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Contrasts of Europe 2014

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Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament at night in London, EnglandThe Eiffel TowerFlorence, Italy
Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament at night in London, England
The Eiffel Tower
Florence, Italy
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
    At Leisure 2014
  • Style: Special Interest
  • Description: It's often said 'it's not the destination that matters, it's the journey'. Both matter on this perfectly timetabled train holiday, as you travel by high-speed train into central Paris, Nice, Florence and Rome. It's Insider moments like… the guilty pleasure of literally touching history at the Colosseum. Imagining the baying Roman crowds waiting to take their seats for a violent gladiator battle – while you skip the queues, with priority entrance into this ancient arena. In the bowels of the amphitheatre, you can see the paths and cell-like rooms where slaves waited their fate before stepping out to 55,000 spectators. And you can feel the arches, steps, seats and walls which the Romans touched almost 2,000 years ago.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    Overnight flight to London.

  • Day 2


    Welcome to London! Spend your day relaxing or take a leisurely wander through the streets of this amazing city. This evening, meet and get to know your companions and your Travel Director at a Welcome Reception, which includes a traditional pub meal and a welcome drink.

    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Cumberland

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 3


    This morning's sightseeing tour, with a Local Expert, features the capital's most famous sights. See Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Spend the rest of the day as you choose. You might like to explore Hyde Park, stroll through Kensington Gardens, visit the Natural History Museum or take a cruise on the River Thames to the Tower of London. Perhaps finish with a West End theatre show!

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 4


    Your trip on the ultra-modern high-speed Eurostar train from London's St. Pancras Station to Paris is exhilarating! Delight in the scenery through Kent and Northern France en route to the glamorous capital. On arrival in Paris we then admire the skyline in all its glory from the second level of the Eiffel Tower, before transfering to your hotel by coach.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Novotel Tour Eiffel

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 5


    See all the great sights of this magnificent city with your Local Expert, including Place de la Concorde, the Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe. Discover the city on your own this afternoon. You might like to try some French cuisine in a typical brasserie or perhaps enjoy a cabaret show at a famous Parisian venue this evening.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 6


    Today is yours to explore as you wish. The city is home to some of the greatest attractions in the world including museums, galleries and parks, as well as the Palace of Versailles and the River Seine with its popular cruises. Your Travel Director will be happy to suggest all available options.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 7


    At Paris' Gare de Lyon, board the TGV Mediterranée, one of the French fleet's most modern trains. Admire the stunning scenery as you pass through the hills of Burgundy, along the Rhône Valley, past the villages of Provence and the Luberon to Nice on the French Riviera. See the Promenade des Anglais, Place Massena and the old town on your orientation tour of Nice. Tonight, join your companions for a wonderful Regional Meal of Niçois specialities in a local restaurant, then head to Monte Carlo for the chance to 'break the bank' at one of the casinos!

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Regional Meal)

    Hotel: Boscolo Plaza

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 8


    Spend today as you wish. You might like to relax on a beach, explore the elegant town of Nice or join your Travel Director for a morning excursion to Cannes, home of the annual Cannes Film Festival and one of the country's most glamorous destinations! After free time in Cannes, you might consider an optional experience to Eze, drive along the Riviera Corniches with spectacular views.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 9


    A scenic drive east along rugged coastline brings you into Italy. Cross the Veneto Plains and enter the magical city of Venice − Queen of the Adriatic and your home for the next three nights.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine)

    Hotel: Continental

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 10


    Your cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square is spectacular! See the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating a Local Speciality at a glass-blowing workshop. Spend the afternoon discovering the delights of this very special city.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 11


    The city is brought to life with superb historical insights from your Local Expert during your included walking tour from St. Mark's Square to the ancient food market near Rialto Bridge. Later, see another dimension of this unique city by taking an optional experience of the islands in the lagoon for a delicious seafood meal. Or you might decide to explore the narrow 'calle', or shop on the Rialto Bridge.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 12


    Admire the beautiful scenery on your high-speed train journey to the Renaissance city of Florence. Cross the forested Apennine Mountains and travel into stunning Tuscan landscapes featuring terraced olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. Your walking tour of this magnificent city with a Local Expert is fascinating! View the Ponte Vecchio bridge, a spectacular feat of engineering dating from the Middle Ages. Marvel at the statues and palaces on Piazza della Signoria, the multi coloured marble Duomo and Giotto's spectacular Bell Tower. Enjoy panoramic views across the city from Piazzale Michelangelo. This evening, experience a Regional Meal of local specialities in a Florentine trattoria.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Regional Meal)

    Hotel: Hotel Diplomat

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 13


    Organise your day to suit your interests. You might like to visit one of numerous galleries and museums or shop for high quality leather goods and 18-carat gold jewellery. Tonight, consider dining al fresco at one of Florence's many restaurants.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 14


    See the peaceful Umbrian countryside on your high-speed train journey to the 'Eternal City'. In Rome, your Local Expert takes you on an extensive sightseeing tour. Visit St. Peter's Basilica and see Michelangelo's 'Pietà'. View the Forum and Circus Maximus, where chariot racing was held. Enjoy an included visit inside the Colosseum and learn about gladiatorial contests in ancient Rome.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Hotel Atlantico

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 15


    Your day is free to explore this incredible city. Consider an optional experience to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's outstanding frescoed ceiling, or visit the ancient Catacombs. Shop on the Via Condotti, explore the streets of Trastevere or experience 'la dolce vita' at a pavement café on the Via Veneto. Tonight, join your companions for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 16


    Say ‘arrivederci’ to Rome and your Travel Director as this memorable vacation comes to an end. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Local Expert in Paris, London, Venice, Florence and Rome.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality Visit Giudecca Island for an insider look at Venetian Arts. See glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour of London, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome.
  • Orientation of Nice, Cannes and Monaco.
  • Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, St. Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum in Rome.
  • View Buckingham Palace, the Cannes Film Festival Centre, the Casino in Monte Carlo, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and the Duomo while in Florence.


  • 14 breakfasts (including 2 Full English and 12 hot buffets).
  • 5 dinners (including Welcome Reception, 2 Regional Meals, three course dinner with wine and Farewell Dinner).

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Eurostar high-speed train from London to Paris.
  • TGV Mediteranée from Paris to Nice.
  • High-speed train journey from Venice to Florence.
  • High-speed train journey from Florence to Rome.
  • All rail service is reserved in standard class.
  • Porterage is included at train stations.
  • London airport shuttle service available. Conditions apply.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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