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The Best of Europe (5160)

18 days from London to Paris

2017 Tour Details »2018 Tour Details

A European tour… should include the most popular and exciting cities, the must-see sights, picturesque scenery, and a mix of culture, history, and just plain fun. On this Best of Europe tour, you’ll experience all of this and more.

On guided sightseeing tours, you’ll visit the must-see sights—including those that will delight history fans—such as Amsterdam’s canals, Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge, built in the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications and now Europe’s oldest-preserved wooden bridge; Rome’s Colosseum and Roman Forum, dating back to the Roman Empire; Florence’s renaissance old city center with a replica of the “David” by Michelangelo, Pompeii, where you’ll see what life was like during the Roman Empire before Mount Vesuvius destroyed and preserved the town in 79 AD; Paris’s most famous landmarks and much more.

On this comprehensive European tour, you’ll also enjoy spectacular scenery. You’ll drive through the picturesque Rhineland with its scenic countryside, historic castles, and charming villages, and you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Italian and French Rivieras. Sit back and relax as you drive past the Burgundy vineyards in France and through gorgeous alpine scenery from Switzerland to Italy. Marvel at the beauty in Tuscany with its rural villages, rolling hills, vineyards, rows of cypress trees, and olive groves. You’ll stand in awe as you witness the blue sea and amazing views on the Sorrento coast and on the legendary island of Capri, and you’ll love the green hills and valleys as you travel through Umbria to visit Assisi.

All of this and more await you on this dream European vacation designed for value-minded travelers!

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Visits to Heidelberg, Lucerne, Lugano, Verona, Venice canal boat ride, Assisi’s St. Francis Basilica, Neapolitan Riviera, Capri boat trip, Pisa Square of Miracles, Beaune

Guides:

Host service in London; Local Guides for city sightseeing in Amsterdam, Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Paris; professional Tour Director while touring

Rhineland, Swiss Alps, Sorrento coast, Italian & French Rivieras, Route Napoleon

March 23 & March 30 Departures – Easter
December 16 Departure – Christmas lunch in Rome and New Year's in Paris including reveillon dinner

Transportation:

Private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal cruise in Amsterdam; canal transfer boat in Venice; boat transfer to Capri

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1

ARRIVE IN LONDON, ENGLAND. Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2

LONDON. A full day to savor our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London’s landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, how about a leisurely cruise on the Thames River? (B)

Day 3

LONDON–BRUSSELS–AMSTERDAM AREA, HOLLAND. Transfer to the railway station and board the EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels with your Tour Director.Board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area. (B)

Day 4

AMSTERDAM AREA–RHINELAND, GERMANY. Today, enjoy sightseeing in Amsterdam with a Local Guide pointing out the city highlights, followed by a CANAL CRUISE to see the city from water level, then stop to watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTER. This afternoon, continue your journey to the scenic Rhineland. (B,D)

Day 5

RHINELAND–HEIDELBERG–LUCERNE AREA, SWITZERLAND. Drive through the picturesque Rhineland or, alternatively, take the optional Rhine River cruise and enjoy splendid scenery including the Lorelei rock. Next, drive into Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, nicely located at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine Rivers, for a short visit. Continue to the Lucerne area. (B)

Day 6

LUCERNE AREA. One of Switzerland’s finest cities, Lucerne is nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and graced by the clear mountain waters of the Reuss River. The orientation includes the LION MONUMENT, erected in memory of the 800 Swiss Guards who defended Louis XVI and his wife, and the wooden CHAPEL BRIDGE. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cable-car ride to the 10,000-foot summit of Mount Titlis; a cruise on the fjord-like lake; and, of course, time to shop for an authentic Swiss watch. (B)

Day 7

LUCERNE AREA–LUGANO–VERONA, ITALY–VENICE AREA. More wonderful alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround the massive St. Gotthard leading to the warmer and sunnier ambiance of Canton Ticino. Stop in beautiful Lugano and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. Then, cross into Italy and drive across the Po Valley to Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. See Juliet’s house and balcony, and stroll around the picturesque market square. Tonight, you are in the Venice area. (B)

Day 8

VENICE AREA. Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and busy little piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by free time to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere and a chance to visit a GLASSBLOWING WORKSHOP. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (B,D)

Day 9

VENICE AREA–ASSISI–ROME. An interesting drive southward, crossing the rolling Apennines. Stop in medieval Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182, and visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto. Then, head for Rome. (B)

Day 10

ROME. The “Eternal City” is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. Other highlights are the iconic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built; the Roman Forum; Piazza Venezia, and Campidoglio. (B)

Day 11

ROME–POMPEII–NEAPOLITAN RIVIERA. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. South all the way today, with the Vesuvius volcano in the distance. Visit Pompeii, where time stopped in 79 AD when the Vesuvius eruption totally buried it. On the included visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, see the luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Just a few more miles to reach the lively Neapolitan Riviera. (B)

Day 12

NEAPOLITAN RIVIERA. EXCURSION TO CAPRI. Cross the blue sea for a full-day excursion to the legendary island of Capri. Surrounded by rose-tinted rocks, Capri has incredibly beautiful coves of translucent blues and greens. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and cozy restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. An optional tour takes you around the island with its steep roads and panoramic views. (B,D)

Day 13

NEAPOLITAN RIVIERA–FLORENCE. An early journey north to Florence. Vistas of rolling hills, austere rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Arrive in Florence in the afternoon in time to enjoy its magnificent architectural and artistic treasures; the included walking tour with a Local Guide will take in the highlights. (B,D)

Day 14

FLORENCE–PISA–FRENCH RIVIERA, FRANCE. Stop in Pisa to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the famous Leaning Tower, 180 feet high and no less than 12 feet out of the perpendicular. Bypassing the great port of Genoa, drive northwest, getting glimpses of the Italian and French Rivieras. Reach the shores of the charming Côte d’Azur. (B)

Day 15

FRENCH RIVIERA–ROUTE NAPOLEON–GRENOBLE. Start the day with a visit to a typical Provence PERFUME WORKSHOP in Grasse, then follow in the footsteps of Napoleon as he escaped from exile in Elbe. Once he landed on the shores of the Côte d’Azur, he made his way to Paris via Grasse. Following the Route Napoleon, reach Grenoble, now an alpine sports mecca and site of the 1968 Winter Olympic Games. (B,D)

Day 16

GRENOBLE–BEAUNE–PARIS. Enjoy the very heart of the Burgundy wine-growing region, making a stop in lovely Beaune, surrounded by some of the world’s finest vineyards. Continue northwards to the exciting city of Paris, capital of France. (B)

Day 17

PARIS. Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see the main ones during the included city tour with a Local Guide. In the afternoon, a chance to feel like a French aristocrat as you join the optional walking tour through the immense Palace of Versailles. This evening, why not join an optional farewell dinner? (B)

Day 18

PARIS. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

 Accommodations

LONDON Novotel London West (F)
AMSTERDAM Holiday Inn Express Arena Towers (ST)
AMSTERDAM Best Western Plus Amedia Amsterdam Airport (F)
RHINELAND H+ Hotel Koeln Bruehl (F)
LUCERNE Drei Koenige (ST)
LUCERNE Ibis Kriens (TC)
VENICE Holiday Inn Venezia (ST)
VENICE Poppi (ST)
ROME Fleming (F)
NEAPOLITAN RIVIERA Central Park (TC)
FLORENCE Italiana Hotel and Resort (F)
FRENCH RIVIERA Park Inn (MF)
FRENCH RIVIERA Quality Mediterranee (MF)
GRENOBLE Europole (ST)
PARIS Novotel Paris La Defense (F)
PARIS Timohotel Berthier (ST)

 Optional Excursions

The following optional excursions may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased).

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).
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