Madrid to Rome

43 Days from $8,270

START: Madrid

FINISH: Rome

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Explorer

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Description

Elaborate architecture and exceptional cuisine, legendary landscapes and living history on the streets – western and central Europe deserve the accolades they receive. From the brash elegance of Madrid to the soft-hued sceneries of Avignon, the beer and bar cultures of Brussels and Berlin to the historical grandeur of Rome, this 43-day journey takes in the icons of the world's most-visited region. Discover cities where cosmopolitan modern life flows by around – and on top of – some of the world’s great architectural and artistic monuments. With plenty of time to ramble and explore at your own pace, this trip is perfect for travellers who want a local to introduce them to Europe but still want to be independent.

Start: Madrid

Finish: Rome

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Explorer

Accommodation: Guesthouse (2 nights), Hostel (9 nights), Hotel (30 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Destination: Rome

Highlights

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Travel with a local edge. Your leader knows how to navigate the Paris metro, the coolest neighbourhoods in Budapest and (most importantly) where to find the best pizza in Rome.
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Spend the day exploring the 13th-century Czech town Cesky Krumlov, where an impressive castle overlooks a small city of charming squares and cobbled lanes.
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What’s most impressive about Rome is that the historic icons are so accessible. Wander around with your leader and stumble upon the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and so much more.
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Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex and fascinating history. See the graffitied fragments of the wall that once divided the city.
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Escape to alpine Bled in Slovenia, where you choose to canoe to a tiny island church, hike through moss-covered forest or kick back with a slice of famous cream cake.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Madrid

Welcome to Madrid, the sassy central capital of Spain known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 or 7 pm, depending on common area availability. After the welcome meeting, perhaps get into the mind of a Madrileno with some tapas and Rioja.

icon check Day 2 : Madrid

Today is free for you to discover Madrid. Perhaps begin in the heart of Old Madrid with a stroll along the portico-lined Plaza Mayor. After that maybe take a break in the Real Jardin Botanico, a garden wonderland dating from the 18th century, or by sitting with a coffee in one of the atmospheric streets and squares around the famous Plaza Mayor. If you’re after something a little more structured, you could join a locally-guided Urban Adventure to get a deeper insight into the city through its tapas. At night, maybe follow the crowds to Chueca, Plaza Dos de Mayo or Plaza Santa Ana, where the pulse of the city will lead you from bar to bar.

icon check Day 3 : Cuenca

Today travel by train to charming Cuenca (approximately 3 hours), located on the edge of deep gorges created by two rivers: Jucar and Huecar. On arrival, venture out on an orientation walk around this historic World Heritage-listed fortress city. The Old Town of this city is an outstanding medieval development built on steep mountainsides, with many casa colgadas (hanging houses) that are literally on the cliff edge. After the orientation walk, use your free time getting to know the city. Perhaps visit the impressive 12th-century gothic cathedral. Evening is a great opportunity to gather together with the group and enjoy a dinner and see the Old City beautifully brushed with light from a series of high-powered lamps suspended half-way up the rock.

icon check Day 4 : Valencia

Board a train east to the coastal town of Valencia (approximately 4 hours). It's known for being the Spanish gateway to the Mediterranean, with a big port, beautiful beaches, restaurants and a beach promenade along the waterfront. On arrival you are free to begin exploring at your own pace. Perhaps head to the Old Town, where you will find beautiful monuments and historical buildings, or (if weather permits) soak up some sun on the beach. The colourful stalls of the Mercado Central are a great place to grab some fresh produce to snack on during the day while you explore.

icon check Day 5 : Valencia

Enjoy another free day in Valencia. History buffs might want to check out the 13th-century Valencia Cathedral, which houses what legend says is the Holy Grail. Or maybe climb the 207 steps of the Miguelete tower for the best views of the city. After something different? The Museum of the Fallas contains a history of the Valencia Fire Festival in the form of giant papier mache figures (and entry is inexpensive, which is a bonus). To try the paella that Valencia is famous for (made with rabbit and chicken), ask your leader to point you towards the Las Arenas area for a hearty and reasonably priced lunch. Cycle paths and cheap bike hire make for another great way to explore, so active types might consider biking the park (a former river) that runs through the centre of the city.

icon check Day 6 : Barcelona

Take the train up the coast to Barcelona (approximately 4 hours), a quirky city with a ground-breaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife. Arrive in the afternoon. Maybe wander the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter and navigate your way through the throngs of tourists along La Rambla, Barcelona's famous tree-lined boulevard. There are plenty of museums to choose from, so perhaps spend some time in the National Art Museum of Catalonia or the Museum of City History to brush up on your local knowledge. Take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. The heart of Catalonia prides itself on being a gastronomic centre, so tonight make sure to follow your leaders advice on where to get a taste of the culinary action.  

icon check Day 7 : Barcelona

You’re free today to partake in some of the optional activities on offer or relax. In the morning perhaps head to the stalls of Santa Catarina Market, a huge trove of local produce beneath a colourful, undulating roof. The city is famous for its architecture designed in the unique Catalan Modernista style. The master of this movement was Antonio Gaudi, whose eccentric creations are dotted all over the city. A visit to Gaudi's masterpiece, the modern basilica of La Sagrada Familia, is a must, even if it's just to see the outside. Gaudi worked on this hugely ambitious project for decades until his death and it remains under constant construction. For more insight into the artist, head to Parc Guell, a surreal landscaped area also designed by the artist.

icon check Day 8 : Barcelona

Enjoy a free day in Barcelona before a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure. Can’t get enough art? Why not pay a visit to the National Art Museum of Catalonia, which features incredible collections and exhibitions all housed in a building that is itself spectacular.

icon check Day 9 : Barcelona

With some free time today, you could head on a food tour or explore the outskirts of the city with its sleepy villages and olive groves. Otherwise, unearth the city's ground-breaking art scene, Gothic architecture, amazing cuisine, Catalan identity, beach vibe and proud character. Visit the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum, wander the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard of La Rambla or take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Basilica is possibly the most iconic landmark, along with the Camp Nou. The best thing is that, today, you get to choose your own adventure!

icon check Day 10 : Avignon

Take to the fields of Provence on the train to Avignon in southwest France (approximately 5-6 hours). This journey is quite spectacular, so make sure you have a camera ready and shotgun a window seat. With mountain hideaways and emerald vineyards, the Mediterranean coastline folds into tabletop mountains where fields of lavender and wildflower cover the landscape. On arrival into Avignon, check in to your hotel and then take a walk around this walled city that was once home to French popes for more than a century.

icon check Day 11 : Avignon

Today, use your free time here wisely, as there are lots of sights and activities to keep you busy. Comb the city's impressive collection of art, visit the grand Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace) and cross the iconic bridge of Pont St-Benezet. Perhaps hire a bike to see more of this picturesque valley and head to one of the city's amazing bakeries. You can even put a baguette in your basket and have a quintessential French ride through the countryside! In the evenings, there are many small French bistros that serve up great regional cuisine – why not get some of your travel pals together for a French-inspired feast.

icon check Day 12 : Paris

Travel north on the train to France's cosmopolitan capital – Paris – which should take around 3-4 hours. Rich in museums, art galleries, monuments, fashion and delicious food, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and things to do. On arrival into the city, check in to the hotel and then you're free to choose what you’d like to do. Wandering around the Champs-Elysees, the student-filled Latin Quarter and the bohemian Montmartre will give you a good feel for the city. There is so much to do in Paris that it might be a good idea to make a plan before you arrive, so you can get to see all you want!

icon check Day 13 : Paris

The Tuileries, Plantes and Jardin du Luxembourg are all excellent places to enjoy a simple baguette with cheese on summer days, or you could head to a cafe to have a coffee and watch the world go by. Explore the world-famous Louvre, where you can see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Join the Thinker in his eternal contemplation at the Rodin Museum. Visit the Musee d'Orsay – home to some of the most famous Impressionist paintings. Climb the Eiffel Tower – or take the lift – for some impressive aerial views of Paris. Study the Notre Dame Cathedral with its vast rose window and menacing gargoyles. The Paris restaurant scene and nightlife are also worth checking out. Marais is a great district for trendy bars and eateries, while Bastille is well-known for its clubs.

icon check Day 14 : Paris

Another day in Paris? Oui oui! There is still plenty to discover, so perhaps start ticking more museums or cathedrals of the list – you surely couldn’t have done them all yesterday. If you think you have, try Paris’ ‘other’ museums. The Museum of Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology provides an amazing look into the world of 19th century science. Within the Jardin des Plantes – where the museum resides – there is also a botanical garden, zoo and an array of other natural history museums. Otherwise, hit the streets for the best graffiti-viewing at Canal St Martin in the 10th arrondissement – one of the most exciting and up-and-coming areas in town. Full of wonderful restaurants, artistic shops and great graffiti, the area is a great place for leisurely strolling. In the evening, on warm summer day, you could visit the quai along the left bank of Port St Bernard, which comes alive with people strolling, picnicking and dancing.

icon check Day 15 : Luxembourg

Cross the border from France on the train into Luxembourg City, which should take just over 2 hours. As one of the smallest countries in the EU, Luxembourg has transformed itself into a busy, successful and historical centre, with a heap of natural beauty. Check in to the hotel on arrival and then head out into the city's World Heritage-listed Old Town, which is perched high above the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Petrusse rivers. Stroll along the promenade of Chemin de la Corniche – said to be 'Europe's most beautiful balcony'. The city is also full of old and modern galleries and museums to explore, such as the Musee d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg (Luxembourg City History Museum). Perhaps take a guided tour of the 16th-century turreted Palais Grand-Ducal, which is home to the Grand Duke. In the evening, you may want to venture out with the group for an optional meal in this classic city.

icon check Day 16 : Brussels

Leave Luxembourg behind and jump on a train to Brussels, taking around 3.5 hours. Why not start your journey at the medieval, cobblestone square of the Grand Place. This area can only be accessed on foot and is surrounded by local markets, chocolate shops, cafes and restaurants. From here, wander down to the Manneken Pis (Little Man Pee) – an iconic symbol of Belgium. If you’re interested in music, a must-see place is The Musical Instrument Museum. Three floors of musical instruments coming from every corner of the world and hundreds of years of musical history in one place. An evening in Brussels wouldn't be complete without a huge portion of moules-frites (mussels and fries) and a glass of Belgian beer. If you like a night out, Ilot Sacre is a great place to find good food and fun bars.

icon check Day 17 : Brussels

Enjoy another free day in Brussels. Discover the town further, perhaps visit the mini-Europe theme park, featuring miniature replicas of European monuments and judge if they are similar to the original ones. Otherwise, you could climb inside an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times its normal size. The Atomium – a strange looking structure built in 1958 for Brussels World’s Fair – now has become a permanent part of city’s landscape. There is also an option to venture out of the city and discover medieval Bruge, or the port city of Antwerp. Perhaps finish off your day in Delirium Café – a cosy basement bar, tucked away on a cobblestone backstreet in the heart of Brussels.

icon check Day 18 : Amsterdam

New day; new country. Cross another border, as you travel by bus to the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam (approximately 3 hours). The best way to get your head around this city is to do as locals do – cycle. Amsterdam, a network of canals, bridges and parks is also spoilt for choice when it comes to museums. One of its best is the Rijksmuseum, housing one of Rembrandt’s most famous works – 'The Night Watch'. Alternatively, head to the Van Gogh Museum, which comprises nearly every painting, sketch, print, etching, and piece of correspondence that Vincent van Gogh ever produced, including 'Sunflowers'. After seeing the painted variety, you could wander through the real thing at the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)!

icon check Day 19 : Amsterdam

Another day in Amsterdam gives you the choice to explore at your own pace. You could visit Anne Frank's House – the former hiding place of Anne Frank and seven others during World War II, and the place where she wrote her now-famous diary is today preserved as a museum. Otherwise, there’s De Waag (weigh house) – a 15th-century building on Nieuwmarkt square. As many of Amsterdam’s historic buildings have enjoyed multiple uses through the centuries, Dee Waag is no exception. Constructed first as a gate for the city's fortified walls, it was later transformed into a 'weigh house' where goods brought back by ships from overseas were weighed. In later years, it served as a guild house for local professions and has also been a museum, fire station and more. In its most recent incarnation, the Waag houses a café-restaurant as well as an exhibition space.

icon check Day 20 : Amsterdam

With a free day, why not get to know the secrets of its food and drink? For a snack, pannekoeken will go down a treat – sometimes sweet, sometimes savoury, but always delicious! You could order some salty fries, taste some of the rich cheeses on offer, or discover their café culture. A popular activity is to bask in the glory of liquid sunshine – visit the best bars, breweries and beer halls of this brew-loving city. From a place where nuns used to brew ales, to the mothership of Dutch beer brewing – the original Heineken building – get out to see and taste the Netherlands’ strong beer history.

icon check Day 21 : Berlin

Leave Amsterdam behind and take the train into Germany, on your way to Berlin (approximately 6.5 hours). Berlin is a large place, and if you're a bit daunted by the size of the city, there are countless bus tours that operate throughout Berlin and they're an ideal way to find your feet. There’s also many unique memorials and sites holding significance in Berlin's more recent history. These include the Jewish Memorial, the empty shelves of Bebelplatz and the confronting Topography of Terror. There’s the Brandenburg Gate, remnants of the Berlin Wall, the dominating Reichstag building and popular Checkpoint Charlie. Berlin is also a hub for good food, with a mix of classic German, Bavarian and Italian influences. Consider spending an evening celebrating life as the locals do – at a bar or lounge listening to some live music, or with a night (and morning) to remember in one of their renowned nightclubs.

icon check Day 22 : Berlin

Enjoy a free day in Berlin before a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure. There are plenty of significant museum that document historic tragedies in a moving and evocative way, such as the Jewish Museum and the Topography of Terror. Or perhaps head to the Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz to wander around the area and check out the modernist arts buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.

icon check Day 23 : Berlin

Morning and part of the afternoon are free, so perhaps wander through the Brandenburg Gate and witness the crumbling remnants of the Berlin Wall that are scattered all over the city. Checkpoint Charlie and its museum overlook the former border checkpoint dividing East and West, explaining how the city came to be divided overnight and its attempts to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. Or maybe you'd like to cycle the city, or visit the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic Reichstag building or the powerful Holocaust Memorial. There also is some great street art in Berlin, especially around the neighbourhoods of Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. In the late afternoon, you'll board an overnight train for Krakow in Poland. Don’t be late!

icon check Day 24 : Krakow

Arrive into Krakow, your base for the next two nights. After arrival, follow your leader on a city orientation walk and step back in time as your wander the World Heritage-listed old town, shopping for amber jewellery or local crafts. Discover Wawel Royal Castle which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. Check out the 13th-century town square of Rynek Glowny and get a glimpse of the impressive St Mary's Basilica (which features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece). Another beautiful church is the neo-Gothic St Francis' Basilica, which boasts some of Poland's best Art Nouveau. This city is also home to the second oldest university in Central Europe, Jagiellonian Univeristy (the oldest is in Prague). It counts Copernicus and Pope John Paul II among its alumni.

icon check Day 25 : Krakow

If you can tear yourself away from Krakow on your free day, head out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a network of tunnels and chambers some 135 metres below the ground. This is a salt mine that has been in operation for over 700 years. The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, pits and chambers, all hewn by hand from solid salt, with beautifully adorned chapels and underground lakes. Don't miss a look at the elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings in the Blessed Kinga Chapel. Alternatively, you might like to take a sobering day trip out to Auschwitz and Birkenau, the sites of some of the Holocaust's worst atrocities. Perhaps end the day in one of Krakow's many cellar restaurants for a plate of pierogi and a drink.

icon check Day 26 : Prague

Take a minivan trip to the town of Ostrava (approximately 2.5 hours), then board the train to Prague (approximately 3 hours). After arrival and check in to our hotel, the leader will show you the highlights of this beautiful city on an orientation walk. Prague's architecture can be traced from the Middle Ages through to the avant-garde of the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building). Spend your free afternoon at Prague Castle, the biggest in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. Wander through the old Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the city's formerly significant Jewish community.

icon check Day 27 : Prague

Take a minivan trip to the town of Ostrava (approximately 2.5 hours), then board the train to Prague (approximately 3 hours). After arrival and check in to our hotel, the leader will show you the highlights of this beautiful city on an orientation walk. Prague's architecture can be traced from the Middle Ages through to the avant-garde of the Gehry-designed Dancing Building (also called the Fred and Ginger Building). Spend your free afternoon at Prague Castle, the biggest in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. Wander through the old Jewish Quarter to see what remains of the city's formerly significant Jewish community.

icon check Day 28 : Cesky Krumlov

Depart Prague and travel by bus to Cesky Krumlov (approximately 4 hours). This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and appears to be plucked straight out of a fairytale. Wander the cobbled alleyways of the old town and admire the buildings. A great way to discover the town is to join a tour guided by a local – you will learn about the architectural symbolism and old town mysteries from an expert. Climb up to the castle perched on a hill and check out its fabulous Masquerade Hall and admire the sensational views that can be seen from the tower. Weather and time permitting, take a relaxing 2–3-hour rafting or canoeing trip along the river that runs right through town.

icon check Day 29 : Vienna

Take a minivan to the cosmopolitan city of Vienna – there is so much to explore here! After arrival, your leader will help you to decide by showing you the city centre on foot, followed by a free afternoon to explore the city. Art lovers will be delighted by the vast array of museums on offer, including the Albertina, the Leopold, Kunsthalle Wien and the Museum of Modern Art. Those with an interest in 19th and 20th century Austrian art should visit the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt's painting 'The Kiss'. Check out the colourful Hundertwasserhaus or admire the dome of the Secession building. Perhaps visit Hofburg Palace, once the imposing winter retreat of Habsburg royals and now the official residence of the Austrian president. Apparently, no visit to Vienna is complete without attending an opera or concert. Check what Vienna State Opera House has on offer (worth doing that in advance) and immerse yourself in the city’s immense musical pedigree.

icon check Day 30 : Vienna

Free day in Vienna will give you more time to visit places you didn’t manage to get to yesterday. Climb the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral, take a spin on the Prater Ferris Wheel or catch a dressage show at the Spanish Riding School. Head to Schoenbrunn Palace, which was designed by Empress Maria Theresa herself. The gardens are free to all visitors but there is a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. Avoid long queues by pre-booking your tickets at schoenbrunn.at. After all this sightseeing, you might like to indulge in a traditional Viennese coffee and Sacher torte, before capping off the evening with a spot of Mozart, Bach or Schubert at the opera house.

icon check Day 31 : Budapest

Travel from Vienna to Budapest by train (approximately 3 hours). Known as the 'Pearl of the Danube', Budapest's grand architecture and boulevards evoke a bygone era. Your leader will introduce you to the city by taking you for an orientation walk. With so much to see and do, in your free time head out to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in one of the city's many hot thermal baths. The baths feature pools of varying degrees; some even have whirlpools or built-in seats where you can relax or play a game of chess. Dinner comes, best way to feast in Budapest is to grab a bowl of hearty Hungarian goulash.

icon check Day 32 : Budapest

Enjoy a free day in the Pearl of the Danube. Perhaps explore the historical Buda castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings. Forget about the bustling city and lose yourself in the history of the winding streets of Castle District, which dates back to the 13th century, and soak up the atmosphere of a beloved mid-19th-century local pastry shop. In the afternoon perhaps take one of the tourist boat trips along the Danube River for spectacular views of the Parliament Building, the Castle District and the bridges linking Buda to Pest. The spectacle is particularly beautiful at night.

icon check Day 33 : Bled

Take a train (approximately 8 hours) to Ljubljana, followed by a connecting bus to the town of Bled, situated at the edge of the Julian Alps. Arrive in the late afternoon and follow your leader to the shore of beautiful Lake Bled, from where many of the town’s attractions can be seen and explained. For a taste of the local cuisine, some Bled cake is a must, made of vanilla, custard, cream and pastry. Alternatively, join the group for dinner (optional) to taste some Slovenian specialties.

icon check Day 34 : Bled

No better place to get active than in Bled! Today you have a free day to go for a lake walk (or run if you feel like!) in the morning, and perhaps enjoy a full day adventure around Triglav Massive. There are many outdoor activities available here to get the blood pumping, such as rafting, caving, canoeing and swimming. Why not hire a bike and head 4 kilometres out of town to Vintgar Gorge, where you can take a walk through a beautiful natural canyon. Perhaps explore Bled Castle, perched atop the cliff overlooking the lake, or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Another option is to take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated in a glaciated valley. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear, you may even see out to Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia (note that the weather on top of Mt Vogel varies greatly; it's a ski resort in the winter). Check with your leader for all the options and book in advance so that you don’t miss out. If you’d prefer to have a relaxing day and just enjoy the beauty of the place; perhaps find a quite spot near the lake and spend a day reading your book.

icon check Day 35 : Venice

Travel by train through stunning scenery to one of the world's most unique cities, Venice (approximately 5.5 hours). A city of canals, Venice is built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. On arrival, head out for an orientation walk with your tour leader – the best way to do this is by foot, taking in all the famous sights – the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (the ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco with its golden Basilica, and of course the evocative Bridge of Sighs. Wander the cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas, crossing hundreds of tiny bridges. There are shops, markets, galleries and churches around every corner. Conclude the day by tasting delicious Italian food during a dinner with your group.

icon check Day 36 : Venice

Enjoy a free day in Venice before a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure. Perhaps take a gondola trip through the romantic canals or sample a slice of region's desert speciality, tiramisu (coffee-soaked sponge cake).

icon check Day 37 : Venice

Today you are free to explore Venice at your own pace. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Maybe take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for views over the city. Or perhaps fulfil a bucket list favourite and take journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It really is the perfect way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so perhaps give one of them a try this evening.

icon check Day 38 : La Spezia

Board a morning train to the once important naval base of La Spezia (approximately 6—7 hours) through the scenic north of Italy. La Spezia is known mainly as the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre (Five Lands). The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – positioned on a series of coves between sheer cliffs. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore (that’s what tomorrow is for), but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione or head out for dinner with the group.

icon check Day 39 : La Spezia – Cinque Terre

Spend today exploring winding footpaths and pastel coloured villages with your included Cinque Terre Pass. The pass gives you access to the paths, bathrooms and trains of the area for 24 hours. Please consult your leader on which section is right for you as some have challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages, or back to the group's base in La Spezia whenever you want. After working up an appetite, maybe take advantage of an optional pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch, if you’d prefer.

icon check Day 40 : Florence

Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, check into the hotel and go for a brief walk around the immediate area to get your bearings. Florence is one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the beating heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign. Food is a major part of the city's identity and the optional activities on offer reflect this. Maybe explore the city’s culinary history (and taste some local treats) on a Florence Foodies Walk with Urban Adventures. Carnivores might be drawn to the optional Florentine Beef Steak Dinner excursion, which offers a leisurely meal staring the bistecca alla Fiorentina, a huge T-bone steak and classic sides.

icon check Day 41 : Florence

Enjoy another day in beautiful Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so the best idea is to relax and pick a few things you really want to do. Maybe start with a visit the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David, or perhaps stop by the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries. Active types might want to walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, to take in beautiful views of the city – a lovely way to while away the day. There are plenty of optional activities on offer during your time here, so be sure to grill your leader for the details on each so you can get a sense of what interests you.

icon check Day 42 : Rome

Take the morning train to Rome (approximately 2 hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city to see icons such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Phew. After all that history it’s probably time for lunch. Maybe grab a slice of the good stuff and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona. You can spend your afternoon how you wish and there are plenty of heavy hitters to choose from. Maybe enter the Vatican and check out St Peter's Basilica. Art-lovers could visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs may enjoy a jaunt through the ancient halls of the Pantheon. Rome is packed full of trattorias that cater to every taste and budget, so this evening maybe link up with the group for dinner.

icon check Day 43 : Rome

Your adventures comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time after check-out. As there is so much to see in Rome, we recommend you stay a little longer to soak it up. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

23 Breakfasts
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Transport

Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Public bus, Taxi, Train, Tram
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Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Hostel (9 nights), Hotel (30 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
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Included Activities

  • Cinque Terre Day Trip, including Cinque Terre Pass

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Price
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Apr 04, 2020
May 16, 2020
$8,780
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Apr 25, 2020
Jun 06, 2020
$8,780
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May 16, 2020
Jun 27, 2020
$8,780
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Jun 13, 2020
Jul 25, 2020
$8,520
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Jul 18, 2020
Aug 29, 2020
$8,520
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Aug 01, 2020
Sep 12, 2020
$8,520
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Aug 29, 2020
Oct 10, 2020
$8,270
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Sep 19, 2020
Oct 31, 2020
$8,270
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Apr 03, 2021
May 15, 2021
$8,270
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Apr 24, 2021
Jun 05, 2021
$8,270
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May 15, 2021
Jun 26, 2021
$8,270
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Jun 12, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
$8,270
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Jul 17, 2021
Aug 28, 2021
$8,270
Available
Jul 31, 2021
Sep 11, 2021
$8,270
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Aug 14, 2021
Sep 25, 2021
$8,270
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Aug 28, 2021
Oct 09, 2021
$8,270
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Sep 18, 2021
Oct 30, 2021
$8,270
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Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hostal Marlasca

Calle de la Cruz 14

Madrid

SPAIN

Phone: 0034 915 21 48 38

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Hotel Stella

Via Castelfidardo 51

Rome

ITALY

Phone: +39 064441078

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

A single supplement is NOT available on this trip.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

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Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

SCAMS

Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY

While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

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Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and British citizens currently do not require a visa to enter countries visited on this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy or consulate in their home country for up to date visa information.

Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Travel with a local edge. Your leader knows how to navigate the Paris metro, the coolest neighbourhoods in Budapest and (most importantly) where to find the best pizza in Rome.

Spend the day exploring the 13th-century Czech town Cesky Krumlov, where an impressive castle overlooks a small city of charming squares and cobbled lanes.

What’s most impressive about Rome is that the historic icons are so accessible. Wander around with your leader and stumble upon the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and so much more.

Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex and fascinating history. See the graffitied fragments of the wall that once divided the city.

Escape to alpine Bled in Slovenia, where you choose to canoe to a tiny island church, hike through moss-covered forest or kick back with a slice of famous cream cake.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This is a Basix trip, full of fun, flexibility and plenty of free time to explore each destination at your own pace. Your leader will take you on regular orientation walks and give you plenty of advice on where to go (and where to eat!) and set you up for independent discovery.

As this is a combination of four trips, your group leader and the composition of your group may change in Barcelona, Berlin and Venice.

It’s bunking season! As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. It’s a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in Europe (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.

The best way to experience a city is by doing as the locals do – and in this case that means using public transport such as trams, buses or metro at some locations. It’s better for the environment and you’ll get an authentic look at daily life; just be aware you may find yourself sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters (for example).

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All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Pharmacies are well equipped in Europe and widely available, however, we recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained in some of the rural locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Food in Europe is varied and differs significantly between countries and regions. Expect to sample delicious local meals in almost every location you’ll visit on this trip. However, if you do not feel like having a local delicacy, world type food is also widely available, especially in bigger cities. European diet is mostly meat based; vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

European breakfasts are often basic and may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)

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The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. The safest option is to bring cash in either Euro or US dollars. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.

You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%. Taking all that in to account, we do not advise bringing traveller’s cheques to Europe.

For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.

CURRENCY

The local currency in Poland is the Zloty (PLN), in the Czech Republic it is the Koruna (CZK), and Hungary uses the Forint (HUF). All other countries visited on this trip have now adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR).

BUDGET

Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 1,375.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

SPENDING MONEY

When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

TIPPING

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

EMERGENCY FUNDS

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

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PACKING

On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT

It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

LUGGAGE STORAGE

Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

WATER BOTTLE

Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.

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SUMMER

Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON

In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

SPANISH SIESTA:

Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.

One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 918 66 57

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We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

DRESS CODE

In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

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BASIX STYLE ACCOMMODATION

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels, hostels and guesthouses in line with our Intrepid Basix style of travel. In Europe our accommodation is on twin-share basis with shared bathrooms. On rare occasions in some destinations we use multi-share accommodation, which includes triple and quad rooms or even dorm rooms. Depending on rooming configuration couples or people travelling together may be separated according to gender. Nights with multi-share arrangements will be clearly noted in the day-to-day itinerary in the trip notes. Please note that service and accommodation in Europe may be different to the standards you are used to from home. Please note that our accommodation may not always have air-conditioning, and generally don't provide kettles or fridges. In some destinations rooms may be rather small.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

CHECK-IN TIME

Throughout the trip we request that our accommodation prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means there are instances where we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival. If this happens we will store our luggage and explore our new destination, and will check in later on.

SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT

Please note that on our European Basix trips we do not provide a single room supplement option. However you may ask at the time of check-in whether a single room is available. This will be at an extra cost and is payable locally directly to the accommodation.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION

If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

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GROUP TRAVEL

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

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ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE:

To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights),Hostel (9 nights),Hotel (30 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

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