Cosmopolitan flair combined with unique style characterize ever-popular London, Paris and Rome. Complementing these exciting cities is the French royal coronation city of Reims, the stunning Swiss Alps, Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa, the architecture of Florence, and the splendid scenery of Tuscany.
What a thrill it is to discover and explore Europe’s most celebrated cities. Start in London with a full day of sightseeing and endless options to pursue your personal interests. Then take the high speed Eurostar train under the English Channel to Paris, home of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera, Louvre Museum, Champs Elysees and Montmartre district. Stop in Switzerland’s lovely resort town of Lucerne, where the soaring peaks of Rigi, Stanserhorn and Pilatus stand guard over this vast water basin, before making your way to the golden rolling hills of the Tuscany region in Italy. You’ll see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the renaissance city of Florence where you can shop for jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, and the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome, home to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
This 12-day tour includes 15 meals, escort, and motor coach transportation in Europe.
DAY 1 – Overnight Flight to Europe.
Refer to “Preparing for your Departure” in your Trip Documents for easy check-in procedures. Take time to relax on your transatlantic flight with the assurance that Image Tours has taken care of all the details.
DAY 2 – ENGLAND..Arrival at London Airport.
Upon arrival, disembark, clear passport control and collect your luggage. Refer to your “Arrival Instructions” page in your Trip Documents for directions on where and when to meet your tour manager. Board the deluxe motor coach for the transfer from the airport to your London hotel and enjoy your first impressions of the handsome British capital. After check-in, freshen up and relax before the “Welcome to Europe/ Get-acquainted” dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)
DAY 3 – ENGLAND . . London.
Today begins with a guided bus tour of London’s famous landmarks such as the Royal Parks, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square. Following the city tour, you will have a few hours to pursue one or two of your personal interests. If you have a specific destination in mind, the Tube system (Underground) is easy, fast and economical. Your tour manager will also provide suggestions for some of central London’s most popular attractions such as the bustling shops, street performers and restaurants at Covent Garden. You might wish to visit The National Gallery including works of art by da Vinci, van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Picasso, and more. Located nearby, the London Eye, provides unique views of the city. In the evening, London offers numerous options for dining and entertainment. Or, join your tour manager for the optional London Dinner & Theatre excursion. (Note: This excursion must be reserved in advance and purchased with your final tour payment). (Breakfast)
DAY 4 – FRANCE . . Paris.
After breakfast, the high-speed Eurostar train takes you under the English Channel and into Paris in less than three hours. By early afternoon, you will arrive in “La Ville Lumiére” (The City of Light). Spend the afternoon in the Montmartre district, where Paris looks as it does in old paintings and artists still display their works. Take the funicular to the hilltop section of Montmartre to admire the impressive Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the spectacular views over Paris. Wind your way through the narrow alleys to study the old architecture and browse the antique shops and art galleries. This evening, dine independently at one of Paris’ many restaurants or join your tour manager on an optional Paris Evening excursion with dinner at a characteristic French bistro located in the heart of Paris. (Breakfast)
DAY 5 – FRANCE . . Paris.
A full free day to continue your exploration of one of the world’s trendiest cities. Before beginning your free time, we suggest joining the optional Seine River Cruise excursion for unsurpassed views of some of the city’s major sights. In order to help you choose one or two attractions for your free time, your tour manager will familiarize you with the information and locations of the principal sights, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Opera (Palais Garnier), Louvre Museum (open daily except Tuesdays), Galeries Lafayette department store, and Champs Élysées. Continue your exploration into the evening or, if your visit to Paris is incomplete without experiencing a nightclub, consider the optional Paris Dinner & Cabaret Show excursion. (Breakfast)
DAY 6 – FRANCE . . Reims – Alsace Wine Region.
Bid a fond farewell to the “City of Light” as you travel to the city of Reims, host to the coronations of 25 French kings between 1223 and 1825. During a late morning visit, see the city’s impressive cathedral and have an independent lunch. Continue to tonight’s hotel in the Alsace region. During the past two centuries, Alsace was passed back and forth between France and Germany, being returned to France most recently in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Sample the local wines over an independent dinner in one of the region’s picturesque towns. (Breakfast)
DAY 7 – FRANCE… Alsace Wine Region & SWITZERLAND.. Lucerne – Stans – Swiss Alps.
The scenery changes from hilltop villages and rustic vineyards to glorious snow-capped mountains as you enter Switzerland. Travel to beautiful Lake Lucerne where the soaring peaks of Rigi, Stanserhorn and Pilatus stand guard over this vast water basin. Along its shore lies the city of Lucerne, your destination for sightseeing and lunch. Lucerne is a shopper’s paradise; enjoy browsing through displays of wood-carved music boxes, delicate Swiss lace, delicious chocolates and Switzerland’s world famous watches. In the afternoon, continue to the mountain village of Stans with an optional Swiss Mountain excursion by funicular and cable car. From Stans, transfer to your hotel in the Swiss Alps. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 8 – SWITZERLAND . . Gotthard Pass – Lake Lugano & ITALY . . Montecatini-Terme.
The village church bells break the silence of the night and welcome another day of travel through the scenic beauty of the Swiss Lakes Region. The 11-mile-long St. Gotthard Tunnel provides a spectacular link between German speaking northern Switzerland and Italian-speaking southern Switzerland before crossing the border into Italy, make an early lunch stop in Lugano, often referred to as the “Rio de Janeiro of the Old Continent.” As you cross the Swiss-Italian border and travel south, the mountains give way to the beautiful Tuscan countryside. In the late afternoon you will arrive at your two-night retreat in the spa resort town of Montecatini-Terme. Your bags will be checked into your room as you relax over dinner at the hotel restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 9 – ITALY . . Pisa – Florence – Montecatini-Terme.
After breakfast and a short drive, you will be standing in front of the intriguing Leaning Tower of Pisa. Next, travel to Florence for a guided walking tour of some of the city’s most glorious landmarks including the Duomo (cathedral), Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. Following the city tour, enjoy some free time to shop for leather goods at the markets, jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, or treat yourself to a refreshing gelato (Italian ice cream). After a fulfilling afternoon in Florence, Montecatini-Terme welcomes you back with its pastel-tinted buildings on palm-lined streets. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 10 – ITALY . . Rome.
Traveling south, the Autostrada del Sole (Highway of the Sun) provides a pleasant route through the rolling hills and lush olive groves of Umbria to Rome. La Citta Eterna (The Eternal City) is a treasure trove of history, art and architecture. This afternoon, your tour manager will offer an optional Colosseum excursion or set off on your own for an afternoon of independent exploration. Share your first impressions of Rome with your fellow travelers during dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 11 – ITALY . . Rome.
The entire day is devoted to the wonders of Rome. This morning, a local guide will provide an overview of Rome, pointing out some of the city’s most famous landmarks such as the Arch of Constantine, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. In the afternoon, sip a cappuccino at the Spanish Steps, stroll through the Piazza Navona, visit the market vendors at the Campo de Fiori, or take in one of Rome’s many museums. Your tour manager will also offer the optional Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel excursion. Choose from an abundance of restaurants for an independent dining experience, or join the optional Rome Dinner excursion. (Breakfast)
DAY 12 – Daytime flight back to U.S.A.
Transfer to the Rome Airport for the return flight home. (Breakfast)