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This scenic tour visits France, Holland, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Belgium over the course of 15 days, taking in a number of famous European cities including Berlin, Krakow and Prague. A visit to Auschwitz provides a sobering reminder of the region’s dark history. Covering a total of 1,910 miles, the route winds through a fascinating variety of landscapes, from Poland’s Kamienna Gorge to the picturesque villages of Bavaria and the rolling hills of the Ardennes. A truly memorable two weeks!
Day 1. Sunday 5th July. Calais to Eindhoven (approx. 180 miles)
An early morning ferry from Dover gets us to France for mid-morning and on leaving Calais we take the non-peage motorway to “crunch” the miles through France, Belgium and on to Holland. Our four-star hotel for this evening is on the outskirts of Eindhoven and has a swimming pool. Dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 2. Monday 6th July. Eindhoven to Hamelin (Hameln) (approx. 200 miles)
We head to Germany today and to avoid the industrial areas we start off on the motorway until we pass Dusseldorf where we leave the autobahns and drop into the countryside and the quieter roads of lower Saxony. Tonight’s four-star hotel is in the centre of Hamelin and you will be free to eat out and explore this pretty, historic town famous for its’ legendary Rattenfanger or Pied Piper!
Day 3. Tuesday 7th July. Hamelin to Berlin (approx. 200 miles)
We head east this morning, south of Hanover where we once again crunch some miles on the autobahn. Once off the motorway we stop at various places including the typical old Eastern Bloc town of Burg. From here we head to Berlin and our four-star hotel the Maritim proArte, centrally located and only a short walk to Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie as well as the many shops, restaurants and cafes. Tonight you are free to eat out.
Day 4. Wednesday 8th July. Day off to explore Berlin
A chance to explore this historic and vibrant city and once again you’ll be free to eat out tonight.
Day 5. Thursday 9th July. Berlin to Gorlitz (approx. 140 miles)
Leaving Berlin we go south into the countryside, following minor roads and going via Lubben in the Spreewald and then to the far east of Saxony and Germany’s most eastern town of Gorlitz with its’ rich architectural history. From your riverside hotel you can see Poland on the other side and dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 6. Friday 10th July. Gorlitz to Opole (approx. 180 miles)
This morning we cross the river and immediately arrive in Poland. We head through the Kamienna Gorge to Szklarska Poreba and on towards Swidnica – known for its’ breweries – until we reach Opole in southern Poland. Tonight’s hotel stands on an island in the River Odra and you are free to eat out in the nearby historic centre.
Day 7. Saturday 11th July. Opole to Krakow (approx. 120 miles)
Today will be a reminder of the past as head to Oswiecim, a town which under Nazi occupation changed its name to Auschwitz. Our visit to the concentration camp will be a stark reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. After our visit it is only 50 miles to the centre of Krakow’s old town and our hotel for the next two nights. Dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 8. Sunday 12th July. Day off to explore Krakow
Today you are free to explore the many sites, including the old town square, Wawel Castle, the old Jewish quarter as well as the many shops, bars and restaurants. Tonight you are free to eat out.
Day 9. Monday 13th July. Krakow to Olomouc (approx. 160 miles)
Today we cross the border to the Czech Republic and head west on back roads to Olomouc – the area’s most handsome city filled with cobbled squares, fountains and baroque churches. Our four-star hotel in the historic centre, is a renovated ancient Burgher house dating from the 13th century and only a few steps from the town square. Tonight you are free to eat out.
Day 10. Tuesday 14th July. Olomouc to Prague (approx. 170 miles)
As we head to Prague for the third of our two-night city stops, we stop in Svitavy, the birthplace of Oskar Schindler. Then via Litomysl, the pretty town of Chrudim and the nearby memorial to Lezaky where, on Hitler’s orders, the entire adult population of 56 were rounded up and shot and the children all sent to concentration camps. Our Prague hotel, only a ten minute walk from Charles Bridge, is situated in a calm location away from the hurly-burly, surrounded by Kampa Park. It offers all the comfort of a four-star hotel in a unique historical 17th century building. Tonight you are free to eat out.
Day 11. Wednesday 15th July. Day off in Prague
A day off to explore the sights of this historical city, including Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock, the castle, Wenceslas Square and the old Jewish Quarter. Tonight you are free to eat out.
Day 12. Thursday 16th July. Prague to Bamberg (approx. 190 miles)
Today we make our way back to Germany. We will stop in Plzen, home of the original Pils lager before arriving in Germany and a stop in northern Bavaria and the town Bayreuth, known for its famous resident Richard Wagner. From here it is on to Bamberg whose historic city centre is a listed UNESCO world heritage site. Our hotel, with its half-timbered façade is an historic building first mentioned in 1302, is located in the heart of Bamberg’s old quarter and within walking distance of Bamberg’s many highlights. Tonight you will be free to eat out.
Day 13. Friday 17th July. Bamberg to Rudesheim (approx. 190 miles)
Today we continue west, making our way through the picturesque countryside and quaint villages until we reach Rudesheim, the areas most visited town. The town itself sits on the mighty Rhine and is crammed with crooked narrow streets and half-timbered houses. You are free to eat out tonight and you must head to the Drosselgasse. The Drosselgasse is a lane in the heart of Rudesheim's old town full of beautifully decorated restaurants. Live band entertainment and music play all day and all night during the summer in the many wine taverns and open-air garden taverns along the 144-metre-long narrow cobblestone pedestrian street. Built in the 15th century, the Drosselgasse was for boat owners to move items from the river to homes in the town and is Rudesheim's most famous attraction.
Day 14. Saturday 18th July Rudesheim to Dinant (approx. 190 miles)
This morning we cross over the Eiffel’s to Cochem, an old wine town on the banks of the Mosel, before crossing the rolling hills of the southern Ardennes and into Belgium. A visit to Spa and Stavelot before we arrive at our final night’s hotel in Dinant. Tonight is our last night together and dinner with wine is included.
Day 15. Sunday 19th July. Dinant to Calais (approx. 180 miles)
Our route today is part country back roads to France then motorway to Calais to catch a late afternoon ferry back to the UK
Total tour mileage approximately 1,910 (not including any mileage on days off)
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N.B. If you do not require the ferry crossing, deduct £100 per motorcycle.
Dave and I had probably one of the best holidays we have ever had. For us it ticked all the boxes. The scenery was breathtaking, the accommodation was fabulous, the food and wine that was on offer was very good and the fact that we could just enjoy the ride and not worry about map reading and where we were going to fuel up or where we were going to park etc, made it a really enjoyable experience, and one we can't wait to repeat!