Bird's-eye view of Old Town Bern in Switzerland.

Endless experiences await with a tour of Europe as you indulge in charms from around the continent. From the famous boulevards of Paris and the countryside castles of Germany to the delectable cuisine of Italy and crystal clear waters of Greece, a Europe tour from Zicasso will curate iconic landmarks and unique experiences only our experts can arrange. Create your own journey today.

Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Europe

How to Book a Europe Tour

Europe offers epic history, fairytale castles, Mediterranean sunsets, and mouthwatering cuisine. Each European country offers something vastly different than its neighbor in terms of heritage, culture, and history. With 44 countries in the continent, and each known for their unique blend of history, mythology, culture, and cuisine, it is often the intimate ambiance and surprise experiences that will become your favorite moments.

First-time visitors often wish to see the icons of Europe, such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Whether discovering the point at which East meets West in Istanbul, exploring the Moorish palaces of Andalusia, or viewing the snowy summit of the Matterhorn, Europe offers a delightful look at the progression of Western Civilization, intricate art, natural scenery, and gastronomic diversity.

There are three ways to plan and book a trip:

  1. Get a customized tour planned and booked by a travel professional. Travel independently on your own schedule.
  2. Book a group tour. Join an escorted group tour with a fixed departure date.
  3. Plan and book a trip yourself.

Zicasso offers the best solution for a customized tour by matching you with top travel specialists who plan and book the trip for you. Our travel agency division, Marageti, specializes in helping you book an escorted group tour. There is no extra cost to you for either service.

Custom Tours

A customized tour is one that is planned by a travel specialist according to your specific interests, preferences, and schedule. Whether you desire a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, each of the accommodations, activities, and destinations is tailored to your preferences.The knowledge and experience of your travel specialist makes a big difference. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours vetting the best travel partners. We act as a referral service, matching you with specialists that best meet your goals and priorities.

Escorted Group Tours

A group tour offers the advantage of convenience at a great value. The schedule is fixed, the itinerary is pre-planned, and a dedicated tour director travels with the group throughout the trip. A group tour can be 30 - 50% less expensive than an equivalent customized tour. Out of the many hundreds of group tours, how do you select the right one for you? Our travel agency division, Marageti, has sales agents who specialize in helping travelers weigh the pros and cons of each group tour. We give you personalized recommendations to find the best tour for you.

Goals and Priorities

What are your goals and priorities for the trip? These should drive your decision for either a customized tour or a fixed departure group tour. We are here to help you make the right decisions to make your dream trip a reality.

Single Country vs Multi-Country Trip: Pro & Cons

The number of days you have in each country will directly affect the type of experience you have in Europe. Your immersion into the culture, activities, and restaurants will correlate with your decision to take a single or multi-country trip. The following are typical pros and cons to single and multi-country travel.

Single Country

Pros:

  • Witness more of the scenery and culture of a single country
  • Discover different layers of a country’s cuisine
  • Enjoy the diversity of country-specific activities

Cons:

  • Only explore the perspective of a single country’s culture
  • Your vacation is not as diverse
  • You may not experience certain or see particular highlights

Multi-Country

Pros:

  • Enjoy a broader perspective of Europe as a whole
  • Experience the convenience of proximity and geography of European countries
  • Taste the difference between diverse European cuisines

Cons:

  • Do not experience the layers and depth of multiple countries
  • A limited amount of time in each country means that you must choose between activities, tours, and excursions

Must-See Destinations in Europe

Alongside our Europe travel specialists, we have worked to provide you with suggestions for a variety of trip lengths. A custom Zicasso tour organizes your excursions, activities, and experiences around your goals and specific timeline. The following recommendations act as helpful guidelines.

Most travelers from the United States spend 10 days in Europe on a single or multi-country trip. Ten days is a great amount of time to enjoy a deep dive into the cultural history of one country or to witness the highlights of multiple countries. How and where you travel will depend on your goals when visiting Europe. The following examples are suggestions on where to go depending on the length of your trip.

7 to 9 Day Trips

If you have between seven and nine days to travel in Europe, we suggest that you visit one country or two neighboring countries, such as England and France or Spain and Portugal. Seven to nine days is a great amount of time to see the main cities and the rural landscapes of a country. How and where you travel depends on your goals in Europe. The following examples depend on the length of your trip.

7 Days

Days 1-3: London, England

Days 3-7: Paris, France

Or

Days 1-2: Lisbon, Portugal

Days 3-4: Madrid, Spain

Days 5-7: Barcelona, Spain

Or

Days 1-2: Copenhagen, Denmark

Days 3-4: Oslo, Norway

Days 5-7: Stockholm, Sweden

8 Days

Days 1-4: London, England

Days 5-8: Paris, France

Or

Days 1-3: Barcelona, Spain

Days 4-5: Madrid, Spain

Day 5-7: Seville, Spain

Day 8: Lisbon, Portugal

Or

Days 1-3: Copenhagen, Denmark

Days 4-5: Oslo, Norway

Days 6-8: Stockholm, Sweden

9 Days

Days 1-3: London, England

Days 4-6: Paris, France

Days 7-9: Rome, Italy

Or

Days 1-3: Barcelona, Spain

Days 4-5: Madrid, Spain

Day 5-7: Seville, Spain

Day 8-9: Lisbon, Portugal

Or

Days 1-3: Copenhagen, Denmark

Days 4-6: Oslo, Norway

Days 7-9: Stockholm, Sweden

If you have more time (10-14 Days), we recommend:

If you can spend approximately two weeks in Europe, we suggest that you take your time to enjoy more in-depth experiences within a single or neighboring countries. 10 days provides enough time to experience the highlights of a country or multiple countries. If you have around 14 days, you can also divide your time between the highlights of European capitals and scenery.

All Zicasso tours are customized to your preferences, but here is how we recommend spending your time:

10 Days

Days 1-3: London, England

Days 4-6: Paris, France

Days 7-10: Rome, Italy

Or

Days 1-3: London, England

Days 4-5: Bath, England

Days 6-7: Cotswolds, England

Days 8-9: Edinburgh, Scotland

Day 10: Glasgow, Scotland

12 Days

Days 1-3: London, England

Days 4-5: Bath, England

Days 6-7: Cotswolds, England

Days 8-9: Edinburgh, Scotland

Days 10-11: Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Day 12: Glasgow, Scotland

Or

Days 1-4: London, England

Days 5-8: Paris, France

Days 9-10: Brussels, Belgium

Days 11-12: Amsterdam, Netherlands

14 Days

Days 1-2: Berlin, Germany

Days 3-4: Black Forest, Germany

Days 5-6: Munich, Germany

Days 7-8: Salzburg, Austria

Days 9-10: St. Moritz, Switzerland

Days 11-12: Lucerne, Switzerland

Days 13-14: Zurich, Switzerland

Or

Days 1-3: Paris, France

Days 4-5: Nice, France

Day 6: Milan, Italy

Day 7: Venice, Italy

Days 8-10: Florence, Italy

Days 11-14: Rome, Italy

Or

Days 1-3: Rome, Italy

Days 4-5: Florence, Italy

Days 6-7: Venice, Italy

Days 8-9: Athens, Greece

Days 10-11: Santorini, Greece

Days 12-14: Crete, Greece

How many days is enough to see Europe?

14 days is a great amount of time for a trip to Europe. While spending three weeks would afford you more time to explore the great diversity of cultures and landscapes around the regions of Europe, two weeks gives you plenty of time to enjoy popular highlights mixed with a number of off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Top Recommended Regions, Countries, and Essential Experiences

What are the Key European Regions?

Western Europe: Western Europe consists of Belgium, France, the Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, which consists of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Northern Europe: Northern Europe consists of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.

Southern Europe: Southern Europe consists of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Malta, San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, and Vatican City.

Central Europe: Central Europe consists of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Czech Republic.

Eastern Europe: Eastern Europe consists of Russia, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Top Recommended Countries to Visit in Europe

Italy

Italy is a country of marvelous history, fantastic art, and delicious cuisine. Cities act as open-air museums that represent masterworks of architecture, and the charming atmosphere emanates from the clothing to the cafes. Endless feasts and surprising natural grandeur featuring turquoise water to rolling Tuscan hills, Alpine grandeur and blankets of vineyards underscore the marvels of Italy.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Italy are:

Rome: Rome is a fascinating mixture of ancient ruins, medieval streets, and vibrant contemporary life that feeds into its romantic and charismatic ambiance.

Florence: Florence is the Cradle of the Renaissance with an indelible connection to artistic and architectural masterpieces as well as an irresistible perspective of Tuscan cuisine.

Venice: Venice is a regal city that rises out of the eponymous lagoon. Renaissance palaces, Venetian feasts, and artisanal crafts symbolize the conventions of the former Republic.

Greece

The drama of Greece emerges from sun-drenched beaches, ancient ruins, and the balmy waters of the Aegean Sea. Historic wines and delicious cuisine highlight the natural beauty of the wilderness that hide Byzantine footpaths. Island living, a spirited cafe culture, and hanging churches bring to light the intriguing ambiance of Greece.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Greece are:

Athens: Athens remains the ancient capital of Europe with equal measures of graceful ruin and contemporary cafe-culture. Layers of history and endless creative energy reveal the crossroads at which the past and present meet.

Santorini: Santorini is a pearl in the Cycladic Islands with whitewashed buildings that shine with bougainvillea and blue-domed churches. The town overlooks the steep cliffs of the caldera that highlight the ancient, romantic, and beguiling.

Mykonos: Mykonos represents glamour and glitz in Greece. From whitewashed buildings that create a warren of streets to chic boutique shops and opulent cafes, Mykonos is a celebration of Cycladic Island living.

Crete: Crete is a mosaic of ancient wonder, diverse landscapes, and charming villages. Tradition remains palpable in the generous cuisine, welcoming locals,  and colorful beaches.

Spain

The passion of Spanish culture becomes an immersive experience inspired by delicious cuisine, tasty wine, and diverse heritage spread across the Iberian Peninsula. Mountain ranges, vinelands, and gold-sand beaches represent the natural splendor while surreal architecture, regal artwork, and Moorish designs reflect the nation’s distinctive history.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Spain are:

Madrid: The masterful Spanish capital has become one of Europe’s culinary epicenters, features a remarkable artistic pedigree, and retains a regal charisma. Wide boulevards and an energetic atmosphere bolster the reputation of Madrilenos and their zest for life.

Barcelona: The sunny Mediterranean lifestyle and scenery of Barcelona are world-renowned. Medieval streets, exotic cuisine, and surreal embellishments of famous architectural designs reveal elements of the vibrant culture.

Seville: Seville opens a doorway into Spain’s past with Gothic architecture and Mudejar palaces. Winding medieval lanes combine with the aroma of oranges and the sounds of flamenco for an intimate and intense introduction to tradition.

France

The culture, cuisine, artwork, and beauty of France seduces visitors, whether within the purple lavender fields of Provance or the galleries of the Louvre in Paris. From Mont St-Michel in the north to the Promenade des Anglais in the south, the wines of Bordeaux to the chateaus of the Loire Valley, France embodies opulence and charm.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in France are:

Paris: Paris is an icon of Europe with quintessential monuments and museum galleries that display recognizable works of art. Hosting the epitome of fashion boutiques and the embodiment of cafe culture, Paris remains a creative force that brims with gastronomy, style and artistic treasures.

Loire Valley: The Loire Valley embodies French opulence, authentic style, and traditional gastronomy. Castles, chateaus, villages, and vineyards turn the dreamy landscape into a picture of artistic and architectural marvels that span over a millennium.

Normandy: Normandy contains layers of European history and artistic drama. With a vital role in World War II, fascinating works of art that depict scenes of 11th-century life, epic medieval towns to stunning coastal cliffs, Normandy is visceral, impressive, and serene.

Cote d’Azur: Chic, glitzy, and colorful represent the lavish ambiance of the French Riviera. The Mediterean Sea shimmers blue. Impressive yachts weigh anchor in the harbors. Private beaches glitter with gold sands. The Riviera personifies the pleasure and beauty of France.

Croatia

Croatia is a fantasy on the Adriatic Sea with ancient walled towns, sapphire waters, and succulent cuisine. The coastline and islands offer treasured beaches while the hinterlands of the Istrian Peninsula provide a serene countryside escape. From waterfalls to glistening lakes, delicious wines to Venetian palaces, the dreams of the Mediterranean become reality in Croatia.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Croatia are:

Split: Split represents the exuberant lifestyle of Dalmatia that showcases the incredible balance between tradition and contemporary culture. Impressive Roman monuments, vibrant restaurants, chic boutique shops, and atmospheric old walls blend modernity with thousands of years of history.

Dubrovnik: The timeless glint of the Adriatic Sea reflects the beauty of Dubrovnik’s limestone streets and Baroque architecture. Medieval walls protect the historic district beneath the looming peak of Mt. Srd. From picturesque lanes to artistic Venetian palaces, Dubrovnik amazes and delights.

Lakes Plitvice National Park: Lakes Plitvice is Croatia’s most popular national park and dazzles with 16 emerald-blue lakes and a network of resounding waterfalls that are representative of Croatia’s opulent scenery.

Portugal

Diversity linked by rivers and the sea encapsulate the marvels of Portugal. Steep mountain ranges and lush plains lead to sunbaked beaches and picturesque coves. Stone-built villages and charming towns stand beneath grand medieval castles and elegant monasteries. Rich wines, enticing rhythms, and delicious cuisines support the deeply rooted history of Portugal.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Portugal are:

Lisbon: Lisbon’s collection of cobbled alleyways and hills that overlook the banks of the Tagus River provide pristine panoramas of culture and history. With white-domed cathedrals, ancient ruins, and world-class museums, Lisbon offers equal parts exploration and relaxation.

Porto: Porto exemplifies Portuguese culture along the maze of narrow streets and lively waterfront at the mouth of the Douro River. Architectural treasures and preserved neighborhoods showcase historic extravagance and charm while brimming with modern art, music, and cuisine.

The Algarve: The Algarve shines with postcard-perfect beaches and alluring coastal cliffs. Portugal’s southernmost region hides sea caves, scalloped bays, and protected lagoons that protect birdlife. Impressive castles, whitewashed villages, and orchards stuffed with almond and citrus trees only enhance the beauty of the region.

UK & Ireland

Rich tradition, lively contemporary culture, and dramatic wilderness define the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. London captures the prestige of the former empire while the mythology of Ireland spreads from Trinity College’s fascinating library to the epic coastline at the Cliffs of Moher. Ethereal Stonehenge, mysterious Edinbrugh, historic Cardiff, legendary Blarney Castle, and ancient Bath only scratch at the surface of the United Kingdom and Ireland’s dynamism.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in the United Kingdom and Ireland are:

London: London is both timeless and ancient, immersing visitors in rich antiquity while displaying constant artistic and cultural innovation. Cosmopolitan ambiance emerges from the nation’s capital, and leafy gardens separate urban density to reveal the city’s dazzling contrasts.

Edinburgh: Edinburgh is a city of medieval grandeur. Monuments top craggy cliffs and the architecture sprawls across rugged hills. Castles, palaces, Christmas markets, and summer festivals bring to light the transfixing charm of the city’s contemporary culture and rich history.

Dingle: Dingle is enchanting, authentic, and diverse. From the hilly narrow lanes to the shops painted with kaleidoscopes of color, views of the cobalt bay to traditional songs pouring out of pubs, Dingle brings the storied marvels of Ireland to life whether in town or on the scenic Ring of Kerry.

Germany

Germany has a distinctive spirit with romantic castles and half-timbered towns. Large cities balance tradition with modern engineering while the scenery transitions from coastal dunes to moody forests, expansive vineyards to the snow-blanketed Alps. Powerful history, captivating technology, and a profound effect on contemporary cuisine unfold to reveal Germany’s indelible intrigue.

What to See & Do

The most popular destinations to visit in Germany are:

Berlin: Berlin is a testament to contemporary German culture with flair that stems from vibrant museums, lively art galleries, and a famous opera house. The eclectic combination of classic architecture, cultural institutions, preserved relics, and distinctive entertainment reveal the glamour and grit of Berlin’s tangible history.

Munich: Munich embodies the German word Gemütlichkeit, which is a feeling of warmth and good cheer. The city always feels festive and cheerful with elaborate palaces, preserved historic walls, and a distinctive blend of preserved traditions intermingling with edgy contemporary art and modern high-tech.

The Bavarian Alps: The natural divide along the Austrian border has been discovered for more than its remarkable ski season. The Bavarian Alps are celebrated for fresco-adorned villages, thrilling hiking and canoeing excursions, relaxing health and spa retreats, and fairytale castles.

The Rhine Valley: The Rhine Valley exudes romance and charm as the river winds between slate mountains and hillsides are topped with castles. Terraced vineyards, dramatic forests, and idyllic villages with half-timbered houses bring the world of storybooks to life.

Special Interests & Activities in Europe

Traveling with Zicasso provides you with exclusive access to many activities, excursions, and tours for a distinctive experience. The following information offers insight into our recommended experiences and can be tailored to focus on your unique interests.

Best Food & Wine Destinations

As a destination for food and wine, Europe presents dynamic differences between countries that each possess their own culinary traditions. From the blend of spices in Hungary to the typical drying methods for Spain’s Bellota ham, France’s famous love affair with butter to Turkey’s recipes showcasing where East meets West, there is something for every foodie to enjoy.

Europe remains at the heart of global wine production with thousands of years of history that support Old World flavors while pushing innovation in experiences, tastings, and production. The diverse terrain of the continent gives way to the unique properties that are inherent in the internationally-celebrated vintages. Varietals can be enjoyed locally with winemaking techniques that date back to 4,000 BC.

From the regions of Italy that cultivate deep flavors to the coastlines and the mountainous regions that are home to deep traditions of France, the wine-producing countries in Europe possess seductive regions that encourage a blend of traditional flavors through customary means and newer trends.

Piemonte, Italy

Piemonte will spoil you with food and wine. A mixture of calcareous soil and undulating terrain produces spectacular risotto, gorgonzola cheese, and renowned white truffles. The region also hosts the international headquarters of the Slow Food Movement. The vineyards of Piemonte reveal the reasons the region is a fundamental wine destination in Europe. The region specializes in the production of Barolo, which is often celebrated as Italy’s best wine.

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is a flagship destination for food and wine in Europe. Gourmet restaurants pair local wines that showcase how to balance rich flavors with acid, fat, heat, and salt, whether with subtle layers or bold steps. The landscape brims with castles, ancient villages, and vines that encompass 250,000 acres acres within the region. The oceanic climate combined with the temperate river shapes the complexity and elegance for which the wines of Bordeaux are known, including some of the world’s finest wines.

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, nestled between the vines of Rioja and the lapping waves of the Bay of Biscay, has a unique connection with wine and food. Michelin-starred restaurants and authentic pintxo bars preserve the local flavors that have been inspired by Basque traditions while reflecting a dynamic culture. Superior flavors of the vines stem from ancient Roman traditions in neighboring Rioja to the fizzy white ciders of the Txakoli vineyards. Whether searching for excellent  food, wine, or both, San Sebastian remains a European culinary capital.

Middle Rhine, Germany

Vines cling to the steep hillsides of the Middle Rhine Valley for a dramatic effect that pales in comparison to the delicious Rieslings the traditional cultivation methods produce. Between the looming storybook castles and winding waters of the Rhine River stand more than 1,136 acres of terraced vines that possess finesse, nuance, and elegance.

Zicasso’s Exclusive Access to Europe Best Wine

Zicasso travel specialists can organize private tastings and design exclusive visits for food and wine enthusiasts. You can enjoy private cooking classes or sample internationally celebrated wines at a coveted vineyard. You can also learn more about the distinctive varietals of Europe’s wine history, production, and regional specialties from a local sommelier.

Art & History

As a continent, Europe exudes culture that derives from thousands of years of collective heritage and independent national progression. Artwork across Europe is displayed in grand museums and along the streets as architectural treasures. Galleries represent the work of contemporary artists, the aesthetic of ancient artisans, and the challenging perspectives of modern designers in a variety of mediums. Whether focusing on prehistoric artwork or Roman mosaics, Europe embraces its heritage that dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Whether looking for Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, preserved Moorish arches, Azulejo tiles, or striking Greek statues, the countries of Europe proudly treasure masterpieces and artifacts alike.

Must-See Art Museums & Attractions:

  • Louvre Museum, Paris - Witness tens of thousands of pieces of art in the galleries that span ancient Mesopotamia to Greek antiquities and works by da Vinci to Rembrandt.
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence - Embrace the beauty of the Renaissance with masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raphael.
  • Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence - Discover the iconic image of the Renaissance when standing beneath the towering figure of Michelangelo’s David.
  • British Museum, London - Enjoy one of the world’s oldest museums that hosts ancient artifacts from Egypt to Greece in addition to the captivating Rosetta Stone.
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam - View the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work, which reveals the artist’s life through 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters.
  • Vatican Museum, Vatican City - Uncover one of the world’s greatest art collections that displays Etruscan bronzes, Raphael’s frescoes, and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
  • Prado Museum, Madrid - Revel in the wealth of classical masterpieces that once belonged to the Spanish Royal family, showcasing the European masters’ diversity.
  • Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao - Delight in how the architecture of the museum is as much a work of art as the galleries that feature work by Serra, Rothko, and Warhol.
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen - Delight in cutting-edge exhibits and rotating galleries in the labyrinth of halls, glass corridors, and abstract rolling gardens.
  • Gemaldegalerie, Berlin - Uncover the most significant collection of European paintings in the world featuring Flemish masters to notable Italian Renaissance artists.

History

History in Europe feels ancient and ever-present. The foundations of European civilizations date back to the 3rd millennium BC and spread from the shores of the Mediterranean to the edges of the British Isles. Preserved traditions reflect proud national heritage and are connected through histories that are intertwined through royal marriages, unforgettable battles, or trade. Cities embody modern life and act as living museums that showcase preserved architecture or contemporary designs. On a customized Zicasso trip, our travel specialist will organize custom tours with specialized guides, such as members of community organizations, archeologists with a PhD, or history professors. We can also organize history-focused small-group tours with a certified guide.

Active Tours

Active tours in Europe highlight the beauty of the landscape and thrills of the natural scenery whether along coastal beauty, rugged mountainscapes, or stunning cliffs. We recommend the following active experiences when visiting Europe.

Hiking

  • Dolomites, Italy - Trekking in the Dolomites provides views to jagged peaks and azure lakes in the secluded corner of northeast Italy.
  • Swiss Alps, Switzerland - The well-connected network of trails offers a safe environment decorated with glaciers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and jagged mountain peaks.
  • Isle of Skye, Scotland - HIking the Isle of Skye immerses you in the otherworldly and spellbinding scenery of craggy coastlines, jagged peaks, and eerie rock formations.

Mountain Biking

  • Mallorca, Spain - The sun and smooth roads of Mallorca provide a great introduction to the diverse terrain of long flat trails or twisting mountain paths.
  • Provence, France - The natural beauty of Provence promises marvelous cycling routes lined with lavender fields, vineyards, and lush hillsides.
  • Netherlands - Well-marked cycling paths and flat landscapes create a fabulous experience in the Netherlands accentuated by blossoming tulip fields in spring.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark - The cycling culture in Copenhagen supports a system of cycling streets leading to elegant bridges, serene beaches, and modern architecture.

Private Excursions and Special Access

Zicasso’s travel specialist partners have experience in organizing tours for inside access. Each excursion or activity is customized to your interest and goals, and often become your most treasured experiences. The following list provides examples of special access tours or excursions that you can  experience, but the possibilities are endless.

  • Visit a high-end luxury watchmaker for insight into the artisan craft and intricate detail that is inherent in every watch crafted in Switzerland.
  • Delight in a private helicopter tour around the Alps for a unique view of the undulating summits that span more than 745 miles.
  • Experience the comfort, thrill, and prestige of driving a luxury sports car on a private racetrack in Italy or on the open road that winds through Germany
  • Revel in the chic and stylish aesthetic of a private shopper when visiting designer shops around Italy.
  • Enjoy early access to the Vatican Museum with a specialized guide for a semi-private view of the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel.
  • Explore the clear waters of the Aegean Sea with a private sailing excursion around famous Greek islands.
  • Discover the grandeur of the Northern Lights in an exclusive glass-domed accommodation in Norway’s Lapland.
  • Visit a family-owned reindeer farm in Sweden’s Lapland during a private dog-sledding tour across the remote landscape blanketed with pristine snow.
  • Learn the history art of mosaics with a private art instructor who offers a mixture of historical context, friendly instruction, and unique artistic aesthetics.
  • Embrace style and etiquette during a special High-Tea in London that focuses on British culture and manners as taught by a former royal butler.

Best Time to Visit Europe

The best time to visit Europe is in May and again in October. These months not only reflect the most consistent weather across the majority of countries in Europe but also represent the shoulder season when crowds would have shrunk from their peak in the summer.

December is also a great time to visit Europe. Many cities within certain countries in Europe have Christmas markets in December, which create a festive atmosphere accentuated by snowy streets and the jovial attitudes of locals. The countries with the most popular Christmas markets include Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Austria, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

The climate varies dramatically across the European continent throughout the year. The summer months of June to August are popular for visiting Western and Southern Europe due to warm weather and travelers eager to enjoy coastal destinations in countries like Italy, Spain, France, Greece, and Croatia. Spring and autumn are considered shoulder seasons across Europe. Winter is popular for European travelers eager to enjoy winter sports but is not as popular with US travelers.

How far in advance should I plan a trip to Europe?

To ensure that you can enjoy your time in the cities you wish to visit and the accommodations you prefer, you should plan your Europe trip between six to eight months in advance. If you plan to travel during the high season, which is from June to August, you should consider planning your trip between 8 to 10 months in advance. Planning 8 to 10 months in advance is also suggested if you wish to travel to destinations known for certain festivals, such as Munich during Oktoberfest, Siena during the Palio, or Nice during Carnival.

Modes of Transportation in Europe

The best way to see Europe in 10 days is with a combination of trains and flights. In the majority of European countries, trains are efficient, economical, accessible, and reliable. Trains are often the fastest way to travel between large cities within the same country as well. Flights are also an easy way to travel long distances quickly, especially if traveling between countries. International flights within Europe are often inexpensive and quick.

Your Zicasso travel specialist will ensure that your logistics are as smooth as possible when in Europe by including private airport transfers, trains, or flights between destinations to create a stress-free Europe tour.

What to Consider When Traveling Through Europe

When traveling on a Europe tour, you must account for travel logistics, accessibility, and safety. The following information offers important considerations so that you can enjoy a stress-free travel experience.

Is Europe Safe for Travel?

Europe is very safe for travelers. When visiting populated areas known to tourists, petty theft, such as pickpocketing, can occur, but your overall safety is never in question. Using common sense, such as not allowing strangers to carry your luggage in the train station or keeping your bags close to you at all times will help ensure your safety while also keeping your valuables safe.

Cultural Considerations

Europe has a mixture of cultures, heritages, and histories that range from conservative religious values to more modern liberal perspectives. When traveling in Europe, certain countries may approach seemingly mundane details of life from a different perspective, such as ice or air conditioning. Many countries in Europe also have a different relationship with service that ranges from warm hospitality with friendly smiles to a laissez-faire attitude that requires patience.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

For Families

Family culture is important across the different countries of Europe. Locals are often excited to share their heritage with children from other countries. When working with a Zicasso travel specialist, you will always have family-friendly guides who understand how to balance activities with educational and cultural experiences for engaging tours. Considerations you can make when visiting Europe as a family include:

Rome

  • Gladiator school
  • Food classes (most kids love pizza and pasta)
  • Kid-friendly guides and private tours
  • Learn how to make gelato and pizza with family-friendly instructors

London

  • Princess Diana Memorial Park
  • Paddington Bear Themed Tour
  • Tower of London Tour
  • Harry Potter City and Studio Tour

Paris

  • Boats at the Palais du Luxembourg
  • Art and Culture tour of the Louvre Museum
  • Chocolate Tasting Tour of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
  • Stroll through Parc Monceau, which were once called “Illusion Land”

For Seniors

Seniors must consider that walking on cobblestone streets or on winding hilly lanes for long periods of time may affect your Europe tour. An expert Zicasso specialist will minimize any mobility challenges or stamina considerations by ensuring that your guides organize your tours accordingly. A senior traveling in Europe should also be aware of the heat depending on the time of year you travel and countries you will visit. Traveling in small groups through Marageti will also hit the highlights and take care of travel logistics, such as carrying luggage or looking for the right train.

Considerations you could make when visiting Europe on a senior tour include:

Ireland & Scotland

  • No language barrier – easy to travel around
  • Lots of countryside without the hustle and bustle of big cities

Stockholm

  • Clean and comfortable
  • Great food
  • No language barrier because the majority of the population speaks English

Tuscany

  • Accessibility
  • Food and wine

For Couples

Your travel specialist will understand the best destinations and experiences in Europe for couples who wish to combine activities, exploration, and romance. Unspeakably romantic properties, thrilling outdoor excursions, and private tours will ensure that you create intimate memories. Exclusive tours will also shape your unforgettable experience. Considerations you could make when visiting Europe on a couples tour include:

Italy

  • Enchanting seaside villages
  • Remarkable ancient ruins
  • Lush countryside
  • Rolling vineyards
  • Medieval castles
  • Charming historic towns
  • Simple and delectable cuisine

France

  • Opulent palaces
  • Pristine winelands
  • Gold-sand beaches
  • Secluded medieval villages
  • Rich cuisine

Greece

  • Ancient history
  • Sensational islands
  • Delicious cuisine

Slovenia

  • Medieval castles
  • Charming villages
  • Romantic forests
  • Stunning lakes

Scandinavia

  • Northern Lights
  • Winter Wonderland

For Travelers with Disabilities

Your Europe travel specialist can help any guests with mobility challenges by focusing on alternative arrangements to concerns, such as narrow cobblestone streets or inaccessible hotels. Our experts’ attention to important details will ensure that you can enjoy Europe’s highlights, natural beauty, and accommodations with ease.

Considerations you can make when visiting accessible destinations Europe include:

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Rome, Italy
  • Tromso, Norway
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • London, United Kingdom

Best Airports to Fly In & Out of Europe

The best airport to fly in and out of when visiting Europe is London Heathrow (LHR). London Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe and serves the main hub for major international airlines. The facilities are clean, and the airport offers easy accessibility for US travelers. Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is also a great airport when flying and out of Europe. As one of the busiest airports in Europe, Munich acts as a transit hub for various European airlines, has clean facilities, and possesses an airport staff with English language skills.

For most travelers, the most convenient airport to reach in Europe is London Heathrow (LHR) followed by Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). These two airports host the busiest routes between destinations in Europe and the United States. The busiest airports in Europe include:

  1. Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA)
  2. Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  3. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Find the Best Flight

When flying in and out of Europe, the best options depend on your travel plans and route. Your best option for flights should minimize travel time on the ground to optimize your travel time across Europe. Depending on your goals when traveling Europe, you may wish to arrive in one city and depart from a different city. This will save you travel time and keep you from backtracking.

Inter-European Flights

Flights between countries in Europe are quick and inexpensive. This makes traveling long distances during your Europe tour more attainable.

When using the extensive inter-European flights, there are important considerations to keep in mind. Budget airlines that keep costs down also regulate their luggage size differently, meaning the carry-on bag that you brought on the international flight may not fit as a carry-on when flying between European cities. These airlines also charge for every checked bag.

When traveling by inter-European flight, you must also keep in mind the travel time from your hotel to the airport as well as arriving at the airport up to two hours before your departure to pass through security.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Recommendations for the Return Traveler

When returning for another Europe tour, you can travel into the depths of the cities and countryside beyond the essential highlights of countries like England, France, Spain, and Italy. The following list offers our suggestions on where to visit during your return trip.

Montenegro

The secluded and small Balkan country is celebrated for its majestic mountains and remarkable beaches. The mixture of mountain scenery, crystal-clear waters, and preserved architecture creates a dramatic ambiance that easily disarms and inspires visitors.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

The unique beauty of Bosnia & Herzegovina radiates from the mixture of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories. Medieval castles, grand mountains, impressive rivers, and thundering waterfalls only scratch the surface of what the country offers.

Slovenia

Slovenia remains an earthly paradise undiscovered by the US traveler. Snowcapped peaks and turquoise rivers lead to a narrow coastline adorned with Venetian architecture. Rustic chalets, elevated cuisine, and breathtaking woodlands reflect Slovenia’s secluded grandeur.

Asutrias, Spain

The proud culture of the Principality of Asturias represents the only corner of Spain that remained unconquered by Muslims. The jagged coastline bursts with color from crashing waves and quiet fishing ports. The inland mountains climb above rustic valleys with towns that reflect traditions that date back 1,300 years.

Marseille, France

The often-overlooked city of Marseille features a blend of opulence and toughness with a history that dates back to ancient Greece. Chic new museums have brought the city out of the shadows of the French Riviera by shining a light on Marseille’s grand Old Port, antique neighborhoods, and stylish boutique quarters that overlook elegant yachts as they sail out of the city.

Southern Italy

The sun-drenched coastline and colorful seaside villages of Southern Italy embody a relaxing pace and love of life for which La Dolce Vita is celebrated around the world. The often overlooked corners of Puglia and Sicily embrace their diverse cultures and bask in their respective histories and range from Phoenician settlements to ancient Greek ruins. Each successive culture further developed the regional cuisines that are shaped by ethereal seas and captivating landscapes.

Related European Tours

Here is our list of other European Tours we offer:

Themed:

Duration:

Specific European Destinations:

Specific Months of the Year:

Multi-Country European Vacations:

Multi-City Specific European Destinations

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

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Central Europe Travel Review: Germany, Czech Republic, Austria,...
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Central Europe Tour Review: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary...
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Travel Review: Central Europe Vacation, Poland, Hungary,...
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Luxury Travel Review: England & Tour of Europe, London,...
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Travel Review: Sisters' Vacation in Europe, Czech Republic,...
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