Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Cultural view -notre-dame-Paris-49022220_P

Family Europe: London to Florence in 13 Days Tour

Rick Steves Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
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: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
13 days
From: $ 4,195 $ 323 / day
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  • Experience walking tour across the Medieval Castle
  • Discover London where you will learn all about England's oldest and most notorious castle
  • Visit to the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Visit to the magnificent Louvre Museum
  • Explore Cinque Terre

Short Description

Rick Steves Family Europe: London to Florence in 13 Days delivers a colorful mix of must-see cities (London, Paris, Florence), and stroll-around charms (Burgundy, the Swiss Alps, Italy's Cinque Terre). Along the way, you and your kids will encounter some fascinating bits of art, history, and culture — along with a couple of castles, a boat, a train, a mountain gondola lift, plenty of hiking, and even a swimming pool or two. Our small-group style of travel will open doors to places that are off-limits to large "mainstream" tour groups. As you ride across Europe you'll have plenty of extra room to stretch out and relax in our big, comfortable bus (the kids will be sure to take over the back half!). To help keep you all well-rested from start to finish, every stop is for two consecutive nights.So bring the family! And (since our two Family Europe itineraries don't overlap) you're welcome to come back for seconds.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City London
End City Florence

Trip Includes

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Kids ages 8 through 17 are welcome — and save $200
  • A full-time Rick Steves guide, tour assistant, and local experts — who will make the history, art, culture — and fun! — of Europe come alive for you and your kids
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 23 group sightseeing events, London walking tour, London Ghost Walk, Thames River cruise, Tower of London tour, London–Paris Chunnel train,  Seine River cruise, Paris walking tour, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Guédelon Castle tour, Stone-cutting workshop, Medieval evening, Orientation and Männlichen hike in the Swiss Alps (weather permitting), Swiss fondue tasting, Swiss folk music, Orientation for "vacation" day in Cinque Terre, Pisa visit, Florence gelato tasting, Renaissance walking tour, Accademia Gallery including Michelangelo's David, Uffizi Gallery tour, Tuscan cooking demonstration…and more
  • All group transportation from London to Florence
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, family-friendly hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2017
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

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Day 1: Welcome to London

Our adventure together begins in the great city of London. We'll meet at 3 p.m. for a brief "Welcome to Europe" meeting at our hotel. Your guide will give you a neighborhood orientation walk and practical London transport lesson on the way into the heart of the city. We'll have fun getting to know one another over dinner together, and then we'll join an entertaining local guide on a Ghost Walk through the most haunted city on earth. Sleep in London (2 nights). No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 2: The Thames and the Tower

This morning is dedicated to the Tower of London, where we'll learn all about England's oldest and most notorious castle. After some free time to sneak a peek at the Crown Jewels and grab some lunch, we'll hop on board a boat and cruise the Thames to Westminster. It's the perfect spot for your guide to orient you for your free afternoon and evening. Explore the neighborhood: the London Eye, Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace. Or you can walk north past the Churchill War Rooms, 10 Downing Street, and the Horse Guards to Trafalgar Square. Cheerio! Boat: ½ hr. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: The Chunnel to Paris

Let's go to France! After breakfast it's all-aboard the sleek Eurostar train to Paris, zooming along at nearly 200 miles per hour beneath the English Channel. In Paris we'll be met by a comfy sightseeing bus for a rolling introduction to this beautiful city. We'll arrive at our Paris hotel, where you'll have time to unpack and relax a bit before our big evening: learning to use the Métro (subway), dinner together on the Left Bank, and an open-air evening cruise along the Seine River — the perfect finish for your first day in the City of Light. Sleep in Paris (2 nights). Train: 2½ hrs. Boat 1 hr. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.

Day 4: The Historic Heart of Paris

Today we'll begin where Paris began, on the Ile de la Cité. We'll take a walking tour tracing the evolution of Paris, from its Roman roots to its medieval splendor, culminating with a visit to the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral. Just across the river, in the famous Latin Quarter, you'll get oriented and set free for the rest of the day to explore Paris on your own. You could visit a gallery or two filled with amazing art (the Orsay, Orangerie, Rodin, or Pompidou), visit a kid-friendly park (the Tuileries or Luxembourg Gardens), take in the city views (from the Arc du Triomphe, Montmartre hill, or a department-store rooftop) — and maybe top-off tonight with trip up the Eiffel Tower (avoid lines by reserving in advance). Let the kids decide. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 5: Masterpieces and Rural France

Our morning begins with a visit to the magnificent Louvre Museum. After an orientation we'll set you free to come face-to-face with timeless treasures that include Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and other great works of art. After lunch on your own in the Louvre's family-friendly food court, we'll meet our driver and bus for the rest of the tour. Then we'll leave city life behind as we head into the French countryside, passing pastures and châteaux en route to our country hotel in the heart of Burgundy. This stately manor home has a swimming pool and a huge lawn, perfect for kids to play outdoor games this evening. For dinner we'll share a buffet of French specialties. Sleep in St. Fargeaux, Burgundy (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Building a Medieval Castle

We'll begin today at St. Fargeaux’s perfectly-French weekly market, a scavenger hunt of Burgundian freshness, perfect for piecing together your picnic lunch. Next is something you'll see nowhere else: the construction site of Guédelon, where a full-size 13th-century castle is being built today — by people in traditional costumes using historically accurate tools — exactly as it would have been 800 years ago. We'll have a guided tour through the site and take part in a hands-on workshop learning how medieval stone cutters worked their magic. You'll have free time to visit the blacksmith, masons, rope-makers — and explore more on your own. We'll return to our "country estate" in the afternoon with time to relax, swim, or play before we regroup for a medieval-themed dinner together. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Scenic Drive to the Swiss Alps

This morning we'll board our bus and set a course for Switzerland. For lunch, we'll stop and fan out at a typical town's shopping mall (with several places to eat on your own) to get a taste of un-touristy French life. Today's scenic drive is the perfect time to catch up on your journal, play a game with your bus buddies — and learn a few things from your guide about Swiss chocolate. By late afternoon we'll find ourselves in the Swiss Berner Oberland's magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, flanked by towering, waterfall-laced cliffs. Tonight we'll share a fondue-tasting and a hearty dinner together — followed by a performance of traditional Swiss music — all at our creaky old chalet nestled in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 8: All Day in the Alps

Don't sleep in this morning — the Alps await! After a hearty breakfast our guide will take us up a gondola lift for a scenic 2½-mile hike along the 7,000-foot-high Männlichen ridge (weather permitting, of course). When we reach the nearby village of Kleine Scheidegg, you'll be set free for lunch, with spectacular views of Switzerland's most formidable peaks: the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. From there you can take a cowbell-serenaded hike back down to our hotel — or rest your feet aboard one of the cute local cog-trains that run between the villages. For tonight's dinner, shop at the local grocery store for an evening picnic in the great outdoors. No bus. Walking: moderate to strenuous (your choice).

Day 9: Winding Our Way to Italy

This morning we'll have an encore performance of the Alps as we make our way across the mountains and dive into Italy. We'll wind our way down through the hills, past pristine lakes and the farms of northern Italy, en route to our Mediterranean getaway. This afternoon's destination is the seaside Cinque Terre town of Monterosso al Mare. During today's trip, you'll get a thorough orientation to tomorrow's fun, free day possibilities. Tonight we'll share a tasty dinner together in this corner of Italy where pesto was invented and the seafood was swimming this morning. Sleep in Monterosso al Mare (2 nights). Bus: 7 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 10: Free Day in the Cinque Terre

Today is entirely up to you, and each village along the Cinque Terre is just a few minutes away by train. Pick a village to explore, have a meal or two, and become temporary locals…or burn off some energy and enjoy breathtaking views by hiking along the cliff-side paths…or get your views from the sea on a scenic boat ride along the coast, past the fishing-boat harbors and hill-hugging villages…or stay closer to home, hanging out on the beach for swimming and sun. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 11: Florence and Michelangelo's David

Rested and refreshed, today we're ready to take on the impressive art and history of Florence. But first, we'll stop in Pisa for lunch and see if its infamous tower is still leaning. We'll continue to Florence where we'll say ciao to our bus and driver, drop our bags at our hotel…and hit the ground walking on a historical introduction to the highlights of the Renaissance. We'll learn about life in those amazing times, and gaze at Brunelleschi's magnificent cathedral dome and Ghiberti's eerily 3-D Baptistery doors. Our walk ends with a bang at the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo's most famous sculptures: the rough-hewn Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, David. Your evening is free for dinner on your own. Sleep in Florence (2 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Treasures of the Renaissance

Your morning is perfectly free. Sleep in if you like — or get an early start to scramble to the top of that big dome or browse through the colorful food and craft markets. After lunch on your own, we'll rendezvous for a guided tour at the Uffizi Gallery to see — and learn the stories behind — the Botticellis, Leonardos, and Raphaels in the greatest collection of Italian paintings anywhere. This evening, we'll gather for a fun, hands-on cooking demonstration. We'll enjoy what we prepared at our final dinner together where we can share our favorite moments and celebrate our friendship. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. It's a breeze to reach Florence's airport by taxi or public transportation. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Grazie e ciao!


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Price From $ 4,195
Price Per Day: $ 323 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 725

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Family Europe: London to Florence in 13 Days Tour

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We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.
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Highlights of the Lowlands

My first, and definitely not last, Rick Steves tour. Our guide was spectacular and the lodging nice at every location. I was blown away with how good the food was at every group meal.
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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 28

Trip ID#:


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