This is the ultimate (and iconic) whirlwind tour of Western Europe that everyone dreams of. For 14 days, travel primarily by train to roam the streets of Paris and Rome, hike coastal trails in Cinque Terre, try a hand at the famous casino in Monte Carlo, and stretch out on the French Riviera. Cover some serious ground and introduce yourself to your new favourite cities with a group of like-minded travellers.
Big Night Out: Rome
Big Night Out: Barcelona. Picnic in front of Eiffel Tower. Visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Visit to Monaco. Orientation walks in Interlaken & Milan
Roam the streets of Paris and Rome, hike the rugged coastal trails of Cinque Terre, take in the sun on the French Riviera
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
For 2018 “London to Barcelona on a Shoestring” departures have changed duration to 13 days.
Please note that our Yolo accommodation in Europe is multi-share. For more info, see the “About Accommodation” section under “Tour Details”.
1.It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3.This trip has a fast-paced itinerary with some long transport days – please check the itinerary carefully before deciding if this trip suits your needs.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 10.
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.
For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Train, public bus, metro, plane, walking.
About our Transportation
On this trip we will use local buses and trains for intercity transport and a mix of metro (subway), local bus, taxis and walking for transport between hotels and bus/train stations. Please be prepared to carry your own bags short distances (20-30 mins max) between hotels and transport, as well as to lift your bags on and off buses and trains. Please note that there is often limited luggage storage space on public transport.
Yolo TRIP TRANSPORT:
As we rely heavily on public transportation during this trip, we ask you to be flexible for possible changes in the modes of transport and schedules, which may necessitate small itinerary changes.
Please note that the accommodation on overnight buses and trains varies in Europe. Overnight buses typically have airline-style reclining seats. On some overnight trains, tickets are for airline-style seats whereas other overnight journeys are in multi-share sleeper compartments. Please see day-to-day itinerary for specific information about accommodation type for overnight journeys.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hostels (12 nts, multi-share), overnight train (1 nt).
The variety and local flavour of our accommodation is a favourite part of our European Yolo trips. Although the properties we use are simply furnished and with few facilities, we base our choices on location, character and cleanliness. We will stay in a mixture of hostels, and private rooms in local households.
All accommodation on this tour is multi-share, on a single-sex basis. This may involve 4-6 group members sharing and even (on rare occasions) dormitory-style rooms for the whole group. The majority of accommodation will have shared bathroom facilities.
Couples: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in Europe we are not able to take requests for double or matrimonial beds, or room you together on this tour. In multi-share hostels, couples will likely be accommodated in separate rooms.
The trip commences at 5:30pm at Cafe Benugo on the ground floor in St. Pancras International Station. Its imperative to arrive on time to ensure boarding to the Eurostar. There will be a table reserved, and your CEO will be waiting with a G Adventures logo on the table. If you arrive early, luggage storage is available at St. Pancras Station. The exact time of departure from St. Pancras to Paris will vary, but there will be time for you to buy some food before we leave or maybe even a celebratory drop of champagne at the longest champagne bar in the world!
GETTING TO ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL STATION FROM THE AIRPORT:
From Heathrow Airport – Take the Piccadilly Line directly to Kings Cross. The single fair to Kings Cross is approximately £5.50 and the journey time is roughly 1 hour.
From Gatwick Airport – Take the Gatwick Express to Victoria Train Station. From there, take the Victoria Line to Kings Cross.
London City Airport – Take the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) to Bank. Once there, change to the Northern Line on to Kings Cross. Overall journey time is roughly 50 minutes. Cost for a single DLR ticket is approximately £4.00.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our accommdation for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Your CEO can also show you where the you can get your laundry done.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work – Check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: EELB, ID: 23663
Day 1: London/Paris
Meet in London before departing for Paris by train.
Please refer to joining instructions for more information on where to meet.
Please note the trip departs London in the evening of Day 1 so it is imperative that you arrive on time for departure soon after the 5:30pm Welcome Meeting. Please allow plenty of time for the journey to London to allow for any possible delays.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Train (3.00 hour(s))
Day 2: Paris (1L)
Explore and discover the “je ne sais quoi” of the City of Lights. Paris has something for everyone and you can use your day here to picnic under the Eiffel Tower, explore the outstanding museums and churches, float down the Seine on a river cruise or people watch at one of the charming cafés.
Day 3: Paris/Interlaken
Take a train from Paris to Interlaken, a small city in the Swiss Alps with breathtaking scenery.
Train (8.00 hour(s))
Day 4: Days 4-5 Interlaken
Enjoy an orientation walk of Interlaken. Opt to get the adrenaline pumping with some canyoning or whitewater rafting. Explore a nearby glacier or go swimming in a crystal clear lake. Don’t miss the nightlife.
Day 5: Day 6 Interlaken/Rome
Travel to Milan by train. Fashion and people watch on an included orientation walk of Milan. Overnight train to Rome.
Please note: If you are interested in seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous artwork, the Last Supper, it is essential that you make a booking in advance for this afternoon (Day 6). You can book either over the telephone or online. The contact details are:
Telephone: +39 02 89421146
Please make your appointment for 3pm onwards (in case of possible delays arriving from Interlaken).
Train (3.50-4.00 hours)
Overnight train (beds) (9.00 hour(s))
Day 6: Day 7 Rome
Opt to check out the famous Roman sites from times past like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican and Pantheon. Don’t miss the amazing Italian food, wine and nightlife.
It’s a good idea to book a ticket to the Vatican online from home or with some advice from your CEO prior to arriving to Rome, as waiting until the day you arrive may well be too late!
Big Night Out
Day 7: Day 8 Rome
Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of the adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.
Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos
Day 8: Day 9 Rome/Rapallo
Stop at Pisa to check out the Leaning Tower en route to the beautiful Italian Riviera.
Leaning Tower of Pisa Visit
Train (3.00 hour(s))
Day 9: Day 10 Rapallo
Walk the coastal path between Riomaggiore and Monterosso or opt to take the train. Visit charming, colourful towns along the way with an included national park pass and unlimited train ticket.
National Park Pass and Unlimited Train Ticket
Day 10: Day 11 Rapallo/Nice
Continue to the French Riviera and enjoy an included excursion to Monaco.
Train (0.50 hour(s))
Train (0.50 hour(s))
Day 11: Day 12 Nice
Enjoy a free day to take a cycling tour, go for a hike along the coast, or take a day trip to nearby beaches and villages.
Day 12: Day 13 Nice/Barcelona
Visit the old Gothic Quarter with its maze of dark streets, historic cathedral, medieval buildings, bars, and cafés. Stroll Las Ramblas, a large tree-lined pedestrian boulevard perfect for people watching and window shopping.
Please note that passenger luggage (up to 23kgs/50lbs per passenger) is included on this flight.
Big Night Out
Plane (2.00 hour(s))
Day 13: Day 14 Barcelona
We highly recommend extending your stay in Barcelona to experience all that this city has to offer.