Affordable Europe Tours - Cosmos®

The Grand European (5210)

23 Day Tour from London to Paris

2017 Tour Details View 2016 Tour Details »

This extensive European tour stretches through Central Europe from London to Rome, then along the Mediterranean coast to Spain and France. You’ll travel to some of Europe's most famous cities—London, Amsterdam, Lucerne, Venice, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris—and see some of its most famous landmarks. You'll also stay in some of the smaller—but equally fantastic—cities, including Nice, Carcassonne, and Poitiers in France; the Rhineland in Germany; and Bilbao in Spain.

This European tour is filled with historic sights. Italy is a country rich in natural and artistic treasures—so much so that Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, some of which you’ll visit on this European tour: Assisi’s Basilica of St Francis and the historic city centers of Rome, Florence, Verona; Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli, and Venice with its lagoon. See the ancient battlements in the beautifully preserved, medieval town of Carcassonne. Admire the royal castle in Amboise and Burgos’ beautiful gothic cathedral, begun in the 13th century. In Barcelona, on your city tour, see Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces—Casa Mila, Casa Batlló, and the Sagrada Familia—which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

This tour through Europe also features stunning scenery. On your travels from Germany into Switzerland, admire awe-inspiring alpine scenery. Spend time on the gorgeous French Riviera and enjoy a scenic journey along France’s Loire, with its rivers, and many castles. Drive through the scenic Rhineland and witness its picturesque countryside, historic castles, and charming villages. Marvel at the rolling hills, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages as you travel through Tuscany and Umbria. Plus, enjoy some of France’s loveliest scenery—right out of a Van Gogh painting—in the Provence region.

This is the perfect vacation for value-minded travelers who want to see it all!
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Book early and save $50 per person on any 2017 Cosmos Europe, North or South America and Asia vacation*

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Individual headsets

Sightseeing:
Visits to Heidelberg, Lucerne, Lugano, Verona, Venice, Assisi, Pisa, Avignon, Carcassonne, Burgos, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Amboise. Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Guides:

Host service in London; Local Guides for city sightseeing in Amsterdam, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris; professional Tour Director while touring

Scenic Highlights:
Rhineland, Swiss Alps, Italian Appennnines, French Riviera, Pyrenées, Costa Brava, Basque Country, Cognac region, Châteaux Country

NOTE:
December 10 Departure – Christmas in Barcelona and New Year's in Paris

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; cross-Channel ferry; canal transfer boat in Venice

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 8 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Florence

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Arrive 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 2 London

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, how about a leisurely cruise on the Thames River?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 London–Amsterdam Area, Holland

Leave London in the early morning and head through the lush English countryside to the Channel port, where you embark on your FERRY for the Continent. Meet your Tour Director here and board your luxury coach for the drive to the Amsterdam area.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 4 Amsterdam Area–Rhineland, Germany

Today, enjoy a CANAL CRUISE to see the city from water level, then watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTER in Amsterdam. Later, sightseeing with a Local Guide points out the city highlights. In the afternoon, travel southward to the Rhineland area.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 5 Rhineland–Heidelberg–Lucerne Area, Switzerland

Drive through the scenic Rhineland or, alternatively, take the optional Rhine River cruise and enjoy splendid scenery, including the Lorelei rock. Continue into Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg, nicely located at the confluence of the Neckar and Rhine Rivers, for a short visit. Carry on to Switzerland for two overnights in the Lucerne area.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 6 Lucerne

One of Switzerland’s finest cities, Lucerne is nestled amid its snowcapped Alps, surrounded by its lake, and graced by the clear mountain waters of the Reuss River. Your visit takes in the impressive city walls, CHAPEL BRIDGE, ornate patrician houses lining cobblestone streets, and the LION MONUMENT—a masterful stone sculpture in honor of the heroic Swiss Guard of Louis XVI. A grand selection of optional activities completes the day: a cruise on the fjord-like lake or a cable-car ride to the 10,000-foot summit of Mount Titlis.

Breakfast Breakfast

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

More wonderful alpine scenery as you drive into the mountain ranges that surround massive St. Gotthard 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 Breakfast

Day 8 Venice

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, and palaces. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark’s Square and is followed by some time at leisure and a chance to visit a GLASSBLOWING WORKSHOP. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 9 Venice Area–Assisi–Rome

An interesting drive southward through the gentle Umbrian hills to Assisi, where St. Francis was born in 1182. Visit the world-famous BASILICA with its beautiful frescoes by Giotto, then head for Rome.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 10 Rome

Rome, the “Eternal City,” is 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 Breakfast

Day 11 Rome–Pisa–Florence

Vistas of rolling hills, rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Take a break in Pisa to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, then on to Florence.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 12 Florence

This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled for a whole day. Vehicles are banned in part of the historic center, so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide that features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 13 Florence–Italian Riviera–Èze, France–French Riviera

Journey northwest, with views of the Italian Riviera. Continue to France for a visit to a PERFUME WORKSHOP in Èze before traveling along the celebrated Côte d’Azur. An optional Monte Carlo by Night excursion with dinner is available.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 14 French Riviera–Avignon–Carcassonne

Today’s journey will take you through some of France’s loveliest scenery, sun-drenched landscapes right out of Van Gogh’s paintings, on the way through Provence. Stop for a visit in historic Avignon. Continue westwards to the impressive walled city of Carcassonne.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 15 Carcassonne–Barcelona, Spain

Enjoy a visit of this almost-untouched piece of medieval fortified architecture, still standing in all its walled glory with drawbridges, towers, battlements, watch turrets, ramparts, and even arrow-slits to repel the enemy. Later, cross the border into Spain and arrive in Barcelona.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 16 Barcelona

This morning’s sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a panoramic view of the port and city. The drive continues to the city center to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in the Houses Batlló and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included).

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 17 Barcelona–Madrid

See more of Catalonia as you drive northwest via Saragossa through the very heart of New Castile for two overnights in Spain’s capital, Madrid.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 18 Madrid

Not only because it’s the capital of Spain, but also because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say Madrid is the nearest thing to Heaven. Enjoy the main highlights on the included sightseeing excursion. The optional trip to Toledo is rewarding, too. The splendid setting is like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 19 Madrid–Burgos–Bilbao

Climb Somosierra Pass, the boundary between Old and New Castile, before stopping in Burgos to visit the beautiful gothic cathedral. On through Basque Country to Bilbao, now famous for four contemporary architects: Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Cesar Pelli, and Frank Gehry.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 20 Bilbao–Bordeaux, France–Poitiers

A change of scenery as you travel into France across Gascony for an orientation of Bordeaux, the wine capital of France. On through the Cognac area to Poitiers, of Black Prince fame.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 21 Poitiers–Châteaux Country–Amboise–Paris

Leave the “Town of a Hundred Bell Towers” for a scenic journey along the Loire. Stop in Amboise and see its castle before reaching Paris in time to enjoy an optional excursion.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 22 Paris

One full day to explore the city that’s known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert shows off many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Pyramid, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 23 Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

TRUUS HUIZINGA

Years of Experience: 11

I enjoy sharing my stories about each country and city, and seeing travelers' reactions as they savor new cultures and experiences every day. Few other things in life make such a major impact in such a short time. It's so wonderful to meet a group of people who start the vacation as strangers but then often come away as lifetime friends. This gives me the passion to do what I do!

Tour Director - TRUUS HUIZINGA

 Accommodations

LONDON Novotel London West (F)
AMSTERDAM AREA Steigenberger (F) at Schiphol or NH Airport (F) at Schiphol
RHINELAND Ramada (ST) at Bruehl
LUCERNE AREA Ibis Styles (ST)
VENICE AREA Poppi (ST) at Mira or Holiday Inn (ST) at Marghera
ROME Villa Maria Regina (F) or Holiday Inn Express San Giovanni (ST)
FLORENCE Italiana Hotel Florence (ST)
FRENCH RIVIERA Ibis Styles Airport (ST) at Nice or Park Inn Nice (ST) or Quality Mediterranee (ST) at Menton CARCASSONNE Des 3 Couronnes (ST)
BARCELONA Catalonia Sagrada Familia (ST) or Ibis Styles City (ST)
MADRID Rafaelhoteles Ventas (ST)
BILBAO Novotel Exhibition Center (F)
POITIERS Ibis Centre (ST)
PARIS Ibis La Villette (ST) or Novotel 17 (F) or Forest Hill La Villette (ST)

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

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