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Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to England (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to Brussels
Welcome to Brussels. In the afternoon, walk with your Tour Director through the Grand Place, voted Europe's most beautiful square, lined with gilded buildings from the late 17th century and Gothic Town Hall. Stroll on through the back streets to the capital's most celebrated water feature, the cheeky Manneken Pis statue. Later, join 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.
To Amsterdam, City of Canals
Leave Brussels driving north into the Netherlands and on to lively Amsterdam. Continue through pleasant Dutch countryside to lively Amsterdam, the ‘City of Canals'. Drive across Dam Square, the heart of the city, past the Royal Palace and Mint Tower. Round-off the day with a taste of glamour as you visit one of the great diamond houses for a demonstration of cutting and polishing!
Cruise the Rhine Valley and on to Würzburg
Cross in to Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. In the quaint wine village of Boppard, take to the water for a delightful cruise past fortified towns and leafy vineyards. Rejoin the coach at St. Goar and continue to Würzburg. In the evening, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops, one of the most important landmarks in Germany. There's also time to stroll through the heart of the old town, down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, you can admire the city at night and appreciate the mightyMarienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.
Nuremberg and Golden Prague
First stop today is Nuremberg, still entirely enclosed by its massive town ramparts. Tour the old town, carefully rebuilt after wartime destruction and explore the bustling Hauptmarkt in the heart of the Altstadt - a picturesque setting for the aptly named Beautiful Fountain as well as local farmers' market and a gingerbread shop, dating back to 1610. Continue east to the Czech border, past the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the ‘Golden City' of Prague.
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires
In the morning, join a Local Expert for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, where you admire the stained glass of St. Vitus Cathedral and enjoy amazing views over the Old Town. Finish in the Old Town Square where the mechanical antics of the Astronomical Clock's glockenspiel delight onlookers each hour. The city is all yours to explore. You can take a river cruise through the heart of the city, rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal.
Bratislava to Budapest
It's away through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia in the morning. After crossing the Slovakian border, continue to the capital of Bratislava, dominated by its imposing 9th century castle, perched high above the Danube. There's free time to take a leisurely walk through the Old Town to see the Maximillian Fountain. Cross into Hungary and follow the River Danube to Budapest for the evening.
The Highlights of Buda and Pest
You are chauffeured along elegant boulevards to visit Heroes' Square. Now cross the mighty Danube to walk with your Local Expert along the medieval cobblestoned streets of the Castle District. Visit Matthias Church and enjoy sweeping views from the Fisherman's Bastion over the exquisite Parliament building, one of the largest in Europe. Spend the afternoon at the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca where the city's fine museums, historic squares and monuments are within easy reach.
Before leaving the Hungarian capital, look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. Drive on, past the eagle overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border. Continue through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.
Vienna and the Habsburgs
Vienna owes much of its present day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs, so in the morning, join a Local Expert for a visit to Maria Theresa's Schönbrunn Palace and formal gardens. The grandiose Rococo interior of the palace is a dazzling confection of gilded mirrors, crystal chandeliers and frescoed ceilings. Your city sightseeing continues around the famous Ring Road, seeing the Parliament, Winter Palace and Opera House. The afternoon is at leisure.
Along the shores of Lake Wörthersee to Venice
This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the Wörthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain on your way to the unique city of Venice, where your hotel is close to the Grand Canal.
Venice and the Magic of ‘La Serenissima’
Cruise by Palladio's San Giorgio Maggiore to St. Mark's Square. Alight to see Lord Byron's Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the prisons and the dazzling domed basilica. While here, visit an arts centre to watch one of the few remaining craftsmen blow Venetian glass. Then, set off through the canals by gondola while musicians set the mood with traditional songs. The afternoon is at leisure to browse through the shops on the Rialto Bridge or sit a while at a canal side café to sip the local wine.
On to the Eternal City of Rome
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. En route, learn about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
Papal and Imperial Rome
In the morning, you are joined by a Local Expert who guides you through the superb Vatican Museums culminating beneath Michelangelo's famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican closed to the general public. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, seeing another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome. Leave the Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.
Through Tuscany to explore Renaissance Florence
Drive north into Tuscany and Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views over Florence. In the afternoon, join a local art historian to meet Michelangelo's original 'David' in the Accademia Museum. Then walk on to the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's 'Gates of Paradise'. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica - famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a demonstration of leather work.
Free Time in Florence
The day is at leisure in the Renaissance capital. Traverse the medieval streets to the Ponte Vecchio, haggle for leather goods at the market around San Lorenzo or relax amid the terraces of the Boboli Gardens. Maybe have lunch al fresco or perhaps venture into the beautiful Tuscan countryside? The choice is all yours!
Across the Alps to Lucerne
Head north for the Italian and Swiss Lake Districts via the lake of Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. You then travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. At night, for your Dine-Around evening, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Lucerne’s Lakes and Lions
In the morning, view the emotive Lion Monument before enjoying some time shopping or strolling along the Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit Church. Later, we to the town of Stans, to embark on a stunning journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn.
Cross into France and on to Beaune
(Relaxed Start) Travel to medieval Beaune, at the centre of the Burgundy winemaking region. Your hotel is located across the road from the entrance to the historic Old Town, so why not explore the cobbled streets or sip a glass from one of Burgundy's finest vintages?
Paris for a ‘Diner de Célébration’
In the morning, travel to glittering Paris. 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.
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. The afternoon is at leisure for last minute shopping or your own pursuits.
Au revoir Paris
Transfers arrive Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
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 trips. 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.
Brussels (Central) - Belgium
Marriott Brussels: Marriott, Located in the heart of Brussels within walking distance to the Grand Place. All guest rooms are elegantly designed and feature luxury bedding.
Amsterdam (Traditional) - The Netherlands
The Grand Hotel Amrâth is your five-star, Art Nouveau-style hotel, conveniently located minutes from Amsterdam city centre and offering breathtaking views over the canal.
Wurzburg (Central) - Germany
Prague (Central) - Czech Republic
The Majestic Plaza is located in the historical centre of Prague, only a few steps from the famous Wenceslas Square, and consists of two interconnected buildings with rooms furnished in an art deco or biedermeier style.
Budapest (Contemporary) - Hungary
Located in the heart of the city, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest blends classic hotel opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning!
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.
Venice (Scenic) - Italy
Rome (Historic) - Italy
The magnificent Kolbe Hotel traces its origins to a 15th century convent. After a skillful restoration, today it is a luxury hotel located in the heart of the city.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
This hotel is located in the historic district of San Frediano.
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.
Beaune (Central) - France
Paris (Central) - France
Pullman Paris Montparnasse, Paris
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