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Highlights of Europe

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France
Tour Style: Premium
18 Days from $4,028 per person

Varied landscapes, magnificent scenery, history galore, and a treasure-trove of art and architecture... a glorious reflection of Europe at her best.

Highlights of Europe also has winter departures; click here to see the Winter Season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

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

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

    meal(s):FB
  4. 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.

    meal(s):WD
    hotel:Marriott, Brussels.
  5. 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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Crowne Plaza City Centre, Heidelberg.
  6. 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, the Viktualienmarkt, with its beer garden. At night, maybe sample a stein of beer in a local beer hall?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Leonardo Royal Hotel, Munich.
  7. A short drive leads over the Austrian border to Salzburg, the city of Mozart and the ‘Sound of Music'. Sightseeing with a Local Expert shows 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, 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 Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof with your orientation tour.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Innsbruck.
  8. Drive down through the Dolomites, crossing the Italian border and descend to the romantic city of Venice. Your prestigious hotel occupies an old convent building in the greenest part of the city centre.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Best Western Premier Hotel Sant'Elena, Venice (2 nights).
  9. 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, who have been striking the hour for over 500 years. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Best Western Premier Hotel Sant'Elena, Venice.
  10. Head south over the Apennine Mountains and follow the 'Highway of the Sun' to the 'Eternal City' of Rome.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mediterraneo Palace Hotel, Rome (2 nights).
  11. 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. Cross the River Tiber to see the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum then the afternoon is free for you to explore.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Mediterraneo Palace Hotel, Rome.
  12. 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. Afterwards, there is time to shop.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Londra, Florence.
  13. Journey past the capital of Lombardy, Milan, 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 or perhaps take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands?

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno.
  14. 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. In the evening, get together with your friends and choose from a selection of authentic local restaurants for your dining pleasure. 

    meal(s):BB, DA
    hotel:Astoria, Lucerne (2 nights).
  15. In the morning, head to the town of Stans, where we embark on a spectacular journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. 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. Perhaps venture into the countryside to meet the local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride? 

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Astoria, Lucerne.
  16. 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 Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy a ‘Diner de Célébration' served with wine in a Parisian bistro, abundant with French ambience.

    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Marriott Rive Gauche, Paris (2 nights).
  17. 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 onto the Notre Dame Cathedral to see this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Insight ensures you leave the long queues at the Eiffel Tower behind - 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Marriott Rive Gauche, Paris.
  18. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 and 11:00, or depart for London via Gare du Nord for Eurostar option.

    meal(s):BB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip itinerary.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Included Quality Dining

14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW), 1 Dine-Around evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

London:

  • Half day sightseeing tours of London’s West End shows you all the major sights - Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.

Eurostar:

  • Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel to Brussels.

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.

Rome:

  • Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel including privileged behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase.

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.
  • With tickets to the Eiffel Tower prearranged, ascend and enjoy spectacular views of Paris.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
23 Aug 17 9 Sep 17 checkmark $4,895pp Call 1-877-622-9109
13 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 checkmark $5,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
27 Apr 18 12 May 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 May 18 19 May 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 May 18 2 Jun 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Jun 18 16 Jun 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Jun 18 30 Jun 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Jun 18 14 Jul 18 $4,525$4,073pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Jul 18 28 Jul 18 $4,495$4,046pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
3 Aug 18 18 Aug 18 $4,475$4,028pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
17 Aug 18 1 Sep 18 $4,525$4,073pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
31 Aug 18 15 Sep 18 $4,595$4,136pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Sep 18 29 Sep 18 $4,695$4,226pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 Oct 18 20 Oct 18 $4,695$4,226pp 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 $1,100 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $132 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

  • 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 or the UK.

  • 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, and the Swiss Franc (CHF) in Switzerland.

    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.

  • English specialties include fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stilton cheese, and scones with clotted cream. Culinary experiences to not to miss include a traditional pub meal, afternoon tea, and full English breakfast. 

    Traditional German cuisine is rich and delicious.  Try specialties including a variety of bratwurst with sauerkraut, cold cuts, spätzle and potato dumplings.  For dessert you cannot miss the world famous Black Forest Gateau.   Beer is a big part of German culture; sample a variety of German offerings including pilsner, Kölsch and sour beers.  In Frankfurt, try the local cider (Apfelwein).   Wine is also popular throughout Germany, and world-class whites are produced in the Rhine and Mosel regions. 

    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.

    While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. 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.

    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.

Reviews

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Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Munich

Bavarian Dinner

Adult Price: € 65.00

Enjoy a convivial evening at a popular traditional restaurant where we sample traditional Bavarian specialties and great beer whilst being entertained by live Bavarian Music.

Salzburg

Eagle's Nest & The Bavarian Alps

Adult Price: € 55.00

Drive over the German border, past picturesque farmhouses and villages to Obersalzberg. Nearly 75 years ago, this small mountain paradise was the summer playground for top Nazi brass. Here we will transfer to special coaches for the scenic drive up the mountain to Hitler's notorious "Eagle's Nest". Used as a restaurant since the 50's, there are splendid views through the arches up to the 'Hohen Goll' and across the snow capped peaks.

Venice

Magical Venice

Adult Price: € 54.00

Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.

Burano Excursion & Meal

Adult Price: € 70.00

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!

Rome

Piazzas & Fountains

Adult Price: € 33.00

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.

Guided Visit To Colosseum & Roman Forum

Adult Price: € 52.00

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!

Roman Dinner Party and Trevi Fountain

Adult Price: € 61.00

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’.

Florence

Jewels Of The Renaissance

Adult Price: € 40.00

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& 16thCentury 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.

Tuscan Dinner & Cooking Demonstration

Adult Price: € 69.00

Florence and Tuscany are renowned for their rich gastronomic heritage. Tonight we travel into the hills near Florence to the northernmost part of the Chianti, where a local chef will introduce you to the dishes that make Tuscan cuisine famous throughout the world. A great cooking class, superb food and wine, with genuine and warm Tuscan hospitality.

Italian Lakes

Isola Bella

Adult Price: € 41.00

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.

Lucerne

Lake Lucerne Happy Hour Cruise

Adult Price: CHF 49.00

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.

Swiss Evening

Adult Price: CHF 99.00

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.

Carriages & Countryside

Adult Price: CHF 67.00

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.

Paris

Seine Cruise And Illuminations

Adult Price: € 38.00

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.

Montmartre Village & Artists Square

Adult Price: € 37.00

Discover the bohemian quarter of Montmartre with your local expert. Walk through the historic lower area before ascending by funicular to the Place du Tertre, a favourite haunt of Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and Utrillo. Browse for original art or ask a local street artist to capture your likeness in minutes - a great souvenir to take home. Close by you can appreciate the view from the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

Moulin Rouge

Adult Price: € 162.00

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!

Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Cabaret

Adult Price: € 139.00

Dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town! Enjoy an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment - including, of course, the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night that you will never forget!

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