from $2555.00

The Southern Trail

Tour Map

Tour style - Cycling, Local Living

22 days

Always wanted to see the hotspots of Western Europe but thought you couldn't afford it? Think again because this 21 day camping tour shows you everything you've been reading about in those travel guides and more. From Paris to Barcelona, Rome to Athens. And really, what better way to see the world than the original Contiki way. Just you, a bunch of new friends, a tent and a taste for adventure.
  • Arrive London

    Check-in to your hotel after 2pm and the remainder of the day is free to relax before meeting your fellow travellers for your Kickstart meeting this evening. Afterwards why not grab some dinner at one of the local restaurants or take a short walk to explore nearby Covent Garden

  • London to Paris

    Meet up with your fellow travellers and Contiki team as you start your adventure. Your Tour Manager knows all the ins and outs of where you’re going and your tour’s own On-road Cook will make sure you get big portions of tasty meals, made from fresh, local produce. Then we hit the road and take a ferry past the White Cliffs of Dover. We travel via World War I battlefields in the Valley of the Somme to Paris. Once we have set up camp we will depart for the 'Tour of Illuminations', where the French capital transforms into the "City of Lights". Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give us a real taste of Paris’ romance. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on the world’s most recognised monuments like the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral - and the magnificent Champs-Élysées. Oui, oui, Paris!

  • Paris

    This town is loaded with possibilities. Discover its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers (neighbourhoods). Get a feel for French flair by window shopping on the Left Bank, step into the Notre Dame Cathedral or explore the endless galleries of the Louvre and get up close to the famous Mona Lisa. Try indulging in some delicious pastries and relax in one of Paris’ many green spaces. Time in Paris includes a trip out to France’s most well-known château: Versailles, once home to ‘the Sun King’ Louis XIV, and hot spot of the French Revolution. Check out the impressive exterior of this extravagant palace. Then there’s an opportunity to explore the former royal family’s luxurious living quarters. Treat yourself to a real Parisian night out, starting with an optional dinner in an atmospheric restaruant, where you can get to know your group. Then sign up for an authentic cabaret experience, complete with can-can girls and Champagne.

  • Paris to Lyon

    Southbound, we roll on through Burgundy’s wine country, past Beaujolais’ green hills and vineyards, and onward to our overnight stop in Lyon. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a city soaked in history - as well as being the gastronomic capital of France!

  • Lyon to Barcelona

    Today, we head south through the rugged and dramatic scenery of the Pyrénées mountains, over the border into Barcelona. A sizzling, festive capital any night of the week, Barcelona is all about action. In Spain fiesta time starts late, so settle in at one of Barcelona’s many outdoor squares to enjoy a glass of sangria and nibble on tapas (plate-sized snacks), before a fun night out exploring the city’s nightlife with your new friends.

  • Barcelona

    First stop: Montjuic. The hilltop has full-blown vistas of the city and it’s where we stop to check out the 1992 Olympic Games complex. Afterwards, get a look into Spanish architect Gaudi’s wild imagination with his Art Nouveau masterpiece, the Sagrada Família church. Your Tour Manager walks you through the cobbled lanes of Barcelona’s oldest district, the Gothic Quarter. There’s free time to discover more of Barcelona’s creative core. Pick up some quirky buys in the side streets or hit the big label shops on Plaça de Catalunya. Take in all of Barcelona’s buzzing street life on the tree-lined La Rambla – a boulevard packed with street performers, artists, shops and stalls. Other ideas for your afternoon off include hanging out in the colourful gardens of Parc Güell or kicking back with the locals on the beach and taking a swim in the Mediterranean sea. For lunch, there’s plenty of delicious local seafood to try as well as Spain’s signature dish, paella. Wrap up your time in this hot city with an optional flamenco dance show for a closer look into Spanish culture. Get some tips on regional food from your Tour Manager and head to one of the excellent local restaurants to try out the flavours of Catalan cuisine, like crema catalana (caramalised custard), cargos a la llauna (cooked snails) and the fantastic Rioja wine! Afterward, hit the pumping clubs of Port Olympico, by the water.

  • Barcelona to French Riviera

    Unwind on the coach and take in the rustic beauty of Provence, known for its pretty landscapes of lavender, sunflowers and wild herbs. A stop for lunch in Arles means a look at the ancient Roman Arena and at a typical provincial French town. It’s back on the road to the rugged coast line of the stunning Côte d’Azur. Follow the beautiful sapphire waters past the movie-star glamour of Cannes (famous for its annual film festival), to Antibes.

  • French Riviera

    Next stop on the Riviera and home to the French perfume industry is Fragonard perfumery. Learn about how perfume is made and some of its more surprising ingredients. It’s also a chance to pick up a bottle or 2 at great prices. In your free time live a bit of the lifestyle with a visit to the local markets. Try out the region’s produce like lavender honey, aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and mouth-watering rosé wine. Window shop the chic boutiques or choose a beach and catch some sun among all the bronzed bodies! Tonight get a taste of the high life in Monaco, the glamorous principality packed into just 1.92km2 and home to the Formula 1. Get the inside story on the royal family and their place of residence from your Tour Manager. Try your luck at a casino later on!

  • French Riviera to Venice

    Onwards to Italy and Verona, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Get romantic and stand under one of the world’s most famous shrines to love, Juliet’s balcony from Romeo and Juliet. Check out the main shopping street and the Roman arena, before heading on to Venice.

  • Venice

    Venice is packed with character - crammed with hidden lanes and linked by a network of canals. The group travels on our private boat through the waters of the lagoon to visit the city’s historical heart. The limestone Bridge of Sighs, the Gothic arches of the Doge's Palace and the expanse of St. Mark’s Square (pigeons and all!) show off Venice’s unique beauty and way of life. Take some time to explore the floating city and lose yourself in the backstreets. There’s an optional walking tour where you can discover the labyrinth of interweaving lanes, waterways, palaces, piazzi and markets with our Local Guide. You’ll see historic monuments, hidden treasures and the Rialto market - a local favourite for food shopping. Maybe grab a table on St. Mark’s Square and eat some delicious Italian food al fresco. Cap off the day with an optional gondola ride & share this amazing experience with your friends - seeing Venice from on the water is unforgettable!

  • Venice to Florence

    Wind through the Apennine Mountains and Tuscan countryside to the Renaissance city of Florence, with a stop at the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The scene-stealing Duomo Cathedral rises above Florence, which serves up frescoes, markets and priceless art. After dinner, walk along the River Arno with your Tour Manager, take in the atmosphere and head into the heart of Florence, where you can sit back and relax Tuscan style with a glass of Chianti wine.

  • Florence

    Jump start the day uncovering this open-air museum and its UNESCO World Heritage city centre. Our Local Guide gives you the inside track as the group learns about Florence’s cultural beginnings and explores streets crammed with artworks from masters like Michelangelo. Then take a look into a skillful demonstration of Florentine leather making and understand this region’s traditional art. With bargains and bustle, the city’s markets are a great place to hang out. Grab a gelato and enjoy this gorgeous city. Tonight, there’s a choice of a group dinner – an authentic Tuscan feast. Try regional dishes in the heart of Florence. Then keep it moving with a night out and get your groove on at Florence’s biggest club.

  • Florence to Rome

    Travel through Tuscany’s rustic hills, past the recognisable cypress tree landscapes of this olive oil-producing region, to vibrant Rome. Stylish Rome oozes energy and overflows with relics from another age. Our special access coach tour gets you right into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Continue on foot to check out the Pantheon 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!) or maybe hang out with your new friends at the Spanish Steps, sit back with a few slices of pizza and people watch.

  • Rome

    This morning, make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge with an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as Vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafés and bars. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys. 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.

  • Rome to Sorrento

    From Naples, it’s a boat ride to the main marina of the Isle of Capri. Soak up the views and head off with some friends into the cute, white-washed villages where you could try out the region’s sweet lemon liqueur, limoncello. Set on sheer slopes, Sorrento doles up sweeping views over the Bay of Naples. There’s free time tonight to explore Sorrento’s web of narrow streets. Find a little local restaurant where you can eat Italian-style, right in the heart of this knock-out location.

  • Sorrento to Corfu

    Then there’s time to chill out on the coach, crossing through the rugged landscapes of southern Italy, before boarding the overnight ferry to Greece. Check out the amazing 360 degree views from the deck!

  • Corfu

    Corfu is all that’s great about Greek island living and with our fantastic campsite location, you only have to walk down a short pathway to get to the beach. You’ll immediately find yourself on “local time”, browsing the markets of the UNESCO World Heritage listed old town and bargaining with the laid-back locals. Jump on board the Captains Cruise optional with a bunch friends for a fun day out on the water. It will give you another angle on idyllic Corfu. Work up an appetite swimming in the secluded spots and then feast on a lunch of olives, salad, cheeses, fresh bread and dips. Corfu also gives you the chance to dive into action with a selection of water sports, like parasailing, banana-boating and waterskiing. Otherwise hire a car for a deeper look into Corfu and venture across the island to explore some beautiful, remote beaches. While you’re here, why not take part in our fun toga theme party!

  • Corfu to Athens

    From Corfu, head to the mainland and travel to the impressive, man-made Corinth Canal. Athens is next, a city crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul.

  • Depart Athens

    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. The tour winds down in the heart of the city at Syntagma Square, home to the Greek Parliament. Make the most of a last look at the Parthenon before you farewell your friends.

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