AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
Past Guests Save an additional 5%
Save $250 per person on Airfare to Europe - Ends Nov 17, 2017 LEARN MORESave $250 per person on Airfare to Europe
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by Jan 11, 2018
Save up to 10% - Pay in Full by Jan 11, 2018
Experience the essence of Europe as you travel through bustling Rome and Paris, stopping off in Renaissance Florence, the colorful oceanside 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.
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
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. Later join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and enjoy the opportunity to mingle and get to know your fellow travelers.
Rome is about art, antiquity, piazzas and pizzazz, and your walking tour in the morning 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?
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.
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. Spend time exploring the old medieval quarter or the popular sandy beach. Return by train to your resort in Rapallo. Spend your last night in Italy indulging in a family-style dinner with authentic, home-made cuisine at a trattoria, where fresh ingredients are prepared to traditional recipes.
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. Tonight, enjoy a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
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.
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 center 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?
Meet an avid foodie and explore neighborhoods where Parisians go about their daily lives. In small groups, indulge in local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier. With the afternoon free, perhaps venture to the Bohemian quarter and artist's retreat of Montmartre? In the evening, you will adore your Celebration Dinner, accompanied by delicious French wines, at a local favorite very popular among the locals.
Your discovery of Europe comes to an end after breakfast. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|4 May 18||13 May 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 May 18||20 May 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 May 18||3 Jun 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Jun 18||8 Jul 18||$3,225$2,903pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|13 Jul 18||22 Jul 18||$3,195$2,876pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|27 Jul 18||5 Aug 18||$3,150$2,835pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|17 Aug 18||26 Aug 18||$3,150$2,835pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|31 Aug 18||9 Sep 18||$3,275$2,948pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Sep 18||23 Sep 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Sep 18||7 Oct 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|12 Oct 18||21 Oct 18||$3,375$3,038pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $660 p.p.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $104 per person.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.
8 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all tea or coffee.
U.S. citizens traveling to Europe must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering countries in the Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, or Croatia.
The currency for most countries you will visit in Europe is the Euro (€). Several exceptions apply including the Pound (£) in Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland; the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland; the Swedish Krona (SEK) in Sweden; the Danish Kroner (DKK) in Denmark; the Norwegian Krone (NOK) in Norway; the Czech Koruna (CZK) in the Czech Republic; the Forint (HUF) in Hungary; the Zloty (zł) in Poland; and the Kuna (KN) in Croatia.
While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa. Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink
The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from. And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.
Swiss cuisine is a flavorful blend of German, Italian, and French influences and a wide variety of regional offerings. Specialty dishes include fondue and raclette (cheese dipping dishes), sausages and rösti (fried potato), bündnerfleisch (air-dried beef) and fondue bourguigon (cubes of steak with various sauces). Swiss pastries and desserts are excellent. There are also spirits made from fruit; the most popular are Kirsch, Pflümli and Williamine. And don’t miss out on the world-class selection of Swiss chocolate.
We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. A few important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping through-out Europe is less common or generous than it is in the United States. Some countries will add a service charge of up to 15%, so be sure to check your bill before leaving extra. In most places it is appropriate to leave a few euros or between 5% and 10% for exceptional service. Keep in mind you will likely want to leave cash on the table to ensure your server receives it.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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