Expat Explore Travel Q&A

Answers to 20 of your Travel Questions!

Expat Explore Travel Q&A

When travelling the world one tends to have some questions and queries. Where to go? What to do? What do I need for my trip?  Last week we asked our Facebook audience what travel-related questions they are pondering about and we received a bunch of great questions. Thanks for all the interesting questions and everyone who participated (and even helped us answer some of the questions)! The Expat Explore experts teamed up to give you the answers and here they are as promised. 

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Reinhardt: “I’ve been on the 12 Day Europe Escape tour (which was really awesome) but what’s next? I want to go on tour again and want to see different places. Is Eastern Europe just as exciting?”

PrintThanks for the compliment! Europe Escape is our most popular tour and definitely the best tour if its your first time travelling to Europe.  Eastern Europe is absolutely fantastic. Imagine exploring Budapest, Prague and Croatia -where Game of Thrones was filmed! We can recommend the Croatian and Eastern Delights Adventure tour . You might also find some of our regional tours Italy, France, Great Britain and Ireland interesting.


 

PrintDavid: “Can We bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag? Just wondering what the luggage restrictions are?”

PrintThat is correct. There is only a certain amount of space in the hold, so we do have to restrict the amount of luggage you are permitted to bring to one piece of main luggage up to a maximum weight of 20kg. If you arrive with more luggage than this you may be asked to leave it behind.

In addition to your main bag, you will need a small daypack for your everyday things (e.g. camera, water bottle, sun cream, hat etc.) while travelling, sightseeing and taking part in walking tours and day excursions.


 

PrintPhuong: “Tips for packing. I’m doing the 12 day Europe Escape and I’m not sure how much stuff to bring.”

PrintOur pre-departure information includes heaps of useful tips on what to pack. It will depend on what time of the year you are travelling in, but as the weather can be unpredictable it is always useful to pack so that you cover all possibilities.  Summer (June-September) can be very hot and you will need to wear lighter clothing like short sleeves and shorts. Outside of the summer months it can get cold, particularly in the evening/night, and can rain frequently, so pack accordingly.


 

PrintMaggie: “I saw the list of optional excursions, what is your best advice? Do we pre-book ahead or can we ask for assistance in buying the admissions tickets during the tour?

PrintAll of our optional excursions are booked and paid for once you are on the tour, usually a day or two before they take place. This gives you the chance to research and discuss them with your tour leader – there is no need to commit far in advance. Your tour leader will organise everything for you, you just need to make sure you have enough of the local currency in cash to pay for the excursion.


 

PrintMargie: “In the 22 day Europe tour we are at Switzerland days 3 & 4. I’m wondering will there be time to do more than one of the optional extra experiences. I would like to go on the train ride up Jungfraujoch, but I am wondering if there would be time to do either the skydiving or paragliding as well as the train ride?”

PrintThe Jungfrau Top of Europe is a full day excursion, however depending on the time of year you are visiting you will be able to do other excursions afterwards. In the summer, you can do either the paragliding, canyon jumping or jet boating, and in the winter there is a night sledding optional, so there is plenty of time to enjoy your time in the Alps! Your tour leader will explain all the options on tour and our recommendation is to not make a decision about this weeks in advance – you might feel up for something totally different once you’ve started your tour. The optional excursions are city-dependent and sometimes it is possible to do more than one excursion per day (like in Rome on the Europe Escape tour for instance). 


 

PrintVivek: My wife is a vegetarian, will she be able to find food easily through the tour?”

PrintWe can cater for vegetarians no problem – all of the meals included in your tour will have a vegetarian option. For your other meals you will always be able to find a vegetarian option. Ask your tour leader to recommend restaurants in the destination on your tour.


 

PrintEdmund: “Uk + ireland tour on July 2016.. When will be this available on ur website?”

PrintThe 2016 dates for some of our tours have not been officially released. You can however give our customer service representatives a ring and they can help you find the right date. 


 

PrintJennifer: “Dress – is it casual or is there going to be times that you need to dress up? I’m taking the Classic Europe Tour? And are there some type of GPS device given to travellers so they can find their way back to the bus in free times?”

PrintThe only time you will need to consider more formal clothing is if you want to visit a place of worship, for example, the Vatican City. In this case, you should bring clothes that cover your shoulders and legs (ie long sleeved top and full-length trousers/pants).

If you have a smartphone we would recommend using a mapping application that allows you to download maps for offline use – this will mean you can use the app without incurring data charges.


 

PrintFei-Tze: “…In terms of spending, shall I exchange all the money into Euros before hand or can I exchange it when arriving there? Are towels provided?”

PrintWe don’t recommend carrying too much cash around with you, so it is best to obtain some Euros before you leave your home country, and then use your debit card to withdraw from ATMs throughout the tour. Alternatively, travellers cheques are still a safe and secure method of carrying money.

Towels are provided in all hotels, however, you may wish to bring your own for use at the beach or swimming pool if applicable to your tour.


 

PrintLorraine: “Are there washrooms/bathrooms on the coach?

 

PrintYep, our coaches all have an on-board toilet and hand-basin. They are fully equipped with safety belts, air-con, reclining seats, reading lights, TV, stereo sound system etc. For the duration of the tour the coach is like your second home. Say hi to the driver if you ever get to travel in one! 


 

PrintAnn: “Booked on the 26-day tour with a friend. What is the accommodation like?”

PrintWe use mostly 2 & 3-star hotels. During this tour you will stay in twin share rooms -all with a private bathroom. You can find details of the various hotels we stay at on your tour here. A full list of accommodation names and addresses will be given to you on the first day of your tour.


 

PrintEdmund: “Booked the 14 day Europe Tour, are towels provided by the hotels and will there be WiFi available in every hotel?”

PrintTowels are provided in all hotels, however, you may wish to bring your own for use at the beach or swimming pool if applicable to your tour. All our Europe hotels offer Wi-Fi, which is available free of charge as part of your Expat Explore tour. In certain hotels, this will be available in the hotel lobby only while in others you will be able to get access in your room.


 

PrintBethany: “What will happen if there isn’t an even number of female/male solo travellers? Will a male and a female have to room together or will the single person have a separate room alone?”

PrintAll solo travellers are guaranteed to only share with another traveller of the same gender. Where there is an odd number, one of the single travellers will be allocated a single room.


 

PrintLaura: “If you need a visa, which country’s embassy should you request it from with the 12 Day Europe Escape Tour?”

PrintFor the Europe Escape tour you would apply at the Italian Embassy, however if you hold a US passport you do not require a visa for the Europe Escape tour.


 

PrintBeth: “We’re arriving midnight and booked a room in a hotel with you, is there transport that will take us to the hotel from the airport? Is it free? If not, how much are we going to pay?

PrintIf you are arriving in London you can book airport transfers from Heathrow and Gatwick airports to any hotel in central London. Please click here for more information. If you are arriving in Rome please contact our Customer Services team to arrange a transfer.


 

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Liesel: “What should I budget for spending?”

 

PrintThis will vary depending on various factors, including your particular tour and how many of the optional excursions you wish to take part in. Please refer to the tour itinerary on the website for full details of what meals and activities are included.

We would recommend budgeting for about €25-€40 per day (excluding optional excursions). You will use this on meals (most lunches and some dinners not provided in your itinerary), drinks, snacks, entrance fees, souvenirs and local transport for free days. The amount you will actually spend obviously depends on personal taste and budget.

Many museums and tourist sites in Europe offer free or discounted entrance to those in possession of a valid International Student Card, so if you have one of these make sure to bring it along with you.


 

PrintAmanda: “I just booked the fourteen day Europe Jewel Tour and I am worried about hidden fees?”

PrintWe do not charge any booking or credit card fees. Any exchange rate fees will depend on your bank – if you book in the same currency as your bank account is held in, you should  not be charged any extra fees. Therefore the price you see on our website at the time of booking is the price you will pay.


 

PrintCecilia: “Going on the Eastern Delight tour in August. Would like to know if I can pay with Euro in all 9 countries?”

PrintGermany, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia use the Euro (€) currency.

Croatia uses the Kuna (kn), Bosnia & Herzegovina the convertible mark (KM), Serbia the dinar (RSD), Hungary the Forint (Ft) and Czech Republic the Koruna (Kč). You will often find that you can use the Euro in these countries, but it will always be at an unfavourable exchange rate so it is recommended that you rather use the local currency.


 

PrintHannah: “What is the maximum amount of people who can book a tour with you?”

PrintThe maximum amount of people that can book a tour with us is 51. 


 

 

PrintAmanda: “During day two of Taste of Italy we tour the Vatican…does this include St Peters, Sistine and the Vatican Museums?”

PrintYes, the Vatican tour includes St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum – all the way accompanied by a professional expert local guide who will talk you through the history and stories etc.


 

Thank you to all the participants! Due to the great response from you guys we have already started planning our next Q&A blog. In the meanwhile feel free to hop over to our FAQ Page and if you wish to ask about something specific please do contact us .

Happy travelling! 

 

 

 

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8 Sensational Things to do at Lake Como

This gallery contains 4 photos.

The Northern part of Italy feel distinctly different from the rest of Italy, and it offers a lifestyle not comparable to anything else in the world. Imagine the most beautiful alpine lakes surrounded by mountains of France and Switzerland. The … Continue reading

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Top 5: Places to visit in Europe

Planning your big trip to Europe? This fantastic continent has so many amazing places that its hard to know where to start. To help you out we have listed some of our favourite places in Europe to visit.

1. Athens, Greece

Athens Acropolis

Athens Acropolis

Athens is the capital and largest city in Greece with a population of over 3 million people and is considered to be the historic capital of Europe, with its history dating back to 3000 BC. Athens has plenty to offer from exploring the ancient ruins and visiting the vast museums to relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches or shopping in some of the traditional Greek markets, there is something here for everyone!

Because of its amazing location Athens experiences warm weather throughout the year, enjoying more than 250 days of sunshine. The best time to travel however is spring and autumn when the temperature is milder and the crowds have thinned out. We have five fantastic tours that cover Athens; each includes a tour of the city where you can explore some of the ruins of ancient Greece. You will also visit the temple of Athena, Nike and the Parthenon.

2. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, which means Five Lands in English, comprises of five small coastal villages; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza & Monterosso. The five villages, the coastline and surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Cars and motorbikes were banned over 10 years ago so the area is very well preserved. Cinque Terre has some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see in your life, and while you are here why not try some of the local produce, such as the fresh locally caught seafood!

Summer is the most popular time to visit Cinque Terre, so expect there to be quite a few people around. If you are planning on walking some of the trails then avoid doing so in the middle of the day as temperatures will rise. Instead plan to do this in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler, you may even catch one of the stunning sunrises or sunsets! Using La Spezia as our base, we explore the famous Cinque Terre region during our 12 day Italian Delights tour. It is also available as an optional excursion on our 8-day Taste of Italy tour

3. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giants Causeway

Basalt columns, Giants Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland with three quarters of a million visitors a year. The Giants Causeway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a national nature reserve in 1987.

The sunset in spring and autumn make for beautiful photos, but the Giants Causeway is a great place to visit anytime of the year. Make sure to take a warm jacket as the weather is very unpredictable and will change frequently throughout the day. Expat Explore have two tours that visit Northern Ireland and both have a stop at the Giants Causeway; the Irish Explorer tour and our Best of UK and Ireland tour that also visits England, Wales and Scotland.

4. Berlin, Germany

Oberbaum bridge, Berlin

Oberbaum bridge, Berlin

The capital of Germany, Berlin is home to more than 3.5 million people. Berlin is located in north-eastern Germany on the banks of River Spree. Around one third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. With over 175 museums history buffs will be kept entertained for weeks! If museums aren’t your thing then Berlin still has you covered, there are over 50 theatres and 300 cinemas, the nightlife is amazing and Berlin is home to the largest department store in continental Europe so you can shop till you drop!

Berlin has a moderately cool and humid climate and is generally comfortable to visit any time of year, winter does get very chilly as the winds pick up so make sure you bring a warm coat. We have three great tours that visit Berlin; our longest tour the Ultimate Europe, our brand new tour the Northern Explorer and the one-way Eastern Adventure that starts in London and visits Berlin on the way to the finish point in Rome.

5. Barcelona, Spain

Palau Nacional, Barcelona

Palau Nacional, Barcelona

With a population of over 1.6 million people and Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona is also the capital of the Catalan region and has it’s own unique culture that is not to be missed! Sun, beaches, football, siestas…the list goes on! Visit Barca because it is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic and cultural centres, not to mention for it’s amazing architecture! There is no greater joy than enjoying tapas in a café on Las Ramblas and watching the world go by!

With its Mediterranean climate Barcelona enjoys mild winters and warm dry summers. May and June are the ideal times to visit, the spring weather is nice and warm and you will avoid the summertime tourist rush. Expat Explore has five tours that visit Barcelona. Each includes a free day, so you will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful city and its incredible beaches!

Still can’t decide which of these stunning places to see in Europe? Why not see them all, head over to our website to choose the tour that is perfect for you!

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Top 5: Reasons to visit Europe this Spring!

The Christmas season is over and we are well into the first month of 2015 (scary!), so what better way to ease those winter blues than planning your next holiday?  Spring is an amazing time to travel, not only is the weather getting warmer but the days are getting longer; more daylight means more time for sightseeing!

Spring time is the shoulder season for most places in Europe (those months that are between the high season and low season) this often means cheaper accommodation and flights. The other, and probably my favourite, advantage of travelling in spring: shorter queues. For those of you that have a bit of travel under your belt you will know all about queuing for hours at a time at that must see attraction- No thank you! 

Here are some of the highlights that Europe has to offer and why you should give travelling on a tour in spring a go!

1. King’s Day

King's Day

King’s Day Amsterdam. Photo by Eric Walter, Wikimedia Commons

Spring is also when the Dutch celebrate some of their biggest and most important holidays. Dress in orange and help the locals celebrate their king with street markets, live music and brightly decorated boats on Kings Day! Come and party with us on the Amsterdam King’s Day Weekend tour!

2. Prague Spring Festival

Benjamin Britten: Gloriana. Photo: www.festival.cz

Fans of classical music and opera will be dazzled by the Prague Spring International Music Festival. Running from 1st May to early June, this historic music festival features top soloists and orchestras from all over the world. Check our all our tours that visit Prague in May.

3. Brussels City Parks

The Château Malou in Park Malou, Brussels. Photo by Michal Osmenda, Wikimedia Commons

Why not take a bike ride through one of Brussels’ many city parks or woods? Join us on our 3-Countries Weekend tour and explore the gentle sloping hills, blooming flowers and beautiful ponds.

4. Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof tulip gardens. Photo by Donar Reiskoffer, Wikimedia Commons

Expat Explore’s Amsterdam Tulip Weekend tour will take you to the world famous ‘garden of Europe’ – Keukenhof – which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world to see the beautiful tulips. The Keukenhof Park has over 7 million flower bulbs planted to create the most amazing garden you will ever see.

5. Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Luxembourg Gardens. Image by Felipe de la Fuente Díaz (Felipedd),

Luxembourg Gardens. Image by Felipe de la Fuente Díaz (Felipedd), Wikimedia Commons.

Spring is the time of new life! Paris definitely starts to come back to life in spring, not only are the gardens starting to bloom but you will also find the locals back out on their terraces, drinking tea and soaking up the sun’s rays. Go down to the stunning Luxembourg Gardens for a picnic and some people watching or just take a nice leisurely stroll around the garden to escape the busy city. Click here to check out all of our tours visiting Paris this Spring.

Want to experience some of these great highlights for yourself? Head over to our website to check out some of the tours we have departing during spring! 

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Top Attractions & Must-See Sights in London – Part 1

One of the world’s top tourist destinations, London is where many of our Europe Coach Tours begin and end. If you’re spending a few extra nights in the British capital (and why wouldn’t you!?), then be sure to check out some of these incredible attractions!

  1. Buckingham Palace
Image by AlanEisen, Wikimedia Commons

Buckingham Palace, London. Image by AlanEisen, Wikimedia Commons

Probably the top of most people’s London bucket-lists, Buckingham Palace is hugely popular – and with good reason. It’s the official London residence of the monarchy of the United Kingdom, and it also serves as their administrative headquarters. It’s often at the centre of royal hospitality, receiving dignitaries and foreign officials on state visits, and when not in use for these purposes, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors at certain times of the year. Buckingham Palace is decorated with works of art forming part of the Royal Collection, one of the major art collections in the world. From the outside, the principal façade is one of the most recognisable sights in the country – if not the world – with its gardens and gilded statues. If you can, try to time your visit with the changing of the guards, which takes place on selected dates at 11:15am. The Welsh Guards are a highly trained regiment in the British Army, taking part in conflicts all over the world and serving as the monarchy’s troops. Catch them on parade if you can!

  1. The Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Palace of Westminster. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Just down the road from Buckingham Palace – in a manner of speaking – is the Palace of Westminster, where the UK’s two houses of Parliament (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet. You’ll probably recognise the pointy bits and especially ‘Big Ben’, which is actually the name given to the bell inside the clock tower, which is called Elizabeth Tower. The site has a long history stretching back to the Middle Ages, the palace having existed in some shape or form since the Danish King Cnut began building here in the first half of the 11th century. The palace as it is today was built after the Great Fire of 1834.

  1. The Tower of London
Tower of London with ceramic poppies. Photo by Tim Adams, Wikimedia Commons

Tower of London with ceramic poppies. Photo by Tim Adams, Wikimedia Commons

Probably most well-known as the home of the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror to keep hostile Londoners at bay. Since then it’s functioned as – among other things – a royal palace, the royal mint, a state prison and a storehouse for the army and navy. 22 people were executed here, the last one being Lord Lovat, who was convicted of treason. On the day of his execution, and apparently to his great amusement, one of the scaffolds built for onlookers collapsed, killing twenty of them. He didn’t laugh for long though as he was beheaded soon afterwards. You might say he laughed his head off! The execution block used in the beheading is actually on display in the White Tower – a 57kg piece of solid oak.

  1. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral. Photo by Kunstlerbob, Wikimedia Commons

St Paul’s Cathedral. Photo by Kunstlerbob, Wikimedia Commons

One of London’s most iconic buildings, St Paul’s Cathedral overlooks the Thames and to many Londoners it’s a symbol of the hope, resilience and strength of the city of London. It was one of the few buildings to emerge largely unscathed from the bombings of World War II, and photos of the dome of St Paul’s rising above the destruction of its surroundings sealed the cathedral in the minds of many as an enduring icon. Completed in 1708, it was the tallest building in London until 1962. Important services that took place here include the funerals of Lord Nelson and Sir Winston Churchill, Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and the 80th birthday and Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

  1. Tower Bridge
London Tower Bridge, London, England. Photograph by Anne Dirkse, http://www.annedirkse.com

London Tower Bridge, London, England. Photograph by Anne Dirkse, http://www.annedirkse.com

Probably one of the most well-known structures in London, Tower Bridge is often mistakenly called ‘London Bridge.’ Taking its name from the Tower of London, the bridge is a suspension bridge and bascule, opening to allow ships to pass beneath it when necessary. Built 120 years ago, it’s become a key part of the London skyline. The Tower Bridge Exhibition details the history of the bridge, from initial construction to Royal visits and daredevil stunts. Excitingly, the bridge now features glass floor panels, allowing you to see London life through a glass floor – a completely unique experience!

Look out for more unmissable attractions in Part 2 – and remember that we offer sightseeing tours of London too!

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Video of the Week- Barcelona

Barcelona’s made it into our Video of the Week slot before, but this is a far more ‘hands on’ video which reveals the city at street level. We love it! Have you been to Barcelona?

Barcelona – GoPro travel edit from Jeremy Janin on Vimeo.

Barcelona’s vibrant culture stretches beyond its beaches, its legendary architecture and its world-famous drinking and dining scene. With architectural wonders stretching back thousands of years, it’s a city rich in character and creativity. Whether you’re strolling the markets for fresh produce, taking a walk along the beachfront, exploring gastronomical delights or relaxing in one of the city’s parks, you’re in for a real treat.

Get a taste for the unmistakable buzz of Barcelona and you might understand why the city deserves a second mention in our Video of the Week series. Want more of Barcelona? Check this out.

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Top 5 places to see in Greece

Greece is one of our favourite destinations, with ancient wonders and beautiful landscapes making it hugely popular with travellers the world over. Read about some of our favourite spots below and visit our website to learn more about this fascinating destination.

The Acropolis, Athens

Athens AcropolisThe Acropolis endures today as the most impressive symbol of Greece’s classical spirit and civilisation. Dating back to the 5th Century BC and designed by Pericles, this unassuming hill became home to these impressive monuments commemorating centuries of thought, art, philosophy and democracy. A definite highlight of Athens, you simply cannot miss the Acropolis!

Nafplio

Nafplion from Palamidi CastleOne of Greece’s prettiest and most romantic places, this small port town nestles beneath the towering Palamidi fortress. Blessed with narrow winding streets, cafes, stylish boutiques and elegant homes, Nafplio is a definite highlight of any tour to Greece!

Delphi

Apollo Temple DelphiPerched on a cliff with a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside, Delphi was chosen by the Greeks as the ‘navel of the earth’. It was here that the Sanctuary of Apollo was built, making this a hugely important part of ancient Greece. Apollo – for those who don’t know – is the son of Zeus in classical Greek mythology, and is considered to be the god of music, art, poetry, archery,

Meteora

MeteoraAnother one of our favourites is Meteora, known for its sheer cliff faces and the monasteries built at their summit. As ancient as these cliff-faces are, they could almost be mistaken for the set of a modern science-fiction tale. It’s a strange and beautiful landscape; a little different to what one normally thinks of when considering Greece.

Santorini

SantoriniOn to the islands! Built on the rim of an ancient caldera, Santorini is well-known for its ocean views; and those craggy multi-coloured cliffs rising some 300m out of the ocean. You’ll likely be treated to one of the spectacular sunsets that the island is famous for too! Be sure to explore the island’s archaeological treasures too, along with the modern artists, wineries, breweries and some of the best cuisine in the Greek Islands!

Have we missed anything? What’s your favourite part of Greece? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte Celebrates Christmas

What better place to experience the festive ambience of Christmas than in an authentic French chateau, decked out with incredible decorations? See the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte with Expat Explore Travel with us on our Christmas tours!

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte is the largest private chateau in France, having served as the inspiration behind the legendary Palace of Versailles. The castle was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances in France under King Louis XIV. The collaboration at the time between architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect Andre le Notre and the painter-decoratod Charles Le Brun marked the start of the “Louis XIV style”, combining architecture, landscape design and interior design in a single project.

Lavishly decorated with stunning gilded walls, statues, tapestries and the era’s finest furnishings, Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte remains one of the most famous French chateaux; though Nicolas Fouquet didn’t live there very long. Having aroused the king’s ire with his poorly-disguised ambition and extravagant habits – which included the building of the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte – Fouquet was imprisoned in 1661 until his death in 1680.

Christmas decorations at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Christmas decorations at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Interesting fact: The chateau has also been used in the James Bond movie ‘Moonraker’ and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette! Today the chateau hosts various festivals and events, including a Christmas festival!

See the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte yourself if you’re nearby in Paris, and if you’re on our 10-day Christmas & New Year tour, enjoy a visit to the chateau as one of our optional excursions!

 

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York’s Christmas Markets

Every year the charming city of York hosts their Christmas markets, adding an extra layer of festive delight to an already alluring city. Photos courtesy of Visit York.

York Minster

York Minster

Few cities in England – or anywhere else – really retain their medieval ambiance quite like York. Within its 13th century city walls is a winding network of narrow cobbled streets and lanes, with wonky old buildings peering over at passers-by below. It’s little wonder that the city is still used periodically as a film set.

The Shambles, York - used as Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films.

The Shambles, York – used as Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films.

Fans of Harry Potter may recognise ‘Diagon Alley’ as they stroll past The Shambles, but whether you’re a Potter fan or not, you’re sure to be enthralled by the Gothic masterpiece that is York Minster. Dominating the heart of the city, this cathedral is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe, and certainly one of the most beautiful in the world.

Christmas markets in York.

Christmas markets in York.

Of course, there’s nothing like a Christmas market to really make York stand out. Decked out in the finest winter finery, you’d have to be an absolute Scrooge to resist a stroll around the city in winter, sipping on a hot mug of mulled wine, breathing the frosty air and stocking up on treats. York is known for its confectionery too, so look out for little sweet shops stocking all manner of tasty goodies.

A winter stroll in York

A winter stroll in York

The city’s long history and heritage seems to emanate from every cobble-stone, and York is a guaranteed highlight on any tour of Great Britain. 

Sweets and treats at a York Christmas market.

Sweets and treats at a York Christmas market.

Join us on our Great Britain tour departing 3rd December 2014 to really experience the best of York!

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5 of the Best European Landmarks (Infographic)

There are so many great things to see on any tour of Europe, but here are a few of our favourites. Learn more about them in this handy infographic, or head out on one of our tours for the real thing!

 

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