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European DiscoveriesDiscovery Trip
This journey is perfect for those who want to experience the best of Europe. Explore quaint Germanic towns, appreciate the splendour of the quiet Italian Lakes and marvel at the most impressive cities on the Continent. Enjoy a private cruise along the canals of Amsterdam and enter Vatican City ahead of everyone else with special VIP access. Venture to Veneto to learn how to make the perfect Bellini and dine on rich and delicious Italian cuisine in the hills of Tuscany.
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.
From London to Amsterdam.
Meet your Travel Director at 07:00 and transfer to London's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you through the Channel Tunnel en route to Amsterdam. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests as you cruise along some of the 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.
Castles of the Rhine Valley and on to Heidelberg.
Cross into 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 the university town of Heidelberg, dominated by its red sandstone castle.
Innsbruck, Mountain-ringed Capital of the Tyrol.
Skirt the northern Black Forest and head towards the rolling Bavarian Alps. Stop beneath the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein, rumoured to have inspired Walt Disney's iconic castle. 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.
Across the Dolomites to Venice.
Continue your journey, crossing the Italian border and on through the Dolomites. Amongst the hills of Conegliano Veneto, stop at a local winery where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguishable prosecco with a natural balance. 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. In the evening, enjoy a dinner with wine.
Venice and 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 skills of glassblowers. Then cruise by Palladio’s San Giorgio Maggiore to explore St. Mark's Square including Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs which connects the Doge's Palace to the adjacent prison. In the square, the bell tower comes into view, plus the beautiful mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica and the Clock Tower Moors, who have been striking the hour for over 500 years. Meet a gondolier to learn about the age-old tradition of gondola navigation and how this skill is handed down from generation to generation. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades or take an Optional Experience cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano to dine on local specialties and wine?
The Eternal City of Rome.
Italian culture is deeply rooted in hospitality with food, friends and family being central to everyday life. You’re invited into the home of a Roman local to experience Italian hosting at its best, as you enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal with your EatWith host.
Papal and Imperial Rome.
During your two-night stay, join a Local Expert for a private tour of the priceless art housed in 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. Cross the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.
Over the Chianti hills to 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 Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city, lined with fountains and statues it acts as a virtual open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. A leisurely afternoon give you time to shop for quality goods, like gold and leather, which Florence is famous for. Alternatively, there is the option to visit the Accademia Gallery with an art historian to see Michelangelo's famed masterpiece, 'David.' In the evening, savour an authentic family-style dinner of home-made cuisine at a local trattoria. Perfectly set among the beautiful Tuscan countryside, you are served fresh ingredients prepared to traditional recipes.
Travel past Milan, the capital of Lombardy, as you journey north to the beautiful Italian Lake District, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous where Alpine scenery combines with luxuriant subtropical vegetation. Relax and enjoy an afternoon at leisure at this popular resort and beautiful lake. Perhaps choose to take a cruise to the lovely Isola Bella for a guided tour of the incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens? Later, the choice is yours for your Dine-Around Evening. Enjoy your preferred dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering their own unique cuisine and ambience.
The Alps and on to Lucerne.
In the morning, enjoy your last moments among the charming Italian Lake District before your travels continue across the Swiss border. Appreciate the Alpine terrain as you embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the regional flora and fauna. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Continue to lakeside Lucerne where the afternoon is at your leisure.
The emotive Lion Monument, carved into a limestone cliff, is a memorial dedicated to the heroic Swiss Guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, which is a source of great pride to the people of Lucerne. See this beautiful work before strolling across the Chapel Bridge to see the ornate Jesuit Church. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a cruise on Lake Lucerne with its dramatic vistas.
Sights and delights of Paris.
In the morning, travel through the wine-growing Burgundy region to Paris, the vibrant Ville-Lumière or City of Light. During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the imposing facades of the Louvre and the banks of the River 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?
The food and flavours of Paris.
Split into small groups for a more personal experience, alongside a passionate foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives. Indulge in local delicacies from small shops such as a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier.
Au revoir Paris.
Having covered the Highlights of Europe transfers arrive at 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
With our local guide enjoy priority reserved entry into the most important Renaissance museum of Florence, the ‘Accademia di Belle Arti’, Academy of Fine Arts. Amongst the masterpieces you will see are an outstanding collection of 15th & 16th Century Florentine paintings by the likes of Uccello, Ghirlandaio, and Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo’s four unfinished ‘Prisoners’. The highlight of the visit is Michelangelo’s ‘David’. Created between 1501-1504 it was once the symbol of Republican Florence and is considered by many to be the greatest sculpted masterpiece in the world.
Adult Price: EUR 40.00
The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.
Adult Price: EUR 42.00
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ascend to the viewing platforms of the famous Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramas of the city. Then with our local specialist visit Notre Dame, one of the world's most famous Cathedrals to view its amazing stain glass windows and see why it's considered the epitome of Gothic architecture. Afterwards, we'll take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways, where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares. Please note: this optional is subject to availability. In the event that the Eiffel Tower cannot be visited, Montmartre will be offered as an alternative.
Adult Price: EUR 47.00
eatwith is the world’s leading community for authentic food experiences with locals in over 130 countries. Choose between our hand-selected hosts and dine like a local with a local. Fully immerse yourself in food and culture while meeting other travelers at your table and experience the magic of social dining. Transport is not included in this optional experience. Note: Bookings cancelled within 48 hours will not be refunded. €45 - €65
Adult Price: EUR
London (Traditional) - England
Located at the west end Oxford Street and just 2 minutes' walk from Hyde Park, Amba Hotel Marble Arch (formerly the Thistle Marble Arch) is less than a mile from London's famed West End.
Amsterdam (Contemporary) - The Netherlands
This hotel lies within walking distance of the town centre and points of cultural importance.
Heidelberg (Contemporary) - Germany
Located in the heart of the city and just a short drive from Altstadt, the city's old town, is the Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre. Your traditional-style room is comfortable and includes free WiFi to stay in touch with friends and family.
Innsbruck (Contemporary) - Austria
The AC Hotel Innsbruck is centrally located and just a few minutes walk from the Old Town. It was originally built in 1972 for the Winter Olympic games and has since been completely refurbished and upgraded to offer comfortable, sleek-designed rooms, each with views of the surrounding Alps.
Venice (Contemporary) - Italy
Rome (Traditional) - Italy
This 19th century hotel contains many original paintings from the 1860s.
Florence (Contemporary) - Italy
Hotel Londra is an elegant hotel situated right in the heart of Florence.
Baveno, Italian Lakes (Traditional) - Italy
Hotel Simplon is located mere minutes from the centre of Baveno which is nestled along the banks of Lake Maggiore. Its pink façade showcases the famous local marble, while the interiors provide a classic, luxurious feel. The hotel features a permanent art exhibition of famous paintings displayed along one of it's corridors.
Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland
This hotel is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Paris (Contemporary) - France
Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine is the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. This modern, recently renovated, property offers luxurious accommodation and close proximity to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.
Our guests rate us
10949 independent user reviews received during the past year.
13 September, 2018
Trip: You see a lot in a short amount of time, We experienced all of the optional experiences. We enjoyed all of them.
Service: Insight would be my first choice for a bus tour vacation. Absolutely everything went smoothly.
26 August, 2018
Trip: Such aside variety of exposure and places visited. Even the option to add the extra for example the carriage ride thru town in Switzerland
Service: The driver and tour director were very pleasant and helpful. Even with my getting from the steps of the bus and settled in my wheelchair they offered their hands Joel was so knowledgeable about all the places we visited
26 August, 2018
Trip: It was great but a few days had long bus rides. We needed stops in cities not road car stops.
Service: They were very helpful when the need arose.
25 August, 2018
Trip: Itenerary was perfect except for food experience in Paris. Spent two hours standing on street with a guide (college student), eating cheese. Total waste of time for a morning in Paris. Entire group was bored and frustrated. Set age limit for this specific tour. Eight year old boy on tour was disruptive in numerous settings. Tour director tried to control situation but parents did not supervise child appropriately. Issues at the Vatican, boat rides, gondola in Switzerland. Other guides tried to intervene as well. Dangerous situations.
Service: Tour director, Joel Plunkett, made the trip a five star experience. Coach driver, Gisseppi, was excellent as well.
25 August, 2018
Trip: I loved all the locations.
Service: Excellent tour guide and driver. Very organized and well put together.
25 August, 2018
Trip: Very comprehensive and thoroughly enjoyable
Service: I had been told by friends that Insight really look after their customers. They were so right. Everything possible was done to make our trip enjoyable. Our driver Giuseppe was an incredible driver, cautious around bends and so helpful assisting older slower passengers and those with wheelchairs and walkers. The lens fell out of Sharon's glasses and Giuseppe was able to fix it with his Swiss penknife! Joel Plunkett is still young but so so competent. His history and geography talks are interesting, informative and succinct. Always smiling and obliging he was never never impatient or too busy to answer our queries. We were to go up Stanserhorn on a cloudy day but Joel was able to postpone it and we ended going up the next day in perfect weather. This was one of the highlights of the tour for me and other travellers said the same thing. I enjoyed the variety of events. Musical evenings, leisurely street walks sampling local cheeses, fruit, cakes in Paris with a young Parisian student, excellent dinners, excellent hotels, excellent local guides who gave us so much information. One traveller said how much he enjoyed the farm visit and speaking to locals. My transfer from Eurostar London to Citadenes Trafalgar Square was arranged by my Beecroft Sydney Flight Centre travel agent through City Transfers. I was anxious as to how this would eventuate especially when our Eurostar trip started 78 minutes late. My Eurostar tickets were handed to me with a letter detailling the transfer. This relieved my anxiety as I am not very familiar with London. Despite being very busy and having a lot to think about Joel was efficient, courteous and never hassled. They made a great team. Already I have recommended Insight to an American friend in New Jersey who is thinking about booking a Switzerland tour. I will certainly be going on other tours with your company as I know, personally, how well you look after your customers. Thank you for a fabulous holiday.
18 August, 2018
Trip: saw lots of places but not a lot of free time
Service: everything was great.tour guide was very informative and helpful
15 August, 2018
Trip: Trip was smooth with no hickups. Hotel accomidation and the movement of bags to and from rooms was great nothing lost.
Service: Tour guide Brad was excellent and the trave and bus driver also very good Most accommodation was also good.
04 August, 2018
Trip: Every detail was attended to. The hotels were lovely and in the heart of the cities. A delicious and comprehensive breakfast was provided each morning. Our group had priority entrance into all of our excursions. Brad, our tour director, was a walking history book. His wealth of knowledge of all countries that we visited was very impressive! He helped us navigate our way through Europe. I would highly recommend Insight!
Service: Our entire European holiday was incredibly well orchestrated. Our travel director, Brad, was instrumental in making this a wonderful vacation with many guaranteed memories!
04 August, 2018
Trip: Would of liked more time than relax and been offered alternate tours too many castles, Maybe on free time been told where the major shopping areas were. Amsterdam was stop 1 left early the next morning didn’t get to see any of the attractions eg red light district
Service: Everything was organised great, tour guide was great but choice of some of the accommodation was lacking. 3 if my rooms the air conditioner didn’t work and it was very hot and hard to sleep
04 August, 2018
Trip: We wanted to get an overview of Europe and that’s exactly what we got. Our goal was to visit as many places as possible in the short time that we were there, and this tour allowed us to do that.
Service: We never had to worry about a thing while we were on vacation. Our tour guide and our driver took care of our every need and many of our wants as well. Our Tour Guide was knowledgeable, thoughtful, courteous, helpful, and patient. I cannot say enough good things anout him.
21 July, 2018
Trip: Could not have done everything we did on this trip by ourselves. As an added point I think reviews should be done in this manner following the trip. Not handed out and retrieved by the tour director - just my opinion and have heard this from others.
Service: Nathalie the tour director was fabulous. Added bonus was she spoke multiple languages. She was very kind to a particular couple in our group who had issues keeping up. The first driver was very talented, friendly and handled our luggage with kindness. The other drivers could use some improvement.
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