Europe—it’s a continent full of different cultures, food specialties, architecture, art, scenery, and histories—and this is the ideal Continental Introduction: experience and see what many of the European countries have to offer. You’ll spend two nights in Paris, Rome, Venice, and Amsterdam and an overnight in Lucerne, Lugano, Florence, Munich, and the Rhineland. On your sightseeing tours, you’ll see examples of the local art and architecture, such as Michelangelo’s David statue and the magnificent cathedral in Florence, Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings in Rome’s Sistine Chapel, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the mansions in Amsterdam. You’ll also learn about the fascinating histories as you visit attractions such as Rome’s Colosseum, completed in the 1st century AD; Lucerne’s Lion Monument, commemorating the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution; the medieval center of Innsbruck; and Rothenburg, a walled town that has preserved its medieval character.
Food and drinks are important elements to local cultures and to any vacation to Europe. That’s why on this European tour, Lark Tours has included some unique opportunities to sample the local food, like a dinner with Tuscan specialties at a local restaurant in Florence and Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) on a beautiful Rhine cruise. A welcome dinner in Paris, followed by a Seine cruise for a first impression of this magnificent city, as well as a visit to Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus, dating back to 1589, are also included.
Magnificent scenery also awaits you on this tour to Europe. You’ll enjoy spectacular Lake Lugano in Switzerland, the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps, a beautiful Rhine cruise passing by castle-crested hills and terraced vineyards, and more. Scenery, food, historical monuments, distinct art and architecture, and much more—it’s all available on this splendid European vacation!
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DAY 1 Arrive in Paris, France
Welcome to Paris! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] special welcome dinner with wine, followed by a CRUISE on the Seine River for a first impression of this splendid city.
DAY 2 Paris
Morning guided sightseeing features Paris’ main highlights, such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a panoramic view, take the elevator to the second floor of the EIFFEL TOWER. Choose from our optional excursions: the lavish Palace and Gardens of Versailles, and tonight, dinner and a show at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret as a proper au revoir, Paris.
DAY 3 Paris–Lucerne, Switzerland
Drive past Fontainebleau Forest and enter Burgundy. Enjoy views of impressive castles and vineyards on your way to the Swiss Alps. In picturesque Lucerne, admire Thorwaldsen’s emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France at the time of the French Revolution, then walk through the Old Town and cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church.Breakfast
DAY 4 Lucerne–Lugano
Morning at leisure. Why not climb Mount Pilatus? Later, admire the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard on the way to subtropical Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat cruise is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant.
DAY 5 Lugano–Pisa, Italy–Florence
Pass the commercial capital of Milan and turn towards the Mediterranean Sea. Arrive in Pisa, and marvel at its amazing Leaning Tower. In nearby Florence, enjoy time to explore the many gold and leather shops on Piazza Santa Croce before joining your [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] special dinner with Tuscan specialties and wine at Finisterrae restaurant.Breakfast
DAY 6 Florence–Rome
Your guided walking tour features a visit to Michelangelo’s celebrated David in the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS. Also admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Continue to the “Eternal City.”
DAY 7 Rome
Enjoy Globus’ unique guided sightseeing, including inside visits to all highlights of religious and ancient Rome: the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pietà, the amazing COLOSSEUM, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with Local Guide is available to further explore famous sites, like the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and more.
DAY 8 Rome–Ferrara–Venice
In Ferrara, walk through impressive Este Castle to the marble cathedral and browse the attractive little shops. Tonight, in Venice, why not try out local specialties at one of the city’s fine restaurants?
DAY 9 Venice
Enter Venice in style by PRIVATE BOAT. Highlights of your walking tour with a Local Guide are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and its basilica, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Enjoy a GLASSBLOWER DEMONSTRATION. Afternoon at leisure; you may wish to join an optional gondola serenade.Breakfast
DAY 10 Venice–Innsbruck, Austria–Munich, Germany
Across spectacular Brenner Pass, through the Tyrolean Alps to Innsbruck, where a pleasant stroll through quaint medieval lanes takes you to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Continue to Munich, Germany’s “Secret Capital.” Visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls. Highlight is a visit to [Lark Tours Local Favorite] the famous HOFBRÄUHAUS, dating back to 1589. Free time for dinner before going to your hotel.
DAY 11 Munich–Rothenburg–Rhineland
Marvel at the Olympic Stadium and its 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower. Continue through the Swabian Jura and part of the Romantic Road to picturesque Rothenburg for a walk through this walled town, famous for Christmas ornaments.Breakfast
DAY 12 Rhineland–Amsterdam, Holland
Admire castle-crested hills and terraced vineyards during a romantic RHINE CRUISE [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] while enjoying Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake). Then, a comfortable drive brings you to Amsterdam, capital of Holland.Breakfast
DAY 13 Amsterdam
See the main sights of the 700-year-old capital with a Local Guide, such as the Royal Palace, Mint Tower, the original Heineken Brewery, the Rijksmuseum, and more. Highlight is a leisurely CANAL CRUISE along the patrician mansions and gabled façades. Also visit a major DIAMOND CENTER. Later, you may wish to join an optional excursion to visit a cheese farm, a clog maker, and a working windmill, followed by dinner in the pretty fishing village of Volendam—the best way to say tot ziens to Holland.
DAY 14 Amsterdam
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast