Our tour leaves from Paris for a delightful scenic journey through the rolling countryside of the Champagne region, famous the world over for the sparkling white wine produced here. Enjoy seeing the historic attractions of provincial capital Reims, including the city’s cathedral – a key national heritage site, where coronations of French kings took place from the 11th century onwards.
History and tradition are equally evident in your next location: Luxembourg, the world’s only remaining Grand Duchy. After arriving in refined Luxembourg City, you’ll be introduced on foot to the main places of interest, including the Place de Constitution and Pont Adolphe, before having time for further exploration on your own.
Today we leave Luxembourg behind and head across another European border into Germany. The first stop is historic Trier, Germany’s oldest city and the birthplace of Karl Marx. You’ll have the chance to see from the outside the house where the influential philosopher was born, which now functions as the Karl Marx Haus museum.
Your walking tour then takes you into the centre of Trier; here you can look around the city’s impressive cathedral, where the celebrated Holy Robe – said to be the tunic of Christ – is preserved and occasionally displayed. Trier is also known as ‘The Second Rome’ (Constantine served as an administrator here for 10 years), and significant legacies of the once-great empire remain today. The highlight is undoubtedly Porta Nigra, the best-preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps, which you’ll get to see and photograph.
After an exciting morning in Trier, you’ll drive on to Koblenz, famous as the location of the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Here you have the option of indulging in a relaxing lunch alongside the water, and then afterwards you can also choose to add on a scenic Rhine boat cruise for some memorable city vistas. Back on dry land you’ll drive through the wine-making town of Rüdesheim. Then it’s on to Frankfurt am Main, where you’ll discover the delights of Römerberg, a charming plaza with a distinctive medieval town hall as its centrepiece
The morning begins with a leisurely drive north-west from Frankfurt to Bonn, the capital of the former West Germany until reunification. The national government is now run from Berlin, but Bonn retains a rich history that is well worth exploring. Discover the city’s secrets on an orientation stroll through its streets, walking past highlights such as the Rococo-fronted town hall and Ludwig Van Beethoven Haus, a museum celebrating the life of the much-loved composer.
Then it’s on to Cologne, where you’ll head inside the city’s glorious Gothic Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore Cologne further, to do a spot of local shopping or to simply relax with a suitably refreshing German brew.
After lunch the day is rounded off with a drive to the Netherlands.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will tour all the major attractions in Dam Square, including the Royal Palace and the National Monument. You will have the option of hopping onto a glass-topped boat for an hour-long cruise through the storied canals. We will then visit Coster Diamond Factory to see how diamonds are cut and prepared for market, using techniques that have been in use since the 16th century. Our first stop in the afternoon will be Zaanse Schans, the windmill capital of Holland. There we will visit the Wooden Shoe Workshop & Museum and the Cheese Farm to see how clogs and cheese are made.