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Discover the charms of Europe on this opulent 20-day journey through France, Italy and Greece

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What's Included

  • Three nights each in Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Athens and Santorini
  • A night aboard the glorious Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • All internal flights, trains and private transfers
  • All tours specified in the itinerary
  • Expert guides in each destination
  • Assistance in choosing and booking great local restaurants
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

This 20-day trip is a chance for you to see Europe at its very best. Embark on a luxurious journey through France, Italy and Greece, visiting its iconic cities, beautiful islands and charming countryside. This is a trip packed with culture and adventure and is the epitome of a grand European tour.

Your journey starts in Paris, a city that has captured people’s hearts for centuries. You’ll see iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Le Grand Palais as you whizz through the city on a private driving tour, and visit the Louvre, one of the world’s most important galleries. You’ll also head out to the incredible Palace of Versailles and enjoy access to the private apartments which are normally closed to the public.

Spend a night on the glorious Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express and travel from Paris to Venice in style. The train is a real throwback to the heyday of rail travel and the overnight journey is a wonderful experience. Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and you’ll uncover its charm as you wander its winding alleys and drift along the Grand Canal on a gondola. The nearby islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello are colourful and charming and a great chance to see a different side of the city.

It’s then onto Florence to discover its Renaissance past, and out to the countryside of Chianti with its rolling hills and pencil-thin trees, typical of the region. During your three nights in Rome, you’ll uncover its ancient past, visit the Vatican City and learn how to make authentic Italian pizza.

Greece is the final stop on this epic European tour and a visit here is to step back in time to a world of legend and mythology. Spend three nights in Athens, a city that expertly blends the old and the new before spending your last few days on the magical island of Santorini where the sparkling waters of the Aegean await and the epic sunsets are the perfect end to this incredible journey.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-4

Paris

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Paris

Accommodation in Paris

Three nights in Paris Three nights in Paris

A city trapped in the 19th century, dazzling visitors to this day with its charming cityscape. Paris is seductive, stunning whatever the weather, but above all, timeless. There is plenty to do and see in Paris, but it is a city that captivates its guests with the little things; strolling the cobbled avenues, people-watching in the finest French cafés, savouring fresh-baked pastries from your local boulangerie. Paris oozes chic, with trendy boutiques and haute-couture labels dotted all over every arrondissement. Paris is also home to the most visited art museum in the world, The Louvre, and boasts many other fascinating museums, with dynamic and developing exhibitions.

eiffell-tower-paris
Highlights of Paris driving tour Highlights of Paris driving tour

Take in the highlights of Paris as you drive around the city, admiring the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, Le Grand Palais, l'Opera Garnier and Palace Vendome.

Palace of Versailles tour with access to the private apartments Palace of Versailles tour with access to the private apartments

The Palace of Versailles dates back to 1038, and was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. Used by Louis XIV initially as a hunting lodge, he had the property expanded to become the magnificent site of French classical architecture complete with extensive manicured gardens that it is today. The interior showcases magnificent examples of baroque furnishings, a rare collection of objects d'art and the famous grand Hall of Mirrors.

From the central window of the Hall of Mirrors, you look down on the grand perspective that leads the gaze from the Water Parterre to the horizon. This vast perspective stretches from the façade of the Château de Versailles to the railings of the park. In 1661, Louis XIV commissioned André Le Nôtre with the design and laying out of the gardens of Versailles which, in his view, were just as important as the Château. The works were undertaken at the same time as those for the palace and took 40 years to complete. Enjoy a short walk around the gardens before visiting the Marie Antoinette Estate.

The creation of the Marie-Antoinette’s Estate is part of a project that aims to show Versailles’ contrasts: classical and Baroque, destitution and extravagance, male inspiration from Louis XIV and female inspiration from Marie-Antoinette to Madame de Pompadour.

After the regular tour get exclusive access to apartments and rooms closed to the public such as the apartments of Madame de Tourvel, secret passages and a gallery located above the Hall of Mirrors.

The Louvre The Louvre

The Louvre is one of the most important and most visited museums in the world and extending over 210,000 square metres, it is the largest in Paris. You'll discover the Louvre's three great ladies - Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, and Mona Lisa, as well as other key works.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Paris Gare de l’Est to board the Belmond Venice Simplon Orient-Express

Days 4-5

Overnight train journey

Your luxury overnight train

venice-simplon-orient-express
Overnight journey from Paris to Venice Overnight journey from Paris to Venice

Board the Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express in Paris and settle into your private cabin. A delicious four-course dinner will be served in the restaurant car, and after you can return to your cabin which has been turned into a cosy bedroom.

In the morning you'll wake to the magnificent mountain scenery as breakfast is served in your cabin. Spend the morning relaxing before a three-course lunch. While away the afternoon admiring the beautiful landscape before crossing the Venetian lagoon and pulling into Santa Lucia station.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private boat transfer to your hotel in Venice

Days 5-8

Venice

Accommodation in Venice

venice-sunset-with-gondola
Three nights in Venice Three nights in Venice

Sat within a shallow lagoon between the mouths of Po and Piave rivers, Venice is formed of 118 islands formed by some 170 canals connected by over 400 bridges. The entire city is considered a World Heritage Site, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building may contain works by some of the Europe's greatest artists.

Iconic attractions on the main Rialto islands are evocative by name alone - Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Grand Canal - a unique collection of brooding Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque architecture. Days can be spent discovering tucked away galleries, museums and palazzos. Away from the crowds, other islands are where traditional Venetian culture still runs deep.

Walking tour of St. Mark’s Square with the Doge’s Palace and Basilica Walking tour of St. Mark’s Square with the Doge’s Palace and Basilica

If you imagine landing in Venice from the sea, as did those who came inland by ship, the first thing you see rising out of the water is the unmistakable shape of the Doge's Palace - the city's most famous building. This building, considered the most representative symbol of Venice's culture, together with the Basilica of San Marco, forms of the most famous scenes in the world. For centuries the Doge's Palace had fundamental roles, as the Doge residence, the seat of government and as the palace of justice.

Your historical walking tour will then take you through the backstreets of Venice to the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark's Basilica, the mightiest of Venetian monuments. Its architecture, a mixture of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian, is the work of artists and craftsmen coming from all over the world.

Gondola ride Gondola ride

No visit to Venice would be complete without experiencing it. Travel like a Venetian on a gondola down the city’s iconic canals. It gives you a very special point of view and it is from the water that Venice offers its most spectacular side.

Three Islands Tour: Murano, Burano and Torcello Three Islands Tour: Murano, Burano and Torcello

Visit Venice’s most famous islands, Murano, Burano and Torcello, to learn their importance in history and trade. The first stop will be in Murano, world famous since the 1200s for the art of glass making, where you will visit one of Venice’s most important glass factories and have a private show of how the intricate glasswork is made and then tour the showroom with works of great glass masters like Signoretto.

The second picturesque island is Burano, a fisherman island known for its brightly coloured houses and for its lace school. You will see the women who still work this antique technique of lace making by hand. The last stop is Torcello, the first island to be inhabited in the lagoon, where you will hear the history and see its beautiful cathedral with its magnificent mosaics dating back to the 1100s. In Torcello you will also see the Locanda Cipriani where Ernest Hemingway stayed when in Venice and wrote A Farewell to Arms.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private boat transfer to Venice train station

Transfer

Train from Venice to Florence

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Florence

Days 8-11

Florence

Accommodation in Florence

Three nights in Florence Three nights in Florence

Surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills, the beautiful city of Florence is one of Europe's most enchanting and historically influential cities. If anywhere in the world can claim to have shaped modern Western consciousness, it is Florence's grand piazzas and palazzos. The world's greatest Renaissance artworks and sculpture can be found at every turn in the historical centre, an area that can be traversed on foot in under an hour but would definitely take longer to properly explore.

Classical Florence walking tour Classical Florence walking tour

Explore Florence’s Renaissance past with this guided walking tour of the city's historic centre. The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo's ‘David’, one of the finest sculptures ever created, and though there are many copies across the city, this is the real deal. You'll also admire the church of Santa Maria del Fiore – the famous Duomo - and Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome and visit the Duomo Museum; the nearby Campanile of Giotto (bell tower); and Ghiberti’s enchanting ‘Gates of Paradise’, the door to the Baptistry. Continue to the Piazza della Signoria, centre of Florentine politics and home to a captivating outdoor sculpture gallery. Shopping, architecture and history will collide as you stroll over the Ponte Vecchio.

This is an idea of what you can see during your tour of Florence but it can be tweaked to suit your interests - chat with your guide on the day and they will come up with an itinerary that's perfect for you.

Explore the Chianti region Explore the Chianti region

Today discover the beautiful Chianti region with a private driver at your disposal. Learn about some of the most excellent Italian wines, or perhaps simply explore the beautiful Tuscan countryside and its scattered Medieval towns.

Siena city tour Siena city tour

Your tour starts at the Piazza del Duomo with the spectacular Romanesque and Gothic cathedral. The square is surrounded by the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, the Archbishop's Palace, the unfinished Duomo, Opera del Duomo museum, the crypt and the baptistry. You'll then reach the Piazza del Campo, a unique shell-shaped area which was paved with bricks in the 14th century. Be sure to look out for the different animals and symbols that represent the city's 17 contradas; giraffes, dragons, owl, unicorns and caterpillars all appear on the outside of buildings and competition between them is fierce during the Palio horse race which happens twice a year.

Private transfer to Rome via Orvieto Private transfer to Rome via Orvieto

Located on a hilltop in the beautiful Umbrian countryside, Orvieto is sure to capture your heart with its churches, cobbled lanes, and medieval piazzas; the stunning Gothic cathedral is not to be missed.

Days 11-14

Rome

Accommodation in Rome

Three nights in Rome Three nights in Rome

Rome, Italy’s capital and largest city, needs little introduction. One of the most historied locations in the world, glorious reminders of Rome’s illustrious past, from ancient Roman wonders to Renaissance masterpieces, are all on show. That’s not to say that its cosmopolitan streets do not embrace the now; Rome is as exhilarating and forward thinking as ever.

vatican-city-rome-italy
Tour of the Vatican City Tour of the Vatican City

The Vatican City is the smallest state in the world, covering just 0.44 square kilometres. At the sprawling Vatican Museum you'll tour the seemingly endless collection of treasures as you make your way to the single work of art that dwarfs them all: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City. This tour will end with the extraordinary St. Peter’s Basilica designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Pizza making workshop Pizza making workshop

No visit to Italy would be complete without tasting an authentic Italian pizza and what better way to experience it than making your own? You’ll be welcomed by a professional pizza maker and get to knead the dough, create the topping and pop it into the oven. Best of all, you will get to eat your creation!

Tour of Ancient Rome - The Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum Tour of Ancient Rome - The Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum

Discover the great Roman Forum, for centuries the centre of civic life as the site of triumphal processions, elections, public speeches and criminal trials. Then, along the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), head to the Palatine Hill, one of the most ancient parts of the city, where you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium. Last but not least, enter the magnificent Colosseum, considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering, and capable of seating up to 50,000 spectators.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport

Flight

Flight from Rome to Athens

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Athens

Days 14-17

Athens

Accommodation in Athens

athens-sunset
Three nights in Athens Three nights in Athens

There are few places where the past comes to life in quite the same way as in Athens. Often referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation, it’s a city bursting at the seams with culture, intrigue, and beauty. It’s not just a place for history buffs, however, it’s also one of the liveliest European capitals. A thriving café culture ensures you’re not left waning in between all the sightseeing and you’ll never have to venture far to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

panathenaic-stadium-athens
Athens panoramic city tour Athens panoramic city tour

See Athens in all its glory on a panoramic tour, beginning at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896. Passing the Megaron Concert Hall you'll admire neoclassical buildings such as the National Library, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the National Bank of Greece. Continue to the recently renovated Omonoia Square to reach the neighbourhood of Kerameikos where you will stop and enjoy coffee in one of its many pretty cafes.

Delphi by helicopter Delphi by helicopter

The town of Delphi, a little over two hours from Athens, was the site of the 4th century BC Temple of Apollo. The temple's high priestess, also known as the Pythia, were the most important and authoritative oracles in Greece, and the most powerful women of the classical world. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world.

The ruins of Delphi also contain the remains of Temple of Athena Pronaia, a stadium and a theatre, all surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, making for an incredibly evocative sight.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Athens airport

Flight

Flight from Athens to Santorini

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Santorini

Days 17-20

Santorini

Accommodation in Santorini

white-church-oia-santorini
Three nights in Santorini Three nights in Santorini

Floating in the southern Aegean Sea is a little slice of Greek heaven. A huge volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago left a caldera which turned the then- circular Santorini into a crescent shaped island, one that has been charming visitors since they first arrived.

Santorini is the largest island of a small archipelago, wrapping its arms protectively around the islands of Palea, Nea and Thirasia. Sheer cliffs hundreds of metres high shield coves and beaches made up of red, white and black sand, while pretty villages of limewashed cubic houses creep up the sides, nestled into every nook and cranny.

greek-food-wine-grapes
Santorini Food and Wine experience Santorini Food and Wine experience

Be introduced to the best of Santorini's gastronomy on this tour exploring the island's food and wine culture. Enjoy a delicious three course meze menu of traditional dishes with recipes that stretch back generations and visit two family owned wineries

Catamaran Santorini Greece
Private Santorini sunset yacht cruise Private Santorini sunset yacht cruise

This private cruise, which lasts about five hours, combines swimming and snorkeling, dinner on board and sailing across the sea while the sun is setting.

During your tour you will have the opportunity to visit the hot springs, sail past the volcano and admire the beautiful coastline and beaches, while swimming at various locations at your leisure. As the sun is setting you will make your way back towards the port and enjoy the dreamy view.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Santorini airport

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