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European Discovery (Winter)

Tour Length
12 days
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Important Notice:

For Summer departures check out the England and Scotland tour.

Overview Reviews
12 days
8 World Heritage Sites visited.
Type: Time Out
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ See reviews
Tour Map

You will visit: Belgium (in transit), Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, France

If trips were like courses at a dinner party, the European Discovery would be the appetiser. 8 countries in one shot gives you a taste of all the big cities plus some hidden treasures, so you know where to go next time! From Amsterdam to Rome to Paris, you won't want to miss a thing. In fact, sleep will probably be the last thing on your mind!

Top Offers & Tour Notes

Early Payment Discounts apply to this tour. Select a Green departure to see pay by date and savings.

Photo from European Discovery (Winter) Photo from European Discovery (Winter) Photo from European Discovery (Winter) Photo from European Discovery (Winter) Photo from European Discovery (Winter) Photo from European Discovery (Winter)

Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals

ME Time Optionals

ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.

Backstage Pass

Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.

1 London to Amsterdam

Meet up with your Contiki team before we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. Next stop: the buzzing, free-wheeling city of Amsterdam.

Check out Amsterdam’s eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7.

With an optional evening canal cruise, you’ve got a chance to get to know the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover Amsterdam at water level. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Tour Manager and head into town for a fun night out.

Hotel Dinner

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night
  • Canal Cruise (1.5 hours)
    Euro 31.50
2 Amsterdam to Rhine Valley

Experience Amsterdam’s coffee shops, museums and cool, quirky boutiques. In your free time, wander along shady canals and pass gabled houses or experience Amsterdam's coffee shops, museums and cool, quirky boutiques

Chill out while the coach follows the Rhine River, weaving through valleys dotted with castles and vineyards.

Next stop - the pretty, old-world village of St. Goar, complete with fairy tale castle and even a free-hanging cuckoo clock! Kick back with a glass of local wine and choose to find out more with the optional wine tasting in a candlelit underground cellar.

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • Scenic drive along the Rhine River
  • Wine tasting
    Euro 9.00
3 Rhine Valley to Munich

Travelling south, pull into the home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich – a city that blends traditional Bavarian culture with modern lifestyle.

Explore the heart of Munich’s old town with the crew, and head to Marienplatz. It’s a central gathering spot famous for the Glockenspiel – a Gothic clock, complete with 32 dancing figures and 43 chiming bells.

Get off the beaten track and onto Munich’s side streets with our Local Guide on a walking tour around the city – it’s a great way to see the sights.

Then, get a taste of tradition at a typical beer hall. Park yourself at a long wooden table, order yourself some hearty local food, like roasted pork knuckle, and quench your thirst with a stein of one of Germany’s 5000 brews.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Learn how beer steins are crafted
  • See the Lorelei Rock
  • See the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz
  • Locally guided tour of Munich
  • Visit a traditional beer hall
4 Munich to Innsbruck

We continue through impressive mountain scenery into Austria. Explore the cobbled streets of the Winter Olympic town Innsbruck with its magnificent Royal Palace and Imperial church. Don't forget to try a piece of delicious Austrian strudel and some local schnaps!

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • See the Golden Roof, Royal Palace & Olympic Ski Jump in Innsbruck
5 Innsbruck to Venice

This morning, roll on to Venice. Take some time to practice your Italian phrases on the coach as we travel through the Brenner Pass.

Known as the “floating city”, Venice is packed with character, crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals.

Jump on our private boat and travel through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the gothic arches of Doge's Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show Venice’s unique beauty and way of life.

Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. You’ll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market - a local favourite for food shopping.

Maybe grab a table on St. Mark’s Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco.

Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share this amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!

Hotel Breakfast

  • Scenic drive past vineyards, orchards & castles
  • Private boat through the canals & islands of Venice
  • See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace & St. Mark's Square
  • See Venice's iconic canals & gondolas
  • Gondola ride
    Euro 22.00
  • Venetian restaurant
    Euro 32.50
6 Venice to Rome

Criss-cross the Apennine Mountains on the road to Rome.

Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back and people watch.

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • Special access Rome sightseeing coach tour
  • Gelato in Rome - our treat
  • See the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon & Piazza Navona
  • See St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City
7 Rome

This morning, make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Then check out Rome’s imperial glory by visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys.

In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Vatican Tour
    Euro 34.00
  • Rome of the Emperors and Gladiators including the Colosseum
    Euro 26.00
8 Rome to Florence

Next up: Umbria’s rustic hills and many vineyards. Travel past the iconic cypress trees of this olive oil producing region, to the Renaissance city of Florence.

The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above the city. Get the inside track on Florence’s cultural beginnings from our Local Guide as the group explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then, take a look into a skilful demonstration of Florentine leather making and understand this region’s traditional art.

The city’s markets are a great place to hang out and bargain. Grab a gelato in your free time and enjoy the feel of this gorgeous city.

Tonight there’s a choice of a group dinner – an authentic Italian feast in the Tuscan hillsides, where you’ll get to indulge in regional dishes & sip on local Chianti wine. Afterwards, take it up a notch & opt to head with the group to one of Florence’s top clubs where you can show off your moves on the dance floor.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Discover the Statue of David, Ponte Vecchio, the Medici Palace & much more on our locally guided walking tour of Florence
  • See the Duomo, Basilica Santa Croce, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry & Piazza della Signoria
  • Learn about Florence's leather craft with a demonstration
  • Souvenir group photo
    Euro 11.00
  • Tuscan Evening
    Euro 39.00
  • Space Electronic Disco
    Euro 16.00
9 Florence to Lucerne

Catch a glimpse of stunning Lake Como as we make our way into the massive Swiss Alps.

With covered wooden bridges, cobbled lanes and quaint buildings, Lucerne’s centre is perfect to explore on foot. Also to stock up on lots of genuine Swiss chocolate! Your Tour Manager can give you pointers on where to pick up the best-priced watches that Switzerland is so famous for.

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • See the Wooden Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
  • View the Lion Monument
10 Lucerne to Paris

With down-time on the coach, plug in your MP3, chill out to some music and chat with friends while travelling through the scenic wine producing region of Burgundy.

Tonight, the group kick-starts Paris with the 'Tour of Illuminations', which shows off the French capital’s transformation into the “City of Lights”. Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most-recognised monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

Then get a stunning view of the entire city with included entry to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Oui, oui, Paris!

Hotel Breakfast,Dinner

  • See Chablis & Burgundy vineyards
  • Exclusive 'Paris by Night' sightseeing tour
  • See the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, and Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Check out Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
11 Paris

Next up: Fragonard! This perfumery has an elegant interior and is a unique setting for a look into the history of perfume. It’s also a chance to pick up some French perfume at great prices.

This town is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank. Step into the Notre Dame or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre, where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. In your free time, try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many cafés.

Tonight is the last night with your friends, so make it special. Treat yourself to the full Parisian experience with a cabaret show, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne. But don’t stop there – afterwards hit the clubs and finish up your travels with a big Parisian night out.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit a French perfumery
  • Moulin Rouge
    Euro 149.00
12 Depart Paris

This morning after breakfast we transfer you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (estimated arrival 10:00am) where your tour ends. Or choose to take a complimentary transfer to central London & extend your stay.

Breakfast

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Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Accommodation

  • 11 nights twin or triple-share hotel accommodation
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
  • Ferry crossings

Exclusive Team

  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations

Exclusive Food

  • 11 continental breakfasts
  • 5 three-course dinners

Exclusive Inclusions

  • See the White Cliffs of Dover
  • See Amsterdam's canals & gable houses by night
See More

Me Time

  • Canal Cruise (1.5 hours)
  • Wine tasting
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is R1472
  • You only need a R1000 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in instalments, with Contiki Part Pay