Get ready for some good times on your journey through Western Europe! Amsterdam & Barcelona are amazing, but it wouldn't be a proper holiday if you didn't pop into Paris, gaze at the Swiss & French Alps & experience the glamour of the French Riviera. Great destinations, awesome scenery & a top tour!
Check-in to your hotel and head out into the buzzing, free-wheeling city of Amsterdam for a first taste. Later, meet up with your Contiki crew and Trip Manager over dinner. Jump start your trip and check out Amsterdam’s eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7.
Cruise into the countryside and bike around like the laid back locals, past working windmills, to the world-famous cheese village of Edam. In an intro into Dutch culture, see how clogs are made at a clog maker’s house and try some of the famous Dutch Edam at a cheese farm. Free time this afternoon to experience Amsterdam’s coffee shops, museums and quirky boutiques. Wander along the canals and past gabled houses or try out Amsterdam’s multi-ethnic cuisine. This cultural melting pot dishes up loads of affordable food. With an optional evening canal cruise, there’s a chance to toast your travels with the group, unwind with a few drinks and uncover another angle on Amsterdam at water level. Get some pointers on the city’s hot spots from your Trip Manager and head into town for a fun night out.
Cut across three countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France) in one day as we make our way south to Paris, France’s chic capital. Tonight, the group kick starts Paris with the 'Paris by Night Tour', 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 Trip 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!
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 huge Notre Dame Cathedral or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre where you can get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. Try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many green spaces. Tonight, treat yourself to a real Parisian cabaret experience, complete with can-can girls, dinner and Champagne and spend time with the group. But don’t stop there – hit the clubs and finish your time in Paris with a fun night out.
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 regions of Burgundy and Chablis. Next stop: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alpine town of Lucerne.
After your night in the Jailhotel, head out & explore the best of Lucerne. 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 Trip Manager can give you pointers on where to pick up the best-priced watches that Switzerland is so famous for. You could choose to head up Mt. Pilatus for amazing Alpine views or otherwise take time to chill in this cute city’s vibe. Sit café side by the Wooden Chapel Bridge, head to the shops & check out the moving Lion Monument.
Unwind on the coach as we cut through Italy and head south to the French Riviera. Next stop on the Riviera and home to the French perfume industry is Fragonard perfumery. Learn more about how perfume is made and some of its more surprising ingredients. It’s also a chance to pick up a bottle or 2 at great price. Then we hit the rugged coast line of the stunning Côte d’Azur. Follow the beautiful sapphire waters to the palm trees and sun-soaked shores of Nice.
In your free time live a bit of the lifestyle with a visit to the local markets. Try out the region’s produce like lavender honey, aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and mouth-watering rosé wine. Window shop the chic boutiques or spend the afternoon relaxing in one of the city's many cafés. Tonight get a taste of the high life in Monaco, the glamorous principality packed into just 1.92km2 and home of the Formula 1. Indulge in a bit of glitz with the group by opting for a typically French 4-course meal just a few doors down from the Royal Palace. Get the inside story on the Royal Family and their place of residence from your Trip Manager, then try your luck at a casino later on.
Driving past Cannes, unwind on the coach and take in the rustic beauty of Provence, known for its pretty landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs. We keep heading south through the rugged and dramatic scenery of the Pyrénées mountains, over the border into Barcelona. A sizzling, festive capital any night of the week, Barcelona is all about action. In Spain fiesta time starts late, so settle in at one of the city’s many outdoor squares to enjoy a glass of sangria and nibble on tapas (plate-sized snacks) before a fun night out exploring Barcelona’s nightlife with your friends.
First stop: Montjuic. The hilltop has full-blown vistas of the city and it’s where we stop to check out the 1992 Olympic Games complex. Afterwards, get a look into Spanish architect Gaudi’s wild imagination with his Art Nouveau masterpiece, the Sagrada Família church. Your Trip Manager walks you through the cobbled lanes of Barcelona’s oldest district, the Gothic Quarter. There’s free time to discover more of Barcelona’s creative core. Pick up some quirky buys in the side streets or hit the big label shops on Plaça de Catalunya. Take in all of Barcelona’s buzzing street life on the tree-lined La Rambla – a boulevard packed with street performers, artists, shops and stalls. Other ideas for your afternoon off include hanging out in the colourful gardens of Parc Güell or kicking back with the locals on the beach and taking a swim in the Mediterranean sea. For lunch, there’s plenty of delicious local seafood to try as well as Spain’s signature dish, paella. Finish off an unforgettable time in this hot city and get into the local flavours with tonight’s optional flamenco dance show and dinner, including sangria. Afterwards, get the low down on Barcelona’s hottest spots and maybe hit the pumping clubs of Port Olympico by the water.
The trip ends after breakfast and it’s time to say farewell to your new friends.
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Trip Name: Amsterdam to Barcelona
Duration: 11 Days
From Price: 2295
Trip Code: 160254
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