are now in ruins since the river barons left long ago. Once the cruise is over we’ll visit a local wine merchants 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.
The Netherlands is our next stop, and we arrive first at an iconic Dutch windmill. Following that enjoy a traditional cheese-making demonstration, and learn about how that most quirky and quaint of footwear choices – the clog – is made, before travelling onward to Amsterdam. We’ll check in to our hotel before joining a Amsterdam canal dinner cruise! Get on board and get those cameras ready; this is the best way to experience the city of Amsterdam, with its 17th century architecture, fascinating museums and cafes. Watch the city drift past as you sail by, and listen out for tips and interesting insights into the city from your tour leader. The evening is yours – explore the canals and Dam Square, and enjoy your time in this fascinating city.-
Grab the chance to enjoy one more day filled with Dutch adventures today! Join your tour leader on an optional excursion to the Dutch countryside. Travel to Zaanse Schans and admire the windmills in this historic village. Next up will be a lunch stop in Volendam which is a wonderful seaside village. Afterwards travel to Marken by ferry and do some exploring in the Waterland town. Finally, it’s time to travel back to Amsterdam where the tour comes to an end after a week filled with European New Year’s adventures!