Highlights of Europe - Insight Vacations

Highlights of Europe return Eurostar (Winter 2017-18)

Duration: 18 days Visiting: England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France

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

A glorious reflection of Europe at her best, come autumn, winter or spring, with magnificent landscapes, a wealth of history, and a trove of art and architecture.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to London

    Check into your hotel, then there is time to relax, explore or shop.

  3. Day 3

    Discovering London

    An included half day sightseeing tours of London's West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. Your Tour Director is also on hand today for help and advice.

  4. Day 4

    London and Brussels

    Meet your Tour Director and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your two-hour rail journey takes you via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels. In the afternoon, stroll through the beautiful Grand Place, with its gilded buildings and see the cheeky Manneken Pis. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a warm evening of dinner and wine.

  5. Day 5

    The Rhine Valley and Heidelberg

    Travel into Germany and continue along the Rhine, via Bonn, to Boppard. Join a cruise, passing medieval hilltop castles and steep leafy vineyards to the village of St. Goar, near the legendary Loreley Rock. Continue on to Heidelberg to see the clifftop castle.

  6. Day 6

    Rothenburg and the Romantic Road to Munich

    Stop in medieval Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber, still surrounded by its old walls and watch towers, frozen in time since the 16th century. Continue along the Romantic Road to the Bavarian capital of Munich. See the Ludwigstrasse, Marienplatz and soaring Town Hall. Stroll through Munich's open-air food market and beer garden - the Viktualienmarkt. At night, maybe sample a stein of beer in a local beer hall?

  7. Day 7

    The Music and Mountains of Austria

    A short drive leads over the Austrian border to Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music’. Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace which includes the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene in the film was created. Witness the imposing fortress, the cathedral and Mozart’s birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse before having free time for lunch. Next you will continue to Innsbruck, surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Nordkette mountains, where you will see the 14th century houses of the Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof on your orientation tour.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Dolomites to Venice

    (Relaxed Start) Drive down through the Dolomites, crossing the Italian border and descend to the romantic city of Venice. You'll be enchanted with the refined elegance of your hotel, where modern rooms are furnished in the Venetian style of the 1700s - a touch of antiquity, typical of the most prestigious mansions of Venice.

  9. Day 9

    Venice - the Magic of 'La Serenissima'

    Waking up to the sights and sounds of Venice is a thrill for even the most experienced traveller. A morning boat transfer brings you to Giudecca Island to witness the age-old skills of glassblowers. Then 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. In the square, the bell tower comes into view, plus the beautiful mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Clock Tower Moors, that have been striking the hour for over 500 years. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces. The rest of the day is free to shop in the small arcades.

  10. Day 10

    The Eternal City of Rome

    Head south over the Apennine Mountains and follow the 'Highway of the Sun' to the 'Eternal City' of Rome.

  11. Day 11

    Papal and Imperial Rome

    During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art of the Vatican Museums and the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Your VIP visit includes fast-track entry and behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, a part of the Vatican usually closed to the public. Then explore St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world before crossing the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum. The afternoon is free for you to explore.

  12. Day 12

    The Chianti Hills and Florence

    Drive to the Chianti Hills and the city of Florence. A Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo, where the 'Gates of Paradise' adorn the baptistery. Continue to Signoria Square, the political heart of the city. Lined with fountains and statues, it acts as a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Take the time to gaze at Neptune and David. While in Florence, there’s time to shop for its famous leather and gold.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Free time in Renaissance Florence

    (Relaxed Start) The day is free for you to fully immerse yourself in the Tuscan capital. Be sure not to miss the magnificent museums and galleries housing some of the most famous works of art in the world. Or perhaps just relax and soak up the atmosphere in one of the many street cafe’s?

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    The Alps and onto Lucerne

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, cross the Swiss border and enjoy Alpine scenery all the way to Lucerne. On arrival, see what Mark Twain described as 'the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world', the emotive Lion Monument.

  15. Day 15

    Lakeside Lucerne

    Start the day with a spectacular journey, by cable car and cog-wheel railway, to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne. Then back to Lucerne, there is free time to stroll across the Chapel Bridge to the ornate Jesuit Church or spend time shopping in the traffic-free Old Town. You could hire a bicycle and enjoy a pleasant ride beside the lake? In the evening, get together with your friends and choose from a selection of authentic local restaurants for your dining pleasure.

  16. Day 16

    ‘Diner de Célébration’ in Paris

    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-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.

  17. Day 17

    Paris, the ‘City of Light’

    In the morning, 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. Venture inside this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture to witness the beautiful stained glass windows and magnificent organ. Insight ensures you leave the long queues at the Eiffel Tower behind. Instead, ascend by express elevator to the famous viewing platforms for breathtaking panoramas over the city. The afternoon is at leisure for shopping or your own pursuits.

  18. Day 18

    Eurostar Return to London

    Included coach transfer to Paris Gare du Nord station for your high speed Eurostar train journey to London. On arrival, you are transferred to the Amba Hotel Marble Arch where your trip ends.




  • Salzburg: Walk with your Local Expert through the Mirabell Gardens, see Mozart's Birthplace and the cathedral.
  • Rome: With your Local Expert, enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with privileged, behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase.
  • Florence: : Your Local Expert will walk with you to the Duomo. See the ‘Gates of Paradise' and the open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
  • Paris: Venture with your Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.


  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels.
  • Christmas Markets: Lose yourself in the festive atmosphere where you can shop for local delicacies and try the heart-warming Glühwein on selected departures.
  • Rhine Valley: Watch medieval hilltop castles and vineyards slip by as you enjoy a scenic cruise.
  • Venice: Glide along the atmospheric canals exploring the intimate and hidden parts of this unique city, while musicians set the mood with traditional songs.
  • Mount Pilatus: Journey by cable car and cog-wheel railway to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive views.
  • Paris: With prearranged tickets to the Eiffel Tower, ascend and enjoy spectacular views of Paris.
  • Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels and later, from Paris returning to London.


  • Brussels: Walk through the Grand Place to the Mannekin Pis.
  • Heidelberg: See the red sandstone castle and explore the baroque Old Town.
  • Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber: Visit Europe's finest medieval town.
  • Munich: See the Ludwigstrasse, Marienplatz and neogothic Town Hall.
  • Innsbruck: Walk through the Old Town to see the Imperial Palace and Golden Roof.
  • Venice: Cruise, with commentary, to St. Mark's Square. See the Doges' Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Rome: Visit St. Peters Basilica in the Vatican City. See the mighty Colosseum and overlook the Forum.
  • Florence: Witness a traditional Florentine leather-work demonstration.
  • Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and 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.
  • Scenic Drives: The Romantic Road, the Dolomites, Italian Lake District and Swiss Alps.


  • 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: Rendezvous at a typical French bistro for a little wine and a rousing Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
  • Included Quality Dining: 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2 Full Breakfasts (FB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.


  • Brussels: The Marriott is located in the heart of Brussels within walking distance to the Grand Place. All guest rooms are elegantly designed and feature luxury bedding.
  • Heidelberg: The Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre is in the historical heart and includes its own swimming pool and sauna.
  • Munich: The Westin Grand Munich is a modern hotel located in the fashionable Bogenhausen district.
  • Innsbruck: Hotel Innsbruck is located on the bank of the Inn River in the heart of the medieval Old Town. The panoramic spa area looks over the roofs of the Old Town and offers a variety of sauna, as well as a sun terrace.
  • Venice: The Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal features modern rooms decorated in 18th century Venetian style.
  • Rome: The elegant Hotel Dei Borgia is located in one of the most central positions in Rome, close to all the key attractions.
  • Florence: At the heart of Florence, the Adler Cavalieri Hotel is perfectly situated for those interested in shopping, food and art. Rooms are decorated with classic details and dark-wood furniture, paired with either wood-beamed or frescoed ceilings.
  • Lucerne: The modern Renaissance Lucerne Hotel is a converted, centuries-old city palace. Located only minutes to Lake Lucerne, it offers tastefully furnished rooms with ornamental ceiling decoration and warm interiors.
  • Paris: The Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel is located on the Left Bank of the Seine River near the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.


  • Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
  • 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. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Charged transfers from London Heathrow/Gatwick Airports can be booked through Insight Vacations on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is 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.



Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place

Brussels (Central) - Belgium

The Marriott is located in the heart of Brussels within walking distance to the Grand Place. All guest rooms are elegantly designed and feature luxury bedding.

The Westin Grand Munich Hotel

Munich (Traditional) - Germany

The Westin Grand Munich is a modern hotel located in the fashionable Bogenhausen district.

Hotel Innsbruck

Innsbruck (Contemporary) - Austria

Hotel Innsbruck is located at the bank of the Inn River, in the heart of the Old Town and features contemporary styled rooms

Carlton on the Grand Canal

Venice (Traditional) - Italy

This hotel has guest rooms in an 18th century Venetian style with modern additions.

Hotel Dei Borgia

Rome (Contemporary) - Italy

This elegant hotel is located in in one of the most central positions in Rome, close to all the key attractions.

Marriott Rive Gauche

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.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11504 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 16 January, 2019


    Trip: Saw lots of places and 8 different countries. Focused too much on Optional Tours. Drop the Amba Hotel in London;poor service along with both lobbies smokey.

    Service: Overall customer service was good. Some room for improvement.

  • 26 December, 2018


    Trip: The destinations were fantastic, the accommodation was in excellent locations.

    Service: The customer service was excellent. Richard was knowledgeable and made the entire tour a fantastic experience. The drivers were excellent. The office staff were extremely supportive. All the travellers I spoke to on the tour commented favourably on the service. Thank you Insight for a wonderful holiday.

  • 17 December, 2018


    Trip: I would have rated it a 5 star if some of the country stops would have been two nights, in order to fully appreciate the available sights.

    Service: The Tour Director was outstanding. He was personable, knowledgeable and caring. Would certainly recommend Insight Vacations to my friends.

  • 15 December, 2018


    Trip: Quick tour to see everything.

    Service: Highly recommend. Would not travel with anyone else.

  • 08 December, 2018


    Trip: Good choice of countries to visit.

    Service: I will recommend them to others. Please keep up the good work to provide best customer service. I liked the knowledge of the culture and history shared by your travel director. Please improve on provision of care to elderly travelers by your travel directors rather than relying too much on other travellers to assist.

  • 08 December, 2018


    Trip: Tight schedule, spent too much time in the touring bus.

    Service: The touring coach was comfortable. Some of the optional tours were just average. Half of the hotels provided were not comfortable. Communication between tour director and us were at times lost.

  • 28 November, 2018


    Trip: The trip was incredible and the itinerary covered exactly as we expected and more. I would recommend taking the Eurostar directly to Amsterdam instead of Brussels and then a 3 hour coach ride to Amsterdam. It made for a very long travel day and with it being November, by the time we arrived in Amsterdam is was getting dark so we were unable to really see Amsterdam. I would also recommend dropping the food tour in Paris. With only have a full day in Paris, I felt that food tour was not worth over 2 hours out of our day. Definitely not worth the time or money. We loved every other tour/dinner. We will recommend Insight Vacations to our friends and hope to utilize your services again.

    Service: Our tour director, Richard, was amazing! He worked incredibly hard and provided his expertise to maximize the time we had in each city. He was a joy to work with. Our trip was very well organized and all parts of our itinerary were prepared and ready for us.

  • 24 November, 2018


    Trip: Too many similar restaurants and a lttlie bit of superficial syops

    Service: Very good and knowledgeable

  • 24 November, 2018


    Trip: Overall excellent tour, although very fast-paced and a lot of driving.

    Service: Well planned, well organized, knowledgeable travel director. Would recommend.

  • 24 November, 2018


    Trip: Very long daily bus rides, but very worthwhile when arriving at the various locations.

    Service: The whole trip was very well organised, well led and I would recommend it to others.

  • 29 April, 2018


    Trip: The itinerary was everything we thought it would be. The only trouble we found was sometimes the overnight stays became a little rushed as we had to have our luggage out so early. The two days stays were easier!

    Service: We loved the efficiency of our tour guide, Steve Fowler. Everything went like clockwork. The coaches and the drivers were amazing. The coaches were safe, clean and the drivers always ensured that we were so well looked after.

  • 28 April, 2018


    Trip: Beautiful cities visited , hotels really nice

    Service: Well organizationed Knew the areas, very knowledgeable Steve made the group feel like VIP's Would recommend & use again

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