My trip to Europe: Itinerary!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

You zip up your suitcase, double check to see you have your ticket and passport, walk through the boarding gates, take your seat along with the other wide eyed travellers and settle in for either a short or in this case long trip. The ever changing scenery beneath you goes from flashes of land with rolling mountains, lakes, rivers to the vast ocean or even a lively city that would be bustling with life. In 4 months and 10 days which is 18 weeks - Or a very small 3120 hours I will be walking through the boarding gates at Brisbane airport to make my way to my first stop that being Seoul and then I will be making my way (very excitedly I will admit) to London!

Going for a glorious 32 days which will consist of soaking up the European sun, shopping until I most likely drop, eating all the tantalising dishes known in that region,  taking plenty of photos, meeting new people and having just one of those experiences that you feel free and infinite: I truly can't wait and well I want to leave right now!

Waking up every morning to see this staring back at me does not help the cause - If I had my choice I would be on the next plane, jet setting to some glorious destination but for now I am only dreaming of the day where I can finally pack that suitcase, walk out of my house and be on my way to Europe.

My trips itinerary:

Depart with us early this morning from London and wave goodbye to the white cliffs of Dover as we cross the English Channel by ferry, giving us a chance to change currency and grab any final supplies. Alternatively, meet us at our destination- Paris! The capital of France is a city of lights and love, fashion and food, creativity and culture – in short, one of the greatest cities in the world. After dinner, take it all in on our City Lights tour, where our expert Topdeck road crew will share with you the sights and sounds of the world‟s favourite urban destination. 

At Topdeck we believe in giving you as much free time as possible to explore the places we take you to- starting today! A free day to take in this magnificent city, whether it‟s the breathtaking collections of the Louvre, the glorious Notre Dame cathedral, the stunning Arc de Triomphe or the chic boutiques of the Champs Elysees- just keep those credit cards on a leash!
In the afternoon, there is an option to take a bike tour of the city, a great way to feel the pulse of Paris and get up close to some of its finest monuments. In the evening we can all enjoy Topdeck‟s exclusive, mouth-watering gourmet picnic in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower – delicious food in a truly special setting. After dinner there is the opportunity to take in a quintessentially Parisian cabaret show in the effortlessly cool Latin Quarter, or hop on a boat cruise down the famous waters of the River Seine. 

Today we make our way in to Switzerland, a country so scenic it makes picture postcards spring to life. Our base in the village of Lauterbrunnen is set in a deep valley, flanked by towering cliffs from which waterfalls tumble, framed by the snowy peaks of Europe‟s great mountain range, the Alps- we‟re confident you will fall in love with it! Dinner has a local flavour and is prepared on-site by our resident Topdeck chef, after which we can always head to the bar for a nightcap. 

This morning there is an option to ride the historic Jungfraubahn railway to the highest station in the continent, and visit the summit of the Jungfrau Mountain. At over 12000ft high, this truly deserves its nickname, the „Roof of Europe‟. Not to mention... there‟s guaranteed snow! For those who think that being 12000ft high whilst having your feet on the ground is too boring – why not throw yourself out of a helicopter instead?! Okay, so you would have a parachute and experienced skydive master attached to you.... but let‟s not dwell on the details! An optional (weather permitting) skydive over the Swiss Alps is a truly memorable experience.
The rest of the day is ours to explore this most picturesque corner of the world, with numerous mountain walks and the majestic Trummelbach Falls providing a feast for the eyes. Later there‟s a feast of the more conventional kind, as we enjoy another delicious meal from our Topdeck chef. 

A scenic drive day transports us from the peaks and valleys of Switzerland to the rugged coastline and azure blue seas of the French Riviera. En route we visit a local perfumery, in a region famed around the globe for its fragrances – perhaps you will find your calling as a „Nose‟! Tonight we enjoy an included group dinner in a local restaurant. 

This part of the world is beloved by the rich and famous, and today is your chance to get in on the act! Pop on those giant sunglasses and join the sunseekers on the beaches of glamorous Nice, or wander through the old town and check out some of the best shopping in Europe. In the evening, it‟s time to glam up for a trip to the principality of Monaco, one of the world‟s smallest countries and a billionaire‟s playground. There is a chance to have a flutter in one of the famous casinos- you could even warm James Bond‟s seat in the Grand Casino itself! 

Onwards in to Italy, where we have ample time to take in the wonderful countryside, culture, and cuisine of this fantastic country. We take time out to visit Pisa and get our photographs with the famous „Leaning Tower‟, before heading to our hostel in the centre of Florence. An included dinner tonight gives us our first chance to taste the dishes that have made Italian cookery so famous. 

Get your walking boots on! This morning we enjoy a tour of Florence with an experienced local guide, hearing tales of the incredible Renaissance period and the luminaries who made the city so important, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The spectacular Duomo, Ponte Vecchio bridge and the famous statue of David will all take the breath away in this most beautiful of places. If this proves a bit overwhelming, then we can always shop „til we drop at a local leatherworks, where a brief demonstration will enable us to pick the quality goods from the fakes.
Our short drive to Rome gives you time to edit those photos – because you‟ll need some space on your camera for this afternoon! Nicknamed the „Eternal City‟, this is the historic centre of the great Roman Empire, and our walking tour this afternoon with our Topdeck Trip Leader takes in over 2000 years worth of history and a stunning array of sights. These range from the relatively recent, like the opulent Trevi Fountain and the towering Victor Emmanuel II Monument; to the truly ancient, such as the wondrous Pantheon and the awe-inspiring Colosseum. It is a city where the ancient and modern intermingle, and undoubtedly one the world‟s great destinations. 

As if the sights of the previous day weren‟t enough, this morning there is an option to take a guided tour of Vatican City, the world‟s smallest state and home of the Catholic religion. An experienced guide can show us the treasures of the Vatican Museums and the world famous Sistine Chapel with its ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo, after which we can explore inside the world‟s largest church, the incredible St Peter‟s Basilica. The day is then ours to explore the splendour of Rome. You could take a tour of the Colosseum or ancient Roman Forums, join the locals lounging on the famous Spanish Steps, shop „til you drop on the exclusive Via Condotti... or head back to our resort and take a dip in the pool! This evening we enjoy an included group dinner, freshly cooked by our resident Topdeck chef. 

Today we have a final chance to stock up on sailing goodies, as we drive to the east side of the Italian peninsula, where our overnight ferry to Greece awaits. The ferry has restaurants, bars, and comfortable cabin accommodation is provided for our journey. 

It‟s a short drive along the rugged Greek coastline to meet up with our flotilla of yachts. After instruction from our flotilla leader we'll head off into the wild blue yonder; three leisurely days of sailing, sunbathing and swimming in the Ionian Sea await! In the evenings we moor, visiting authentic Greek tavernas where the food is delicious and the atmosphere even better. Who knows, a drink of ouzo and bit of Greek table dancing later, and we may have trouble convincing you to leave!
On the afternoon of the third day we head back to land, where we spend one final night on our yachts before bidding a reluctant farewell to the sailing portion of our adventure. 

This morning we make our way north to the charismatic country of Albania. It is one of the few remaining corners in Europe where it wouldn‟t be unusual to pass a donkey and cart on the road, but though it may be poor in economic terms, it is rich in character and charm. The people are friendly, welcoming, and passionate about their home, and a local guide will give us a tour of the capital, Tirana, before we head to our luxurious accommodation, which we are sure you will be impressed by! 

We continue our journey northwards through the Balkans region, an area of the world shut off for many years by various Communist regimes, and one which suffered terribly during some horrific conflicts in the early 1990s. Thankfully, this beautiful corner of the globe has put the past firmly behind it, and the enthralling coastline of Montenegro provides some stunning viewing as we head for the quaint coastal city of Dubrovnik, nestled at the foot of towering hills at the southern tip of Croatia. 

This gorgeous walled city at one stage found itself under siege for seven months during the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s. The physical scars can still be seen on some buildings, but many people have laboured long and hard to restore the city to its former glory, and it now stands as undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities anywhere in the world. Today is a free day for us to explore, perhaps taking a tour of the city walls, visiting one of the numerous courtyard cafes and restaurants, or finding an exhibition in one of the winding backstreets of this terrific town. Find out why the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was moved to proclaim; “Those who seek paradise on Earth, should come to Dubrovnik”! 

Another stunning drive day transports us northwards along the Adriatic coastline to the bustling old town of Zadar. An orientation tour will take in some of the Roman ruins in this picturesque, ancient city, whilst a stroll along the promenade may just lead you to stumble upon the Sea Organ – part public artwork and part musical instrument, it produces harmonic sounds when it is „played‟ by the ocean! This evening we get the chance to try out one of the numerous local restaurants for dinner as we have free time to explore the city. 

This morning we leave Croatia and briefly head in to Slovenia, a country of outstanding natural beauty – not least the Postojna Caves, one of the largest and most beautiful cave systems in Europe. There is the option to take a guided tour of some of the 27 kilometres of intricate underground galleries and chambers, seeing the spectacular formations that nature can create when given thousands of years to work with. The tour is partly by foot and partly on a small electric railway, which cuts through the rocks, Indiana Jones style! This afternoon we head back in to Italy for a stop in one of the most unique places you could ever wish to see – Venice! We settle in to our resort tonight with a delicious meal cooked by our on-site resident Topdeck chef. After dinner, the on-site bar is the ideal place for a nightcap. 

This morning we head in to Venice, a city consisting of a dizzying array of islands, interconnected by countless bridges, and serviced by a beautiful network of canals – there really is no other city like it on earth! A walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader winds through alleyways and across piazzas, finishing in St Mark‟s Square with its magnificent basilica. We then pay a visit to a local lace school to see how these delicate masterpieces are created by the talented Venetians, before an optional ride on a gondola, the traditional (and most romantic) way to navigate the waterways that link this great city, during which you can view the famous Rialto Bridge from the waters of the Grand Canal. The rest of the day is ours to spend how we wish, before enjoying another tasty meal from our on-site Topdeck chef in our resort this evening. 

Willkommen in Deutschland! Welcome to Germany! Our first overnight stop in this magnificent nation is Munich, capital of the proud region of Bavaria. The city is nicknamed „Toy Town‟ by some, a nod to its eye-catching architecture and welcoming feel. A short walking tour with our Topdeck Trip Leader will take in the heart of the city, Marienplatz, with its Old and New Town Halls, as well as the striking Frauenkirche, the church which dominates the city skyline. Bavarian culture is strong here, and a trip to one of Munich‟s world famous beer halls could see you singing songs and clinking beer steins with the locals. You may even be tempted to pick a pair of Lederhosen or a Dirndl – perfect attire for a Topdeck Oktoberfest trip! 

This morning we pay a visit to the former concentration camp at Dachau. A sombre, but very important stop, here we get the opportunity to educate ourselves about the horrors of the Holocaust, and pay our respects to those who suffered so much at the hands of the Nazi regime. Then it‟s onwards to the Czech Republic and its wonderful capital, Prague. Great architecture, fantastic shopping, fascinating history and outstanding nightlife – there are many reasons why this city is a true favourite of Topdeck crew! A city tour with our Trip Leader takes in Gothic masterpieces such as the Hradcany Castle District, Charles Bridge, and the stunning Tyn Church. Tonight, why not take the opportunity to sample some of the best nightlife in Europe. 

A free day to explore this beautiful city, hidden for decades behind the „Iron Curtain‟ that divided East and West Europe, but now a hugely popular destination and a true gem of Eastern Europe. You could get your portrait painted by an artist on Charles Bridge, learn more about Czech culture and history at the National Museum, or indulge in the charmingly bizarre spectacle of watching an opera performed entirely by traditional marionette puppets! The Czech Republic also produces arguably the world’s finest beer, giving us even more reason to celebrate the Prague nightlife. 

This morning we head back in to Germany, a country with a strong, proud culture and history like no other. It is also a land of immense natural beauty- an undoubted Topdeck favourite! The Rhine Valley region in the west of Germany is our picturesque destination. The lush banks of the River Rhine are dotted with castles and fortresses which provide a wonderful backdrop for the final part of our journey today. This evening after checking in to our accommodation we enjoy an included group dinner. 

Our trip moves on to the Netherlands, famous for many things- cheese and clogs may spring to mind! So on the way we can pay a visit to a local farmer to see how these typically Dutch products are made, before heading on in to the cultural capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. A walking tour takes in the heart of this multicultural, famously liberal city, stopping at Dam Square to see the Royal Palace and National Monument, before heading to the famous Red Light district! 

This morning we have a Topdeck exclusive; an included bike ride of Amsterdam, giving us the chance to travel amongst the canals and parks of this gorgeous city as the locals do. We have plenty of free time to take in the abundant culture of Amsterdam, perhaps paying a visit to the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum.... Or the Heineken Experience – it all depends on your own personal definition of „culture‟! This evening, we have a delicious farewell dinner in a local restaurant, followed by an optional canal cruise around the waterways of this great city, the perfect way to round off a memorable Topdeck trip. 

Today we say our sad farewells to the Netherlands, heading to Belgium and the incredibly well preserved medieval city of Bruges. A short walking tour is followed by free time to explore and sample some delicious Belgian specialties; chocolate, waffles, and for the more sturdy souls- beer! We then head to Calais and catch our ferry back to England, where the trip finishes this evening, and we say our fond farewells to our Topdeck companions!

We then have three extra nights in London before heading home!

Itinerary taken from Topdeck


  1. Oh gosh, This is a dream for me! Traveling is one of the best things is life, and Europe has so many places to visit.

    PS: You forgot about Portugal! People think its not an amazing country but when they come here they think it's one of the best places to go in the world :)

    1. I can't wait to just go already! There are so many places I want to go around the world so I thought that Europe would be a great starter point as I have always wanted to do it.

      Portugal is definitely on the list to go to Mariana, I am planning another trip for next year so that will probably be in Portugal then. I have always wanted to go to Portugal it looks gorgeous!


  2. I hope that you will have great time! I live in Europe so I was in Paris,Prague,Amsterdam,Croatia ,Rome..Prague and Paris are really beautiful places!
    I want go to London too!You are lucky gir<3333

    1. Thank you Alexandra! Oh wow that is so incredible and not to mention I am so jealous that you live in Europe! Thank you <3 I will be posting all about it on here so you can get updated with pictures and what I am up to as well!



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