Europe Christmas & New Year Escape - XNY17
Number of Days: 12
Christmas & New Year in Europe
This tour visits 7 Countries in 12 days! A comprehensive Europe coach tour taking in some of the continent's most famous sights, including Paris, Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Florence, The Vatican City, you will even head up to the highest train station in Europe in the shadow of Switzerland's Jungfraujoch on this tour. And that's not all... with stops in Germany's Rhine Valley and Amsterdam, too, this is the best way to celebrate the festive season in Europe.
DAY 1: London - Paris
Welcome to the tour! We leave London in the early morning and head for Paris. Settle in and meet your travel companions as we drive, and look forward to 12 glorious days in Europe! Arriving in Paris in the afternoon, we’ll have a driving tour conducted by your tour leader. You’ll be shown the sights of the city and places of interest that you’ll be able to explore in full tomorrow during your free day – so take notes! Look out for famous sights like L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, the River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite and the Louvre Museum. You’ll also get a glimpse of that most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, overlooked by the famous Arc de Triomphe. After checking in to our hotel, we head out for dinner in the famously arty district of Montmartre, after which the city is yours to explore.
Driving Tour of Paris: we’ll take a driving tour of this famous city when you arrive. Look out for L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, The River Seine, l'Ile de la Cite, the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Lovers Bridge, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Pigalle (the Red Light District) and the Moulin Rouge!
- Ibis la Defense
- B&B Porte Des Lilas
- B&B Paris Malakof
- Ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences
- B&B Paris Italie Porte de Choisy
- B&B Hôtel Orly Chevilly
DAY 2: Paris - Free day
Today is yours to explore Paris any way you like. Whether you’re after a visit to Disneyland Paris, a trip to the Eiffel Tower or a few hours in one of the countless museums – Paris awaits! Perhaps you fancy going shopping? Or visiting Notre Dame Cathedral? How about sampling some of that famous French cuisine? Make the most of the day, and be sure to ask your tour leader for hints and tips. Optional excursions include a River Seine cruise and a trip up Montparnasse to admire an incredible view of the city. The evening is yours to spend as you wish.
DAY 3: Swiss Alps
Leaving Paris behind, we make an early start for the lofty peaks of the Swiss Alps. Keep your eyes open to admire the incredible scenery that we’ll pass by. Tonight we stay in a typical mountain village in the heart of the Alps, known as the Jungfrau region. This is a World Heritage Site, boasting incredible views of the surrounding scenery; the perfect place to get into that festive Christmas spirit.
Scenic Mountain Drive: spectacular views as we drive through mountain passes and alongside lakes, breath-taking mountain vistas and scenic views of quaint Swiss towns.
- Alpenrose Hotel & Gardens
- Swiss Youth Hostel Interlaken
- Hotel Baren Ringgenberg
- Hotel Schonbhul
- Hotel City Oberland
- Das Hotel Sherlock Holmes
DAY 4: Swiss Alps - Free day
Merry Christmas! Today is yours to enjoy the local scenery. One of the highlights of the tour is to take the optional excursion to Jungfraujoch – the highest train station in Europe! Along with the picture-perfect views of the mountain villages and ski-runs on the way up, the views from the weather station are breath-taking – though that may be because of the high altitude! At 4000m, the ice and snow is a permanent feature of life here. Admire views of the glaciers, sip gluhwein and enjoy the snowy surrounds – it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than this! Tonight you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional Christmas dinner with your fellow travellers. After spending the day in the mountains you’re sure to sleep soundly tonight!
DAY 5: Florence - Tuscany
It's time to swap snow for gelato, as you continue your European tour through northern Italy to Florence. Once we arrive, a local guide can’t wait to show you around on a walking tour of the city. History oozes out of every pore of this artistic and cultural centre - the city is home to Michaelangelo’s ‘David’. After some free time to further explore Florence we head to our accommodation for the evening, either in Florence or the spa town of Montecatini Terme.
Walking Tour of Florence: the capital city of the Tuscan region of Italy and considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance. We will take you on a walking tour with a professional local guide where you will see Florence's Baptistery, Bell Tower, Gates of Paradise, Brunelleschi's Dome, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio.
- Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio
- Hotel Meridiana Florence
DAY 6: Pisa - Rome
Today, your Italian adventure continues! Make sure you prepare your camera for a photo opportunity of a lifetime. when we stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa! This world famous Bell tower is immaculately presented. A world heritage UNESCO site, The Leaning Tower is visited by tourists from every corner of the globe, and is one of the most popular cultural European landmarks. We then continue on to Rome, where your tour leader will take you on a driving tour of the Italian capital to introduce you to all the historic sights. This afternoon is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of an optional excursion to visit the Vatican City - the smallest country in the world! Inside the walls, you can visit the Sistine Chapel and see for yourself the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo, as well as numerous other famous art pieces dotted around the buildings. On the way to your accommodation for the evening, you can start to plan what to do with your free day tomorrow.
View the Leaning Tower of Pisa: your chance to see the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, or even take some iconic pictures of you ‘holding up’ the tower!
Driving tour: Rome has so much to see and do we can’t list everything here but your driving tour of the Italian capital will give you a great foundation for further exploration in your free time.
- Hotel Cristoforo Colombo
- Hotel Club House Roma
- Hotel American Palace
DAY 7: Rome - Free day
Today is yours to explore Rome. Linger at famous sites you saw on the walking tour, or dig a little deeper and discover something new! Romans always eat well and drink well, so find yourself a traditional restaurant to relax and enjoy top-notch Italian cuisine. Alternatively, take the opportunity to visit the Vatican City – the smallest recognised country in the world and the home of the Pope. Marvel at the enormous collection of artworks and learn more about Roman history.
DAY 8: Venice
After roaming Rome, you shall now visit Venice on the next leg of your 12 day Europe Tour! Take note of the scenery on the way - vineyards and orchards flash in front of a majestic mountain backdrop. The diversity of the Italian landscapes will continue to impress. And then...Venice. A unique city, perched across 118 islands, and known for its canals, gondolas, Venetian masks, piazzas, art, traditional glass and lace making. Your tour leader will introduce you to the city with an orientation walk so you can use your free time in the early evening to explore. See the world famous St Marks Square, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge. The evening is yours to enjoy authentic Italian delights, with hundreds of fantastic local restaurants and bars to choose from. After an espresso, explore Venice the traditional way - from the canals. Take a gondola ride which gives you a completely different perspective and appreciation for the amazing structure of this supremely unique location.
Orientation tour of Venice: your tour leader will take you into the heart of this unique floating city for an orientation to help you explore and see St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark’s Museum, Campanile (Elevator to the top), Doge’s Palace, Rialto Market and Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
- Elite Residence Hotel
- NH Laguna Palace
- Hotel Complex Ambasciatori & Delfino
- Hotel Venezia
DAY 9: Munich
Arrivederci, Italy...until we see each other again. Heading north toward Germany, you will encounter some of the most beautiful countryside in central Europe. The famous Brenner Pass will appear before you, and simply take your breath away. Arriving in Munich in the afternoon, there is plenty of time for an escorted walking tour of the city centre. With much of the city having to be restored after WW2, the modern and ancient history of Munich is fascinating, and the appreciation of the effort to rebuild the German capital is gilded with respect. Munich plays host to one of the most famous beer festivals in the world - Oktoberfest! To give you a taste, this evening you will dine in a traditional beer hall, and enjoy a local stein on us! Prost!
Scenic drive: cross spectacular mountain passes and experience some amazing mountain vistas.
Munich orientation tour: your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour of Munich, the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. You will see Karlsplats and Marienplatz, New Town Hall, Church of our Lady, and if you visit in the winter the traditional German Christmas markets.
Beer hall dinner: we take you to visit a traditional beer hall and sample some German food and drink, including famous German sausages (vegetarian options available) and steins of beer.
- Super 8 Munich City West
- Ibis Muenchen City
- Hotel Dolomit
- Ibis Nuremberg Am Plarrer
- Ibis Augsburg Hauptbahnhof
- NH Munich Messe
- NH Munich Ost Conference Centre
- Holiday Inn Express Munich Messe
- Azimut City Ost
DAY 10: Rhine Valley
Tonight is New Year's Eve! Before we celebrate, your German adventure continues, with you heading to one of the most picturesque sections of the famous Rhine River. The Rhine Valley is nestled to the north of Munich and boasts the highest concentration of castles and vineyards in Europe. Just for you, we have organised a Rhine Valley river cruise experience, so that you can relax, take in the scenery and medieval townships, whilst filling your lungs with crisp, fresh country air. As you dock at a quaint gothic German village on the banks of the Rhine, you will be checked into your hotel, and enjoy a lovely German dinner. Afterwards, why not take an evening stroll along the banks of the river, or explore the village? There is a world famous Cuckoo Clock waiting to be discovered, and a shop bearing the world’s largest beer stein!
River cruise: cruise down the Rhine and see the beautiful scenery and the largest concentration of gothic castles (Sterrenberg, Liebestein, Katz and Fortess Rheinfels).
Opportunity to visit a cuckoo clock and beer stein-making shop.
- Ibis Bonn
- Hotel Weiland
- InterCity Bonn
DAY 11: Amsterdam
Happy New Year! This morning you will say your goodbye’s to Germany, and continue your Europe tour into the Netherlands. With your tour leader giving you a run down on local traditions and culture, you will be given an opportunity to indulge three of the most iconic Dutch products - cheese, clogs and windmills! A very entertaining cheese and clog making display, will have you fascinated and wanting to taste and ‘klomp’ (klompen is the Dutch word for ‘clogs’. Checking into your hotel you have a chance to freshen up, and then whisked to the centre of Amsterdam for a twilight canal cruise. Complete with pizza and ice cream, you will explore the city from below sea level, and gain an alternative perspective of this eclectic and bohemian city, whilst drifting past famous landmarks, and learning about Amsterdam’s interesting development. Afterwards, why not join your tour leader on a walking tour of the infamous Red Light District, and then you are free to explore the city to your hearts’ content. The cafes, restaurants and bars will be buzzing with activity and atmosphere.
Visit the Riekermolen Windmill: take a photo!
Cheese and clogs demonstration: see how these famous shoes are traditionally made by hand and taste some fantastic cheeses. Of course the chance to shop and get those unique souvenirs.
Amsterdam Canal Cruise: sail along Amsterdam's stunning canals at twilight and enjoy a delicious pizza as you cruise. A perfect introduction to Amsterdam you will cruise along Amsterdam's atmospheric canals. Choose from six types of pizza, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and you can also upgrade to include unlimited soft drinks, beer and wine.
Amsterdam orientation walking tour: where your tour leader will show you Central Station, the infamous Red light district, Dam Square, Damrak, Royal Palace, National Monument, Old and New Church and of course the canals that weave through the city.
- Hampton by Hilton Schipol Airport
- Holiday Inn Express Schipol Airport
- Park Inn Plaza Amsterdam Airport
- Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol
- Lake land Hotel
DAY 12: Bruges - London
After your Amsterdam adventure, you have one more stop before you set off for the UK. The Belgian city of Bruges, is a small but picturesque city, with breath-taking architecture and a wonderful personality. Described as the ‘Venice of the North’, take some time to stretch your legs and indulge in a spot of sight-seeing. Gastronomy is its forte, you will find plenty of chocolatiers ready to educate you on the quality of their produce. After your visit, you will then be on your way back to London, crossing the English Channel on the way. This is the perfect time to exchange contact details with new friends and travel buddies as you prepare to disembark in the capital. Make sure you upload the highlights of your 12 day Europe tour onto our Facebook page, and we look forward to having you on tour with us again soon.
Visit to Bruges: a stop in this beautiful medieval town with some free time so you could try the signature national dish of frites and moules, see or even climb the Belfry Tower, have a Belgian beer or buy some amazing Belgian chocolate.
- 11 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- 11 breakfasts, 6 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 15 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)