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31 Day Camping Tour of Europe - London to Istanbul

Discover the highlights and contrasts of Europe on this amazing journey. Visit sophisticated France and trendy Barcelona, tiny Andorra and stylish Italy, Olympic Athens and poignant Gallipoli before finishing up in Istanbul - the city where east meets west.

Day 1: London – Ferry to Paris
Meeting in central London early in the morning, your tour leader will answer any initial questions and collect your ‘Local Fund’ payment in full in EURO€ cash. Departing London at 7am we head for Dover and board a ferry for France. From Calais we make our way across the French countryside to the capital of romance – Paris. After dinner at our campsite we have a dazzling city tour which will introduce you to Montmartre, the Sacre Coeur and the
beautiful skyline dominated by the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.
(D)

Days 2-3: Paris
This morning we enjoy a driving tour of all the most famous spots from the Place de la Concorde to the Champs Elysee, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre. The rest of the day is free to choose which sights you wish to explore further before we gather at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a sumptuous buffet picnic under this iconic
monument. The next day is free to enjoy Paris, sightsee, ride the metro, indulge your tastebuds in quaint little patisseries and soak up the Parisian lifestyle. There may be time for options like a famous cabaret or a cruise on the River Seine – a real must in Paris.
(Days 2&3 – B,L,D)

Day 4: Avignon
A long day’s drive takes us to the romantic medieval walled city of Avignon on the banks of the Rhone River. The popes arrived in Avignon in the 14th Century and the city became a second Rome. Full of history, life, art and music,
Avignon is so charming you won’t want to leave. We have a walking tour through the narrow streets inside the fortified walls and past the Palace of the Popes and the Pont St. Benezet. In the evening there may be time to sample
traditional French nightlife. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Andorra
Travelling south we have a short stop in the medieval town of Mirepoix before entering the mountainous principality of Andorra. With an area of just 468 sq km, Andorra is almost lost in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, yet has
some of the most dramatic scenery to be found in Western Europe. The capital, Andorra la Vella, is surrounded by mountains and is a duty free shopping paradise with bargains to be had at every turn. When you’re all shopped out, head for a slice of the past in the Barri Antic (Old Quarter) where narrow cobblestone streets lined with stone houses can make you feel like you’ve walked into a traditional Pyrenean village. If you’re keen to experience more of the scenery there also options for hikes.
(B,L,D)

Days 6-7: Barcelona
On into Spain and the passionate Catalan city of
Barcelona. Packed with attractions from the fluid, dynamic architecture of the eccentric artist Gaudi, to the labyrinth of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), Las Ramblas – an amazing street that never sleeps, the pounding nightlife of the harbour and the roar of the massive Camp Nou, home to Barcelona’s greatest passion of all - their world famous football club. We have a driving tour taking in Gaudi’s utterly mind blowing Sagrada Familia, Montjuic (the 1992
Olympic Park) and Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s main street. With so much to do here you won’t be bored for a second – especially at night when you can feast on paella and tapas and party in vibrant open squares where tourists and locals
mingle til the early hours. Barcelona’s sizzling vibe will leave you hooked!
(Day 6 – B,L,D, Day 7 – B,L)

Days 8-9: French Riviera
Crossing back into France we spend a couple of nights based in Antibes living the high life on the classy Riviera where ace beaches are the perfect place to flaunt (or top up) your tan. After a short driving tour we visit a perfumery to watch the art of fragrance production and have an evening trip to Monaco to visit the world famous Monte Carlo casino and see the famed road based grand prix circuit. Why not imagine you’re a big spender and take a gamble on the roulette wheel or craps table. If you want to spend more time
in Monaco you can catch a train from the station close to our campsite earlier in the day.
(Days 8&9 – B,L,D)

Day 10: Cinque Terre
Crossing into Italy we head to the World Heritage Listed Cinque Terre (five lands). We stay in a campsite just a short train ride away from Cinque Terre. These unspoilt villages are
perched on the spectacular rocky eastern Liguarian coastline and offer a unique slice of Italian life. Pathways linking the villages weave through olive groves and vineyards and offer
exceptional views of the coastline.
(B,L,D)

Days 11-12: Venice
We travel via Verona, Shakespeare’s city of star crossed lovers, to magical Venice. Built on water and cris-crossed by canals, Venice is all about gondolas, romance, charm and a life never far from the water. We have a walking orientation tour of the highlights including the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We also
include a glass blowing demonstration by Venetian craftspeople and then have plenty of free time to wander the backstreets of the real Venice, where baroque backstreet churches meet the waters edge and the tempting aroma of pizza and pasta will leave you constantly hungry.
But if there’s one thing you must do before leaving, it’s grab a guy or girl, buy ice creams and serenade each other on a gondola!
(Days 11&12 – B,L,D)

Days 13-14: Florence
This is classical Italy! The heart of Renaissance Italy, Florence swells with artistic and architectural treasures from the famous Duomo Cathedral to Michelangelo’s David. We have a walking tour taking in the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce Church and some of the city’s beautiful piazzas and include a visit to a leather work craft show. You can spend the rest of your time strolling amongst luxury shops, bargain hunting in the San Lorenzo markets and eating! There’s no shortage of small trattorias
tucked down side streets where you can snack on Tuscan specialities and drink cappuccino while soaking up this stylish city.
(Day 13 – B,L,D, Day 14 – B,L)

Days 15-17: Pisa - Rome
Leaving Florence we travel via Pisa and its famous leaning tower – the beautiful bell tower of Pisa’s Duomo to the Eternal City, home of the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and some of the
tastiest pizza you’ll ever try! However long you spend here it simply won't be enough so make sure you throw a coin or two over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain – as it means you will
return! On our walking tour you’ll see the Spanish Steps, the sprawling Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona and start to get an idea of the depth of
history which seeps from every street. Take in some of the Michelangelo and Raphael’s remarkable art; stop in and see the Pope, St Peters and the brilliant Sistine Chapel at the
Vatican City; lose yourself in the maze of backstreets; sit in grand open squares filled with entertainers and finish the day at a pavement cafe with a bottle of chilled Frascati or fruity
Chianti.
(Day 15 – B,L, Days 16&17 – B,L,D)

Days 18-19: Pompeii - Sorrento
En route to Sorrento we stop to explore Pompeii, the city frozen in time by a sudden, violent eruption from Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD which buried everything and everyone with ash. Seaside Sorrento has superb views of the Bay of Naples and there is an option to take a boat trip to the island of Capri.
(Days 18&19 – B,L,D)

Days 20-23: Brindisi – Corfu
Crossing Italy we board an overnight ferry at Brindisi and make our way into Greek territory and the sun soaked island of Corfu where you have three days to relax. One of the most beautiful of the Greek Islands, Corfu is covered in wildflowers and cypress groves, has mountainous scenery, towns with Venetian architecture and plenty of beaches.
(Days 20-22 – B,L, Day 23 – B,L,D)

Days 24-25: Athens
We have an early start to board a ferry to Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland where we continue by coach to Athens via the famous Corinth Canal. Athens is 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. A walking tour will first take you to climb the Acropolis where there are fantastic views of the city in the basin below and
with the ancient Parthenon perched on the top. We also see 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.
(Day 24 – B,L, Day 25 – B,L,D)

Day 26: 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 27: 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 28-29: 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 28&29 – B,L,D)

Days 30-31: Istanbul
Our final stop is 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). Your tour finishes after breakfast on Day 31. If you don’t want to go home yet why not continue the fun and join one of our tours in Egypt or Turkey? (Day 30 – B,L, Day 31 – B)

What's Included?

Camping 100% tents: plus 1overnight ferry * Cabin upgrade (optional): 50% cabins; 50% tents – supplement: EUR 105 * 30 breakfasts, 29 lunches, 22 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: Buffet picnic dinner under the Eiffel Tower; glass blowing demonstration in Venice; leather work craft show in Florence; visit a perfumery in the French Riviera * Driving Tours: Paris, Barcelona & the French Riviera * Walking Tours: Avignon, Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens & Istanbul

Departures?
June to August - please enquire for available dates

Prices?
£840 GBP per person (plus local fund of 670 Euros) - BOOK NOW

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