Gondolas Go North

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Gondolas Go North

from £1,865
Duration: 19 days
Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia
Two very different European cities are famous for their canal networks. But will you prefer a boat cruise around the waterways of Amsterdam, or a gondola ride on the canals of Venice?

Gondolas Go North

On one this classic Europe tour you’ll have the opportunity to decide! Taking in some of Europe's great capitals, some spectacular scenery, and some incredible nightlife, you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in to two weeks!


Day 1: Rome

Meet your Trip Leader and step back to 753 BC in one of the world’s oldest open-air museums on a 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. Tonight, you’re in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.

Included today:
-Welcome meeting with Trip Leader
-Walking tour of Rome

Did you know:
-Wishful thinkers throw about €3,000 into the Trevi Fountain every day so it’s illegal to remove coins from the fountain. Not that it stopped the notorious Mr. d’Artagnan. He stole from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in 2002.
-Real Italians never drink cappuccinos after 10am.
-Also, the frothy joy in a cup takes its name from the hood or ‘capuccio’ worn by Capuchin monks. Obviously.

Day 2: Overnight Ferry

Travel Day: Rome to Greece (overnight ferry)

Play connect-the-dots with the stars or let the swell rock you to sleep as we ferry from Bella Italia to Greece. You have arrived. In every sense of the word.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Sailing in Greece

A short drive along the Greek coastline, then onto our flotilla of yachts for three days of sun, sand and sailing on the Ionian Sea. By night, flaunt those european tan lines as we drop anchor and hop between authentic Greek tavernas for a night of feasting, table dancing and a splash of ouzo. You know the saying, too much of a good thing? Neither do we.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-In Ancient Greece, the only men considered to be great leaders were those with potbellies.
-Some of the entrants at the first modern Olympic games in 1896 were tourists who happened to be in Athens at the time. Talk about right place right time.
-Greek mythology says the goddess Atalanta versed all her suitors and won every race, lest she have to marry them. #womendoitbetter

Day 4: Sailing in Greece

A free day to sail, swim, eat, sleep, repeat.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Included Activities: Yacht life

Day 5: Sailing in Greece

More turquoise water. More swimming. More diving off boats. More epic Instagram shots. You could probably get used to this.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Included Activities: Yacht life

Day 6: Overnight Ferry

Travel Day: Greece to Ancona, Italy (overnight ferry).

Ferry over to Ancona, capital of Marche and master of the Adriatic Sea (being one of their main ports). Onto Venice tomorrow for more canals and architectural awesomeness.

Included today:
-Overnight ferry trip from Greece to Italy

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 7: Venice

Travel Day: Ancona to Venice

A totally different type of sailing later today. Venice has 118 islands and you can choose water or land to explore.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities: Design your own group t-shirt.

Day 8: Venice

With >400 bridges, island hopping just got a whole lot easier. Criss-cross your way around the city maze, check out the sights and discover the history of lace, one of Venice's best known exports. Apparently, no one buys gondolas these days.

Included Activities:
-Gondola ride
-Lace demonstration
-Guided tour of Venice

Included Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 9: Ljubljana

Travel Day: Venice to Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Giddy up, we're off to Ljubljana (lyoob-lya-nah)-aka the capital of Slovenia-after a stop at Postojna Caves. Then jump in the Delorean (or the 70m funicular) and shoot back to the Middle Ages on a walking tour through a Slovenian fairytale - the Ljubljana Castle and Old Town here have been waiting for you since Celtic times.

Tonight, hit up military-barracks-turned-bar-and-gallery-strip, Metelkova Mesto for a tea or vino with a side of live music and underground art installations on acid.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Ljubljana

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities:
-Postojna Caves

Did you know:
-Ljubljana has one of the highest densities of uni students in Europe. Hello, student nights!
-A Facebook check-in might be more appropriate now but back in the beginning of the 20th century, Ljubljana's Opera House was so trendy that people used to send postcards from the opera to friends and family.

Day 10: Budapest

Travel Day: Ljubljana to Budapest, Hungary.

Your house in Budapest awaits. A driving tour will get you down and Danube (that be the river) with twin cities, Buda and Pest. Check out Hero's Square, Parliament House, the National Palace, Fisherman’s Bastion and swanky Andrássy Ave. After gorging on goulash, cabbage rolls and dumplings, roll into bed in the very grand Gellert Hotel.

Included today:
-Budapest driving tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Keen to improve your writing? Rock up to the main gate of the Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park and touch the pen held by the Statue of Anonymous Rock. It’s supposed to help.
-Budapest is a high roller of a city. In fact, in 1946 they printed a bank note worth 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo (that’s a quintillion). Dolla dolla bills ya’ll.
-Both the noiseless match and Rubik’s cube were invented by Hungarians.

Day 11: Budapest

Free day = Put down your Rubik’s Cube and take on a city with enough baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture to keep you puzzled for hours. Take to the waters at the art nouveau Gellert Baths and don’t leave til you’re pruny.

There are 80+ thermal springs in Budapest but this is its most famous. Wave pool, anyone?! Indulge in a spa treatment then visit the Buda Castle or House of Terror Museum. Tonight, hang with the hipsters and drink local fruit brandy at Szimpla Kertmozi – the original ruin bar.

Included today:
-Gellert Baths entrance

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 12: Vienna

Travel Day: Budapest to Vienna, Austria.

Pick your Baroque from Rococo as we slide into The City of Dreams (kudos, Freud)! The Vienna Orchestra provides the soundtrack while we check out Europe’s classiest capital.

Wave hello to the President as we go past the Hofburg Palace. And because one palace isn’t enough, we also take peek at the Schonbrunn. Top off your day with a schnitzel and apple strudel at Cafe Central, the regular hangout of Freud, Trotsky and Lenin.

Included today:
-Vienna driving tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Vienna Orchestra
-Alt-Wiener Schnapps Museum

Did you know:
-Vienna has a cat cafe, so if you want some real-life LOL cats in your life, grab a coffee and cake at Cafe Neko while stroking the oh-so-cute felines (and making the most of the free WiFi)
-Pez candy was invented in Vienna. Who didn’t love those little dispensers?
-Vienna has been named the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year in a row. Coffee + smooth orchestral tunes equals a sweet quality of life.

Day 13: Prague

Travel Day: Vienna to Prague, Czech Republic.

Bohemia’s cobblestones are calling but first, a visit to Mauthausen concentration camp for a lesson in the resilience of humanity. Then, fuel up on trdelník (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst spires and cobblestone streets of Prague.

Suss 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:
-Mauthausen concentration camp
-Prague walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The monasteries of Prague brewed the first beer in the Czech Republic and it was so good the King paid his tithe in hops.
-Five steps to a successful “cheers” in Czech: raise your glass, make eye contact, say “Nazdravi”, touch your glass to the table, then drink.
-In black light theatres scattered throughout the city, performers put on shows in pitch-black spaces with fluoro clothing and props. Daft Punk, eat your heart out.

Day 14: 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. Good beer.

Included Activities:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 15: Berlin

Travel Day: 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, absinthe 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:
-Dresden walking tour
-Berlin driving tour.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Doner Kebab was invented in 1972 by the Turkish immigrant, Kadir Nurman, in West Berlin, obviously knowing it would make an ideal midnight snack.
-Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days, boasting an impressive 175 to choose from.

Day 16: 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 hot spots on an optional nightlife tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities:
-Third Reich walking tour
-Berlin nightlife tour

Day 17: Amsterdam

Travel Day: 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
-Guided Amsterdam walking tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 18: 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 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. #imonaboat

Included today:
-Canal dinner cruise
-Bike tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The city is built on stilts, much like most of Venice, but lays claim to having more canals than Venice. Stick that in your gondola and smoke it!
-Amsterdam residents slug down an average of 3.2 cups of coffee every single day, putting them just behind Finland in coffee consumption per capita.
-Every year, 12-15,000 bikes are pulled out of Amsterdam's canals. Scrap metal, anyone?

Day 19: London

Travel Day: Amsterdam to London.

Gluten intolerant? We’re sorry. Really. With chocolate, waffles and beer at top of the national list of pride in Bruges it makes for a damn fine walking tour stop. Stock up on the sweet stuff, climb the 366-step belfry and nip the post-holiday blues in the bud before London calls with a serving of the local specialty – chips by the cone fried in beef and horse fat. Mmm. Then it’s back on the ferry to ol’ Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?

Included today:
-Bruges walking tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-The 13th-century belfry houses a carillon with 48 bells and employs a full-time carillonneur to clang them around regularly, serving up a free concert with no noise restrictions.
-“Somebody that you used to know” Australian musician Gotye was born in Bruges.
-Just when you thought nothing could top Belgian chocolate, Bruges dishes up a museum paying homage to the humble potato – Frietmuseum. Well, this is the home of the French fry, after all (it’s a long story).

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Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,865


Call 0333 333 9923 to enquire or book


Gondola ride in Venice
Stay at famous Hotel Gellért, Budapest
Free entry to world-renowned Gellért Baths
Dinner at Hofbräuhaus, Berlin
Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
3 nights flotilla sailing in Greece
Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam
Visit former concentration camp Mauthausen
Lace demonstration in Venice

More Inclusions

18 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
13 nights hotel accommodation (twin or double), 3 nights sailing in Greece & 2 nights in a cabin on overnight ferries between Italy & Greece
English Channel ferry crossing
Modern air-conditioned coach
Guided tours of all major cities
Awesome Trip Leader + Driver


This tour is suitable for people aged 18-39

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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