European Grandeur start Paris (Summer 2020)
Brochure Type: 2020 Europe & Britain Premium
An all-encompassing journey of magnificent menus, outstanding scenery and incredible cultural heritage, this itinerary brings you face-to-face with Europe's finest attractions. Celebrate Catalonia with a small-group pintxo (tapas) tasting, enjoy a tasting of robust Tuscan reds and ascend to the top of Europe on Mount Stanserhorn to learn about regional fauna and flora from a Swiss Ranger. You will meet passionate locals along the way who will share insider knowledge and enrich your experience.
- Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests to enjoy dinner and wine in the heart of Paris at a local restaurant.
- Bordeaux: Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner which has been cooked with local, fresh produce.
- San Sebastian: Dine with the locals, in Basque tradition, with an evening of pintxos. Your progressive dinner enables you to select a variety of snack-sized delicacies, each with their own flavour and presentation, making each guest's meal unique. Be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine.
- Avignon: At a local farm learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce.
- Venice: In St Marks Square at sunset, long after the day-trippers have gone to their mainland hotels, sip Bellini cocktails canal-side before dinner at a local restaurant.
- Vienna: Cafe Central has been frequented by many of the elite, including revolutionary Trotsky and psychoanalyst Freud, since 1876. Still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers, a local shares tales of a by-gone era, as you enjoy delicious Viennese specialities of coffee and Sachertorte.
- Lucerne: Choose from a selection of fine restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
- Dining Summary: 25 Breakfasts (B), 1 Morning Tea (MT) and 8 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is punctuated by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing of one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments located along the Middle Rhine.
- 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-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Amboise: See the Royal Chateau beside the Loire River.
- Bordeaux: Your Local Expert will show you the quayside facades, Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces.
- Burgos: See the burial place of El Cid in the magnificent Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
- Toledo: Explore this magnificent ancient city with your Local Expert.
- Toledo: Visit the Church of Santo Tome to see an El Greco's masterpiece.
- Barcelona: Explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter with your Local Expert. See the cathedral, walk through the Roman gate and tour the narrow lanes and old squares. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gracia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Familia.
- Avignon: View the Pont d'Avignon and walk the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to the Palais des Papes.
- Nice: Take some time to stroll the Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach.
- Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit and wander the old town with your Travel Director to see the Royal Palace and the yacht-filled harbour.
- Pisa: See the famous gravity-defying Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles, along with the 11th century cathedral and beautifully decorated 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.
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
- 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.
- Postojna Caves: Explore the remarkable natural wonder of the Postojna Caves. Venture through a series of caverns and passages, hollowed out by the Pivka River for over two million years.
- Zagreb: Your Local Expert will show you Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelacic Square and the cathedral. Ride the funicular to the medieval Upper Town to see the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Tower of Lotr?cak.
- Vienna: Tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- Salzburg: Join your Local Expert for a visit to the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace and Residence Square - both locations used in 'The Sound of Music'. You will also see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse.
- Innsbruck: Enjoy an orientation with your Travel Director as you walk the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with medieval houses and arcades, to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace.
- Vaduz: Admire the Royal family's residence, Vaduz Castle, which overlooks the capital and is surrounded by year-round snow peaked mountains.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
- Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the old waterways, where the wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
- Scenic Drives: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates. Relax and take in the scenery of the Pyrenees Mountains, Guadarrama Mountains, Castilian Plain, French Riviera, Tuscany, Chianti, Umbria, Apennine Mountains, Valley of the River Po, Styria, Swiss Alps and Rhine Valley.
- 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.
Call (256) 891-0888 for more information or to book today! Mention code 14887073
- Tour Operator
- Insight Vacations
- Offer valid through 6/30/2020
- 26 Days
- Escorted - Yes
|Day 1||Paris||Welcome to Paris.: Welcome to Paris, enjoy time at leisure to settle into your hotel. During your time here you will see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. At 17:00 join your Travel Director at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a fabulous Welcome Dinner. 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 Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. (Dinner with Wine)|
Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
|Day 2||Paris||Paris, the City of Light.: Your exploration of Paris today begins 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, 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. (Breakfast)|
Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
|Day 3||Bordeaux||Amboise and on to Bordeaux.: Head southwards towards Chateaux Country. Take a scenic drive along the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is known as the Jardins de France for the beautifully maintained gardens that were created on vast estates as outdoor living areas. Stop in Amboise, set beside the Loire River to see the impressive Royal Chateau. Continue on to the bustling seaport of Bordeaux with its unique 18th century character. (Breakfast)|
Pullman Bordeaux Lac.
|Day 4||San Sebastian||Bordeaux and San Sebastian.: Join a Local Expert for a guided tour of France's best 18th century architecture. The facades of the quaysides, the Grand Theatre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all contribured to Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Next, continue to picturesque San Sebastian where you will have the chance to dine with the locals in the evening. In small groups, wander through the Old Town for a progressive dinner, as you enjoy the gastronomic Basque tradition of pintxos. Similar to tapas, enjoy a variety of snack-sized treats to make your meal and be sure to try some of the local Txakoli wine. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastian.
|Day 5||Madrid||Burgos and Madrid.: Drive south through the Pyrenees foothills. Stop in Burgos, the land of 'El Cid,' and see his burial place in the cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the Guadarrama Mountains to the plateau of New Castile and Spain's elegant capital of Madrid. In the evening why not see the city lit up in it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains? (Breakfast)|
Hotel Riu Plaza De Espana, Madrid.
|Day 6||Madrid||Madrid.: Join your Local Expert for a sightseeing tour of the Old Town as well as, along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana and past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Upon your return to Madrid, the evening is free to relax at a cafe or shop in the trendy boutiques. (Breakfast)|
Hotel Riu Plaza De Espana, Madrid.
|Day 7||Barcelona||Madrid to Barcelona.: Cross the Castilian plain, past Zaragoza, and continue to the vibrant port of Barcelona. In the evening, why not try delicious local Catalan cuisine and as night descends, view the city from the heights of Montjuic, with lights sparkling below from the mountains to sea. (Breakfast)|
|Day 8||Barcelona||Barcelona, City of Gaudi.: Join your Local Expert to explore the heart of the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Travel by the Ramblas and along the Passeig de Gracia, adorned with some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Familia. (Breakfast)|
|Day 9||Avignon||Avignon, the City of Popes.: Journey to Avignon to see the famous Pont d'Avignon, once spanning the Rhone and immortalised in songs. Walk within the medieval narrow streets of the Old Town to stand in the shadow of the old Palais des Papes, resembling a fortress. At a local farm, learn about olive oil and enjoy a tasting of the freshest produce. After, indulge in a Farm-to-Table dinner, a delicious insight into traditional French home-style cuisine. (Breakfast)|
Cloitre Saint-Louis, Avignon.
|Day 10||Nice||On the shores of Nice.: Journey along the French Riviera to the elegant resort of Nice, where the the rest of the day is at your leisure to stroll along the fabled Promenade des Anglais or relax on the beach. (Breakfast)|
Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice.
|Day 11||Tuscany||Pisa and the Tuscan Hills.: Travel to Monaco where you are driven along part of the Grand Prix circuit, before walking with your Travel Director through the old town. See the Royal Palace where the Grimaldi family live, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, housing the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Cross into Italy and follow the arc of the Italian Riviera before arriving in Pisa. In the Square of Miracles, stop to see the incredible Leaning Tower of Pisa with a Local Expert, from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on velocity and gravity. Also see the splendid 11th century cathedral and baptistery, decorated with mosaics and designs in solid marble. A short drive through the rolling Tuscan Hills brings you to your hotel in Montecatini, Tuscany. (Breakfast)|
Grand Hotel Vittoria, Montecatini, Tuscany.
|Day 12||Florence||Renaissance Florence.: Journey to Florence for sightseeing with your Local Expert 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. There is free time to explore, or perhaps join an Optional Excursion to Tuscany's most famous hill-top town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Gimignano. (Breakfast)|
Grand Hotel Vittoria, Montecatini, Tuscany.
|Day 13||Rome||The Eternal City of Rome.: Relax and enjoy the grand landscapes of the Chianti hills and Umbria, before passing the Apennine Mountains to arrive at the Eternal City, filled with classic antiquities, medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Veneto Palace, Rome
|Day 14||Rome||Exploring Papal Rome.: A Local Expert introduces the grandeur of the city, starting with the Vatican State, the richest community on the world. Visit the Vatican Museums, full of priceless treasures collected by the Popes. Insight provides special VIP, fast-tracked entry to avoid the crowds, together with behind-the-scenes access to the Bramante Staircase - a marvel of Renaissance architecture normally off-limits to the general public. Once inside the Sistine Chapel, admire Michelangelo's famous ceiling. Next door, visit St. Peter's Basilica to admire Michelangelo's emotive 'Pieta' and see Bernini's intricately carved Papal Altar. The rest of the day is yours to shop in the trendy boutiques or relax at a sidewalk cafe. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests, and see the Roman Forum? (Breakfast)|
Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
|Day 15||Rome||Rome at Leisure.: The day is yours to enjoy Rome at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional experience to the ill-fated town of Pompeii, frozen in time when it was engulfed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Alternatively, spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores near the Spanish Steps? As night falls, why not sip on prosecco at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza Navona - the Living Room of Rome - and enjoy life's pageantry pass by? (Breakfast)|
Veneto Palace Hotel, Rome.
|Day 16||Venice||Autostrada del Sole to Venice.: Journey through peaceful Tuscan landscapes, to descend past Bologna into the fertile Valley of the River Po. Arrive at the glorious city of Venice by water taxi and sip a Bellini cocktail at sunset, long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
|Day 17||Venice||Venice and the Magic of La Serenissima.: Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Witness the skill of glassblowers and learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre before cruising by private launch to St. Mark's Square where St. Mark's Basilica exudes the city's former wealth and power. Admire the Doge's Palace and its adjoining Bridge of Sighs. (Breakfast)|
Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
|Day 18||Ljubljana||Venice to elegant Ljubljana.: Depart Venice by water taxi and continue your journey, crossing Slovenia. Next, travel to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. A Local Expert shows you including Pre?eren square with the Triple bridge, baroque Franciscan Church and and the lively banks of Ljubljanica river. (Breakfast)|
Hotel Lev, Ljubljana.
|Day 19||Vienna||Ljubljana to Vienna.: Follow the Drava River and cross over the Slovenian border to reach the 700-year-old university town of Maribor. Continue past Graz through Styria's forested mountains and onto Vienna. (Breakfast)|
|Day 20||Vienna||Vienna and the Habsburgs.: In the morning, there is the option to join a private tour of Maria Theresa's Schonbrunn Palace and formal gardens. Ready your camera 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 Austrian Parliament Building. Explore Vienna with Insight Choice. Choose between a visit to the famous Cafe Central to enjoy Viennese specialities of coffee and sachertorte. Alternatively, listen to the musical masterpiece of Mozart as you take to the floor in a Viennese Waltz dance lesson. (Morning Tea / Breakfast)|
|Day 21||Innsbruck||Salzburg and on to Innsbruck.: Pass the impressive Benedictine monastery of Melk before reaching the enchanting city of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and the iconic musical 'The Sound of Music'. A Local Expert will show you the formal gardens of Mirabell Palace, including the fountains and statues where the 'Do, Re, Mi' scene was filmed. Cross Residence Square with its fountain, where Maria sings 'I Have Confidence' and see the imposing fortress, the immense cathedral and Mozart's birthplace on the lively Getreidegasse. Perhaps join an excursion to the famous Eagle's Nest? Continue to the mountain ringed Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck to see the Golden Roof and Imperial Palace. (Breakfast)|
AC By Marriott Hotel Innsbruck.
|Day 22||Lucerne||Through Liechtenstein to Lucerne.: Journey past flower-filled meadows and picturesque chalet-style villages to the Principality of Liechtenstein. Spend some time in its tiny capital, Vaduz, then cross into Switzerland and through glorious mountains to lakeside Lucerne. On arrival, visit Lucerne'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. For your Dine-Around Evening, choose your own style of cuisine from our selection of local restaurants. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
|Day 23||Lucerne||Lakeside Lucerne and the Stanserhorn.: In the morning, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and open-top cable car to the summit of stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Take in the pristine mountain air and on a clear day you can see as far as Alsace and the Black Forest. 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. Once you return to Lucerne, 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 fine watches and delectable chocolates. (Breakfast)|
Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
|Day 24||Konigswinter||Legends along the Rhine.: Enjoy travelling through Germany and follow the Rhine Valley north to Konigswinter. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Maritim Hotel Konigswinter.
|Day 25||Amsterdam||Cruising the canals of Amsterdam.: Delight in a private estate viewing of one of the famous Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine over a glass of wine. Continue your travels to Amsterdam. The best way to see this remarkable city is from the water as you cruise through the canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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.25 In the evening, toast your adventure and new-found friends during a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)|
Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam.
|Day 26||Amsterdam||Depart Amsterdam.: After breakfast, transfers arrive at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 08:00 and 10:00. (Breakfast)|
- Notes: Twin prices are per person. (10 Sep and 10 Sep) These departures will stay at a hotel of similar standard in Ljubljana. (10 Sep and 10 Sep) These departures will stay at a hotel of similar standard in Tuscany. (04 Jun) This departure will stay at a hotel of similar standard in Vienna. (02 Jul) This departure will stay at San Sebastian Hotel in San Sebastian in lieu of Barcelo Costa Vasca. (10 Sep) This departure will stay at Maritim Hotel in Bonn instead of Konigswinter.
- These prices are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
- All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking.
- For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page.
- Hotel Class Key: D: Deluxe SF: Superior First Class F: First Class