European Grand Tour

Duration 20 days
Price guide
From
  PP
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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 iconic cities, beautiful islands and charming countryside. This is a trip packed with culture and adventure: the epitome of a grand European tour.

Trip highlights

  • Go behind the scenes at the Palace of Versailles with access to the private apartments
  • Glide along Venice's Grand Canal on a gondola and explore the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello
  • Enjoy an overnight journey from Paris to Venice on the Belmond Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express
  • Marvel at Florence's Renaissance masterpieces and explore the nearby Chianti wine region
  • Relax in Santorini, enjoying its gorgeous wine and epic sunsets
  • Learn how to make delicious, authentic pizza in Rome

Bespoke trips with Jacada

We design one-of-a-kind journeys incorporating luxury in all its forms. Our bespoke trips include:

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Privately guided tours
  • Private transfers
  • Meticulously selected experiences
  • Expertise and support from your Jacada Concierge
  • Days 1–4 Paris
  • Days 4–5 Overnight train journey
  • Days 5–8 Venice
  • Days 8–11 Florence
  • Days 11–14 Rome
  • Days 14–17 Athens
  • Days 17–20 Santorini
European Grand Tour
Price guide
  PP
  • Days 1–4 Paris
  • Days 4–5 Overnight train journey
  • Days 5–8 Venice
  • Days 8–11 Florence
  • Days 11–14 Rome
  • Days 14–17 Athens
  • Days 17–20 Santorini

Itinerary in detail

Every Jacada trip is tailored to your personal preferences and interests. Below you’ll find a sample itinerary to inspire your own custom-designed journey.

Days 1–4

Begin in Paris

The ‘City of Love’ has always dazzled visitors with its vibrancy, unique history and romantic moments by the River Seine. Paris is seductive, stunning whatever the weather, but above all, timeless. There’s plenty to do and see in Paris, but it’s a city that captivates its guests with the little things: strolling the cobbled avenues, people-watching in the finest French cafés and savouring freshly-baked pastries from a local boulangerie. Paris oozes chic, with trendy boutiques and haute-couture labels dotted all over every arrondissement.

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The highlights

Palace life

Art in focus

Highlights of Paris driving tour

Take in some of the highlights of Paris as you enjoy a thrilling driving tour around the French capital 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

The Palace of Versailles dates back to 1038 and was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. The interior showcases beautiful examples of baroque furnishings, a rare collection of objects d’art and the famous grand Hall of Mirrors. Your tour will include 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 is one of the most important and most visited museums in the world and extending over 210,000 square metres, it’s the largest in Paris. During your visit you’ll discover the Louvre’s three great ladies – Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, and Mona Lisa, as well as other key works.

Days 4–5

Overnight train 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.

Days 5–8

Welcome to Venice

Sat within a shallow lagoon between the mouths of Po and Piave rivers, Venice consists 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 Europe’s greatest artists. Spend your days discovering hidden galleries, museums and palazzos.

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On the water

Explore on foot

Island hopping

Gondola ride

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

St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace and Basilica

If you imagine landing in Venice from the sea, 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. Your historical walking tour will then take you through backstreets to the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark’s Basilica. Its architecture is a mixture of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian.

Murano, Burano and Torcello

Visit Venice’s most famous islands, Murano, Burano and Torcello. Murano has been known since the 1200s for the art of glass making, and you’ll visit a glass factory. Burano is a picturesque fisherman island known for its brightly-coloured houses and lace school. See the women who still work this antique technique of lace making by hand. The last stop is Torcello, where you will see its beautiful cathedral with its mosaics dating back to the 1100s.

Days 8–11

Enchanting 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 take infinitely longer to properly explore.

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Siena highlights

Footsteps of history

In the vines

Siena city tour

Start at 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, and Opera del Duomo museum. You’ll then reach the Piazza del Campo, a unique shell-shaped area which was paved in the 14th century. 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.

Walking tour of Renaissance Florence

Explore Florence’s Renaissance past on a guided walking tour of the city’s historic centre. Visit the Academia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’. You’ll also visit the church of Santa Maria del Fiore – the famous Duomo – to view Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome; 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’s  captivating outdoor sculpture gallery. 

Explore the Chianti region

Discover the beautiful Chianti region with a private driver. Learn about some of the most excellent Italian wines and explore the beautiful Tuscan countryside and its scattered Medieval towns.

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

When 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.

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Vatican treasures

Get cooking

Ancient Rome

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

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

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 area 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.

Days 14–17

Lively 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.

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Best of Athens

In the air

Athens 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 Archeological Museum and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the National Bank of Greece. Continue to the renovated Omonoia Square and the neighbourhood of Kerameikos where you’ll stop for coffee.

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.

Days 17–20

Heavenly 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.

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Wine and dine

Sundowners

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.

Private Santorini sunset yacht cruise

This private cruise, which lasts about five hours, combines swimming and snorkelling along with dinner on board while sailing across the sea as the sun sets.

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

“Highly recommend!‌”

Jacada provided our family with two amazing European getaways. Hanna and Alice had everything set up beautifully down to every last detail. The excursions, hotels, and guides were all incredible. We definitely recommend them and hope to work with Hanna again for future travel!

Published 09th September 2022 on Trustpilot
Kristen