Day 1 London
On Day 1 we meet in London at 18:00 and make our way by overnight bus to Paris.
Please note the trip departs London in the evening of Day 1 so it is imperative you arrive on time for departure soon after the 18:00 Welcome Meeting. Please ensure you allow plenty of time for your journey to London to allow for any possible delays.
Estimated Travel Time London to Paris 10 hours (overnight bus has airline-style seating).
Day 2 Paris (1L)
On Day 1 we meet in London at 18:00 and make our way by overnight bus to Paris.
After an orientation walk with your CEO on Day 2, we will enjoy a picnic opposite the Eiffel Tower. Then you are free to explore on your own to discover the “je ne sais quoi” of the City of Lights. Paris has something for everyone and you can use your days here to picnic under the Eiffel Tower, explore the outstanding museums and churches, float down the Seine on a river cruise or people-watch at one of the charming cafés.
Days 3-4 Nice
Today we head south to glorious Provence, with its beautiful scenery, hilltop towns, chic coastal resorts and sparkling blue Mediterranean waters. You will have a free day to visit your choice of the many attractions Nice and the Cote d'Azur have to offer.
Estimated Travel Time Paris to Nice 4.5 Hours
Days 5-6 La Spezia-Cinque Terre
We travel by train to the Ligurian coast and our base in La Spezia, handily situated just a short train ride from the five stunning villages of the Cinque Terre. The following day is free for options including hiking in Cinque Terre National Park, local wine-tasting, Ligurian cooking classes, boat trips or even a visit to Portofino, Portovenere or Genoa.
Cinque Terre consists of five coastal villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is quintessential Italy- small colourful villages perched onto little outcroppings of land with sheer cliffs, blue waters and olive groves, lemon trees and colourful flowers blanketing the hills. Pick up a day pass that gets you into the National Park and unlimited train access between the towns for a full day of hiking, beaching, swimming, eating…you name it! Hiking between the villages is the best way to see all the area has to offer on the well-marked and well-maintained paths leading through olive groves and vineyards, orchards and chestnut woods, stopping in each village to grab a cappuccino, a slice of pizza, a mouthwatering plate of "spaghetti alle vongole" (spaghetti with fresh clams), or just sit and enjoy! This area really offers something for everyone- avid hikers, someone looking for an easy stroll or a sun-worshipper looking for a little downtime in the sun.
At the end of a long day outdoors, head into one of the local restaurants offering up Ligurian specialties like the local recipe of pesto, unlimited seafood dishes, a litre of vino della casa (house wine) and an after dinner taste of local grappa you won’t be able to resist!
Our simple hotel has some triple rooms
Estimated Travel Time Provence to La Spezia: 8 hours
Days 7-8 Rome via Pisa
On Day 7 we make a short visit to Pisa, with its Field of Miracles and the must-see view of the iconic Leaning Tower, en-route for Rome.
We catch an early train from La Spezia to Pisa, where we store our bags and walk to the Field of Miracles for a sight of the famous monuments.We will have a couple of hours here to take in the sights and sounds, before we continue by train to Rome for 2 nights.
Rome is full of fabulous sites. Possibly the most recognized symbol of the city is the Colosseum, the scene of the bloody gladiator bouts for the entertainment of ancient Rome's aristocracy. Take a tour around the old venue and then head over to the Palatine hill and the Roman Forum to see where it all began. Even with the bustle of modern day Rome whizzing past on Vespas you can still lose yourself in the fragmented columns and ancient ruins, conjuring images of the rich Romans sauntering by in togas.
From the Colosseum it's not too much of a hike to Piazza Navona. Known for the Baroque buildings surrounding the square, and its beautiful central fountain, it's truly a great place to walk, mingle with the Romans, and sip a cappuccino at one of the sidewalk cafés.
Next stop can be the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Sit among the young Italians cuddling on the steps or watch the rich and powerful shopping in the elegant boutiques nearby. Take a short walk over to the Fontana di Trevi to throw a coin over your shoulder backwards to ensure your return to this magical city.
When you’ve had enough of secular Rome, head to the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City. Located within the city of Rome, the Vatican City is a separate country ruled by the pope and the perfect place to see art and religion intertwined. Within the Vatican, you will find the famous St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church and the headquarters of Roman Catholicism. It is difficult to decide whether to look up, down, or to the side as there are treasures everywhere in the church: Bernini’s canopy, the dome, the treasury, the statue of St. Peter, the Pieta, and the grotto should all be seen, and it can be possible to attend services in the church.
The Vatican Museums are near the basilica and contain priceless works of art from ancient to modern times. There are many different galleries but seeing all of them is definitely not possible in one day, so do a little research before visiting and decide what you really want to see. There are countless pieces of art, including statues, busts, Renaissance paintings, tapestries, early icons and Egyptian artifacts, just to name a few. Two of the most well-known exhibits in the Vatican Museums are the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms.
Although the Sistine Chapel is always very crowded, it is a must-see for any visitor to the Vatican. The magnificent frescoed ceiling of the chapel painted by Michelangelo depicts over 300 figures from the Book of Genesis, the most well-known being “The Creation of Adam,” showing God touching the finger of Adam. “The Last Judgment” on the west wall depicts a scene from the Book of Revelations.
It’s a good idea to book a ticket to the Vatican online from home or with some advice from your Tour Leader as waiting until the day you arrive may well be too late! Ask your Tour Leader for help booking tickets in advance.
Estimated Travel Time La Spezia to Pisa 1.5 hours
Estimated Travel Time Pisa to Rome: 3.5 hrs
Days 9-10 Florence
Today we head to Florence (Firenze), the capital of the region of Tuscany. No city can boast of such artistic richness as the romantic Renaissance city of Florence. Food, art, culture, and beautiful views put this outstanding Italian city in a field of its own. The list of things to see and do in Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside is unlimited, be it art, nature, architecture, history or food and drink!
Number one on the must-see list is a visit to Michelangelo’s “David” in the Accademia. The size and quality of this imposing sculpture will leave you speechless. For more art, head next to the Uffizi Galleries to witness the Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci paintings in person. The Pitti Palace provides an array of art-viewing opportunities with the Palatine Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Galleria del Costume all being housed in this magnificently grand palatial complex. This is also where you’ll find the Boboli Gardens, one of the lovliest examples of an Italian garden with its shady walkways and sculptures. For the engineers among us or people who just like to see how things work, visit one of the Leonardo da Vinci museums around the city, featuring models of his inventions and other details about his life. Another often overlooked but stunning museum of sculpture is the Bargello where you can see Donatello’s “David”, quite a different interpretation from Michelangelo’s.
Please note that it is advisable to book tickets in advance for both the Uffizi and Accademia Galleries, otherwise you will need to spend most of the day waiting in line to get in. You can book online from home before you leave or ask your Tour Leader to help you while you're on the road.
If you’re ready to move on from the museums, head straight to the jewel of the city - the Piazza del Duomo. This Cathedral is a breathtaking example of Italian religious architecture with the stunning green and white marble. Climb to the top for a dazzling view of the red rooftops that Tuscan cities are famous for. After the Duomo, you can start your shopping! Start in the south at the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence. This bridge, covered in gold shops, is the perfect place to get a look at the Arno river before heading north to the leather markets of San Lorenzo and Mercato Centrale. Pick up a purse (or several!), leatherbound journals, Florentine paper, and any off-colour David statue souvenirs you may require.
Don’t forget to make time for some gelato - the perfect way to bridge the G Adventures between lunch and dinner. Try a new flavour everyday while wandering the streets and squares, soaking up the history and beauty of a typical “citta Toscana”.
Our simple hostel accommodation in Florence has multishare rooms.
Estimated Travel Time Florence to Venice: 3 hours
Days 11-12 Venice
A scenic train ride along the Soca Valley takes us to the dream-like city of Venice, one of the few places in the world that can truly be described as unique. This "floating" city is best explored on foot, wandering through labyrinthine alleys and streets, over bridges and into squares, discovering opulence and beauty at every turn.
Venice is teeming with world-class museums, like the Accademia or the Scuola di San Rocco, playing host to the greats of the renaissance like Jacopo Tintoretto, Vittore Carpacio and Tiziano. For a more contemporary take, visit the Peggy Guggenheim gallery, located inside her former home, right on the Grand Canal itself. The fantastic smattering of works of every major contemporary artist competes with the lapping waters and floating gondalas just outside.
To capture all Venice has to offer go out the door of the hotel and keep walking. Wind around, check in with the map occasionally, and see if you can find your way to the major sites! Wander over the Ponte Rialto (Bridge of Lovers) and stroll on down to Piazza San Marco. From here you get spectacular views of the Grand Canal, you can visit the famous Basilica San Marco, climb the Campanile or take a tour of the Palazzo Ducale and Bridge of Sighs. Once you’ve tired yourself out jump on one of the vaporetto (water bus) and make your way home, or stop off to take a gondola ride through the backalleys of Venice.
Venezia, as they say in Italian, is an indescribable place you have to see to believe. It has a magical, mystical quality that can’t be captured or replicated. After just a few moments, this city will capture your heart and leave you thinking dreamily of your time in Venice for the rest of your life.
Days 13-14 Bled
We travel by train across the countryside on a scenic travel day to the lakeside town of Bled, situated at the edge of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, the gateway to Triglav National Park. With an abundance of activities in Bled and the surrounding area, such as easy walks and more demanding hikes, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning, fishing, climbing, riding, panoramic flights, tandem paragliding and adrenaline parks, there will be plenty to keep you busy!
You can explore Bled Castle high on a bluff, with a crystal clear lake underneath, snow capped alps in the background or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Otherwise, just walk, cycle or rollerblade the lake's 6 km circumference and admire the stunning scenery that has made Bled famous.
Our accommodation in Bled may be in small simple hotels or pensions, or in private houses. Bathrooms are shared and we may use triples. It's also important to note that we may stay in several different locations a short walk away from one another
Estimated Travel Time Venice to Bled 6hrs
Days 15-16 Vienna
We take a train through mejestic mountain scenery to the Austrian capital Vienna, former home of the Hapsburg court, still furnished with the trappings of the imperial capital it once was. Take a wander with your Tour Leader to check out the highlights, including the grand St Stephen's church towering at the heart of the historical centre, encircled by the Ringstrasse and filled with magnificent buildings, gardens and museums. The afternoon is yours to explore at leisure, marvelling at the Hofburg (the winter palace), the Lipizzaner “dancing” horses of the famous Vienna Riding School, or perhaps experience a mass with the Vienna Boys Choir. Later, why not head out to Schoenbrunn, for a guided audio tour of the summer palace designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The palace gardens are free to all visitors.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, is one of Vienna’s main landmarks complete with a 343-step climb up a spiral staircase to look out over the city. For a little child-like fun, visit the Wurstelprater, an amusement park and home to one of the best-known attractions of Vienna, the ‘Riesenrad’, a Giant Ferris wheel which provides great views across the city from 200ft in the air.
After tiring yourself out with sightseeing, pop into a café, a Viennese institution. For a slice of local life, the cafés are good places to relax and get your bearings while deciding what to do next. A delicious café experience involves Gugelhupf, one of Vienna’s specialty cakes, and a cup of Melange (half coffee, half milk).
For a small trip outside the bustling city, head into the heart of one of Austria’s wine-producing regions, the Wachau, just under an hour from Vienna. Feel free to indulge in the local wine in taverns called Heuriger.
Hotel rooms in Vienna may have shared bathroom and on occasion we use triple share.
Approximate travel time: Bled to Vienna 6 hours
Day 17 Prague
We head to Prague, arriving in the early afternoon so you have some time to experience what the capital of Czech Republic has to offer. The first must-see destination is Old Town Square, where the main attraction is the famous Astronomical Clock, whose tiny mechanical saints deliver an hourly performance when the clock chimes. In the summer, the square is lined with outdoor cafés perfect to do a little leisurely people-watching.
Just a stone's throw away is Charles Bridge, by day thronged with vendors and street musicians. At night, the bridge is less crowded, and it's much easier to appreciate the scenery as well as the ever-so-slightly sinister quality of the statues looming overhead. Cross the bridge and you'll find yourself in Mala Strana, a far less crowded district that offers the perfect atmosphere for some introspective wandering. If you can handle the stairs, climbing the hundreds of steps to the famous Prague Castle (known as Hradcany), you'll be rewarded with a glorious view of the city. Like Charles Bridge, the castle is best enjoyed at night, when there is dramatic lighting and few visitors. If you're in the area and want to experience traditional Czech pubs, which are guaranteed to be loud, lively, and packed with locals on any night of the week, this is the place to find restaurants serving traditional Czech cuisine such as fried pork cutlets, goulash, and dumplings.
The Prague Ghetto, which includes the Jewish Cemetery and Synagogues is one of the famous areas of Europe where the Jews of the city lived and thrived before WWII and definitely worth a visit.
Prague certainly has no shortage of breathtaking views and the next hill over from the castle, Petrin Hill, offers a less obstructed panorama-style view. If you're not in the mood for hiking uphill, you can always take a cable car all the way to the top.
This evening we head to one of the famous Pilzner Beer Halls where you can sample Czech beer, world-famous for its superb quality and low cost, on a warm summer evening.
Day 18 Prague
Depart at any time.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Public bus, Train, Metro
If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Simple hotels and hostels (16 nts) at times multi-share. Overnight bus (1 nt) - reclining seats
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
1.It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3. COMBO TRIPS. Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
4.This trip has a fast-paced itinerary with some long transport days - please check the itinerary carefully before deciding if this trip suits your needs.
5. Please note that if you wish to visit popular museums such as the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and Villa Borghese in Rome, and the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time (especially in high season May-September when it could be a question of hours!), it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at various websites including www.florenceart.it or www.virtualuffizi.com for Florence and www.tickitaly.com for all.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your Tour Leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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