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European Odyssey for 18 to 39: London to London

Duration
18 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,996

Embark on your own European Grand Tour on this ultimate ‘taster’ itinerary. Travel from London to Paris, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam, sampling the unique delights of each stop.


This is a FUN experience designed for 18 - 35 year-olds. It is high energy and fast paced. It has a great balance of free time and inclusions. It is fantastic value with many inclusions.

This 18-day tour takes you to a huge variety of European favourites, including no less than nine very different countries on a return trip from London. London is merely a meeting and departure point on this itinerary, so consider adding an extra few days at the start or end of your trip, particularly if it’s your first time.

Speed your way across the English Channel to Paris, enjoying a guided night tour that will bring to life the City of Lights. Your second day is at leisure, with the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, Sacre Coeur, and more ready to be explored. Take an optional bike tour, and regroup for a gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower, ending the day with either a night-time cruise on the Seine, or a night at the cabaret.

Head to the Swiss Alps, where if the views don’t seduce you (they will), the chocolate and cheese will happily make up for it. Join your group for a fondue dinner, then work off the calories exploring the mountains and lakes. Our tip? Bring an extra memory card. This is an extremely photogenic part of the trip!

Put your camera away at least long enough to reach Pisa. Got your shot of the Leaning Tower? Good. Because your next stop is Florence, and while there’s plenty more to photograph here, you’ll also want some time to simply stroll and taste your way around this living Renaissance city. An in-depth city tour and a leather works demonstration give you an insight into both the artistic, and fashion forward aspects of the city, in between sampling the world’s best gelato, and paying your respects to Michelangelo’s genius at the Accademia Gallery, where he’s survived by his famous creation, David.

Producing far too much art and architecture for just one stop, Italy’s highlights continue in Rome, still the Eternal City, and every bit as chaotic and beautiful as you’ve heard. Take a guided tour that includes the Colusseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps – just enough to help you get your bearings before creating your own perfect Roman Holiday. Hop on a Vespa, or just watch the world go by from a cafe. Take an optional tour of the Vatican, exploring 65,000 pieces of art, and perhaps zip to the top of Capitoline Hill for astonishing views over the seven hills.

Italy saves its most romantic charms for Venice (though you’ll catch a glimpse of another great love story with a walking tour of Verona en route). Getting lost in the beautiful canal city is half the fun – and essential to avoiding hyper-inflated tourist prices. Not that the tourist sights aren’t worth seeing! Visit St Mark’s Square, Doges Palace and the Rialto Bridge. By the way, there’s no shame in indulging in the ultimate (and included) tourist experience, a gondola ride on the Grand Canal.

Cross back into the Alps, this time turning east – or Ost! – to Austria. Your time here is limited, but is enough to appreciate the country’s natural mountain beauty. You’ll also pay a sobering trip to the former Mauthausen concentration camp.

Your next city destination is Prague, the city of spires. A walking tour ensures you don’t miss the essential sights, but again, this is a great city in which to get lost! Before you do that, make sure you see the Astronomical Clock, and statue-lined Charles Bridge. Then take an extra day at leisure. Visit Prague Castle, which includes the Gothic cathedral of St Vitus, and a former home of Franz Kafka. Uncover the secrets of a tragically displaced community in the Old Jewish Quarter, or uncover the Czech Republic’s tumultuous 20th century at the Communist Museum.

Cross into Germany, stopping in beautiful Dresden for a walking tour before speeding on to Berlin. What the German capital lacks in beautiful architecture it makes up for in raw energy. You can let your hipster side go wild if you wish, but Berlin so much more than just the Portland of Europe. A driving tour (this is not a walking town by European standards) takes you to Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, plus remaining fragments of the Berlin Wall. With the main sights ticked off your list, take a free day to explore hip local neighbourhoods, let your jaw drop at the Pergamon Museum, or recover from a night’s clubbing in Tiergarten or Tempelhof airport park. If you don’t mind a sobering day of history, join an optional Third Reich walking tour.

Put aside your preconceived notions of famously liberal Amsterdam (there’ll be time to confirm or debunk those later!). Your first day takes you to a Dutch farm to learn about cheddar and clog making, before embarking on a tour of the city itself. Some sights however are saved for a bike tour the next day. Visit the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum, or just roam the shops that line the canals. A dinner cruise lets you see night-time Amsterdam at its finest.

Return to London for departure, stopping in Brugges en route for some sweet treats in the form of waffles, chocolate and beer, all enjoyed in one of the most picturesque medieval towns in Europe.


 

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Duration
18 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,996

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

London to Paris

Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel to Paris via the white cliffs of Dover. Pinch yourself and Instagram your first selfie over dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided night tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader (aka living guide book). Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food, and you're about to find out why.

Included: City lights tour of Paris.

Meal Plan Dinner
Day 2

Paris

This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay, to the l'Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees, you'll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own before our gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a bohemian cabaret show.

Included: Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 3

Paris to Swiss Alps

Tear yourself away from that baguette - fondue awaits! The view out your window today plays like a documentary on 'world's sexiest views'. Unlike Toblerone, the Swiss Alps aren't all lined up perfectly so we weave up through the sexy valleys and handsome peaks to reach Engelberg. Grab your forks and prepare to cover everything in cheese at dinner tonight. Don't worry... there are plenty of mountains to ski down to burn the calories off.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Swiss Alps

Laid-back, Alpine village living on the cards. Take in the mountain air by foot, bike or goat (if you can get them to stand still long enough). With the potential offered by these mountains, dinner will be calorie neutral. If you get a second wind, jump on the revolving gondola to the top of Mt Titlis and test your panoramic photo skills. Then head back down for some snow angels and hot chocolate.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5

Swiss Alps to Florence

Yodel your way down the mountains, grab "that" shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa then point your chariot to the land of the long boot. Make your food baby sing as we roll into the land of hearty Tuscan cuisine and birthplace of gelato: Florence. Whip around Santa Maria del Fiore before tucking into amore on a plate. Then the evening is yours to stroll along the real-life watercolour of the Arno River, wishing you were a painter.

Included: The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Florence

Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) and get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide. Then: learn about the art of leather craft from the city that brought you Gucci and use the afternoon to meet a guy named David doing his best Blue Steel in the Accademia Gallery. You could do worse than hunting down a Florentine steak for dinner tonight.

Included: In-depth city tour with a local guide, and a leather works demonstration

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Florence to Rome

Southward and downward with a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini. Then step back to 753 BC in one of the world's oldest open-air museums on an in-depth walking tour and give that bucket list a workout. Make like Caesar and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history's version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you're in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun!

Included: Visit to Orvieto en route, and a guided tour of Rome.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Rome

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia's worth of history. Shop until you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Rome to Venice

Hark! Maketh haste to whence the lady Juliet was wooed in Verona. Snap a selfie at her balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes in the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check in to our hotel, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out your own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.

Included: Walking tour of Verona

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Venice

More than 100 slowly sinking islands won't explore themselves. Get your bearings on this morning's walking tour, then get hopelessly lost. Your GPS won't save you here. Soak up St Mark's Square (then get far, far away if you don't want to drop $40 on a coffee) and watch an intricate lace demo before a quintessential gondola ride on the Grand Canal. This afternoon, snoop the Doges Palace, cross Rialto Bridge and shop for Carnevale masks. Included: Walking tour of Venice, a lace demonstration, and a gondola ride.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Venice to Austrian Alps

Prepare your retinas for the scenery playing outside the coach windows and yodel around the mountain as we make our way to the Alps. So much more than schnitty, strudel and The Sound of Music, this day should have been sponsored by GoPro.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Austrian Alps to Prague

Begin the day with a sobering visit to the former concentration camp Mauthausen, then set the sat nav for the Gothic capital. Guinness World Record-setting (and Disney-inspiring) castle spires are Prague's way of welcoming weary travelers. Fuel up on trdelnik (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst the spires and cobblestone streets. Suss out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world, cross medieval Charles Bridge and watch 'Death' toll the hour on an astronomical clock that's over 600 years old.

Included: Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen, and a Prague walking tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 13

Prague

Another free day for the win. Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it). Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square and drink beer. Good beer.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 14

Prague to Berlin

Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden - a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt - and ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.

Included: Dresden walking tour and a Berlin driving tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 15

Berlin

Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Optional: Third Reich walking tour and local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 16

Berlin to Amsterdam

Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (and clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. Then: explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.

Included: Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration, and a guided Amsterdam walking tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 17

Amsterdam

Join the 881,000 bicycles and get local on a city bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit and tasting at the brewery. Top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal.

Included: Canal dinner cruise and a bike tour.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 18

Amsterdam to London via Brugges

With chocolate, waffles and beer at top of the national list of pride in Bruges it makes for a damn fine walking tour stop. Stock up on the sweet stuff, climb the 366-step belfry and nip the post-holiday blues in the bud before London calls with a serving of the local specialty - chips by the cone fried in beef and horse fat. Mmm. Then it's back on the ferry to ol' Blighty to start planning your next adventure. You will return to London later this evening.

Included: Bruges walking tour

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Apr 8, 22; May 6, 20, 27; Jun 3, 10, 17, 24; Jul 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Aug 5, 12, 19, 26; Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Oct 7. 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 17 nights' accommodation as indicated or similar
  • Meals as specified
  • English Channel crossings
  • Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
  • Trip Leader + Driver
  • Guided tours of all major cities
  • Local guide in Florence
  • Activities as mentioned
  • Farewell canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Transfers to/from the tour start and finish points
  • Travel insurance
  • International airfares and airfare taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional activities
  • Beverages unless otherwise stated
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Optional gratuities for your guide

OTHER INFORMATION:

Accommodation:
We endeavour to select a combination of good quality hotels that reflect the character of the local area as well as being as centrally located as possible, all the while striving to keep the cost affordable. Your trip will stay in a range of European hotels of three and four-star quality.

Please be aware that European hotel rooms, especially those in major urban centres or older cities, may be smaller than what you are used to in other parts of the world. Standards and ratings may also be different to your home country. Rooms are en-suite and either twin- or triple-share, depending on what you have booked. If you are a solo traveller, you will always be sharing a room with someone of the same sex. If you are travelling as a couple and would prefer to have a double bed, please officially request a double room with your travel agent. We never presume that two people travelling together are a couple, even if you share the same surname, unless informed otherwise.

Meals:
Breakfasts are included every day in the hotel (except on the first arrival morning). They are usually 'continental breakfasts', which are typical in most European countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in continental Europe, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well. Included evening meals are in local restaurants or accommodation places, and are either two or three courses. In most cases table water is provided with the meals, and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense. If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent when you book. But please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.

No Tip Necessary: Your Topdeck crew never expect tips themselves and will not ask for any; that's not what friends do! We also know how much tipping can cost you. So go ahead, spoil yourself with the money you will save by travelling with Topdeck!

Ages: These tours are exclusively designed for passengers 18 to 39 years old.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB TOPDECKLON0817SG: EHEVLL
7 Oct 2017
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