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Contrasts of Europe

24 Days

Countries Included: PORTUGAL, SPAIN, FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, ITALY, AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY, HOLLAND

Cities including: Lisboa, Fatima, Madrid, Zaragoza, Poblet, Barcelona, Gerona, Mirmande, Grenoble, Ginebra, Gruyere, Gstaad, Grindelwald, Lucerna, Zurich, Burglen, Lugano, Morcote, Milan, Pisa, Roma, Florencia, Venecia, Innsbruck, Kitzbuhel, Salzburgo, Viena, Budapest, Bratislava, Praga, Lauf, Wurzburg, Frankfurt, Crucero Por El Rhin, Colonia, Amsterdam

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Itinerary:

Day 1

(PORTUGAL) Lisbon :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.Welcome to Europe!!!. On arrival at the airport we shall be waiting to transfer you to the hotel. You can enjoy free time until your tour starts, information about the meeting place and start time can be found on the information boards in the hotel reception area.
Day 2

(PORTUGAL) Lisbon :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Visit Lisbon. Evening transfer. In the morning we have a sightseeing tour with a local guide (note: ex­planations may be given by our guide if the group has fewer than twelve people) . We visit tra­ditional neighbourhoods, which take in the Belem district, the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the Fifteenth Century. We will look around the Monument to the Discoveries, Belem Tower, and the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the city independently. In the late afternoon, we transfer to the Restauradores Square, a public square with restaurants and cafes. We suggest you ride the Elevador Da Gloria funicular that takes you to the viewpoint of San Pedro with beautiful views over Lisbon and the Bairro Alto. Return to the hotel.
Day 3

(PORTUGAL, ) Lisbon /Fatima /Madrid :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Fatima Shrine. Lunch included. Night transfer in Madrid.Today we travel to the north of Portugal and visit FATIMA, an important sanctuary (a pilgrimage site). We will continue on our way through the green lands of the centre, passing into Spain, and over grasslands we cross the North of Extremadura. Lunch included en route in a regional food restaurant . Continuing to MADRID, arriving at the end of the day. Then we include transportation to Plaza Mayor where you can enjoy at some typical taverns.
Day 4

() Madrid :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Madrid city tour. Stroll through the Retiro Park. Visit to the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas bullring. Night transfer.The morning starts with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá, Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. We then visit to Retiro Park, an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. A visit to Las Ventas Bullring (admission included) is next, this is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of 'corridas' in the Bullfighting Museum. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. At sunset we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different cuisines such as local Spanish food, international, and Chinese. Enjoy a pleasant dinner of your choice, then return to hotel together.
Day 5

() Madrid /Zaragoza (saragossa) /Poblet /Barcelona :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Monastery of Poblet, rack train to Montserrat. In the morning we leave for Aragón over the lands of Castile. In ZARAGOZA we stop briefly to see the Pilar Basilica. We continue to the Monastery of Poblet, surrounded by its walls in a beautiful site that is one of the best-preserved medieval monasteries in the world (entrance and guided tour included) . We then proceed to the Monastery of Montserrat where you will go up the mountain on a rack train to see its fantastic scenery. Following this we will continue to BARCELONA, arriving in the late- afternoon. Note: In the winter months, from November to March, due to the shorter days, we will not visit the Monastery of Poblet in order to reach Montserrat in the daylight.
Day 6

() Barcelona :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Barelona. Night transfer to Olympic Port. In the morning we enjoy a city tour, its Ramblas, the works of Gaudí, and memories of the Olympic Games. The afternoon is leisure time. In the evening we include a transfer to the Olympic Port, an area with numerous restaurants, nightlife and entertainment to explore. Note: Sometimes accommodation on this day may be in Girona. In this case, we will leave Barcelona at 18.00 to travel to this beautiful city in the north of Catalonia.
Day 7

(, FRANCE) Barcelona /Girona /Mirmande /Grenoble :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Girona, Provenzal region in France. Dinner included. We leave Barcelona heading to the North of Catalonia. Take a stroll in GIRONA and enjoy its beautiful historic centre and the cathedral with its impressive staircase. We cross the border into France and travel through Provence. We make a stop in NIMES, which was an important city in the Roman Empire, where concerts and bullfighting are still held in its ancient amphitheatre which is almost 2000 years old. We will also see the PONT DU GARD, or Gard Bridge, an impressive Roman aqueduct. In the late afternoon, we make a stop in MIRMANDE, a magnificently well preserved 'Provencal' village, with great views over the Rhône Valley. Last stop, our hotel, which is near to GRENOBLE. Now you can enjoy your evening meal (included)!
Day 8

(FRANCE, SWITZERLAND) Grenoble /Geneva /Gruyere /Gstaad :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Switzerland with Lakes and Mountains. Chocolate factory. Today we travel to GENEVA, Switzerland. Our guide will take you to visit the Palace of Nations (the headquarters of the United Nations in Europe), the pretty English Garden with its clock made of flowers, and the Jet d'Eau, the tallest fountain in Europe. After this we continue to CHILLON CASTLE (entrance included), this medieval castle built in the waters of a lake. Moving on to the picturesque walled village of GRUYERE, famous worldwide for its cheese. Nearby are a few of the main chocolate factories in Switzerland (NESTLE amongst them), we will visit the Cailler Chocolate Factory, with tasting included! Travelling along small roads surrounded by mountainous countryside and picturesque wooden villages, we will reach the pretty little village of GSTAAD.
Day 9

(SWITZERLAND) Gstaad /Grindelwald /Lucerne /Zurich :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Swiss Alpine scenery with glaciers and mountains. Grindelwald, cable car and lunch included. Lucerne. Today's journey takes us through beautiful high mountain scenery. We pass Interlaken and go around its beautiful lake. We arrive in GRINDELWALD, time for a coffee before taking the cable car up the mountain, Grindelwald First. Walk around freely enjoying the stunning views, experience the bridge into the void, an ideal place to be seduced by the Swiss Alpine scenery surrounded by its glaciers and mountains. After lunch (included) we continue to LUCERNE, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Continuing to ZURICH, where there is time for a stroll in the centre before going to the hotel.
Day 10

(SWITZERLAND, ITALY) Zurich /Burglen /Lugano /Morcote /Milan :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: We will know the town of William Tell. Pictoresque villages as Morcote. Shores of Como. In the morning we will travel to BURGLEN, the tiny village where William Tell was born, we will visit the chapel of the XVI century with paintings illustrating his life. Afterwards continue to the enchanting little town of MORCOTE, with its houses made of stone and covered with flowers. Next, we enter Italy and make a stop in Como, on the shores of a lake. The city highlights a Gothic Cathedral. On to MILAN, where our guide will take you to the impressive Duomo Square. Time for dinner at one of the restaurants offering a wide range of international cuisines. After dinner, transfer back to the hotel.
Day 11

(ITALY) Milan /Pisa /Rome :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Coast of Liguria, Leaning Tower of Pisa.Today we continue our journey towards PISA. On a little tourist train we will travel to the Piazza Dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), where there will be time to admire one of the most alluring and beautiful art complexes in Italy, including the well known Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then, we continue to Rome, arriving at the end of the afternoon.
Day 12

(ITALY) Rome :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Rome. Roman Coliseum and Vatican City. Evening transfer.In the morning, we will have a tour of the city, which will be a great introduction to 'The Eternal city'. We enter the tiny state of the Vatican. The Vatican City is a principal centre of Christianity in the world. You will be able to visit St. Peter's Basilica. We will also enter the Roman Colosseum (admission price included), the principal symbol of Rome. This impressive con­struction dates back 2,000 years and will transport us in time so that we can learn about ancient society in the Roman Empire. In the evening we will transfer you to the Via Cavour area, where you will find many interna­tional restaurants to enjoy your dinner at. After dinner return to the hotel.
Day 13

(ITALY) Rome /Florence :

TODAY'S HIGLIGHTS: Tour with a local expert from Florence. View from Piazzale Michelangelo. Today we will leave Rome, heading north. This route has beautiful landscapes. Arriving in FLORENCE, we head straight to the impressive Piazzale Michelangelo. In the evening we take a tour with a local expert, walking through the historic centre, taking in places such as the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and Plaza della Signoria. This city is truly an outdoor museum. Enjoy some leisure time to explore. In the evening you will have time for dinner, as, in this district you can find many restaurants serving international cuisine.
Day 14

(ITALY) Florence /Venice :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Vaporetto boat on Venice's Grand Canal. Visit and admission to the Sat. Mark's Basilica. Admire the technique of crafting Murano Glass. Today we enjoy stunning mountain landscapes while crossing the Apennine Mountains. We will arrive in VENICE and board a Vaporetto to travel around on the canals in the historic centre. With a local guide, we will visit the marvellous St. Mark's Square and enter the Basilica (entrance included). Afterwards, we will visit the Murano Glass Factory. It is fascinating to see the technique of how this ancient glass is made. Enjoy some time at leisure to explore. In the late afternoon, you will have the chance to get dinner in the Mestre area, where you can choose from many restaurants.
Day 15

(ITALY, AUSTRIA) Venice /Innsbruck /Kitzbuhel :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Breathtaking landscapes. Dinner included. We will depart from Venice, travelling to Austria!. Arrival to INNSBRUCK, time to stroll in the historic centre and have lunch. After this, we travel along a very pretty scenic road between the mountains to KITZBÜHEL ' Arrival and time to see this picturesque little village, a famous ski resort where we can enjoy the snow for a large part of the year! Free time. Dinner included(vegetarian option possible). Note: In case of few travellers on the trip, the journey from Venice to Innsbruck may be done by a train.
Day 16

(AUSTRIA) Kitzbuhel /Salzburg /Vienna :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Salzburg, the city of Mozart. Fantastic scenery. Cruise on a lake. Departing in the morning, we will continue to explore Austria, traveling between the mountains, and arriving in SALZBURG. Our guide will accompany us through the beautiful streets of this city's historic centre, declared a World Heritage site. We make our way between lakes and mountains in the next stage through the Alps. Our next stop is in ST. WOLFGANG, a famous place of pilgrimage in Austria. We continue to TRAUNKIRCHEN with its beautiful Traunsee Lake, where we take a cruise to see four castles, disembarking in GMUNDEN. After this we continue to VIENNA, arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 17

(AUSTRIA) Vienna :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Vienna city tour. Gardens of the immense Schön­brunn Palace. Today we take a scenic visit around this impressive city with a local expert. Here we experience its majestic avenues, its palaces and the vibrant city centre. Then we head directly to Schönbrunn Palace, where visitors can stroll around and enjoy its beautiful gardens. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of leisure in the city centre. In the evening we will go to the City Hall Square to enjoy the nightlife in the neighbouring streets. Here you will get the opportunity to take dinner.
Day 18

(AUSTRIA, HUNGARY) Vienna /Budapest :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Budapest, cruise on the Danube included. We have an approximately three-hour journey to BUDAPEST, Hungary. Arriving at around 11:30, we will discover Budapest (known as the 'Queen of the Danube') on a scenic tour of the city. Budapest is divided by the Danube River, with historic Buda on one side and cosmopoli­tan Pest on the opposite side. Time for lunch, followed by a boat tour along the river. After the tour enjoy some leisure time. At the end of the day we finish in the lively area of Vaci Utca, where there are lots of opportunities to take your dinner.
Day 19

(HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC) Budapest /Bratislava /Prague :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS. Time to explore Bratislava. Czech landscapes. Evening transfer in Prague.We will leave Budapest for BRATISLAVA, the capital of Slovakia and a city alongside the Danube. With an attractive historic centre, take time to see the city and enjoy lunch. After lunch we will continue our journey to the Czech Republic, PRAGUE. Arriving in the evening, we will make our way to the Old Town Square. This central location provides a great introduction to Prague, full of energy and touristic activities. You can take your dinner at one of the restaurants offering international cuisines, including Czech, Chinese, Indian and Italian. Return to hotel.
Day 20

(CZECH REPUBLIC) Prague :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour of Prague. Visit to Castle. Boat tour along the river. Today we will visit the capital, Prague, the Baroque jewel of Europe. Our local expert will provide an informative city tour, which will include outstanding monuments. During the visit we walk through Prague Castle (admission included). Subsequently, we shall take a boat tour on the Vltava River. In the afternoon enjoy some free time to explore the city. In the evening, we will enjoy more time in the historic city centre and there will be an opportunity for you to take dinner. Return to hotel.
Day 21

(CZECH REPUBLIC, GERMANY) Prague /Lauf /Wurzburg /Frankfurt :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Bavarian Germany. We leave for Germany. In the region of Bavaria, we will see LAUF AN DER PEGNITZ, a picturesque little village which stands out because of its busy Market Square and Castle. After this we will carry on to WURZBURG, with time for lunch and to see this Bavarian city on the banks of the Maine River, a former bishopric centre and now a very busy university city. Our journey continues to FRANKFURT. Explore the historic city and choose one of the many international restaurants. Go to the hotel.
Day 22

(GERMANY, HOLLAND) Frankfurt /Cruise On The River Rhine /Cologne (köln) /Amsterdam :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Rhine cruise included. Today we will take a small Cruise on the Rhine, between the villages of RUDESHEIM and ST. GOAR, undoubtedly the river's most picturesque section. After this we will travel to COLOGNE, a city which stands out for its immense gothic cathedral. Then on to the Netherlands. Arriving to AMSTERDAM in the late afternoon.
Day 23

(HOLLAND) Amsterdam :

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Picturesque typical village of Volendam. Boat on the IJsselmeer lake. City tour of Amsterdam. Today we have a very exciting day in the Netherlands. We will go to Zaanse Schans with its mills, canals and its typical houses. Next VOLENDAM, a very picturesque fishing village. A short boat trip from Volendam, will take us to MARKEN (an island that was joined to the mainland by a fixed dike), where the houses there are built on stilts. After this, we travel to AMSTERDAM where we will enjoy a panoramic visit of the city to see its narrow canals, its official buildings and parks. We will also see the technique of diamond cutting. A large part of the visit will be done on foot, the information will be given through headphones. Time for dinner in Rembrandtplein, an area with many restaurants from all corners of the world and near the red-light district with its liberal values. Go to the hotel.
Day 24

(HOLLAND) Amsterdam :

After breakfast, end of our services.

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