Take in the iconic cities and historic landmarks of Western Europe, the artistic allure and passion of the Mediterranean and the vibrancy and beauty of the reborn Balkans. With stays in some of Europe's best equipped and most superb campsites, this isn't just a run-of-the-mill camping trip - this is camping, Topdeck style. With a group of like-minded young travelling companions to share the experience, this epic tour of Europe will be a journey you'll never forget.
All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel. Pinch yourself and Instagram your first selfie before we kick off the trip with a driving tour and picnic next to the Eiffel Tower. Home to Coco Chanel, the Pompidou Centre and the Mona Lisa, Paris more than deserves its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. Now’s your chance to find out why.
This morning: free time en Français. From the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées, you'll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Later on, you can stretch those legs on an optional bike tour of Paris, or simply roam the streets on your own. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.
Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is where we'll be spending the night. Upon arrival, chow down on fondue and hit the bar for a nightcap.
Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are high on today's agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit. Expect fairytale villages en route and skydiving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don't scare you). Another feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.
This afternoon we crack on to Avignon, home of the magnificent Palais des Papes (aka one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe). Tonight: hit up a local bistro or gather with your Topdecker brethren for a makeshift picnic. Either way, be sure to pair your meal with some local Rhône Valley wine, one of France's finest reds.
On our way to Barcelona, we’ll check out the Pont du Gard – a 2000-year-old Roman engineered aqueduct. When we get to the Catalonian capital, we’ll take you on a driving tour to see the likes of Montjuïc (where the 1992 Olympics were held) and Gaudi's yet to be finished Sagrada Família. Later: let loose at an optional flamenco show.
Who needs the snooze button when you’ve got a whole day in a city packed to the rafters with art nouveau, alluring accents and (most importantly) tapas? Hit the side streets and alleyways of Las Ramblas, go boho in the Gracia neighborhood, go Gaudí at Parc Güell or give in to your inner football fanatic and kneel to the sporting gods at the Nou Camp.
Get that selfie stick out! We’re rolling north along the coast to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the world's most lavish waterfront property: the French Riviera. Oh, and by the way – we’ll be making a pit stop at a traditional French perfumery en route. Later, swap your patatas bravas for hearty French cooking and get ready for tomorrow's adventures.
Hit the beach with the paparazzi posse, or go wild in the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. Later: roll with the jet set on a guided tour and see how the 1% live (hint: it involves Ferraris and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).
Maketh haste to fair Verona, the place where Romeo and Juliet found love. Snap a selfie at Juliet’s balcony and join throngs of lovers leaving notes on the wall (or avoid the crowds and just marvel at the ancient arena). Then: say ciao to Venice from across the lagoon as we check into our campsite, have an Eat Pray Love-worthy relationship with an irresistible Italian (meal) and get pumped for living out our own version of The Italian Job tomorrow.
You know it as The Floating City, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Today we’ll check out a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour (ticking off the likes of St Mark's Square and Accademia Bridge), then jump on a vaporetto to explore the Grand Canal. If that’s not enough, you can also hop on an optional gondola ride. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.
Stop for THAT photo at Pisa, then make your food baby sing as we roll into the land of hearty Tuscan cuisine and birthplace of gelato: Florence. Whip around Santa Maria del Fiore before tucking into amore on a plate. The evening is yours to stroll along the the Arno River and watch the sunset. #Bliss
After a walking tour of Florence with a super knowledgeable local guide, it’s up and onwards to Rome. Time to give that bucket list a workout! Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a ‘colossus’ hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history's version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you're in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.
Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it's supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City, then play ‘I-spy’ with two-and-a-half millennia worth of history. Want more? Then you could always shop till you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for awesome views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness).
Play connect the dots with the stars or let the swell rock you to sleep as we ferry our way from from bella Italia to Greece. Restaurants, bars, and cosy cabin rooms will keep you comfortable.
A short drive along the Greek coastline, then it’s on to our flotilla of yachts for three days of sun, sand and sailing on the Ionian Sea. By night, flaunt those European tan lines as we drop anchor and hop between authentic Greek tavernas for a hat-trick of feasting, table dancing and ouzo. You know the saying ‘too much of a good thing’? Neither do we.
A free day to sail, swim, eat, sleep, repeat. Spend the day your way.
More turquoise water. More swimming. More diving off boats. More epic Instagram shots. You could probably get used to this.
What happens when you paint a former communist capital in vivid colours? According to Tirana's artist-turned-mayor-turned-TED speaker Edi Rama, people start paying taxes and crime rates plummet. True story. We’ll kick things off with a driving tour and a group dinner before we let you loose into the night.
Press your nose to the window and soak up all the stunning views that race past the coach window as we head up Montenegro’s coast on our way to the most famous walled city in Europe (stopping at Budva on the way). Later, we’ll take a wander around Dubrovnik's tiny cobblestoned streets and explore a few hidden cafés and shops before grabbing dinner and checking out the glitzy nightlife.
Yay! A free day in Dubrovnik! Spend some time checking out the residential homes further up in the Old Town for some awesome views, then relish a cold beer on the wall as the sun sets over the Adriatic. Alternatively, take to the turquoise water with a spot of optional sea kayaking around the city walls. This is the good life.
Today we’ll listen to the ocean play an instrument in Zadar. Yep, you read that right. The Sea Organ is a quirky art installation nested within the city’s eclectic mix of Roman ruins and public art. More cool facts await you on a guided city tour with your brainy Trip Leader. Next up: waterfalls and a slice of bliss at Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Today is brought to you by Mother Nature. Made up of 16 lakes connected by streams and waterfalls and surrounded by 300 square kilometres of national park, Plitvice Lakes didn't make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list for nothing. Hike up to see the tallest waterfall in Croatia or glide across the crystal blue lakes in a rowboat. Mindfulness just got a whole new meaning.
Hungary for more? Budapest is up next! A driving tour will get you down and Danube (that being the river) with twin cities Buda and Pest. Check out Hero's Square, Parliament House, the National Palace, Fisherman's Bastion and the swanky Andrássy Avenue. Then it's time to meet the major food groups: goulash, cabbage rolls and dumplings.
A free day to take on a city with enough baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture to keep you entertained for hours. Tonight, hang with the hipsters and drink local fruit brandy at one of the original ruin bars. Wanna go one step further? An optional dinner cruise on the Danube has your name on it.
Legend has it a dragon had to be defeated in order for Kraków to be built – bit tougher than the usual council approvals, no? Get acquainted with Poland's beating heart (and the largest medieval town square in Europe) with a walking tour. Buff up on history at Wawel Castle, feed the ducks from the banks of the Wisla and slay a few glasses of mead after dinner. Did someone say optional pub crawl?
After breakfast it’s your day, your choice. Our recommendations? Well, you could discover Kraków's inner hipster in the Jewish district or shop for amber in the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall. If all else fails, there’s always pierogi and potato pancakes to keep you busy.
First, a visit to former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau for a lesson in the resilience of humanity. Then, on to Prauge. Get Insta-happy and seek out the John Lennon Wall, soak up some Czeck history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it).
Another free day for the win. Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square and wash it all down with a beer. As in, a really good beer. Prague, we love you.
Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden – a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt – and check out the Frauenkirche before we make tracks to Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We'll drive you around to see (what's left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building.
Today, why not step out on an optional Third Reich walking tour for a local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II? Kreuzberg is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport-turned-public park. Tonight: explore the city after dark on an optional alternative street art and nightlife tour.
Start dreaming of cheese, clogs and cheeky café stops as we roll through tulip and windmill dotted fields to Amsterdam. DAM, it's going to be a good day! Learn how cheddar and clogs are made, then get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital. We’re talking the Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the National Monument, so get your cameras at the ready. For the perfect end to the perfect day, give in to temptation and grab a cone of hot chips with mayo. Mmm.
Join 881,000 bikes and get your cycle on with an optional bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to the Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience and indulge in a spot of beer tasting. What better way to toast the final night of your Europe Inspired adventure than with an optional drinks cruise on the canal?
After all the Amster-damage has been done, it’s time to hit the road back to ol’ Blighty. Soak up all the happy group vibes you can possibly handle – this is your last coach ride with the gang. #sadface.
If you’re between 18-30 something, don’t miss the opportunity to travel with this awesome travel company. Topdeck was born in 1973 when Skroo Turner and his mates bought a double-decker bus and drove across Europe to Morocco. They now offer over 330 amazing tours in 65 countries, so they will definitely have a touring adventure to whet your appetite.
A collective of explorers who are devoted to travel, they strive to open minds, shift perspectives, learn new things and make a difference. Their passion is to inspire young people through life-changing travel experiences. Their business is to make travel dreams a reality. They know what works. And they’re not afraid to shout about it. They refuse to sacrifice quality, independence and freedom, and believe solo adventures should go hand in hand with unforgettable moments with like-minded travellers. They offer variety, comfort and value for money, and promise a hassle-free holiday, loaded with authentic local experiences.
They are lively, curious, knowledgeable and dedicated; driven with the desire to laugh and have fun. They build the trips. You build the memories. Go on, jump on board and discover what it means to be a #Topdecker!
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