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Fall 2016: Too Grand Europe...

With three major tours on deck this summer, we are looking forward to offering a tour of some of our favorite European highlights for the upcoming fall.  Dates of travel:  September 7 - 18, 2016.

 

This tour will be known for a few important things:

 

Affordable:  Price is $2,000.  Covers all lodgings, ground transportation in Europe, breakfasts, 24 hour guide, and listed events.  

 

Fun-Filled:  We already have a core group of great people going, and this will definitely be all about experiencing Europe in a tangible, active, and engaging way.  This will decidedly not be some rigid and lifeless experience.

 

Active:  This will be a no-frills trip with some excellent activities to enjoy.  Pack light and prepare to enjoy some great walking tours through all three major cities, as well as a three day stop in the Bavarian Alps for some historic and scenic hikes.

 

ITINERARY

Day One: Wednesday, Sept. 7

With passport, backpack, and small suitcase in tow, head to the airport and catch your flight to the Netherlands!  (We assist with ALL flight bookings to keep the costs down and the timetable intact.  Do not book on your own!)

 

Amsterdam, here we come...

Day Two: Thursday, Sept. 8

Amsterdam is one of those cities that has Americans fascinated as a real party destination.  Yet there is so much more than that.  From the world famous Rijksmuseum which houses some of the best paintings in the world (Rembrandt, anyone?), the Van Gogh gallery, canals, and the beautiful architecture, Amsterdam is truly a cultural gem.

 

We'll pick an easy, relaxed pace and course of events after an all-night flight.  Come along or head off on your own after our orientation walk.

 

OVERNIGHT: AMSTERDAM

Day Three: Friday, Sept. 9

Whether you went to bed early or went late into the night, today we'll hit some of the favorite spots of this lively city.  We'll pick up where we left off from the day before...

 

We'll certainly stop and tour the Anne Frank house.  It's a visit no one can forget - and a reminder of so much history we'll encounter on this trip.

 

And a Friday night in Amsterdam is as good as it gets.  It has one of our favorite music scenes, as well as bars, restaurants, outdoor dining/drinking squares (pleins), and is known for these coffee shops.  A group stroll through the infamous Red Light District will be in the mix as well! 

 

It's all part of the cultural experience.  And the Dutch are often grossly misunderstood. It's not that they are so liberal - they are proudly tolerant! Whatever your poison, our second night in Europe, after a proper rest, will be legendary!

 

OVERNIGHT: AMSTERDAM

Day Four: Saturday, Sept. 10

After an epic second night in Amsterdam, we'll enjoy breakfast at our hotel before heading over to the train station for our journey to our next city...  Bruges.

 

Arguably the most enchanting and unique city in all of Europe, Bruges is a massive throw-back to days gone by.  This area was once home to a booming textile industry and shows Old Europe in all of her glory.

We'll leave much more of that to the wonderful guides of Quasimundo Bike Tours, for we'll saddle up after a three hour train trip and hotel check-in to explore the area in the afternoon and bike the city and learn its history.

 

This city is home to one of the tallest brick structures in the world - its beautiful belfry - as well as many famous cathedrals and art galleries.  You'll also finally taste a proper "French fry" - and you'll forever more know the difference between that American rubbish and a proper Belgian frite!  :)

 

At night, you'll find yourself mesmerized by a city that still gives us chills...  and even happier with a proper Belgian beer in your belly.

 

We can't wait to take you here!

 

OVERNIGHT: BRUGES

Day Five: Sunday, Sept. 11

Sleep in, take a canal tour, head to a mass in a proper European cathedral...  It's Sunday, and we'll give you the morning off to relax and go at your own speed.

 

We'll head out by noon for the business capital of Europe:  Brussels.

 

Home to your illustrious guide for eight childhood years, we'll hit the heart of the city for lunch on the famous Rue des Bouchers - an alley of superb restaurants, before heading out on a walking tour of the center of the city and the Grand Place, stopping for a couple of pints of Belgian beer on the Grand Place before we head to the airport for an evening flight to Prague. We'll pick up where we left off upon arrival!

 

OVERNIGHT: PRAGUE

Day Six: Monday, Sept. 12

Welcome to Prague!

 

Prepare for a very fun-filled, informative, and active walking tour through a wide range of sights and stops in what we can only call the crown jewel of Europe.  

 

Spared from the bombing that changed the face of countless European cities, we'll take a step back in time as we explore the palace and its main cathedral, the world-famous Charles Bridge, Tyne Cathedral, the Astronomical Clock, the Spanish Synagogue, and a most memorable WWII memorial site.

 

With some time to relax after a very full day, you'll be welcome to join us for drinks at our favorite bar on Planet Earth!  :)

 

OVERNIGHT:  PRAGUE

Day Seven: Tuesday, Sept. 13

Free day in Prague...

 

After many stops and sights, this will be a great mid-tour break for you to sleep in, visit some places you've researched, or follow your guide to some agreed-upon destinations.

 

This city is excellent for people watching and simply basking in the architecture and energy.  With countless cathedrals, museums, art galleries, parks, and such, you will not run out of options.

 

In the afternoon, we'll meet up and head over to a great little floating bar and head out on the river near the Charles Bridge in little pedal boats as the sun sets.  Another great evening awaits!

 

OVERNIGHT:  PRAGUE

Day Eight: Wednesday, Sept. 14

However late you're out the night before, today will be a nice, easy bit of recharge...

 

We'll board a 9:30am train that will take us on a relaxing, scenic journey through the Czech Republic, winding its way down to Linz - and then with one other transfer over to Salzburg, Austria for 4pm.

 

We'll head over to our hotel, drop bags, and head out on a walking tour of the Old Town.  Once that's done, enjoy a couple of hours to shop and explore, before we meet up in front of the main cathedral and head out on a great evening stroll along the bluff overlooking the city.  

Ending destination is our favorite beer hall in all of Europe!  Food, drink, and merriment to follow.  You'll have the evening to explore one of our favorite cities and frequent any number of great bars or walk among the historic buildings and soak up their majesty and charm.

 

OVERNIGHT: SALZBURG

Day Nine: Thursday, Sept. 15

The hills are alive!...  

 

Welcome to the Alps.  You'll wake up and walk outside to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet!  Enjoy a morning stroll after breakfast, and frequent the many shops on Salzburg's famous walking street.  

 

We'll head over to the bus station for a quick trip across the border and into one of Germany's most notable mountain towns:  Berchtesgaden.

 

We'll drop bags at our hotel, grab lunch, and then head up a nearby mountain to check out some incredible WWII history - and if the weather isn't cloudy, we'll take a trip up to the Eagle's Nest.  This mountaintop lodge was built for Hitler's 50th birthday.  Enjoy one incredible view - and perhaps a proper German beer.

 

Prost!

 

OVERNIGHT: BERCHTESGADEN

After a relaxing sleep in our gorgeous, peaceful surroundings, we'll eat breakfast and head out for more heights...

We'll take the cable car to the top of the Jenner, one of the dominant peaks in the region.  After hiking up to the cross for an incredible bird's eye view of the area, we'll head out on a three hour hike across one of the many mountain trails, and winding down to one of the most beautiful and crystal clear lakes on the planet:  the Königssee.  

We'll pick up an electric ferry that will take us out to the former hunting lodge of the king.  It's now a restaurant and beer garden, sitting at water level - surrounded by towering peaks.

 

OVERNIGHT: BERCHTESGADEN

Day Ten: Friday, Sept. 16
Day Eleven: Saturday, Sept. 17

Last full day of the tour!

 

We'll enjoy breakfast before heading over to the train station for our journey to Munich.

 

Upon arrival, we'll head to our hotel and drop bags, then strike out for an orientation walk that will include retracing the famous steps of the members of the Beer Hall Putsch - the event that gave Hitler his notoriety.

 

Afternoon options include whatever you want to do with your free time:  Dachau's concentration camp, the Deutsches Museum (one of the best in the world), the BMW World, or just a relaxed stroll around the city's many shops, bars, and cathedrals.

 

We'll be sure to have one epic final meal at a perfect Bavarian restaurant - on us!

 

OVERNIGHT: MUNICH

Day Twelve: Sunday, Sept. 17

Morning check-out, the S-Bahn to the Munich airport, and a flight back to Amsterdam to catch our final flight back to the States.

 

You can catch up on rest on the plane...