Days
16
Price from
R28,205ZAR

Roam around Europe from Budapest to Zagreb to Bled to – errr – Rome.

Zigzag your way across Europe on this epic adventure from Hungary to Italy, making adventure pit stops in all the best places (like Venice and Zagreb, Cinque Terre and Bled Lake). Get a bit arty farty and ponder the elements of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in Florence, dance along the Danube and eat all the food, all the time. Cake, pizza, schnitzel, tiramisu, ALL OF IT!


Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Rome, Italy
Countries
Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia
Code
GEBIC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Enjoy a jaw-droppingly scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe's second longest river is also one of its most beautiful

  • Escape to the country and visit Lake Balaton, where you can sail across emerald waters, try your hand windsurfing, or savour a (very) lazy afternoon wine tasting.

  • Eat your way through Croatia’s mix of European cuisines in Zagreb, with everything from fresh Mediterranean seafood to Italian-influenced antipasti and heavenly fried fritule doughnuts.

  • Escape city life on the chilled-out shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake

  • There's more to Italy than pasta, romance and old statues (although those are pretty awesome). The Cinque Terre might just be the most epic stretch of coastline in the world

Is this trip right for you?

  • HOT WEATHER: Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • LUGGAGE: Potholes and cobblestones are common across Europe – leave your wheelie bag at home and bring a backpack instead

  • SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex. If you would prefer a single room, a supplement is available to purchase at an additional charge. Please ask your Travel Consultant for more details.

  • ROOMING: Hotels in Europe often do not have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together in order to form a double bed.

  • TRANSPORT: One of the means of transportation on this trip is by train. European trains are comfortable and often come with some of the following facilities: air-conditioning, toilets, a snack carriage/vending machine/bar and power points. Train travel is also a fast way to travel long distances, allowing you to arrive right into the city centre without getting caught up in traffic jams. As you will have to carry your luggage on-board yourself, please make sure that it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the What to Take section

  • COMBINATION TRIP: As this is a combination of two trips, your group leader and the composition of your group may change in Venice.

Itinerary

Welcome to Budapest! This adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today. Since the collapse of Communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. Glamourous and glitzy shops and restaurants now sit alongside old-world architecture and groomed boulevards. One unmissable activity is to soak in the city’s hot thermal baths. There are loads of these around the city centre and they range from classy and elegant to simple outdoor types. Some even have chess boards (so you can keep your brain busy while your body relaxes).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Budapest. Exploring the historical Buda castle is definitely one way to do it! Forget about the bustling city and lose yourself in the history of the castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings. The winding streets of Castle District dates back to the 13th century. And there is an old, mid-19th century local pastry shop there! In the afternoon join your leader on a trip to Szimpla Kert, one of Budapest's famous ruin bars. They originated as squats hidden in inconspicuous side streets, and have since become an inherent part of Budapest's night life.
Included Activities
  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
Optional Activities
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Szechenyi Baths Entrance & locker - EUR16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Catch the train this morning through Hungary’s green countryside, past manicured vineyards, fields of lavender and woodlands to Lake Balaton. This sprawling freshwater lake is surrounded by ancient fortresses, underwater caves and historic little villages calling out for exploration. Perhaps grab an ice cream and take a stroll through Tihany Town, the oldest medieval village in the region, or pop on a swimsuit and explore the incredible underground lake caves. The water here is so pure you can actually see the bottom! If you’d prefer time out in the sun instead, there is always the portion to simply relax by the lake shore.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Another train, another country. Catch an afternoon train to Croatia's capital, Zagreb. On arrival take an orientation walk on which your leader will point out local amenities and attractions you might want to visit along the way, such as a number of excellent museums to visit including the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships. Ask any questions you might have about the city during the walk.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Zagreb, so check out both the upper town and the lower town to understand the city's culture. The tallest building in town is the gothic Zagreb Cathedral, with iconic twin spires that dominate the city's skyline. Ban Jelacic Square is the city's central point, which is surrounded by multiple structures that reflect different periods of Zagreb's past. There is so much to see and do here, the hard thing is deciding what to choose.
Optional Activities
  • Zagreb Funicular - HRK4
  • Ivan Meštrović Atelier - HRK30
  • Zagreb City Museum - HRK30
  • Lotrščak Tower - HRK20
  • Museum of Broken Relationships - HRK30
  • Mirogoj Cemetary - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by train to the lakeside town of Bled. An eye-popping spot, Lake Bled is found at the edge of the Julian Alps in Slovenia. Needless to say, there are lots of outdoor activities on offer to get the blood pumping. Upon arrival why not head out by bike around the lake or to Vintgar Gorge (4km) and walk through the natural canyon? Explore Bled Castle, perched atop the 100-metre cliff overlooking the lake, or catch a pletna (small wooden boat) over to the island in the middle of the lake to ring the wishing bell. Take a day trip to Lake Bohinj, situated within a glaciated valley in the Julian Alps. There, you can ascend Mt Vogel by cable car for awesome views of the ranges. If the weather is clear you might even see Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. For a sample of Bled cuisine, look no further than the famous Bled Cake – a vanilla, custard, cream and pastry delight.
Included Activities
  • Bled Bike Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
No better place to get active than on a full free day in Bled. Go for a lake walk (or run if you feel like!) in the morning, or do your hot yoga poses on the grassy bank of the lake. You won’t find a better set up for it than in Bled! Afterwards perhaps enjoy a full day adventure around the Triglav Massive, including some white water rafting and other blood pumping activities! Check with your leader for all the options and book in advance not to miss out. If you don’t feel like going crazy, just enjoy the beauty of the place; perhaps find a quiet spot near the lake and spend a day reading your book.
Optional Activities
  • Bled Pletna Boat Trip - EUR14
  • Bled Emerald River Adventure (full day) - EUR110
  • Day Trip to Ljubljana - EUR15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board the train and brace yourself for some amazing scenery on the way to Venice (approximately 5.5 hours). Venice is one of a kind, built over a hundred small islands connected by 400 bridges. As well as all those romantic canals, it has all the hallmarks of a fine old Italian city: world-class food, performance, art and architecture. Use your free time to explore – the best way to go is on foot. Take in all the famous sights, like the Grand Canal, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco and its golden basilica, and the Bridge of Sighs. Don't even think about leaving until you've eaten some tiramisu. This is where the dish was born, and they know how to do it just right.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
There are shops, markets, galleries, churches and stunning buildings around every corner - don't miss the opportunity to take a gondola trip through the romantic canals! Don't even think about leaving until you've eaten some tiramisu. This is where the dish was born, and they know how to do it. Fancy a tipple? Prosecco is the drink of choice here; match it with a pasta fazool and embrace your inner Dean Martin. Now, ‘that’s amore.’ As this is a combination trip, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Venice. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. You're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Optional Activities
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR19
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR3
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR10
  • Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
  • Glass Museum Murano - EUR10
  • Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR5
  • Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
  • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
  • Urban Adventures - Canal & Aperitivo Experience - EUR113
  • Urban Adventures - Sweet Taste of Venice - EUR36
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel on a series of trains (approximately 5 hours) to the Liguria region. La Spezia, a medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, will be your base for exploring the truly epic stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre (approximately 30 minutes' train ride away). In La Spezia appreciate indulging in the foods of the Liguria region, which take advantage of the products of the Mediterranean. Pesto is a speciality, and is often served with pasta, green beans and potato. Focaccia is also a speciality, and makes a tasty start to lunch – team it up with some cheese and ham and you have a simple yet delicious picnic.
Optional Activities
  • Cinque Terre Cruise - EUR30
  • Levanto Pesto Making Class - EUR13
  • Cinque Terre Day Trip - EUR16
  • Urban Adventures - Tasting Cinque Terre - EUR78
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre Hike & Bite - EUR119
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre This is Aperitivo - EUR70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Cinque Terre’s colourful houses built into cliff faces are an amazing feat of engineering. Those Italians aren't afraid of nothin'. Hike along the famous paths between the villages. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea, so brace yourself for some crazy, crazy views. You can walk as many sections as you like, or jump on a train between any of the villages or get back to base in La Spezia whenever you want.

Notes: Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train or a bus for these sections. Due to safety reasons some sections of any path can be closed at short notice.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a train bound for Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). You'll arrive around mid-afternoon. Get a feel for the heart of Tuscany – birthplace of the renaissance, capital of Tuscany and cultural hub of dear Italia. It's brimming with religious monuments and Renaissance masterpieces. No wonder a third of Europe's fat-cat artists lived here back in the day! The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here. Join your leader on a visit to the Mercato Centrale (the central market). Your leader will teach you some words in Italian, and then it's off to the various produce stalls for you to try your new language skills.
Included Activities
  • Visit to Mercato Centrale
Optional Activities
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
  • Accademia - EUR14
  • Baptistry - EUR10
  • Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
  • Medici Chapels - EUR8
  • Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR15
  • Museum Bargello - EUR8
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
  • Pitti Palace - Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum - EUR12
  • Siena bus ticket - EUR24
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR64
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR53
  • Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR73
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
It's best to see the main sights of the 'outdoor museum' on foot – the Pitti Palace, the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno River front, the many statues and monuments of the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, the 13th-century Duomo, Baptistry and Belltower and the Santa Croce Church. It's a dizzying list, but don't forget to visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art in itself. And of course there's Michelangelo's super-famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. What a guy.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The individual Florentine State Museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website firenzemusei.it has everything you need to know about all of them, including the option to purchase tickets. We suggest that you pre-book your visit to the Uffizi, as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. Your leader can be of assistance. Make your reservations for these museums for any time on your free day in Florence.
Head to Rome by train (approximately 2 hours). Time for some Roman around. Arrive in Italy's capital and dive head-first into all it has to offer. Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife. Don't miss the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Forum (the centre of ancient Rome). And no visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free, and there's a small charge to climb the dome so you can catch the awesome views from up there. The Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel are also well worth your time before. On the last day it's time to say ciao to your new travel companions, and you're free to depart whenevs.

Notes: The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). Check the Vatican website for these dates: www.vatican.va. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do. The Galleria Borghese can also be booked online at http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm. The best day for your visit to the Vatican Museum will be the morning of departure day.
Optional Activities
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
  • Christian Catacombs - EUR8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
  • Imperial Fora - EUR9
  • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
  • Vatican Museum - EUR16
  • Pantheon - Free
  • St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
  • St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
  • Venezia Palace - EUR5
  • Galleria Borghese - EUR15
  • Urban Adventures - Ancient Rome: Archaeological Discovery Tour - EUR110
  • Urban Adventures - Roman Dolce Vita - EUR65
  • Urban Adventures - Trastevere: Trends and Tradition - EUR56
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)

Meals

7 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Overnight train

Accommodation

Hostel (6 nights), Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Visit to Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
  • Bled Bike Tour
  • Visit to Mercato Centrale

Dates & availability

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Essential trip information

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