Traditional Grand European
A European tour…it should include the most popular and exciting cities, the must-see sights, tasty meals, picturesque scenery, and a mix of culture, history, and just plain fun. On this Traditional Grand European tour, you’ll experience all of this and much more. You’ll stay overnight in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, the Rhineland, Lucerne, Munich, Vienna, Venice, Rome, Florence, Nice, at the French Riviera, Lyon, and Paris. On guided sightseeing tours, you’ll visit the must-see sights—including those that will delight history fans—such as London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, dating to the 7th century; Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge, originally built in the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications; Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a symbol of Vienna dating to the 12th century; in Rome St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and Roman Forum, dating back to the 7th century BC; and much more.
On this comprehensive tour of Europe, you’ll also enjoy spectacular scenery. You’ll take a Rhine Cruise with its scenic countryside, historical castles, and charming villages, and you’ll enjoy breathtaking drives along the Italian Riviera and French Riviera. You’ll sit back and relax as you drive through the most attractive parts of Austria to Italy, as well as past the Burgundy vineyards and Fontainebleau Forest in France. You’ll stand in awe as you experience the fantastic views when you ascend the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and you’ll get a different perspective of Amsterdam as you cruise on its canals. And you’ll ride the high-speed Eurostar train from London to Brussels.
Lark Tours also includes special experiences you won’t find anywhere else. For example, you’ll enjoy a beer at a local café in Brussels, a wine tasting in Rüdesheim, capital of Riesling wine country, and a farewell dinner followed by a Seine Cruise in Paris. All of this and much more await you on this magnificent European vacation!
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DAY 1 Arrive in London, England
Welcome to London! Uniformed Lark Tours/Globus Hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.
DAY 2 London
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the Thames River, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and see the Changing of the Guard, if held.
DAY 3 London–Brussels, Belgium
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and board the high-speed EUROSTAR TRAIN to Brussels. Walk to the GRAND’PLACE and admire its baroque guild houses and the gothic Town Hall. You cannot leave Brussels without rubbing the statue of Everard t’ Serclaes, a 14th-century hero, for good luck, and taking pictures of the tiny but world-famous statue of Manneken Pis. Later, [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] enjoy a beer at a local café. A welcome dinner with wine awaits you at your hotel.Breakfast
DAY 4 Brussels–Amsterdam, Holland
In Amsterdam, enjoy a CANAL CRUISE, the best way to see the 700-year-old capital, and visit a major DIAMOND CENTER. Later, maybe join an optional excursion to visit a cheese farm, a clog maker, a working windmill, and the pretty fishing village of Volendam at the former Zuiderzee.Breakfast
DAY 5 Amsterdam–Rüdesheim, Germany–Rhineland
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. Stop in Rüdesheim, capital of Riesling wine country, and enjoy a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] WINE TASTING at Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss, followed by dinner with wine and local specialties, before going to your Rhineland hotel.Breakfast
DAY 6 Rhineland–Black Forest–Rhine Falls, Switzerland–Lucerne
Stop in the BLACK FOREST, renowned for its cuckoo clocks. Hear about the art of WOODCARVING from a local woodcarver, Adolf Herr, and enjoy a taste of the local fruit wine. On the Swiss border, take photos of the thundering RHINE FALLS, and continue to picturesque Lucerne. This evening, you may wish to sign up for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing.
DAY 7 Lucerne
During your walking tour, admire the emotional LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the fallen Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church. Afterwards, shop for Swiss watches and maybe join an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus.Breakfast
DAY 8 Lucerne–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–Innsbruck, Austria–Munich, Germany
A short stop in Vaduz, capital of the pocket-sized Principality of Liechtenstein. Next, a spectacular drive through the Tyrolean Alps to Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol. Walk through its quaint streets and take pictures of Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF before continuing to Munich. Your orientation drive features Munich’s most famous landmarks: the Olympic Stadium and 1,000-foot-high Olympic Tower. Also visit MARIENPLATZ with its Old and New Town Halls and you may wish to try a Stein of beer at the famous Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s most famous beerhall, dating back to 1589.
DAY 9 Munich–Salzburg, Austria–Vienna
Arrive in Salzburg and follow your Local Guide for a pleasant stroll through the historic center. Admire exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of The Sound of Music movie were filmed. See Mozart’s birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse and browse through the downtown market. Next, pass the lovely Salzkammergut Lake District, also famous from the same movie, and along the Danube Valley to Vienna, proud capital of Austria.
DAY 10 Vienna
Guided sightseeing features the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, HELDENPLATZ, a stop at the Hofburg Palace, and a visit to ST. STEPHEN’S CATHEDRAL. To make the most of your stay, you may wish to join an optional excursion to magnificent Schönbrunn Palace and later, why not enjoy an optional evening concert at one of Vienna’s famous concert halls?
DAY 11 Vienna–Venice, Italy
Journey across scenic Semmering Pass and through the loveliest parts of Austria to Italy and the Adriatic Sea. Arrive in Venice, the city of romantics. Tonight, you may wish to join an optional evening featuring an exciting water-taxi ride along the Grand Canal, followed by dinner, Venetian style.
DAY 12 Venice
Enter in style by private boat and meet your Local Guide. Highlights of your walking tour are ST. MARK’S SQUARE and its BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also enjoy a GLASSBLOWER DEMONSTRATION. Then, explore Venice at your own pace or join an optional gondola ride.Breakfast
DAY 13 Venice–Ferrara–Rome
Enter the Po area and arrive in Ferrara, “City of Bicycles.” Stroll along imposing Este Castle, former residence of the ruling family, to the marble cathedral. Time to explore the shops and little cafés before continuing to the “Eternal City.”
DAY 14 Rome
Enjoy Lark Tours’ 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 15 Rome–Florence–Tuscany
An easy morning drive to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” During your walking tour with a Local Guide, visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Admire the magnificent cathedral, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Time to shop for leather goods and gold, for which the city is famous, before continuing to the resort town of Montecatini in Tuscany.Breakfast
DAY 16 Tuscany–Pisa–Eze-French Riviera, France
In Pisa, marvel at its amazing Leaning Tower. Next, enjoy a spectacular drive along the Italian and French Rivieras towards France. Leave the highway for the panoramic Moyenne Corniche and visit one of the PERFUME FACTORIES for which the area is famous. This evening, you might want to sample some French cuisine.
DAY 17 At Leisure in Nice
Full day to enjoy France’s most popular coast at your own pace. Exciting optional excursions are available to the picturesque artist village of St. Paul de Vence and to famous Monte Carlo.
DAY 18 Nice–Avignon–Lyon
Stop in Avignon, the medieval residence of several popes and antipopes. Walk through the OLD TOWN, and admire the bridge of the popular song and the magnificent Palace of the Popes. Time to browse through the many shops for traditional Provençal products. Next is Lyon, France’s capital during Roman times. Enjoy an orientation drive through the OLD TOWN, beautifully situated between the Rhône and the Saône Rivers. Catch glimpses of the city’s fortifications, the cathedral on Fourvière Hill, and [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] the MURALES, examples of trompe l’oeil, started by a group of students in the ‘70s with the aim to bring art to ordinary people, not confined to galleries or museums.Breakfast
DAY 19 Lyon–Paris
Drive past the Burgundy vineyards and Fontainebleau Forest to Paris, the traditional climax of a European vacation. Afternoon at leisure to explore the world capital of chic and style at your own pace or join an optional excursion to the famous Louvre Museum to see the Mona Lisa. Tonight, dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge might be the ticket!
DAY 20 Paris
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Opéra, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, and more. For a bird’s-eye view, take the elevator to the second floor of the EIFFEL TOWER. An optional excursion to the Palace of Versailles is available. Tonight, enjoy a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant, followed by a CRUISE on the Seine River as a proper way to say au revoir, Paris.Breakfast
DAY 21 Paris
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast