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Winter Compass

Experience the wonders of wintery Europe!

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Group Size: Max 48

Trip code: EEWMLL

Duration: 24 days

Group tour of 6 countries
Multi-share accommodation
Explore Europe in the winter!

Explore the delights of Western Europe on this fantastic 24-day winter tour. Journey through chilly city streets and snow-dusted mountains with a group and guide, and see the very best Europe has to offer. Ticking off 6 stunning countries in just over three weeks, this epic winter warmer includes stops in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, The Swiss Alps, Amsterdam and many more! Explore new places, meet exciting new people and discover the beauty and thrills of this awesome continent.

Trip highlights

  • Wander the chic streets of Paris and Madrid
  • Glimpse a slice of ancient history in Rome and Florence
  • Bask in exquisite mountain views in the Swiss Alps
  • Stroll along the shimmering waterways of Venice, Italy
  • Travel with a group and dedicated guide on this action-packed adventure!
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What's included
  • 23 nights’ accommodation
  • 23 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • Bordeaux winery tour & tasting
  • Bicycle tour of Amsterdam
  • Guided tours of all major cities
  • Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration
  • Dinner cruise in Amsterdam
  • Try traditional Swiss fondue
  • Walking tour of Florence with local guide
  • Dedicated tour guide and driver
  • Air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
  • English Channel crossing
  • 24-hour support
What's not included
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Any optional extra activities
  • Pre-Tour Accommodation*

*Due to the early start, we recommend booking pre-tour accommodation. Please contact us for details if you are interested.

Further trip information

Tackle those winter blues with this amazing 24-day tour around Western Europe. Explore buzzing cities and tranquil landscapes in just over 3 weeks on the continent!

Day 1: London to Paris, France. First up: it’s Paris, city of love, style, and delicious food! Take a drive around the city hotspots to get your bearings and then tuck into a gourmet picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower. Fab food and awesome surroundings? C’est la vie!

Day 2: Paris. Spend the day exploring chic Paris at your leisure today, as you discover such treasures as the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral (Quasimodo not included), the amazing Musee D’Orsay and the sensational art collections in the famous Louvre. 

Day 3: Paris to Bordeaux. Journey south to the sunlit vineyards of Bordeaux. Famous for it's beautiful vineyards and stunning river, you'll be searching for the best wine you can find (Hint: It’s all amazing!)

Day 4: Bordeaux. There are over 9,000 wine producers in Bordeaux. That should keep you going for the day! If wine’s not your thing, don’t worry. Bordeaux is also home to fantastic coffee houses, fashion stores, and gourmet restaurants.

Day 5: Bordeaux to Bilbao, Spain. Stop off at Chateau du Taillan for a spot of wine tasting. The gorgeous grounds, vineyards and huge underground cellars offer an attractive background as you sip on the finest wines around. Then on to arty Bilbao.

Day 6: Bilbao to Madrid. Roll into the capital and take in all the big sights, such as the Royal Palace and the Plaza de Espana. Get ready for a night out on the town. Madrid comes alive after dark.

Day 7: Madrid. A free day for whatever you want to do. Then a final night in Madrid’s exceptional nightlife. Party until dawn and then munch on some warm churros as the sun comes up.

Day 8: Madrid to Valencia. Now to the home of Paella! Stroll around the historic sites and grab an espresso on the seafront. Winter has never looked so good!

Day 9: Valencia to Barcelona. Roll into another legendary city today and tour around the atmospheric streets of Barcelona. Check out daring street performers, art on the pavements and festive fun around every corner. Get your toes tapping with an optional flamenco show.

Day 10: Barcelona. Another day in this dazzling city. Visit anything you didn’t have time for yesterday and watch the winter sun sliding across the skyline. Enjoy it. It’s your final day in Spain!

Day 11: Barcelona to Marseille, France. Bonjour to lively Marseille. Take a walking tour of the city and discover historic treasures and picture-perfect skylines. Then set out on your own for a day of exploration and a night of adventure!

Day 12: Marseille. More Marseille? Yes please! Grab a bite to eat in a side-street bistro and then watch the world go by on the seafront. Another marvellous day in France!

Day 13: Marseille to Florence, Italy. Stop off in Pisa to get a picture next to that famous leaning tower and get your first taste of Italian magic at a local trattoria in Florence. Bring on the pizza!

Day 14: Florence. Discover all the secret tales and history of this city and keep an eye out for famous statues and buildings on a walking tour. Then grab a cone of gelato and sit by the canal.

Day 15: Florence to Rome. Have your camera at the ready as you take a walking tour of Italy’s most famous city. Imagine being a gladiator at the Colosseum, toss a coin and make a wish at the Trevi Fountain and marvel at the mighty Pantheon. 

Day 16: Rome. Head over to the home of the Pope today. Not only an architectural and spiritual wonder, Vatican City is also the smallest country in the world! Then live more of ‘the dolce vita’ with an afternoon in Trastevere, a gorgeous neighbourhood on the banks of the Tiber.

Day 17: Rome to Venice. Stop off in Verona and discover the home of Romeo and Juliet. Then follow the sound of water lapping against gondolas! Soak up the atmosphere of Venice and discover spectacular hidden squares and vibrant wine bars.

Day 18: Venice. Marvel at colourful neighbourhoods and majestic churches as you wander the canals. Venice has loads to offer, from gorgeous food and drink to a sizzling arts scene. Enjoy!

Day 19: Venice to Swiss Alps, Switzerland. Swap intricate cities for rolling hills! Take a deep breath of clean mountain air and bask in the glorious hilltop views. And check out that gorgeous snow! This is what a winter holiday is all about!

Day 20: Swiss Alps. Get involved in a range of optional activities from helicopter rides to skiing to skydiving! Or just flop into the soft snow and make a snow-angel. Enjoy a well-earned hot chocolate when you return!

Day 21: Swiss Alps to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Luxembourg may be tiny but is has bags of charm, and you’ll soon fall in love with this fairytale city of church spires, tall bridges and winding streets.

Day 22: Luxembourg City to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Welcome to one of the coolest cities in Europe. Take a walking tour around the city and then enjoy a clogs and cheese demonstration!

Day 23: Amsterdam. The day is yours to do whatever you please. Top attractions include the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank house or the Heineken HQ. Then get dressed up for a canal cruise dinner!

Day 24: Amsterdam to London, England. Time to say goodbye to your group and guide as you travel back to where you started.

Please note: Free on-coach Wi-Fi is available but speed and connection relies on local 3G / 4G networks, and signal can be intermittent in some of the more remote areas. 

For the Summer version of this trip, please see here.

Booking options

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For the Summer version of this trip, please see the Summer Compass.

Online booking is unavailable for this trip

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Call us on: +44 1892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

You should meet the group at the starting hostel in London at 6am, ready for a 7am departure. Due to the early start, you may wish to pre-book a night at the hostel for the night before. Please speak to a travel advisor for more details. Extra accommodation will be at your own cost. The trip ends in London at approximately 9pm at the same hostel you departed from.

Accommodation & meals

23 nights of accommodation are included on this tour. 4 nights will be spent in hotels in twin or triple rooms and 19 nights will be spent in hostels in single sex dorms of between 4-6 people.

23 breakfasts and 7 dinners are included.

Minimum age & eligibility

The age requirements for this trip is 18 - 39 years. 

Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Some countries will refuse entry if there is not at least 6 months’ validity on your passport after your departure date from their country. British passport holders do not need visas to visit Europe.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Healthcare
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.

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Facebook Group Discussion

Hi, sorry if this has already been asked but I’m looking at doing Europe on the rails 15 day trip. Wondering if anyone in here has booked it and if so what dates. 🎉👋🏽

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Has anyone booked the Mediterranean express for May ?

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Hi has anyone booked to do the European Wonder on the 4th June?

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