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The Northern Trek
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With 26-days up your sleeve, this is more than just a holiday. Roam the romantic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Bulgaria, learn the art of a beer stein in Germany, & visit the iconic Prater fun park in Vienna. These 19 countries woven between Athens & London will leave you utterly love drunk.

  • Duration: 26 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 212/211062
  • Starts: Athens, Greece
  • Finishes: Amsterdam, Netherlands
You will Visit
  • Athens
  • Kavala
  • Gallipoli
  • Istanbul
  • Sofia
  • Struga
  • Tirana
  • Dubrovnik
  • Seline
  • Budapest
  • Vienna
  • Prague
  • Munich
  • Swiss Alps
  • Heidelberg
  • Amsterdam
  • London

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Arrive Athens

This morningmeet up with your Trip Manager and Squad, and start to get to know each other and get excited for the next 26 days ahead!

02

Day 2: Athens to Kavala via Thermopylae

By now you should be well and truly acquainted with all things Athens and ready to embark on our next venture.
Before arrival in our final destination in this fine country we'll see Greece’s highest peak, Mt Olympus, and the grounds of Thermopylae, where an ancient battle of 300 vs. thousands proved size really doesn't count.
The coastal town of Kavala is our nest for the evening. Down your last Greek salad, cheers the country over a glass of ouzo and sleep well in preparation for our next few days in Turkey.

03

Day 3: Kavala to Gallipoli

Ah, the traveller's life. Today we leave Greece to embark on our first day of Turkish adventures.
Though a few days of fun times and city frolics are ahead of us, we will start our Turkish explorations on a sobering note by visiting the battlegrounds of Gallipoli.

04

Day 4: Gallipoli to Istanbul via Canakkale and Troy


Continent crossed - squeal!! There aren't likely to be many times in your life that you'll be in a country that spans two continents.
This afternoon we discover that "Troy" means more than just a Hollywood blockbuster. Our Local Guide will unravel the historical layers of a ten year war & what is now a mythical excavation site.
Unlike anywhere else on earth Istanbul is set to capture your heart and imagination. Rest up tonight and the city is yours from sunrise.

05

Day 5: Istanbul

The Blue Mosque with its interior of 20,000 handmade tiles; lively spice markets; bazaars bursting at the sides with silver & jewels. Istanbul is one place we'll really have to drag you away from. Your trip manager will show you the hotspots, and you're always free to get lost and uncover some secrets of your own. Just be sure to find your way back if you're keen for the traditional Turkish evening with dinner and a show.

06

Day 6: Istanbul to Sofia

With Istanbul firmly imprinted in our hearts and minds, we can leave Turkey in search of Bulgaria's capital to see what all the fuss is about.
Once a sleepy spot on the European map, Sofia is experiencing its own mini renaissance. The pretty streets, quirky galleries and hip locals are almost enough to distract you from the astounding Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

07

Day 7: Sofia to Struga via Skopje

Sofia you were short and sweet, sometimes we gotta roll that way if we're going to see the rest!
Cut across Macedonia and stop off for lunch in Skopje, known for its thriving outdoor cafés. Try some Macedonian specialities like burek (delicious local pastry) with white cheese or a local pizza.
Next up it’s Struga, tucked in between mountains and one of Europe’s oldest lakes. Our campsite is located right beside the water, so you can take a dip whenever you feel like it. After dinner, position yourself at a lakeside terrace with a local beer and take in the peaceful surroundings.

08

Day 8: Struga to Tirana

Today we say farewell Macedonia and head over the border and into Albania.
Albania serves up mind-blowing scenery scattered with the remains of old war-bunkers – a sad reminder of its recent past. Your Trip Manager will give you this country’s story on the coach as we follow the coast to our overnight stop.

09

Day 9: Tirana to Dubrovnik via Budva

Obscure off the beaten track capitals one day, trusted favourite cities the next. Such is the beauty of a see it all trip!
We're making a stop in this coastal heaven before Dubrovnik. A 2,500 year old town famous for its beautiful beaches and its cobbled stone roads. A coffee maybe before we make our way to Dubrovnik?
...we make our way to Croatia.The spectacular seaside fortress town of Dubrovnik, also known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is yours to explore for the evening - not forgetting it has an enviable party scene.

10

Day 10: Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik is so much more than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones location - not that either of those claims to fame are even mildly mediocre. After you've been guided around the city with intricate detail you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content.

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Day 11: Dubrovnik

Another day in this glorious city to set off and explore, perhaps go for a walk along the city walls, or relax and enjoy the glorious Croatian weather by soaking up the sun, or finding one of its famous buza bars.

12

Day 12: Dubrovnik to Seline via Split

Weaving up the Dalmatian Coast towards Split, we pass crystal clear waters scattered with green islands.
...we make our way to Split.Meet with Roman heritage when you wander through the domain of Diocletian’s Palace in the city centre, complete with 220 buildings and an imposing cathedral.

13

Day 13: Seline to Budapest

Cruise through the stunning Paklencia National Park as we make our way out of Croatia. Before we reach Budapest, we'll pass by Central Europe’s largest lake, Lake Balaton, often dubbed the ‘Hungarian Sea’.
With two cities rolled into one, this exotic town has a bit of everything. Buda and Pest sit on different sides of the river, but together they make the stunning city that is sometimes called the 'Paris of the East'.

14

Day 14: Budapest

Throw yourself into the sightseeing this morning with the church of St. Matthias, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge. That way you'll really earn an afternoon soaking in the city's famous outdoor thermal pools set amongst Art Nouveau architecture. Blissed out in Budapest - there's an insta caption for you.

15

Day 15: Budapest to Vienna via Bratislava

Under normal circumstances we'd all be devastated to be leaving Budapest. But with Austria on the horizon, it's smiles all round. Giddy up!
There's nothing like stopping for lunch in an entirely new country before moving onto another, this is Europe after all. We'll stretch our legs in the Slovakian capital with a stroll in the Old Town and come across its famous statues. They all have a story behind them, and you'll learn about them all.
Many can't shake the Austrian association of singing on sprawling mountains and conservative blue dresses, which makes the sophisticated city of Vienna a very pleasant surprise. A palace, a cathedral, an opera house and a ... SCHNAPS MUSEUM!! Will all welcome us into the arms of Austria. Tonight we will head to Prater, the famous amusement park in the city for a fun filled night!

16

Day 16: Vienna

A whole day lies ahead to uncover the ethereal Austrian capital. Our Trip Manager will uncover the historical heritage of Schönbrunn Palace, the State Opera House and the gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. And once you've seen all that, you'll have a bit of free time to check out art galleries and local coffee houses, maybe even try a slice of the famous Sacher Torte.

17

Day 17: Vienna to Prague via Český Krumlov

Today we travel out of Austria to its northern neighbour, Czech Republic. But don't despair, we will be in the fine country of Germany in just a few days for you to keep practising your German!
Just after we cross the border we'll take a break in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Český Krumlov. Old-world charm meets glorious cafes meets cobblestone lanes & cute shops.
Now positively inspired by our newest crush, the Czech Republic, we head north out of Český Krumlov to its capital city of Prague. Fast becoming a European hotspot, Prague will woo you with its cathedrals & pretty bridges.

18

Day 18: Prague

With a full day to loiter, expect an entire photo album of Gothic architecture, old buildings and quirky street art before you Czech-out the traditional cuisine and cheap beer.

19

Day 19: Prague to Munich via Dachau

We warned you about falling head over heels for Prague! Sorry kids, you can not live here forever. Unless....?
After departing Prague and journeying out of the Czech Republic, we traipse into Germany and have a change of mood with a sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp memorial. Vibes will be lifted a little later when we arrive in the city of Munich.
Wiping away our Czech tears we traipse into Germany on the hunt for some delightful Bavarian culture. Munich may be known for its Oktoberfest festivities, but the spirit of things kicks on year round. Tonight we get to the heart of it all by seeing the famous Marienplatz and indulging in a stein.

20

Day 20: Munich

Today is the day to dive deep into Munich's culture and urban life. Take an optional guided bike ride through the Englischer gardens, where if you are lucky you may just spot some of Munich's more intriguing locals. Then, spend the afternoon finding out more about what put Munich on the map; beer and BMWs.

21

Day 21: Munich to Swiss Alps via Liechtenstein and Lucerne

Goodbye Munich, hello mountains.
We'll make a well earned pit stop in the capital of the tiny country of the Principality of Liechtenstein - famous for being landlocked by not one but two countries, now there's a fact we bet you never thought you would learn.
Swans float under wooden bridges, snowcapped mountains stand regally behind us, & chocolate tastes like heaven on earth. You're in the Swiss Alps & you cannot wipe the smile off your face. Eeek!!!
Arrive in this picture perfect setting ready for two nights at our very own Swiss Chalet, starting off with a night in the infamous 'bomb shelter' bar.

22

Day 22: Swiss Alps

Wake up and drink in the incredible view - if you can find words or photos that do it justice, we applaud you! If you're feeling audacious, catch a cog rail to Europe’s highest railway station on Jungfrau Mountain, keeping your balance on what's known as the 'Top of Europe'.

23

Day 23: Swiss Alps to Heidelberg

This is one morning drive that you will want to be awake for as we make our way from our valley filled with waterfalls and the sound of cowbells. Today we head back into Germany.
This afternoon we stop off in Heidelberg, known for its medieval castle which sits above a vibing student city. As you wander the cobblestone streets you will discover the many little secrets hidden within. This is a city that is sure to surprise.

24

Day 24: Heidelberg to Amsterdam via Rhine Valley

The coach follows the Rhine River, weaving through valleys dotted with castles.
Next stop - the pretty, old-world village of St. Goar, complete with fairy tale castle and even a free-hanging cuckoo clock! Learn about local know-how and get savvy on the craft of beer steins.
Head into the buzzing capital of Amsterdam and check out the eye-opening Red Light District, where the creative and the wacky come together on narrow cobbled streets, 24/7.

25

Day 25: Amsterdam incl Edam


You know the cheese, and now you're going to know the place that pioneered it. Why not opt in for a chance to cycle into the countryside squealing at windmills & going hysterical over tulip fields on our way to an actual cheese farm & clog maker's house.
It's our last full day on trip & our last night to party up a storm with the squad. Use the day to explore quirky museums & sample the endless array of cuisines this city has on offer.

26

Day 26: Amsterdam to London

Get your tissues ready, it's time to say goodbye to your new Contiki family. We'll escort you to Schiphol Airport by about 10am.
For those not leaving us until London, we'll travel south through Belgium - cross another country off your list.


This afternoon we cross from France to England and then back to London-town, where you'll be left to start dreaming up your next big adventure.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • For 21 nights of campfire fun, you'll be snoozing two-to-a-tent on comfy air mattresses. Another 4 nights will be spent in hotel upgrades
      Food
    • In addition to 25 breakfasts, we'll be keeping you fed and watered with 17 included dinners. Think rich moussaka in Bulgaria, baked lamb in Albania and lashings of late-night Dutch fries in the Netherlands
      Staff
    • You'll be safe in the hands of your professional Trip Manager, who knows the streets of Europe better than you know the hairs on your toes. An on-road cook will be whipping up tasty treats, and when it comes to transport, an experienced and legendary driver team will be taking the reins. Trust us, they're always a hoot
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Tour Highlights:
  • Budapest: Sightseeing of Buda, Pest, the Royal Palace, the Church of St. Matthias, the Chain Bridge & Fisherman's Bastion
  • Vienna: See Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral & the State Opera House,Scenic drive along the historic Ring Road