Italy – Austria – Slovakia -Hungary
Arrival at Milan Airport, pick up and transfer to Milan. The afternoon tour of Milan will include a pleasant walk through the main sights of the city: the Duomo Cathedral, one of the biggest Cathedrals in the world; the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegant street covered with a beautiful arch of glass and iron; La Scala Theatre Opera House, built in 1776 by Giuseppe Piermarini, elements of this landmark can be seen in Opera and Ballet houses around the world. The Tour will continue at the Sforza Castle with a visit to one of the most special museums including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci inside the apartment of Ludovico il Moro.
Then experience the Last Supper, the most famous work of art by Leonardo da Vinci. Your private tour guide will be with you inside the room to add to your experience.
Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay in Milan.
Milan → Lake Como
Departure after breakfast towards the Lake Como. On the drive to Lake Como, you will enjoy a beautiful and relaxing trip to Lake Como to see the city of Como and its jewel, Bellagio. Lake Como is considered an oasis of tranquility with a magical combination of lush Mediterranean flora and rocky alpine peaks. Your tour starts in Como historic city center, where you will visit its architectural wonders to include the Duomo, the Broletto, the Temple of Volta, and Terragni Palace. You can make an optional visit to the Educational Silk Museum, featuring machines, objects, documents, samples and instruments from Como’s textile industry, which earned the town its nickname “City of Silk.”
Then we will continue to Bellagio, one of the Italy’s most breathtaking towns where you will enjoy a walking tour in the historical center of Bellagio and its boroughs. From the lakefront we reach La Punta (the tip of the peninsula), where the three arms of the lake divide.
After the visit of St. James church we will enjoy lovely views of Salita Serbelloni, Bellagio’s most charming steps. We continue across the other side of the peninsula to the beautiful little borough of Pescallo, with vistas of the Lecco side of the lake and the beautiful park of Villa Serbelloni, today Rockefeller Foundation.
Walking by Villa Giulia we head back to the Como side of the lake, to see the little fishing harbor of Loppia, where time has stopped. Here is the entrance of Villa Melzi, the historical palazzo that gave hospitality to many famous guests in the past.
After a walk through the gardens of Villa Melzi we make our way back to the center. Perhaps we stumble upon George Clooney on our walk, since he is a summer resident of Lake Como :))
Free time and overnight stay on Lake Como.
Stresa and Borromean Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Ferry Tour
This morning we will go for a tour of Lake Maggiore starting in Stresa and then continues on to The Borromean Islands. Stresa is an exclusive place with its beautiful lakeside setting in front of Isola Bella, its grand hotels and villas, and the gorgeous mountains that surround Lake Maggiore.
After a guided stroll in Stresa, you can enjoy a private Boat Tour in the Borromeo Gulf for a visit to the beautiful Isola Bella (Beautiful Island). A tiny village, still preserving its original charm, will welcome us on the Island. However, it’s a striking baroque building known as “The Borromeo Palace” that will soon capture your attention once you are on Isola Bella. You will be guided through its 17th-century rooms including the Grottoes before enjoying a pleasant stroll in the fabulous Italian gardens built on 10 terraces that make Isola Bella a unique and unbelievable place in the world
Afterwards we continue on to Isola Madre, the island that raises from the water with an alluring silhouette traced in the luxurious vegetation that covers the greatest part of it. Isola Madre overlooks the Pallanza shores and, compared to Isola Bella, looks secluded from the view. Today the island is a little green Eden renowned all over the world for the refined botanical collections.
Overnight stay Lake Como.
Lake Como → Cinque Terre
Morning departure to UNESCO world heritage site Cinque Terre. You will enjoy the driving time to relax and unwind with the stunning scenery outside your window. Upon arriving to the iconic Italian string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Riviera coastline you will see colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. Overnight stay in one of the villages.
Cinque Terre → Modena→ Verona
After breakfast we will head towards Modena where you will have the tour of Modena upon arrival and afterwards you have free time for shopping. Late afternoon arrival to Verona. Overnight stay in Verona.
Naturally one cannot leave Verona without visiting the Courtyard of the Capulet family home with the world famous balcony of Juliet. After the Tour return to your Hotel or decide to spend time in the historic center. Overnight stay in Verona.
Verona → Lake Garda → Verona
After breakfast we will enjoy a day on Lake Garda. The beautiful lakeside towns around Lago di Garda have charmed foreign visitors for centuries. Even for the ancient Romans, the area was a luxury summer destination; you can visit ruins and mosaics that record their presence. Visit the towns of Sirmione, Malcesine, Limone and Riva del Garda. Their narrow medieval streets bustle with color and life; the tiny town is popular with holidaymakers. Later afternoon return to your Hotel in Verona, free time and overnight stay in Verona.
Day 8. Verona → Hallstatt village
Morning departure towards Austria. We shall drive along the beautiful alpine landscape towards Hallstatt lake village. It will be a bit of a longer drive. Overnight stay in Hallstatt area
Day 9. Hallstatt
Day in Hallstatt in order to visit the Salt Mines and enjoy the visit to one of the other lakes in the area or hiking the Alps.
Overnight stay in Halllstatt
Day 10. Hallstatt → Vienna
Morning departure towards Vienna. Upon arrival we will visit beautiful Schönbrunn Palace – a former imperial summer residence with 1,441-room this Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in the country.
Afterwards we will go to have fun in Prater – the well known public and amusement park with the famous Wiener Riesenrad Ferris wheel
After Prater, check in and overnight stay in Vienna
Day 11. Vienna → Bratislava
Morning tour of Vienna to get an overall impression of the most significant historical sights in Vienna.
The tour will take you along the Ringstraße, home to numerous architectural gems such as the State Opera, the Museum of Art History with its world-famous collection, the Habsburg Museum and the Museum of Natural History. We will see the posh and popular place to hang out – museum quarter, the Hofburg Palace (the Emperors’ winter residence), the Austrian Parliament, the City Hall, and the Court Theater.
After the tour we are driving towards Bratislava in Slovakia. It is actually a 30 minute drive from Vienna.
Upon arriving to Bratislava, we will have the city tour of this capital; a walking tour of the beautifully preserved old town. You will walk through the 13th-century Michalska Gate, discover the 15th-century Town Hall which is still in use today, visit the picturesque Main Square, before heading to the pink Primate Palace. We will then see the relic of Saint John the Merciful, dating from the 7th century, at the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin.
At the end of the walking tour we will get back into the car and take in some majestic sites that are more spread out like Presidential Palace and the Bratislavan Castle, perched atop a cliff that overlooks the city and the Danube River. Finally we will head to the Slavin Monument. Dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Bratislava in 1945, this memorial monument also gives great views of the city.
Free evening and overnight stay in Bratislava
Day 12. Bratislava →Balaton Lake →Budapest
Morning departure towards Budapest. On the way we shall have a stop at the largest freshwater lake in Europe, the Balaton lake and see the Royal Country House called The Festetics Palace. Besides the sights, you will have time to enjoy swimming in the lake.
After Balaton experience we are heading to Budapest with later afternoon arrival so you will have free evening and overnight in Budapest
Day 13. The Magnificent Budapest
After breakfast we will start with the Budapest city tour. You will experience the magic of Budapest’s exceedingly scenic setting and architecture and enjoy Her Royal Highness Budapest – the queen of the Danube.
We will take a walk through the downtown Pesta, walk along the famous Andrássy Avenue, visit the oldest underground (metro) system in Europe, walk across the Heroes’ Square and see St. Stephen’s Basilica. We will go along the Budapest Danube Corso (Dunakorzó) from where you will have a beautiful view of the Castle Hill in Buda.
We shall visit the terminal of the Millennium Underground, bordered from the north by the huge and beautiful Gerbeaud-House, where there is the famous Café Gerbeaud, opened in 1858. There you can try the best of Hungarian pastry such as the Dobos-cake, Somló sponge cake and plum pie.
Afterwards we go to the Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge over the Danube, built in 1849. We shall take a walk across the bridge and you will be able to capture the lovely view of both the river and the city and in no time find yourselves in Buda – the romantic upper town with many historical buildings and monuments.
We shall walk the Trinity square where on its left side you will see the Old Town Hall of Buda and on its right side the dominating Mathias Church, surrounded by the turrets and walkways of the Fishermen’s Bastion -the structure that looks like it is straight out of a fairy-tale.
The Fishermen’s Bastion was built in 19th century simultaneously with the last major renovation of the Matthias Church, in an unique architectural harmony. The bastion has seven towers – each one symbolizing one of the seven Magyar tribes that, in 9th century settled in the area now known as Hungary. Its foundation is a part of the former medieval fortified defensive wall and its location gave home to a huge fish and grocery market in the Middle Ages. In the Water Town, directly below the walls, most of the population made a living from fishing. Hence the name paying a tribute to the fishermen.
Following the city tour we are going to have traditional Hungarian lunch. This is an exceptional experience and promises a lot of excitement for gastro-curious travelers. The mysterious Hungarian cuisine nowadays is a combination of ancient Asiatic components mixed with Germanic, Italian, and Slavic elements. It is considered a melting pot of the continent, with its own original cuisine from the Magyar people.
Free evening at your leisure and overnight stay in Budapest.
Day 14. Departure day
transfer to Ferenc Liszt International Airport
- Hotel accommodation based on 1/2 occupancy in 4* hotels, breakfast included.
- 14 days/13 nights
- 3 traditional local lunches
- comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
- Professional guidance – knowledgeable English speaking private guide/driver throughout the program
- City tours as per itinerary
- Entrance to major sites
- Boat to the Borromean Islands
- Apt pick up and departure transfer