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22 Day Camping Tour of Europe - Athens to London

Istanbul, TurkeyThe perfect tour to give you an amazing insight to both Eastern and Western Europe. We kick off in Athens and travel via Gallipoli to Istanbul in Turkey for some eastern culture, and then to Bucharest via Romania and the Black Sea Coast. We then take in some great Eastern European cities before returning to London via Berlin and Amsterdam.

Day 1: Athens (joining day)
Day 1 is simply a joining day so you can arrive anytime. Later this evening you will meet your tour leader and he/she will give you a briefing about the tour, outline the plan for the next few days, answer any questions you may have and collect your ‘Local Fund’ payment in full in EUR€ cash. Home to many ancient civilizations and most recently the 2004 Olympic Games, the capital city of Greece is a melting pot of the old and new. You can climb the Acropolis where there are fantastic views of the city in the
basin below and with the ancient Parthenon perched on the top, the stadium built for the first modern Olympic Games; the national museum and the 2004 Olympic Park. A must in Athens is a wander around Plaka, the old quarter of the city at the foot of the Acropolis. Easily the most
attractive part of the city, the maze of narrow streets have a village feel, and there seems to be a taverna on every corner so there is no shortage of places to take a breather over a shot or two of ouzo.
(D)

Day 2: Meteora
Today we drive north to visit the cliff top monasteries of Meteora. One of the most extraordinary sights in mainland Greece, the monasteries are built into and on top of huge
pinnacles of rock and some date back as far as the 14th century. Monks who were seeking solace from the fighting as the Byzantine Empire declined reached the monasteries by climbing precarious ladders. The ladders were eventually replaced by steps but it is still easy to see that
reaching the monasteries was no mean feat! (B,L,D)

Day 3: Kavala
Today we drive to the laid back town of Kavala where its relaxing vibe will ease you into a day on the beach or a gentle stroll into town. (B,L,D)

Days 4-5: Gallipoli
From Kavala we cross into Turkey and head for Gallipoli. The site of one of the most brutal campaigns of WWI, the Gallipoli Peninsula is now a national park of significant historical and cultural importance to Turks, New Zealanders
and Australians. The park is located at the entrance to the Dardanelles on the Aegean Sea and it was the Allied forces’ intention to take the peninsula and thus have access to Istanbul and the Black Sea towns of their ally, Russia. However, it actually became the final resting place of some 700,000 soldiers. The reality of the war becomes apparent after a guided visit to the Gallipoli Museum and ANZAC Cove – both a poignant place of reflection.
Afterwards, a visit to the sheer cliffs of ANZAC Cove gives an indication as to the insurmountable task the Allied forces had been set.
(Days 4&5 – B,L,D)

Days 6-8: Istanbul

On to Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and the former imperial capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. A fusion of East and West, narrow alleys are flanked by wooden Ottoman houses while a nearby funky restaurant and bar
strip in the downtown area pumps out Turkish pop. We explore the Blue Mosque, St Sophia Museum and Underground Basilica, and the sprawling Grand Bazaar on a walking tour. In your free time maybe treat yourself to a meal at one of the countless restaurants along the narrow alleys of downtown Taksim, take a Turkish bath, board a local ferry on the Bosphorus to observe the beautifully lit
sprawl of Istanbul by night and then finish your evening with the timeless wind-down of smoking a nargileh (Ottoman water pipe).
(Days 6&7 – B,L, Day 8 – B,L,D)

Day 9: Black Sea Coast
Following the rugged Black Sea coast northwest from Istanbul we have an overnight stop just across the border in Bulgaria. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Bucharest
Crossing another border we enter Romania and the capital, Bucharest. Lying between the Carpathian hills and the Danube River, Bucharest has suffered from earthquakes, war and a harsh dictatorship, however architecture reminiscent of Paris can still be found in the north of the city. We have a driving tour taking in the enormous Palace of the People (which Ceausescu wanted to be the largest building in the world), Calei Victoriei, Bucharest’s most famous street based on the boulevards of Paris, the main square, Cretulescu Church and the Palace of the Republic.
(B,L,D)

Day 11: Brasov
Travelling north we enter the province of Transylvania and the attractive city of Brasov. Surrounded by the Transylvanian hills, Brasov’s main attractions include a vast gothic church and its location close to ‘Dracula’s Castle’! We have the opportunity to visit the castle (actually called
Bran Castle) where spooky myths concerning Dracula abound. The castle was actually built by the people of Brasov to defend the region from the Turkish invasion but you can make up your own vampire theories!
(B,L,D)

Day 12: Cluj Napoca
Travelling on through Romania we visit Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) who Bram Stoker is said to have based the character of Count Dracula on. We have an overnight stop at the important cultural centre of Cluj Napoca.
(B,L,D)

Days 13-14: Budapest
Next is Hungary where we spend two nights in the beautiful, romantic city of Budapest. The city is actually split into the two districts of Buda and Pest which sit either side of the Danube River. We have a driving tour of the city taking in the highlights of both areas including Castle Hill, Matthius Church and Fisherman’s Bastion in the old city of Buda and the Liberation Monument, the much photographed parliament building and the fabulous St Stephens Basilica in the new commercial area of Pest. With its amazing variety of architectural styles, cruises on the
river, Turkish baths and fabulous restaurants and bars on offer you won’t have any trouble filling your time here.
(Day 13 – B,L,D, Day 14 – B,L)

Day 15: Vienna
Reaching Austria, we have an afternoon in the elegant capital, Vienna. Home of ‘The Sound of Music’ and schnapps, Vienna assaults the senses on all levels! Filled with baroque architecture, lavish palaces with finely
landscaped gardens, towering cathedrals, endless museums, art galleries overflowing with fine art and opera houses that come alive after dark, this is a city with much to experience - and some of the most delicious coffee and pastries you will ever taste! We have a driving tour
taking in the Schonbrunn Palace, St Stephens Palace and the State Opera House before heading to the Schnapps Museum to sample a traditional shot of the hard stuff.
(B,L,D)

Days 16-17: Prague
Crossing into the Czech Republic, we travel through Bohemia to reach Prague, the charming city of spires. Sometimes a place that has been so talked up can prove disappointing but Prague really does deliver – just imagine everything you've heard and then double it! This city is
simply beautiful from every angle and you can’t help but fall in love with it. We have a walking tour from the lofty heights of Hradcany Castle and St Vitus Cathedral (where you can get magical views over the city) to the bustling
old town Square, enchanting Charles Bridge and
Wenceslas Square. There is no shortage of things to do in your free time whether you just want to sit in a café watching Prague go by, take a cruise on the beautiful Vltava River or visit the Jewish cemetery and synagogues in Josefov. By night there are many great bars and restaurants and plenty of pounding night clubs if you fancy a big night out.
(Day 16 – B,L,D, Day 17 – B,L)

Days 18-19: Berlin
Into Germany and to the capital, Berlin. Once famous as a divided city, the oppressive Berlin Wall fell more than 15 years ago however there’s still a distinct difference between the glamour of the west and the ragged east.
Regardless Berlin is the true heart of Germany and has grand public buildings, glorious museums and theatres, stylish restaurants and a bustling nightlife. Our driving tour will introduce you to the Brandenburg Gate, Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Potsdamerplatz, the Victory Monument
and Reichstag. You’ll then have time to visit the
Checkpoint Charlie Museum or sample some sauerkraut and bratwurst and down a few steins of beer!
(Days 18&19 – B,L,D)

Days 20-21: Amsterdam

Our final destination is the Netherlands and vibrant Amsterdam. Crammed with bicycles, museums, canals and cafés and infamous for its liberal attitude, Amsterdam has lots to offer. We have a walking tour taking in all the highlights including historic Dam Square, the National
Monument and Anne Frank’s house. There are also many fantastic art museums to explore including Van Gogh and the Rijks Museum. Known the world over for clogs and cheese, it wouldn’t be right to visit the Netherlands and not learn a bit more about their skills for making both so we include cheese tasting and a visit to a factory to see how clogs are made!
(Days 20&21 – B,L,D)

Day 22: Calais – London
We depart Amsterdam after an early breakfast and drive through Belgium to Calais for our ferry back to England. Arriving in Dover we drive back to London (usually arriving early evening) where the tour ends – but the party doesn’t
have to stop here and there’s bound to be an opportunity for one or two farewell drinks! (B)

What's Included?

Camping 100% tents * Cabin upgrade (optional): 40% cabins; 60% tents – supplement: EUR 65 * 21 breakfasts, 20 lunches, 17 dinners (shown as B, L, D in itinerary) * Transport: private fully equipped a/c coach * Crew: tour leader, driver & cook * Group size: average 20-30, max 45 (age 18-35)
* Bonus sightseeing: Taste cheese and watch
clogs being made in Amsterdam, Sample
traditional schnapps in Vienna * Driving Tours: Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna & Berlin * Walking Tours: Istanbul, Prague & Amsterdam

Departures?
June to September - please enquire for available dates

Prices?
£610 GBP per person (plus local fund of 520 Euros) - BOOK NOW

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