Cosmos

Tour: 5160 - 2013 (5160) - 2013 / 2014


Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
Venice Canal
Venice is world-famous for its canals
Pisa at sunset
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Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in London, England

Check into your hotel. In the afternoon you may want to start exploring the lively British capital. Uniformed hosts are available to help you make the most of your stay.

Day 2London

A full day to savor our rich program of optional activities: take a panoramic tour of London’s landmarks, visit the Tower of London, or choose an excursion to Windsor Castle. Tonight, maybe a leisurely cruise on the River Thames? (Breakfast)

Day 3London–Brussels, Belgium–Amsterdam Area, Holland

Leave London in the early morning on your Eurostar train to Brussels. Meet your Tour Director and board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area. (Breakfast)

Day 4Amsterdam Area–Rhineland, Germany

Today, enjoy sightseeing in Amsterdam with a Local Guide pointing out the city highlights. Later, a canal cruise to see the town from water level, then watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a diamond center. This afternoon, continue your journey to the scenic Rhineland for an overnight. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5Rhineland–Heidelberg–Lucerne, Switzerland

Drive through the picturesque Rhineland this morning or, alternatively, take the optional Rhine River cruise and enjoy splendid scenery including the Lorelei rock. Next, drive into Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, nicely located at the confluence of the Rivers Neckar and Rhine, for a short visit. In the afternoon, travel by way of the Autobahn into Switzerland for two overnights in Lucerne. (Breakfast)

Day 6Lucerne

One of Switzerland’s finest cities, nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and embellished by the clear mountain waters of the River Reuss. The orientation includes the Lion Monument, erected in memory of the 800 Swiss Guards who defended Louis XVI and his wife at the wooden Chapel Bridge. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cable-car ride to the 10,000-foot summit of Mount Titlis; a cruise on the fjord-like lake; and, of course, time to shop for that very Swiss watch. (Breakfast)

Day 7Lucerne–Lugano–Verona, Italy–Venice Area

More wonderful Alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround the massive St. Gotthard. Once through its great tunnel, you’ll start your scenic descent into the warmer and sunnier ambiance of Canton Ticino. Stop in beautiful Lugano and take a stroll along the lakeside promenade. Then, cross into Italy and drive across the Po Valley to Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. See Juliet’s house and balcony, and stroll around the picturesque market square. Tonight you are in the Venice area. (Breakfast)

Day 8Venice Area

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real live city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and busy little piazzas. The included orientation starts with a boat ride and is followed by some time to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere and a chance to watch Venetian glassblowers fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9Venice Area–Assisi–Rome

An interesting drive southward, cutting across the Po plain, then crossing the rolling Apennines. Stop in Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous basilica with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome. (Breakfast)

Day 10Rome

The “Eternal City”—a city steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter’s Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. (Breakfast)

Day 11Rome–Pompeii–Neapolitan Riviera

South all the way today, with the volcano Vesuvius in the distance. First, a stop in Pompeii, where time stopped in 79 AD when the Vesuvius eruption totally destroyed it. On the included visit you can see the luxurious villas, temples, theater, and forum. Just a few more miles for two overnights on the Neapolitan Riviera. (Breakfast)

Day 12Neapolitan Riviera. Excursion to Capri

Cross the blue sea to Capri. This legendary island, surrounded by rose-tinted rocks, has incredibly beautiful coves of translucent blues and greens. The town, with its pretty piazzetta, maze of streets, fashionable boutiques, and smart restaurants, is a mecca for the jet set. An optional tour takes you around the island with its steep roads and panoramic views. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 13Neapolitan Riviera–Florence

An early start this morning for the journey north to Florence. Vistas of undulating hills, austere rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Arrive in Florence in the afternoon in time to enjoy its magnificent architectural and artistic treasures; the included walking sightseeing will take in most of the highlights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 14Florence–Pisa–French Riviera, France

Stop in Pisa to see the Leaning Tower in the Square of Miracles. Bypassing the great port of Genoa, you drive northwest, getting glimpses of the Italian and French Rivieras. The drive continues to descend to the shores of the Côte d’Azur for an overnight in this charming region. (Breakfast)

Day 15French Riviera–Route Napoleon–Grenoble

A great itinerary today! Start the day with a visit to a typical Provence perfume workshop in Grasse, then follow in the footsteps of Napoleon as he escaped from exile in Elbe. Once he landed on the shores of the Côte d’Azur, he made his way to Paris via Grasse. Continue via Digne and Gap to Grenoble on the Route Napoleon. Overnight in Grenoble, now an alpine sports mecca and site of the 1968 Winter Olympic Games. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 16Grenoble–Beaune–Paris

Enjoy the very heart of the Burgundy wine-growing region, making a stop in lovely Beaune, surrounded by some of the world’s finest vineyards. Time to see the famous Hôtel-Dieu Hospital. Continue northwards directly to Paris for two overnights. (Breakfast)

Day 17Paris

Paris is a world-class city that probably has more familiar landmarks than almost any other city in the world. This morning, see them during the including city tour. View the famous Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, and much more with a Local Guide. In the afternoon, feel like a French aristocrat as you join the optional walking tour through the immense Palace of Versailles. This evening, why not join an optional welcome dinner? (Breakfast)

Day 18Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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As recommended by Budget Travel