ESSENTIAL FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, ITALY

11 days

A journey from Paris, the city of lights, through Burgundy wine country and Lyon, on to Geneva, Lake Como, Verona, and Lake Garda, with a grand finale in Venice.

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  • Capped at 20 guests.
  • From $6,495. Prices are based on double occupancy.
  • Single supplement: $1,399.

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Day 1: Arrive in Paris, France

  • Arrive in Paris where you’ll be transferred to your hotel.
  • Welcome briefing.
  • Welcome dinner hosted by Rudy Maxa.
  • After dinner, join Rudy for an evening walking tour of Paris.
  • Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel 5*
  • Meals: Dinner at the Renaissance Paris Vendome.

Day 2: Paris – Choose one

  • Tour 1: In the morning, set off on a tour of the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe. Stop for lunch at the original Laduree on the Champs-Elysees before spending the afternoon at the Louvre. End the day at Notre Dame.
  • Tour 2: Start the day at the Catacombs of Paris before a visit to the Pantheon. Lunch will be on the canals in La Vilette, before taking a cruise back to Paris past La Bastille, on to the Seine, past Notre Dame and the Louvre, ultimately reaching the Musee d’Orsay.
  • Tour 3: Today you’ll embark on a day trip to the Palace of Versailles, taking in the opulence of the estate and exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover how French Royals lived, take a tour of the chateau, and see the glittering Hall of Mirrors. After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque and expansive gardens before heading back to Paris. 
  • Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch. Dinner at Le Comptoir du Relais.

Day 3: From Paris to Burgundy

  • After breakfast, head to the train station to take the 200 mph TGV train to Dijon.
  • A journey through Burgundy. Enjoy lunch al fresco at a vineyard, and visit some of the world’s most renowned vineyards including Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanee.
  • End the day in the capital of Burgundy, Beaune.
  • Hotel Le Cep, Beaune 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch. Dinner at Le Cellier Volnaysien, Volnay.

Day 4: Burgundy to Lyon – Choose one

  • Tour 1: Start the morning with a visit to l’Hotel Dieu, an old hospital, before heading to the Aroma Room to test your senses, and then to an old school wine barrel factory. The tour through wine country continues after lunch with a visit to famous Chateau Pommard, and to Montrachet, where some of the best white wine in the world is made. Arrive late afternoon in the gastronomy capital of the world, Lyon.
  • Tour 2: Take a leisurely day wine cruise on a barge through Burgundy, and arrive late afternoon in the gastronomy capital of the world, Lyon.
  • Lyon Marriott Hotel Cité Internationale 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Le Bouchon des Filles.
  • Optional dinner: 6-course meal at 3-star Michelin restaurant Paul Bocuse: €180 excluding wine; wine package at €60 per person.

Day 5: Lyon to Geneva – Choose one

  • Tour 1: Start the morning with a walking tour of Place Bellecour, followed by a visit to Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse. In the afternoon, let starred chefs teach you how to cook gourmet meals at the L’Atelier des Sens.
  • Tour 2: Start the morning with a walking tour of Parc de la Tête d’or, followed by a visit to the Museum of contemporary art. After lunch, visit the famous sites of Vieux Lyon with the Lyon Cathedral and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviére.
  • Late afternoon, take a scenic drive across the Swiss border to Geneva.
  • Hotel President Wilson or Ritz Carlton de la Paix 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, or Arabesque for vegetarians.

Day 6: Geneva to Interlaken – Choose one

  • Tour 1: Take a morning stroll through the center of Geneva, including the famous Cathedrale Saint-Pierre before boarding La Suisse, the most beautiful steamboat in the world. Lunch will be served onboard. The cruise does multiple stops before getting to Lausanne. In Lausanne, take a walk around town before visiting The Olympic Museum.
  • Tour 2: Spend the morning visiting the large Geneva park area with the Botanical Garden, Ariana Museum, The Red Cross Museum, and Palais des Nations. Lunch will be served on the lake with magnificent views of Jet d’Eau. In the afternoon, take a walking tour of Geneva before a private visit to the Patek Phillipe Museum, which hosts an extraordinary collection of watchmaking masterpieces. Late afternoon, take a drive between the Swiss Alps to Interlaken.
  • Hotel Bellevue Interlaken 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Restaurant Bären.

Day 7: Top of Europe to Lake Como

  • Ascend to the top of Europe via the highest railway in Europe that goes up to 11,332 feet. Delight in the breathtaking views before a drive through Switzerland across the Italian border, arriving at Lake Como in the late afternoon.
  • Sheraton Lake Como Hotel 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Raimondi’s.

Day 8: Lake Como to Lake Garda

  • Discover all the famous spots around Lake Como, including a visit to Bellagio, Villa del Balbianello.
  • After lunch, hop on the boat and explore the picture perfect towns of Como.
  • In the afternoon, take a drive to Lake Garda and the castle town of Sirmione.
  • Hotel Sirmione 4* or Grand Hotel Terme 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at La Nueva Botte.

Day 9: Sirmione and surrounding areas – Choose one

  • Tour 1: Take a break from the busy program in the morning with a leisurely breakfast followed by some pool time. Around lunch time, take a boat ride to nearby Dezensano. You can spend the afternoon at the Spa or take a walking tour of Sirmione with a visit to the ruins and the castle.
  • Tour 2: Hop in your very own convertible for the day and explore the area.
  • Tour 3: Take a group tour around the area, you can drive your own convertible or ride in one of our luxury SUVs or Vans. Visit Verona in the morning with the famous Arena Verona, see Juliet’s Balcony before heading back to Lake Garda for lunch in Torri del Benaco. Visit quaint towns and also stop in wine country to sample some Amarone at Zenato.
  • Tour 4: Take a day trip to Bologna, the food capitol of Italy. We’ll hop on the 200 mph Frecciarossa high-speed train and do a food tour of Bologna and see the famous spots.
  • Hotel Sirmione 4* or Grand Hotel Terme 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Ristorante Risorgimento.

Day 10: Venice – 2 tours to choose from

  • After an early breakfast, say farewell to Rudy Maxa’s drivers and most of the logistics teams as you hop on the 200 mph Frecciarossa high-speed train to Venice.
  • Meet your local guides at the Venice train station, where your bags will be brought to the hotel while you explore the city.
  • There will be two tour options; one for those who have not visited before and one for those that have visited Venice before. The tours will be freestyle with Venice locals including highlights such as: Rialto, Marco Polo’s house, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Aqua Alta, Wine tasting and Cicchetti Osterie visits, Museum Correr, the fish market, a gondola repair shop, and Venice Casino.
  • In the late afternoon, you can choose between a visit to the Murano glass factory or a trip to Lido de Venezia.
  • Hotel Danieli 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner at Terrazza Danieli hosted by Rudy Maxa.
  • After dinner, take in an evening at the opera: Musica a Palazzo presents La Traviata (9:30 – 11:30 PM)

Day 11: Venice

  • Spend the morning visiting Gallerie dell’Accademia, Doge Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the San Marco Campanile.
  • End the journey at magical San Marco’s Square with lunch at the mythical Caffe Florian.
  • Check out from Hotel Danieli at 2PM.

 

* Restaurants and Hotels are subject to change to equal or better

* Rudy Maxa will personally join all or parts of all journeys in 2019

THE RUDY MAXA DIFFERENCE

When you let The Original Savvy Traveler arrange your trip through Europe, you are guaranteed peace of mind. Rudy Maxa’s team provides personal service and assistance from booking all the way through your journey.

What’s included:

 

  • Welcome package with luggage tags, tour information, and a personal gift from Rudy Maxa.
  • An exclusive experience with a small group (maximum of 20 guests.)
  • Rudy Maxa’s expert team lead by his Group Director will make your trip seamless, and magical. In addition to the team traveling with you, known and approved local guides with extensive knowledge will be show guests around.
  • The freedom to choose between multiple excursions and programs.
  • All tours, admissions, and entertainment.
  • Airport arrival meet and greet with transportation to the first host hotel.
  • Upscale, handpicked hotels inspected and approved by Rudy Maxa’s team.
  • All meals, including an upscale restaurant every night inspected and approved by Rudy Maxa’s team.
  • Luggage Butler Service: leave your bags in your hotel room in the morning and find them waiting in your room at your next hotel.
  • Transportation between cities in smaller luxury vehicles, high speed trains, or by air.
  • All gratuities.