DAY 1: THURSDAY 15 MAY 2014
ARRIVE AMSTERDAM (3 NIGHTS)
Arriving in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, you check in to your hotel before spending your day at leisure, perhaps strolling around its maze of canals, with unique architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. You could choose to discover world-class art at the Rijksmuseum, unearth the city's multicultural spirit at the flea markets or mingle with locals over Dutch food and drinks at a café. In the evening, your holiday kicks off properly as you enjoy a welcome drink and dinner while getting to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers.
DAY 2: FRIDAY 16 MAY 2014
AMSTERDAM SIGHTSEEING AND AALSMEER FLOWER AUCTION
Starting your day at the famous Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the world's largest flower auction, you experience the bustle of the auction floor, watching traders bid against the clock and seeing the incredible number of flowers sold every day from countries all around the world. Later, enjoy an orientation of the city and visit one of Amsterdam's historic diamond factories. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure before joining your fellow travellers in sampling authentic Dutch cuisine at a local restaurant.
DAY 3: SATURDAY 17 MAY 2014
KEUKENHOF GARDENS, LISSE
Today you have a full day to explore Lisse's impeccably manicured Keukenhof Gardens, the world's largest flower gardens. With more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths blossoming over 32 hectares, you can see flower shows and themed exhibition pavilions, and discover the latest trends in gardening. And you can buy flower bulbs at the end of your visit – which will be shipped to your home address.
DAY 4: SUNDAY 18 MAY 2014
BRUSSELS AND PARIS (3 NIGHTS)
Travelling through Belgium to France, we stop in Brussels and visit Grand Place, the main central square. Dating back to the 17th century, you have time to marvel at the unique art and architecture which reveal the city's history and heritage. It gives you an insight into Europe's love of town squares, featuring charming sidewalk cafés, shops and restaurants. Then we take a scenic drive from Brussels to Paris.
DAY 5: MONDAY 19 MAY 2014
PARIS SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME
Today's guided exploration of Paris includes a trip to the second floor of the celebrated Eiffel Tower - for breathtaking panoramic views of the city's grand monuments. The rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure. You could stop at the sidewalk cafés lining the Seine for pastries, view the priceless masterpieces at the Louvre, or hit the designer shops. This evening, we all meet for a Regional Meal of authentic French cuisine and wine.
DAY 6: TUESDAY 20 MAY 2014
VERSAILLES AND GIVERNY
Taking in two of Europe's most celebrated gardens on guided visits, we have a full day to explore Versailles and Giverny. France's royal history is revealed at King Louis XIV's majestic palace of Versailles which, along with its magnificent garden, became the quintessential model for palaces in Europe. Visiting the luxurious Grand Apartments, the chandelier-lit Hall of Mirrors and the Chapel of Versailles, you get a glimpse into the lives of 17th century French nobility. Then we head to Giverny to view the gardens that inspired many of Impressionist Claude Monet's most famous masterpieces, seeing the Japanese Bridge which crosses the illustrious water-lily pond – as painted in Monet's magnum opus ‘Nympheas’.
DAY 7: WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2014
ARRIVE IN LONDON (3 NIGHTS)
Leaving Paris for London, we take the ferry between France and England, enjoying views of the White Cliffs of Dover before arriving in the capital. With free time to explore, you can take advantage of the Cumberland Hotel's central location with a stroll around Hyde Park, window shopping on Oxford Street or unwinding at one of the West End's legendary pubs.
DAY 8: THURSDAY 22 MAY 2014
LONDON SIGHTSEEING AND FREE TIME
A half-day introduction to London, our Local Expert shows you the sights – from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Once you've got your bearings, the rest of the day is free for you to explore. You could stroll through one of the Royal Parks, shop at Covent Garden or visit one of the world-famous historical attractions, like the Tower of London or St Paul's Cathedral.
DAY 9: FRIDAY 23 MAY 2014
CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
After breakfast, we take you to the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. For more than 100 years, this horticultural flower show has attracted visitors from around the world – and gardeners seeking that elusive gold medal. You'll see magnificent floral displays, model gardens, garden structures and English gardening tools and artefacts as you wander the 4.5 hectare site. This evening we've arranged an unforgettable Farewell Dinner at one of the city's great restaurants – the perfect way to say goodbye to new-found friends.
DAY 10: SATURDAY 24 MAY 2014
This morning, your insider's journey into the sights and gardens of Europe comes to an end, with transfers to the airport available.
To find out more or to book, speak to your local travel agent or contact us.