• B1af7785 dbdb 458a bdc8 37f7dd604dd8
    European Treasures

    TRAVEL BETWEEN: 10 Jul 2018 - 19 Jul 2018
EARN From
61105
Prices From
R32,600.00

European Treasures

18 Days

Start Location
London, England to Paris, France

Destinations Visited

8

End Location

Amsterdam to London, England
  • Paris gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel Tower
  • Local guide in Florence
  • Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
  • Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
  • Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam
Uncover Europe’s hidden treasures on our eighteen day exploration of nine unforgettable countries. Soak up breathtaking natural scenery in Switzerland, awe-inspiring architecture in Rome, amazing canals in Venice and historic sites in Germany. With varied accommodation from hotels to bungalows, you’ll have the chance to really sink your teeth into each and every destination you visit. Please note: this is a Gap Year trip and is only valid for travellers aged 17-20 years of age.

  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Vatican City
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across to Paris. Pinch yourself and instagram your first selfie before we kick off with a picnic beside the Eiffel Tower. Home to Coco Chanel and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food, so prepare for the ultimate adventure!





    Included today:

    -Driving tour of Paris & gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower





    Meals:

    -Dinner

  • This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay to the l’Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you’ll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.





    Meals:

    -Breakfast



    Optional activities:

    -Traditional cabaret show in Paris

    -Bike tour of Paris

    -Seine river cruise in Paris

  • Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is obviously where we're spending the night. Urban charm ain't got nothing on Swiss scenery. Upon arrival, chow down on Swiss cuisine and hit the bar for a nightcap.





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner

  • Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are on today’s agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit. Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner





    Optional activities:

    -Scenic excursion to Jungfrau ('The Top of Europe')

    -Scenic helicopter ride in the Swiss Alps

    -Skydiving in the Swiss Alps

    -Schilthorn cable car

  • First up, time to see a Pisa about a tower for your own version of THAT shot, then on to Florence for artistic and culinary delights in equal measure. If you leave here hungry, you made a wrong turn somewhere.





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner

  • Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) and get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide. Then: check out the hundreds of leather shops from the city that brought you Gucci (new handbag, anyone?) and use the afternoon to meet a famous guy named David.





    Included today:

    -Walking tour of Florence with a local guide





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

  • Onwards to Rome. Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history's version of The Hunger Games set at the Colosseum.





    Included today:

    -Visit the town of Orvieto

    -Walking tour of Rome





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

  • Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia worth of history. Shop ‘til you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness).





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Dinner





    Optional activities:

    -Guided tour of Vatican City

  • Hark! Maketh haste to whence the lady Juliet was wooed in Verona. Snap a selfie at her balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes on the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check into our hotel, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out your own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.





    Included today:

    -Walking tour of Verona





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner



    Optional activities:

    -Personalised Topdeck group shirts and hoodies

  • Check out St. Mark's Square, Accademia Bridge and a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour, then jump on a vaporetto and explore the Grand Canal. Also on the schedule: an optional gondola ride through Venice’s maze of marble bridges and cafes. Throw your map away in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.





    Included today:

    -Walking tour of Venice

    -Vaporetto ride in Venice





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Dinner





    Optional activities:

    -Gondola ride in Venice

  • Prepare your retinas for the scenery rolling past you outside the coach windows and yodel around the mountain as we make our way to the Alps. So much more than schnitty, strudel and The Sound of Music, this day should be sponsored by GoPro.



    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner



    Optional activities:

    -Skydiving in the Austrian Alps

    -Tandem paragliding in the Austrian Alps

    -Bike ride in the Austrian Alps

    -Canoeing in the Austrian Alps

  • We set the GPS for the 'city of a hundred spires', as well as all the other gothic delights on offer in one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Tonight, after an included dinner, check out why Prague's nightlife is so famous.



    Included today:

    -Visit Mauthausen concentration camp

    -Walking tour of Prague



    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner

  • Another free day for the win! Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it). Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum and eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining the Old Town Square.



    Meals:

    -Breakfast

  • Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden – a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt – and ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.





    Included today:

    -Walking tour of Dresden

    -Driving tour of Berlin



    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

    -Dinner

  • Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Choose to take the Third Reich walking tour and gain some insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park. Tonight: hit the hotspots on an optional nightlife tour.



    Meals:

    -Breakfast



    Optional activities:

    -Third Reich walking tour

    -Street art & nightlife tour of Berlin

  • Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (and clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument. Then, explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.





    Included today:

    -Walking tour of Amsterdam

    -Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration



    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Lunch

  • Join the 881,000 bicycles and get local on an optional bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out in your own time the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit and tasting at the brewery. Tonight, we share a farewell cruise on the canal.



    Included today:

    -Canal dinner cruise in Amsterdam





    Meals:

    -Breakfast

    -Dinner



    Optional activities:

    -Bike tour of Amsterdam

  • Today it’s back across the Channel to ol’ Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?





    Meals:

    Breakfast



  • 17 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 12 dinners 10 nights hostels, 6 nights in bungalows, 1 night in Austrian Gasthof

  • 1 free night in London before trip

  • English Channel crossings

  • Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi

  • Awesome Trip Leader + Driver + Chef

Maximum 48

Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.

Start time: Meet at 6am in London.


Finish time: Approximately 9pm in London.


Club trips host our most eclectic types of accommodation. While hostels make up the majority of your overnighters you could also stay in hotels (free upgrade – yeah!) or bungalows.


The ‘More Inclusions’ section details what type of accommodation will be used for overnight stops on your trip.


The number of people to a room on Club trips will vary. For hostels (remember, the most common) you will have multi-share rooms and share with between 3 and 5 others while in hotels there will be twin or triple-shares (and the odd quad-room). Bungalows can be up to 4 people to a room.


Please note: When staying on a Club trip, multi-share accommodation is single-sex and therefore couples should not expect to share a room.

 


On all trips we have arranged extra activities that we think will enhance your travel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.


None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by Topdeck, nor do they form part of your contract with Topdeck for your trip. Topdeck arranges the activity as an agent of the local supplier. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.


Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.


France - Paris
Paris cabaret - €55.50
Seine River cruise - €8
Paris bike tour - €26


Switzerland - Swiss Alps - Lauterbrunnen
Jungfrau Excursion - CHF 157-183.60
Skydiving - CHF 390 plus €30 deposit
Helicopter ride - CHF 100 plus €20 deposit


Italy - Rome
Vatican tour - €40


Italy - Venice
Personalised group shirts and hoodies between €19 and €30
Gondola ride - €20


Austria - Kirchdorf - Tyrol
Canyoning half-day - €65
Tandem Paragliding - €129
Skydiving - €249
Group photo - €10
Mountain biking half-day - €12
Mountain biking full-day - €16


Germany - Berlin
Third Reich walking tour - €10
Berlin Alternative Tour and Nightlife Tour - €18


 

Content Description:

On all trips we have arranged extra activities that we think will enhance your travel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.


None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by Topdeck, nor do they form part of your contract with Topdeck for your trip. Topdeck arranges the activity as an agent of the local supplier. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.


Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.

Description:

On all trips we have arranged extra activities that we think will enhance your travel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.


None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by Topdeck, nor do they form part of your contract with Topdeck for your trip. Topdeck arranges the activity as an agent of the local supplier. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.


Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.


Food Fund
On this trip there is a compulsory Food Fund, which is shown separately on each trip page. This is paid at the time of booking. Unlike other companies, in addition to the listed breakfasts and dinners, Topdeck also includes many lunches on travelling days during your trip.


Included meals
Accompanying you on this trip will be a cook tent, fitted out with tables and gas burners, which will be erected upon our arrival in each campsite. You will have a Topdeck On-Road Chef travelling with you who is responsible for organising the included meals. Breakfast is included every day (except on the first morning). You will be provided freshly cooked evening meals and lunches as per your Trip Itinerary. All cutlery and eating utensils are supplied. Occasionally, some of the included meals may be in local restaurants or accommodation places.


A full list of included meals is in the 'More Inclusions' section of this document.
If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent or Topdeck Trip Consultant when you book. But please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.


Your Topdeck crew never expect tips themselves and will not ask for any; that’s not what friends do! We also know how much tipping can cost you. So go ahead, spoil yourself with the money you will save by travelling with Topdeck (just don’t forget Mum’s souvenir).

Our travel app has landed! With a range of awesome features including a Currency Converter, Budget Tracker, Check-In tool and Social Timeline you can plan your trip like a pro. Think of it like your very own Topdeck Trip Leader, always on call with the latest info, weather, maps and city guides to give you the trip of a lifetime, all in the palm of your hand.


Please note: The Topdeck Travel App should only be downloaded once you have booked onto your trip. You will not be able to log in unless you have a Topdeck Booking Reference Number.


Get it for iPhone


Get it for Android

One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:

When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellow Topdeckers if you become separated.

In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.

It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

Finances


Changing Money


ATMs/cashpoints are available all over Europe and are the safest and easiest way to access money. Major credit cards are also accepted and we recommend you bring yours along in case you see something special that you hadn't budgeted for.


Some nationals may have access to pre-paid cards that you can use at any ATM just like a debit card that you may want to consider as a viable alternative or addition to your bank card.


We recommend that you change approximately €100 in cash before departure and approximately 30 Swiss francs (if your trip goes through Switzerland). This will cover you for spending money until you have the chance to change more or find an ATM on the ground.


Please note credit cards cannot be used to pay for Optional Activities.


Spending Money


Based on experience, we recommend at least €50 – €60 per day. This is to cover daily expenses including sightseeing, small souvenir shopping and non-included meals.


Remember, this is a rough figure only and spending habits vary greatly between individuals according to their budget and habits!


Tipping


Although you may not be accustomed to tipping at home, in many European countries it is customary. In some countries a service charge may be added to your bill, in other countries it is usual to round the bill up to the nearest Euro or to leave an additional amount of between 5% and 10%. Your Trip Leader will be able to advise you further on the tipping customs in the countries you visit.


Topdeck Top Tip: it is a really good idea to hide away somewhere a small amount of cash and/or extra card; this will really come in handy in the unlikely event that you lose your wallet or any other kind of emergency.


European Currencies


While the predominant currency throughout Europe is the euro (€), there are still many European countries that sit outside the Eurozone for which you will need to use local currency (or rely on your credit/debit cards). It is generally always possible to exchange money into local currency after arriving in the country, but the easiest way is to make a withdrawal from a local ATM/cashpoint.


Below is a list of all the other currencies you will use on your trip:


Switzerland - Swiss Franc (CHF)


Croatia - Kuna (HRK)


Czech Republic - Koruna (Crown) (CZK)


Albania - Lek (ALL)


Insurance


It is compulsory for all passengers to take out comprehensive travel insurance before the trip departs covering cancellation, medical expenses including repatriation, loss or damage to baggage and personal belongings, money and personal liability.


For more information go to www.topdeck.travel/travel-insurance.


You must bring a copy of your travel insurance policy with you on the trip. Details of your policy must be uploaded into the Topdeck app before your trips departs, otherwise they will be requested by your Trip Leader on Day One


Passports and Visas


Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the last day of your trip. Some countries will refuse entry if there is not at least six months validity remaining on your passport after your departure date from their country. Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa to enter certain countries.


It is your responsibility to obtain these prior to the departure of this trip. You can consult the government websites of the countries in which you will be travelling or your own government’s website to determine which visas you will require. We also have a visa chart on our website listing the visas required by some nationalities travelling on our trips. To check go to www.topdeck.travel/visas.


Remember that some visas can take up to six weeks to acquire, so don’t leave it until the last minute. Also bear in mind that the validity of the visa often runs from the date of issue rather than date of entry into the country. Please check with the appropriate embassies prior to departure as requirements do change periodically.


Transport


Coach Time


We try to spend as little time on the coach as possible so that you have more time to enjoy the places you visit. But do please remember that Europe is a large continent and it takes time to get around!


On driving days between cities you will be on the coach during the day, stopping off to visit places of interest where possible. Strict driving rules apply in Europe that limit the maximum number of hours your Driver can drive each day. They also limit the maximum number of days that can be driven before a day off must be taken. We have worked hard to make sure this does not affect your trip, but in some cities it means we will use public transport while your Driver has a well-earned rest day. The cost for this is included in your trip price and your Trip Leader will show you how to get around town as the locals do!


Please note: this doesn't cover your own local transport while in a city, only when the coach is not in operation


Wi-Fi


Free Wi-Fi is available for all passengers in Europe, this includes both coach and sailing trips. For more information about our Wi-Fi allowance and availability per country, please head to our website www.topdeck.travel/wi-fi.


Please note: Wi-Fi charges are subject to change. If you feel necessary, please enquire with us to ensure your particular coach has Wi-Fi availability.


Health and Safety


We want to make sure you’re having the time of your life while travelling with us. Therefore, if you suffer from any kind of medical condition or allergies, we will need to know at the time of booking, or at least six weeks prior to the departure of your trip.


If you require regular medication, you must have a sufficient supply before your trip departs, as it may be difficult to obtain while travelling. You must be able to administer your own medication, as Topdeck Road Crew will not be able to administer it, and there are no guarantees that there will be anyone with first aid training on board.


Vaccinations


There are currently no compulsory vaccinations required for any of the countries this trip visits. Please reconfirm this with your GP or health professional before you leave as conditions can change.


General Information


Public toilets


In most European countries you can expect to pay a small amount to use public toilets at service stations and in city centres. It is a common practice in Europe and should be regarded as a form of ‘tipping’, as the money goes to the people who clean and/or maintain the facilities. It is very rare that public toilets do not supply toilet paper, but it may be useful to carry a pack of tissues with you.


Power


All European countries (with the sole exception of the United Kingdom) use a CEE7/16 standard round, two-prong plug and a single adaptor will work in all countries.


Voltage


Throughout Europe the voltage is a uniform 220v. If the voltage is the same or similar in your home country your appliance will comply. If you have a 110v appliance you will need to use a transformer to avoid damaging your appliance.


In Cases of Emergency


While we hope you never have to use it, if for any reason you need to contact someone from Topdeck, whether it be that you have missed a trip departure meeting, have become separated from your trip on the road or any other unforeseeable problem, the following options are available to you.


Emergency Contact


Our Customer Service team is on hand 24/7 to help*


Please call 1300886332 from within Australia, 0800525366 from within New Zealand, 18006071399 from within North America, 0800982308 from within South Africa, 0362731786 from within Japan, 08452575212 from inside the UK or +44289873305 for the rest of the world. A Topdeck representative will be on hand to help.


* Please note our Customer Service team may be closed over bank holidays. Please check out www.topdeck.travel/about-topdeck/contact-us over these times.


What to Bring


We recommend soft bags, suitcases or frameless backpacks, plus a small day pack or carry bag. No external framed bags please, as they damage other bags on the coach. Please limit your luggage to a maximum of 20kg. Luggage must not exceed dimensions of 70cm in height, 45cm in width and 25cm in depth. Only one piece of luggage is allowed.


Please note that due to space and weight restrictions on our coaches, passengers with too much luggage on departure morning may be told that they cannot take their entire luggage with them. Luggage storage facilities are usually available at the departure point, if they are not available you will have to make your own arrangements to have it stored or shipped home. Any luggage left behind will be at your own risk and you will be required to pay any costs incurred.


Sleeping Bags


A sleeping bag will not be required for your trip.


Suggested Packing List


The golden rule is to travel as light as you can. Only bring what you really need and leave plenty of space for things you might want to buy. Don't forget you will have to carry your bag around yourself before and after the trip, as well as in and out of where you’re staying while on your trip!


The following is a suggested clothing list only, based on our experience:



  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes

  • 1 pair of smart casual shoes

  • 1 pair thongs/jandals/flip-flops

  • 2 pairs jeans/trousers

  • 2 pairs shorts/skirts

  • 4 shirts/t-shirts

  • 2 sweaters/jumpers

  • Smart casual evening wear

  • 1 rainproof jacket

  • 1 warm jacket

  • Underwear and socks!


Other things to pack:



  • Swimwear

  • Towel

  • Toiletries

  • Hat and Sunscreen

  • Basic medical kit (including plasters, aspirin etc.)

  • Washing powder

  • Insect repellent

  • Conversion plug


Optionals to consider:



  • Sewing kit

  • Pillow case

  • Torch

  • Travel pillow


Please note: entry into some religious sites, such as cathedrals and mosques, requires clothing to cover the knees, chest and shoulders.


Final Checklist



  • Passport (with visas if required!)

  • Airline tickets (where applicable)

  • Insurance Policy (you must bring these details with you)

  • Camera; batteries; chargers; conversion plug


That’s it – you’re now ready for your trip of a lifetime! If you have any further questions feel free to give our team a shout at any time. Happy travels!

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