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!

Experiences

Driving Tour of Paris: driving tour of this famous city where you may see L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, The River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite, the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Lovers Bridge, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Pigalle (the Red Light District) and see the Moulin Rouge.

Accommodation

Ibis la Defense
B&B Porte Des Lilas
B&B Paris Malakof
Ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences
B&B Paris Italie Porte de Choisy
B&B Hôtel Orly Chevilly

Other Foods to try

This evening, you will enjoy dinner where you can try classic French cuisine like chicken with creamy Dauphinoise potatoes and beef bourguignon (a stew made with red wine). A vegetarian dish is also offered.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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.

Attractions to discover in your free time
Orangerie Museum Wed-Mon 09:00 – 18:00 Adults €11.00 ; Children €8.50
Jardin du Luxembourg Various times 08:30 – 17:00 Free
Jardin des Tuileries Various times 08:30 – 17:00 Free
Place de la Concorde Varies Free
Panthéon Daily 10:00 – 18:00 Adults €7 ; Children (under 18) Free
Catacombes Tue-Sun 10:00 – 17:00 Adults €10 ; Children (under 18) Free
Sainte-Chapelle Daily 09:30 – 18:00 Adults €8.50 ; Children (under 18) Free
Louvre Various times 09:00 – 18:00 (Closed Tues) Adults €15 ; Children (under 18) Free
Rodin Museum Tue-Sun 10:00 – 17.45 Adults €6 ; Students (18-25 yrs) €5 ; Children (under 18) Free
Notre Dame Daily 08:00 – 18:45 Free
Sacré Coeur Daily 06:00 – 23:30 Free
Musée d’Orsay Various times: 09:30 – 18:00 Adults €13 ; Students (18-25) €8.50 ; Children (under 18) Free
Disneyland Paris Daily 10:00 – 23:00
(Click here for info)
varies
Eiffel Tower Daily 09:00 – 00:45 Adults €15.50(lift) ; Children (12-24 yrs) €13.50 (lift)
Arc de Triomphe Daily 10:00 – 23:00 Adults €8; Children (under 17) Free
Optional Excursions
Montparnasse Observation Deck €14
Cabaret Show €70-90
River Seine Cruise €12
Paris + Tour €50
An Evening in Montmartre €40
* Stated prices and availability are subject to change.

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!

Experiences

Burgundy lunch stop: enjoy a stop in Burgundy, a UNESCO World Heritage site and famous wine-producing region. You will have some free time to explore this beautiful medieval town centre and the opportunity to try local food and wine.

Scenic mountain drive of Switzerland: spectacular views as we drive through this amazing country alongside lakes, breath-taking mountain vistas and scenic views of quaint Swiss towns.

Accommodation

Alpenrose Hotel & Gardens
Swiss Youth Hostel Interlaken
Hotel Baren Ringgenberg
Hotel Schonbhul
Hotel City Oberland
Das Hotel Sherlock Holmes

Other Foods to try

While in the Swiss Alps, you will have the option to try a classic dish – cheese fondue. Melted cheese is served in a communal pot (caquelon or fondue pot) over a candle, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese. And eating among scenery like the Swiss Alps makes for a truly incredible experience!

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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!

Optional Excursions
Paragliding CHF170
White-Water River Rafting CHF110
Train to Jungfraujoch CHF185
Swiss Dinner CHF25
* Stated prices and availability are subject to change.

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.

Experiences

Rhine River Cruise: cruise down the Rhine and see the beautiful scenery and the largest concentration of gothic castles (Sterrenberg, Liebestein, Katz and Fortess Rheinfels).

Rhine Valley Wine Tasting: visit a local wine merchants in one of Germany’s most famous wine growing regions, and sample several types of delicious German wine. Popular varieties from the surrounding area and neighbouring regions include Riesling, Spätburgunder and Pinot Noir. The region is also well-known for eiswein (ice wine), a very sweet dessert wine made from grapes harvested in the freezing winter months.

Accommodation

Rheinlust
Ibis Bonn
Hotel Weiland
InterCity Bonn

Other Foods to try

German food is typically unfussy and hearty. At the dinner this evening, you may have the chance to try saurkraut (fermented cabbage), sauerbraten (beef sausages marinated in vinegar before cooking) or schweinbraten (roast pork in beer, usually wheatbeer). Although meat features heavily in Germany cuisines, there will of course also be a vegetarian option, for example pasta, potato salad and red cabbage.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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. Later on, you have the option to join your tour leader for a walking tour of the infamous Red Light District! The evening is yours – explore the canals and Dam Square, and enjoy your time in this fascinating city.

Experiences

Visit Riekermolen Windmill: a great photo stop

Cheese and clogs demonstration: see how these famous shoes are traditionally made by hand and taste some fantastic cheeses. Of course the chance to shop and get those unique souvenirs.

Amsterdam  Canal Cruise: sail along Amsterdam’s stunning canals at twilight and enjoy a delicious pizza as you cruise.  A perfect  introduction to Amsterdam you will cruise along Amsterdam’s atmospheric canals.  Choose from six types of pizza, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream,  and you can also upgrade to include unlimited soft drinks, beer and wine.

Amsterdam orientation walking tour: your tour leader will show you Central Station, the infamous Red light district, Dam Square, Damrak, Royal Palace, National Monument, Old and New Church and of course the canals that weave through the city.

Accommodation

Hampton by Hilton Schipol Airport
Holiday Inn Express Schipol Airport
Park Inn Plaza Amsterdam Airport
Crowne Plaza Amsterdam Schiphol
Lake land Hotel

Other Foods to try

The Dutch tradition of making cheese stretches all the way back to the Roman times. At the cheese making demonstration you will have the opportunity to try typical Dutch varieties, such as Gouda, Edam, Maasdammer (a nutty cheese with large holes), Boerenkaas (raw milk cheese), goat’s cheese, smoked cheese and Frisian clove cheese (made with cumin and cloves).

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

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.

Experiences

Visit to Bruges: a stop in this beautiful medieval town with some free time so you could try the signature national dish of frites and moules, see or even climb the Belfry Tower,  have a Belgian beer or buy some amazing Belgian chocolate.

Other Foods to try

Along with the famous canals and medieval architecture, Bruges is a chocolate hotspot! Head to Katelijnestraat street in the south of Bruges (your tour leader can point you in the right direction), where you will find many chocolate shops.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner