🇮🇳SOUTHERN INDIA

Hampi, IndiaFrom the sublime backwaters of Kerala, to wildlife wonderlands, to ancient cities and perfect beaches – this two-week journey will give you memories to last a lifetime. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Southern India itinerary:

Luxury Kerala, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour  (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚕Kochi to Alleppey taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Book a taxi through your hotel and join your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take some insect repellant with you.
4 🚕Alleppey to Mettupalayam drive (Book >) Dep: 12:30 Arr: 19:00 🏨Kurumba Village Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before meeting your driver and heading to the foothills of Nilgiri hills. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 12:00 🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚕Ooty to Nagarhole National Park drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive through more plantations and spectacular views – asking your driver to stop whenever you wish – on your way to Nagarhole National Park. Settle in to your hotel then join the 15:30 jeep safari into the park. Visit TripSavvy for a guide on how much to tip your driver.
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 road and river safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚕Nagarhole National Park to Mysore taxi Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Radisson Blu Plaza
(Book >)
All hotels >
Your hotel can help arrange your taxi to Mysore. Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction here. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Remember to dress modestly when visiting temples.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨WelcomHeritage Shivavilas Palace (Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Taj Exotica Goa (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Mid-range Hampi, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take some insect repellant with you.
4 🚌Alleppey to Coimbatore bus (Book >) Dep: 15:20 Arr: 21:00 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before heading to bustling Coimbatore. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨Dhole’s Den Bandipur (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty  may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Lok Sagar Mysore Palace
(Book >)
All hotels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Capital O 41723 Shree International(Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨FabExpress Vagator Cottage (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Budget Goa, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Kevins Placid Homestay (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for an 11:30 departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Don’t forget to take insect repellant.
4 🚄Alleppey to Coimbatore train(Book >) Dep: 10:15 Arr: 15:27 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hotels >
Glide to the end of your houseboat journey then board the train to Coimbatore. Your hotel is near the Karpagam Cinema – going to see a Bollywood film can be great fun. This train only departs on Fridays. See here for other train times.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. If you use IRCTC you’ll need to register before buying a ticket on their site. I highly recommend buying train tickets in advance.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨OYO 38131 Bandipur Khans Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Treebo Trend Akshaya Mahal Inn
(Book >)
All hotels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Capital O 41723 Shree International(Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >)
🚌Madgaon to Panjim bus
Dep: 06:20
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 17:00
🏨Menezes House (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Spend a night amidst the wonderful old buildings of Panjim, including Singbal’s Book House. When you arrive in Madgaon take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the KTC Bus terminus from where there are frequent services to Panjim.
12 🚕Panjim to Anjuna Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:00 🏨FabExpress Vagator Cottage (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Spend a night amidst the wonderful old buildings of Panjim, including Singbal’s Book House. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
13-14 Spend a couple of days unwinding on the beach before heading home. Be very wary of strong rip currents when in the sea
15-16 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.

🇬🇷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.

🇭🇺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.

🇵🇪PERU

Winay Wayna, PeruYes, Machu Picchu is incredible. Yes, Lake Titicaca is breathtaking. Yes, you absolutely should visit Peru. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Peru itinerary:

Luxury Lake Titicaca, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Swissôtel Lima (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚄Cusco to Aguas Calientes train (Book >) Dep: 08:25 Arr: 12:11 🏨Hotel Sumaq Machu Picchu (Book >) All hotels >
The train journey to Aguas Calientes is spectacular – you’ll travel along the Sacred Valley, besides the mighty Urubamba river. Arrive in time for a first visit to the famous Machu Picchu. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6 🚄Aguas Calientes Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo  to Cusco bus (Book >)
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see Machu Picchu, making sure you walk beyond the site to the Sun Gate and, in the other direction, to the Inca Bridge. Try to get a seat on the left-hand side of the train from Cusco (and on the right back to Cusco).
7 🚄Cusco to Puno train (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 23:30 🏨On train (Book >)
Your luxury Peru Rail train (which only departs on Thursdays) will whisk you to ruins and high passes on the way to Puno. The train package includes meals and drinks.
8 🚄Puno to Sarachocha train Dep: 06:00 Arr: 19:30 🏨On train (Book >)
Today you’ll visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands. The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
9 🚄Sarachocha to KM93 train
🚕KM93 to Colca Canyon transfer
Dep: 06:45
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:30
Arr:
🏨Hotel Belmond Las Casitas (Book >) All hotels >
On the way south you’ll stop off at the prehistoric Sumbay Caves. Your hotel can help arrange a transfer to Colca Canyon where you can take a trip to see the condor soaring over this impressive landscape. Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
10 🚕Colca Canyon to Arequipa (Book >) taxi
✈Arequipa to Lima flight (Book >)
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 19:00
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 21:30
🏨Swissôtel Lima (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy an afternoon in the lovely city of Arequipa. The Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
11-12 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (consider adding an extra day)
Mid-range Colca Canyon, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Tierra Viva Miraflores Mendiburu (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚐Cusco to KM 82 bus Dep: 05:30 Arr: 08:30 🏨Camping
Book your Inca Trail hike a long time in advance (I recommend Inca Trail Reservations). An early start to commence your walk on which, before long, you’ll be passing breathtaking views of incredible Incan ruins. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6-7 Day two of the hike begins with the arduous climb up to Dead Woman’s Pass. The campsite on the other side is both remote and spectacular. Day three starts with another short climb, but then passes ruins and has incredible views across to mountains and forested valleys. The highlight of today is the Wiñay Wayna ruin. Altitude sickness is a real risk here (day two of the Inca Trail is particularly challenging) – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
8 🚄Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo to Cusco bus
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Awake before sunrise and finish the Inca Trail hike at the Sun Gate. Summon a but more energy to continue on to the Inca Bridge and then enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. The train journey to Ollantaytambo is a highlight and will be included in your tour. Try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the train from Cusco for the best views.
9 🚄Cusco to Puno train (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 17:50 🏨Hotel Tierra Vivo Puno Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
Your luxury Peru Rail train (which only departs on three times a week) will whisk you through captivating landscapes on the way to Puno. The train price includes meals and drinks.
10 Today visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands (arrange your tour in advance). The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
11 🚌Puno to Chivay bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 12:15 🏨Casa Andina Standard Colca (Book >) All hotels >
Today’s journey stops at the lakes of Lagunillas, the national reserve of Aguada Blanca and the 4,900 metre-high Andes Viewpoint. Chivay is in Colca Canyon and when you arrive you can go and look for condor or relax in the La Calera hot springs Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
12 🚌Chivay to Arequipa bus (Book >) Dep: 13:15 Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel Katari At Plaza De Armas (Book >) All hotels >
More time to spot condor, go horse riding or enjoy a hike in Colca Canyon before driving on to Arequipa. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
13 🚌Arequipa to Nazca bus (Book >) Dep: 15:30 Arr: 23:30 🏨Casa Hacienda Nasca Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
14 🚌Nazca to Lima bus (Book >) Dep: 15:40 Arr: 22:21 🏨Tierra Viva Miraflores Mendiburu (Book >) All hotels >
There’s one main reason you’re here: to see the mysterious Nazca Lines. Reserve your flight here. The flights can cause upset stomachs – take motion sickness tablets if you need.
15-16 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (consider adding an extra day)
Budget Lima, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Orchid Hostels (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Cusco Packers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚐Cusco to KM 82 bus Dep: 05:30 Arr: 08:30 🏨Camping
Book your Inca Trail hike a long time in advance (I recommend Inca Trail Reservations). An early start to commence your walk on which, before long, you’ll be passing breathtaking views of incredible Incan ruins. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6-7 Day two of the hike begins with the arduous climb up to Dead Woman’s Pass. The campsite on the other side is both remote and spectacular. Day three starts with another short climb, but then passes ruins and has incredible views across to mountains and forested valleys. The highlight of today is the Wiñay Wayna ruin. Altitude sickness is a real risk here (day two of the Inca Trail is particularly challenging) – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
8 🚄Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo to Cusco bus
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Cusco Packers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Awake before sunrise and finish the Inca Trail hike at the Sun Gate. Summon a but more energy to continue on to the Inca Bridge and then enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. The train journey to Ollantaytambo is a highlight and will be included in your tour. Try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the train from Cusco for the best views.
9 🚌Cusco to Puno bus (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 15:30 🏨Cozy Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the captivating landscapes on the way to Puno. Take a look at these useful Peru bus travel tips.
10 Today visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands (arrange your tour in advance). The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
11 🚌Puno to Chivay bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 12:15 🏨Colca River (Book >) All hotels >
Today’s journey stops at the lakes of Lagunillas, the national reserve of Aguada Blanca and the 4,900 metre-high Andes Viewpoint. Chivay is in Colca Canyon and when you arrive you can go and look for condor or relax in the La Calera hot springs Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
12 🚌Chivay to Arequipa bus (Book >) Dep: 13:15 Arr: 16:30 🏨Wild Rover Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time to spot condor, go horse riding or enjoy a hike in Colca Canyon before driving on to Arequipa. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
13 🚌Arequipa to Nazca bus (Book >) Dep: 15:30 Arr: 23:30 🏨Nasca Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
14 🚌Nazca to Lima bus (Book >) Dep: 15:40 Arr: 22:21 🏨Pariwana Hostel Lima(Book >) All hotels >
There’s one main reason you’re here: to see the mysterious Nazca Lines. Reserve your flight here. The flights can cause upset stomachs – take motion sickness tablets if you need.
15-16 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (your hostel is located in a different area to day 1).

🇩🇪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.

🇫🇷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
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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
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🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
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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
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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
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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.