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46 Day Camping Tour of Europe - London to London

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. There will then be plenty of time to go out for a few drinks and start to get to know your travelling companions. (D)

Day 2: 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. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Paris
A further full free day to enjoy Paris, sightsee, ride the metro, indulge your tastebuds in quaint little patisseries and soak up the Parisian lifestyle. There’s also plenty of time for options like a famous cabaret or a cruise on the River Seine – a real must in Paris. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Avignon
A long days drive further into France 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 are plenty of options to sample traditional French nightlife. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Andorra
Travelling south we stop for lunch 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 so you can take it all in and then reward yourself with an afternoon kicking back on the beach sipping sangria. By night, feast on paella, tapas and party the night away in vibrant open squares where tourists and locals mingle til the early hours. Barcelona’s sizzling vibe will leave you hooked! (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Days 8-9: French Riveria
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. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Days 10-11: Venice
Entering Italy, 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! (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Days 12-13: 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. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Days 14-15: 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. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Days 16-17: 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. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Days 18-19: Brindisi - Overnight Ferry to Corfu
Crossing Italy we board an overnight ferry at Brindisi and make our way into Greek territory and the sun soaked island of Corfu. 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. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Days 20-11: Corfu Sailing
We spend the next three days on board a yacht in the beautiful Ionian Sea. Famous for its mild winds, the area is the perfect place for sailing due to its smooth waters. You can join in crewing the yacht and there are many stunning sections of coastline to visit. You can sail through the day, stop for lunch anchored in a tranquil bay, swim, snorkel, sunbathe or enjoy a few long cold gin & tonics. After lunch it’s a leisurely sail to your evening mooring where the crew will point out the local shops and amenities so you can spend the evening socializing and enjoy a dinner of delicious Greek fare in a small taverna overlooking the harbour. We disembark and spend the night on Corfu. (3xB, 3xL)

Days 23-24: Corfu - Ferry to Athens
You have a full free day on Corfu for final sightseeing or relaxing. Early the following morning we board a ferry to Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland and continue by coach to Athens via the famous Corinth Canal. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Day 25: Athens
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. (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. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Days 30-32: 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). (3xB, 3xL)

Day 33: 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 34: 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 35: 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 36: Clujnapoca
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 37-38: 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. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Day 39: 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 40-41: 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. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

Days 42-43: 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 plenty of free time to visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, sample some sauerkraut and bratwurst and down a few steins of beer! (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Days 44-45: 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! (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

Day 46: Calais - London
We depart Amsterdam after 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: 50% cabins; 50% tents - Supplement: EUR150 * Meals: 45 Breakfasts, 44 Lunches, 33 Dinners

42 nights camping in some of Europe's best campsites, in spacious 2 person tents, with air mattress supplied.
1 night on overnight ferry (reclining seat)
2 nights onboard a yacht in Corfu.

Represented in the tour itinerary as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Driving tour of Paris, Barcelona, French Riviera, Gallipoli, Bucharest, Vienna and Berlin. Plus walking tours of Avignon, Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Budapest, Prague and Amsterdam.

Also included is an enjoyable picnic dinner underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, visit a perfumary in the French Riviera, glass blowing in Venice, leather work demonstration in Florence, Sailing in Corfu, sample schnapps in Vienna, try different cheeses and clog making demonstration in Amsterdam.

Air-conditioned coaches with CD player, reclining seats and large panoramic windows

Most tours will have approximately 18-25 passengers with a maximum of up to 45. Professional tour leader, driver and cook.

**Please note that you must be between ages of 18 - 35 years old to join this tour.**

Departures?
June to August. Please enquire for available dates

How much?
£1170 (+ a local fund of 1070 EUR payable in cash when you join the tour) - BOOK NOW. A sleeping bag is required for this tour

 BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRES : 0870 74510

sales@backpackertours.co.uk

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