DAY 1: London - Paris
Welcome to Expat Explore’s Europe Taster! Leaving London behind us, we make our way to Paris, crossing the English Channel and arriving in the ‘City of Lights’ in the afternoon. We'll take you on a driving tour of the French capital; get your cameras ready - you’ll be seeing some of the city’s most treasured landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe! After the driving tour we'll enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter, an eclectic, bohemian and historic neighbourhood. We'll then travel back to the hotel on Paris' world famous metro system, ready to explore the city further on our free day tomorrow!
DAY 2: Paris - Free day
Today is all yours to explore as you wish. Take a look at our optional excursions – enjoy a cruise up the River Seine, and head up the tower of Montparnasse for exquisite views of the city, the perfect way to see Paris at its best. Visit L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, the River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite or the Louvre Museum. Get a glimpse of that most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, overlooked by the famous Arc de Triomphe. Feel like shopping? Why not head to the boutiques of La Marais? Or visit the graves of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery? Those with a taste for the macabre can even descend to the infamous catacombs! Alternatively, stay above ground and explore the museums, people-watch from a roadside café, or simply stroll the city, following in the footsteps of great painters, musicians and writers.
DAY 3: Burgundy - Swiss Alps
Au revoir Paris! Today we sample a taste of small town France with a lunch stop in Burgundy. In the town of Beaune you can visit the beautiful Hospices de Beaune, or try the famous wine. After lunch we take a long scenic drive across the border into Switzerland and head towards the Swiss Alps for our stay in a typical mountain village in the heart of the Jungfrau region. This is one of the most-visited regions of the Alps and also a World Heritage site, containing Europe's largest glacier. Welcome to the Swiss Alps, your home for the next two days!
DAY 4: Swiss Alps - Free day
The splendour of the Alps is yours today – don’t miss the chance to join our optional excursion up to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe! The trip to the top is a real highlight; you might find yourself pressed up against the windows as the picture-perfect Swiss countryside rolls beneath you. Look out for quaint villages nestled in the valleys beneath snow-capped peaks and tumbling mountain waterfalls. Once we’ve reached the top, enjoy the year-round snow and breathtaking views of the surrounding glaciers and craggy mountaintops. Once you’ve had a chance to explore and capture as many photos as possible, it’s back down to lower altitudes for the rest of the afternoon. Take the chance to head into nearby Interlaken to see the lakes of the region, shop for chocolates and cuckoo clocks, or have a fondue!
DAY 5: Swiss Alps - Rhine Valley
This morning we board the coach once more as we make for Germany’s famous Rhine Valley! Relax on board a Rhine riverboat as we head to our hotel in the heart of the Rhine Valley. This is the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe, and it also features vineyards, charming medieval towns and lofty cliffs. Learn the story of the castles, many of which are now in ruins since the river barons left long ago. Once the cruise is over we'll visit a local wine merchants for an included wine tasting - if the harvest has been good, you may even get to try eiswein (ice wine), a very sweet dessert wine that is produced in very small quantities as it can only be harvested when the temperature drops below freezing.
DAY 6: Rhine Valley - Amsterdam
The Netherlands is our next stop, and we arrive first at the windmill. Following that enjoy a traditional cheese-making demonstration, and learn about how that most quirky and quaint of footwear choices – the clog – is made, before travelling onward to Amsterdam. We’ll check in to our hotel before joining a Amsterdam canal dinner cruise! Get on board and get those cameras ready; this is the best way to experience the city of Amsterdam, with its 17th century architecture, fascinating museums and cafes. Watch the city drift past as you sail by, and listen out for tips and interesting insights into the city from your tour leader. The evening is yours – explore the canals and Dam Square, and enjoy your time in this fascinating city.
DAY 7: Bruges - London
After breakfast, we bid farewell to Amsterdam and make our way back to London via the Belgian city of Bruges. Famous for its beer, waffles, chocolate and moules et frites, this is definitely a good place to be if you’ve brought your appetite. An extremely popular medieval city with no shortage of cobblestone streets, historic old churches and lofty towers, this is a great city to explore and a good spot to pick up any last-minute souvenirs. Once you’ve had a look around, it’s back to the coach for the final leg of our journey back to London.