European Escapade

European Escapade
From £ 3335
Duration 32 Days
From £3335
Duration 32 Days

Forget slumming it. This epic combo trip (complete with your own Topdeck Chef!) promises an unforgettable adventure through Europe, without breaking the bank. Starting and ending in London, you’ll soak up the iconic cities and landscapes of the west, the alluring Mediterranean region and the vibrancy of the re-born Balkans. Kicking back in some of Europe’s best campsites (and a selection of fun hostels) our European Escapade packs more punch than a heavyweight champ.

Please note: this is a Gap Year trip and is only valid for travellers aged 17-20 years of age

Tour Itinerary

London, England to Paris, France

Leave London for dust as we jump over the Channel for a beauty smackdown. Prepare yourself to wrap your lips around your first real French meal with a picnic beside the Eiffel Tower. Dinner may leave you full but it's just an appetiser; see the City of Light at its best on a driving tour and play landmark bingo with the Eiffel Tower, Champs Élysées and Arc de Triomphe.

Included today:
-Driving tour of Paris & gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower

Meals:
-Dinner

Paris

A free day in Paris to partake in pastries, paintings and Centre Pompidou! Bike along the Seine on an optional tour or just flâner (stroll) around and drink it in. Check out L'eclair de Genie in le Marais (don't ask questions) and get your obligatory Eiffel Tower #selfie. Tonight, experience the razzle dazzle of a cabaret show or hop on a boat down the river to crank the romance dial to 11.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Traditional cabaret show in Paris
-Bike tour of Paris
-Seine river cruise in Paris

Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Tear yourself away from that baguette – fondue awaits! Driving through the Swiss countryside is pure scenic bliss. Thanks, nature. Get your comfort eating pants on for an included dinner.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Swiss Alps

Join the the optional Jungfrau Experience, which takes you to the highest train station in Europe. Want more adventure? Up the adrenaline by skydiving out of a helicopter, then head back down for some snow angels and hot chocolate. #HardLife.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Scenic excursion to Jungfrau ('The Top of Europe')
-Scenic helicopter ride in the Swiss Alps
-Skydiving in the Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps to Avignon, France

Gawk at the impressive scenery during our drive to the South of France today. The ancient walled city of Avignon is full of fascinating buildings such as the foreboding Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the gold-topped Avignon Cathedral.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Avignon to Barcelona, Spain

First up today we visit the grand Pont du Gard, a remarkably well preserved Roman aqueduct which dates back nearly 2000 years. Then: viva España! We’ll drive south to Spain and visit one of Europe’s most lively cities, Barcelona. Enjoy a driving tour of Barcelona taking in the highlights such as Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic (home of the Barcelona 1992 Olympics) and the Christopher Columbus Monument. Tonight, we’ll feast on an included dinner at a local restaurant, after which we can watch an optional Flamenco show where flamboyant dancers will perform to the beautiful strains of Spanish guitar.


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

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Flamenco show in Barcelona

Barcelona

Discover what makes Barcelona tick with a day to explore at your leisure. Gaze at Gaudí’s bizarre works such as la Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló or Park Güell, check out the Gothic Quarter or wander Las Ramblas in search of a plate of tapas and a memento of Spain. Tonight, sample the Barcelona nightlife (if you choose).

Meals:
-Breakfast

Barcelona to French Riviera, France

Prep your shnozz this morning – there are loads of fragrances to be sniffed as we take a tour of a local French Riviera perfumery. Choose your signature scent, then onwards to our Nice campsite nearby to the glistening sea.

Included today:
-Tour of a local French Riviera perfumery

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

French Riviera including Monaco visit

Laze on the beach, swim in the Mediterranean Sea, or stroll the Promenade des Anglais in Nice during our free day in the French Riviera. This evening we’ll make tracks to the glamorous principality of Monaco, where we’ll see the Royal Palace and sections of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix track. We’ll also have time to visit Monaco’s famous casinos.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Monaco


Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

French Riviera to Florence, Italy

Onwards to Italy, where we have ample time to take in the wonderful countryside, culture, and cuisine of this bellissimo country. Visit Pisa and get our photographs with THAT famous tower, before heading to our superbly located campsite overlooking the magnificent city of Florence. An included dinner tonight gives us our first chance to taste the dishes that have made Italian cookery so famous. Dig in!

Included today:
-Visit Pisa & the Leaning Tower

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Florence

Our day in Florence begins with a walking tour led by a local guide, which unveils treasures like the Duomo (Cathedral), Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and many more. We’ll soon get a sense of why Florence is considered an ‘outdoor museum’ as we get up close to the replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ statue. Afterwards, a visit to Florence’s famous leather goods, it’s free time. Perhaps check out the Renaissance art in the Uffizi Gallery or find somewhere to try a delicious Florentine steak. Yum.


Included today:
-Walking tour of Florence with local guide

Meals:
-Breakfast

Florence to Rome

Romeward bound, we make a stop in Orvieto for the chance to grab a wild boar sandwich so tender you can cut it with words. Then we hightail it to the Eternal City for a rendezvous with ancient architecture’s biggest players. 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 and sit on the Spanish Steps.

Included today:
-Visit the town of Orvieto
-Walking tour of Rome

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Rome to Venice including Vatican City visit

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Pop in on the pope with 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).

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Guided tour of Vatican City

Rome to Sailing in Greece via Overnight Ferry

We depart Rome and drive to Italy’s east coast today, taking in some gorgeous Italian scenery on the way. Once there, we board an overnight ferry bound for Greece. Take advantage of the restaurants, bars and communal areas onboard, plus private en-suite cabin accommodation to ensure a good night’s sleep.


Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Sailing in Greece

After disembarking we have a short drive along the rugged Greek coastline to meet up with our flotilla of sailing yachts. After instruction from our flotilla leader and skippers we head off into the wild blue yonder – sailing, sunbathing and swimming in the Ionian Sea awaits! In the evening we moor and visit an authentic Greek taverna for dinner, where the food is delicious and the atmosphere even better.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Sailing in Greece

A full day of sailing in Greece with our Topdeck buddies – it speaks for itself! Relax and forget your troubles as we sail around the Ionian Sea, taking plenty of chances to stop and have a dip.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Sailing in Greece

After waking under the Greek sun we enjoy the final day of our Greek sailing adventure. As the afternoon wears on we return to our starting point and moor, then this evening we head for an included Greek dinner at a local restaurant. Savour every moment – we spend one final night sleeping on our yachts.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Sailing in Greece to Tirana, Albania

Bid a reluctant farewell to the sailing portion of our adventure and get ready to head north. We’ll cross into Albania and pass through dramatic countryside before arriving in the capital Tirana. Here, we meet a local guide who will give us a tour of the main sights, before we reach our accommodation overlooking the city.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Tirana

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Tirana to Dubrovnik, Croatia via Budva, Montenegro

Today we continue our journey in the Balkans region and marvel at the enthralling Montenegrin coastline. Stopping briefly at the seaside town of Budva, we’ll then drive to catch a short ferry across the Bay of Kotor. Further north, we enter the quaint coastal city of Dubrovnik, nestled at the foot of towering hills at the southern tip of Croatia. Enjoy a walking tour led by a local guide, visiting sights such as Pile Gate, Stradun, Orlando’s Column and the Church of St Blaise. Hot tip: don’t miss the lively nightlife afterwards.


Included today:
-Walking tour of Dubrovnik with a local guide


Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Dubrovnik

What to do on your free day? In a city that’s as easy on the eye (it has been described as “paradise on Earth”) as Dubrovnik, you won’t have problems filling your time. Meander the imposing City Walls, which gives amazing views over the Old Town, and be sure to wander the alleyways in search of great cafés, restaurants, galleries and shops.


Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Sea kayaking in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik to Zadar

Another stunning drive day transports us northwards along the Adriatic coastline to the bustling old town of Zadar. A walking tour will take in some of the Roman ruins in this picturesque, ancient city, whilst a stroll along the promenade may just lead you to stumble upon the Sea Organ – part public artwork and part musical instrument, it produces harmonic sounds when it is ‘played’ by the ocean. #Wow. This evening we get the chance to try out one of the numerous local restaurants for dinner as we have free time to explore the city.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Zadar with a local guide

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Zadar to Venice, Italy via Postjana Caves, Slovenia

This morning we leave Croatia and briefly head in to Slovenia, a country of outstanding natural beauty – not least the Postojna Caves, one of the largest and most beautiful cave systems in Europe. Opt to take a guided tour of some of the intricate underground galleries and chambers, Indiana Jones style. This afternoon we head back into Italy (Venice, to be specific!) and settle into our resort – made even better with a delicious meal cooked by our Topdeck chef.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Postojna Caves visit
-Personalised Topdeck group shirts and hoodies

Venice

A free day to explore extraordinary Venice – a maze of canals, bridges, squares and incredible artworks. An included walking tour with your Trip Leader will unveil some of the city’s amazing architecture, including the striking St Mark’s Basilica in St Mark’s Square, while a vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal will enable you to view the sites from the water. Want to amp up the wow-factor? An optional gondola ride is the perfect way to see the city.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Venice
-Vaporetto ride in Venice

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Gondola ride in Venice

Venice to Austrian Alps, Austria

Today we drive from the coast to the mountains as we pass through the Italian Alps on our way to the stunning Alpine region of Tyrol. At our traditional Gasthof, an included barbeque dinner awaits (which usually tastes better when washed down with a traditional Austrian schnapps, just sayin’).

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Austrian Alps

A free day in the stunning Austrian Alps! We have the opportunity to partake in some adrenaline-fuelled optional activities today amid stunning Alpine terrain – options include canyon jumping, paragliding, or even skydiving (weather and conditions permitting). Tonight: we’ll drive to a traditional mountainside Austrian restaurant for a hearty optional dinner (the perfect way to round off our stay in the Austrian Alps).


Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Optional activities:
-Skydiving in the Austrian Alps
-Tandem paragliding in the Austrian Alps
-Bike ride in the Austrian Alps
-Canoeing in the Austrian Alps
-Mountain-side dinner in the Austrian Alps

Austrian Alps to Prague, Czech Republic

Today we wave goodbye to Austria and head for picturesque Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. A city tour with our Trip Leader will allow you to soak up Gothic masterpieces such as the Hradcany Castle District, Charles Bridge, and the stunning Tyn Church. Tonight, why not take the opportunity to sample some of the best nightlife in Europe?

Included today:
-Visit Mauthausen concentration camp
-Walking tour of Prague

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Prague

Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall to start your free day. 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 and eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square.

Meals:
-Breakfast

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 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. Save some room to get your DJ groupie on.

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

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch
-Dinner

Berlin

Join the optional Third Reich walking tour for an insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during WWII, go on a museum crawl (covering everything from the Ramones to DDR) or head to the zoo. More culture awaits on Museum Island, with creative types and memorable meals available in the Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg neighbourhoods. Tonight, no curfew at clubs = all bets are off!


Meals:
Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Third Reich walking tour
-Street art & nightlife tour of Berlin

Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amster-DAM it's going to be a good day! Start dreaming of cheese, clogs and cheeky cafe stops as we roll through tulip and windmill dotted fields to Amsterdam. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. End the night with a cone of hot chips with mayo. Mmm.

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

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Lunch

Amsterdam

Get on your bike and ride! Do as the locals do and join the 881,000 bicycles on an optional city bike tour to soak up the wintery canal vistas before retreating with hot chocolate, poffertjes and stroopwafels. Take on the city's 51 museums (must-dos: Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House).


Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Bike tour of Amsterdam

Amsterdam to London, England

Our adventures ends here as we head back to London. Swap numbers, and prepare for the next adventure.

Meals:
-Breakfast

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