Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change
Grand Canal of Venice-918691-1920-P

Heart of Europe Grand Tour

Image Tours
4.8 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
22 days
From: $ 4,490 $ 204 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit to Heidelberg
  • Visit Romantic city of Venice
  • Explore a glass-blowing workshop where highly skilled artisans craft anything from delicate figurines to grand, multi-colored chandeliers
  • Visit the Swiss Transport Museum, or relax on one of the lovely lakeshore promenades
  • Visit the intriguing Hospices Museum

Short Description

Take in all the spectacular sights from our Heart of Europe Circle Tour including medieval villages and scenic mountain vistas, while adding Rome, Pisa, Florence, Tuscany, an extra night in Paris, and two nights in London. You will see it all on the Grand Tour!

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Holland
End City England

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation: Superior Tourist Class (3-star) and First Class (4-star) hotels
  • Meals: The included dinners follow a fixed menu;
  • Breakfast Daily: Breakfasts are commonly served buffet style at your hotel
  • Tips for all aspects of the tour that are pre-arranged by Image Tours, such as hotels, restaurants and other services.

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Itinerary

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: Holland . . Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - Dutch Lowlands - Rotterdam.

Meals: Dinner

Upon arrival, 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 your deluxe motor coach for a pleasant drive through the neatly-groomed Dutch Lowlands. Much of the Dutch countryside is at or below sea level and is characterized by canals, dikes and windmills. Your two-night stay in Holland will introduce you to Dutch “gezelligheid,” a kind, convivial, comfortable feeling which you will experience in the days ahead. This evening, enjoy the “Welcome to Europe/ Get-acquainted” dinner at your Rotterdam area hotel.

DAY 3: Holland . . Delft - Amsterdam - Rotterdam

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today’s visit to Delft provides a charming introduction to your Dutch experience. Prepare to be captivated by the picturesque streets lined with medieval buildings, characteristic canals, friendly cafés offering Dutch pancakes, and inviting shops selling the famous Delft Blue earthenware. Communicating will not be a problem as English is widely spoken throughout the Netherlands (Holland). Continue to the vibrant city of Amsterdam to shop and admire the fascinating architecture in the area surrounding the Royal Palace and main square. Return to the Rotterdam area for an included dinner.

Day 4: Belgium . . Antwerp & Holland . . Margraten American military cemetery- Maastricht.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning, make your way to the Belgian province (state) of Flanders and its capital, Antwerp, known for its convivial atmosphere and cozy outdoor cafés. Be sure to try a Belgian waffle. There are also fine lace and irresistible chocolate shops on the Grote Markt, the city's attractive main square. For many, the next stop at the Margraten American Military Cemetery is an emotional experience. The graves of over 8,000 American servicemen stand in everlasting memory to the sacrifices of World War II. For the location of specific graves, visit the website www.abmc.gov. Your hotel this evening is conveniently situated in Maastricht, near the converging borders of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Day 5: Germany . . Rhine Cruise - Heidelberg - Schriesheim.

Meals : Breakfast and Dinner

In Germany, some of your travel will be on the Autobahn, the first state-of-the-art superhighway system, which was expanded by Hitler. Near Koblenz, leave the Autobahn and wind through the Rhine River Valley to Boppard. A pleasure boat awaits you for an upstream cruise on the Rhine River. You will glide past medieval fortresses, quaint villages, and hillside vineyards known for producing the distinctive Rhine wines. Continue to Heidelberg, situated on the Neckar River and dominated by the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. This renowned university town is considered by many to embody the spirit of Germany. Your tour manager will accompany you on a walking tour of the Old Town. Following your visit to Heidelberg, proceed to your hotel in the neighboring village of Schriesheim for an included dinner.

Day 6: Germany . . Rothenburg - Romantic Road - Adelsried.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

This morning, travel to the storybook town of Rothenburg, a beautifully preserved medieval village surrounded by the original town walls. When you see the narrow cobblestone streets, distinctive inns, and charming shop fronts, it feels as if you are walking into a fairy tale. During your free time, climb to the top of the Town Hall Bell Tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city, walk atop the old city walls, check out the Medieval Criminal Museum which exhibits tools of punishment from more draconian times, or stroll through the castle gardens overlooking the River Tauber. Delightful shopping awaits you at Käthe Wohlfahrt’s Weihnachtsdorf, a sprawling, year-round Christmas shop. Your afternoon journey leads south on the Romantic Road. This area is rich in unspoiled countryside, ancient castles and untouched villages. Tonight, your dinner at the hotel in Adelsried will be enlivened by accordion music.

Day 7: Germany . . Munich and Austria . . Innsbruck - Tyrolean Village.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Munich, the elegant capital of Bavaria, lies 60 kilometers (37½ miles) east. Step out for free time at the Marienplatz, a pedestrianonly zone where historic buildings are cleverly interspersed with modern store fronts. The focal point of the square is the Rathaus (Town Hall) with its captivating Glockenspiel (clock tower). For lunch, consider the Hofbräuhaus, a one-of-a-kind beer hall which exudes an Oktoberfest atmosphere year-round. After lunch, head south to the Austrian border and travel along the Inn River as it winds its way through the Alps. In the Imperial City of Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol and two-time host of the Winter Olympics, see the Imperial Church, Golden Roof, Maria Theresia Boulevard and Triumphal Arch. Innsbruck owes its architectural beauty to Maximilian I, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1493 to 1519. A short distance from Innsbruck lies the Tyrolean Village where you will spend the next two nights in a chalet-style hotel.

Day 8: Austria . . Tyrolean Village near Innsbruck.

Meals: Breakfast

The peaceful villages tucked in the valleys around Innsbruck provide the perfect location for a relaxing day. If you would like to return to Innsbruck today, hotel staff can assist with taxi or public transportation information. Another choice is the optional Bavarian Palace excursion. Try a local restaurant for your independent dinner or join the optional Tyrolean Show & Dinner excursion for an evening of authentic Austrian food folklore, music and dancing.

Day 9: Italy . . Dolomite Mountains – Lake Garda – Verona.

Meals: Breakfast

Enter Italy via the Europa Bruecke (Bridge), a remarkable feat of mountain highway engineering through the Dolomites, a mountain range known for its reddish appearance. After the customary morning break, you are in for a special treat as you descend to Italy’s largest lake, beautiful Lake Garda. In some places, the rocky cliffside rises straight up from the water. Its sheltered location gives the area a subtropical climate rich in vegetation, including oleander bushes, olive groves, fruit trees and grape vines. An extended stop affords ample time to stroll along the lakefront, browse the markets and enjoy Italian ice cream (gelato). From here, it’s a short ride to your hotel in the legendary city of Verona, made famous by Shakespeare’s tragic love story of ‘Romeo & Juliet’. During your independent dinner, experience an authentic Italian meal at one of Verona’s many fine restaurants.

Day 10: Italy . . Venice – Verona.

Meals: Breakfast

Today features a full-day visit to the romantic city of Venice, famous for its canals, bridges, colorful gondoliers, and the magnificent St. Mark’s Square. All transportation is done exclusively over water. So, like the Venetians, you’ll take a boat ride to the center of Venice. A guided walking tour follows, ending with a visit to a glass-blowing workshop where highly skilled artisans craft anything from delicate figurines to grand, multi-colored chandeliers. If you have your heart set on gliding through the canals, the cost is about $45 per person based on six people per gondola. The day provides ample time to marvel at the architecture of the San Marco Basilica, Doge's Palace and Clock Tower. Have dinner at a pizzeria or join your tour manager at a typical Venetian restaurant for the optional Venice Dinner excursion. After a memorable day of sightseeing, return to your hotel in Verona.

Day 11: Italy . . Rome

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

The countryside is painted with golden rolling hills, olive groves and sleepy villages as you travel south on the Italian Autostrada del Sol (Highway of the Sun). In the early afternoon make a stop at a charming provincial village before continuing to Rome. La Citta Eterna (The Eternal City) bursts with history, while at the same time being vibrant and modern. Dinner is served shortly after your arrival at your Rome area hotel.

Day 12: Italy . . Rome.

Meals: Breakfast

The entire day is devoted to the wonders of Rome. This is an energetic, modern metropolis, yet proudly protective of its abundant historical sites, crowned by the Colosseum (Roman Arena) which dates back to 80 A.D. During the city bus tour, see some of Rome’s most famous landmarks such as the Arch of Constantine, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. The afternoon is free for individual pursuits. The tour manager will offer an optional 'Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel' excursion to the Vatican City, including the stunning St. Peter's Basilica. Choose from an abundance of restaurants for an independent dining experience, or join the optional 'Rome Dinner' excursion.

Day 13: Italy . . Rome - Montecatini-Terme.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Return to Rome for further exploration this morning. The best way to see more of this marvelous city is on foot. 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. Another possibility is the optional Colosseum excursion, offering a guided tour of the interior. After an independent lunch, take the Autostrada north into Tuscany where you will spend two nights in the delightful spa resort town of Montecatini-Terme.

Day 14: Italy . . Pisa - Florence - Montecatini-Terme.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

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 the piazzas (town squares), with their countless sculptures and architectural masterpieces. After shopping for leather goods at the markets or for jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, treat yourself to an Italian pizza. In the evening, Montecatini-Terme welcomes you back with its pastel-tinted buildings and streets lined with palm trees.

Day 15: Switzerland . . Lake Lugano - Gotthard Pass - Swiss Alps.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Travel north toward the unsurpassed splendor of the Italian and Swiss lake districts. Crossing the border, Switzerland greets you with the contrast of snow-capped peaks as the background to the palm tree-lined Lake Lugano. Often referred to as the Rio de Janeiro of the Old Continent, Lugano is the perfect spot for a lunch break. In the afternoon, the 11-mile-long St. Gotthard Tunnel takes you from the Italian to the German-speaking region. Spend the night in one of the cozy villages in the Swiss Alps.

Day 16: Switzerland . . Stans - Lucerne - Swiss Alps.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Traveling through William Tell country, you descend upon Lake Lucerne. The soaring peaks of Rigi, Stanserhorn and Pilatus, standing guard over this vast water basin, create one of the most imposing sights in Europe. Today's first stop is in the old mountain village of Stans with an optional 'Swiss Mountain' excursion by funicular and cable car. Next, motor along the lake to the city of Lucerne, where you will see the Old Town Wall and famous Lion Monument. The rest of the day is yours to explore the Old Town, visit the Swiss Transport Museum, or relax on one of the lovely lakeshore promenades. 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. Before returning to your hotel, the tour manager will offer an optional Swiss Lake Boat Ride excursion.

Day 17: France . . Burgundy Wine Region - Beaune.

Meals: Breakfast

The church bells usher in another glorious day. Follow the Swiss Autobahn to Basel, strategically located where Switzerland, Germany and France meet, and the Rhine River becomes navigable. The mountains give way to hilltop villages and rustic vineyards. By mid-day, arrive in Beaune, the center of Burgundy wine country and one of the best preserved medieval cities in this area. During your free time, visit the intriguing Hospices Museum with its striking façade. Built in the 15th century as a hospital for the destitute, the museum houses items used in hospitals in the Middle Ages, as well as an impressive collection of furniture, pottery, paintings and tapestries. Dinner is independent this evening, providing the opportunity to visit a wine cellar and to sample the regional cuisine.

Day 18: France . . Paris.

Meals: Breakfast

Around lunch time you will arrive in Paris ... La Ville Lumière (The City of Light). Begin your introduction to Paris in the Montmartre district, where Paris looks as it does in old paintings and artists still display their works. Here you may also visit the impressive Sacré-Coeur Basilica and take in the spectacular views over Paris. Proceed to the hotel in the late afternoon. 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.

Day 19: France . . Paris.

Meals: Breakfast

A full free day to continue your exploration of Paris. A great way to begin your sightseeing is by joining the optional Seine River Cruise excursion, providing unsurpassed views of some of the city’s major landmarks. During your free time, your tour manager will direct you to the principal sights, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum (open daily except Tuesdays), Eiffel Tower, Opera (Palais Garnier), famous Galeries Lafayette department store, and Champs-Élysées. Shopping enthusiasts will be thrilled with the fashionable boutiques and department stores. 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.

Day 20: England . . London.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

After breakfast, take the high-speed Eurostar train under the English Channel and into London in less than three hours. A motor coach and local guide welcome you and point out London's famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace. After your introduction to London, transfer to your hotel for check-in, followed by a "Farewell Dinner."

Day 21: England . . London.

Meals: Breakfast

Spend the day pursuing personal interests. In the morning, the tour manager will offer an optional 'Tower of London' excursion. If you wish to see the Changing of the Guard, check with the hotel because performances are limited to late mornings on select dates posted one month in advance and subject to special events or weather. The ideal way to tour London is by double-decker hop-on/ hop-off day pass (approximately £38), giving you access to popular attractions at over 90 stops! Stop at the famous Harrods department store or view the spectacular collection of paintings at the National Gallery. London offers many independent dining and entertainment opportunities, or join your tour manager for an optional 'London Dinner & Theatre' excursion.

Day 22: Daytime Flight Back to U.S.A.

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to the London airport for the return flight home.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,490
Price Per Day: $ 204 per day
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Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardAvailability 
Sep-26-2019Oct-18-2019$ 4,490Availability Reserve

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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Optional Activities

Extended Tours:

Post-Tour Extension

Do you need more time in the Rhine River Valley or would you like to see a little more of Germany? Image Tours can request an extended stay at the Tour Hotel in Rüdesheim. An independent transfer to the Frankfurt airport can be arranged through the hotel and costs approx € 80 for 2 people. Hotel taxes and daily breakfasts are included.

 

Optional Excursions:

Bavarian Palace From Innsbruck Area, US $65

Travel via the majestic Seefeld pass to the French rococo palace of Linderhof. The visit will include a guided tour of the ornate palace interior and time to walk through the extravagant gardens. Continue to the village of Oberammergau, known for the elaborate production of the Passion Play performed here every 10 years. After an independent lunch, admire the frescoed buildings. (Maximum elevation 4,000 feet).

Colosseum in Rome, US $85

A guided tour of the Colosseum interior provides insight into the intriguing events and structural mysteries of this famous landmark. Dating from 80 AD, this is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

London Dinner and Theatre in London, US $145

Dine at one of London’s fine restaurants. Then, see a Broadway show in one of the distinctive theatres. Your Confirmation Packet will announce the specific show featured for your tour.

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

  • NH Hotel Atlanta Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  • NH Hotel Capelle, Capelle, The Netherlands
  • Novotel Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • NH Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Mercure Hotel Köln West, Köln, Germany
  • Hotel Scheid, Schriesheim, Germany
  • Parkhotel Schmid, Adelsried, Germany
  • Hotel Schempp, Bobingen/Augsburg, Germany
  • Hotel Purner, Thaur, Austria
  • Hotel Leon D'Oro, Verona, Italy
  • Holiday Inn Rome-Eur Parco dei Medici, Rome, Italy
  • Hotel Da Vinci, Montecatini-Terme, Italy
  • Hotel Boston, Montecatini-Terme, Italy
  • Hotel Eierhals Royal, Oberägeri, Switzerland
  • Ibis Beaune Centre, Beaune, France
  • Mercure Paris Montmartre, Paris, France
  • Arbor City Hotel, London, England
  • Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington, London, England

Additional Information:

Walking Expectations: An average of three miles per day

Highest Elevation: 3855 feet in the St. Gotthard Tunnel. Some tours take the pass which is 6916 feet, but if you inform the tour manager of elevation concerns at the start of the tour, they will take the tunnel. Switzerland hotels are located as high as 2900 feet

Trip ID#:

HeaEurIma

Trip Excludes

  • Tips for the tour manager and motor coach driver are not included.

Meals Included:

20 Breakfasts and 12 Dinners

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