CENTRAL/EASTERN EUROPE GRAND TOUR

A demanding but spectacular tour taking in six European countries. You will experience more than just the sights of Central and Eastern Europe with our rich and diverse programme. We will take you to the local cuisine, wine-tasting and breweries, cultural programmes, folklore and customs, classical music concerts and opera that will give you a real taste of this part of Europe.

PRAGUE - SALZBURG - BERCHTESGADEN - VIENNA - BRATISLAVA - BUDAPEST - LEVOCA - KRAKOW - AUCHWITZ

DATES: on request

PRICE:  EUR  2680/p.p.
the price includes: accommodation with full board in a double room as per the itinerary (19 nights), all bus transfers, English speaking guide, all admission fees, trips, cultural programme, wine tasting - full programme as per the itinerary. 
Single room supplement EUR 450
For groups of 10 or more people, WE WILL BE HAPPY TO MODIFY THE ITINERARY.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Day 1 Prague, World Heritage Site (Czech Republic)
Arrival in Prague and transfer to the hotel.  Dinner in one of the typical beer pubs in the centre;
Late evening program: we will listen to the famous music and watch the spectacular colourful show - the singing fountain at the Exhibition centre. The fountain was first constructed here by the “Czech Edison”, Frantisek Krizik, in 1891. A new fountain was installed at the same location 100 years later.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the historical centre of Prague; dinner included

Day 2 Prague, World Heritage Site (Czech Republic)
In the morning Prague sightseeing (historical centre, castle, the gothic Cathedral of St Vitus, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square), Lunch in a restaurant in the centre.
In the afternoon you can explore the historic streets and lanes of the old town.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the historical centre of Prague; breakfast and lunch included

Day 3   Cesky Krumlov, World Heritage Site (Czech Republic), Salzburg (Austria)
In the morning we will leave Prague and drive to southern Bohemia. In Cesky Krumlov we will make a stop to visit the local brewery and admire the beauty of this small but exquisite town. It has a well preserved city centre (Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture) and a magnificent castle which is the second largest in the Czech Republic. 
In the late afternoon we will continue our tour to Salzburg.
Accommodation:  four-star hotel in central Salzburg; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 4    Salzburg, World Heritage Site (Austria), Berchtesgaden (Germany)
Salzburg sightseeing – a three-hour Sound of Music tour, focussing on the historic centre and locations where the famous movie was filmed.
Berchtesgaden – original and authoritative tour of the Eagle’s Nest, Obersalzberg and Bunker System. Hitler’s country home and headquarters - the second seat of Third Reich power - were located at Obersalzberg, at the foot of the Eagle’s Nest mountain. The so-called “Eagle’s Nest” was built as a teahouse for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. A visit to the underground bunker system gives an idea of the monumental scale of the former headquarters.
After a demanding day, a tasty dinner in a restaurant in Berchtesgaden – Bavarian cuisine is deservedly famous!!!!
Accommodation:  four-star hotel in central Salzburg; breakfast, lunch and dinner included 

Day 5   Hallstatt, World Heritage Site (Austria)
Hallstatt is probably the most beautiful town of the Salzkammergut region. It is situated in a narrow valley under the Alps, on Hallstätter See Lake. The area is known for its beautiful landscape as well as its precious archaeological finds and a unique ossuary. The culmination of the tour is a boat trip on the lake – make sure you have your cameras ready!!!!
Transfer to Graz.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in Graz; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 6   Graz, World Heritage Site (Austria)
It is easy to fill a day in Graz, a picturesque city on the bank of the river of Mur. Its historical centre is the largest in Central Europe, with many things to see: the vast Main Square overlooked by the impressive town hall, the Landhaus, the armoury, the Mausoleum of Ferdinand II, the clock tower and the bell tower, the castle area. We will take the easy way up the Schlossberg hill using the Scholssbergbahn funicular railway, have lunch at a restaurant there...  and walk down the amazing staircase.
Departure to Vienna.
Accommodation:  four-star hotel in central Vienna; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 7   Vienna, World Heritage Site (Austria)
Vienna, the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, will amaze you. A sightseeing tour (bus + walking) will include the highlights of Vienna:  St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), - a symbol of Vienna, the Hofburg – the royal seat of the Habsburg dynasty, the State Opera House, the Natural History Museum, the Parliament, the City Hall, the Belvedere Palace and also a bizarre work of modern art and architecture – the Hunderwasserhouse.
Free afternoon
Optional evening activity: Strauss and Mozart concert in the Kursalon including a dinner
Accommodation: four-star hotel in central Vienna; breakfast and lunch included

 

Day 8   Schoenbrunn Vienna, World Heritage Site (Austria)
Schoenbruun  – Grand tour of the summer seat of the imperial Habsburg family, a beautiful Baroque palace rivalling Versailles with extensive and beautifully kept gardens. In the royal bakery we will watch the traditional “strudel” being baked and taste it afterwards. 
Departure for Bratislava. On the way we will make a stop in Carnuntum – the city of Roman emperors. Newly reconstructed on the remains of an old roman settlement, you can see reproductions of Roman houses exactly as they would have looked almost 2 thousand years ago... You can’t even get such a good insight into Roman life in Rome itself!!!
Transfer to Bratislava, dinner in a restaurant in the centre
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the historic centre of Bratislava, Breakfast & Dinner included

Day 9   Bratislava (Slovakia)
Bratislava sightseeing.  We will take a three-hour bus and walking tour to see the most interesting sights of Bratislava (the Second Wold War memorial – Slavin, with panoramic views over the city, the castle district perched on a hill above the Danube and the historic centre – the St Michael’s Gate to St Martin’s Cathedral, Academia Istropolitana – the first university in the old Hungarian monarchy, the Primatial Palace, the Old Town Hall, the Opera House).
You can spend your free time in the afternoon in one of the many cosy coffee houses in the centre or do some shopping in the largest shopping centre on the bank of the River Danube.
Dinner in the revolving restaurant at the TV tower in the Lesser Carpathian hills above Bratislava with magnificent views over the city and its environs
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the historical centre of Bratislava; breakfast and dinner included.

Day 10   Skalica, Lesser Carpathians (Slovakia)
A full day trip to Bratislava environs:
Skalica–a beautiful old royal city with many interesting sights including 6 churches, 9 other smaller sacral buildings, city walls, all known architectural styles starting with a Romanesque rotunda can be found in the city; visit of a traditional “trdelnik” bakery; the Pilarik brothers’ mill - an interesting industrial heritage monument. Lunch in a medieval restaurant offering dishes prepared according to authentic medieval recipes. In the afternoon we will sail along the BATA Canal and hear the story of the famous shoe manufacturer. From Skalica we drive back to Bratislava over the ridge of the Lesser Carpathians. A lot of wine is grown on these hillsides. We will taste some of them in one of wine cellars in the region. They taste even better paired with a goose or duck dinner.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the historical centre of Bratislava; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11   Budapest, World Heritage Site (Hungary)
Transfer to Budapest. In the afternoon, we will take a bus and walking tour to admire the most beautiful city on the Danube. The four-hour tour will take us to the Castle District and the Citadel in Buda, which have great historic significance as well as panoramic views over the whole city, then across the Chain Bridge to see the most important sites on the Pest side of the Danube including the Basilica, the Synagogue and the Opera House.
Evening: Dinner on a boat on the River  Danube with musical accompaniment.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the centre of Budapest; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 12   Budapest, World Heritage Site (Hungary)
Free day in Budapest; optional: spa in the city (individual treatments).
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the centre of Budapest; breakfast included 

Day 13   Hungarian Puszta, World Heritage Site (Hungary) 
We travel south to the area of the Hungarian Puszta, the Kisunsag National Park.  After the cosmopolitan bustle of Budapest, we will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the countryside. A horse carriage trip to a working farm, a horse show, traditional food cooked on an open fire and gypsy music will give us a real taste of Hungarian traditions and culture.
Accommodation: four-star hotel near Kecskemet; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 14   Szentendre (Hungary), Banska Stiavnica, World Heritage Site (Slovakia)
On the way to Slovakia we will make a stop at the small, picturesque town of Szentendre, which stands between the Danube and the Pilis Mountains. Its distinctive Mediterranean-style architecture is quite unusual in this part of Europe but it makes the place an interesting destination. It also has many museums, galleries and artists’ studios.
Our tour then takes us across the Slovak border to 
Banska Stiavnica. It has a lot to offer to every visitor: one of the best examples of the old royal mining towns, with historic gold and silver mines dating back to the 17 century, beautiful architecture and surrounding countryside, precious industrial and scientific heritage, all overlooked by a Baroque Calvary a the hill above the town.
Accommodation: three-star hotel in the centre of Banska Stiavnica; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 15   Svaty Anton, Banska Stiavnica (Slovakia)
Not far from Banska Stiavnica, we can admire an elegant Baroque manor house, the former summer residence of the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand Coburg. It has a collection with many interesting exhibits including a suite of golden furniture that Maria Theresa gave as a present to her daughter Maria Antoinette. Lunch will be served in a cosy restaurant full of Slovak folklore. Our afternoon activity is something very special: a craft course where you can try some of Slovakia’s folk crafts for yourself!    
Dinner: we will taste traditional Slovak dishes and afterwards there will be a special cultural programme: folklore and mining traditions presented by the local folklore group, including the melancholy tones of the fujara, Slovakia’s unique shepherd’s flute (UNESCO list of Oral and Intangible Heritage)
Accommodation: three-star hotel in the centre of Banska Stiavnica; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 16   Vlkolinec, World Heritage Site, High Tatras, (Slovakia)
Transfer to northern Slovakia. First stop at Vlkolinec – a unique Slovak mountain village where time seems to have stood still, with wooden houses over two hundred years old that are still inhabited!!! 
A short visit to the smallest alpine mountains in the world – the
High Tatras
Accommodation: three-star hotel in Levoca; breakfast, lunch and dinner included 

Day 17   Spis region, World Heritage Site (Slovakia)
During this day we will visit the most attractive sights of the Spis region. The Spis castle (the castle with the largest area in Central Europe) is the monumental castle that dominates the whole region. In its environs we will visit also the historic ecclesiastical town of Spiska Kapitula and the early Gothic church in Zehra, which has original frescos from the 13th century. In the afternoon we will tour the sights in the town of Levoca – a picturesque renaissance royal town whose majestic gothic church has the highest Gothic wooden altar in the world!
Accommodation: three-star hotel in Levoca; breakfast and lunch included

Day 18   Wieliczka and Krakow, World Heritage Sites, (Poland) 
Transfer to Poland. One of the fascinating world-class attractions of Poland is the Salt mine at Wieliczka. The sightseeing and the lunch in a local tavern will be an unforgettable experience.
From Wieliczka, it is just a short drive to Krakow, the most famous city in Poland, with a long and rich history.
We will tour the old streets of 
Krakow in special chauffeur driven vehicles.  
Dinner will be served in a restaurant with nice view at the top of the hill Kopiec 
Kosciuszki
Accommodation:  four-star hotel in the centre of Krakow; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 19   Krakow, Auschwitz (Poland)
In the morning, we will tour the royal Wawel castle with its arcaded courtyard and cathedral. The castle houses a rich collection of historical items in many rooms including the state rooms and private royal apartments, the crown treasury and the armoury. The cathedral also includes the royal tombs.
The visit of the royal castle is in a harsh contrast to the rough place we will tour in the afternoon. The 
Auschwitz concentration camp one is a monument to some of the worst inhumanity of the Second World War.
Accommodation: four-star hotel in the centre of Krakow; breakfast, lunch and dinner included

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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