One of Insight Vacation’s favourite itineraries, this journey is full of charm and splendour. With two nights spent in most cities, take the time to get to know each destination and uncover its secrets, whether it is mouth-watering Sachertorte over coffee in Vienna or delicious homemade pasta in Orvieto. Along the way you’ll be welcomed by passionate locals who love showing you the best Europe has to offer.
- You’re invited for a culinary feast at the home of a local in beautiful Budapest, one of Europe’s best-kept secrets.
- Hosted in the underground cellar of Machiavelli’s home, you’ll have the chance to taste delicious Tuscan wines known for their robust ﬂavours and rich heritage.
- Delight in a gourmet walking tour of Paris, during which you’ll taste local delicacies from a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier.
- Rhine Valley: The beautiful scenery of the Rhine River is supplemented by the many castles dotted along its banks. Delight in a private estate viewing at one of these Rhineland castles and learn more about these living cultural monuments situated along the Middle Rhine.
- Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing and watch artisans create delicate works of art.
- Venice: Learn how the Venetian gondola is made on a visit to a traditional arts centre.
- Vatican City: Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. During your visit to St Peter’s Basilica, see Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ and Bernini’s intricately carved Papal Altar.
- Stanserhorn: Journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn where you will learn about local wildlife from a Swiss Ranger.
Top Rated Highlights
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from London to Europe via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Amsterdam: Cruise in a glass-topped boat through the city’s historic waterways, where wealthy merchants built mansions during the Golden Age of the 17th century.
- Würzburg: See the Residenz Palace as you explore the old town with your Travel Director. Stand on the statue-lined Alte Mainbrucke and see the Marienburg fortress.
- Prague: Bewitched by the gargoyles of St. Vitus Cathedral and ghosts of Bohemian Kings, this majestic city is where you’ll join a Local Expert on a private guided tour through the courtyards of Prague Castle. Enjoy views over Vltava River before visiting Old Town Square to see the Astronomical Clock.
- Budapest: Spend some time in the popular pedestrian shopping street of Váci Utca. From the heights of Gellért Hill, in front of the Citadella, see the mighty Danube with its many bridges linking Buda and Pest. Visiting the Central Market Hall is a foodie’s dream. Accompanied by your Local Expert, wander three levels of stalls, brimming with mouthwatering salamis, spicy paprika, Hungarian wines and a whole lot of Pálinka.
- Vienna: Walk through the first district, Inner Stadt, as your Local Expert reveals why this is the historic core of the city. You will also tour the Ring Road to see the Hofburg Imperial Residence, Opera House, Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
- Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark’s Square and see the Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark’s Basilica.
- Rome: See the mighty Colosseum and Roman Forum as well as other medieval buildings, Renaissance palaces and Baroque churches, scattered through the city.
- Orvieto: Visit this pleasant Umbrian hilltop town.
- Florence: Join a Local Expert to view the multi-coloured marble cathedral, bell tower and baptistery, adorned by Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. Visit the political heart of the city, Signoria Square. See the area around Santa Croce Basilica, famous for the quality of its luxury goods.
- Florence: Enjoy watching the masters at work as you visit a leather workshop.
- Lucerne: View the emotive Lion Monument and walk the covered Chapel Bridge to see the Jesuit Church.
- Paris: See the many attractions Paris has to offer such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Eurostar: Relax on the smooth, high-speed Eurostar train as you journey from Paris to London via the revolutionary Channel Tunnel.
- Scenic Drives: Throughout your journey, enjoy the scenery as you drive along the Romantic Road and later pass the areas of Bohemia, Carinthian Lake District, Tuscany, Umbria, Chianti Hills, Swiss Alps, Italian Lake District and Burgundy.
- Amsterdam: Toast to the travels ahead during your Welcome Dinner of modern European cuisine at Humphrey’s Restaurant Spuistraat, a trendy eatery located in the heart of the city and surrounded by 17th century homes.
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the most well-preserved town on the Romantic Road. With an artisan baker, enjoy a demonstration and learn the history of the traditional pastry Schneeballen (snowball), followed by a tasting.
- Budapest: Enjoy a scenic dinner cruise and take in the city’s night time beauty as you float along the Danube.
- Vienna: Traditional coffeehouses are still a meeting place for philosophers and storytellers. Feast on delicious Viennese specialties alongside a local who shares tales from a bygone era.
- Venice: Savour dinner at a local restaurant and then enjoy a short stroll to St Mark’s Square at twilight.
- Venice: Sip Bellini cocktails alongside the canals at Café Florian, while being serenaded by an ensemble of talented musicians and soak up the calming atmosphere long after the day-trippers have returned to their mainland hotels.
- Tuscany: Enjoy a tasting of locally made wines and sample delicious Tuscan snacks in the underground cellar of Machiavelli’s home. While here you will visit the Italian gardens and be privy to a private opening of the ofﬁce where he wrote ‘The Prince.’
- Orvieto: At a restaurant in the medieval heart of Orvieto, explore the art of Italian cooking with Chef Lorenzo and observe how he makes fresh pasta by hand. Afterwards, enjoy a Highlight Lunch paired with a glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
- Lucerne: Choose from a selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening and hand-pick your preferred ambience, cuisine and drinks for an intimate culinary experience.
- Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Paris and try some local delicacies in a pâtisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier on an off-the-beaten-track, gourmet walking tour.
- Paris: Rendezvous at Le Petit Prince de Paris, an atmospheric French bistro, with the motto ‘There is no love more sincere than that of good food’. Your Celebration Dinner offers home-style cooking with traditional French ingredients, and of course accompanied by delicious French wines.
Planning your holiday with Fine Travel
We aim to give our clients the comfort that all aspects of their holiday are organised. When you book your Insight Vacations tour through us, you can also take advantage of:
- “Earlybird” and repeat client discounts that Insight Vacations offers.
- Our experience working with the various airlines that fly between New Zealand and the UK / Europe to help you find suitable flights.
- Our ability to book accommodation through New Zealand’s largest travel wholesale companies and international brands such as Expedia and Bookings.com).
- Our role as a single point of contact for the different suppliers involved in your holiday. We can deal with the airlines, hotels, tour companies, insurance companies etc. on your behalf.