Jet off to the trip of a lifetime awaiting you in Europe!
Check-in to your hotel, drop off your stuff and head out into the streets of Italy to get a sneak peek at vibrant Rome. Get to know your travel buddies and Tour Manager over dinner. Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Get into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!). Maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back and people watch.
On your first day in Rome, check-out the smallest country in the world and home to the Pope, the Vatican City. There’s included entry and our Local Guide to show you St. Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge and uncover the remains of an ancient empire with a fantastic optional tour of the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys. Tonight, there’s your chance for an optional Italian meal, or you could find a party hotspot or head out for a wander to experience the romance of Rome by night. Your second day in the city is yours to chill out, Roman-style. Maybe head to the cool & off beat Trastevere area of town if you feel like something different. The area is known for its restaurants & hip bars and is a great place to head to totally get you off the tourist track. If you feel like getting active, maybe hire a bike & hit the city streets for a different way to see the city’s monuments. There is also the option to learn some amazing traditional Italian cooking with our Me Time optional Cooking Class. You could also hit up to Villa Borghese. This park at the top of the city offers free WiFi & endless good times – hire a golf cart to whizz around the city, grab a beer & sit on the grass & watch the Romans go about their daily life.
This morning, it’s your chance to splash some cash, with our stop at La Reggia Designer Outlet mall for our exclusive Italian fashion experience. You can use this opportunity to get some gear to show off to your friends at home. This outlet mall is amazing, with your chance to pick up some designer fashion at incredible prices. With between 30%-70% off regular retail, the savings are epic, and because you’re with Contiki you’ll get up to an additional 10% off! From labels like Blumarine, Guess, Liu Jo & Quiksilver (to name a few) – there’s going to be plenty to tempt today. Later, there’s your chance to take a guided tour of ancient Pompeii, before reaching beautiful Sorrento, overlooking the stunning Bay of Naples. Bliss!
This morning, it’s a boat ride to the main marina of the island of Capri, famous for its stunning caves and surrounding rock formations. Get out on the water of the Bay of Naples in an optional cruise around Capri in our very own traditional wooden motorboat. See the world-famous Green and White Grottos and choose to get up closer to the world-famous Blue Grotto, with its intense blue glow, on a separate boat ride into the cave. With plenty of swim stops on the cruise around the island, cool off in the Mediterranean and then use your free time to explore even more of the island. Soak up the views and head off with some friends into the cute, white-washed villages where you can try out the region’s sweet lemon liqueur, limoncello. If you have time, explore Sorrento’s web of narrow streets or the Villa Communale Park, which has stunning views of Mt. Vesuvius.
Today is your chance to really go all out Italiano! We'll start of with a true Neopolitan experience - some wine tasting & local mozzarella making lesson from those that know it best - the locals! We'll head to one of our favourite hidden spots, where you'll get in the know from these local experts who have been wine making & preparing delicious Italian mozzarella the true authentic way for generations. You'll get to sample the flavours that really show you why nothing beats the real deal! This afternoon, there's the option of checking out the beautiful Italian haven, the Amalfi Coast on our optional trip. Famous for its beach, colourful houses & the rich & famous who flock to Positano & the Amalfi during the summer, these places are packed with cool locals, travellers & sun seekers alike are a photography lovers dream. Take to the streets for some shopping or pull up a lounger & hit the beach for sunbaking, swimming & people watching the gorgeous Italians. Tonight, enjoy Sorrento.
Today is perfect for relaxing and taking in the views! There’s time to chill out on the coach, crossing through the stunning rugged landscapes of southern Italy, before boarding the overnight ferry to Greece. Check out the amazing 360 degree views from the deck!
From Patras, cross the impressive man-made Corinth Canal. Athens is next, a city crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul.
This morning take a step back in time in Europe’s oldest city to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide, as you wander around the marble columns perched above the city sprawl. Then we check out the first modern Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Games. Use the rest of the day to relax, uncover some quirky back streets, souvenir shop or simply take in some rays.
Use your free time this afternoon to explore more of this open-air museum. You could honour the birthplace of drama by climbing around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or get the background on Ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum. Otherwise experience Athens’ urban heart, take off into the streets and find a hole-in-the-wall food joint, where you can try the famous souvlaki. You’ll also be transferred to meet your fellow travellers on the Greek Island Hopping tour.
Today, board a ferry to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands as you make your way to the beautiful, whitewashed vistas of cosmopolitan Mykonos.
Mykonos is famous for its blissful beaches and party culture. No matter what you’re after, chances are this island has got it! You’ll soon understand why this happening hub draws people from all walks of life, from jet-setters to backpackers. In your free time, head into Mykonos town and wander through the maze of tiny streets lined by whitewashed, cube-shaped houses. Maybe grab a table in the village and snack on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip. For a laid back afternoon, be sure to check out world-famous Paradise Beach on an optional excursion. Get some friends together, chill out to the tunes pumping at the beachfront resorts, swim and relax Wrap up the day in Little Venice and watch the sun set over the Aegean. But don’t stop there – get into the vibe and party at one of Mykonos’ many bars and hip clubs.
Today: change islands and it’s a total change of scene. Santorini will make your jaw drop with its stunning natural beauty – the result of a massive volcanic eruption. From the water, look up at the iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches. Once we’re back on land, take in the fantastic views of the neighbouring volcanic islands.
Start your day getting familiar with this gorgeous island. Head to Santorini’s highest point for full blown vistas over the crater then cool of with a swim stop at Perissa Beach. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on Fira – dramatically perched on the edge of the crater - as the group explores its narrow streets. Get tips on the best places to pick up a piece of Santorini’s famous jewellery and where to try out the delicious local specialty, domatokeftedes (fried tomato balls). Otherwise head to one of the distinctive black or red sand beaches, and soak up the breathtaking scenery. You could jump on an optional boat ride out to the active volcanic island of Nea Kamini. Cruise past lava formations and get up close to the active crater. Or head to the northern tip of Santorini with the group to catch one of the island’s famously spectacular sunsets on the Oia at Sunset optional excursion.
After free time this morning, we cruise on to Ios. Relax on the boat and hang out with the group. Peaceful by day, pumping by night, Ios is the ultimate party destination.
Relax on sandy beaches or lounge about poolside before a big night out, when Ios’ villages come alive. Head to the small streets of Hora, packed with clubs, bars and pubs and let loose to the pumping tunes. Otherwise, join the outdoor party in the squares and lanes. If you’re keen, you can keep it moving until dawn!
Wave goodbye to Ios and the Cycladic Islands as we set sail back to mainland Greece and spend a final evening together in the mythological city of Athens. For those who are keen to learn more, there’s a chance to step back in time to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide in this fascinating optional, as you wander around the famous columns perched above the city sprawl. Make the most of your last night on tour and join the group for a farewell dinner. Later, head out to Athens’ up-and-coming district of Psiri, buzzing with trendy bars and clubs.
The tour ends after breakfast and it’s time to say farewell to your new friends.