🇬🇷GREECE

Lindos, Rhodes, GreeceThere’s so much ancient history here that there’s a risk you’ll get blasé about seeing another 3,000 year-old pot. But then you realise walk through an old agora, or stand before a famous acropolis, or follow in the footsteps of knights and you appreciate Greece all over again.  Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Greece itinerary:

Luxury Meteora, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Excelsior(Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Theatro Hotel Odysseon (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Nidimos Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Grande Bretagne (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book a Lux cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨In camera Art Boutique Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Iapetos Village (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Aenaon Villas (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Myconian Kyma Design Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Athens, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Bristol Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Dellas Boutique Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Nidimos Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Rastoni Athens Suites  (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book an AA2, AS2 or AB2 cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨Petrino (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Captain’s Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Horizon Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Mouselis Studios (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Budget Santorini, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Jetpak Alternative (Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Meteora Central Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Sibylla Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Bedbox Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book a DOR (dormitory) cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨Stay Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Captain’s Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Pension George (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Morfoulas Studios (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.

🇳🇵NEPAL

Poon Hill, NepalYou’ll need to be somewhat fit to tackle the magnificent treks in Nepal, but the reward for all that effort is a front-row view of the world’s highest mountains. Back where the oxygen is less thin are fascinating cities and incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Nepal itinerary:

Luxury Chitwan National Park, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Birethanti hike
🚕Birethanti to Pokhara taxi
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 17:00
🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Birethanti and stopping off at Ghandrung village. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚗Pokhara to Bandipur drive (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Depche Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Be wary of the signs of altitude sickness.
10 🚗Bandipur to Andrauli drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Barahi Jungle Lodge(Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Take a power bank with you on treks and safaris.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚗Andrauli to Kathmandu drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Kathmandu, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Naya Pul to Pokhara bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in the city treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Gaun Ghar (Book >) All hotels >
The well-preserved medieval town of Bandipur boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Green Park Chitwan (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your Chitwan hotel to collect you from the bus stop.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Mount Everest
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨WanderThirst Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 🚌Kathmandu to Pokhara bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 15:00 🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Pokhara, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hostel for help.
5 🚌Pokhara to Nayapul bus
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 09:00
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Syauli Bazaar to Naya Pul bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Hotel The North Face (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Hotel Rhino Land (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your hostel to collect you from the bus stop.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨WanderThirst Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Ask your hostel for help flagging a meter taxi to the airport.

🇭🇺HUNGARY, 🇷🇴ROMANIA & 🇧🇬BULGARIA

Bran Castle, RomaniaThree countries, 11 unforgettable, action-packed days. Beautiful cities, medieval towns, ancient castles, huge forests and wild mountains – this itinerary has it all. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary:

Luxury Budapest, Hungary
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Aria Hotel Budapest (Book >) All hotels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨DoubleTree by Hilton (Book >) All hotels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Hotel Kronwell (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a taxi to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Hotel Epoque (Book >) All hotels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Agusta Spa Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨Sense Hotel Sofia (Book >) All hotels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Visit Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.
Mid-range Brasov, Romania
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Bo33 Family & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨Casa Savri (Book >) All hotels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Casa Veche (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a 35-minute bus journey from terminal #2 to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Hotel Christina (Book >) All hotels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Gurko (Book >) All hotels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨InterContinental Sofia (Book >) All hotels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Visit Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.
Budget Sofia, Bulgaria
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Lazy Muggle Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨Burg Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Hostel Mara (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a 35-minute bus journey from terminal #2 to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Podstel Bucharest (Book >) All hotels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Hikers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨Hostel Mostel (Book >) All hotels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Visit Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.

🇸🇪SWEDEN

Stockholm, SwedenFrom the vast, open landscapes of Lapland, to the sunny beaches of Gotland, Sweden offers many amazing sights for visitors. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Sweden itinerary:

Luxury Treehotel, Sweden
1 ✈To Luleå (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Treehotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi for the 1 hr 15 mins drive to your hotel from the airport. The fastest flight times involve leaving in the afternoon and arriving into Luleå in the evening.
2 Go hiking in Lapland, get some white water rafting thrills, glide along calm waters in a canoe, go on a moose safari and, at the end of the day, relax in the tree sauna. You may want to add on some extra days… Book activities well in advance.
3 🚄Boden to Orebro train (Book >) Dep: 17:49 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Arrange a transfer to the train station (which should take about 35 mins) then relax in a comfy couchette for the overnight journey to Orebro. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Boden to Orebro train Arr: 07:31 🏨Clarion Hotel Örebro (Book >) All hotels >
A day on which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Tap water is good and tasty in Sweden – remember to bring a refillable bottle.
5 🚄Örebro to Gothenburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:12 Arr: 12:10 🏨Upper House (Book >) All hotels >
Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
6 Slottsskogen is a free-to-enter park and mini-zoo in the city centre. If you’re in need of some culture, the Gothenburg Museum of Art comes highly recommended. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Got some spare time? The four-day cycle ride from Helsingborg to Båstad comes highly recommended.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Mariestad train (Book >)
⛴️Mariestad to Vassbacken cruise (Book >)
Dep: 08:25
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:08
Arr: 22:15
🏨M/S Wilhelm Tham All hotels >
Transfer to Mariestad where you’ll join the M/S Wilhelm Tham and cruise along the Göta Canal over Lake Vänern to the locks at Sjötorp and Hajstorp. Apart from the two honeymoon suites, most cabins on the historic M/S Wilhelm Tham  have bunk beds.
8 ⛴️Vassbacken to Ljung cruise Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨M/S Wilhelm Tham All hotels >
Continuing along the Göta Canal you’ll reach the highest point at the obelisk, pass through the Tåtorp locks and along beautiful Lake Viken. Next comes Forsvik Lock and the historic Forsviks Bruk village. Lake Vättern is Sweden’s second largest in Sweden, beyond which is the lock staircase at Borenshul, beautiful Borensburg village and the berth at Ljung. You can also hire your own boat to cruise along the Göta Canal.
9 ⛴️Borensberg to Norsholm cruise
(Book >)
🚄Norsholm to Stockholm (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Grand Hôtel Stockholm (Book >) All hotels >
Into the longest lock staircase on the canal at Berg, then Lake Roxen and ending at Norsholm Lock. In Stockholm take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. The Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
9-10 Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
11 Stockholm to Home
(✈Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
Want to extend your trip? Take a look at the Gotland journey at the end of the Mid-range itinerary.
Mid-range Örebro castle, Sweden
1 ✈To Kiruna (Book >)
🚄Kiruna to Abisko Östra train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 14:49
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 15:54
🏨Hotel Abisko Mountain Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving late Oct to mid-March? You’ll get here after sunset and in time to hopefully see the Northern Lights. To make this journey in one day you’ll need to catch a very early flight.
2 There are a number of excellent hiking trails in Abisko National Park, you can also visit the Sámi village of Rávttas. If you’re here outside of warmer months then skiing, dog sledding, Arctic reindeer sledding and chasing the Northern Lights are all popular things to do. If you’re really into hiking then Abisko is the start of the famous 400km King’s Trail, or Kungsleden.
3 🚄Abisko Östra – Gävle C train
(Book >)
Dep: 16:44 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Relax in a comfy couchette for the overnight journey to Gävle C. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Abisko Östra to Gävle C train
🚄Gävle C to Orebro train (Book >)
Dep: 08:24 Arr: 07:35
Arr: 10:55
🏨Clarion Hotel Örebro (Book >) All hotels >
A day on which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Tap water is good and tasty in Sweden – remember to bring a refillable bottle.
5 🚄Örebro to  Motala train (Book >)
🚄Motala to Hallsberg train
🚄Hallsberg to Gothenburg train (Book >)
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 09:12
Dep: 17:43
Arr: 09:26
Arr: 17:06
Arr: 20:05
🏨Hotel Pigalle (Book >) All hotels >
Divert your journey to Gothenburg with a stop at Motala and a boat trip along the Göta Canal, departing at 10:30 and returning at 15:30 (May to Sep only). Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
6 Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Got some spare time? The four-day cycle ride from Helsingborg to Båstad comes highly recommended.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Stockholm train (Book >) Dep: 16:19 Arr: 19:43 🏨Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen is a free-to-enter park and mini-zoo in the city centre. If you’re in need of some culture, the Gothenburg Museum of Art comes highly recommended. Stockholm’s Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
8-9 Take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
10 🚌Stockholm to Nynäshamn bus
⛴️Nynäshamn to Visby ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:30
Dep: 13:15
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Clarion Hotel Visby (Book >) All hotels >
Gaze out to sea as you glide over the Baltic Sea to the island of Gotland The ferry journey is usually smooth, but you may wish to take motion sickness tablets just in case.
11-12 Over the next couple of days be sure to take in Visby’s Burmeister House, walk along the city wall and the views from Klinten. Visby is full of church ruins – see if you can get to all 15 within the city walls. The Gotlands Museum makes for a fascinating visit. Hire a bicycle and explore the coast in either direction from Visby. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
13 Visby to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
In the summer take Flygbussarna coach to the airport, at other times of year you can take bus route 61 or a short taxi ride.
Budget Abisko National Park, Sweden
1 ✈To Kiruna (Book >)
🚄Kiruna to Abisko Östra train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 14:49
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 15:59
🏨Abisko Turiststation (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving late Oct to mid-March? You’ll get here after sunset and in time to hopefully see the Northern Lights. To make this journey in one day you’ll need to catch a very early flight.
2 There are a number of excellent hiking trails in Abisko National Park, you can also visit a Sámi camp, take the chair lift to Nuolja and go in search of the Northern Lights, If you’re really into hiking then Abisko is the start of the famous 400km King’s Trail, or Kungsleden.
3 🚄Abisko Östra – Gävle C train
(Book >)
Dep: 16:38 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Settle into your seat for the overnight journey to Gävle C. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Abisko Östra to Gävle C train
🚄Gävle C to Orebro train (Book >)
🚄Örebro to Gothenburg train (Book >)
Dep: 08:24
Dep: 17:19
Arr: 07:35
Arr: 10:55
Arr: 19:55
🏨Linnéplatsens Hotel & Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
A day in which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Örebro station has a left luggage facility.
5-6 Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Hallsberg train
🚄Hallsberg to Motala train  (Book >)
🚄Motala to Linköping train
🚄Linköping to Stockholm train (Book >)
Dep: 06:04
Dep: 08:46
Dep: 16:05
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 08:25
Arr: 09:26
Arr: 16:44
Arr: 18:41
🏨City Backpackers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Divert your journey to Stockholm with a stop at Motala and a boat trip along the Göta Canal, departing at 10:30 and returning at 15:30 (May to Sep only). Stockholm’s Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
8-9 Take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
10 🚌Stockholm to Nynäshamn bus
⛴️Nynäshamn to Visby ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:30
Dep: 13:15
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Visby home rental (Book >) All hotels >
Gaze out to sea as you glide over the Baltic Sea to the island of Gotland The ferry journey is usually smooth, but you may wish to take motion sickness tablets just in case.
11-12 Over the next couple of days be sure to take in Visby’s Burmeister House, walk along the city wall and the views from Klinten. Visby is full of church ruins – see if you can get to all 15 within the city walls. The Gotlands Museum makes for a fascinating visit. Hire a bicycle and explore the coast in either direction from Visby. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
13 Visby to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
In the summer take Flygbussarna coach to the airport, at other times of year you can take bus route 61 or a short taxi ride.

🇨🇭SWITZERLAND

Lauterbrunnen Valley, SwitzerlandIf you like mountains, picturesque valleys, cute Alpine scenes, beautiful lakes and excellent public transport, you’re going to love Switzerland. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Switzerland itinerary:

Luxury Lucerne, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Widder Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Buy a Swiss Travel Pass in advance as this will include the train journey from the airport.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚄Zurich to Lucerne train (Book >) Dep: 10:04 Arr: 10:49 🏨Hotel des Balances (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Consider downloading the SBB rail app, for quick and easy reference to the rail system timetable.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the afternoon visit the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen (Book >) train
🚡Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp cablecar
🚄Grütschalp to Mürren train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 10:44
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
Arr: 10:42
Arr: 10:58
🏨Hotel Eiger (Book >) All hotels >
A true test of the perfectly punctual Swiss transport system, this is a journey which you’ll be glued to the window throughout. When you arrive you can enjoy the peaceful alpine village of Mürren before heading on up the remarkable Schilthorn. The Schilthorn restaurant may not have the most refined cuisine, but it does revolve and is the best place to see the views.
7 🚄Mürren to Grütschalp train
🚡Grütschalp to Lauterbrunnen cablecar (Book >)
🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 09:58
Dep: 10:13
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:11
Arr: 10:17
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Hotel The Omnia (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Miss a connection? Not a problem. Trains in Switzerland are frequent.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Hotel Victoria (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train (Book >) Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨Hotel D’Angleterre (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.
Mid-range Matterhorn, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Plattenhof (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Buy a Swiss Travel Pass in advance as this will include the train journey from the airport.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚄Zurich to Lucerne train (Book >) Dep: 10:04 Arr: 10:49 🏨Keyforge City Apartments Waldstätter 8 (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Consider downloading the SBB rail app, for quick and easy reference to the rail system timetable.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hotel Alpina (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the afternoon visit the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen train (Book >)
🚡Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp cablecar
🚄Grütschalp to Mürren train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 10:44
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
Arr: 10:42
Arr: 10:58
🏨Eiger Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
A true test of the perfectly punctual Swiss transport system, this is a journey which you’ll be glued to the window throughout. When you arrive you can enjoy the peaceful alpine village of Mürren before heading on up the remarkable Schilthorn. The Schilthorn restaurant may not have the most refined cuisine, but it does revolve and is the best place to see the views.
7 🚄Mürren to Grütschalp train
🚡Grütschalp to Lauterbrunnen cablecar (Book >)
🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 09:58
Dep: 10:13
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:11
Arr: 10:17
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Hotel Bella Vista (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Miss a connection? Not a problem. Trains in Switzerland are frequent.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Golf Hotel René Capt (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train (Book >) Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨Starling Residence Genève (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.
Budget Chillon Castle, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Youthhostel Zurich (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Using buses for some of your journeys means you can get a Swiss Travel Pass for 4 days of train travel and then a single additional train ticket to Geneva on day 9.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚌Zurich to Lucerne bus (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 10:40 🏨Barabas Luzern (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Äss-Bar is a new concept in Switzerland and is a chain of stores that collects bread and pastries just at the end of their sell-buy dates and sells on at low prices.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Youthhostel Grindelwald (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the take the 122 bus to the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
🏨Valley Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
After a beautiful journey hike to Trümmelbach Falls. If you can afford the fare, take the cable car to the lovely village of Mürren and on to the remarkable Schilthorn. Your hostel has a kitchen – save money by buying food in the Coop supermarket in town.
7 🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Youthhostel Zermatt (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. If you’re staying a few nights with Swiss Youth Hostels then consider membership which can save you money.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Youthhostel Montreux (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.

🇩🇪GERMANY

Neuschwanstein castle, GermanyThis is the sort of journey where you will sometimes feel as though you’re in a fairytale, with cute towns, waterfall-strewn mountains and beautiful castles everywhere. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Germany itinerary:

Luxury Cologne, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel am Steinplatz (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚄Berlin to Hamburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 11:24 🏨Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train (Book >) Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Excelsior Hotel Ernst (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hyatt Regency (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the train to Boppard from where you will embark on a wonderful cruise down the Rhine to Mainz. You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 Hire a car and spend the day exploring the Black Forest, starting out along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse road to Triberg Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Baden-Baden to Augsburg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 07:48
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 10:39
Arr: 12:55
🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train (Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨The Charles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚄Munich to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Berchtesgaden train (Book >)
Dep: 09:55
Dep: 11:40
Arr: 11:33
Arr: 12:28
🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚄Berchtesgaden to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Munich train (Book >)
Dep: 15:32
Dep: 16:24
Arr: 16:20
Arr: 18:06
🏨The Charles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.
Mid-range Munich, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Boutique Hotel i31 (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚄Berlin to Hamburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 11:24 🏨Hotel Volksschule (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Stern am Rathaus (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hotel Hammer (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the train to Boppard from where you will embark on a wonderful cruise down the Rhine to Mainz. You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Hotel Rebstock (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 Hire a car and spend the day exploring the Black Forest, starting out along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse road to Triberg Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Baden-Baden to Augsburg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 07:48
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 10:39
Arr: 12:55
🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨Aloft (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚄Munich to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Berchtesgaden train (Book >)
Dep: 09:55
Dep: 11:40
Arr: 11:33
Arr: 12:28
🏨Alpinhotel Berchtesgaden (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚄Berchtesgaden to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 15:32
Dep: 16:24
Arr: 16:20
Arr: 18:06
🏨Aloft (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.
Budget Berchtesgaden, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Grand Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚌Berlin to Hamburg bus (Book >) Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:45 🏨Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Köln – Riehl City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne to Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hotel Garni am Hechenberg (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the bus to Mainz You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Guesthouse Nathalie Leser (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 🚄Baden-Baden to Triberg train (Book >) Dep: 13:56 Arr: 15:02 🏨Hotel Adler(Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy more time in Baden-Baden before travelling to Triberg where you can hike up to a spectacular waterfall and see the world’s largest cuckoo clock. Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Triberg to Ulm train
🚄Ulm to Augsberg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 06:40
Dep: 10:12
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 09:41
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 12:55
🏨Old Kings Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨Wombats City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚌Munich to Berchtesgaden bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 10:20 🏨Hotel Rottl-sepp (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚌Berchtesgaden to Munich bus
(Book >)
Dep: 17:25 Arr: 20:25 🏨Wombats City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.

🇯🇴JORDAN

Petra, JordanA Middle Eastern marvel, Jordan offers many rewards for the intrepid traveller, all of which can be enjoyed in just 10 or 11 days. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Jordan itinerary:

Luxury Wadi Rum, Jordan
1 ✈To Amman (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Fairmont(Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival.
2 Wander around the cultured streets of Jabal Amman, then see Paris Square, Darat Al Funun and the Khalid Shoman Foundation in Jabal Al Weibdeh. Head to downtown and take a look at the Grand Husseini Mosque and impressive Amman Citadel. Here you’ll also find the famous Roman amphitheatre. You’ll be visiting a lot of tourist sites – save money by buying a Jordan Pass.
3 🚗Amman to Jerash drive
🚗Jerash to Wadi Musa (Petra)  drive (Book >)
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 10:00
Arr: 09:00
Arr: 13:45
🏨Hotel Mövenpick Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your driver and head north to the see the impressive Roman ruins of Jerash, then begin the journey to Wadi Musa. Relax until the mid-day sun eases off then start to explore the incredible ruins of Petra. Save the environment (and money) by using a filter water bottle and topping up from taps.
4 You’ll need a full day to see the rest of Petra’s sights. What not to miss: the water channels of Al-Siq, the Obelisk Tomb and Bab Al-Siq Triclinium, the famous Treasury, the High Palace of Sacrifice, the Urn Tomb and the Al-Deir monastery, at the top of 800 steps. Avoid riding donkeys in Petra – there are lots of scams and the animal welfare here is questionable.
5 🚗Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving after the heat of the day has died down gives you both the opportunity to see more of Petra in the morning as well as to explore the stupendous Wadi Rum in the comfortable heat of late afternoon. Camping in Wadi Rum can be cold between Nov and Mar – you may want to bring your own sleeping bag.
6 🚗Wadi Rum to Aqaba drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Chill out on Aqaba’s glorious Red Sea beaches. If taking a taxi make sure the drivers uses the meter.
7-8 Spend a couple more days on the beach, or use this opportunity to visit the magnificent marine wildlife on a diving or snorkelling trip. The Aqaba souk is a good place to get souvenirs, including tea, coffee and spices.
9 🚗Aqaba to Dana Biosphere Reserve drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Feynan Ecolodge (Book >) All hotels >
Dana Biosphere is the perfect place in which to hike amidst breathtaking landscapes. You will need a guide to do the White Dome Trail.
10 🚗Dana Biosphere Reserve to Sweimeh (Dead Sea) drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Float, cover yourself in mud, spend time in the spa…basically, enjoy an indulgent afternoon by the Dead Sea. Bring something to wear on your feet to and from the water.
11 🚗Sweimeh to Amman airport drive
✈Amman airport to home
Dep: 07:00
Morning
Arr: 08:00
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Jordan itinerary with the Western Turkey itinerary
Flights depart from 10:00.
Mid-range Aqaba, Jordan
1 ✈To Amman (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Amman International (Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival.
2 Wander around the cultured streets of Jabal Amman, then see Paris Square, Darat Al Funun and the Khalid Shoman Foundation in Jabal Al Weibdeh. Head to downtown and take a look at the Grand Husseini Mosque and impressive Amman Citadel. Take the bus from North Terminal to Jerash to see the impressive Roman ruins. You’ll be visiting a lot of tourist sites – save money by buying a Jordan Pass.
3 🚌Amman to Wadi Musa (Petra) bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 10:30 🏨B&b Petra Fig Tree Villa (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need a full day to see the rest of Petra’s sights. What not to miss: the water channels of Al-Siq, the Obelisk Tomb and Bab Al-Siq Triclinium, the famous Treasury, the High Palace of Sacrifice, the Urn Tomb and the Al-Deir monastery, at the top of 800 steps. Save the environment (and money) by using a filter water bottle and topping up from taps.
4 🚕Wadi Musa (Petra) to Wadi Rum bus Dep: 14:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Wadi Rum Beduland (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving after the heat of the day has died down gives you both the opportunity to see more of Petra in the morning as well as to then take a taxi to  explore the stupendous Wadi Rum in the comfortable heat of late afternoon. Camping in Wadi Rum can be cold between Nov and Mar – you may want to bring your own sleeping bag.
5 🚕Wadi Rum to Aqaba taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay(Book >) All hotels >
Chill out on Aqaba’s glorious Red Sea beaches. If taking a taxi make sure the drivers uses the meter.
6-7 Spend a couple more days on the beach, or use this opportunity to visit the magnificent marine wildlife on a diving or snorkelling trip. The Aqaba souk is a good place to get souvenirs, including tea, coffee and spices.
8 🚌Aqaba to Qurayqura bus
🚕Qurayqura to Dana Biosphere Reserve transfer
Dep: 12:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Feynan Ecolodge (Book >) All hotels >
Dana Biosphere is the perfect place in which to hike amidst breathtaking landscapes. Minibuses to Qurayqura leave from same station as buses to Amman/Petra. Check departure times at the station on the night of day 8. Contact the ecolodge to arrange transport from Qurayqura.
9 🚕Dana Biospehere Reserve to Sweimeh (Dead Sea) transfer Dep: 11:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Holiday Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Float, cover yourself in mud, spend time in the spa…basically, enjoy an indulgent afternoon by the Dead Sea. Arrange a transfer to the Dead Sea with the Feynan Ecolodge.
10 🚕Sweimeh to Amman airport taxi
✈Amman airport to home
Dep: 07:00
Morning
Arr: 08:00
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Jordan itinerary with the Western Turkey itinerary
Flights depart from 10:00.
Budget Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
1 ✈To Amman (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Nomads Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival.
2 Wander around the cultured streets of Jabal Amman, then see Paris Square, Darat Al Funun and the Khalid Shoman Foundation in Jabal Al Weibdeh. Take the bus from North Terminal to Jerash to see the impressive Roman ruins. You’ll be visiting a lot of tourist sites – save money by buying a Jordan Pass.
3 Take a day trip to the Dead Sea by catching a bus from Mujaharin bus station to Rame and then a cheap taxi to Amman Beach. Bring something to wear on your feet to and from the water.
4 🚌Amman to Wadi Musa (Petra) bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 10:30 🏨Rocky Mountain Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need a full day to see the rest of Petra’s sights. What not to miss: the water channels of Al-Siq, the Obelisk Tomb and Bab Al-Siq Triclinium, the famous Treasury, the High Palace of Sacrifice, the Urn Tomb and the Al-Deir monastery, at the top of 800 steps. As soon as you arrive in Petra, ask your hotel to help book the bus tomorrow to Wadi Rum – it’s important to book in advance.
5 🚌Wadi Musa (Petra) to Wadi Rum bus Dep: 06:30 Arr: 08:30 🏨Wadi Rum Beduland (Book >) All hotels >
Shelter from the heat at Wadi Rum with a mint teat, then explore the stupendous Wadi Rum in the comfortable heat of late afternoon. Contact Wadi Rum Beduland in advance for advice on where to meet. Camping in Wadi Rum can be cold between Nov and Mar – you may want to bring your own sleeping bag.
6 🚌Wadi Rum to highway junction bus
🚌Highway to Aqaba bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:00
Arr: 09:00
Arr: 11:00
🏨Cedar Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Buses to the highway leave between 08:30 and 09:00 and take 30 mins. At the highway you can wait for any bus or minibus to Aqaba, no more than 1 hour away. Chill out on Aqaba’s glorious Red Sea beaches in the afternoon. Save the environment (and money) by using a filter water bottle and topping up from taps.
7-8 Spend a couple more days on the beach, or use this opportunity to visit the magnificent marine wildlife on a diving or snorkelling trip. The Aqaba souk is a good place to get souvenirs, including tea, coffee and spices.
9 🚌Aqaba to Al-Qadisiya bus
🚕Al-Qadisiya to Dana Biosphere Reserve taxi
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 12:10
🏨Dana Moon (Book >) All hotels >
Take a minibus in the direction of Al-Tafilah and ask to get off at Al-Qadisiya, from where it’s a cheap taxi to Dana. Dana Biosphere is the perfect place in which to hike amidst breathtaking landscapes. Minibuses to Al-Tafileh leave from same station as buses to Amman/Petra. Check departure times at the station on the night of day 8.
10 🚕Dana Biospehere Reserve Al-Qadisiya taxi
🚌Al-Qadisiya to Amman bus
Dep: 11:30
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 11:40
Arr: 15:00
🏨Nomads Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a short walk in the reserve before journeying to Amman. Once in the city, head to downtown and take a look at the Grand Husseini Mosque and impressive Amman Citadel. Take whichever form of transport – bus or minibus – comes first otherwise you may wait a long time!
10 ✈Amman airport to home Dep:
Morning
Arr: Afternoon Connect this Jordan itinerary with the Western Turkey itinerary
Airport buses leave from various locations in Amman. More info here.

🇫🇷FRANCE

Paris, FranceFew countries offer as much to see as France. These itineraries capture the highlights, from must-see Paris, to ancient Carcassonne, to the vineyards of Bordeaux, to Côte d’Azur beaches to the snowy French Alps. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your France itinerary:

Luxury Carcassonne, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Maison Souquet (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Yndo Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Cour des Consuls Hôtel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel de la Cité (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Domaine de Verchant (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Le Mas d’Entremont (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Hermitage (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Hôtel Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hôtel Mont-Blanc (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Mid-range Code d'Azur, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Design Secret de Paris (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨L’ Hôtel Particulier (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨Mercure Toulouse Sud (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel Pont Levis (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Hôtel Eurociel Centre Comédie (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Renaissance Aix-en-Provence (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Colombus (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Parksaône (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Auberge Du Manoire (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Budget Chamonix, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨MIJE Fourcy (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Première Classe Chartres Barjouville (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Hostel 20 (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Petite Auberge de Saint-Sernin (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Millett Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Coeur Urbain Bedrooms (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Goclands (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:01 Arr: 11:10 🏨Meyerbeer Beach (Book >) All hotels >
Stroll along the beach and then visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Nice as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit Monte Carlo and the cliff top village of Eze.
12 🚌Nice to Lyon bus (Book >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 19:35 🏨Le Flâneur Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Chamonix Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon get up early and take the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica for stupendous views. After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.

🇨🇳CHINA

Shanghai, ChinaA massive country with a huge population and millennia of history – there’s a whole lot to see in fascinating and friendly China. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your China itinerary:

Luxury Great Wall Of China at Badaling
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Commune By The Great Wall (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Fairmont Peace (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨W Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Golden Summit Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi from Emeishan station to Baogou Temple and from there a bus to Leidong Ping. Here you can ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit and your hotel for the night. Take motion sickness tables for the bus, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 16:54 Arr: 18:15 🏨The Ritz Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Golden Summit and hikes nearby, then return to Leidong Ping via cable car and Baogou on the bus. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Niccolo (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Banyan Tree(Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The Upper House (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. If you want to get up to Victoria Peak quickly then hop in a taxi rather than catch the tram.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Mid-range Yangshuo, China
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel East (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Delight Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Le Méridien Minhang (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hotel Tang Dynasty West Market (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨Shimao Yuluxe (Book >) All hotels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Yangshuo Mountain Nest (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The T (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. If you want to get up to Victoria Peak quickly then hop in a taxi rather than catch the tram.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Budget Hong Kong
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Beijing Downtown Travelotel (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Great Wall Cao’S Courtyard Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take either metro line 4 to Beigongmen station or 10 to Bagou station and visit the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨The Phoenix (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train  (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hantang Inn (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨Xishu Garden Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Only Cafe And Backpacker (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise (book here) along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00. Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight  (Book >)
🚌Guilin to Yangshuo bus
Dep: Morning
Dep: 13:30/15:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 14:50/16:50
🏨The Stone Bridge Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Buy shuttle bus tickets from the ticket offices near the airport bus stops.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨Wontonmeen (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. Many Hong Kong museums are free to enter on Wednesdays.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.

🇵🇹PORTUGAL

Sintra, PortugalPortugal remains excellent value for money and, with this 8-day trip, you’re sure to come away with some wonderful memories. Read about how this Portugal itinerary was put together in The Plan Workshop. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Portugal itinerary:

Luxury Lisbon, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Avenida Palace (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Marmoris Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra to Lisbon Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Convento do Espinheiro (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨InterContinental Palacio das Cardosas (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Douro Valley, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Britania (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Bliss House (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Évora Olive Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Budget Porto, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Lisboa Central Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Hostel Nice Way (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Lisbon’s Bairro Alto is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Hostel Raymundo (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Lisbon then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Hostels Argonauta (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨The Luggage Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨Porto Spot Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. Café Majestic is a bit of a tourist trap, instead wander the side streets and stop in whichever takes your fancy.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Purple Metro Line E runs to the airport.