Essential Europe

Duration

15 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Madrid

Available

April 2021 / March 2022

Cities to visit: Madrid; Zaragoza; Monasterio De Poblet, Tarragona Province; Barcelona; Girona - Gerona ; CAREERS OF LIGHT; Chambery; Geneva; Gruyeres; Gstaad; Grindelwald; Lucerne; Zurich; Bern; Paris; Rouen; English Channel; Canterbury; London; Colchester, England; Ferry Colchester Volendam; Volendam; Amsterdam

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

Welcome to Madrid!
Welcome to EuropaMundo!!!.  


IMPORTANT -  IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.  

NB:   The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules. 

Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.  Check the informative panels in the hotel reception area for the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers to receive information about the circuit. 

Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod temple, Plaza de España and Gran Vía, a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options.

Highlights: Guided tour and stroll through Retiro Park. Visit to Las Ventas Bullring (admission included) and transfer to Plaza del Oriente.   

The day starts about 08.30 hrs with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá,  Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. 

Visit to Retiro Park , an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. Admission to Las Ventas Bullring included . This is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of “corridas” in the Bullfighting Museum. 

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.


At sunset we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente , opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different exquisite cuisines (Indian, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Spanish, International)  in which to enjoy a pleasant dinner. Return to hotel.

  Total distance: 640Km  
Scenery :  different landscapes on the Spanish plateau and fertile areas in Catalonia.    

07:30h Madrid – Departure. 
12:30h Zaragoza –  Arrival at this city, which stands on the banks of the river Ebro. The guide will join the group to  Basilica del Pilar . Free time to visit this impressive sanctuary and have lunch in the city centre. 

14:00 hrs. -Zaragoza.- Departure on our way to Catalunia.
16:30 hrs. – Monastery of Poblet.  Surrounded by walls in a beautiful setting, this is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in the world  (entrance and guided tour included) .

17:30 hrs. – Monastery of Poblet.- Departure.- We cross rich agricultural regions of central Catalonia. We go to the beautiful scenery where the Benedictine abbey is located. We climb to the summit in small  rack train  to admire the fantastic landscapes

18:45 hrs. -Monasterio de Montserrat. - Arrival.- Time to admire the views and visit the sanctuary where the Virgin of Montserrat, patron saint of Catalonia, is located.

19:45 hrs. -Montserrat.- road exit. 
20:45 hrs. - Barcelona. - Arrival. 

Important note: In   the Winter months, from November to March (both included), due to the shorter days, the Monastery of Poblet will not be visited (so that we can reach Montserrat in the daylight).

Total distance covered: 115 km 
NB: Sometimes this day’s accommodation may be given in Barcelona. In this case, a stop will be made on Wednesday in Gerona before going on our way to France.


In the morning at 09.00 hrs the tour starts with our guide or a local guide the  tour of the city   including the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluña, Paseo de Gracia, Diagonal, Sagrada Familia, Montjuic with its Olympic facilities, Plaza de España. A stop will be made for a few minutes near the Sagrada Familia to have a chance to see this monument. The visit ends in the Ramblas area for participants to walk around the historic centre and Gothic quarter.  Free time for lunch and to continue strolling. 

18.00hrs -Barcelona –Departure-. We travel towards the north of Catalonia.  
19.30 hrs - GIRONA  – Arrival in this small Catalan capital with its very beautiful historic centre where the cathedral stands out with its great staircase.  The city is also magnificently lit up and has many small restaurants.  

NB: If your hotel should be in the outskirts of Gerona, we will take to the centre by bus to leave you there for time before going to the hotel.  

Total distance covered: 545 km 
Countryside:  Pleasant green and Mediterranean scenery, mountain passes in the Pyrenees and at the end of the day. 
NB:  It is best to have your passport with you, we are going into France and sometimes there are border checks requiring documentation. -  

08.00 hrs - Girona –Departure-; we going to France and cross the region of Provence. 
12.00 hrs - NIMES  -Arrival-.  Time in this city which was an important centre in the Roman Empire and where concerts and bullfighting are still held in its ancient amphitheatre after almost 2000 years. Time to have a stroll and for lunch.  

14:15 hrs - Nimes –Departure-. Very near the city, we will continue to see the Roman heritage in Provence  
14:45 hrs - PONT DU GARD . An impressive Roman aqueduct amidst pretty scenery.  

15:45 hrs - Pont du Gard -Departure-. 
17:15 hrs -MIRMANDE-   a stop for a coffee and a stroll in this typical magnificently preserved Provencal village, with great views of the Rhône Valley.  

18:15 hrs - Mirmande –Departure-.  We leave the Rhône Valley and the province region to go into the Alps. 
20.00hrs - GRENOBLE.  - 

NB:  the hotel used for this stage is in a pleasant scenic area outside the city and no time is provided on this trip to visit Grenoble.

Total distance covered: 360 km 
Countryside:  Very pretty scenery at Lake Leman. Large lakes, high snowy mountains in the distance. In the afternoon, a trip between the mountains passing through beautiful villages of wooden houses.         
NB:  Have your passport with you, we are going into Switzerland and sometimes there are border controls asking for documentation. - 

08.00 hrs -Grenoble –Departure-. We travel to Switzerland. 
10:15 hrs - GENEVA  –Arrival. - The capital of the French-speaking region of Switzerland. A city on Lake Leman which houses the European United Nations headquarters, the offices of the International Labour Organisation, of the Red Cross and numerous other headquarters of international bodies. With our guide, we will go to the Palace of Nations (the United Nations headquarters in Europe) and the pretty English Garden with its flower clock, and can admire the “Jet d’Eau”, the tallest fountain in Europe.     

12:30 hrs - Geneva –departure after lunch-. Our road follows Lake Leman. Amidst magnificent vineyard scenery (area declared UNESCO world Heritage).  
14.00 hrs - Chillon Castle,  arrival at this fantastic mediaeval castle built on the waters of the lake.  Tickets included.       

15.00 hrs - Chillon Castle –Departure-. Magnificent mountain scenery, we cross areas with pretty villages with wooden architecture.     
15:45 hrs- Gruyere.  – In the centre of the area where the famous cheese is produced, Gruyere is a very picturesque walled tourist village.  Very near to Gruyere are some of the main Swiss chocolate manufacturers (NESTLÉ among others), and we visit the  Cailler factory.  Sweet tasting included!      

18:15 hrs - Gruyere. Departure amidst mountains and very pretty Swiss villages. 
19:30 hrs - Gstaad,  Arrival in this pretty little village with its wooden houses.  Accommodation in the area of Gstaad- Saanenland.   

Total distance covered: 240 km   
Countryside:   A spectacular stage in terms of scenery: high peaks where the snow stays all year round, typical little villages, lakes. 
Suggestion:  Wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear, we will be in the high mountains where you can walk on hanging walkways! Some waterproof clothing is also recommendable. Remember too that if it is a sunny day in the mountains, it is best to use solar protection.  
NB:  For reasons of weather (strong winds) or maintenance, the cable car may not be running at some time. If this happens, we will try to find an alternative client to another scenic point.   

08.00 hrs - Gstaad –Departure-. Very beautiful mountain and lake scenery. We cross the region of Interlaken with its beautiful lakes. 
09:45 hrs - Grindelwald. -   time for a coffee in a Bernese Alpine Mountain resort before taking the  cable car (tickets included) to Grindelwald First,  the largest skiing resort in the region. We will do a route on foot (30 minutes) where amidst impressive Alpine scenery, we will have the chance to take the  “step into the void” while enjoying the glaciers surrounding us;  lunch included for passengers. 

13:15 hrs - Grindelwald First. - Departure. 
15.00 hrs - Lucerne – Arrival-. This is one of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland. Time to stroll over its wooden bridges crossing the lake.   

17.00 hrs - Lucerne –Departure-. 
18.00 hrs - ZURICH  –Arrival-. We will take a stroll in the largest city in Switzerland, its economic centre, before going to a hotel.

Total distance: 720 km  
Scenery:   Lakes and mountains in Switzerland. Note: We enter France, remember to have your passport ready.    

07.30 h. - Zurich – Departure.  
09:00 h. – Bern – Arrival -. Free time in the Swiss capital which has an attractive historical centre with the appearance of a “large village”. We will visit the Federal Council Square, the Cathedral and the Clock Tower, and see the city’s statues and fountains.  

12.00 h. - Bern - Departure-. View of Neuchatel Lake. We cross the Free Country amidst beautiful scenery. After crossing the French border we will stop for lunch in a service area. 
21.00 h. -Paris - Arrival.   

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour in Paris. Boat ride along the Seine. Climb to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Evening transfer.

09:00h Comprehensive tour of Paris with a local guide, visiting the Champs Elysees, Arch of Triumph, Concorde Square, Latin Quarter, Luxembourg Palace, Garnier Opera House, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Town Hall of Paris, Eiffel Tower, etc. Includes admission to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in the lift.  

The visit is followed by a spectacular cruise on the river Seine which divides the north of Paris from the south. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore as you choose.

At sunset enjoy the evening transfer to “Quartier Latin ”, a very picturesque area of the historic centre where a wide variety of international cuisines await you. Return to hotel.

Note:  Because of the tourist attraction of the Tower, there may be important queues at the time of your access. In order to minimize the problem, in some occasions, the ascent to the Eiffel Tower can be given at another time of your stay in Paris.

Total Distance:  140 km
Scenery: Extensive plains of northen France. Rouen.
 
08.30 hrs.- We go to the centre of Paris , the area of the Louvre Museum.  Free time to stroll in the city. If you wish, we can accompany you to Benlux, one of the most complete and best-known perfumeries in Paris.

18.00 hrs.- Paris –we will leave for Rouen.-
20.15 hrs.- Rouen  –Arrival to this beautiful city museum with its houses with half-timbered walls, narrow streets and gothic churches. 
Accommodation in the city.

Total Distance:  360 Km.  
Scenery:  interesting ferry crossing, green hills in England. Stroll alongside Tower Bridge.
Note: Remember to have your Passport ready, you will need it to cross the British border. -We recommend wearing warm clothing during the crossing. -It is necessary to set your watch back one hour when entering the UK. - The UK currency is the Pound; we recommend you change your currency on the ferry.   

Rouen. After breakfast, we have free time to take a stroll in the centre of Rouen to admire its magnificent cathedral and photograph the ancient streets of the historic centre (transfer at 08.15 hrs if the hotel is not located near the centre).

10.00 hrs- Rouen. Departure, we travel to the north of France.

13.00 h. Arrival to the port of Calai s where we take the ferry to the UK followed by customs and border formalities. The ferry crossing takes one hour and a half. The ferry is modern and equipped with all commodities (restaurants, bars, areas in which to relax, games rooms, foreign exchange facilitles, shops...). 

14.45 h. (15.45 hrs in France): Dover –On arrival, we disembark and then set out for Canterbury. 
15.30 hrs- Canterbury- arrival. Free time to stroll around the religious capital of England with a very attractive historic centre. 

17.00 hrs- Continuation to London.
18:30 h. London- On arrival in London, before going to the hotel, there will be time around Tower Bridge t o see it lip up, to see the modern buildings of the city and have dinner in one of the restaurants of the area. 

20.30 hrs- Transfer to the hotel.

Highlights: Guided tour, changing of the guards. Transfer to Soho. 

In the early morning, comprehensive tour with local guide, lasting two hours and a half. We will see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Trafalgar Sq., Picadilly Sqare, Oxford Street, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace and the famous Changing of the Guard (depending on the time of year).  

Afternoon at leisure.
18.30 h . In the evening, a  stroll through Leicester Square, China Town and Soho , with its atmosphere, its theaters and its entertainment. Sit down for dinner at your preferred restaurant (Indian, Chinese, Thai, in­ternational, and so on) in the lively  district.  Return to hotel. 

Total road distance:  170 km
Scenery: Pleasant hill scenery. Ferry crossing.
Notes: Remember to have your Passport ready, you may need it to leave the UK.  -When entering in the Netherlands set your watch forward one hour (if it’s 11 ‘clock in London, it will be 12 o’clock in the Netherlands).   
 
After breakfast, we will go to the British Museum, one of the main and oldest museums in the world where we can see relics from cultures all around the globe.   Free time.

At lunch time, we provide transfer to Camden , a district famous for having one of the most varied and extravagant street markets in London where we can see relics from cultures all around the globe. Free time for lunch.

16.00 hrs- Departure. 
18.45 hrs- Colchester - arrival the city known as the most ancient of England. Time to stroll. 
20.45 hrs- Colchester. Departure, we will leave to Harwich.

21.30 hrs- Harwich- We will board a modern ferry with all the conditions of a cruise in Harwich, and take a night voyage in cabins with bathroom. Departure of the ferry scheduled at 23.00h. Night crossing to Netherlands

Important note: The ferry used has a limited number of cabins. Sometimes, we might change the stage leaving London at 15.00 hrs and taking the railway tunnel under the English Channel and spending the night in Antwerp. 

Total road distance:  130 km
Scenery: Dutch landscapes, plains, canals, mills. Picturesque typical village of Volendam. Visit  to Amsterdam. Transfer to Rembrandtplein . 

08.30 hrs.- Hoek Van Holland- Arrival and continuation of route.
10.00 hrs.- Volendam – We arrive in this charming fisherman’s village on the Southern Sea.  
12.00 hrs.- Volendam – We head to Amsterdam. 

12.30 hrs.- Amsterdam – Arrival, time for lunch and comprehensive tour with a local guide, visiting the canal bridges, cathedral and the Royal Palace, the Flower Market and the Museum Quarter. Visit to a diamond-cutting workshop.
 
At night time for dinner in Rembrandplein with its many restaurants from all corners of the world and near the red light district, with its liberal values.  It is very likely that you will have heard about this neighborhood.  Return to hotel.

After breakfast, end of our services.


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