European Heritage - Insight Vacations

European Heritage (Summer 2017)

Duration: 33 days Visiting: England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Journey through Europe's diverse cultures, scenery and historic sights to Greece, the cradle of Western civilisation. After relaxing beside the azure waters of the Aegean, return via Italy's most famous cities to the glistening French capital.

  1. Day 1

    Depart from London by Eurostar to Amsterdam

    Meet your Tour Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels. From here, it's a comfortable drive into the Netherlands. See the first of the windmills on the way to lively Amsterdam. Alternatively, join at the Amsterdam hotel. Later, meet your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Amsterdam and the Dutch Countryside

    (Relaxed Start) After your orientation of Amsterdam, drive through the pleasant Dutch countryside to the traditional fishing village of Volendam. This is followed by a photo-stop at one of the windmills and a visit to a cheese farm and ‘Klompenhuis', where wooden clogs are made. Back in Amsterdam, round-off the day with a visit to a diamond cutting factory, whose industry dates back to the 16th century. With free time this afternoon, perhaps visit the Rijksmuseum or the Anne Frank House?

  3. Day 3

    Cruise past the Castles of the Rhine Valley and on to Heidelberg

    Leave Amsterdam, en route for Germany. Cross the extensive Ruhr Basin and head for the Romantic Rhine Gorge. In the quaint wine village of Boppard, board your cruise past fortified towns and leafy vineyards. Pass the twin strongholds of the ‘Enemy Brothers', the Cat and Mouse castles and hear the legend of the Loreley Rock. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to the university town of Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle.

  4. Day 4

    Innsbruck, Mountain-ringed Capital of the Tyrol

    Skirt the northern Black Forest and head for the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig's fairytale Neuschwanstein. Once over the Austrian border, continue to the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Tour the architectural jewels of the city, seeing the Imperial Palace, Golden Roof and the 14th century houses of the Old Town.

  5. Day 5

    Salzburg, City of Music, then on to Vienna

    Make your way to Salzburg and join a Local Expert in the Cathedral Square by the domed cathedral and splendid Residenz Fountain. Stroll through the Old Town's narrow lanes to see Mozart's birthplace on the Getreidegasse. Cross the river to the formal gardens of the Mirabell Palace and see the beautiful fountains and statues. Here, there is also a great chance to photograph the city skyline crowned by the castle heights. Later, drive along the Danube Valley, past the imposing Melk Abbey to the stately capital of Vienna.

  6. Day 6

    Vienna and the Habsburgs

    In the morning, a Local Expert reveals the highlights of Schönbrunn Palace, full of frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers, mirrors and gilded ornaments. Spend some time in the formal gardens before going on to view St. Charles' Church, the Hofburg Palace, Parliament and State Opera House. The afternoon is all yours to explore the city at your leisure.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    A Scenic drive to Ljubljana

    (Relaxed Start) Drive through Styria's forested mountains and over the Slovenian border to the 'beloved' city of Ljubljana. Sightsee with a Local Expert who reveals the Baroque elegance of the Slovenian capital. The medieval castle stands as ancient guardian, the City Hall and Cathedral of St. Nicholas testify to its historical importance.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Zagreb and Plitvice, with its crystal blue-green lakes

    (Relaxed Start) Follow the Drava River to Croatia and its pretty capital of Zagreb. On an orientation tour, see the green squares and 19th century charm of the modern Lower Town. Move on to the Upper Town, a medieval treasure chest of churches, cathedrals, palaces and stone gates. Leave Zagreb and continue on to one of Europe's finest natural wonders.

  9. Day 9

    The Dalmatian Coast

    With a Local Expert, explore Plitvice Lakes National Park, a scenic wonderland of 16 inter-connecting lakes, flanked by thundering waterfalls and primeval forest. Visit Korana Canyon to see the 230 foot high falls and Tomicevo Pogledalo for panoramic views over the park. The landscape changes on the drive to the Dalmatian coast, as forests give way to rugged cliffs and turquoise coves. Visit Trogir, founded by the Greeks in 400BC. Admire the Romanesque cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace before continuing to the port of Split.

  10. Day 10

    Explore Split and on to the Adriatic Coast

    Some 1,700 years ago, the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace here; with your Local Expert, explore the cobbled streets and buildings within the palace. Venture into the underground rooms thought to have housed his slaves. Drive along the sun-drenched coast, studded with rocky islands to your hotel.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic

    (Relaxed Start) A guided sightseeing tour in the Old Town explores the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions. See Onofrio's Fountain, the Rector's Palace, the city walls, and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. The afternoon is at leisure – maybe take a sunset cruise in the evening?

  12. Day 12

    Kotor and the Albanian Capital of Tirana

    Just over the border, visit the old town of Kotor, perched beside the only European fjord outside of Norway. Continue through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro. Then cross into the mysterious, emerging country of Albania and stay in the warm hearted capital Tirana. With a Local Expert, see Skanderbeg square, the Palace of Culture and the National History Museum. Continue to the main boulevard to see the Prime Ministry building, President office, Pyramid Building and University.

  13. Day 13

    Through the mountains of Greece to Ioannina

    Travel through spectacular scenery to the northern mountainous region of Greece and stop for lunch in Albania at the historic Unesco city of Girokastra. Next, continue to the pretty resort of Ioannina.

  14. Day 14

    Athens, Cradle of Europe

    Take a scenic drive to Kalambaka. While here, perhaps take an optional experience to the monasteries of Meteora, before continuing on to the ancient Greek capital of Athens.

  15. Day 15 - Relaxed Start

    The Glory of Athens

    (Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert in the morning for Athens sightseeing. Enjoy glory in abundance, from the Parthenon and Acropolis to the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of the Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. The afternoon is at leisure to explore at your own pace.

  16. Day 16 - Relaxed Start

    Athens at leisure

    (Relaxed Start) With the whole day free, why not sit back and relax by the rooftop pool or perhaps pamper yourself with a treatment at the spa?

  17. Day 17 - Relaxed Start

    Athens, the World's Ancient Capital

    (Relaxed Start) With another day free, there's plenty to discover within this dynamic city and its mix of history and edginess - ancient and modern, with equal measures of grunge and grace. Iconic monuments, first-rate museums, lively cafes and al fresco dining are yours to enjoy at your own pace.

  18. Day 18 - Relaxed Start

    Free time in Athens

    (Relaxed Start) A trip to Athens is not complete without a venture to the flea market. Try your hand at bargaining, a great opportunity to mix with the locals and pick up last-minute souvenirs before your European adventure continues.

  19. Day 19

    Fly to Italy and onto Sorrento

    In the morning, transfer to the airport for the short flight to Italy. On arrival in Rome, drive to the beautiful clifftop resort of Sorrento. Savour the stunning views over the Gulf of Naples.

  20. Day 20

    Experience beautiful Capri, the Isle of Dreams

    In the morning, cruise to the magical island of Capri. Weather permitting, ascend to Capri town by open-top taxi with a Local Expert. Browse in the exclusive boutiques before descending to the port by funicular railway. Back in Sorrento, visit the lively Piazza Tasso to watch the art of ‘intarsio' wood inlaying. Afterwards, maybe explore the famous Amalfi Coast?

  21. Day 21

    Ill-fated Pompeii and onto Rome

    Drive to the Roman town of Pompeii, buried by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. Your Local Expert will explain the plight of the ill-fated citizens as you walk through the cobbled streets. Then it's on to Rome.

  22. Day 22

    Papal Rome

    In the morning, enjoy an in-depth guided visit to the Vatican Museums, including fast-track VIP access, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, normally off-limits to the general public. Then enter the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, tour St Peter's Basilica before crossing the Tiber to see the Colosseum.

  23. Day 23

    Follow the Autostrada del Sole to Venice

    Pass the hill-towns of Umbria, and on through peaceful Tuscan landscapes. Descend past Bologna into the fertile Valley of the River Po. Cross the river's flood plains and continue to the glorious city of Venice.

  24. Day 24 - Relaxed Start

    Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’

    (Relaxed Start) Cruise down the canal to St. Mark's Square. See the Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the prisons, the Bell Tower, beautiful mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica and the Clock Tower. During your stay, board a gondola for a serenade through the romantic canals accompanied by musicians and admire the skill of glassblowers at a traditional arts centre on the island of Giudecca. Enjoy free time in the afternoon.

  25. Day 25

    Through Tuscany to explore Renaissance Florence

    Journey south into Tuscany and enjoy sweeping views over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo before your sightseeing. Walk with a Local Expert to the cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti's ‘Gates of Paradise' have been recreated in all their glory. Move on to Signoria Square, now an open air gallery of sculpture and enjoy time to gaze at statues such as Neptune and David. Then enjoy an insight into traditional leather work.

  26. Day 26 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Florence

    (Relaxed Start) This is a day completely at leisure in this remarkable city - the treasure-house of the Italian Renaissance.

  27. Day 27

    Pisa, Monaco and on to Nice

    Travel west towards the Mediterranean and stop at Pisa. With a Local Expert, see the famous Leaning Tower in the 'Meadow of Miracles', and the 11th century cathedral and baptistery. Cross into France and on to Monaco, ruled by the Genoese Grimaldi family since the 13th century. See the Royal Palace, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, housing Princess Grace's tomb. Continue along one of the 'Corniche' roads to glamorous Nice, the fashionable French riviera resort. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles.

  28. Day 28 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring the Côte d’Azur

    (Relaxed Start) With the whole day in Nice at your leisure, perhaps consider a stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais, relax on the beach or maybe choose an optional experience to other parts of the Riviera?

  29. Day 29

    Up through the Alps to Lakeside Lucerne

    Pass through the Italian Lake District en route to Switzerland. Stunning Alpine scenery will surround you on the way to Lucerne.

  30. Day 30

    Lucerne’s Lakes and Lion

    Head to the town of Stans, to embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of Stanserhorn. Enjoy the clear air and stunning beautiful mountains views. Back in Lucerne, see the Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge before free time for shopping. Later, enjoy a selection of ambience and local cuisine offered on your Dine-Around evening.

  31. Day 31

    Paris for a ‘Diner de Célébration’

    Drive to Basel before crossing the Rhine to enter France. Travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant ‘Ville-Lumière' (City of Light). During your time in Paris, see the imposing façades of the Louvre, the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.

  32. Day 32

    Paris, the ‘City of Light’

    Meet your Local Expert who will take you on a walking tour of the bohemian Latin Quarter. Explore the myriad of streets situated on the left bank of the Seine, before continuing to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Insight ensures you leave the long queues at the Eiffel Tower behind - ascend by express elevator to the famous viewing platforms for breathtaking panoramas over the city. Then you are at leisure.

  33. Day 33

    Au revoir Paris

    Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 & 11:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London, via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels.
  • Rhine Valley: Watch medieval hilltop castles, sleepy villages and vineyards slip by as you enjoy a scenic cruise.
  • Vienna: A private, guided exploration of Schönbrunn Palace is a feast for the senses - frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers and gilded Rococo frames.
  • Plitvice: A UNESCO World Heritage site, marvel at the water wonderland as you walk along stunning cascades.
  • Split: With a local historian, explore above and below ground within the walls of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace - now the heart of modern day Split.
  • Athens: Ascend the ‘Sacred Rock', the Acropolis, to admire the Parthenon built in 5th century BC as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike and Caryatid Beauties.
  • Isle of Capri: Cruise to the famous isle to meet your Local Expert and in the style of the jet-set, ride up to town by open-top taxi.
  • Pompeii: Walk with a Local Expert through the cobbled streets of the town, frozen in time since the 1st century.
  • Rome: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
  • Venice: With classic Italian love songs echoing through atmospheric canals, glide beneath elegant bridges during a traditional gondola serenade.
  • Pisa: See the famous leaning tower.
  • Stanserhorn: A spectacular journey by a funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the Stanserhorn for expansive mountain views.
  • Paris: Venture with a Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
  • Paris: Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for glorious panoramas of the city.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
  • Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
  • Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town.
  • Füssen: See the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein.
  • Salzburg: Walk through the Mirabell Gardens with a guide, see Mozart's Birthplace and the Cathedral.
  • Vienna: Tour the Ring Road seeing the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles' Church.
  • Ljubljana: A local expert reveals the medieval castle, City Hall, the Cathedral of St.Nicholas and the Triple Bridge.
  • Zagreb: See Roosevelt Square and Ban Josip Jelacic Square. Tour the Upper Town to view the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St Marks Church and the Lotrščak Tower.
  • Trogir: See the Cipiko Palace and Romanesque Cathedral.
  • Split: See St. Duje's, the baptistery and the Golden Gate on your guided tour through the labyrinthine streets.
  • Dubrovnik: See Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Palace and city walls. Admire the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
  • Kotor: Visit the old town situated on its fjord.
  • Tirana: Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour.
  • Athens: See Hadrian's Arch and Temple of Zeus.
  • Sorrento: Watch the art of ‘intarsio' wood inlaying.
  • Rome: Visit St Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. See the Colosseum and overlook the Forum.
  • Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St. Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Florence: View the Cathedral, ‘Gates of Paradise' and Piazza Signoria. Traditional Florence leather-work demonstration.
  • Pisa: See the famous Leaning Tower.
  • Monaco: Drive on part of the Grand Prix circuit. See the Grimaldi Royal Palace. See the tomb of Princess Grace.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument. See the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the façades of the Louvre Museum, the Place de la Concorde. Drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Volendam: Visit a Cheese Farm with a Local Expert in the Dutch Countryside.
  • Lucerne: You are offered a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around evening. Choose your own ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
  • Paris: In the Latin Quarter, rendezvous with friends at a typical French bistro for a little wine and a Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
  • 31 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 1 Dinner (D); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 7 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around evening (DA), and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Amsterdam: The bar on the 23rd floor of the luxurious Hotel Okura offers magnificent views.
  • Heidelberg: The Crowne Plaza is a few minutes' walk from the Neckar River, where you can cross medieval bridges to reach the centre of this Renaissance university city.
  • Ioannina: Situated next to the 'Lake of Legends', the Du Lac Hotel is a modern hotel offering excellent facilities.
  • Athens: The Divani Caravel is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of the Greek capital.
  • Venice: True to its name, the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal couldn't be better located.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Aalsmeer Flower Auctions

Experience the excitement at the very epicentre of the international flower trade! Each day, over 19 million flowers are sold at 'Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer', the world's largest flower auction. Witness all the action from a specially-designed viewing gallery as traders bid against the clock for a mind-blowing assortment of blooms. A unique experience you'll remember forever! This optional does not operate on Saturdays and Sundays.

Adult Price: EUR 24.00

Code: AMS0003

Dutch Bulbfields - Keukenhof Gardens

Holland's bulb district (Bollenstreek) is only a short drive from Amsterdam and a seasonal delight. In the spring months, millions of Dutch tulip, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs erupt into a riot of colour from their orderly rows. A must for gardeners, photographers or anyone with a floral fascination. (Only available in season).

Adult Price: EUR 39.00

Code: AMS0005

Dinner In A Historic Dutch Restaurant & Canal Cruise

Savour a meal of typical Dutch specialities with drinks in historic surroundings. Later we board our private canal boat and glide gently along illuminated canals, past traditional Dutch-gabled houses built right on the water's edge and under picturesque bridges.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: AMS0006

Traditional Greek Taverna Meal With Entertainment

This is an evening excursion to a taverna in the centre of Athens. Excellent traditional Greek food in a lively atmosphere, entertained through dances and music from all parts of the country. Wine, beer and soft drinks are also included. Although the venue does have an official ending time, guests are more than welcome to stay on in the taverna, to join in with the local residents! (Casual dress)

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: ATH0003

Cape Sounion

Take a relaxing trip down to the southernmost tip of Mainland Greece to see the fifth century B.C Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. See if you can spot where Byron carved his initials on one of the temple’s sixteen columns. Marvel at the sheer rugged beauty of the coastline and the ancient temple perched above a 197-foot drop down to the Aegean Sea below. Stand above the site of the world’s first lighthouse, overlooking an area steeped in classical Greek history, ever since the tragic King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice into the sea below, thereby giving his name to the Aegean Sea.

Adult Price: EUR 40.00

Code: ATH0005

Delphi

The slopes of Parnassus Mountain are home to Delphi, home to the Oracke and the centre of the universe for the ancient world. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Stadium & the Temple, as well as the museum of Delphi - home to over 10,000 artefacts, including the famous bronze Charioteer. In addition, you will also pass through the typical mountain Greek village of Arachova - famous for its cheese, matured in nearby caves, and for its flokati rugs. (Lunch is included)

Adult Price: EUR 100.00

Code: ATH0006

Dinner And Acropolis Illuminations

This evening we dine in one of the most historical parts of Athens with a backdrop of the mighty Parthenon and fabulous views of the temple of Ephestus. Dine on fine Modern Greek cuisine and savor delicious wine whilst gazing at the spectacular site of the sacred rock which adorns this fascinating city.

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: ATH0011

One Day Cruise

Depart for Flisvos harbour, where you'll board your ship for a memorable full-day cruise to the three idyllic Saronic Gulf Islands of Aegina, Hydra and Poros. Enjoy a day out on the crystal clear waters of the Aegean sea. Lunch is included on board, and we'll enjoy entertainment on the return journey.

Adult Price: EUR 105.00

Code: ATH0016

Scenic Cruise and Lunch/Dinner

Sit back and enjoy a relaxing cruise around the fabled bay of Dubrovnik. The mighty city walls rise straight from the cliffs that once upon a time were part of yet another island of the Adriatic. Enjoy a typical Dalmatian coast dinner, washed down with local drinks (wine and grappa being the most famous). Then moor in the old town harbour for another look at Dubrovnik. (Weather permitting. In some cases the cruise may be operated during the day with lunch).

Adult Price: EUR 57.00

Code: DUB0002

San Gimignano Excursion

A wonderful excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town! Visit San Gimignano, considered a medieval Manhattan, due to its towers which dominate the skyline. Soak up the unique atmosphere of this ancient gem which has remained intact since the 14th century and today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Adult Price: EUR 35.00

Code: FLO0002

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we'll travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. This wonderful cooking demonstration, with superb food and wine, will provide warm and genuine Tuscan hospitality.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: FLO0003

Heidelberg Castle

Visit the symbol of German Romanticism. The grand ruins of Heidelberg Castle rise up on a rocky hilltop offering spectacular views over the old town and River Neckar. A local expert shows you the garden terraces, ruined castle defences and inner courtyard with its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque facades.

Adult Price: EUR 26.00

Code: HEI0001

Minoan Palace Of Knossos - 1st European Civilization

The ancient city of Knossos the residence of the wise King Minos and the Minotaur, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that “gave birth” to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The palace of Knossos spreads around a large Central Court. You will reach the awe inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the “Prince of the Lilies”, the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen’s Megaron. Walking through the apartments of the Knossos palace and observing the finds even as passers-by, you will feel part of this cultural heritage.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: HER0001

Tyrolean Evening & Dinner

Enjoy a lively evening including dinner, featuring dancers in national costume, yodelling and entertainment typical of the life, crafts and traditions of the Tyrolean people. Two drinks are included.

Adult Price: EUR 67.00

Code: INN0002

Ancient Ephesus Through The Ages - Hellenistic & Roman

This morning, the wonderful site of Ancient Ephesus awaits. Walk streets visited by so many famous historical figures including Cleopatra. The local specialist brings history alive as we begin our visit at the top of Ephesus, passing by the Agora, Odeon, the original marble-paved Street of Kouretes, Trajan’s Fountain, Public Latrines, Hadrian’s Temple, culminating with the magnificent Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre, which accommodated 24,000 spectators. Our optional experience gives us an opportunity for local shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs famous in Turkey. Return to the town and port of Kusadasi, take the opportunity to bargain in the covered bazaar.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: KUS0002

Excursion To Lake Bled

Drive through the pretty Slovenian countryside to the tranquil shores of Lake Bled. Surrounded by stunning views of the Julian Alps, an oarsman steers his traditional wooden 'pletna' across the turquoise glacial waters towards the tiny island that rises in the middle. Ascend the 99 stone steps to the pilgrimage church where the famous “wishing bell” has been ringing out since 1534. After making your wish, enjoy coffee and a delicious pastry by the lake, followed by some free time for unforgettable photo-ops!

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: LJU0001

Carriages & Countryside

In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.

Adult Price: CHF 67.00

Code: LUC0001

Swiss Evening

There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.

Adult Price: CHF 99.00

Code: LUC0002

Lake Lucerne Happy Hour Cruise

Widely considered to be the loveliest of the mountain lakes, much of the shoreline of Lake Lucerne can only be fully appreciated from the water. Admire the spectacular homes of the fortunate few, privileged to live on its scenic shores, as we cruise gently by. Two drinks will be served during the trip.

Adult Price: CHF 49.00

Code: LUC0005

Excursion to Meteora (The Magical Suspended Rocks)

An opportunity to experience one of Europe's most amazing and unique sights, the teetering monasteries of Meteora, incredibly perched on pinnacles of rock. These natural sandstone towers served as hermit havens as far back as AD985 - the monasteries came later in the 14th century. Climb the rock hewn steps to visit one of the holy high points and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley and Pindos Mountains. Afterwards relax over a hearty lunch in a local restaurant. (On certain departures this excursion will be offered without lunch - Euro 35)

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: MET0001

Riviera '3 Corniches' & Dinner

The 'Corniches' are three stunning serpentine roads linking Monaco to Nice, 'where the mountains meet the sea'. The Grande Corniche is perhaps the most spectacular, first constructed as part of the ancient Roman Aurelian Way and rebuilt by Napoleon in 1806. You may recognise its sweeping vistas, pink sunsets and medieval towns from such famous films as Hitchcock's 'To Catch a Thief'. Your cliff-hanging drive culminates with a fabulous dinner of Provençal specialities, wines and aperitifs - all enjoyed while embracing one of Europe's most breathtaking backdrops.

Adult Price: EUR 72.00

Code: NIC0001

St Paul De Vence, Provençal Dinner

A great afternoon and evening out. St Paul de Vence is a 500 year old 'perched' village in the Riviera hinterland and one of most famous enclaves for artists in France. This perfectly preserved medieval fortress was an inspiration to Picasso, Matisse and Chagall and its winding cobbled streets still teem with artists' studios, galleries, boutiques and craft shops. After time to explore, continue to a Provençal restaurant for a wonderful dinner of local specialities. Bon Appétit!

Adult Price: EUR 83.00

Code: NIC0006

Monte Carlo by Night

Join your Tour Director to see Monte Carlo by night as it's beautifully illuminated against the evening sky. We'll also have a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous.

Adult Price: EUR 21.00

Code: NIC0008

Moulin Rouge

Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!

Adult Price: EUR 162.00

Code: PAR0002

Montmartre Village & Artists Square

Discover the bohemian quarter of Montmartre with your local expert. Walk through the historic lower area before ascending by funicular to the Place du Tertre, a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and Utrillo. Browse for original art or ask a local street artist to capture your likeness in minutes - a great souvenir to take home. Close by you can appreciate the view from the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

Adult Price: EUR 37.00

Code: PAR0004

Guided Visit To Le Grand Louvre

Visit one of the world's best known art collections at the Louvre. A specialist art historian guides you through the galleries to see the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, Mona Lisa and many more works from the collection amassed over the ages by the Kings of France. The provision of personal headsets ensures you wont miss any of the clear, expert commentary.

Adult Price: EUR 50.00

Code: PAR0005

Seine Cruise And Illuminations

The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. First, a specially designed sightseeing boat takes us for an unforgettable cruise along the Seine and beneath famous bridges to appreciate the Left and Right Banks and the Île de la Cité & St Louis. Then, with a Local Expert, we'll enjoy an illuminations tour, when the rubies & diamonds of the Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are at their magnificent best.

Adult Price: EUR 38.00

Code: PAR0006

Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Cabaret

One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.

Adult Price: EUR 139.00

Code: PAR0013

Patmos Countryside Tour With Hora And Grotto Of Apocalypse

We visit Patmos a UNESCO “World Heritage Monument” and enjoy a panoramic guided tour of the island, a magical visit to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where it is said St John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation; marvel at the views of the Monastery of St John the Evangelist, and culminate our tour at Scala the port of Patmos where we enjoy a welcoming coffee, tea or refreshment.

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: PAT0002

Guided Visit To Colosseum & Roman Forum

With our local expert, We'll explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Enjoying priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds, we'll hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat inside the mighty Colosseum. Then, we'll walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers and gaze over the incredible ruins of the forum, once the centre of political, religious and social life, while hearing tales of the mighty Roman Empire. Truly an incredible vision as history comes alive! n.b. On the first Sunday of the month, the price of this optional experience will be reduced.

Adult Price: EUR 52.00

Code: ROM0003

Piazzas & Fountains

With our local expert, let's take a “passeggiata” (stroll) to enjoy the backstreets and secrets of pedestrian Rome. Be amazed at sights such as the fascinating Pantheon and the beauty of 17th-century fountains and beautiful Piazzas. Come and enjoy the Rome of the Romans.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: ROM0004

Dinner In Rome And Illuminations

Begin with a delicious dinner with drinks included at a local 'ristorante'. Savour a selection of dishes freshly prepared in the Roman way accompanied by live music. Round off the evening with a sparkling illuminations tour of Rome's floodlit ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches. Your journey takes you past the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia and Michelangelo's 'Cordonata' and more. A night not to be missed.

Adult Price: EUR 60.00

Code: ROM0008

Roman Dinner Party and Trevi Fountain

Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and great Italian ambiance. Then visit the beautifully-restored Trevi Fountain to toss a coin over your shoulder and assure your return to the eternal city. The fountain is a true wonder, a breathtaking jewel of water and stone that is nestled between the palaces of this historic city. Immortalized in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’.

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: ROM0018

Eagle's Nest & The Bavarian Alps

Drive over the German border, past picturesque farmhouses and villages to Obersalzberg. Nearly 75 years ago, this small mountain paradise was the summer playground for top Nazi brass. Here we will transfer to special coaches for the scenic drive up the mountain to Hitler's notorious "Eagle's Nest". Used as a restaurant since the 50's, there are splendid views through the arches up to the 'Hohen Goll' and across the snow capped peaks.

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: SAL0004

Spectacular Oia Village Perched On The Caldera Rim

First we'll visit Megalochori, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island. Continuing east, we'll pass through settlements like Kamari, Monolithos and Fira and experience unsurpassed panoramic views. Arriving in Oia, you'll have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, gaze at the adorably cute shops, take pictures, and become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks. As well as the unusual captains’ manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: SAN0009

Island Tour of Capri

Experience the spectacular cliffs and famous turquoise waters of Capri during a relaxing cruise around the island. View the beautiful grottos and unique coastline before ascending to Capri town. This optional experience is weather dependent and may be replaced by a minibus tour of the Island with a visit to Anacapri and the Villa San Michele.

Adult Price: EUR 41.00

Code: SOR0001

Sorrento Evening

A chance to enjoy a delicious dinner of local specialities. We arrive at one of the area's unique local restaurants for an incredible dining experience featuring some of the famous dishes of this region!

Adult Price: EUR 61.00

Code: SOR0002

Amalfi Coast Drive & Positano Visit

Drive along the clear blue waters and picturesque resorts of the Amalfi Coast, arguably the most glamorous and scenic stretch of coast in Europe. Minibuses wind their way down serpentine roads to the exclusive artists' paradise of Positano, clinging to the cliff face, as if about to cascade into the turquoise waters below. Spend time exploring the elegant shops, watching the artists at work, or enjoying an 'aperitivo' in a beach side cafe.

Adult Price: EUR 43.00

Code: SOR0004

Konoba Dinner

For the authentic Dalmatian cuisine experience, dinner in a traditional ‘konoba’ (stone daylight basement), is a must. Friendly staff serve a variety of seafood or meat, accompanied by good local wine and entertaining Dalmatian musicians. A night to make you fall in love with the tastes and flavours of the Adriatic.

Adult Price: EUR 51.00

Code: SPL0001

Magical Venice

Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: VEN0001

Hidden Venice

St Mark's Square, tick, the Rialto, tick, Grand Canal, tick... To only experience Venice's big set pieces is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.

Adult Price: EUR 34.00

Code: VEN0002

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: VEN0003

Gala Viennese Concert

Enjoy a wonderful concert of Viennese Classical music performed by highly acclaimed soloists and dancers. During this special evening, enjoy a glass of champagne along with some of the most famous works by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (On occasion dinner will be included EURO 99)

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: VIE0002

Dinner In A Country Mansion

Cross the Danube, passing the famous Prater Park en route to one of Austria's most famous restaurants. Former patrons include Napoleon, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Liz Taylor and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once through the door of this historic country mansion you're transported to a different world! Old memorabilia, autographed photos and other paraphernalia cover the ceilings, walls and even the rest rooms. Choose from traditional Austrian fare, enjoy unlimited drinks and be serenaded by musicians at your table. A fun-filled experience never to be forgotten!

Adult Price: EUR 62.00

Code: VIE0003

Footsteps Of The Hapsburgs

On a fascinating tour our local expert brings to life sights such as Heroes Square and the Hofburg Palace (home to The Vienna Boys Choir, and Spanish Riding School). Then a special visit to the extraordinary “Kaizergruft” to meet the Habsburgs personally! Continuing you will learn about The Third Man, the Opera House and the old Wiener Cafe tradition. We finish at the magnificent Gothic cathedral of St Stephens in the heart of the Alt Stadt.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: VIE0009

Accommodation

 

Hotel Okura Amsterdam

Amsterdam (Central) - Netherlands

The bar on the 23rd floor of the luxurious Hotel Okura offers magnificent views over Amsterdam.

Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre

Heidelberg (Contemporary) - Germany

A modern hotel located in the centre of historical Heidelberg.

Hilton Innsbruck

Innsbruck (Central) - Austria

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Tyrolean Alps from the Hilton Innsbruck, situated within the city centre of Innsbruck.

Hilton Vienna

Vienna (Contemporary) - Austria

Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.

Hotel Lev Ljubljana

Ljubljana (Contemporary) - Slovenia

Jezero Hotel Plitvice

Plitvice (Scenic) - Croatia

Jezero Hotel, Plitvice

President Solin

Split (Scenic) - Croatia

President Solin is conveniently located just a few minutes from ancient city of Split and the famous Diocletian's Palace.

Croatia Hotel Cavtat Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik (Scenic) - Croatia

Croatia Hotel Cavtat, Dubrovnik

Sheraton Hotel Tirana

Tirana (Central) - Albania

The only 5-Star hotel in Albania, located in the heart of Tirana.

Grand Serai Ioannina

Ioannina (Scenic) - Greece

Du Lac Hotel/Grand Serai, Ioannina

Divani Caravel Hotel Athens

Athens (Traditional) - Greece

An elegant hotel fantastic access to the key highlights of Athens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury and style in the heart of the historical city of Athens.

Majestic Palace Hotel Sorrento

Sorrento (Traditional) - Italy

Veneto Palace Hotel Rome

Rome (Traditional) - Italy

The elegant 4-star Veneto Palace hotel is located in one of the most elegant parts of the historical centre.

Carlton on the Grand Canal Venice

Venice (Central) - Italy

Carlton on the Grand Canal, Enjoys a truly unique location on the Grand Canal. It is within walking distance to the Rialto Bridge and is perfect for exploring the San Polo district and the Jewish Ghetto. Guest rooms are in 18th century Venetian style with up to date facilities. Wi-Fi – none, FOC cable in public areas.

Hotel Londra Florence

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

An elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.

Radisson Blu Hotel Nice

Nice (Traditional) - France

A hotel set on a stunning seafront location along the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Astoria Lucerne

Lucerne (Central) - Switzerland

A recently refurbished city centre hotel, just minutes from the lake. It has a lively rooftop bar with views of Lucerne as well as several restaurants and a coffee shop.

Marriott Rive Gauche Paris

Paris (Central) - France

The Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River near the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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Insight Travel Gear

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Destinations

Destinations

Learn more about each of the destinations we visit.