Introduction to Europe Tour: Netherlands, Germany, Italy & France in 2 Weeks

A 17 day trip to Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Netherlands & Switzerland 
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When you look back on your introduction to Europe tour, you will take out photos filled with panoramic views, sensational monuments, and energetic smiles. You see yourself standing in a verdant field beneath a looming alpine summit. The Spanish Steps in Rome glow with marble elegance. Eltz Castle peeks out of the encompassing forest with storybook character. Your custom tailored tour creates a collage of Europe, where you discover the majesty of landscapes and cityscapes connecting various countries and simultaneously setting each city apart. When you look back on your vacation, you will find more than photos, but experiences across the continent.

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General Information

Photos
A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Black Forest, Rhine Falls, Lucerne, Vaduz, Innsbruck, Venice, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Éze, Nice, Paris

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: First Photo

Amsterdam is comprised walkways lining canals, charming historic facades, and museums housing unique Dutch artists from past to present. You arrive at the airport where your private transfer is waiting to take you to your centrally located hotel. The Canal Ring surrounds the city center and is a collection of neighborhoods constructed in the 17th century. Grand townhouses overlook three encircling waterways. Small boats wade in the soft current of the canals.

The aroma of French fries wafts along the cobbled paths emanating from famous stands known for their eclectic array of sauces. You can see the rich details of the past come to life on the façade of the Museum Willet-Holthuysen. The museum is a fully furnished canal-side patrician house preserving the furniture, silverware, plates, and books from the Dutch Renaissance. Jacob de Wit designed a specific wall using only shades of gray, depicting cherubic joy with 3D like illusion. The beauty of the city and its wealth of history welcomes you as your first stop in Europe.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Days 2 -3: Collecting Antiquity 

Morning rises over the canals, and the light glistens on the water. The roaming sounds of the city intertwine with the spinning wheels of bicycles rolling alongside the water. After breakfast, your guide meets you in the hotel lobby to take you through the city like a local.

You arrive at the Royal Palace was constructed in the 17th century and was originally established as the town hall. Polished marble paves the central hall. Lofted ceilings tower above the images of maps etched into the room’s floor underneath classic chandeliers. At the far end of the room, an Atlas stands above the portico holding the world on his shoulders. The grandeur of the interior emanates Amsterdam’s and the Netherlands’ opulent past at one point reaching every corner of the known world.  

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Images from the River

The city rolls by you in the morning sweeping across the lanes next to the canal designated for bicycles. The aroma of sweet pastries drifts over the cobbled bridges that connect the inner boulevards and islands across the canals. Your guide meets you at the hotel and escorts you through the flatlands of Holland until the lush landscape begins to roll across the horizon. In Germany, you board a river cruise to explore the verdant landscape surrounding the Rhine River. Storybook castles decorate crested cliffs.

Vineyards wrap over terraced hills offering an earthen aroma to the fragrant evergreen trees. Towns were constructed using the surrounding timber, sporting large sloping roofs and resembling villages illustrated in fairytales and Disney movies. Eltz Castle rises above the encompassing emerald forest and was constructed in the 12th century. It stands 1,050 feet above sea level with elegant spires and fantastical architecture.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Glimpse of Tradition

The charming timber-carved homes and traditional villages of the forests become more vibrant in the Black Forest. The lush canopy blocks out the sky and creates a dark stretch of connecting branches giving the forest its namesake. Your guide explains that the forest is where many of the Brothers Grimm’s stories took place. Round mountain summits enclose the forest.

In the town of Karlsruhe, you find 18th-century architecture with a palace at its core. People stroll through blossoming parks, and French impressionist paintings decorate the local museums. The farther you reach outside of the city center, the more homes maintain an art nouveau façade. Rhine Falls trundles near the border of Switzerland with the water descending 75 feet down the hillside into rushing whitewater. The culture emblematic of the forest and the beauty of the natural landscape makes for an unforgettable majesty around en route to Lucerne, Switzerland.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Regal Memento

Wake up in Lucerne to find the glacial lake glinting in the warm sunlight. The stunning summit of Mount Pilatus stands 6,982 feet above sea level. A local train travels up the slope on the steepest tracks in the world. The alpine air is crisp and cool. The aroma of decadent coffee blends with the faint scent of wafting dark chocolate.

Your guide takes you through Old Town, the historic neighborhood of the culturally rich city, brimming with traditional Swiss timber buildings. The Lion Monument stands in a former sandstone quarry, carved into the cliff face 33 feet wide and nearly 20 feet tall. You can see the anguish on the lion’s face as a spear sticks out of its shoulder. A translucent pond reflects the image of the mournful lion. The monument was erected in the 19th century and commemorates the Swiss soldiers taken during the French Revolution while protecting King Louis XVI.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, transfer, accommodation

Days 7 - 8: Taking in the Pass and Passed

When you wake up in Innsbruck, you can see the encircling rugged mountaintops encroaching the cobbled streets of the city center. The aroma of fresh strudel lingers in the air. You leave the alpine city behind and make your way through the lush and altitudinal roadway of Brenner Pass, crossing the Alps into Italy at an altitude of 4,495 feet above sea level. The pine trees climb up and down the mountainsides opening up into fertile valley grass. The trees open and you arrive at the Grand Canal in Venice where you board a private boat to St. Mark’s Square. The city is vibrant with locals and visitors alike. Speedboats pass through the canal and gondolas course down the smaller waterways carving the city into meandering islands connected by stone bridges.

In St. Mark’s Square your guide shows you the opulence of St. Mark’s Cathedral displaying magnificent Byzantine domes standing 141 feet tall. Gilded frescoes decorate the underside of the archways with exquisite representations of biblical lore. The interior maintains the faint aroma of myrrh held in the dramatic frescoes decorating the domes covering 86,111 square feet of space. You follow your guide through opulent history, preserved through time and the remarkable appeal of the religious works glistening in the candlelight.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 9: Indulging in the Scenery

The waters of the canals lap at the edge of the city. The bell tower overlooking St. Mark’s Square can be seen from the walkway outside your hotel, a symbol of nobility and grace. Soon you wave goodbye to the gondolas and arching bridges, winding through the pine and evergreen forests en route to Rome. The Italian countryside surrounds you with emerald leaves and rolling hills. In the region of Emilia-Romagna, you stop in the city of Bologna for a look into the unique culture of a culinary city.

Medieval colonnades line historic Old Town offsetting the chic modern neighborhoods of the hi-tech city. The university was established in 1088 and remains the world’s oldest. Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio housed the city university from the 16th to the 19th century. Today it maintains the library collection with over 700,000 volumes including the anatomy guides of the 17th century Teatro Anatomico. The circular room has Cedar-wood seats tiered around the central marble tabletop situated underneath a sculpture of Apollo, maintaining the rooms original integrity as a learning center.  

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 10: Amassing the Ancients

Rome is a remarkable city that spans millennia. Cobbled streets turn into narrow alleyways opening up into charming piazzas. Historic fountains once acted as public water sources for the surrounding community. The country’s oldest farmers market continues every morning in Campo de’ Fiori filling the square with bright produce and the refreshing aroma of fresh cut flowers. The Colosseum stands at the edges of Via dei Fiori Imperiali. The elliptical structure was erected in inaugurated in 80 AD and could seat up to 50,000 spectators.

You walk through the famous multi-tiered archways and down the stone halls. The sun casts a warm light over the city. The stone shines a rustic color from age and ruggedness. Three levels of arches create the outer walls and cast a shade over the intricate complex at the center of the arena that once stood underneath the stage holding animals and gladiators waiting to fight. The size of the arena continues to inspire visitors along with the perseverant power of the construction.   

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 11 - 12: Treasuring Enlightenment

The images of Europe are compounding into a definitive collage of tradition, culture, beauty, and stunning history. Rome awakens in the morning life with the light of the city spreading over the Tiber River. Vespas wind through the city and the Trevi Fountain trickles with water around the fabulous carved images of classical gods and mythology. You leave the city and venture north to the famous hills of Tuscany, arriving in the Renaissance city of Florence. The old city walls continue to surround parts of the antique center. Cobblestones line the streets and the piazzas underneath the bordering buildings and towering churches.

The scent of sweet waffles and gelato spills out of local gelaterias. Construction of the Santa Croce Basilica began in the 13th century. The neo-Gothic marble façade illuminates the delicate colors entwined with the natural shade of the stone. Michelangelo designed a doorway near the transept chapels leading to a 14th century room decorated with a fresco of the crucifixion painted by Taddeo Gaddi. The galleries maintain a gospel aroma, combining the polished interior with the scent of frankincense in the church’s subtle glow.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 13: Encompassing panoramas

In the morning, you leave behind the quick current of the Arno River and visit the unforgettable marble wonders in Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli before venturing over the French border and into the rocky village town of Éze. The medieval town crowns the French Riviera with sporadic stone houses and meandering pathways overlooking the azure Mediterranean Sea. Castle ruins stand overlooking the village, butting against the Jardin Exotique d’Éze. The botanical gardens open to a view from descending over 1,320 feet into the water. When the breeze blows you find hints of the salty aroma rushing from along the sea. The view is unlike any you have ever experienced. The medieval town has red-shingled roofs, a mixture of lush trees, rising cactuses, and the expanse of iridescent water extending to the horizon.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 14: Taken with Paint

Wake up to the sensational view of the French Riviera at Nice. The historic Old Town stretches near the Promenade des Anglais. The cobbled streets wind underneath colorful umbrellas casting shade over café tables and chairs. The aroma of decadent hot chocolate and freshly brewed coffee spills into the lanes. You make your way to St. Paul de Vence for the day to find a once peaceful medieval town enlivened by the artistic representations of Picasso and Chagall. Art galleries line the beautifully preserved main road and intertwining small lanes.

The town stands on a hillside, encircled by fragrant trees with a view out to the Mediterranean. The Chapel of Pénitents Blanc was erected in the 17th century and refurbished by celebrated Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon in the 21st century. Eight oil paintings dress the interior walls in pastels. Stained glass windows add to the brightly pigmented walls creating a larger framework for the message of generosity. The chapel celebrates the town’s vast history but also represents an open mind for the future.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 15: Assortment of Celebration

The salty sweet scent of the Mediterranean drifts over the streets of the antique city and blends with the rich aroma of hot chocolate. The azure coastline brushes against the pink hues of the buildings climbing into the hillside. In the morning, you make your way to the train station to board a comfortable train to the unparalleled city of Paris. The city symbolizes romance and artistry, beauty and indulgence, reminding visitors and locals alike to take their time and enjoy each moment. Trees shade wide boulevards, and the pearl façade of the Sacre Coeur stands atop the vibrant neighborhood of Montmartre topping Paris like a crown. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the city at your leisure, opening up the wonders across the reaches of historic museums and celebrated monuments.

The cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was constructed in the 19th century on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement. The French Gothic architecture is rich with rose windows and elaborate gargoyles the twin towers flanking the entrance stand 226 feet tall. Once inside you can see the gigantic organ pipes lit by the marvelous colors of the rose window in the background. The organ contains 7,374 pipes and when played can echo through the vaulted ceilings with ethereal charm. Arched colonnades frame the main hall, and you can feel the pulse of the city around you. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 16: Monumental Images of the City

Wake up to Paris and find the scent of buttery croissants as enticing as the frothy richness of a fresh brewed cappuccino. Your guide meets you at the hotel to you lead you to the treasures of the almost fabled city. Locals sit at cafes lining the sidewalk, reading the newspaper, sipping their coffee, and watching people pass by. Couples stroll alongside the Seine River and watch the riverboats drift down with the current. Your guide takes you to the marvelous open space of the Champs de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower.

The greener once housed the World’s Fair, and the Eiffel Tower stood as the entry gate welcoming everyone that ventured to the world spectacle. The tower stands 986 feet tall, erected in 1889. The steel frame intertwines creating an interesting image of webbing rising into an archway and continuing to the top of the tower. You take in the iconic image of the city and watch as locals and visitors alike sit in the soft grass of the Champs de Mars. You may want to join them as they snack on locally bought cheese, sip on wine, and indulge in the simple pleasures of the day.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 17: A Complete Album

In the evening, Paris sparkles under the light of its own creation. In the morning, the sun bathes the city in natural light spotlighting the pearl and gray walls of 19th century buildings. You wake up intent on enjoying the morning like a Parisian, taking delight in the flavors of a buttery, sweet pastry accompanied with raspberry jam. Sip a freshly brewed coffee containing a hint of lingering chocolate. You can see the Seine from your seat and watch students sit near the water reading textbooks or romance novels listening to the gentle lapping of the water. Soon your private transfer will meet you at the hotel to escort you to the airport but for now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a perfect Parisian moment.

What’s Included: breakfast, airport transfer

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Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.