Romantic European - Start London, Return Eurostar, Classic Group Start London Return Eurostar Classic Group
From 23/04/2023 to 09/01/2024
Additional Included Highlights.
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency.
We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
You may purchase arrival transfers from London Heathrow and Gatwick airports on arrival days, or when additional nights accommodation has been booked through Insight Vacations.
If your departure flights are as per the itinerary end dates, departure transfers are available at scheduled times.
If your flights are outside these times or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way to the airport.
Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - London to Amsterdam At 07:00, meet your Travel Director and transfer to London’s St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar for a rail journey via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Once in Amsterdam, join your Travel Director in the evening for a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests during a cruise, along some of the many quaint, tree-lined canals. Admire the elegant merchant houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, their facades are a reflection of when trade flourished during Amsterdam's Golden Age. Relax as you pass stunning gables, beautiful churches and the iconic Magere Brug, better known as the Skinny Bridge. Disembark and venture to Humphrey's Restaurant for your Welcome Dinner.
Day 2 - Rhine Valley to W?rzburg Relax with a scenic drive along the Rhine Valley to W?rzburg. See the mighty Marienburg Fortress - the immense baroque palace of the Prince Bishops and one of the most important landmarks in Germany. On arrival, visit the imposing W?rzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a Local Expert. Marvel at intricate decorations and lavish staterooms.
Day 3 - Rothenburg and Golden Prague In the morning, venture to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. Continue East to the Czech border, passing the town of Pilsen renowned for its beer, to reach the Golden City of Prague. In the evening, perhaps take a river cruise through the heart of the city?
Day 4 - Prague, City of a Hundred Spires Explore Prague with Insight Choice. Choose to walk the courtyards of the Castle and visit the imposing St. Vitus Cathedral. Alternatively, join your Local Expert through the Jewish Quarter and hear about the history, traditions and legends of the Jewish people and taste Trdeln?k, a traditional Czech pastry. Then, the city is all yours to explore. Perhaps rummage through the renowned antique stores or shop for the finest Bohemian crystal? In the evening, why not enjoy an Optional Experience in the Czech countryside?
Day 5 - Through Bohemia to Budapest Start the day with a journey through the beautiful forested countryside of Bohemia. Journey to Hungary, following the River Danube to Budapest.In the evening, join a Local Expert to enjoy a scenic dinner cruise, whilst looking out over beautiful city views. Budapest boasts one of the most spectacular night time vistas, earning it the nickname 'Pearl of the Danube'.
Day 6 - The flavours of Budapest Your orientation takes your along the grand Andrassy Avenue to Heroe's Square. Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda and admire sweeping views from the Fisherman's Bastion with a Local Expert.Stand atop Gell?rt Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue stands in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the elegant, newer Elizabeth Bridge. Continue your travels, past the Turul Monument, a large eagle statue overlooking the town of Tatabanya, to the Austrian border and through pleasant farming country to the imperial capital of Vienna.
Day 7 - Vienna and the Habsburgs In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Sch?nbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Get your camera ready for a drive around the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital's architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence and Parliament building. Later, join your Local Expert for a walk through Innere Stadt, the first district and historic core of Vienna. Sit down for traditional coffee and cake and mingle with locals at a cosy caf?.
Day 8 - Lake W?rthersee to Venice This day's route takes you past quiet villages, through Styria's forested mountains and into the Carinthian Lake District. Continue past Europe's warmest lake, the W?rthersee, to cross into Italy near Tarvisio. Then follow mountain valleys and cascading streams down to the Veneto Plain en route to the unique city of Venice. Arrive by private boat to your hotel. This evening, stroll past the entrance doors of the famous Opera House to La Fenice restaurant for a magical dinner. Indulge in traditional Venetian dishes that are enriched with inspiration from seasonal produce. Sip a cocktail at Caf? Florian at twilight whilst you are serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians. Admire the tranquillity of St. Mark's Square long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels before returning to your hotel.
Day 9 - The Magic of 'La Serenissima' Relaxed Start In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. See the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace on St. Mark's Square, connected to the ancient prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience as you witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps shop in the small arcades or why not cruise the Venetian lagoon to the island of Burano for a meal of local specialties and wine?
Day 10 - Villa Machiavelli and Rome Head into the Apennine Mountains and the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany. Meet your Local Host for a guided tour through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Nicolo Machiavelli, with an included special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince'. Visit the Italian garden with views of the Florence Cathedral and the historic cellar, which has a secret underground tunnel connecting the cellars to the oldest restaurant in Italy. Savour a tasting of wines made from the vineyards surrounding the home, accompanied by delicious samples of local Tuscan fare. Your journey continues as you follow the course of the Tiber to your hotel in the Eternal City of Rome.
Day 11 - Papal and Imperial Rome With your Local Expert, visit the Vatican Museums. Insight provides special priority entry to avoid the crowds and gives you behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase, normally off-limits to the public. Inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Continue inside the cavernous St. Peter's Basilica, mother church of the Catholic faith, to see another Michelangelo masterpiece, the Piet?, as well as the splendid dome. Leave Vatican City to cross the Tiber and stand outside the Colosseum, imagining yourself back in the days of the gladiators. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 12 - Umbria and onto Florence Relaxed Start Meet chef Lorenzo at his family farm in Umbria. Explore the art of Italian cooking during an entertaining pasta demonstration and delicious Highlight Lunch accompanied by Orvieto Classico wine. Continue on to your hotel in Florence.
Day 13 - Renaissance Florence Begin the morning by joining a Local Expert in Florence to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. You also visit the open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces in Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the city. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the Renaissance capital. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the famous Leaning Tower?
Day 14 - Across the Alps to Lucerne Head north towards 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, before travelling alongside towering mountains and past rushing torrents, down to scenic Lake Lucerne. Upon return in 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.
Day 15 - Lucerne and Mt. Stanserhorn In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Breathe in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Mount Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose to walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience and hear a conservation talk by a Swiss ranger, to learn about local wildlife and flora. With the day free, there is plenty of time for shopping for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town. Perhaps venture into the countryside for a delightful horse-drawn carriage ride and meet the local farmers? At night, you are offered a fine selection of restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
Day 16 - Sights and delights of Paris Journey through the rural French country side of Alsace and Burgundy regions, famous for its vineyards and wines, to arrive in the vibrant 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 centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs ?lys?es 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?
Day 17 - The food and flavours of Paris Your exploration of Paris today starts with an Insight Choice. Choose to shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian for fashion, perfume or cosmetics with your Local Expert. Alternatively, join an avid foodie as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. In the evening, indulge in refined French cuisine during your Celebration Dinner at the iconic restaurant La Coupole, frequently visited by the French entertainer Josephine Baker.
Day 18 - Au revoir Paris In the morning, bid farewell to your travelling companions as your journey comes to an end. Travel by high-speed Eurostar train for your journey back to London. On arrival, you are transferred to the Park Plaza Victoria where your trip ends. Choice Highlights Choose between two carefully selected activities Prague: Stroll through the Jewish Quarter with your Local Expert to hear how the Jewish community has shaped the history of Prague, and taste Trdeln?k, a traditional Czech pastry. Prague: Visit the imposing St Vitus Cathedral and explore the atmospheric courtyards of the historic Prague Castle with your Local Expert. Choose between two carefully selected activities Stanserhorn: Walk along beautiful scenic pathways at the summit of Mount Stanserhorn for a chance to see native animals like marmots. Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the local wildlife and flora over a conservation talk. Learn about the conservation of the local ecosystem and local fauna from a Swiss ranger. Hear about what it takes to preserve the wildlife throughout the year and in all weather. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land. Alternatively, walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see native animals like marmots. Choose between two carefully selected activities Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert. Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and sample local treats and delicacies along the way. Well-being : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests). : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches. : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols. : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues. : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day. Travel Director : "I love to see how guests react to Paris because, despite its fame, it still surprises. It's a majestic city, which shines in the daytime and sparkles at night." : "One food I really love introducing my guests to is tramezzini sandwiches because they are a real art form in Venice. For the locals it is a quick inexpensive bite to get them through the day...best eaten standing up at the bar!" : "One thing I really love about showing guests Eastern Europe is the rich history and culture of places that have previously been impossible to visit due to political situations." Top Rated Highlights London: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel. Amsterdam: Cruise along the old waterways, discovering the architectural gems of the old city, including mansions dating from the Golden Age of the 17th Century. Wurzburg: Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke and see the Marienburg fortress. Wurzburg: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of W?rzburg Residence with a Local Expert. Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Picturesque Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the best-preserved medieval town in Germany and a truly enchanting destination. Step back in time and explore the city walls, towers, and gates around the old town as well as the old town itself. Prague: Stroll through the Jewish Quarter with your Local Expert to hear how the Jewish community has shaped the history of Prague, and taste Trdeln?k, a traditional Czech pastry. Prague: Visit the imposing St Vitus Cathedral and explore the atmospheric courtyards of the historic Prague Castle with your Local Expert. Budapest: Stroll through the alleys of the Old Town of Buda and admire sweeping views from the Fisherman's Bastion with a Local Expert. Drive along the beautiful Andrassy Avenue to Heroes' Square. Stand atop Gellert Hill where the colossal Liberty Statue stands in front of the Citadella watching over the city. Marvel at extensive panoramic views as you look out over the famous river dividing Buda and Pest - the two sides linked by the mighty Chain Bridge and the newer, elegant Elizabeth Bridge. Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Expert reveals why this is the historic core of the city. You will also tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche. Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica. Rome: Discover the history, the construction and the legends of the iconic Colosseum as you stroll around the exterior of this amazing structure. Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods. Florence: See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods and witness a gold and leather-work demonstration. Lucerne: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge. Stanserhorn: Walk along beautiful scenic pathways at the summit of Mount Stanserhorn for a chance to see native animals like marmots. Stanserhorn: Journey to the top of Mount Stanserhorn on a panoramic, open-top cable car powered by solar energy, and enjoy spectacular views from the summit. Paris: With a Local Expert, explore the iconic sights and streets of Paris. See famous landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the facades of the Louvre. Stroll the banks of the River Seine and admire romantic bridges, and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elys?es to the Arc de Triomphe. Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert. Authentic Dining Amsterdam: Toast to the travels ahead during your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine at Humphrey's Restaurant, a trendy eatery located in the heart of the city and surrounded by 17th century homes. Budapest: Enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city's night time beauty as you float along the Danube. Venice: Enjoy a special Venetian Celebration Dinner with wine at La Fenice, situated in the heart of this historic city. Venice: Sip cocktails alongside the canals at Cafe Florian, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels. Tuscany: Enjoy a tasting of locally made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli's home. While here you will visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Umbria: Explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Lorenzo followed by a tasty lunch. Lucerne: Choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening and hand-pick your preferred ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience. Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and sample local treats and delicacies along the way. Paris: Rendezvous with your friends at a typical French bistro for a rousing Celebration Dinner with wine. Bon Appetit! Dining Summary: 6 Dinner with Wine (DW), 17 Breakfast (B), and 2 Lunch with Wine (LW) Insight Experiences Vienna: Be pampered by locals with traditional coffee and cake. An experience like no other, this cosy caf? provides companionship, and promotes well-being and support for the community, in addition to crafting delicious treats. Tuscany: Meet your Local Expert for a guided visit through the house of the Italian Renaissance diplomat and writer, Niccolo Machiavelli, with a special opening of his private office where he wrote 'The Prince.' Vatican City: Gain priority access into the Vatican Museums and admire the famous Bramante Staircase. Witness the genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and view the splendid dome of St. Peter's Basilica. Make Travel Matter Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practised by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. The workshop's master craftsmen teach visitors about the traditional craft of glassblowing and its history which dates back to the 15th century. Every visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft. The workshop advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss ranger and learn about the local wildlife and flora over a conservation talk. Learn about the conservation of the local ecosystem and local fauna from a Swiss ranger. Hear about what it takes to preserve the wildlife throughout the year and in all weather. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land. Alternatively, walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see native animals like marmots.
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