France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Haarlem, Rhineland, Bacharach, St. Goar, Rothenburg, Venice, Verona, Florence, Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, Burgundy, Beaune,...
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
This handcrafted mother and daughter tour is all about the journey, and your time together will include a gondola through Venice, walks through medieval Rothenburg, Beaune and Burgundy, an immersion in the Swiss Alps and a cruise in the Rhine River. Share the memories made together across five countries in 17 days with iconic cities like Florence and Paris complemented by the continent’s quieter charms found in Cinque Terre, Haarlem, Verona and so many more. This will be a journey of two lifetimes...
Amsterdam – Dreamy Introductions Along the Canals
Amsterdam has an incredible history, but also such a misunderstood present as the city is now mostly known for its less salubrious experiences. This is a city of real beauty, where historic townhouses line the canals, and small cafe terraces are found along the cobbles. Amsterdam also an incredibly walkable city as it is small, especially the historical area inside the main canals. So after checking into your hotel, it is easy to go for a stroll, stopping in whatever cafe looks interesting while snapping photos of any flower-lined bridge you enjoy. Your guide will transfer you to your very central hotel, and most of Amsterdam’s charm is on your doorstep. Set out together, and you will create impressions that confound many preconceptions.
Amsterdam – Art, Culture and Old-World Haarlem
Walk the cobbles with your guide as gable-topped houses look down, complete with strange hooks for pulling up goods from the canal. Changing million-dollar art fills pedestrian walkways, and there is energy and history here, explored on foot, and then on a canal boat cruise. After lunch, you can discover the art as the greatest collection of Dutch and Flemish art is found in the Rijksmuseum, where grand Rembrandt and Vermeer canvases fill gallery rooms. You might consider a visit to the Van Gogh Museum as well, although most of the paintings there are replicas. Travel to nearby Haarlem in the late-afternoon, a postcard-perfect medieval town with a square, a towering church, a magnificent town hall, and the atmosphere of yesteryear. There is not that much to see, but it is so enchanting to take a short stroll then dine on the main square.
Rhineland – Europe From Yesteryear
Zoom across the Netherlands by train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, and then it is just a short transfer into the heart of Rhineland, where the castles stud the landscape as odes to a forgotten time. Bacharach is your final destination, a place of timber-framed houses along the River Rhine. Aromas of roast pork escape from the taverns here to replace the pancake smells of Amsterdam. Leading you through the Bacharach mystery is a local historian, an expert in those peculiar tales from Europe in the Middle Ages. It is a small town and a short tour, giving you a quiet late-afternoon and evening spent overlooking the Rhine.
Rhineland – Cruising the River Rhine
As you are settled on the banks of the Rhine, the meandering artery that connects Germany’s medieval towns and vineyards sparkles. Picturesque villages dot the banks, always a church spire proudly hanging high. Feudal castles lay in an evocative state of ruin, crumbling around forest and flowering valley. Sit back and take it all in while cruising together through the heart of old-world Germany. Disembark to some sweet white wine tasting with lunch, and then cruise back through Rhineland, luxuriating in the surroundings and the feeling that you have escaped the rest of the world. This is medieval Europe, and it is wonderfully laid-back, ideal for this slot in a rather busy itinerary. There will be plenty of museums and famous sights later on, so a destination like Rhineland is all about the atmosphere.
Rothenburg – Germany’s Best Preserved Medieval Town
Rothenburg, a town frozen in time, is a place of medieval wooden houses and the best apple strudel you will ever find. Sit down for coffee and strudel with your guide to get a historical overview, and then explore, first walking the medieval walls then touring the Crime and Punishment museum. Almost every house has been preserved from a medieval era, creating a mythical, almost fairy-tale like experience. Each townhouse is painted a different color, and often fresh flowers decorate the timbered frames. As you will find in this region, in Rhineland, the experience is less about seeing the sights and more about enjoying the atmosphere.
Venice – An Incomparable City of Canals and Alleys
Take a short transfer to Frankfurt, and you will fly to your third country. Touch down in Venice and the only way to your hotel is by boat. A vaporetto takes you down the Grand Canal, beneath a couple of famous bridges, beside the palaces and pristine remains of the city. The boat uses an exclusive hotel entrance as you literally cruise up to your accommodation. This is an incomparable city, and it is best that you make your own impressions. Stroll the alleyways in search of gelato, listen to the church bells while walking a piazza, and explore the boutique stores, where authentic glassware shines despite the profusion of standard tourist shops nearby. The vaporetto is available throughout your time in Venice and can take you anywhere in the city.
Venice – Mother and Daughter in Historic Venice
Begin your day with a walking tour through Venice, winding along the canals and down the alleyways. This is a city of islands, and it is easy to wander, such is the abundance of historical architecture. Admire the marble and mosaics of St Mark’s Basilica, grab a coffee on St Mark’s Square, cross a bridge, try a new island, and finish the morning in Accademia Gallery. Titian and Tintoretto provide the story here, the best of their surreal works on display at this pre-eminent Venetian gallery. Doge’s Palace is for the afternoon, its extravagance matched by a sordid history and those tales of the republic that are not so easy on the soul. There is an art to wandering Venice, and with a second evening to explore, you will probably want to get lost, as it is incredible what is uncovered down the lanes.
Florence – More Beautiful Vestiges of the Past
It is a short hop to Verona, and you will soon be beneath Juliet’s Balcony, exploring an ancient city made famous by Shakespeare’s play. A Roman amphitheater suggests grandeur, two tiers of stone and dust incomparable anywhere else outside Rome. Coffee and chocolate seep out from the cafes, and Piazza Delle Erbe is one of the finest places in Europe to indulge in both. Drop your bags at the railway station storage and spend half a day in this enchanting little city, making up your own mind as to whether Romeo called out to that specific balcony.
Less than an hour by train later, and you will be in Florence, the darling of Italian cities. The significant advantage of rail travel is that you arrive in the city center, so hotel transfers are very short. After checking in, your guide will lead you on an orientation tour, revealing how the city ticks. Sample delicacies in a colorful food market, scramble to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome, then look at where Michelangelo’s David originally stood. The famous food of Florence is Florentine steak but there is much more than that, and the guide will signpost you to restaurants best known to locals.
Florence – Discovering the Best of Florence
Today you will experience the very best of Florence with those highlights that make the Renaissance city so legendary. Explore the Uffizi Gallery, home to the greatest collection of Italian painters and paintings anywhere on the planet, and then move to the Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David and Prisoners have pride of place. Discover the Renaissance architecture, like Ghiberti’s Baptistry doors and more of Brunelleschi. After taking it all in, dive next onto the backstreets, where snippets of Renaissance brilliance fill the vernacular. It will be a full day of exploring for mother and daughter in one of the world’s grandest cities. So end it all on a piazza, gelato in hand, as the domes turn golden under the light of dusk.
Day 10 - 11
Cinque Terre – Relaxing on the Italian Coast
You may now need a vacation from your vacation, and lounging on the Mediterranean coast in the colorful seaside village of Monterosso al Mare will be precisely what you need. You will now be in Italy’s Cinque Terre, where five historic fishing villages are laced together by cliffs and coastal paths. To one side, there are vineyards, and to the other, the warm blue waters of the Mediterranean. Every vista is dramatic, the villages practically carved into cliff faces, their contrasting colors a delight for both the eye and the soul. These two days are entirely at your leisure, so you can walk or take a train between the villages. You can also lounge on the coast and do nothing at all. While Cinque Terre has become very popular over the last decade, there is always a sense of authentic Italy when you go for lunch or dinner.
Day 12 - 13
Lauterbrunnen Valley – Immersed in the Swiss Alps
Take a journey through the hills as you depart the coast, and after a transfer to Milan, you will cross Switzerland by train for a dazzling journey through the heart of Europe’s mountains. Sit back in first class and enjoy the show as food and drinks are being served as you ascend through the north of Italy then across an alpine plateau. Snowy peaks rise in all directions while rugged summits send shadows across the villages. Jump out in Lucerne, and it will be a short transfer to Lauterbrunnen, a valley that is entirely surrounded by Europe’s high peaks. In true Swiss style, you will be staying in a wooden mountain chalet and spend the evening dining on cheese fondue.
The next day will be a spectacular mountain excursion as you take the narrow-gauge railway to a train station that is covered in snow for nine months a year. Move higher with a gondola ride above the tree line as a glacier stretches out far below. Soon you will be surrounded by a vista of cut-glass peaks, a sight that most people do not expect from Europe. There are some hiking options today, and these can be customized based on your fitness and energy levels, but the beauty of Lauterbrunnen is that you do not need to hike in order to enjoy the finest alpine scenery.
Beaune – Exploring Small-Town France
Your journey will continue westwards, in and out of the peaks then down towards France. Open valleys replace snowy vistas and vineyards appear as you enter Burgundy. This region best reflects medieval France, and it will be great to compare Beaune with the other destinations you have visited, admiring how the style is so different even if the era is similar. Beaune is a little like Rothenburg or Verona as cheese is traded at a farmers’ market, the cathedral is all imposing stone, and there’s a lavish touch to the vernacular. Arrive in small-town France and go for a Burgundy wine tasting at a small cellar, before a relaxed afternoon doing whatever suits the mood of you both.
Paris – The Train To Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame
Travel on the world’s fastest railway and whizz to Paris as patchwork fields zoom by your window before arriving into the City of Lights. You will be staying in the city’s heart, along the River Seine. Cross the bridge, pass a street musician, and you will be on a riverine island, Sainte-Chapelle to one side and Notre Dame to the other. It’s the grand Paris introduction, accompanied by the guide’s historical tales. Stay along the Seine on a river cruise, and more icons emerge with all of the grandeur to all that line Paris’s main artery. After half a day with the sights, you can delve into culinary Paris with first a bakery and confectionery in Saint-Germain, where macarons and chocolate treats have been perfected over the centuries. Then land at a bistro, where cured ham and cheeses are washed down by wines from across France.
Paris – Mother and Daughter in the City of Lights
This day is left entirely free, as Paris is a city with almost too many sights. And that’s before thinking about the shops. Paris is a city where it is good to go your own way, whether that is to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees, or perhaps to a quiet Montmartre cafe. You might want to move out of the city to the palace at Versailles, or maybe just go around the corner from your hotel for a traditional Parisian lunch. Take your time, soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy something that is probably quite rare at home, quality time between mother and daughter. While Europe provides the destinations, it also provides a space where the two of you can be together without interruptions. So this vacation is not just the sights, it is also about being close to who you love.
Paris – Departure
Enjoy one last free morning and afternoon before your private transfer to the airport, as with late check out from your hotel, you can depart relaxed and refreshed for your return home.
- Begin your mother and daughter vacation with two days in Amsterdam, a city that endures through its beauty and cobbled canals
- Lounge on Italy’s Mediterranean coast with a couple of nights in a colorful Cinque Terre village
- Explore the best of Paris with just the two of you and the City of Lights
- Cruise Venetian canals in a gondola and spend a day cruising the River Reine
- Embrace the wild beauty of the Swiss Alps, spending two days in the heart of Europe’s great mountains
- Discover the contrast between medieval towns of Dutch Haarlem, German Rothenburg, Italian Verona, and Beaune in French Burgundy
- Surround yourself with the Renaissance brilliance of Florence, with a couple of nights spent in the heart of Tuscany
Small distances can bring big changes when you travel through Europe, and that is why the journeys are always so memorable. One day you can be in medieval Germany walking the lanes of Rothenburg, and just 24 hours later, find yourself in gondola traveling Venice’s Grand Canal. In the space of four hours, you can travel from the heart of the Swiss Alps to the old-world French town of Beaune. As mother and daughter, explore the continent’s legendary cities as you see the sights and savor the atmosphere of Amsterdam, Florence, Paris and more. You will also journey to the places that best reflect Europe’s contrasts from the Rhine River to Cinque Terre on Italy’s coast.
Handcrafted as an explorer tour for mother and daughter, this is an idyllic first-time trip to Europe that covers five countries in 17 days. There are nine overnight stops, but the pace is just right as you will tour city highlights with local guides and have plenty of time to rest on cafe terraces, whether on Dutch canals, Italian piazzas or French lanes. There will be art, architecture, food, history, culture, and just about everything in between. Perhaps most poignantly, there is the journey itself, not only within each destination but also as mother and daughter. Together you will explore the best of a continent, from historical Haarlem to Renaissance Florence, through the Swiss Alps to Burgundy and Paris.
Your time together will begin in the Netherlands in Amsterdam, a city that is full of surprises with no shortage of charm. From there, take the train to Rhineland for two days spent along the languid river, and then a night in Germany’s best preserved medieval town, Rothenburg. Hop next to nearby Frankfurt, and you will then fly to Venice for two nights in a city that reflects preconceptions. Make a stop in Verona on route to Florence, a city that is all about the atmosphere. You will discover legendary sights with your local guides, get to know the food and history all while soaking all your senses into the atmosphere.
The next several days are very relaxed with a very different pace. Begin with two days in a Cinque Terre village, a colorful coastal experience unlike any other in Europe. Move next to two days in the Swiss Alps for different scenery but the same laid-back vibe and enduring impressions. Departing the mountains, you will have a day in Beaune, capital of old-world Burgundy, the wines quite different to your time in Tuscany. Zoom onwards next to Paris on the train, and end in the City of Lights for perhaps the most timeless of all Europe’s destinations. There are sights to see, but Paris epitomizes the idea of the journey as the two of you create your own path along streets of cobblestone and intrigue. For more ideas, consider browsing our travel reviews as you create your dream vacation.
$4,806 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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