Get ready to leave the everyday behind and uncover extraordinary. Meet the gang in LDN-town, stock up on Pringles and pull out the AUX cord - we're hitting the road early for the City of Lights. The home of Coco Chanel, the Mona Lisa and the world's best pastries - Paris has earnt its rep as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and drool-worthy food. Tick off all the showstoppers on a driving tour before tonight's group dinner. This is going to be one epic ride.
This is your day, your way. So, make every second count. Create a solid dent in your bucket list with a visit to the Louvre (book your tickets in advance!) and the Musée d'Orsay. Flash some plastic along the Champs Elysées. Discover the hidden gems down Paris's back-streets and alleyways. Walking not your thing? Give those calves a workout on an optional bike tour. Or soak up the Parisian vibes from the water while cruising the river Seine. Tonight, dress to impress for an optional cabaret show. Think: sparking lights, death-defining acrobatics, OTT costumes and the Cancan (of course).
Don't drink your vino out of a cask? You're gonna' love the next stop on our mega roadie. Bordeaux: where half the city is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and vineyards reign supreme. Get our bearings around this 1200-year-old city with our expert Trip Leader. Then enjoy free time to explore. Dinner tonight is up to you, but you're in France - anywhere is going to be delicious.
Less hectic than it's touristy big-brother and way cooler (in our opinion) - today is your day to explore Bordeaux, your way. Need some suggestions? Explore la Cité du Vin: a wine-themed museum, nough' said. Arrange a day trip to St Emilion. Hunt down a local patisserie for all your cream-filled, carb-loaded desires. Or buy some local cheese, a bottle of the good stuff from L'Intendant and picnic like a true Frenchman. Just make sure you leave room for desert - you're going to want to try a canelé (can-eh-lay). Trust us.
Peer out the window as we roll through the vineyard-covered French Basque country into Spain. Unload the coach and get your bearings on an orientation tour. DW our in-the-know Trip Leader will point out the best pintxos places along the way. Then the rest is up to you. Join the crowds of beachgoers at La Concha. Jump on a ride at one the oldest theme parks in the world. Or take a cold beer up Urgull Hill for incredible views over the bay. Later, choose your pants wisely - if you're embarking on a pintxos-bar-crawl through Old Town tonight, you're gonna' need a LOT of room.
Onwards to the capital of Catalonia. Bienvenidos to the city of art nouveau, sexy accents and (most importantly) tapas. Get a feel for Barça on a driving tour - ticking of the likes of Olympic Park, Plaza Espanya, the National Museum and Montjuïc Hill. Then: time to put those fat pants to the test at tonight's included dinner. Paella for one, please.
Time to do your own spontaneous-this-is-what-I-came-for thing, amigos. But if you need some suggestions, we've got your back. Park Güell and Sagrada Familia are straight-up must-sees. BUT don't think you can just stroll up in there - you're gonna' need to book tix online first. Then: explore the crazy that is Las Ramblas, head into the National Museum for an education in over a thousand years of art, or get lost amongst the maze of winding alleys in the Gothic Quarter. Lose yourself, find yourself, then grab a beer at Els Quatre Gats. Later, there's an optional show on the cards at the oldest flamenco tablaos in Barcelona.
There's no way you'd be able to fit everything in with just 24hrs - so, here's another day to do whatever YOU want. Thank us later. Organise a stadium tour of Camp Nou (home to one of the greatest teams in soccer history, just sayin'). Arm yourself with snacks, then head up el Turó de la Rovira for next level views over the city. Or take some time out from the adventuring and sangria-drinking with a swim at Barceloneta Beach. This is your last chance to work out what Ed Sheeran was on about, so hit the d-floor later with your trip mates - we're out of here in the morning.
Start practising your bonjours and s'il vous plaît's as we follow the Mediterranean coast to the glamorous French Riviera. After dumping your stuff and getting the run about town with our Trip Leader, the rest of the afternoon is up to you! Indulge in a bit of celeb spotting. Head to the beach for a dip. Or find a local haunt for some seriously good seafood. Tonight, it's happy hour with the gang (happiness guaranteed, discounted cocktails are not).
This morning, you do you. Sleep in. Laze on the beach. Go wild in the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. Try all the decorative pastries your elastic waistband can handle - then work them off with a walk up Castle Hill for alll the views. Later: roll with the jet set on a walking tour of Monaco and see how the 1% live (hint: it involves Ferraris and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).
Rise and shine. Down your coffee. And wave au revoir to France - we'll be trading ritz and glitz for snowy peaks as we head to the mountains. Home to the 'Top of Europe', 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland - tonight we're bunking down in the lush valley of Lauterbrunnen. After dinner, sit back in the fresh Alpine air with a cold beverage. Yep, this is what we came for.
Wake to the sounds of rushing waterfalls and Swiss-birds chirping (they're like normal birds - but better). You're finally here. So, don't waste a second. Hiking. Biking. Skydiving. Helicopter-ing. This place has it all. Prefer to stay grounded? Slip on the Birks and walk the valley floor. Or hop aboard the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit. Trust us, whatever you choose - you'll have views for days.
Buy that fondue set for mum and take one last wistful glance at the Alps - we're hitting the frog and toad after breakfast. First stop: Pisa. Think of a creative pose for THAT photo (please). Then, make your food baby sing as we roll into the capital of Tuscan cuisine. You've got free time to stroll along the Arno River and watch the sunset, before hunting down a local restaurant for dinner. Did someone say karaoke? If you're feeling it, join the gang in a battle of the classics at the bar later.
Florence has more stories than you can poke a stick at, more culture than a Fitzroy hipster, AND it gave the world gelato - praise be. We'll get the lay of the land on an in-depth walking tour with a local guide. Then: take your new-found knowledge and hit the streets solo. Uffizi Gallery. Ponte Vecchio. Piazza della Signoria. The Duomo. You can't see it all, but you sure as hell can try! Tonight, catch the epic sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. Trust us, this is what you came for.
Onwards! First: a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto - to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini (unless you're a vegetarian, sorry). Then: la bella Roma awaits. Strap on your Nikes, fill up your water bottle and pack your anti-chafing cream - today's walking tour is one for the books. We're talking a solid few hours of non-stop sights, off-the-tourist-trail hidden gems and a run-down of almost 3000 years of history. Pass by the Pantheon, throw our two cents in the Trevi Fountain, (don't) sit on the Spanish Steps and wind things up under the shadow of the mighty Colosseum. Epic doesn't even cut it. Then, you're in Disneyland for foodies so our dinner tonight is guaranteed to be good.
You've got 24 hours to live out all your Lizzie McGuire Movie fantasies. Get out there and do your own, spontaneous, this-is-what-you-came-for thing. But if you need some local tips, we've got your back. Hike up Capitoline Hill for awesome views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Head to the Knights of Matla Keyhole to see an alternative view of the city. Battle the lunchtime rush for a slice at Pizzarium Bonci. Hunt down the Mouth of Truth. Or simply do as the locals do and indulge in a little dolce far niente (delicious idleness) at a local cafe. Tonight, shake out those fat pants for round two.
No lies - we have a long drive today. Now is the chance to share snaps with your new mates, catch up on some zzzzs and text the 'rents (trust us, you'll be too busy later). We'll park up later in Venice - home to over 400 bridges and birthplace of Vivaldi. Acquaint yourself with the usual suspects on a walking tour - ticking off the likes of St Mark's Square, Doge's Palace and Accademia Bridge. Then, this beautifully romantic city is yours for the taking.
You know it as The Floating City, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). So, make like Dora and get exploring! Need some suggestions? Float past the famous Rialto Bridge on an optional gondola ride. Spend your time seeking out the epic Libreria Acqua Alta bookshop. Or forget all the above and hunt down the perfect gelato. It's your trip after all. Later, score a cheap meal at Osteria Al Portego or enjoy a spritz overlooking one of Venice's fuchsia-pink sunsets.
Truth bomb alert: you've got a bit of a drive from Venice to Ancona today (where we'll swap the coach for a ferry). BUT once we're on board you're gonna' have a twin room with an ensuite for the ride. Plus you've got your awesome AF trip mates to keep you entertained. And when you wake up? You're in Greece - heck, yes!
Spartans, assemble. We'll dock at Patras and roll on to the ancient capital of Athens. Tick off your ancient (and not-so-ancient) must-sees today on a driving tour. The Museum of the City of Athens. Hotel Grand Bretagne. National Garden. Hadrian's Arch. Temple of Olympian Zeus. Panathinaiko Stadium. The Unknown Soldier's Tomb. The Acropolis. We'll see it all. Tonight, brace yourself for the best souvlaki outside Olympus at dinner tonight.
This morning's an early one - but it's going to be oh' so worth it! If Athens invented democracy, Mykonos pioneered the beach party that followed. Take a wander to the windmills, check out the white-washed shop fronts of Old Town and make a mental note of all the beachfront cocktail bars to check out later. Then: tonight's plans are up to you! Ever heard of Paradise Beach? It's where Europe goes to party. 'Nough said.
Sore head this morning? DW we've got the cure - a free day lazing on Mykonos' sun-soaked beaches. If you're up for it, why not arrange a trip to Delos Island to check out the birthplace of the sun god Apollo. Or head to Giora's Wood Medieval Bakery for pastries that legit melt in your mouth. You've got 48 hours on paradise - make the most of it!
Swim. Souvlaki. Siesta. Swim again. Today is 100% up to you. Have you checked out Paradise Beach by day? Take the short hike from Platis Gialos along the south coast of the island. The views are worth the sweaty back. Trust us. Then cool down with a dip or hire a paddleboard. This is your last night here, so gather the gang for gyros and bíras on the beachfront.
Whip out your camera and snap one last pic - we'll be back in Athens before you know it! You've got free time this afternoon to do your own thing. Our suggestion? Check out the Byzantine churches in Plaka or hit up the flea markets in Monastiraki. After stuffing your face with yet another souvlaki for dinner, head to Lukumades for a second fill of Greek donuts. Mmm donuts.
Suffer from acrophobia? Better keep your eyes closed for this one. Today we're leaving Athens behind to visit the monasteries of Meteora - perched high atop the nail-biting cliffs of Thessaly. If you're interested, pay the entrance for the Grand or Varlaam Monasteries and explore a little deeper (pssst wear a long skirt, ladies). Or just stop and enjoy the moment. The view from up here is pretty epic. Tonight, enjoy a bit of 'me-time' after a hectic first half of the trip.
What happens when you paint a former communist capital in vivid colours? According to Tirana's artist-turned-mayor-turned-TED speaker Edi Rama, people start paying taxes and crime rates plummet. True story. Say hello to our local guide when we tick off the main sights on a driving tour. Then: make sure you check out the crazy number of old bunkers here. Later, we'll quiz each other's newfound historical knowledge at dinner tonight.
Press your nose to the window and soak up all the stunning views racing past the coach window as we make our way to the most famous walled city in Europe. But first: a quick stop in Budva - the 'Miami of Montenegro'. Three countries in one day? Only with us. This afternoon, we'll take a wander around Dubrovnik's tiny cobblestoned streets with a local guide - before tucking into dinner at a local haunt.
Don't be fooled. Dubrovnik is so much more than snapping a selfie on some steps. Although, you can totally get your fill of GOT with an optional Cersei-themed tour today. Rather take to the water? Sign up to a sea kayaking excursion - swim stops at the island of Lokrum included. Get your fix of awesome views with a stroll along the ancient city walls or take the cable car up Mt Sr?. Then tonight: hit the d-floor at Revelin nightclub. Did we mention it's in a 16th-century fortress?
Shake the confetti from your hair - you've got another full day of exploring to do. Didn't get round to ticking everything off your bucket list? Now's your chance. If you're feeling up to it - make the climb to Lovrijenac for the best views over Dubrovnik Old Town. Or take your towel, SPF and shake off that hangover at Banje Beach. Later, you can head to Buža Bar for relaxed cliffside bevvies at sunset. Or find a local wine bar to sample Croatia's delicious grape-juice. Have you tried peka yet? Go. Now.
Shake off the crowds of Dubrovnik in up-and-coming Sarajevo - a city that's shaking off its tragic past. But first: a quick stop in Mostar to see THAT bridge (and the Red Bull-style-bridge-jumpers). Our Trip Leader will give us the lay of the land as we drive into Sarajevo. Then: you've got some free time before dinner to explore. Our suggestion? Head to Bascarsija - an Ottoman-influenced 15th century bazaar and cultural heart of the city.
You wanted the freedom to discover the unknown. So, this is your chance to explore one of Europe's most underrated cities. But DW, our guide will give us some local insight with a walk around the Sarajevo Museum, Gazi Husrev-Beg's Bezistan, the Latin Bridge and Sebilj Fountain. Then: it's your turn to hit the streets. Check out the Sarajevo Roses - resin-filled memorials to the Siege of Sarajevo. Marvel at Vije?nica's amazing stained-glass ceiling. Head to Sevdah Art House and tuck into Bosnian coffee and pastries as you learn about the history of traditional Sevdah music (it's folky). Or hike up to Yellow Bastion Hill for the best views over the city. Later, find a local restaurant and fill up on ?evapi, washed down with a glass of bambus (wine + coke - don't knock it until you try it).
Say sayonara to Sarajevo after breakfast, we're headed to the little slice of paradise known as Plitvice. Unless you've been living under an Instagram-less rock, you might recognise this place for its #wanderlust National Park - which we're going to explore tomorrow. At the accommodation, we'll enjoy some free time for R&R. You're gonna' need it. Trust us.
Made up of 16 lakes connected by streams and waterfalls and surrounded by 300 square kilometres of national park, Plitvice Lakes didn't make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list for nothing. Have the whole morning to explore this maze of natural serenity. Then: onwards to Slovenia's capital of Ljubljana. Try pronouncing it, go on we dare you. After a quick stroll around the Old Town, you're free to explore the underground art installations and live music scene on your own.
The Ljubljana Castle has been waiting for you since Celtic times - so don't keep it waiting any longer. Later, we'll jump aboard the coach for a family outing to Lake Bled. You've heard of this one, surely. Take a stroll around the glistening blue lake. Go for a refreshing dip. Or hire a boat across to the island and ring the wishing bell. You wished for more wishes, didn't you? Back in L-Town, gear up for round two of hip bars and restaurants.
Our Ljubljana love affair was short but oh-so-sweet. Up next? The twin cities of Buda and Pest. We'll be chauffeured past the Chain Bridge, Castle District, Gellert Hotel, Heroes' Square and House of Terror on a driving tour of the city. Then: go one step further with an included dinner cruise down the Danube - Buda Castle and House of Parliament look even better lit up like Christmas. Trust us.
A free day to experience everything this firecracker of a city has to offer. Check out the Central Market Hall. Explore the Jewish Quarter. Play pinball at the Flippermúzeum. Hunt down the Anonymous Statue. Soak in the therapeutic waters of the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Tonight, hang with the hipsters and drink local fruit brandy at one of the original ruin bars. Maybe even sample a pickled carrot or two (random? yep, but they're a thing).
Legend has it a dragon had to be defeated in order for Kraków to be built. And you thought your local council was tough! Get acquainted with Poland's beating heart on a walking tour - complete with an introduction to the city's resident dragon. Then? Take Fleetwood's advice and go your own way. Top up your history knowledge at Wawel Castle, explore the hip cafes and boutiques in the Jewish Quarter, head to Schindler's Museum (prepare to queue) or find a local haunt and tuck into a piled-high plate of pierogi.
It's your day to delve deeper - need some suggestions? Head to Hamsa in the heart of the Jewish Quarter for some 'Hummus and Happiness', shop for the 'Gold of the Baltic' in the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall. Or do as the locals do and head to Okr?glak for some drool-worthy street food - Zapiekanki is a must! Then: it's time to refine your vodka-palette on an optional tasting tour. Learn the history behind Polish vodka and sample a few uniquely-flavoured varieties as you go. Refuse to drink it without Red Bull? There's plenty of local haunts to pull into for a tasting of the local beer instead. And if things get out of hand, Przypiecek is a 24hr pierogi place - just sayin'.
Onwards to the spire-filled skyline and mysterious streets of Prague! Our Trip Leader will get us acquainted with this picture-perfect city - complete with quirky clock tower - and point out all the must-dos for our free day tomorrow. Tonight? Tuck into a delish dinner with the gang. Later, head to the best bar in the city: The Alchemist. An old-school venue, with bloody delicious cocktails. Hint: if you want the full experience, ask for the 'choose your fate' - we'll see you in the morning.
Another day done completely your way. Trust us, there's plenty to Czech out (ha!). Seek out the John Lennon wall. Soak up some history at the Communist Museum. Take the funicular up Petrin Hill for all the views. Check out what the Dancing House is all about. Or grab a delish roast pork roll at one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square. Fancy yourself as a bit of a beer connoisseur? Don't miss the beer tasting optional this afternoon. 11 different Czech beers + tapas = good times all around.
From one beer capital to the next. Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden - a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt - before we make tracks to Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see the main sights including (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Museum Island, the Holocaust Museum and Alexanderplatz. Then: tonight dinner is on us. Prost!
You've got 48hrs here. Make the most of it. Our advice? Opt in for a historic walking tour that's actually interesting. You'll get a local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule and tick off the likes of the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburg Gate. Plus, all the insider tips on how to spend the rest of your free day. Or put those elastic waistbands to the ultimate test on a locally-led food tour. We're talking kebabs, pastries, more currywurst, pierogi and local beers (of course). Regroup with the gang later to see whether this city's nightlife really lives up to the hype.
Didn't tick everything off? We've got your back - here's another free day we prepared earlier. Head to the Mauerpark markets for stalls filled with stuff you didn't know you needed. Explore Museum Island. Take a ride in a Trabi and see why it's Germany's best-loved car. Or turn off Google maps and simply get lost in the unknown - who knows what you might find? Tonight, seek out Burgermeister. This place used to be a public toilet (ew) but now serves up the best burgers in Berlin (yum). You know you wanna try it....
Thinking of relocating? Today we're going to find out why Copenhagen keeps popping up among the Top 5 Most Liveable Cities in the World. After a short ferry ride, we'll tick off the likes of Tivoli Gardens, City Hall, Nyhavn and the National Musuem of Denmark on a driving tour. Take a stroll along the waterfront, hear the REAL story of the Little Mermaid (her statue is here) and hum Under the Sea while you hunt down a not-too-'spennie restaurant for dinner.
When in doubt, do as the locals do - hire a bike and explore this chilled-out Scandi city on two wheels. Spend some time wandering the waterfront in Nyhavn. Tuck into a smorgasbord of Nordic cuisine. Take a dip in the clean canals (clothing optional). Discover the city's thriving craft beer scene. Or spend the day at one of the many museums. Tivoli Gardens is not only the 2nd oldest theme park in the world, it's also the most beautiful (according to us). Time it right, and you can take in the sunset from the top of the giant chair swing. Cue: goose bumps. For dinner tonight, head to Gasoline Grill - the definition of 'don't judge a book by its cover'.
With more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam combined, no skyscrapers (shook) and the first zoo with no enclosures, Hamburg is one of the hippest cities in Europe. Trust us. Get past the kinda' grey first impression and you'll uncover a city teeming with fascinating culture, a strong beer hall scene and more quirky cafes than you can order a matcha latte at. Take a stroll with your expert Trip Leader to tick off St Nikolai Church, Rathaus, Chilehaus and Miniatur Wunderland. Then: head to Sternschanze for a night out with the gang. Seriously, The Beatles started here so it's bound to be good.
Ok, nobody panic - the adventure is coming to a close. But we're not done yet! Set the course for Amsterdam and use your free time to check out the likes of the Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument. This place is a foodie's haven so you'll have no issues finding somewhere to quench your munchies. Give into temptation and grab a cone of hot chips with mayo. Mmm. Later, there's an option to experience a show in the Red Light district. Or for a more local experience - head to a canal-side brewery.
You can't be serious - this is our last full day? FFS don't hang about - join the locals and get on your bike! Check out Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks on an optional bike tour. History buffs should pay a visit to the Anne Frank House (don't forget to book in advance!). And for the culture fiends - the Van Gogh Musuem and Rijksmuseum. Or if you're wanting a more local vibe, head to Hannekes Boom for waterfront views, good food and all-round good vibes. Top tip: head to Brouwerij 't Microbrewery - a bar inside a windmill serving up craft beers and cheese-laden tapas. Just make sure you're back in time to toast the final night of our MEGA European adventure at tonight's group dinner.
49 days. 20 countries. Countless thrills, spills and good times. One f*cking huge adventure. You embraced it all and shared the ride with a bunch of strangers who are now like family. But it's time to hit the road back to ol' Blighty. Reunion trip next year?