Flavours of Europe

European Discoveries

Discovery Trip

Flavours of Europe - Summer 2019

Duration: 9 days Visiting: Italy, Switzerland, France, England

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

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

Experience the essence of Europe as you travel through bustling Rome and Paris, stopping off in Renaissance Florence, the colourful ocean-side villages of the Cinque Terre and the glittering snow-capped peaks of Switzerland. Explore local life as you enjoy small-group dining in Lucerne and cross paths with locals who are passionate about sharing Europe’s rich heritage, culture and traditions with you.

  • Get a taste of the Parisian way of life as you join our friends in Paris for an intimate gourmet walking tour of a local neighbourhood.
  • Ascend Mount Stanserhorn in Switzerland for breath-taking views of Lake Lucerne and learn about regional fauna and flora from a Swiss Ranger.
  • Join a Local Expert to explore the dramatic coastal scenery of the Cinque Terre villages and learn about the fascinating history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to the Eternal City of Rome.

    Rome is one of the world’s most historic cities, filled with classical antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. Transfers to your hotel depart Rome’s Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:30. Then this extraordinary city is yours to discover. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and enjoy the opportunity to mingle and get to know your fellow travellers.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Rome with the locals.

    Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your morning walking tour with a Local Expert 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?

  3. Day 3

    VIP Vatican and Florence.

    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 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. Your travels continue with a drive to the Chianti Hills, to arrive at the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo, where the Gates of Paradise adorn the baptistery. Continue to Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. Lined with fountains and statues, it acts as an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take time to gaze at Neptune and David as you explore the historic city center.

  4. Day 4

    The Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera.

    The famous Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre are a highlight of your journey. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most beautiful landscapes. With a Local Expert, appreciate the views as you approach one of the picturesque fishing villages by boat (weather permitting). Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Savour authentic Italian cuisine as you dine for lunch at Ristorante Da Ely in Cinque Terre. Continue by train to Levanto, then on to your resort in Rapallo.

  5. Day 5

    Across the Alps to Lucerne.

    Pass Milan as you head north for the Italian Lake District via Lake Lugano. Continue into the heart of the Swiss Alps, passing through the Saint Gotthard Tunnel, one of the longest road tunnels in the world. Travel alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne, where you are leisure for the rest of the afternoon.

  6. Day 6

    Lucerne’s Lakes, Mountains and Lion.

    In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn, where you will meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Upon return to Lucerne, see the town's proud Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff and dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Then, take some time to stroll across the covered Chapel Bridge and see the baroque Jesuit church. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for fine watches and delectable chocolates. Tonight, enjoy a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.

  7. Day 7

    Sights and delights of Paris.

    In the morning, travel through France to the City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the imposing facades of the Louvre. Discover the banks of the Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. With the evening free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city. Why not visit one of the world-famous cabaret shows?

  8. Day 8

    The food and flavours of Paris.

    Meet an avid foodie and explore neighbourhoods where Parisians go about their daily lives. In small groups, indulge in local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. In the evening, savour refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker.

  9. Day 9

    Au revoir Paris.

    In the morning, bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Travel by high-speed Eurostar train for your journey back to London. On arrival, you are transferred to the Park Plaza Victoria where your trip ends.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.
  • Stanserhorn: Enjoy a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn to learn about local wildlife from a Swiss Ranger.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
  • Rome: Experience Rome through the eyes of a local, as a passionate Roman guides you through vibrant backstreets, showing you how modern life takes place around ancient treasures.
  • Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
  • Cinque Terre: With your Local Expert, cruise to and explore two of the villages of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you travel through the Chianti Hills, Italian Riviera, Italian Lake District, Swiss Alps and Burgundy.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Cinque Terre: Savour authentic Italian cuisine made from traditional recipes as you dine for lunch at Ristorante Pizzeria Da Ely in Cinque Terre.
  • Lucerne: Enjoy a selection of restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Choose your preferred ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
  • Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Try local delicacies in boutique shops such as a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatrie on a gourmet walking tour off the beaten track.
  • Paris: Rendezvous at a local restaurant, loved by locals, for your Celebration Dinner, accompanied by delicious French wines.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (LW) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Florence: Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.
  • Rapallo: The Grand Hotel Bristol Resort and Spa is a classic property, overlooking the Mediterranean and offering spacious rooms decorated in the Art Nouveau style.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival flights are as per the itinerary start date, then arrival transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport. You may purchase transfers to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on departure day, or when additional night accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.

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.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Rome By Night - Illuminations Drive

Join your Travel 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

Code: ROM0001

Roman Dinner Party

Enjoy an evening of delicious Roman cuisine with drinks and a great Italian ambiance.

Adult Price: EUR 62.00

Code: ROM0002

Guided Visit to the Colosseum

With our local expert, step back in time to explore the glorious history of the Roman Empire. Admire the Arch of Constantine and tread in the footsteps of Gladiators and Roman Soldiers. Enjoy priority reserved entrance ahead of the crowds and once inside the mighty Colosseum hear tales of deadly gladiatorial combat and the mighty Roman Empire. Please note: This optional is subject to availability and involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel this optional, a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred.

Adult Price: EUR 50.00

Code: ROM0003

Dinner In The Tuscan Hills

A fabulous dinner of Tuscan specialities awaits you. We drive into the hills surrounding Florence for a delicious typical Florentine meal complete with Chianti wine, music and lots of fun! An evening to remember. Viva Italia!

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: FLO0005

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

Lake Lucerne Cruise and Drinks

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

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

Moulin Rouge Cabaret and Dinner

Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris Cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!

Adult Price: EUR 165.00

Code: PAR0002

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

Montparnasse Tower & The Right Bank

Take the fastest elevator in Europe to the Panoramic Observation Deck for unbeatable views of the Eiffel Tower and all of the city’s iconic monuments (without any queues). The highest rooftop terrace in Paris offers a breathtaking 360-degree view with all of Paris at your feet! Then, with our Local Expert, explore some hidden gems on the Rive Droite of the city, taking in a delightful stroll across the iconic River Seine to see Notre Dame Cathedral.

Adult Price: EUR 38.00

Code: PAR0019

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

Accommodation

 

The K Boutique Hotel/Hotel Mediterraneo

Rome (Botique/Traditional) - Italy

The K Boutique Hotel: Located in the heart of Rome, just 10 minutes walk from the Colosseum and Roman Forum, The K Boutique Hotel is perfectly situated for you to enjoy this incredible city. Views from the rooftop terrace span the city, while the Spa & Wellness centre are the perfect retreat after a day out and about. Guest rooms of this boutique hotel are tastefully decorated with a homely feel and offer plenty of natural light.
Hotel Mediterraneo: 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.

Hotel Londra

Florence (Contemporary) - Italy

Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.

Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa, Rapallo, Italian Riviera.

Rapallo (Historic) - Italy

Renaissance Lucerne Hotel

Lucerne (Heritage) - Switzerland

Renaissance Lucerne Hotel is a modern property in a centuries-old city palace, minutes to Lake Lucerne, and offers tastefully furnished rooms with ornamental ceiling decoration and warm interiors.

Le Méridien Etoile

Paris (Contemporary) - France

The Le Méridien Etoile is centrally located in the 17th arrondissement and just a short drive from key sights such as the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées. Contemporary, yet comfortable furnishing bring about a homely sense throughout the hotel and guest rooms.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.6 out of 5 based on 11121 independent user reviews received during the past year.

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