Romantic European (Summer 2017)
About Paris, France
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
- Brussels: Walk through the Grand Place to view the Mannekin Pis Statue.
- Amsterdam: See Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Mint Tower.
- Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace. Explore the old town. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke. See the Marienburg fortress.
- Nuremberg: See the city walls and walk through the old town to the Hauptmarkt to see the Beautiful Fountain.
- Prague: Enjoy views over the Old Town and Vltava River. Visit the Old Town Square and see the Astronomical Clock.
- Bratislava: Enjoy free time amid the cobbled squares and labyrinthine streets of Bratislava's Old Town.
- Budapest: Enjoy panoramic views over the city from Gellért Hill. Walk through the cobbled streets of the medieval Castle Hill district. Visit Heroes' Square in Pest. Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci utca.
- Vienna: Tour the Ring Road seeing the Hofburg, Opera House, Parliament building and St Charles' Church.
- 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: Enjoy panoramic views over the whole city from Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk with your guide to the Cathedral, see the ‘Gates of Paradise' and open-air gallery of Signoria Square.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument. See the covered Chapel Bridge and Jesuit Church.
- Lyon: City orientation.
- 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: Italian Lake District, Swiss Alps, Burgundy.
HIGHLIGHT HOTELS AND LOCATIONS
- Brussels: The Marriott is only a short stroll away from the beautiful Grand Place.
- Budapest: The Corinthia blends classic hotel opulence with the finest five-star luxury. Located in the heart of the city, its refurbished Royal Spa is simply stunning.
- Venice: Set on Giudecca Island in Venice, the Bauer Palladio is a luxury hotel boasting opulent decor and stunning facilities.
- Rome: The Kolbe, a magnificent luxury four-star hotel, a former 15th century convent, just steps from the Roman Forum.
- 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 on the Champs Élysées for a rousing Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
- 20 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 4 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner, 1 Dine-Around evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels.
- Rhine Valley: Watch medieval hilltop castles, sleepy villages and vineyards slip by as you enjoy a scenic cruise.
- Nuremberg: Explore the local market, shop for gingerbread and see the 'Beautiful Fountain' in the Hauptmarkt.
- Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, experience a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle with a Local Expert.
- Budapest: Visit the colourful Matthias Church and gaze out over the Danube, to the giant domed Parliament, from the heights of the Fisherman's Bastion.
- Vienna: A private guided exploration of Schönbrunn Palace will have all your senses tingling. Stand beneath frescoed ceilings, crystal chandeliers and gilded Rococo frames where Mozart performed as a child prodigy.
- Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola, past water-lapped doorways and Rococo palaces.
- Rome: Be among the select few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums, see the Bramante Staircase and Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
- Florence: Visit the Accademia Museum with a local historian to study Michelangelo's original Statue of David.
- Stanserhorn: A spectacular journey by a funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the Stanserhorn for expansive mountain views.
- Paris: Venture with a Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
- Paris: Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train to London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Paris.
You will visit the following 9 places:
Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country offers many diverse destinations – relatively low mountains in the north-west, the Great Plain in the east, lakes and rivers of all sorts (including Balaton - the largest lake in Central Europe), and many beautiful small villages and hidden gems of cities. Top this off with Hungary's great accessibility in the middle of Europe, a vivid culture and economy, and you get a destination absolutely not worth missing if you're in the region. The country's largest city and busy capital, Budapest, is an elegant, stylish and lively city made up of two separate settlements clustered on either side of the Danube River: hilly Buda has a wealth of graceful Habsburg and neoclassical buildings, while sprawling Pest is its commercial centre with a generous scattering of art nouveau architecture and an ad-hoc party scene.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. While still named the Swiss Confederation for historical reasons, modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities, called '"federal city". Situated in Western-Central Europe, Switzerland is also a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. One of the most developed countries in the world, Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails.
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe. Although the country may not be large it has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command our respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast of amount of architectural treasure and has beautiful forests and mountains to match.
Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most unique and charming countries on the continent. Since reunification Germany has at last gained a higher profile as a place to visit, thanks partly to the remarkable resurgence of its capital, Berlin, one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in Europe. It's no surprise at all that today’s Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured nationalism and tradition with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.
Austria is a German-speaking federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is characterized by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, Imperial history and rugged alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schonbrunn and Hofburg palaces, and has counted Mozart, Strauss and Sigmund Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Lake Traun and eastern hillside vineyards.
Belgium is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is one of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations. Beer, chocolate and moules-frites might be the starting points for many first-time visitors, but while you’ll eat and drink well, the country’s other selling points are no less weighty. Medieval cities like Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent play home to some stunning architecture, while a military legacy that covers everything from Waterloo to WWII holds its own interest. It’s compact, easy to travel around and boasts no fewer than 60 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend, particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction. All these people come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, long Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian's dream that is Normandy. The country seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. France citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development.