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Highlights of Europe (Winter Season)

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Tour Pace: Active
Salzburg, Austria
Tour Style: Premium
18 Days from $3,788 per person

A glorious reflection of Europe at her best, come autumn, winter or spring, with magnificent landscapes, a wealth of history, and a trove of art architecture. 

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  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 or join at the Brussels hotel. In the
    afternoon, stroll through the beautiful Grand Place and see the cheeky Manneken Pis. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, a warm evening of dinner and wine.

    meal(s):FB, WD
    hotel:Brussels Marriott Hotel Grand Place
  5. Travel into Germany to Boppard. Join a cruise 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 Heidelberg City Centre
  6. Stop in medieval Rothenburg, still surrounded by its old walls and watch towers. Continue to the Bavarian capital of Munich. Stroll through Munich's open-air food market, the Viktualienmarkt.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:The Westin Grand Munich
  7. A short drive leads to Salzburg. Sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, the imposing fortress, the cathedral and Mozart's birthplace. Continue to Innsbruck where you will see the 14th century houses of the Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof on 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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice
  9. 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 to see the Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica. To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.

    meal(s):BB
  10. Head south over the Apennine Mountains and follow the "Highway of the Sun" to the "Eternal City" of Rome.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Dei Borgia, Rome
  11. 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, St. Peter's Basilica and views of the Colosseum.

    meal(s):BB
  12. In Florence, a Local Expert will accompany you to the Duomo and Signoria Square. Take the time to gaze at Neptune and David. There's time to shop for its famous leather and gold.

    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Adler Cavalieri Hotel, Florence
  13. The day is free for you to fully immerse yourself in the Tuscan capital.

    meal(s):BB
  14. Cross the Swiss border and enjoy Alpine scenery all the way to Lucerne.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Renaissance Lucerne Hotel
  15. Journey by cog-wheel railway to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive mountain views over Lake Lucerne.

    meal(s):BB, DA
  16. During your time in Paris, see the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Élysées 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
  17. A Local Expert will walk you through the Latin Quarter and continue on to Notre Dame Cathedral. Ascend the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower for spectacular views of the city.

    meal(s):BB
  18. Transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:00 am and 11:00 am, or depart for London via Gare du Nord with the 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.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • 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

2 Full Breakfasts (FB); 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Three-course table d’hôte Dinners (DW), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD) 1 Dine-Around Evening (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year’s Eve will enjoy festive Highlight Dinners which will replace an included meal.

Signature Experiences

SALZBURG:

  • Walk with your Local Expert through the Mirabell Gardens, see Mozart's Birthplace and the Cathedral.

ROME:

  • With your Local Expert, enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with privileged behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase.

FLORENCE:

  • Your Local Expert will walk with you to the Duomo. See the ‘Gates of Paradise' and the open-air gallery of Signoria Square.

PARIS:

  • Venture with your Local Expert through the Latin Quarter and see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.

Top Rated Highlights

CHRISTMAS MARKETS:

  • Lose yourself in festive atmosphere where you can shop for local delicacies and try the heart-warming Glühwein on selected departures.

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.

MOUNT PILATUS:

  • Journey by cable car and cog-wheel railway to the summit of Mount Pilatus for expansive views.

PARIS:

  • With prearranged tickets to the Eiffel Tower, ascend and enjoy spectacular views of Paris.

Authentic Regional Flavors

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 for a little wine and a rousing Celebration Dinner. Bon Appétit!
  • Definite Departure
  • Christmas Markets
  • Festive Celebrations
  • Alternative Hotel
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
Christmas Markets
15 Nov 17 2 Dec 17 $4,150$3,839pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Christmas Markets
29 Nov 17 16 Dec 17 $4,150$3,839pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Christmas Markets
17 Dec 17 3 Jan 18 checkmark $4,450$4,116pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Christmas Markets
Festive Celebrations
24 Dec 17 10 Jan 18 checkmark $4,525$4,186pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Alternative Hotel
24 Dec 17 10 Jan 18 checkmark $4,525$4,186pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
3 Jan 18 20 Jan 18 $4,095$3,788pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
17 Jan 18 3 Feb 18 $4,095$3,788pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
7 Feb 18 24 Feb 18 $4,095$3,788pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Alternative Hotel
7 Mar 18 24 Mar 18 $4,150$3,839pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
14 Mar 18 31 Mar 18 $4,150$3,839pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
21 Mar 18 7 Apr 18 $4,375$4,047pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Alternative Hotel
28 Mar 18 14 Apr 18 $4,375$4,047pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
Alternative Hotel
4 Apr 18 21 Apr 18 $4,375$4,047pp Early PaymentPay by Aug 31 Request Quote Book Now
  • Christmas Markets : This departure has an alternate itinerary in order to accommodate a visit to Christmas Markets.

  • Festive Celebrations : Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.

  • Alternative Hotel : This departure may include alternate hotels in select cities.

 

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.

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