On this charming European tour, you will visit some of Europe's most beautiful cities and witness some of its most spectacular scenery. Your tour starts with sightseeing and a canal cruise in Amsterdam and ends with a sightseeing tour and an elevator ride to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In between, you will have some amazing experiences. History buffs will enjoy walking the cobblestone streets of Heidelberg’s Old Town; admiring the ramparts and towers in Rothenburg, a walled town that has preserved its medieval character; visiting the Bavarian Alps’ Ettal Abbey, founded in 1330 by Benedictine monks and later rebuilt after a fire in 1744; and exploring Venice’s Doges’ Palace, with its gothic architecture, and the Bridge of Sighs, built in the 17th century.
Those who love spectacular scenery will also be delighted on this European tour. You'll overnight in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy's most famous ski resort in the Dolomites. You'll board a mountain train that climbs to car-free Zermatt, a quaint and romantic village with rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. You'll drive along the coastline of Lake Geneva, the "Swiss Riviera,” and you'll enjoy a Rhine cruise, with its scenic countryside, historical castles, and charming villages.
Lark Tours has also included some-out-of-the-ordinary experiences. You'll enjoy dinner with beer at a charming local restaurant in Heidelberg, a liquor tasting in Ettal, a visit to Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous of King Ludwig II's castles, and a Prosecco wine tasting in Italy. These charming experiences and much more are just part of what makes this a one-of-a-kind European vacation!
DAY 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland
Welcome to Amsterdam! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions and Tour Director for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.
DAY 2 Amsterdam
See the main sights of the 700-year-old capital with a Local Guide, like 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.
DAY 3 Amsterdam–Heidelberg, Germany
On the way to Germany, pass the Dutch region best known as the locale of A Bridge Too Far. Highlight of the day is a romantic RHINE CRUISE past castle-crested cliffs, terraced vineyards, and half-timbered towns. Arrive in Heidelberg, walk the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town, and take photographs of its castle. Next, [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] enjoy dinner with beer at Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg restaurant.Breakfast
DAY 4 Heidelberg–Rothenburg–Munich–Oberammergau Area
Admire the ramparts, towers, and 16th-century houses in medieval Rothenburg, famous for Christmas ornaments. Hear why this town was spared during the Thirty Years’ War. Next is Munich, capital of Bavaria. Drive by the Olympic Stadium with its 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower, and visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls before continuing to the peaceful village of Ettal.Breakfast
DAY 5 Oberammergau Area
A special highlight today: [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] visit beautiful ETTAL ABBEY, nestled at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Founded in 1330 by Benedictine monks, the original structure was destroyed by a fire in 1744 and later rebuilt in baroque style. See the beautiful frescoes that adorn the ceilings and walls, and the marvelous altars. Also on the agenda: a TASTING of the LIQUOR produced by the abbey monks. Later, free time in Oberammergau to get acquainted with the history and traditions of this Passion Play village. To round off your stay in this area, maybe join the exciting optional excursions to Linderhof Castle with its beautiful terraced gardens, and a Bavarian dinner to try out traditional dishes and enjoy local entertainment.
DAY 6 Oberammergau Area–Neuschwanstein–Innsbruck, Austria–Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy
In the heart of the Bavarian Alps you will see two castles practically facing each other. Hohenschwangau is the castle where King Ludwig II grew up, but the most famous one is the one you will visit: [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, which inspired Walt Disney. The castle is featured in the movie The Monuments Men. Next is Innsbruck, capital of the Austrian Tyrol. Stroll through the Old Town to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Time to shop for crystal, for which the city is famous, before continuing across spectacular Brenner Pass into Italy and the Dolomites. Overnight is in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s most famous ski resort.Breakfast
DAY 7 Cortina d’Ampezzo–Conegliano–Venice
Drive through the impressive Dolomites, the “Rocky Mountains of Europe,” and stop in Conegliano [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] for a Prosecco WINE TASTING. Learn about the making of this unique sparkling wine that can only be produced in the Friuli-Veneto region. Continue to Venice, city of romantics. Tonight, you may wish to join our optional excursion: “A Venetian Night Out” including an exclusive, private water-taxi ride through the Grand Canal.
DAY 8 Venice
Enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and the byzantine basilica, the Clock Tower, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Then, enjoy Venice at your own pace or join an optional gondola ride.Breakfast
DAY 9 Venice–Lake Maggiore–Zermatt, Switzerland
A comfortable drive to the Italian-Swiss Lake District. In elegant Stresa at Lake Maggiore, an optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged before crossing lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn.Breakfast
DAY 10 Zermatt–Montreux
Morning at leisure. A suggestion: ride Europe’s highest rack railway to 10,272-foot Gornergrat for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Alps. Next, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley and arrive at Lake Geneva in Montreux, of festival fame.Breakfast
DAY 11 Montreux–Lausanne–Paris, France
Drive along the coastline of Lake Geneva, the “Swiss Riviera,” to Lausanne, home to the International Olympic Committee. Here, board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. On arrival, sightseeing with a Local Guide features the most famous sights: the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of Paris’ most famous landmark: the EIFFEL TOWER. This evening you may wish to try out local specialties at one of Paris’ lively restaurants.
DAY 12 At Leisure in Paris
Another day to enjoy what this extraordinary metropolis has to offer. To enhance your stay, choose from our list of optional excursions: the magnificent Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa, and the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles, built by the Sun King, Louis XIV. Tonight, dinner and a lively cabaret show at one of Paris’ nightclubs might just be the ticket!
DAY 13 Paris
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast
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