Journey Through History: London to Athens
*This experience runs on selected Wednesdays and Sundays starting 01 May till 11 September, 2019 – (Prices may vary according to departure dates)
*Accommodation might vary between hotels and hostels (Check below for further info)
22 days discovering a whole continent on a Timeless Trail!
Visiting 7 countries: France, Switzerland, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Greece
Day 1: London, England to Paris, France (or join in Paris)
All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel. Pinch yourself and Instagram your first selfie before we kick off the trip with a driving tour and picnic next to the Eiffel Tower. Home to Coco Chanel, the Pompidou Centre and the Mona Lisa, Paris more than deserves its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. Now’s your chance to find out why.
-Driving tour of Paris and gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower
Day 2: Paris
This morning: free time en Français. From the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées, you’ll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Later on, you can stretch those legs on an optional bike tour of Paris, or simply roam the streets on your own. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.
-Traditional cabaret show
-Seine river cruise
-Bike tour of Paris
Day 3: Paris
Grab your baguette and go. Run, don’t walk. Another free day in Paris to soak up all those Frenchy vibes. Oui oui! Have you ticked off all the sights yet? If you haven’t gone fromage crazy just yet, hit up as many local food markets as you can. You can thank us later.
Day 4: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is where we’ll be spending the night. Upon arrival, chow down on fondue and hit the bar for a nightcap.
Day 5: Swiss Alps
Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are high on today’s agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit. Expect fairytale villages en route and skydiving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don’t scare you). Another feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.
-Scenic excursion to Jungfrau (‘The Top of Europe’)
-Scenic helicopter ride
-Tickets for the Schilthorn cable car
-Visit a Swiss watch shop
Day 6: Swiss Alps to Avignon, France
This afternoon we crack on to Avignon, home of the magnificent Palais des Papes (aka one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe). Tonight: hit up a local bistro or gather with your brethren for a makeshift picnic. Either way, be sure to pair your meal with some local Rhône Valley wine, one of France’s finest reds.
Day 7: Avignon to Barcelona, Spain
On our way to Barcelona, we’ll check out the Pont du Gard – a 2000-year-old Roman engineered aqueduct. When we get to the Catalonian capital, we’ll take you on a driving tour to see the likes of Montjuïc (where the 1992 Olympics were held) and Gaudi’s yet to be finished Sagrada Família. Later: let loose at an optional flamenco show.
-Visit Pont du Gard
-Driving tour of Barcelona
Day 8: Barcelona
Who needs the snooze button when you’ve got a whole day in a city packed to the rafters with art nouveau, alluring accents and (most importantly) tapas? Hit the side streets and alleyways of Las Ramblas, go boho in the Gracia neighborhood, go Gaudí at Parc Güell or give in to your inner football fanatic and kneel to the sporting gods at the Nou Camp.
Day 9: Barcelona to French Riviera, France
Get that selfie stick out! We’re rolling north along the coast to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the world’s most lavish waterfront property: the French Riviera. Oh, and by the way – we’ll be making a pit stop at a traditional French perfumery en route. Later, swap your patatas bravas for hearty French cooking and get ready for tomorrow’s adventures.
-Visit a traditional French perfumery
Day 10: French Riviera
Hit the beach with the paparazzi posse, or go wild in the designer boutiques in Nice’s Old Town. Later: roll with the jet set on a guided tour and see how the 1% live (hint: it involves Ferraris and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).
-Walking tour of Monaco
Day 11: French Riviera to Venice, Italy
Maketh haste to fair Verona, the place where Romeo and Juliet found love. Snap a selfie at Juliet’s balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes on the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Then: say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check into our campsite, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out our own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.
-Walking tour of Verona
-Get a personalized trip T-shirt or hoodie
Day 12: Venice
You know it as The Floating City, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Today we’ll check out a who’s who of Venice’s usual suspects on a guided walking tour (ticking off the likes of St Mark’s Square and Accademia Bridge), then jump on a vaporetto to explore the Grand Canal. If that’s not enough, you can also hop on an optional gondola ride. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world’s most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.
-Walking tour of Venice
Day 13: Venice to Florence
Stop for THAT photo at Pisa, then make your food baby sing as we roll into the land of hearty Tuscan cuisine and birthplace of gelato: Florence. Whip around Santa Maria del Fiore before tucking into amore on a plate. The evening is yours to stroll along the the Arno River and watch the sunset. #Bliss
-Walking tour of Florence with a local guide
-Visit Pisa and the famous Leaning Tower
Day 14: Florence to Rome
Today, it’s onwards to Rome. Time to give that bucket list a workout! Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a ‘colossus’ hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history’s version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you’re in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.
-Walking tour of Rome
Day 15: Rome
Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it’s supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City, then play ‘I-spy’ with two-and-a-half millennia worth of history. Want more? Then you could always shop till you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for awesome views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness).
-Guided tour of the Vatican City
Day 16: Rome to Athens, Greece
Play connect the dots with the stars or let the swell rock you to sleep as we ferry our way from from bella Italia to Greece. Restaurants, bars, and cosy cabin rooms will keep you comfortable.
Day 17: Athens
It doesn’t get feta than this! Orient yourself as you wander around ticking off the likes of the Greek Parliament, Syntagma Square and the Acropolis. Whatever you do, take the day to get lost – you’re free until dinner.
Day 18: Athens to Mykonos
Today we hop on a ferry over to Mykonos (aka ‘that island with the cute windmills’). Epic beaches, sinfully good local restaurants and a bustling nightlife. What’s not to love?
Day 19: Mykonos
Free day in para-para-paradise. Loving it? We hope so! Soak up those rays and dive into 50 shades of blue.
Day 20: Mykonos
You could totally get used to Mykonos’ dreamy backdrop of chalky villages, sky blue churches and laze-worthy beaches. Another free day to spend exactly how you please.
Day 21: Mykonos to Athens
Today it’s back on the ferry to Athens for a second dose of ancient vibes. Make sure your camera’s charged today – we’re taking you on a driving tour.
-Driving tour of Athens
Day 22: Athens
We’re outta here after breakfast. Be sure to swap numbers and plan the next adventure!
France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, Vatican City
3 Weeks +
IN DEPTH: CULTURAL & HISTORICAL
- Local guide in Florence
- Visit the Pont du Gard
- Vaporetto ride in Venice
- Driving tour of Paris and gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower
- Party in Mykonos
Hostel Plus trips host our most eclectic types of accommodation. While modern hostels make up the majority of your overnighters you could also stay in hotels (free upgrade – yeah!), Austrian Gasthofs, canvas cabins, ferry cabins or bungalows.
The ‘More Inclusions’ section details what type of accommodation will be used for overnight stops on your trip.
The number of people to a room on Hostel Plus trips will vary. For hostels you will have multi-share rooms and usually share with between 3 and 5 others (although in some circumstances you will share with more than 5) while in hotels there will be twin or triple-shares (and the odd quad-room). The number of people sharing in bungalows, canvas cabins, ferry cabins and Austrian Gasthofs can vary.
Please note: When staying on a Hostel Plus trip, multi-share accommodation is single-sex. You will also need to bring your own towels with you as these are not provided by all of our hostels.
Your included meals are detailed in the ‘More Inclusions’ section of this document.
Breakfasts are included every day (except on the first morning). They are usually ‘continental breakfasts’, which are typical in most European countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in continental Europe, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well.
Included meals will be a combination of those prepared by on-Site Chefs, local restaurants and places in which we stay. Included evening meals are in local restaurants or accommodations, and are either two or three courses. In most cases table water is provided with the meals, and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense.
If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent or Customer Service Consultant when you book. However, please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.
- 21 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 10 dinners
- 2 nights in hotels, 9 nights in hostels, 6 nights in bungalows at European campsites, 3 nights in canvas cabins, 1 night in a cabin on an overnight ferry
- English Channel crossing
- Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
- Guided tours of all major cities
- Awesome Trip Leader, Driver and Chef
Meet at 6am in London (or 5pm in Paris)
Approximately 9am in Athens
One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:
When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellows if you become separated.
In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.