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Western Compass 2018-19

From US$ 2,637 US$ 2,084
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
The Western Compass 2017-18 tour starts and ends in London. The Western Compass 2017-18 is an Explorer tour that takes 24 days taking you through London, UK and 13 other destinations in UK. The Western Compass 2017-18 includes trip leader, accommodation, meals, transport and some activities. Please see the Includes section for details.

Point your compass west on this unforgettable trip through some of Europe’s most desirable cities. Starting in London, you’ll experience seven of the most Instagram-worthy countries in the atlas – from the boulevards of Paris and the to-die-for tapas in Spain, to the colossal monuments in Italy and the mountaintops of Switzerland. Throw in adventures in Luxembourg and the Netherlands and you’ve got yourself one momentous Topdeck adventure. Did someone say group selfie?
Day 1 London, England to Paris, France

First day = swapping intros with your new travel pals and cruising on into the City of Lights (or love, depending on your relationship status). First item off the list? A jam-packed driving tour and a hearty included dinner. Keep your eyes peeled for the Arc de Triomphe, Palais Garnier and the Louvre.

Included today:
-English channel crossing
-Driving tour of Paris

Meals:
-Dinner

Day 2 Paris

Explore the city’s hidden gems, either by foot or by optional bike tour. Devour as many croissants as your tummy can handle, shop up a storm along Rue de Rivoli or simply kick it in Jardin des Tuileries. Tonight, join us at an optional cabaret or Seine cruise, or soak up some jazz at a café in the 10th arrondissement. The city is yours!

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Traditional cabaret show in Paris
-Bike tour of Paris
-Scenic river cruise on the Seine

Day 3 Paris to Bordeaux

Today we roll on to the renowned port city of Bordeaux, where half the city is UNESCO World Heritage listed and vineyards reign supreme. Stroll amid the royal residences of Château de Chambord, the largest château in the Loire Valley (optional), and learn why the divine French Renaissance architecture is one of the most recognisable in the world.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Visit Château de Chambord

Day 4 Bordeaux

Wander the picturesque streets, with special stops at Cathédrale St-André, Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Jardin Public. After, embrace France’s finest #cafélife and slurp down top-notch vino. Obvs. You’re in the world’s most renowned wine-growing region, after all.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 5 Bordeaux to Bilbao, Spain

First stop: a visit to the family-run estate, Château du Taillan, one of the most attractive vineyards in the Gironde. Here, you are able to explore the classical château dating back to the XVIIIth century, along with the unique underground cellars, now listed as a French National Heritage Site of France. Next up is Bilbao – famed for its titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum that boasts an incredible collection of contemporary art and more curves than Beyoncé. Also: Basque Country fare. Delish.

Included today:
-Wine tasting at Château du Taillan

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 6 Bilbao to Madrid

Spain’s crowning capital and a city known for its artistic pedigree, culinary wonders and buzzing nightlife, Madrid will offer just what you’re looking for. Take in the beauty of the city’s hidden gardens, ancient buildings, tucked-away cafés and gorgeous markets and refuel with a delicious included dinner.

Included today:
-Driving tour of Madrid

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 7 Madrid

Morning, Madrid! Today, check out the Royal Palace, get cultured at the Prado Museum or just kick back in the botanical gardens. After the sun sets, delve into the buzzing nightlife in the areas of Malasaña and Chueca. Just be prepared to party ‘til the break of dawn (and then stuff your face with churros at a ridiculous hour).

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 8 Madrid to Valencia

Onto Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. A fabulous hybrid of past and present, this picturesque port town combines avant-garde buildings with modern facilities (hello, The City of Arts and Sciences Complex) and sparkling seaports. As a city known for its mouthwatering fare, be sure to dig into a tasty dinner of your choice.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Valencia

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 9 Valencia to Barcelona

Bienvenidos to the city of art nouveau, alluring accents and most importantly, tapas. Today we hit Barcelona and learn the meaning behind the passionate football cry, “Visca el Barça!” (Long live Barça!). Stroll the bustling Las Ramblas and try not to be tempted by the artists, street performers and souvenir spruikers, and then indulge in a satisfying feast at our included dinner. Flamenco, anyone? Channel your inner Spaniard post-dinner and get those feet a’ tapping.

Included today:
-Driving tour of Barcelona

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Flamenco show

Day 10 Barcelona

Tick off the likes of the Sagrada Família, Gothic Quarter and Mount Tibidabo. After a solid day of exploring, fire up for the notorious nightlife (note: it’s not unusual to hit the clubs after midnight, so ensure you’ve had your beauty sleep).

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 11 Barcelona to Marseille, France

Today we cross the border back into France (Marseille, to be exact). With its boat-lined quayside, history and architecture, there’s no wonder this is one of France’s most visited cities. A melting pot of sceneries, spend the day exploring the colourful markets, the Calanques, the Panier area and the Corniche.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Marseille

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 12 Marseille

Your second day in Marseille is yours to spend at your leisure. Explore bustling La Canebière or dig into bouillabaisse – the hearty fish stew invented in Marseille – as you watch the sun set over the Vieux Port. Simply perfect.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 13 Marseille to Florence, Italy

With more culture than a British hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and the world’s best gelato (hands down), Florence is where all your Italian dreams are made. After snapping the city’s picturesque streets, dig into a hearty included dinner before rolling into bed with a full tummy and even fuller memory card.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 14 Florence

Wakey wakey! Florence is ready and waiting. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city’s greats this morning. Think: Ponte Vecchio, Florence Cathedral and that famous naked guy, David. Afterwards, try and track down that ‘world’s best’ gelato we were talking about (depending on what web article you read).

Included today:
-Walking tour of Florence with local guide

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 15 Florence to Rome

Today, we’re Romeward bound. Prep Instagram for a walking tour of the must-dos in this sprawling, cosmopolitan city. After all, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Pantheon aren’t going to selfie themselves.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Rome

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 16 Rome including Vatican City visit

Rome is where the heart is. Visit the world’s smallest country (hello, Vatican City) and crane your neck as you gawk at the magnificent ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Apparently Michelangelo was kind of miffed when he was commissioned to paint the masterpiece since his main artistic profession was to sculpt – but for a reluctant artist his work is pretty darn impressive. Judge it for yourself or simply mix it with the locals. Espresso stops mandatory.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Guided tour of Vatican tour

Day 17 Rome to Venice

Verona today = Romeo + Juliet 4EVA. Check out the city that Shakespeare put on the map by wandering through its charming streets right up to Juliet’s famed balcony. After channeling your inner romantic and leaving a romantic message on the note-covered wall, we’re off to Venice where public transport by boat is totally the norm.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Personalised Topdeck group shirts & hoodies

Day 18 Venice

The best way to explore? Get lost. Get found. Repeat. Just make sure you do find the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, Venice’s prime attraction and one of the finest squares in the world. Surrounded on three sides by the stately arcades of public buildings and on the fourth, by Basilica di San Marco's domes and arches, your only obstruction will be the selfie sticks and the pigeons. Oh, and get yourself on an optional gondola ride for a true Venice experience.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Venice
-Vaporetto ride in Venice

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Gondola ride

Day 19 Venice to Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Off to the Alps, where the air is crisp, the views are storybook worthy and fondue is totally acceptable at any time of day. Once you’ve settled in, bunker down in one of the cosy cafés that line the main street and treat yourself to a hot chocolate and a spot of daydreaming.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 20 Swiss Alps

Ski, sled, snow angel, then park yourself indoors to enjoy the views (from the warmth). Craving more altitude? Head to the ‘Top of Europe’, aka The Jungfrau, on an optional adventure and test your pano #photoskills. Try not to get too distracted by the epic mountain scenery – it really should come with a warning.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Scenic excursion to Jungfrau ('The Top of Europe')
-Scenic helicopter ride
-Night sledding
-Skiing
-Skydiving

Day 21 Swiss Alps to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Welcome to Luxembourg, where the country’s wealth is strong and its wine consumption is stronger. (Read: the good life). Notice the contrast between the capital city’s historic and modern-day architecture, before delving into the many restaurants, museums and galleries on offer.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 22 Luxembourg City to Amsterdam, Netherlands

Say hello to Europe’s most infamous city, where pretty tulips mask a touch of debauchery. Get the obvious out of the way (Red Light District, anyone?) then discover Amsterdam’s charming canal-lined houses and open squares. Also, get all Dutch with a cheese and clogs demonstration and discover why these guys are the experts at both.

Included today:
-Dutch cheese & clogs demonstration
-Walking tour of Amsterdam

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 23 Amsterdam

Amsterdam = the best city to explore by two wheels. Not only for the cool-factor but because there are no hills. At all. Explore on an optional bike tour, and then continue your mission to live like a local before our farewell dinner cruise on the canal. Cameras, at the ready!

Included today:
-Canal dinner cruise

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Bike tour of Amsterdam

Day 24 Amsterdam to London, England

Say goodbye in London today. Onto the next adventure?

Meals:
-Breakfast

what’s included
  • 23 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • 16 nights in hostels, 5 nights in hotel upgrades & 2 nights in bungalows
  • English Channel crossings
  • Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
  • Guided tours of all major cities
  • Awesome Trip Leader + Driver
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from London are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Western Compass 2018-19 tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 24 days
Tour Type Group Tour  
Age Requirement 18-39 yrs
guiding method Live guide/instructor
guide language English
Starts/Ends London, UK/London, UK
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Western Compass 2018-19
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 90 USD is required to confirm this tour. For any departures within 02 November 2017 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Western Compass 2018-19 tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Western Compass 2018-19 tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Cancellation No additional cancellation fees apply for this Western Compass 2018-19 tour. You can cancel the tour up to 43 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 43 days of departure.
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Topdeck / Product Category: Explorer
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