Day 1 - London, England to Paris, France (or join in Paris)
Get ready to leave the routine behind and uncover Europe in all its wintery glory. We'll hit the road early and drive across the English Channel. Use the ride to brush up on your bonjours and s’il vous plaîts – and get to know your awesome AF trip mates. This is what it’s all about! The home of Coco Chanel, the Mona Lisa and world’s yummiest pastries – Paris has earnt its rep as the European capital for all things fashion, culture and drool-worthy food. Tick off all the showstoppers on a driving tour before wrapping your lips around a REAL French meal at tonight’s included dinner. Thank us later.
Day 2 - Paris
There's more here than over-priced handbags and unoriginal poses under the Eiffel Tower. And to prove it, we've given you a full 24hrs to discover the REAL Paris. Our suggestion? Spend your free day ticking off those bucket list items (and keeping those calves warm) on an optional bike tour. Then: explore the backstreets. Hunt down the best patisseries in town. Get lost amongst the shelves of history at Shakespeare and Co. Books. Or uncover the city's secret underworld at Catacombes de Paris. Want an alternate angle? Grab a takeaway chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) and settle in for an optional river cruise down the Seine. Or head up Montparnasse Tower for allll the views. Tonight, there's an optional cabaret show on the cards - just to really round things off. You're in the home of the Cancan after all.
Day 3 - Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Disclaimer: today is a bit of a drive. But you already knew that, right? Strap in. Get to know your trip mates better. And bust out some bangers as the most jaw-dropping, snow-capped scenery whizzes past the window. They don’t have views like this back home. Cue the fairytale villages and romantic castles of your imagination – the oh-so-quaint Engelberg will be our base for the next two nights. Later, we’ll get stuck into a group dinner before heading to the hotel bar. Or sit back in the crisp (note: freezing) Alpine air with a steaming cup of glühwein. Yep, this is what you came for.
Day 4 - Swiss Alps
There’s one word to describe Switzerland in winter: MAGIC. So, here’s a free day to discover exactly what that means. Our suggestion for a clear day? Take the revolving gondola to the top of Mt Titlis for all the unbelievable panoramas (without the effort). Or strap on your boots and explore the forest trails – ‘holy sh*t’ scenery guaranteed. Rather uncover the gastronomic wonders of this place? Head into town and sip on the world’s best hot chocolate by a crackling fire. Whatever you choose, you’re going to have views for days. Dinner tonight is on you – haven’t tried cheese fondue yet? Now’s your chance (unless you’re lactose intolerant, obvs).
Day 5 - Swiss Alps to Florence, Italy
Pelt your Trip Leader with one last snowball and snap another pic of the dreamy frosted-peaks (it'll never do this place justice) – we're rolling on to the capital of Tuscan cuisine today. You packed your fat pants, right? Before our included dinner tonight, rug up and take a stroll along the Arno River for those this-is-what-I-came-for-vibes. Then: did someone say karaoke? If you’re up for it, join the gang in a battle of the ballads at a local bar. Or hunt down a gelateria for a scoop (or two) of the good stuff. Who said you can’t have gelato in winter? No one.
Day 6 - Florence to Rome
Florence has more story lines than Game of Thrones, more culture than a Fitzroy hipster, AND it gave the world David. Delve deeper into this incredible city on a walking tour with a local guide. Later, la bella Roma is calling our name. Slip on your boots, grab your beanie and pack your camera - this afternoon's walking tour is one for the books. We're talking a solid few hours of non-stop sights, off-the-tourist-trail hidden gems and a run-down of almost 3000 years of history. Pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, (don't) sit on the Spanish Steps and wind things up under the shadow of the mighty Colosseum. One word, four syllables: INCREDIBLE. Tonight, you're in Disneyland for foodies - so shake out those fat pants and ask your Trip Leader where to find the best cacio e pepe. You won't be disappointed, trust us.
Day 7 - Rome
Two-and-a-half millennia of history. Vespas. Espresso. Two-cheek kisses. Aggressive hand gestures. And pizza the way it's supposed to taste. There's a reason Rome is on the top of Europe's must-do list. And it's even better in winter (in our totally unbiased opinion). Here's a free day we prepared earlier. Don't just skim the surface, experience every moment to the fullest. Count your blessings and play I-spy with historical masterpieces on an optional tour of Vatican City. Check out Castel Sant'Angelo (aka Hadrian's Tomb). Snack on roasted chestnuts and stroll along the Tiber River. Battle the lunchtime rush for a slice at Pizzarium Bonci. Shop till you drop on Via Condotti. Or strap on the skates and hit the rink (depending when you're here, obvs). Tonight, order a pasta alla carbonara and prepare to have your mind blown.
Day 8 - Rome to Venice
Wave goodbye to Rome – we’re heading to that famous sinking city today. After checking in at the hotel, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about. Acquaint yourself with the who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a walking tour – ticking off the likes of St Mark's Square, Doge’s Palace and Accademia Bridge. And then – this beautifully romantic city is yours for the taking. Our suggestion? Grab a macchiato overlooking the canal and watch the gondoliers guide their vessels through the fog. This place has romance written all over it. Later, score a cheap meal at Osteria Al Portego or fill up on alllll the drool-worthy Venetian pastries (no judgement here).
Day 9 - Venice
Centuries-old architecture. Inventive cuisine. And a bucket-load of culture. Venice is just begging to be explored. And you’ve got the whole day to do just that, after an included gondola ride along the Grand Canal. Insider tip: spend some time seeking out the out-of-this-world Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop or head off the tourist trail with a trip to Giudecca Island. Go wandering. Chat to the locals in poor Italian (hey, you tried!). Get lost in the maze of canals and piazzas. Then seek out Café Florian for a piping mug of rich hot chocolate and zaletti biscuits. That’s what makes the memories.
Day 10 - Venice to Salzburg, Austria
Today: we’re setting a course for Salzburg. So much more than strudel and The Sound of Music – this place has got elegance written on every grand Baroque building. Don your fave beanie and slip on your woolly socks – we’ll tick off the likes of the Mirabell Gardens, Mozart’s birthplace, Fortress Hohensalzburg and the Cathedral on a walking tour with our expert Trip Leader. Getting hangry? We got you – dinner tonight is on us.
Day 11 - Salzburg to Heidelberg, Germany
Down one last cup of Austrian coffee, we’re making tracks to fairytale Heidelberg today. This place is all about hilltop ruins, cobblestoned old quarters and Nobel Prize winners (casually). Get your bearings on a stroll with your Trip Leader, then the rest of the afternoon is up to you. Take the cable car up to the Palace for some unbeliEVABLE views. Or find a local haunt to chow down on a head-sized pork knuckle – this is Germany after all.
Day 12 - Heidelberg to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our trip may be coming to a close, but it’s not over yet! We’ve got our eye on Amsterdam today. Dump your stuff and hit the cobblestones – Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument are waiting. For dinner tonight, you’re gonna be spoilt for choice – Dutch steakhouses, trendy vegan haunts, fancy à la carte menus and the best takeaway hot chips you’ve had in your life. Guaranteed. Later, there’s an option to experience a show in the Red Light District. Or for a realer Dutch experience – head to Proeflokaal Arendsnest for a selection of over 100 local beers and unique crowd.
Day 13 - Amsterdam
This is our last full day. FFS don’t hang about – join the locals and get on your bike! Check out Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks on an optional bike tour. History buffs should pay a visit to the Anne Frank House (don’t forget to book in advance!). And for the culture fiends – the Van Gogh Musuem and Rijksmuseum. Then get lost amongst backstreets of the different districts – each with their own unique vibe. Just make sure you’re back in time to toast the final night of our wonder-filled adventure at tonight’s included dinner.
Day 14 - Amsterdam to London, England
After breakfast, it’s time to head back across the Channel to London Town. Get a warm piece of appeltaart to takeaway. Blast the Trip Song one last time. And get planning – that reunion trip won’t book itself! Where to next?
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