Essential Europe with London


  • 11 days

  • Europe

  • Steady pace

tour : HFT

Save 10% on 2021

Was from

£2,729pp

Now from

£2,424pp

Prices shown exclude flights and transfers

Overview

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This amazing escorted vacation in Europe explores the essential destinations in Italy, Switzerland, and France, with a bonus stay in exciting London, England. This amazing escorted vacation in Europe explore the essential destinations in Italy, Switzerland and France. Begin your journey in the eternal city of Rome, with guided sightseeing of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. See Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgement, and visit St. Peter’s Square and Basilica to see the artist’s only signed sculpture, the Pieta. Imagine gladiators fighting as you near the Roman Forum for a visit to the ancient Colosseum. Continue through Italy to stay in Florence—the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Academy of Fine Arts to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David. Stand before the magnificent cathedral to admire Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculptures of Signoria Square. From Florence, travel to Venice, entering the city by private boat. Visit St. Mark’s Square to admire its Byzantine basilica, clock tower, Doges’ Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. See a traditional glass blower create works of art, and enjoy an authentic pasta dinner and a private water-taxi ride on Venezia’s Grand Canal. On to the Swiss Alps! Stop in Bellinzona to sip famed regional Merlot with a wonderful view from Castelgrande. Continue to Lucerne amid the grandeur of the Alps and St. Gotthard Pass. See Lucerne’s Lion Monument to Swiss Guards of the French Revolution, and cross the Chapel Bridge to explore the lovely city. From Basel, take a high-speed train to Paris. Spend two nights in the “City of Light” for sightseeing, a Seine River cruise, and lots of free time to explore.

Board your Eurostar Train from Paris to London to enjoy two nights in the exciting city. Sightseeing includes St. Paul’s Cathedral among London’s famous landmarks, and free time to enjoy on your own or with special optional excursions to celebrate your fantastic escorted European vacation.

Due to government travel restrictions in the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, this vacation will have a modified itinerary temporarily to ensure its operation is smooth and safe. For details on any adjustments, please refer to the Travel Update & Policy page found on the home page.

Highlights

ROME
Welcome dinner at a local restaurant; guided sightseeing, visit the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, and the Colosseum
FLORENCEGuided walking tour, visit Michelangelo’s David and Signoria Square
VENICEPrivate boat ride; visit St. Mark’s Square; glassblower demonstration; pasta dinner at local restaurant; [LF] private water-taxi ride through the Grand Canal
BELLINZONA[LF] Visit the Castelgrande courtyard and enjoy a light lunch with wine
LUCERNEWalking tour including the Lion Monument and Chapel Bridge
BASEL–PARISBy high-speed TGV train (first-class)
PARISGuided sightseeing, enjoy a Seine cruise, farewell dinner at a local restaurant
PARIS–LONDON By high-speed Eurostar train
LONDONGuided sightseeing, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral

Flights available from most UK airports

Tour prices are shown without flights: make your own arrangements, or purchase your flights with us from most UK airports. All flight-inclusive tours are ATOL-protected, so you can book with confidence.

Flights available from most UK airports

2021 Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY.

Day
1

Welcome to Rome! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner with wine at one of Rome’s lively restaurants.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

ROME

Day
2

Guided sightseeing of the Eternal City starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by a visit to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà. Then, enjoy views of other major sites as you drive to the Roman Forum to visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore Rome’s famous sites.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

ROME–FLORENCE

Day
3

A pleasant drive past hilltop towns and the vineyards of Chianti brings you to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic center and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Afterwards, shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewelry, sold by the ounce. Tonight try out Tuscan specialties during an optional dinner.
Today’s Distance: 211 mi / 340 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

FLORENCE–VENICE

Day
4

Arrive in Venice, city of romantics, and enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT to visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Admire the byzantine basilica, the Clock Tower, lavish Doges’ Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Time to wander through the narrow streets with their numerous shops at your own pace and you may wish to join an optional gondola ride. A PASTA DINNER has been prepared for you at a local restaurant, followed by a LF PRIVATE WATER-TAXI ride along the Grand Canal as a proper arrivederci on your last night in Italy.
Today’s Distance: 174 mi / 280 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

VENICE–BELLINZONA, SWITZERLAND–LUCERNE

Day
5

Enter the Swiss Alps and stop in Bellinzona. LF Ride the elevator to the COURTYARD of Castelgrande, part of the fortifications dating back to the Middle Ages and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a spectacular panoramic view and a light lunch with local specialties and the delicious Merlot wine for which the Ticino area is famous. On your way to Lucerne marvel at the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard.
Today’s Distance: 342 mi / 550 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

LUCERNE

Day
6

Join your Tour Director for a pleasant walk and admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church, the first large baroque church built in Switzerland on the north side of the Alps. Shop for Swiss watches or chocolates, and to make the most of your stay, choose from a selection of optional activities: climb Mount Pilatus or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. Why not sign up for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking?

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

LUCERNE–BASEL–PARIS, FRANCE

Day
7

Leave Basel and board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. In the afternoon, an optional excursion to the Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa is available, and later, don’t miss an optional dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge!
Today’s Distance: 404 mi / 650 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

PARIS

Day
8

This morning take advantage of an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Later, discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most renowned sites: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. During your SEINE CRUISE enjoy spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. Tonight, a farewell dinner awaits at one of Paris’ lively restaurants, the proper way to say au revoir, Paris.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

PARIS–LONDON, ENGLAND.

Day
9

Travel by high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to London, arriving in the afternoon. Why not take in a West End show tonight?

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

LONDON

Day
10

Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the most famous landmarks and a visit to ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece built between 1675 and 1708. Join our optional Taste of London excursion with dinner, followed by a guided illumination cruise on the Thames River.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

LONDON

Day
11

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

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