Dine on regional flavours with a sommelier-guided tasting in the cellar of Buda Castle, a sampling of smoked Oscypek cheese near the Polish border, vodka tasting in Krakow and more.. Delve deeper into history in Cesky Krumlov during a storytelling session at a secret location, where you can sip wine as you listen to tales of medieval intrigue.. Discover vistas of waterfalls and wildflowers during a guided hike in the High Tatras Mountains, then return to your luxurious Alpine hotel to relax.. The cobblestone streets and winding alleys of Central Europe are perfect for exploring in a small group. Let a local guide you through cities like Prague, Vienna, Krakow and more.
From quaint villages to captivating cities and cloud-piercing peaks, this 15-day Premium adventure will lend you thousands of years of history and a wealth of cultural treasures. An expert leader will take you below Central Europe’s surface as you marvel at architecture in Prague, walk Vienna’s royal streets, taste wine in Budapest, sip vodka in Krakow and dine in lively Berlin. Discover fairy-tale castles, tackle mountain trails and try timeless local food on an unforgettable journey.
Breakfast Included: 14 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 5
Ahoj, welcome to Prague! You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Here you will meet your tour leader and fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, the Czech Republic’s boisterous capital has no shortage of things to see and do. Perhaps head out in search of one of the city’s famous beers (you won’t have to look too far) or stop by the Mucha Museum, showcasing the life and work of Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. Prague’s burgeoning food scene is worth discovering, and menus across the city are flaunting the best of Czech cuisine made with first-rate ingredients. After your meeting, get to know your fellow travellers and leader over a meal at a brilliant local restaurant where you’ll be introduced to a range of classic dishes, from goulash to grilled sausage.
Discover a fascinating city that marches to its own beat during a morning tour with Urban Adventures. Prague’s many historic buildings and other stylish sights have earned this city the nickname 'Paris of the east'. Note the contrast between the grand Middle Ages architecture and buildings like the avant-garde Dancing House on the banks of the Vltava. Explore Prague’s elegant Old Town as your local guide shares tales from its hundreds of years of history. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy as you please, whether it be wandering through the Jewish Quarter or strolling over the beloved Charles Bridge after sunset. As night falls, the tempo picks up and a different side of Prague unfolds. The Old Town bursts to life in the evening, and the nightlife here is excellent, with many underground beer taverns, absinthe bars and jazz clubs playing music until the small hours of the morning.
Depart Prague and travel to another delightful Bohemian town – Cesky Krumlov. The name of the town translates literally to 'crooked meadow', thanks to its location in the sharp bend of the Vltava River. This 13th-century city is one of Europe’s most beautiful, with an enchanting fairy-tale castle perched on a hill that watches over the town below. Your leader will guide you through a maze of winding cobbled lanes in the well-preserved Old City, pointing out interesting pieces of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture along the way. In the late afternoon, you will enjoy a wonderful storytelling session at a hidden location. Sip on sparkling wine while listening to thrilling legends of murders, plots and romances in medieval Cesky Krumlov. The evening is yours to further explore this intriguing and romantic town.
Today is free for you to enjoy as you please. Perhaps have another walk around the town and extend it by climbing the castle's tower for expansive views, or even go on an optional guided tour of the castle. Alternatively, speak to your leader about exploring the surrounding countryside by bicycle, visiting tiny hamlets and crossing rolling hills. If there is time, and if the weather holds, an equally great option is to take a canoe or raft trip on the river that winds through town.
Today you will leave the Czech Republic and travel to Vienna, Austria’s capital city. Vienna is a cosmopolitan city with the air of a rich cultural heritage and golden past. On arrival, an in-depth walking tour with a local guide will take you from the Gothic splendour of St Stephens Cathedral to the neo-classical grandeur of the Graben, and then on to Hofburg Palace, where Habsburg emperors once resided in winter. With insight provided by your guide, it’s not hard to imagine what extravagant royal life here once looked like. You will have the opportunity to rest and enjoy the beauty of the monument dedicated to Empress ‘Sisi’ Elizabeth in the Volksgarten. From here you will journey on to the Ringstrasse. Your walking tour will come to an end at the State Opera House, one of the most important opera institutions in the world. The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy.
Today is free for you to explore Vienna's many possibilities, aided by your included 24-hour transport ticket. Your leader will be on hand to help tailor a day that will best suit your interests. Art enthusiasts can choose from several great museums, from the Albertina to the vast array found in the Museum Quarter. You might like to climb the 343 steps to the top of the tower of St Stephen's Cathedral. Schoenbrunn Palace is well worth a visit and has a guided audio tour. Another excellent way to enjoy the afternoon is to take a spin on the Prater Ferris Wheel. Regroup in the evening to share anecdotes over an included dinner in a traditional Viennese wine tavern.
Leave Vienna and head to Budapest. Hungary’s lively capital has truly come into its own since the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Its beautiful grand boulevards and opulent architecture evoke an old-world charm, while the plethora of new-age stores and restaurants lend it an air of cosmopolitan elegance. Upon arrival head on an orientation walk with you leader. In the late afternoon, visit a cellar underneath Buda Castle and enjoy a wine tasting tour in this spectacular location. Become an expert on the local fare as a sommelier guides you through a variety of wines, including Hungary’s famous Tokaji dessert wine. Once you’re schooled up on the local wine, it’s time to find something to pair it with. Hungarian food is known for being two things; hearty and delicious. Finish this exciting day with a group dinner at one of Budapest’s excellent restaurants.
Enjoy free time to bask in the delights of Budapest. Walking is great, but cycling is perhaps the best way to see the city. A boat trip down the Danube is also a fine option. History buffs will enjoy a visit to Statue Park, to see some of the important fallen legends immortalised. The thermal baths that are dispersed around the city are not to be missed – you can indulge in anything from opulent indoor pools to more simple outdoor baths. You may like to take the opportunity to try some Hungarian goulash, or one of the more modern dishes of this veritable food capital.
Godollo / Tatra Mountains
Head for Slovakia to spend a night in the spectacular Tatra Mountains. Stop at Godollo Palace en route. This imperial and royal Hungarian palace was a favourite place of Queen Elisabeth of Hungary. Move forward through the windy roads of Tatra Mountains, the Alps of the East. Today’s route may take several hours, but you will make several stops along the way to break up the journey. In the late afternoon, arrive at the feature stay for the next two evenings – the Grand Hotel Stary Smokovec. A popular spot for princes and prime ministers since its opening in 1904, the historical hotel offers grandeur and serenity in the heart of the High Tatras. With manicured grounds, Art Nouveau design, luxurious rooms and award-winning restaurant, the Grand Hotel is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding mountains. Perhaps make use of the hotel’s excellent facilities and unwind in the Finnish sauna or hot tub.
Wake up and take a crisp clear breath of fresh air in the Tatra Mountains. Forming a border between Slovakia and Poland, the Tatras form the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains. Enjoy a day out discovering surroundings bursting with waterfalls and flowers as you embark on a guided walk with your experienced leader. Your leader will tailor your route based on the group’s interests and fitness level, but the walk is generally about six kilometres in length and is normally completed in 3 hours. Stop in at a charming mountain hut for a traditional drink and a lunch snack. Depending on the weather, explore the mountains further by funicular, gondola or electric train. Arrive back at your accommodation in the early afternoon, and the remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy. You may like to continue exploring the area on foot or grab a cocktail in your hotel’s stylish bar.
Chocholow / Krakow
Set off across the border to Poland. Make a stop on the Polish side of the mountains, where a delicious regional delicacy awaits. Oscypek is a local smoked cheese which is made from sheep's milk. It comes in the form of a spindle shape and can be served freshly sliced or fried. As you’ll taste, it’s delicious no matter how you have it. Next up is the tiny, traditional village of Chocholow, where you will wander streets lined with wooden houses and visit a similarly rustic church. Enjoy a traditional lunch in town and then continue to Krakow. Arrive in Poland’s second-largest city in the early evening.
Join a local guide for a morning walking tour in Krakow. Be prepared to encounter a staggering amount of history; the medieval Old Town alone is home to about 6000 historic sites and over 2000 works of art – but don’t worry, your guide will be on hand to help you navigate this dazzling array of monuments. Visit the cultural important Wawel Royal Castle and walk through the Kazimierz, the Old Jewish district. Historically the centre of the city’s Jewish social and religious life, the area has since enjoyed a renaissance as a Bohemian quarter, and now plays hosts to art cafes, galleries and antique shops. If the weather’s nice, visit Kosciuszko Mound for panoramic views of Krakow. Enjoy a free afternoon, then in the early evening, regroup with your leader and fellow travellers for an included vodka tasting. Vodka is part of Poland’s DNA, and this tasting will teach you a little about making and imbibing this revered spirit.