We’re offering an itinerary full of our most favorite places on the European continent. This tour can be booked “as is” or it can be used as the nucleus for your own suggestions and ideas, which we will then incorporate into the perfect trip for you and your party.
Remember, we never mix and match strangers on any of our custom-designed, private tours. Get together with your friends or family and book this Grand Adventure today. (Limit is six people)
Day 1: Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Haarlem, Netherlands (2)
After arrival at Schiphol we take you to an outdoor museum where you can get up close to a real, working windmill. After lunch of typical pannekoeken, we drive on to Haarlem for early afternoon check-in at our hotel. Rest and relaxation for the afternoon (the complete opposite of the big bus tours, which push their guests until they literally collapse) and then dinner tonight in a fun Tapas bar. (Dutch food is by its very nature bland, and so we eat international when we are in the Netherlands)
Day 2: Amsterdam
We explore the biggest city in the Netherlands by taking the train from Haarlem into the center of the city, less than 15 minutes away. We then enjoy a canal cruise on one of the smaller boats. The cruise lasts an hour and shows you most of the highlights of the city. Lunch and then time for individual exploration whether that be a visit to the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh exhibition or shopping. Return to Haarlem in the late afternoon in time for a siesta before dinner at a fun Italian restaurant where you can sample wine from a variety of “spigots” set into the wall. (Dinner both nights in Haarlem included)
Day 3: Bruges, Belgium (2)
We drive about three hours south, seeing some of the massive dikes which hold the sea from flooding low-lying Holland. We stay three nights in the heart of Bruges, one of the world’s prettiest small cities. Attention chocolate lovers! This city will more than satisfy your taste buds. And, it’s also famous for its wide assortment of handcrafted beers. We see the sights today and tomorrow. We enjoy dinner tonight in a traditional restaurant with excellent Flemish stew.
Day 4: Bruges, Belgium and excursion to Ieper
We drive this morning to the small city of Ieper, totally destroyed by artillery in WWI and then rebuilt by the Belgians and the British. This old city features a huge medieval cloth hall, and it is there that you will find the excellent WWI museum “In Flanders Fields,” was composed near here. Return to Bruges for late afternoon free time and independent dinner.
Day 5: Koln, Germany (1)
Guests have the morning to shop or relax and sightsee in Bruges. After a quick bite, we drive south past Brussels and on into Deutschland for a visit to the city most famous for its massive cathedral and its excellent Kolsch, a light, crisp beer served in tiny glasses. We stay a night within walking (or crawling!) distance of one of the best brewery restaurants in the city.
Day 6: Trier, Germany (2)
We drive further south into the lovely Mosel River Valley and a visit to Burg Eltz, one of the few medieval castles in Germany which has never been destroyed by war or captured by a foe. We then continue to Germany’s oldest city, Trier, for a two-night stay in a lovely little hotel located high above it all on the Petrisberg hill. You can see all of the Roman sights from your room’s private balcony. Dinner tonight at the hotel, coldcuts and soup (included).
Day 7: Trier
We see the sights of Trier today including the Roman Gate, the baths, the cathedral and former Roman palace and the Basilica of Constantine. Guests then have free time to shop or explore on their own. Dinner tonight in a traditional restaurant in a village just a couple of minutes from our hotel. (Included)
Day 8: The Mosel River Valley and Bacharach, Rhein (2)
We drive along the gorgeous Mosel River Valley with a stop for shopping and sightseeing in Bernkastel-Kues. Continuing on, we stop in the miniscule hamlet of Beilstein for lunch with a view. We then continue on to Bacharach, a medieval village on the Rhein River for a two-night stay at a traditional hotel serving what we think is the best sauerbraten and rinderroulade in Germany. (Included)
Day 9: Rhein Valley by boat
Guests enjoy the morning cruise from Bingen to St. Goar, starting at 9:15 and lasting to 11. We pick you up at St. Goar and then continue on along the Rhein as far as Koblenz, where we turn around and come down the other side, stopping often to sightsee or take pictures. Return in the middle to later part of the afternoon to Bacharach. Dinner independently with our suggestions.
Day 10: Miltenberg am Main (1)
We travel past the big city of Frankfurt am Main and on into Bavaria for a one-night stay in the charming half-timbered town of Miltenberg. We stay in Germany’s oldest inn, built in 1590 and restored in the 1970s and 80s.
Tonight we have dinner in a brewery featuring, yes, the best rabbit we have ever had. (You don’t have to have rabbit!) Dinner is included.
Day 11: Rothenburg ob der Tauber (1)
We continue along the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the crown jewel of Germany’s medieval towns. Guests enjoy a night in a fine hotel located in the center of town. Tonight, after independent shopping or sightseeing time, enjoy dinner in a pub built on top of Rothenburg’s oldest house, then the rounds with our own Night Watchman, who takes guests on a rollicking hour-long walk around the town, explaining what it was like to live and work in “the good old days.” Dinner, tour included.
Day 12: Lans, Austria (2)
We travel into the Alps for a two-night stay in our favorite hamlet above Innsbruck. Arrival late in the afternoon after sightseeing stops along the way from Rothenburg. Dinner tonight at the family-owned and operated restaurant is included.
Day 13: Austrian Alps
We explore into the Alps with a visit to Hall in Tyrol and more. Independent dinner tonight.
Day 14: Brenner Pass to Venice, Italy (2)
We drive down the stunning Brenner Pass into Italy and to one of the most romantic cities on the planet. Guests enjoy two nights in a charming hotel in the San Marco district, just ten minutes from the Piazza San Marco and yet tucked away from the noise of the Grand Canal. Enjoy the many pleasures of Venice. Independent dinner tonight with our suggestions.
Day 15: Venice
Sightseeing in Venice, including an excursion to a glass factory on the island of Murano.
Dinner in a traditional Trattoria tonight, included.
Day 16: Departure from Venice Marco Polo International Airport
Escort to the airport for your flight home.
Requirements: Guests must be physically fit and able to walk, climb stairs and generally be mobile. This tour requires walking, including up and down hills. This tour is not suitable for people with extreme dietary restrictions.
Offered for: May, early June, early September in 2012
Tour guides: James or Jenean Derheim
Price per person all-inclusive including many dinners (noted above) with beverages, hotels, transportation, sightseeing, all incidentals, guide’s fee: 4,800 Euro per person
Based on a full load of six people, couples preferred.
Deposit amount: 1,500 Euro per person
Final balance due: 30 days before trip commences
Please note that this micro group tour includes luxurious hotels, small inns and private hotels, excellent and drink and sightseeing. Only a few dinners are left up to the individual. Most of our guests are fed so well during the days and nights that we take care of the bill that they take advantage of these “independent dinner” evenings to do as we do, and just skip dinner entirely.
To learn more, contact us today. By the way, most of the places mentioned in this itinerary are featured right here on the European Focus blog.