Real Western Europe

Real Western Europe

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Description

This 11-day tour covers all of Western Europe’s greatest hits. After getting to know sizzling Barcelona, travel by train past fields of lavender and sunflowers to Avignon, a quintessential French town. Munch baguettes and gaze at the Eiffel Tower – preferably at the same time – in Paris and discover oh-so-pretty canals, gooey cheese and bike culture in Amsterdam before ending in trendy Berlin. Packed with plenty of free time to choose how you want to experience each destination and a knowledgeable local leader to provide plenty of useful tips, this trip offers just the right amount of structure for a truly unforgettable, tailor-made adventure.

Trip Name
Real Western Europe
Last Updated
2019-07-24
Days
11
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • This trip covers some of the best food destinations in Europe. Snack on cured meats and olives in Barcelona; taste sophisticated French cuisine in Avignon and Paris; and sample gooey cheeses and Dutch-style fries in Amsterdam.
  • Enjoy free time in Paris to visit iconic sites, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, then learn about some of the city's best hidden gems for your knowledgeable leader.
  • Discover Antoni Gaudi's instantly recongisable whimsical style in Barcelona. Visit Casa Battlo, Parc Guell and his still unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia.
  • Explore Amsterdam the local way - from the seat of a bike. It's charming streets and oh-so-pretty canals are a delight to discover on two wheels.
  • Trendy Berlin is a fascinating mix of cutting-edge modernity and sobering history. Not to mention, a delicious food scene and non-stop nightlight. Discover its galleries, poignant memorials and historic sites including Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall, Reichstag building, Jewish memorial and Brandenburg Gate.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

Day 1 - Barcelona
Hola! Welcome to Barcelona. Your adventure kicks off with a welcoming meeting at 7 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. There are no other activities planned for today, but why not get to know your new travel crew a bit better after this important meeting and head out for some tapas. If you arrive early, make sure to get out and explore this fun city. From it's quirky character and colourful Gaudi architecture, to its delicious Catalan food scene and a non-stop nightlife, Barcelona is a city you won't soon forget. 
Day 2 - Barcelona
Today’s a free day to discover all Barcelona has to offer. This vibrant city truly has something for everyone. History buffs will want to explore the stories and shops contained in Barna’s atmospheric Gothic Quarter – don’t forget to rub the stone turtle by Casa de l’Ardiaca for luck! Arty types will be overwhelmed by choice – maybe check out the Picasso Museum or Gaudi’s colourful and whimsical influences peppered all over town such as Casa Batllo, Parc Guell or his unfinished piece de resistance, La Sagrada Familia. Wander the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard of La Rambla to La Boqueria, a popular open-air market, for a lunch, or choose to head to the trendy El Born neighbourhood to explore its boutique shops, street art and hip tapas spots. Football fanatics (or soccer enthusiasts, depending on what part of the world you are from) won’t want to miss making a pilgrimage to Camp Nou, and of course, there’s always Barcelona’s legendary beaches.
Day 3 - Avignon
Say adios to Spain and bonjour to France as you travel to Avignon by train. It’s a scenic six-hour journey across the fields of Provence. Grab a window seat and make sure to have your camera handy as you travel past emerald vineyards, fields of lavender and sunflowers, the Mediterranean coast and rugged peaks. After settling into your accommodation in Avignon, stretch your legs on a walk around this walled city and learn its papal history (for a period of time, seven successive popes resided in Avignon rather than Rome).
Day 4 - Avignon
Enjoy a free day to explore the medieval heart and historic capital of Provence. After taking a stroll along its famous Saint-Benezet bridge (you may remember the children’s song ‘On the Bridge of Avignon’ or ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’), perhaps check out the centre of papal power during the much of the 14th century, the grand Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace). Choose to comb the city’s impressive collection of art, or alternatively, hire a bike to see more of this picturesque valley. In the evening, there are many quaint French bistros serving up great French cuisine to choose from.
Day 5 - Paris
Hop back on the train this morning and travel north (three to four hours) to Paris. Whether you know it as the City of Love, the City of Light or just Paris, it’s nearly impossible to resist its charms. After checking into your hotel, you’re free to explore at your own pace. The Champs-Elysees, the student-filled Latin Quarter and bohemian Montmartre are good places to start – stroll their streets to get a feel for Paris’ effortless ‘je ne sais quoi’ then start hitting the sights. Some must-see attractions include the Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Moulin Rouge and the Lourve. And of course, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Why not grab a baguette and some cheese and park yourself in front of this iconic landmark for a truly magical picnic.
Day 6 - Paris
Today is another free day to see Paris at your own pace. As there is so much to do here, it’s a good idea to have a plan. You could spend hours exploring its world-class museums – come face-to-face with the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo at the Louve or join ‘the Thinker’ in his eternal contemplation at the Rodin Museum. Tour the eerie catacombs or head just outside of town to the ultra-opulent Versailles. Take in sweeping views of the city from Sacre-Coeur or alternatively, head back to the Eiffel Tower and climb its stairs (or take the lift) for more incredible views. Paris also has a fantastic food and nightlife scene – head to Marais for trendy bars and eateries and Bastille for its clubs.
Day 7 - Amsterdam
Enjoy another half day to tick more items off your Paris to-do list before hopping a train bound for Amsterdam. This is your last chance to explore some of Paris’ ‘other’ museums, such as the Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology, which offers a window into 19th-century science. Walk the botanical garden of Jardin des Plantes or maybe just enjoy a final French meal at a cafe. In the afternoon, make the three-and-a-half-hour journey to Amsterdam. Settle in to your accommodation, then hit the streets to get your first glimpse of the town’s famously pretty canals and maybe grab a bite to eat.
Day 8 - Amsterdam
Today is a free day to explore Amsterdam how you please. The best way to get around the city, is the local way – on a bike – and an optional half-day bike tour is a great way to get to know the city’s tangled network of canals, bridges and parks. Amsterdam is also spoilt for choice when it comes to museums. One of its best is the Rijksmuseum – spend few hours browsing is famous works, including Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch', or alternatively, practice saying 'Van Gogh' the proper Dutch way while checking out the extensive collection of his paintings, sketches, prints, etchings, and correspondence housed at the Van Gogh Museum. Alternatively, stop and smell the roses, tulips and a whole slew of other blooms at the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market).
Day 9 - Amsterdam
Enjoy another free day to get to know Amsterdam. Perhaps dig deeper into Amsterdam’s history and pay a visit to Anne Frank’s house or check out the old city gate, De Waag. In-between sightseeing, make sure to sample some authentic Dutch cuisine. More than just wonderful cheeses, the Dutch have a strong brewing history – maybe find a canal-side beer hall and sip some local brews. Snack on Dutch-style fries, which comes topped with a variety of sauces (peanut sauce, mayonnaise and curry-flavoured ketchup, to name a few). Pastry-lovers won’t want to miss trying pannekoeken, a sweet or savoury traditional Dutch treat similar to a large, thin pancake. Your tour leader can provide plenty of insider tips on where to go and what to do if you're not sure how to make the most of your free day.
Day 10 - Berlin
Leave the Netherlands behind and hop a train bound for Berlin. It should take about six and a half hours to arrive to this constantly-changing German city. Evidence of its turbulent past are present everywhere you look. This is a city that was destroyed by World War II, and rebuilt. It was divided in two, and staged a revolution. It’s also a city with a thriving art scene, cutting-edge architecture and a party scene that makes NYC’s nightlife seem tame. After settling into your hotel room, the day is free for you to explore on your own. Maybe wander through the Brandenburg Gate, swing by Checkpoint Charlie and witness the crumbling remnants of the Berlin Wall that are scattered all over the city. Reflect on the past and pay visits to the Holocause Memorial, the empty shelves of Bebelplatz and the confronting Topography of Terror. This evening, consider capping off an epic European adventure celebrating as the locals do – in one of the city’s many bars, lounges, clubs filled with live music.
Day 11 - Berlin
The trip comes to an end today after breakfast. As there is much to see and do here, we recommend that you book an extra couple of days in Berlin to give yourself more time to explore. Our reservations team can help (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights),Basic hotel (2 nights)

Transport

Train,Tram,Metro

Map