Grand European

StudentUniverse  »  Grand European

Grand European

from £2,295
Duration: 28 days
Countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holy See (Vatican City), Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland
Spend an amazing month travelling the fabulous European continent; from West to East, North to South and beyond. You’ll get to explore all four corners of the continent!
Summary

Grand European

You'll encounter Europe's greatest cities, witness the grandeur and majesty of the Alps as well as discover the stunning scenery and diversity throughout the Mediterranean. This is one tour of Europe that is certain to treat you to a grand old time!

 

Day 1: London, England to Paris, France
All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel to Paris. Pinch yourself and Instagram your first selfie over an EPIC gourmet picnic before we kick off the trip with a driving tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader. Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa; Paris has more than earned its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. Now’s your chance to find out why.

Included today:
-Paris city driving tour
-Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower


Day 2: Paris
This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay to the l'Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you'll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own before our gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower, and then end your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

 

Day 3: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is obviously where we're spending the night. Urban charm ain't got nothing on Swiss scenery. Upon arrival, chow down on Swiss cuisine and hit the bar for a nightcap.


Day 4: Swiss Alps
Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are on today's agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit.
Fairytale villages en route, sky-diving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don't scare you). And if one hulking mountain isn’t enough? Nearby Schilthorn is also waiting. Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.

 

Day 5: Swiss Alps to Avignon, France
This afternoon welcomes you to Avignon, home to the magnificent Palais des Papes (aka one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe). Tonight: hit up a local bistro or gather for a makeshift picnic. Either way, be sure to pair your meal with some local Rhône Valley wine, one of France's finest reds.


Day 6: Avignon to Barcelona, Spain
First up, we check out the 2000-year-old Roman engineered aqueduct Pont du Gard on our way to Barcelona. Get hungry on a guided driving tour, ticking off the Columbus Monument, Montjuic (site of the 1992 Olympics) and Gaudi's yet to be finished Sagrada Familia. Round off the day with churros and tapas, and feed your cravings for Catalonian zest at tonight's included dinner. Later: let loose at an optional flamenco show.

Included today:
-Visit Pont du Gard
-Driving tour of Barcelona

 

Day 7: Barcelona
Who needs the snooze button when you got a whole day in a city packed to the rafters with art nouveau, alluring accents and most importantly, tapas. Hit the side streets and alleyways of Las Ramblas, take in the eccentric work of artist Antoni Gaudi at Parc Guell or give in to your inner football tragic and kneel to the sporting gods at Camp Nou.


Day 8: Barcelona to French Riviera, France
Get that selfie stick out as we roll on north along the coast to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the world's most lavish waterfront property, aka the French Riviera. Swap your patatas bravas for hearty French cooking and get ready for tomorrow's adventures.

Included today:
-French Riviera perfumery experience


Day 9: French Riviera including Monaco visit
Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. Later: Roll with the jet set as we hit up the Monaco for a guided tour and the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves Ferraris and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).

Included today:
-Guided tour of Monaco


Day 10: French Riviera to Florence, Italy
You'll only have a few minutes to swap your 'bonjour' to a 'buongiorno' this morning and it's on to the renaissance romance of Florence. Take THAT shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa before trucking on to the Tuscan hills outside Florence to eat, sleep, repeat in the foodie capital of the world.

Included today:
-Visit to Pisa en route to Florence


Day 11: Florence
Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) and get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide.

Then: use the afternoon to meet a guy named David doing his best Blue Steel in the Accademia Gallery. You could do worse than hunting down a Florentine steak for dinner tonight.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Florence with local guide
-Leather demonstration


Day 12: Florence to Rome
Southward and downward with a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini. Then step back to 753 BC in one of the world's oldest open-air museums on an in-depth walking tour and give that bucket list a workout.

Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history's version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum.

Included today:
-Visit to Orvieto en route
-Walking tour of Rome


Day 13: Rome
Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia worth of history.

Shop ‘til you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for awesome views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness). Your Topdeck chef will feed you tonight.


Day 14: Rome to Venice including Vatican City visit
Say buongiorno to Venice from across the lagoon as we check into our accommodation, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out your own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.

 

Day 15: Venice
You know it as the floating city, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Check out St. Mark's Square, Accademia Bridge and a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour then jump on a vaporetto and explore the Grand Canal.

Also on the schedule: an optional gondola ride through the maze of marble bridges and gelato shops we call Venice. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Venice
-Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal

 

Day 16: Venice to Pag Island, Croatia via Postjana Caves, Slovenia
Check out Postojna Caves and karst your eye out for stalagmites on the way to one of Croatia's coolest today. Set your watch to island time.

Included today:
-Visit to Postojna en route

 

Day 17: Pag Island
Two whole days to relax and chill out in the sun. The water is warm, the food is awesome. Then later on, well, let's just say this island knows how to party.


Day 18: Pag Island
Eat, sleep, party, repeat.


Day 19: Pag Island to Ljubljana, Slovenia
Shoot one last longing look at the Pag before arriving in Ljubljana (lyoob-lya-nah) – capital of Slovenia. Jump in the Delorean (or the 70m funicular) and glance back to the Middle Ages on a walking tour – the Ljubljana Castle and Old Town here have been waiting for you since Celtic times. Tonight, band together with your fellow #Topdeckers and see the city come alive on an optional pub crawl.

 

Day 20: Ljubljana to Austrian Alps, Austria
Lake Bled is one of those names that keep popping up in all those lists of amazing places; find out why as we climb the Austrian Alps to the Sound of Music. Take in the mountain air by foot, bike or goat (if you can get them to stand still long enough). With all the canyoning or mountain biking potential in these mountains, dinner will be calorie neutral.

Included today:
-Visit to Lake Bled en route to the Austrian Alps


Day 21: Austrian Alps
The snow-capped hills (Alps, really) are alive with the sound of carving. The mountains have shaped virtually all aspects of life here. (Also: Toblerone.) Skydive. Tandem paraglide. Go canyoning. Repeat. Or just sit and stare at the storybook landscape like a lovesick puppy. Kirchdorf does that to people. You haven't really been there without a few sneaky selfies, right? Say edelweiss!

 

Day 22: Austrian Alps to Prague, Czech Republic
Begin the day with a sobering visit to the former concentration camp Mauthausen, then set the sat nav for the gothic city. Guinness World Record-setting (and Disney-inspiring) castle spires are Prague's way of welcoming weary travellers.

Fuel up on trdelník (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst the spires and cobblestone streets. Sus out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world, cross medieval Charles Bridge and watch 'Death' toll the hour on an astronomical clock that's over 600 years old.

Included today:
-Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen
-Prague walking tour


Day 23: Prague
Another free day for the win. Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it). Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square and drink beer. Really. Good. Beer.

 

Day 24: Prague to Berlin, Germany
Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden – a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt – and ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, pilsner and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Dresden
-Driving tour of Berlin


Day 25: Berlin
Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Optional: Third Reich walking tour and local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park #picniconthetarmac. Tonight: hit the hotspots on an optional Berlin Alternative Tour and Nightlife tour.

 

Day 26: Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (and clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. Then: explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.

Included today:
-Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration
-Walking tour of Amsterdam


Day 27: Amsterdam
Join the 881,000 bicycles and get local on a city bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit and tasting at the brewery. Top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal.

Included today:
-Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
-Canal dinner cruise


Day 28: Amsterdam to London, England
After all the Amster-damage has been done and dusted, it’s time to hit the road and make tracks to ol’ Blighty. Soak up all the happy group vibes you can possibly handle – this is your last coach ride with the gang. #sadface.

Book your now by calling our agents on 0333 333 9923.


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £2,295

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9923 to enquire or book

Route

Paris >> Swiss Alps >> Avignon >> Barcelona >> French Riviera >> Florence >> Rome >> Venice >> Pag Island >> Ljubljana >> Austrian Alps >> Prague >> Berlin >> Amsterdam >> London

Inclusions

27 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 13 dinners
17 nights in hostels, 8 nights in bungalows at European campsites & 2 nights in an Austrian Gasthof
English Channel crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
Guided tours of all major cities
Awesome Trip Leader + Driver + On-Site Chefs

About StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse has been supplying the best flight, hotel and tours deals to students around the world for years now and we’re delighted to be the preferred travel partner of gapyear.com and to make your travel experience even more amazing.

We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

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