Day 1: Welcome to London.
Welcome to London. After checking into your hotel, the afternoon is free to enjoy a city that is famous for its pomp and pageantry. Perhaps relax with a walk along the Serpentine in Hyde Park or window shop in the elegant boutiques of Knightsbridge? Alternatively, you may want to stroll along the Thames to the iconic Tower Bridge and Tower of London.
Day 2: London to Paris by Eurostar.
Meet your Travel Director at 07:30 and after a warm welcome, transfer to London 's St. Pancras Station to board the high-speed Eurostar. Your comfortable rail journey takes you via the Channel Tunnel to Paris where you can spend the afternoon as you please. 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 River Seine with its many romantic bridges, see the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and drive along the Champs Elys?©es to the Arc de Triomphe. Later, join your Travel Director at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 3: Paris, the 'City of Light'.
Start your day with an Insight Choice. Choose between shopping at Galeries Lafayette and a guided tour around the Right Bank led by a Local Expert. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, 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. With the afternoon free, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this glittering city, perhaps join an Optional Experience to see the Paris cabaret?(Breakfast)
Day 4: Burgundy and Lucerne.
Journey through the Burgundy wine region and pass the Jura Mountains and crossing into Switzerland. Arrive in glorious lakeside Lucerne. There is a variety of restaurant options for your Dine-Around Evening. Choose your dining experience from a selection of hand-picked local restaurants, each offering its own unique cuisine and ambiance.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5: Lucerne.
In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Take in the pristine mountain air and, on a clear day, witness views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Choose between taking a walk along beautiful scenic pathways for a chance to see marmots and other native animals. Alternatively, join a Swiss ranger and hear a talk to learn about local wildlife and flora in the area. Upon return to 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. The rest of the day is at leisure to shop for delectable chocolate and glamorous Swiss watches in the traffic-free Old Town.(Breakfast)
Day 6: From Lucerne to Oberammergau.
Start the day with a journey to the heart of the Alps, passing through the Principality of Liechtenstein. Continue to Oberammergau in time to take your premium seats and witness the world famous Passion Play, re-enacting the passion of Christ. After a break for dinner, the performance continues into the evening.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 7: Innsbruck, the Dolomites to the Queen of the Adriatic.
Head for Innsbruck, where your orientation will show you the 14th century houses of the Old Town, the impressive Imperial Palace and the delightful Golden Roof. Cross the impressive Europa Bridge as you journey south. Continue through the magnificent Dolomites via the Brenner Pass and follow the Adige River through spectacular scenery to glorious Venice, where your hotel puts you right in the heart of the splendour.(Breakfast)
Day 8: The Magic of 'La Serenissima'.
In the morning, prepare to embrace this most romantic city. Your hotel is located on the renowned Grand Canal. Visit St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificent basilica and overlooked by the great Clock Tower. Also in the square stands the immense Campanile and Doge's Palace which is connected to the ancient prisons by the Bridge of Sighs. Witness the skill of glassblowers on a visit to a traditional arts centre. The rest of the day is free, perhaps shop in the small arcades?(Breakfast)
Day 9: Tuscany, Pisa and Florence.
Stop at the Il Poggio organic farm for a guided walk through the vineyards and olive trees, learning about the production of olive oil and wine. On the veranda, take in beautiful views of the rolling Tuscan hills as you taste the farm's freshly produced wines and olive oil, in addition to an authentic Italian meal prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Explore the nearby town of Pisa with a Local Expert and see the baptistery with its intricate marble facade, the colonnaded bell tower lurching behind the cathedral and of course the famous Leaning Tower. Afterwards, travel to Florence.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 10: Florence Sightseeing.
Walk with your Local Expert to the marble-clad cathedral and baptistery, where Ghiberti 's Gates of Paradise have been recreated in all their glory. The next stop is Piazza della Signoria, still the political heart of Florence and an open-air gallery of Renaissance masterpieces. Spend time gazing at statues such as Neptune and David along the front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The area around Santa Croce Basilica is famous for the quality of its luxury goods of gold and leather and there's free time to shop or continue exploring.(Breakfast)
Day 11: Hilltop Orvieto and Rome.
Stop in the Umbrian hilltop town of Orvieto, located on a rock pedestal overlooking a vineyard-covered plain; its cathedral is one of Italy 's most celebrated buildings. Immerse yourself in the flavours and culture of the region and learn about the secrets of Italian food culture as you join chef Lorenzo for a fascinating live pasta-making demonstration. Your magical culinary experience ends with a delicious Highlight Lunch accompanied by Orvieto Classico wine. Once in Rome, perhaps start the evening with a 'passeggiata' - a traditional evening stroll.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 12: Papal and Imperial Rome.
Join a Local Expert for an in-depth visit to the Vatican Museums, full of priceless art collected over the ages by the Popes. To avoid the crowds and maximise your time, Insight has arranged special VIP access to the Vatican Museums. Your Local Expert will guide you through the halls of artwork and take you behind the scenes to view the Bramante Staircase, a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally not open to the public. Next, visit the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo 's famous ceiling. Next door in St. Peter 's Basilica, view another masterpiece by Michelangelo, the Pietà, as well as the splendid dome, completed after his death. Cross the River Tiber to see the Colosseum, still echoing with the ghostly cries of gladiatorial combat and overlook the Forum. Later, there is time for last-minute shopping or exploring at your leisure. In the evening, enjoy an elegant four-course Celebration Dinner with local wine at a Roman restaurant. As you dine, you'll be serenaded with a private performance of popular songs and arias from some of Italy's best-loved operas.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 13: Arrivederci Roma.
Departure transfers arrive at Rome's Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport at 07:00 and 09:30.(Breakfast)
Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine.
Lucerne: Choose from a selection of fine restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
Oberammergau: Dine in a local restaurant amid the buzz of excitement from Passion Play goers and enjoy local hospitality before the second half commences.
Tuscany: Visit Il Poggio to learn about organic olive and grape farming as you enjoy a tasting, complimented by stunning views.
Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the secrets of Italian cooking with Chef Lorenzo and master the art of making fresh pasta by hand. Follow this with lunch and a glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
Rome: Savour a four-course Celebration Dinner complete with wine, to the rich tremolo of some of Italy's best loved opera.
Dining Summary: 12 Breakfasts (B), 2 Lunches with Wine (LW), and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter's Basilica, see Michelangelo's 'Pieta' and Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar.
Top Rated Highlights:
Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train from London via the historic Channel Tunnel.
Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-?°/°°lys?©es to the Arc de Triomphe.
Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
Innsbruck: Walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
Oberammergau: Experience the spectacular Passion Play that has made this town famous. Watch from your premium seat as local villagers perform as they have since 1634 in this once in a decade event. An emotive and critically acclaimed performance depicting Christ 's last days, this is an event not to be missed.
Vaduz: Admire the Royal family 's residence, Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital and is surrounded by year-round snow peaked mountains.
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.
Pisa: With a Local Expert, see the famous Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, and the 11th century cathedral and baptistery.
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: Enjoy watching the masters at work as you visit a leather workshop.
Orvieto: Visit this pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you pass the areas of Burgundy, Arlberg, the Inn Valley, the Tauern Mountains, Tuscany and Umbria.
Included Insight Services:
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
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.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant 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.
Note: Rows highlighted in green below are guaranteed departures
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