Day 1 Barcelona
Like many good travel tales, ours begins today in a striking setting with an enviable culture. We’ll meet & greet here in Spain’s beachside beauty, & cheers our days ahead over a bout of sangria.
Day 2 Barcelona
Barcelona will prove the perfect introduction to our time on tour, being equal parts sultry & sophisticated. We’ll take to the streets & learn the intricacies of life here before having the chance to tap into some tapas. As the sun sets you could head to the hip hood of Gracia, meandering the bookstores & boutiques before catching a gig in some of the cities coolest bars.
Day 3 Barcelona
Today you could take a lazy brunch in the Latin Quarter before having the chance to explore Barcelona further. After a good dose of sunshine & saltwater we’ll head back to the mainland to make the most of our final night in the city. Keen to kick it to the early AM hours? Marula, Shoko & Pulitzer Terrace are just a few of our favourite haunts.
Day 4 Barcelona to Nice
Wake up & dust off, we’ve got a new beachside delight sitting ahead of us. With bags packed you can grab a coffee (and by coffee we mean some churros) before we hit the road, taking our newfound affection for Spain along with us. Following the Mediterranean Sea in a clockwise direction, we’ll hop out of Spain and find ourselves in French terrain. Through exotic sounding towns like Montpellier and Cannes, we’ll soon land in the city of Nice. Nice Now that we’re officially in France, it will be critical we adapt to the culture and dabble in some erudite wine tasting. If grape juice doesn’t float your French boat, you could snap geraniums & dahlias at the old town’s flower market.
Day 5 Nice
You would assume the idyllic setting on la Côte d’Azur would be the most impressive thing about the French city of Nice. But today you can discover its rightful position as a European culinary hub as we ride pushbikes & sample its fine food offerings.
Day 6 Nice
The most quintessential French Riviera experience will be on the cards for us today in Nice, with a day of sailing lined up as an optional. Those playing landlubber could enjoy some more food indulgences, sampling regional specialties like a delicious salade niçoise.
Day 7 Nice to Milan
Wrapping up our time by the ocean, we’ll take one last sigh of deep love looking at the coastal scene before we leg it to our new city vista.
Coasting along the Mediterranean, we’ll pass through Menton before crossing the border into Italy. We’ll stay coastal until we reach the cruise port and Ligurian capital of Genoa, at which point we’ll veer north and head inland in search of Milano.
From fancy French ways to unsurpassed Italian elegance, this trip is proving rather sophisticated. Here in Milan we’ll find fashion at its finest, then go beyond the boutiques to its uniquely Italian heartbeat.
Day 8 Milan
Not content covering Lombardy’s capital alone, we’ll head to Lake Como & the dreamy village of Bellagio where signs of life date back 30,000 years. For anyone keen on late hour shenanigans back in the city, we suggest Tunnel Club built into a railway arch near Milan’s Central Station.
Day 9 Milan
If you’re still feeling mystified by Milan’s hidden layers, you can sit amongst design student swagger somewhere like the gallery of Fabbrica del Vapore. The antique tram could take you to a whole new neighborhood, we quite like the street art & specialty stores of the Isola district. By night you can go local in one of the cities many great restaurants where we’ll feast & chat way into the evening.
Day 10 Milan to Munich
Say goodbye to Milan this morning with your last Italian café before heading north to the Germanic region of this great continent.
Shortly after taking our final border hop of the day we’ll stop by Neuschwantstein, the quintessential castle that inspired Walt Disney.
Welcome to the capital of Bavaria and home of the world’s biggest beer festival. If you arrive feeling alive this playground will be swinging.
Day 11 Munich
Today we’ll have the opportunity to uncover Germany’s unsavoury past with a Third Reich Tour. After that gets you into the mood for discovery, you can venture to the museum hub and café district of Maxvorstadt. Admire works by the likes of Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat at Museum Brandhorst & you’ll feel right amidst Munich’s creative scene.
Day 12 Munich
Here in Munich beer is a proud and deep-seated craft, one we can explore over a Bavarian beer & food evening. We’ll pair our brew with the flavours of Germany & ‘prost’ our final night on tour.
Day 13 Embark at Regensburg
This morning we say Auf Wiedersehen to our Contiki crew and Hallo river roaming crew! 8 days, 4 countries, one sweet as river boat and a whole heap of like minded travellers - let's do this! We'll kick things off as we mean to go on tonight with a welcome party complete with tasty German street food, then who's up for a slice of Regensburg nightlife? Offering the highest concentration of bars per square mile, things could get interesting...
Day 14 Regensburg to Passau via Straubing and Vilshofen
Casting off from Regensburg in the dead of night, we'll pull in to Straubing just as you're waking for breakfast - pretty handy, eh? Spend your morning roaming the town's ancient sites and gothic streets with a local guide, or sampling traditional Bavarian cuisine (and beer, lots of beer) on our aptly named beer & meat Optional. In fact, eat to your heart's content, as you'll be needing every last ounce of energy for this afternoon's activity - an impressive four hour bike ride from Straubing to our next stop, Vilshofen. Sounds daunting, but when you consider we'll be stopping off at pilgrimage sites, ancient monasteries and a Bavarian beer garden on route, it suddenly becomes a whole lot more manageable. Not so hot on cycling? We're sure our excursion into the depths of the Bavarian Forest/Ranger-led walk/mountain biking adventure could similarly tempt you...
Vilshofen. A quick stop here to pick up our no doubt tired cyclists.
After a well deserved BBQ dinner and beers on the deck, Passau's peaceful and pedestrian only Old Town is the perfect place to unwind after a physically exhausting day. The beer garden culture here is pretty infectious, however, so that second wind may just find its way...
Day 15 Passau to Linz via Engelhartszell
Loved getting physical yesterday? We have good news - there's plenty more where that came from, starting with an early morning yoga session on deck to stretch out those aching limbs. Warrior pose nailed and breakfast inhaled, we'll start the days adventures with a hike to two scenic viewpoints overlooking Passau, admiring the town's baroque cathedral and crooked lanes on route. Then it's decision time, to bike the route from Passau to Engelhartszell, or to chill on deck? C'mon, you know you've got it in you - 20 miles of flat, picturesque bike trails accompanied by a local guide sounds pretty good to us, and there's a cold one brewed by Trappist monks waiting for you in Engelhartszell as your reward...
Engelhartszell. A quick pit stop here to pick up our brave cyclists.
Austria's second largest city, Linz was bombed to bits during WWII, resulting in the modern day version looking nothing short of futuristic. Our guided walk of the city will give us the scoop on the incredible transformation the city has gone through in recent years.
Day 16 Linz to Dürnstein via Grein and Melk
Leaving Linz super early doors and passing Grein on route, this morning is all about kicking back and chilling out as the glorious Austrian landscape slowly rolls on by. Pulling into Melk around lunchtime, you'll have the option to check out Melk Abbey, which boasts a 900 year old history and has a library any book nerd will literally drool over. Of course, like many other European countries, Austria has a dark and often deeply saddening past, so today you'll also have the chance to venture to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, which operated from 1938-45, to learn more.
Pulling into tiny Dürnstein late afternoon, expect to hear a collective 'ooohhh'. House goals are everywhere around here, as you'll discover as we stroll to the village and make our way to the castle ruins where Richard the Lionheart was once help for ransom. The views up here are incredible, so enjoy! Tonight, we've got a choice as to how you dine; either onboard, taking part in our Secrets of Saffron culinary class, or at our Optional Vinter's dinner on the Nikolaihof wine estate, where the friendly owners will wow you with their organic winemaking skills, and garden-to-table dinner deliciousness.
Day 17 Dürnstein to Vienna
We've made it to Vienna - good going crew. Docking at breakfast time, we'll get you orientated with Austria's elegant and artistic capital city with a guided walking tour of the highlights, plus a tram ride around the Ringstrasse. Then, the choice is yours, and we've got plenty to tempt you with - an opera music/Viennese cooking class (at the same time, incredibly), a unique dining experience in Vienna's giant ferris wheel, and even an after hours (read - no tourists) tour of the Schönbrunn Palace, the former residence of the imperial family. And if all THAT wasn't enough, tonight is all about one thing - classical music. This is what Vienna is best known for, so opt to join us for a performance at Klosterneuburg Abbey.
Day 18 Vienna to Budapest via Bratislava
With its small town charm, Czech beer, bohemian cuisine and art deco cafes, Slovakia's capital city doesn't disappoint. An hour long walking tour will get you fully orientated, then feast your eyes on our ME Time Optionals on how to make this pit stop one to really remember - wakeboarding, anyone? Onboard, chef will be teaching us all a thing or two about his favourite Austrian deserts.
...and then bam, we're in (yet another) country, and how pumped are you to be in Budapest? Who's up for heading straight out to see what the ruin bars are saying...?
Day 19 Budapest
Majestic, sprawling, bohemian, post-modern - just some of the words we could use to describe Budapest. But hey, we'll leave you to make your own judgements. What we will do, however, is take you to one of our favourite spots, the covered market, where chef will introduce you to some of Hungary's most iconic flavours, including its favourite spice, paprika. Of course this IS the city of spas and a hot bed for geothermal activity, so naturally soaking in various water temperatures until you resemble a prune is likely high on the agenda. If we can tempt you away, our Optionals include visiting some seriously gorgeous libraries, and braving the aptly named House of Terror museum. Tonight, we'll feast like Kings on the produce we bought earlier from the market, then who's got one final night out in them? Go on, we know you do...
Day 20 Disembark at Budapest
After one more blissful sleep, we're sad to say it's all over. River cruising, you're our new favourite way of travelling…
Beginning in Barcelona and ending in Budapest, with a little taste of Milan, Nice and Vienna in between, this is a travel experience at its very best, exclusive for the 21-45 aged traveller. We’re talking charcuterie tastings, we’re talking bike rides on the Danube, we’re talking a classical concert in Vienna and obviously, we’re talking some spa action in Budapest.
For the first 12 nights you'll be sleeping in some of Europe's best cities in style, with our twin or triple share hotel accommodation. Then you'll sleep exclusively aboard The A, part of the U by Uniworld river boat collection.