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Small budget, small window of time, big list of Must Dos? The European Encounter should do the trick. Make your way through 10 countries, catching some rays on the Italian Riviera, downing pizza in Rome & exploring castles in Prague. If you know a better way to spend just under two and a half weeks, we need to hear about it!
London to AmsterdamGet ready for 16 days of unforgettable adventures through Europe! You'll meet up with your Contiki crew in London and we'll all board our coach here, ready to set off for European soil. Our first stop is Dover, where we'll take a ferry to cross over the channel. One step closer! As we set off, take in that last glimpse of English coastline with the beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover. Off the ferry, we arrive in the port town of Calais. We're in France! With no time to waste, we'll jump back on our coach and head onwards to Amsterdam. Cross off another country off your list as you cruise through Belgium on your way to Amsterdam. And here we are at our final stop for this evening: Amsterdam! We'll start our exploration of this city with a peek of canals, bicycles & 17th century gable houses lit up by night. Next on the agenda tonight, you'll have the option to get an exclusive entry pass to the A'Dam Tower and Swing, skipping the queues to enjoy epic views over the sprawling city below with an included drink in your hand. Afterwards, there's plenty of nightlife to keep you going until the early hours.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam North Riverside (or similar)
AmsterdamAmsterdam is cute as a button & sure to win your heart with its canals, obscure museums & a café culture like no other. Today use your time to get local, bar hop, museum crawl, and see what other tastes take your fancy, this place is famous for pancakes, frites and so much more. This evening, opt in to enjoy a delicious dinner with the rest of our Contiki fam.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam North Riverside (or similar)
Amsterdam to BerlinAmsterdam, it's been lovely, but today's agenda is onto the autobahn and on the fast-track to uber-cool Berlin. On the world map of party vibes, Berlin has a gold star. We've got two nights to explore every inch of this iconic city, and we'll kick it off with a bit of a tour of the city and its troubled but fascinating past. Once we've gotten acquainted with the key sites, you'll have some free time to discover the city. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the somber icons like the Holocaust memorial to side streets with hidden cafes and shops. And if you're not sure where to start, your Trip Manager can always point you in the right direction.Accommodation: Ibis Ostbahnhof (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
BerlinGet into the mood of exploration. Berlin has so much to offer the hungry traveller, from the obvious icons like Checkpoint Charlie to all the obscurities tucked away in the side streets. Today we’ll embark on an Alternative Berlin walking tour, taking us to all the city’s hipster haunts and historical hotspots.Accommodation: Ibis Ostbahnhof (or similar)
Berlin to PragueFinishing Berlin off on an important note we see the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall known as East Side Gallery and one of the city's symbols, covered in grafitti from head to toe. Next up, we head to the border and stop at a town called Dresden. A drive from Berlin to Prague would not be complete without stopping in Dresden. Destroyed by World War II, the rebuilt town is now a symbol of resilience, soaked in the rebirthed beauty of an Opera house, the domed Frauenkirche, & the Royal Residence. On arrival in the compact & lovable city of Prague, we'll get out and go exploring, seeing castles and cathedrals and learning of Bohemian Kings and gothic history. Prague is a paradise for beer lovers and in the afternoon you have the chance for a local expert to take you on a tour of some of Prague's coolest drinking spots.Accommodation: B&B Hotel Prague (or similar)
PragueWith a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, market antiques & you cheers-ing local beer; not to mention life! Tonight choose to get up close to Czech culture with a live music performance & traditional dancing over dinner and drinks. live music performance & traditional dancing.Accommodation: B&B Hotel Prague (or similar)
Prague to SalzburgWe warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry kids, you cannot live here forever. Onwards we go - it's time for the mountain ranges that made the Sound of Music famous. Also home to Mozart, you can be pretty certain this place knows a beat. Today we'll also see the largest preserved fortress in Central Europe - Hohensalzburg - and have the chance to partake in the Sights & Sounds of Salzburg. Never a dull moment! This evening opt to venture off the beaten path and visit a farming family in the hills above Salzburg who invite us into their home to eat, drink and learn about their lives. The family have lived on this farm for many generations and now look to tourism to help support them and their local community. The ribs you will eat come from the next-door neighbour, the fruit for the schnapps from the village and the service from the locals.Accommodation: A&O Salzburg (or similar)
Salzburg to VeniceAustria, you are an overwhelming beauty. Although it would be nice to stay forever, it's time for us to cross the border and prepare to stuff ourselves full of all things pizza & pasta. Yes, traveller we're making our way to Italy! You'll think you've seen enough beauty for one day after taking in the Central Austrian Alps, and then we'll arrive in Venice & your jaw will hit the floor over hidden lanes, story book bridges & a private canal boat ride.Accommodation: A&O Hotel Venice Mestre (or similar)
Venice to RomeFarewell floating city, but Italy, we're not done with you yet, our next destination the Eternal City of Rome is just around the corner. But first, we have an epic, included MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience to enjoy. Casa Segreta (Secret House) is set within the gorgeous town of Baschi, where we'll meet the Polegri family. These guys have run their vineyard and olive orchard for generations, and after giving us the grand tour, will serve us lunch under the Veranda. As we overlook the Tiber Valley, enjoying some of the most authentic Italian food we've ever tasted (topped off with the Polegri's very own wine, naturally), we might reflect that we've never had it so good. It's the kind of local travel experience you don't encounter every day (you're welcome). Then, all roads lead to Rome as we uncover Italian icons in the country's capital and get a glimpse of its glory by night. Gelato, pizza and ancient monuments - perfetto!Accommodation: A conveniently located hotel
Meals: Breakfast Lunch
RomeThis morning we're up and out early to make the most of our chance to explore this ancient city. Starting with a visit to the world's smallest country, Vatican City. When in Rome...take an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Religious or not, the Vatican's Italian Renaissance church will send shivers down your spine. This is also the day to learn a thing or two about the Colosseum & do a bit of your own exploring. Back in Rome, we'll have time to hit the streets and discover the incredible ancient civilisation on our doorstep. You can opt to take a tour of the famous Colosseum and walk in the footsteps of Emperors and Gladiators in a guided tour, or snap epic selfies against a background of pink azaleas by the entrance. Visit the Trevi Fountain and throw coins to make a wish, sip espresso in a cobbled backstreet and soak up Italian life as it dances by.Accommodation: A conveniently located hotel
Rome to FlorenceWe may be hitting the road again, but we're not done with Italy just yet. We have one more city to lust over The dome of Duomo Cathedral sits above the city making certain we know we have arrived in Florence. Take a moment to take in the unique beauty of this beautiful city where culture and la dolce vita is evident in every direction you look at. Tonight you can choose to begin your Tuscan love affair with a dinner of Bistecca, a Florentine Steak.Accommodation: A conveniently located hotel
Florence to Cinque Terre via PisaHopefully by now you are head to toe in fresh leather, you've eaten your body weight in antipasto, and you're feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to farewell Florence. No trip around Europe is complete without seeing the world's most famous #AwkwardLean, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Once you've got that perfect snap of you holding the thing up like you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, we'll be on the fast-track to the Italian Riviera. Hello beautiful! The 'Five Lands' or Cinque Terre is completely beautiful and will take your breath away with their stunning colours, washing hanging out windows and picture perfect setting. Perched on a cliff and overlooking the Ligurian Sea this is 100% bucket list worthy destination, use the included day pass to explore this colourful heaven, stopping for an Aperol Spritz on the way too, all in the name of culture of course!Accommodation: A conveniently located hotel
Parma to LucerneParma, it’s been short and sweet but we must move on. Next stop, Lucerne! Swans float under wooden bridges, snow-capped mountains stand regally behind us & chocolate tastes like heaven on earth. You're in the Swiss Alps & you cannot wipe the smile off your face.Accommodation: Ibis Budget Luzern City (or similar)
Lucerne to ParisIt's been sweet, but our time in Lucerne is up this morning. We're Paris-bound! Out with the altitude, in with the inner-city Parisian bliss. We'll jump back onto our coach to cross the border out of Switzerland and (back) into France. After coasting through the pretty wine producing region of Burgundy, we'll arrive in the City of Lights. Lamp-lit bridges, a sparkling Eiffel Tower, & evening coffee haunts, this evening we'll fall in love with everything Paris on a dreamy night-time tour. Is it just us, or is love in the air? Once we've seen the most famous landmarks, we'll celebrate our first night in the city by heading up the Montparnasse Tower for the best panoramic views of the city.Accommodation: Ibis Paris Porte D'Orleans Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
ParisIf you're waiting for a chance to indulge yourself in all things Paris, today is your day. With our last night looming, we'll start with a morning visit to Montmatre's cobbled street, village-esque cafes, street artists and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica . Later you have plenty of time to wander up the Champs-Élysées for a pastel-hued macaron at the original Ladurée, then pop in to local favourite Colette, drool over haute couture on rue Saint-Honoré, admire the Notre-Dame cathedral while juggling coffee & sugared crêpes, or hustle your way through the crowds for a glimpse of the enigmatic Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Just don't wear yourself out, because tonight you have the chance to grab tickets for dinner at the Moulin Rouge caberet show, an optional group evening out to perfectly top off your time in the city of lights.Accommodation: Ibis Paris Porte D'Orleans Hotel (or similar)
Paris to LondonRise, shine, and soak up your last dose of Paris this morning over a coffee and croissant together, as we marvel at how much we've seen on this magical journey. It may be over for now, but these friendships and memories will last a lifetime. Our last coach ride together will be a complimentary transfer to CDG airport this morning, or you can stay onboard for the full ride back to London. Plenty of time to start planning the next reunion... What an adventure! Say a fond farewell to the group as you wrap up the trip on arrival in London.
- 3 Dinner (D)
- 16 Breakfast (B)
- 1 Lunch (L)
- Dover: See the iconic chalk-white coastline. So special that it’s had songs dedicated to it.
- Berlin: Get your culture on. It’s time to see Tiergarten, Alexanderplatz, the Russian War Memorial, Brandenburg Gate and the historic Reichstag building.
- Berlin: Heads up culture vultures. Here’s your chance to check out the longest open-air gallery in the world.
- Dresden: See the Baroque architecture that was rebuilt after the WWII bombings. Royal Residence, Zwinger Palace, Opera House and Frauenkirche.
- Prague: Walk through the winding cobbled streets and head up into the fairytale-like Castle District for panoramic city views.
- Salzburg: Marvel at one of Europe's largest medieval castles, perched high on the hill over Salzburg. Like something out of the Sound of Music.
- Venice: Speed across the lagoon to the aqueous island of Venice. Get total James Bond vibes.
- Venice: Life’s all about the waterways here; there’s not an Uber in sight! Get some classic pics of the famous gondola boats.
- Venice: On this low-octane, high-inspo Venetian walking tour, we’ll cast our eyes on the best of the city’s architecture, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square.
- Rome: Stroll around the Italian capital, ticking all the sights off your bucket list! See the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and more
- Orvieto: Kick back with your Contiki crew and feast on local pasta, olives, wine and more at this organic Umbrian farm. (MAKE TRAVEL MATTER ® Experience)
- Pisa: Your ultimate chance to ‘hold the tower up’ as you pose for that classic Insta snap.
- Cinque Terre National Park: We’ll take care of your rail pass, so you can just zip around the iconic clifftop villages and focus on the Insta stories.
- Lucerne: Check out the Wooden Chapel Bridge and the giant sandstone Lion Monument
- Lucerne: Check out the Wooden Chapel Bridge and the giant sandstone Lion Monument
- Paris: Take a dreamy jaunt around the city of romance. Fall in love with landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Champs Élysées and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
- Paris: Climb to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower for an unbeatable vista of the ‘City of Light’.
- Paris: Your chance to learn the art of fragrance at a Parisian perfume house. You know it makes scents! (soz).
Health and Safety Protocols for Contiki Tours
Contiki has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.
You can travel with Contiki and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.
In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Contiki is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.Expertly Trained Travel Directors
Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Contiki will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.Stringent On-the-Road Protocols
The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Contiki have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.A Full Team of Support 24/7
It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.Physical Distancing
Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards
Contiki is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Contiki does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Contiki only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.Always in the Know
As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Contiki is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Prepare to spend more than usual on a Contiki tour.
We were lucky that the group of people with were good, but it was a large group tour and did have some of the downfalls of a trip of that nature, like frequent breaks for the bathroom, difficulty when eating out together, and getting things on and off the coach. The trip was still great and a good value for the money.
It was a good value and the experiences included were worth it. The only part that wasn't the best were the accommodations as it was hit and miss. Half of the hotels on the trip were okay, and the other half were really nice.
I had an amazing trip!
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