Welcome to the first day of the best trip of your life - we're calling it early! After a few pleasantries in London we'll get the show on the road with Paris in our sights.A few hours in and your jaws are on the floor already. These chalk cliffs that edge the English coastline are known as the White Cliffs of Dover, the first of many natural beauties we'll see on our trip.After we ferry across the English Channel for France we'll arrive in Calais, where we will take in the history of World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme.We'll kick off our trip as we arrive in the glittering city of love, Paris. It's straight down to business with a tour of the city lit up by those famous lights. Then, we'll bond with our Contiki fam with a delicious included dinner. The French are proud of their culinary culture for a reason.
Today's the day to stroll the beautiful streets of Paris, with plenty of time to lust over designer haute couture or French vintage stores, admire the Notre Dame Cathedral, order coffee and crêpes, or get artsy at the many museums of the Louvre. Tonight, foodies will have the chance to eat a Parisian feast in Montmartre, surrounded by cobbled lanes, village-esque cafes, street artists and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Otherwise, this is your night to sign up for an iconic Parisian cabaret show. Either option will give you the perfect way to make it one to remember!
Just before you get too comfortable in that beret and striped shirt combo, we're dragging you away in search of vineyards and châteaus.We call it "Château Hopping," but you can just call it "the good life" if you'd prefer. Southbound, we roll on through Burgundy’s wine country to Beaujolais’ green hills and vineyards.
Pinch yourself, this is another day at the Château & another chance to live your best French countryside life with a full day here in Beaujolais. Rise & shine with optional sunrise yoga on the sprawling lawn of the Château's gardens, relax in the courtyard with a coffee & croissant, or loll about poolside in our castle-like setting. Our highlight today is a picnic in the picturesque gardens. Cue panoramic views & red wine.
Bye-bye Beajoulais! And hello Barcelona. The Pyrénées mountains will keep our eyes satisfied today as we roll across the border for Spain's most lively city. Each day as sweet as the last.Well would you look at that for timing, we've pulled into Barcelona just on sangria o'clock. Fate, you've done it again! A scrumptious Spanish feast and a night exploring this culturally rich city should have us in the fiesta mood soon enough.
Cobbled lanes of the Gothic Quarter, Montjuic hilltop vistas, & wild Spanish architecture will season our day to perfection. There's plenty of free time to roam free or take a dip in the Mediterranean sea, just don't tire yourself out - chances are you'll want to partake in the evening of Flamenco fun.
As smitten as we are by Barcelona, we have more of Europe to conquer. Much, much more...After a dreamy drive across the border into France through landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs, we'll arrive at our lunch break town of Arles. Here we will get a peek at an ancient Roman Arena and at a typical provincial French town.You're not a real celebrity until you've frolicked on the French Riviera, and who are we to keep you off the A-List? Sapphire waters & endless glamour as we roll through this glitzy coastline.
Missing an opportunity to see this part of the world up close and personal would be criminal. Speaking of things you shouldn't miss, this region is famous for lavender honey, aioli & rosé wine; all 3 in one meal should be your mission.Please tell us you didn't throw away all of your pennies on perfume today? Because you're going to want a few spare coins tonight so you can play fancy. We're visiting the Monte Carlo Casino & the Royal Palace in Monaco.After a night on the blackjack table it's back to the coast and to bed, the next part of the adventure starts tomorrow.
Today we say our farewells to the French Riviera and take our first jaunt into Italy, taking in the sights of Liguria, Lombardia, & the Veneto regions along the way. Pizza, pasta, & charming locals are just around the corner.The floating city of gondolas, canals and pretty bridges - what a splendid way to commence our Italian love affair. Rest up tonight, you'll want to be alert for tomorrow's magical agenda.
Wake-up sleeping beauties! Venice is yours for the entirety of this glorious Italian day. We'll be jumping aboard our own private boat and hitting the canals en route to the historical heart of the city. A guided walking tour and a gondola ride are up for grabs, or you can always choose to get lost on your own and see where the maze takes you.
Venice we love you, but we need to see a bit more of this boot to satisfy our hungry wanderlust ways.As if we were going to leg it from Venice to Florence without a sneaky side trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Depriving you of the chance to perfect the holding-up-the-tower shot would be down right criminal.For those of you not familiar with the whole Florence deal, we have two words for you: it's heaven. Potter along the River Arno, be totally Tuscan with a drop of Chianti wine, and take in the beauty of the city and its protruding Duomo Cathedral.
Today is a perfect balance of guided wisdom and free time to roam. We'll uncover the beautiful art of traditional leather & explore streets bursting with heritage. Take to the local markets, down some gelato & make yourself known for the evening of optional festivities.
Farewell Florence - today we have the epicenter of Italy on our horizons. Pizza, piazzas...we're coming in hot.When in Rome...take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine.After our drift through the rustic Tuscan hillsides of cypress trees and glowing fields, we'll be back city side in the Italian capital of Rome. The Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona are just some of the icons we'll be casting our eyes upon before the sun sets.
When in Rome... This is the day to learn a thing or two about the Colosseum & do a bit of your own exploring. Espressos and people watching should be high priority, as well as stuffing yourself to the brim with pasta, gelato and caprese salad all washed down with a glass of red at a local trattoria.
Your trip ends after breakfast, so it's time to swap email addresses and say "Arrivederci" to your new friends.