Bid farewell to England and the mystical White Cliffs of Dover as you board your ferry to France. Journey through the Belgian and Dutch countryside bound for Amsterdam, where you'll spend a memorable evening exploring the capital's scenic canals on a Welcome Reception cruise with your fellow travellers and Travel Director.
Explore the maritime history, tree-lined canals and gabled façades of Amsterdam on an orientation of the city's 17th-century canal ring district. Enjoy the rich aromas and flavours of Dutch cheese this afternoon in Volendam, where you'll Dive Into Culture and gain insights into traditional cheese-making and the crafting of Holland's characteristic wooden clogs.
We cross the German border and board a cruise in Boppard. Journeying along the mighty Rhine past vineyard-clad hills and medieval castles, we disembark in St. Goar, avoiding the allure of the legendary Lorelei. We travel to the university city of Heidelberg to admire its magnificent ruined sandstone castle which stands imposingly overlooking the Neckar River.
Arriving in the Bavarian capital of Munich today, we see the Hofbräuhaus, City Hall and iconic Marienplatz with its Glockenspiel. Crossing the Austrian border, we arrive in Innsbruck for an orientation that will include views of St. Jakob's Cathedral and Emperor Maximilian I's glittering Golden Roof. Admire the fascinating crystal installations and browse for precious gifts and souvenirs at the Swarovski Crystal Worlds Store.
Cross the snow-capped Alps to Italy today, travelling via the Brenner Pass to Venice, where you will join your travel companions for a delicious Regional Dinner at a local restaurant.
Glide through the waters of the Adriatic by private launch arriving in the gateway of Venice, St. Mark's Square. Delve into the history of this beautiful Byzantine city, see the ornate Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square and the famous Bridge of Sighs. Dive Into Culture and gain insights into the centuries-old tradition of Venetian glassblowing. Spend the rest of your afternoon on your own exploring in the labyrinthine calle of this city of islands.
Journey through the Veneto plains, across the Styrian Alps and to Austria's imperial capital of Vienna. You'll check in to your Stays With Stories accommodation, the Hilton Danube Waterfront, a renovated grain silo built in 1916, on the banks of the Danube. Celebrate the city's iconic reputation as the world's music capital and perhaps consider an evening Optional Experience including dinner and entertainment.
Join a Local Specialist on an exploration of this elegant capital, including views of the State Opera House, St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Hofburg, once the home of the powerful Habsburg Dynasty. Spend the rest of your day at leisure, soaking up the cosy coffee culture or visiting such iconic sights as the Schonbrunn Palace with its exquisite gardens. This evening, perhaps indulge in Vienna's intoxicating musical talent, enjoying a concert of classical music at one of the city's concert halls, churches or palaces.
Leave the City of Music behind, crossing the Slovenian border to Ljubljana. Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour and delve into the 'Beloved' city's iconic and unexpected highlights. Wander along the Baroque façades of its Old City and admire the medieval castle, the City Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas, with its exquisite 18th century frescoes. Good food and good company are guaranteed as we Connect With Locals over dinner at a Be My Guest experience with a local Slovenian family. Learn about their life in one of the world's greenest cities, as well as the role that honey plays in the country's cuisine.
Journey across the Croatian border and via Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park, where you'll join a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour. Connect with the exquisite beauty of this UNESCO-listed natural wonder, admiring the cascade of spectacular waterfalls and crystal-clear waters reflecting green, grey and blue against the lush landscape. Witness panoramic views over the park from Tomicevo Pgledalo, then settle in for your overnight stay amidst this stunning backdrop.
Journey south along the picture-perfect Dalmatian coast, past seaside villages to the ancient city of Dubrovnik - its terracotta rooftops appear to tumble into the waters of the cerulean Adriatic. Consider taking a sunset cruise along the spectacular Dalmatian coast to enjoy a delicious local dinner.
Stroll through the marble streets of the Pearl of the Adriatic on a Small Group Sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Admire the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
Journey to Kotor, an enchanting medieval city, perched on the deepest natural fjord-like bay in the Mediterranean. Travel through Montenegro into Albania and overnight in its colourful capital of Tirana. Explore the previously communist-dominated capital with a Local Specialist, including such highlights as the Skanderbeg square and the Palace of Culture. Wander up the main boulevard and see the Prime Ministry building, the Presidential office and the Pyramid Building.
We travel to Greece, enjoying views of the scenic Plains of Thessaly en route to Kalambaka with its gravity-defying Meteora monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers.
We cross the fertile Thessaly region and see the battle site at Thermopylae, where the heroic Leonidas and brave Spartans battled against the invading Persians. We arrive at the centre of the world and Mount Parnassus, joining a Local Specialist to explore the ancient sanctuary of Delphi and seat of the most important oracle in the ancient classical world. Wander through the centuries-old ruins of the Sacred Way to the 5th-century BC Temple of Apollo and marvel at the site where athletes once competed in the Pythian Games held in honour of Apollo and the Arts. We arrive in Athens this evening.
Spend the day discovering the birthplace of democracy - a centre for the arts, learning and philosophy. Stroll through the tiny, colourful alleyways of Plaka, join Athenians for a noisy coffee stop at an open-air café or consider embarking on our three-day Aegean Cruise.
Today is yours to embrace the spirited atmosphere of the Greek capital. Perhaps, venture by funicular to Mount Lycabettus for the most magnificent views of the sprawling city below, watch the pageantry of the changing of the Evzoni or join an Optional Experience.
Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling Central Market this morning. Maybe admire the remarkable antiquities and remnants of Ancient Greece at the fascinating Acropolis Museum or wander through the colourful stalls of Monastiraki Square.
Travel to the heart of ancient Athens, back to a time of philosophers and great thinkers. Join a Local Specialist to marvel at the ancient Acropolis, see the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, and view the stadium where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. We cross the Corinth Canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea and board our overnight ferry in Patras en route to Italy.
Spend today worshipping the sunshine, as we sail up the dramatic Adriatic coast towards Ancona. This evening we arrive in the mystical medieval town of Assisi, the home and final resting place of beloved St. Francis.
Join your Local Specialist today and enjoy a sightseeing tour to see the Basilica of St. Francis. We pass the Benedictine Abbey in Monte Cassino before arriving in the sophisticated seaside retreat of Sorrento.
We join a Local Specialist in Pompeii to hear the story of this remarkable ancient Roman settlement buried under ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Continuing through the green and golden countryside of Lazio, we arrive in Rome, the 'Eternal City' this evening.
We venture to the centre of Christianity and the great square that bears the name of the first 'bishop of Rome', St. Peter. Join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to St. Peter's Basilica, where we will have an opportunity to see Michelangelo's sorrowful Pietà hewn from the most perfect block of Carrara marble. We cross the Tiber River to see the ancient sites of Rome, including Circus Maximus and a visit to the mighty Colosseum. Imagine the thunderous roar of thousands of exhilarated spectators cheering their chosen chariots to victory. This afternoon there is time to explore the city on your terms. Perhaps toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain to secure your return to Rome or embark on an Optional Experience to visit the Sistine Chapel. This evening, we enjoy a delicious Regional Dinner in Rome.
Journeying north through the beautiful landscapes of Umbria and Tuscany, we arrive in the Renaissance city of Florence. Join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of some of the city's iconic sites. View Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors, and visit Piazza della Signoria. Learn about the quality and workmanship of one of this city's historic industries at a demonstration of Florentine leathercraft.
Travel north across the snow-capped Alps into Switzerland, past beautiful Lake Lugano, continuing along the scenic St. Gotthard route into central Switzerland. We spend the next two nights in the popular winter sports resort town of Engelberg.
The lakeside setting of Lucerne is ours to explore today. Pay tribute to the brave Swiss Guard at the Lion Monument and admire the wooden Chapel Bridge with its exquisite ceiling. Spend the rest of the day ambling through the medieval streets with their characteristic painted façades, or perhaps embark on an Optional Experience up one of the surrounding peaks.
We cross into France and traverse the rolling Burgundy vineyards en route to the glittering capital of Paris. The 'City of Lights' shines brightly tonight as you explore the grand boulevards on your terms. Enjoy dinner at a cosy bistro or consider attending a colourful Parisian Cabaret performance.
Join a Local Specialist today for an informative sightseeing tour of the French capital. Drive along the Champs Élysées and see the Place de la Concorde. View Notre Dame and enjoy a stroll through the Latin Quarter. This evening, we celebrate an epic European voyage with newfound friends and our Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner.
Today bid farewell to your fellow travellers and Travel Director at the end of your holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.