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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
Send your spirits soaring on this fairy-tale journey from Amsterdam’s canals through to Salzburg’s ‘Sound of Music’ hills and Italy’s most revered cities. Meet a castle owner on the romantic Rhine, a gondolier in whimsical Venice, and an Italian chef in hilltop Orvieto. This trip is a symphony of the ages, where history comes alive as you hear from passionate locals about life in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Welcome to London.
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Depart from London by Eurostar and onto Amsterdam.
At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Mingle and get to know your fellow travellers as you cruise along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals, to explore the heart of the Old City, before enjoying a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local restaurant.
Legends along the Rhine and into Würzburg.
Cross in to Germany and head for the romantic Rhine Gorge. Visit a castle set upon the Rhine for a private estate viewing with the owner. Unlock the secrets of Rhineland's modern kings and queens as you learn the history of the castle and surrounding area. Continue to Würzburg, where there is time to stroll through the heart of the Old Town and down to the Alte Mainbrücke, the 16th century bridge over the River Main, adorned with sandstone statues. From here, admire the city at night and appreciate the mighty Marienburg Fortress on the opposite side of the river.
Rothenburg and Golden Prague.
In the morning, see the Residenz Palace – the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. Venture to Rothenburg-ob-der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting. Continue east to the Czech border. Pass through the town of Pilsen, renowned for its beer before reaching the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?
Prague, City of a Hundred Spires.
Join a Local Expert in the morning for guided sightseeing of one of the most beautiful and intact historical centres in Europe. Start with the 1,000-year-old Prague Castle, to 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 that delights onlookers each hour. Then, the city is all yours to explore with the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps you may choose to rummage through the renowned antique shops or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal?
Salzburg, City of Mozart.
Journey through the Czech Republic to picturesque Český Krumlov. Your Travel Director introduces you to the town before free time to explore this fairytale vision from the Middle Ages, nestled amid a loop in the Vltava River. Wander through the cobblestone, traffic-free streets and pass colourful houses that lead up to the finest castle in the land. Continue south, over the Austrian border and onto Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music.’ A Local Expert shows you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace which includes the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Later see Residence Square and its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence'. Witness the imposing fortress, immense cathedral and Mozart’s birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. In the evening, relish the authentic experience of Farm-to-Table dining.
The Tauern Mountains to Venice.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Salzburg to shop for local marzipan specialties. Perhaps take the opportunity to marvel at impressive views atop Kehlsteinhaus - the Eagle’s Nest - a unique example of historic architecture in a stunning alpine setting? Later, stunning scenery surrounds you as you travel down the Tauern Mountains to cross the Italian border. Amongst the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at a local winery where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting, produce excellent prosecco. Savour a tasting of these luxurious sparkling wines and discover how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue to the romantic city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic, where your hotel is perfectly located in a quiet area full of quaint charm.
Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.
Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. Cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square where the city's former wealth and power is evidenced by the riches of St. Mark's Basilica. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. A highlight is meeting a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation. With the rest of the day free, why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine?
On to the Eternal City of Rome.
Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany and Umbria. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
Rome with the locals.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your walking tour in the morning includes this in abundance. Toss a coin into the spectacular Trevi Fountain and see the best-preserved monument from the Roman period - the Pantheon, before enjoying free time to do as the Romans do, in Piazza Navona. Perhaps join a tour inside the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum?
Start the day with your Local Expert they introduce you to the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community in the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP entry to avoid the crowds and gives you behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. The rest of the day is at your leisure; perhaps shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe?
You journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at approximately 07:00 and 09:30.
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.
A wonderful introduction to the “Golden City”. Begin with spectacular views over Prague and the Vlatava River from the heights of the historic Strahov Monastery. Then explore the cobbled streets of the lesser town by mini-bus of motorized train. Enjoy a short photo stop in the old Town Square. By night the atmosphere is magical. Finally, enjoy a drink and old Czech music as you cruise along the Vlatava – the perfect vantage point to admire Prague’s buildings and Monuments. (Occasionally this excursion may be operated without the river cruise at EURO 33).
Adult Price: EUR 51.00
Let's explore some Czech countryside, starting with a visit to Lidice, a town totally destroyed in World War II as an infamous act of retribution, with all it's menfolk murdered and the women and children taken away. See the memorials erected in their honour in a town rebuilt with international donations. Then on to a nearby village for a hearty and delicious Czech dinner. This is accompanied by famous Czech pilsners or local wine. Musicans and dancers ensure a lively atmosphere with traditional song and dance from Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Na zdraví!
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
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
To only experience Venice's big set pieces -- St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal -- 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
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: 71.00
Join us for a scenic cruise by private water taxi along Venice's Grand Canal. You’ll admire the magnificent palazzi, as well as catching a glimpse of the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Later on, you'll glide gracefully on a gondola along Venice’s dreamy, narrow waterways.
Adult Price: EUR 70.00
Join your Tour Director for a classic journey through one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Rome by night is a vision with its ancient monuments, classical buildings, palaces and churches beautifully illuminated against the evening sky. A wonderful introduction to the Eternal City!
Adult Price: EUR 19.00
Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and a great Italian ambiance.
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
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. Please note: This optional is subject to availability
Adult Price: EUR 54.00
London (Central) - England
Amsterdam (Traditional) - Holland
Centrally located on the Noorder-Amstel Canal in Amsterdam South, the Hilton Amsterdam is the perfect hotel to start your journey. Rooms are modern and comfortable and many offer views of either the gardens, city or canal.
Wurzburg (Traditional) - Germany
The Maritim Hotel Würzburg is situated directly in front of the banks of the river Maine and offers views of the imposing Marienberg fortress.
Prague (Contemporary) - Czech Republic
Salzburg (Contemporary) - Austria
Combining historic substance and modern architecture, the Arcotel Castellani is located in green surroundings and only a 15-minute walk from the centre of Salzburg. It features a large garden including a Baroque chapel and a 400-year old linden tree.
Venice (Historic) - Italy
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio Venice is a hotel with traditional and modern elements complete with a door opening onto a canal.
Rome (Traditional) - Italy
The 4.5-star Hotel Mediterraneo is ideally located in the heart of Rome, with easy access to all the major sights. Its elevated position atop Esquilino Hill, the highest of Rome's Seven Hills, allows panoramic views from the roof terrace. The hotel was designed by architect Mario Loreti in 1936 and its art deco interiors create an ambiance of style and elegance.
Our guests rate us
10959 independent user reviews received during the past year.
13 September, 2018
Trip: The European Flair (our belated Honeymoon) was a trip of a lifetime. Our tour guide, Philip Orna, went above and beyond the call of duty to make our tour amazing. He passed on a wealth of information regarding the history and cultures we were experiencing as we traveled across Europe. Without this, their would be no meaning in what we were seeing. We never could have planned this trip on our own now knowing how much was involved planning the wonderful accommodations, local guides, meals, village stops and optional adventures, Philip has so much patience and is really an asset to Insight!! The way our driver Carlo maneuvered the bus was so professional, he was great!
Service: Our Insight Vacation aka belated Honeymoon was an absolute dream come true. Our tour guide, Philip Orna, represented Insight to the highest level and was knowledgeable, accommodating, and professional - he just made the tour amazing. Philip is very good at what he does - being well versed on the history and cultures we would experience as we made our way across Europe. Not to mention his patience! He also celebrated as a group some events individuals were celebrating ie honeymoon, anniversary, birthdays and inserted very special personal & thoughtful touches. Our smooth driver Carlo was an expert and could maneuver a bus like I had never seen before! From a tourist prospective, I think the tour went like clockwork as I now realize just how many accommodations, local guides, restaurants and other sidebar experiences had to be organized. One could never do this on their own!
11 September, 2018
Trip: Excellent. but some area spent too much time and some attraction not enough time. if even those out, I would give 5 star
Service: Overall excellent. Very nice group of people, without exception, who were fun to socialize with. I would give five star if they gave us sealed in the envelope for short questionnaire which they were said they would but did not.
23 August, 2018
Trip: need to add taxis to airport when leaving a day early
Service: Accomodation in Europe needed airconditioner to work. Betty was excellent. needed a drive to airport regardless of leaving day early will not use this company again.
21 August, 2018
Trip: All the countries, sites, tours, local experts, etc. were great. However, Insight should consider options to Southern Italy, especially to Calabria region where it is beautiful, has lots of history, great towns and cities to visit, lots of culture and very friendly people.
Service: Overall, the tour was very good, however I would have liked more commentary on geography, history and culture while riding on the bus while going through country side from country to country. There were too many long distances travelled with little to no information regarding what we were seeing and what we were travelling through from site to site. Would have been great to hear little more about the local people, culture, historic sites, economy, etc. What we did experience was great; the locations, sites, the tours and local experts were really good, informative and professional.
21 August, 2018
Trip: I loved all of the cities we visited on our European Flair start Amsterdam. I would have enjoyed a little more shopping time in some of the cities, especially Salzburg, Austria. It was a very fast paced trip and we saw many amazing sites. It's definitely one for your bucket list!
Service: I had a very positive experience with Insight Vacations from the beginning of booking our trip, through the wonderful Tour Director Betty. I will travel again with Insight in the future and highly recommend them to everyone!
21 August, 2018
Trip: Would have given it 5 stars if we had more time to shop in Salzburg. A bit rushed at times, getting into hotel and only having a few minutes to get ready for evening activity.
Service: I enjoyed the tour. Bette was very attentive to all on the trip, very informative about each location we visited.
07 August, 2018
Trip: It was great! We enjoyed each day.
Service: Great tour guide and coach driver. Everything was well organized and carefree for us.
07 August, 2018
Trip: Great trip, really enjoyed it.
Service: Well organized, very good tour guide. Even on longer travel days very interesting stops were included e.g winery. Chose this tour because it seemed to hit the spots we most wanted. It did not disappoint and we saw more that we expected. All good.
25 July, 2018
Trip: Loved the bus trip- the people on the bus & places we visited Appreciate what Insight vacations provided & whilst I liked our tour guide Brendan, found it a tad insulting & irritating that he kept stating each day what he had done for us & how much time he took completing this for us to maximise our time etc- this is what Insights Vacation & Brendan are paid to do & this is what we expect you/Brendan to have already taken care prior to our trip- by paying the price per person for the trip I do not need to be told each day what he had done (we were not the only passengers who had this opinion) which was part of our price for the trip No personal offence to Brendan who we found very knowledgeable but he needs to stop saying what he did for us each day like it was something extra he did Also WIFI on bus rarely worked (approx 25% of the time at best) - This needs to be addressed & ensure WIFI works for most of the time
Service: Booked via travel agent so initially no experience with insight vacation people other than tour guide & bus driver
24 July, 2018
Trip: We were put into a trip we did not sign up for. they added a extension to our trip and left us standing on the door way in Rome on our own because they were going on to another venue
Service: most of trip good
18 July, 2018
Trip: The itinerary was great and well planned out. We got to see what we wanted to see.
Service: Bob, our travel director was great through the entire experience. Before our trip, whenever I called into the service hotline they were very helpful and responsive to any question or service that I needed help with.
27 June, 2018
Trip: We loved all the places we went. THe only change we would make is to delete the stop in Cesky Krumlov so we would have more time in Salzburg.
Service: EXcellent hotels, and our tour guide was terrific. He was knowledgable and so much fun.
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