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32 Day Camping Tour of Europe

ITINERARY

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. There’s also time for options like a famous cabaret or a cruise on the River Seine – a real must in Paris. (B,L,D)

DAYS 3-4, LAUTERBRUNNEN
Crossing into Switzerland our next stop is the alpine valley of Lauterbrunnen. Regarded as one of the most spectacular alpine valleys in Europe, the delightful Lauterbrunnen village is surrounded by the unspoilt snow capped Swiss Alps and has endless options for hiking and biking. Perhaps visit Switzerland’s highest waterfall, the cascading 300 metre Staubbach or jump on one of the many funicular railways which trace the mountainside. One of the most spectacular is the ride up to Jungfrau, the highest mountain in the area and the site of the highest train station in Europe. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

DAYS 5-6, FLORENCE
Leaving Switzerland we head for 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 7-8, PISA - ROME
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 9-10, BRINDISI – OVERNIGHT FERRY TO CORFU - CORFU
Coming to the southern tip of 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. There are heaps of opportunities for optional activities like donut rides and paragliding. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

DAYS 11-12, CORFU – FERRY TO ATHENS
You have a full free day on Corfu for final sightseeing or relaxing. Make the most of your free time and perhaps enjoy a dinner of delicious Greek fare in a small taverna. 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, 1xD)

DAY 13, 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 14, 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 15, PENINSULA OF HALIDIKI
The peninsula of Halidiki boasts some of the finest beaches in Greece. Spend the day lazing on long stretches of sand or getting a taste of authentic Greek life in nearby villages. (B,L,D)

DAYS 16-17, GALLIPOLI
Crossing into Turkey we 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 18-20, 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)

DAYS 21-22, KAVALA – OVERNIGHT FERRY TO BARI
Today we drive back into Greece and on 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. Later the next day we board an overnight ferry from Igoumenitsa to Bari in the south of Italy. (2xB, 2xL, 1xD)

DAY 23, ANCONA
Travelling up the Aegean Coast of Italy we have an overnight stop at Ancona. This sheltered gulf has a rich history and there are fortresses, historical squares and museums. (B,L,D)

DAYS 24-25, VENICE
Next stop is 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 26-27, INNSBRUCK (TYROL)
Back into the Alps – this time in Austria – we base ourselves in Innsbruck in the stunning Tyrol region. Famous for its skiing, Innsbruck has twice been host to the Winter Olympics. Naturally the area boasts plenty of outdoor activities from exceptional skiing and hiking to white water rafting, mountain biking and tandem skydiving. In town you’ll find many historic buildings and beautiful art – many a reminder of Innsbruck’s association with the wealthy Habsburgs. We enjoy a walking tour and see the Court Church, the Imperial Court Palace and Ambras Castle. (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)

DAY 28, MUNICH
Leaving the Alps behind we cross the border into Germany and head to Munich, home of the famous Oktoberfest and all things Bavarian! We have an orientation walking tour of the Old Town Hall, Church of Our Lady, the Glockenspiel and Marienplatz. With raucous beer halls and lederhosen side by side with a lively arts scene and array of museums (including BMW), Munich is actually enjoys contracting itself! After a day’s sightseeing it’s a crime not to visit a Bavarian beerhall and sink a stein or three! (B,L,D)

(Please note during the Munich Beerfest in October, one night less is spent in Innsbruck)

DAY 29, ST GOAR
Travelling north through Germany we stop over at St Goar in the Rhine Valley. Steep hills, lush vineyards and imposing castles make the landscape dramatically picturesque. Located beside the Rhine, the town is still partly surrounded its old walls and has some interesting churches and monuments. There’s time to explore on your own and perhaps take a wine tasting tour. We also have an included visit to a traditional glass factory to see how a beer stein is made! (B,L,D)

DAYS 30-31, 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 32, 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

29 nights camping in some of Europe's best campsites, in spacious 2 person tents, with air mattress supplied.
2 overnight ferrys (reclining seats)

31 Breakfasts, 30 Lunches and 23 Dinners (heaps more than our opposition). Represented in the tour itinerary as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Driving tour of Paris and Gallipoli, plus walking tours of Florence, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Venice, Innsbruck, Munich and Amsterdam.

Tour also includes a picnic underneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a leather work demonstration in Florence and glass blowing in Venice. Learn how a beer steins are made in Germany, cheese tasting 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 - Mid May to Late September 2005. Please enquire for available dates
How much?
£720 (+ a local fund of 750 Euro's payable in cash when you join the tour) - BOOK NOW. A sleeping bag is required for this tour
 BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRES : 0870 745104

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