SUMMER FUN & SAILING

SUMMER FUN & SAILING

London to London

Fancy spending a day lounging under the Mediterranean sun on a yacht coursing through the turquoise waters of the Adriatic? How about three days? You got it. Not only will you have the chance to channel your inner captain with a jaunt on the high seas, but you’ll also crisscross epic mountain ranges, explore the continent’s great capitals and discover some of Europe’s hottest new destinations in the Balkans. Talk about a trip of a lifetime. Summer Fun and Sailing is all that and more.

 

Visiting 13 countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands

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Highlights:

London | Paris, Swiss Alps | French Riviera | Monaco | Florence | Rome | Vatican City | Greek Sailing | Tirana | Budva | Dubrovnik | Zadar | Postjana Caves | Venice | Munich | Prague | Berlin | Amsterdam

Includes:

• Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
• Walking tour of Munich
• Walking tour of Prague
• Walking tour of Amsterdam
• Driving tour of Berlin
• Paris city driving tour
• Gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel Tower
• Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal, Venice
• French Riviera perfumery experience
• 3 nights sailing in Greece
• Local guides in Florence, Tirana & Dubrovnik
• Visit former concentration camp Dachau
• Farewell canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam
• Walking tour of Rome
• Walking tour of Venice
• Guided tour of Monaco
• Guided tour of Zadar
• Visit Pisa & the famous Leaning Tower
• Walking tour of the restored city of Dresden
• Visit Budva
• 26 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 13 dinners
• 1 nights hotel upgrade, 15 nights in hostel accommodation, 3 nights sailing in Greece, 6 nights in bungalows at European campsites & 1 night in a cabin on overnight ferry
• English Channel crossings
• Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
• Guided tours of all major cities
• Awesome Trip Leader + Driver + On-Site Chefs

Level of support:

Guided

26 nights

Price Range: $$$$$


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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 dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided 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. Tonight, find out why.

Included today:
Paris city driving tour
Gourmet picnic under 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. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

Optional activities:
Paris bike tour
Seine River cruise
Traditional cabaret show in the Latin Quarter

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 has 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. Expect fairytale villages en route and 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 waiting. Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.

Optional activities:
Jungfrau excursion
Schilthorn excursion
Helicopter ride (subject to availability)
Skydiving

Day 5: Swiss Alps to French Riviera, France
Don your fanciest attire and follow in Napoleon's footsteps downwards to the glamorous French Riviera. Try your hand at celeb spotting as you explore the world's most lavish waterfront property and take in some of the most Pinterest-worthy views in the world.

Day 6: French Riviera including Monaco visit
Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. This afternoon, we'll hit up Eze for a first-hand look into the world of French scent making on a guided tour of a 16th century factory. 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 lots of Ferarri 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 7: 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:
French Riviera perfumery experience
Pisa visit

Day 8: Florence to Rome
Today we roll into 753 BC and 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 colossal 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:
Walking tour of Florence with local guide
Walking tour of Rome

Day 9: Rome including Vatican City visit
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).

Optional activities:
Vatican City tour

Day 10: Rome to Sailing in Greece via 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. Restaurants, bars, and cozy cabin rooms will keep you comfortable.

Day 11: 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.

Day 12: Sailing in Greece
A free day to sail, swim, eat, sleep, repeat.

Day 13: Sailing in Greece
More turquoise water. More swimming. More diving off boats. More epic Instagram shots. You could probably get used to this.

Day 14: Sailing in Greece to Tirana, Albania
What happens when you paint a former communist capital in vivid colours? According to Tirana's artist-turned-mayor-turned-TED speaker Edi Rama, people start paying taxes and crime rates plummet. True story. Kick off with a driving tour and a group dinner before we let you loose in the night.

Included today:
Driving tour of Tirana with local guide

Day 15: Tirana to Dubrovnik, Croatia via Budva, Montenegro
Gawk at all the stunning views that race past the coach window as we head up the gorgeous coast of Montenegro and make for the most famous walled city in Europe. Wander Dubrovnik's tiny cobblestoned streets and explore hidden cafés and shops before grabbing some dinner and checking out the glitzy nightlife.

Included today:
Visit to Budva en route
Walking tour of Dubrovnik with a local guide

Day 16: Dubrovnik
Make the most of your free day in Dubrovnik. Check out the residential homes further up in the old town for awesome views and a local perspective, and then relish a cold beer on the wall as the sun sets over the Adriatic. Alternatively, catch the views from the turquoise water with a spot of optional sea kayaking. This is the good life.

Day 17: Dubrovnik to Zadar
Hear the sounds of the sea? The Sea Organ is a quirky art installation that sits amongst the Zadar's eclectic mix of Roman ruins and public art, which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps. This, and more cool sights await you on a guided city tour.

Included today:
Guided tour of Zadar

Day 18: Zadar to Venice, Italy via Postjana Caves, Slovenia
First up for those that dare there's the surreal Postojna Caves – cast your eye out for stalagmites. Then say ciao 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.

Included today:
Visit to Postojna en route

Optional activities:
Entry to Postojna Caves

Day 19: 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

Optional activities:
Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

Day 20: Venice to Munich, Germany
It's time to get to know the city where beer is officially considered a food. Your Trip Leader will clue you up on the Bavarian capital on a walking tour. Slide on your Lederhosen and have a royal Happy Hour experience at the 426-year-old Hofbräuhaus - the recipes here were passed down from Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria. "Oans, zwoa, g'suffa" (one, two, down the hatch)!

Included today:
Walking tour of Munich

Day 21: Munich to Prague, Czech Republic
Give one last prost to Munich before we press on to Prague. First up, a visit to Dachau concentration camp for a lesson in the resilience of humanity. Then 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 have to see it to believe it).

Included today:
Visit former concentration camp Dachau
Walking tour of Prague

Day 22: Prague
Another free day for the win. 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 and drink beer. Really. Good. Beer.

Day 23: 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:
Walking tour of Dresden
Driving tour of Berlin

Day 24: 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. Kreuzberg 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.

Optional activities:
Third Reich walking tour
Berlin Alternative Tour and Nightlife tour

Day 25: 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 26: 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.

Included today:
Canal dinner cruise

Optional activities:
Bike tour

Day 27: 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.

Location Map:


Trip operated by Topdeck Travel.
Offer valid October 17 to November 17, 2017. Excludes limited edition trips and events, short breaks and pre/post accommodation. Valid on trips departing between April 1 to June 15, 2018. Valid on new bookings only. Valid on all tours 7 days or longer. Deposit of $200 is required within 7 days of booking. Offer not valid for Ski trips, festivals or short breaks. Original ISIC/ITIC/IYTC card and photo ID required at time of booking. Normal Topdeck terms and conditions apply.

® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.

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