Central Europe has both enjoyed and shared a rich and varied history and today its cities and towns bear witness to the rise and fall of many glorious empires from the Romans to the Hapsburgs.
We include five of the finest and most historic capitals: Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna and Krakow. From the vineyards of Moravia to the mountains of Slovakia, there is also a host of mediaeval towns and protected villages to explore, including the beautifully-situated Czech town of Cesky Krumlov and the former mining town Banska Stiavnica.
The landscape is no less impressive, with the dramatic Tatra Mountains and the beautiful parks and scenery of Moravia. These act as a stunning backdrop to palaces and castles, as well as providing an opportunity for some lovely gentle walks.
The wonderful concentration of tradition, proud cultures and unforgettable landscapes make this a fascinating and varied journey through the heart of Europe.
What makes this trip responsible?
We have established a long term partnership with a local operator, who is committed to promoting tourism as a means of income throughout Central Europe, in particular to the rural communities of Slovakia and the Czech Republic. As such, outside of big cities, we stay in locally-run accommodation, and use local guides and transport companies.
Countries visited: Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
Fly to Prague.
Full day in Prague, with guided sightseeing and free time.
Transfer to historic town of Cesky Krumlov, characterised by cobbled streets, squares and a beautiful chateau.
Visit Telc with its Renaissance architecture; on to Znojmo with its cliff top castle then transfer to Mikulov in the winegrowing area of Moravia.
Sightseeing in the mediaeval town of Mikulov; drive to Lednice in southern Moravia and visit the castle and extensive gardens; transfer to Skalica.
Visit the royal town of Skalica and the black kitchen of the Franciscan monastery with cake tasting; on to outdoor museum village of Straznice, then to Petrov and visit Plze wine cellars for wine tasting; transfer to Bratislava.
Sightseeing in Bratislava; chance to visit the castle and old town; evening transfer to Vienna.
Full day sightseeing including guided tour and free time; optional evening music concert.
Transfer to historic town of Sopron in Hungary; after lunch transfer to Szentendre for guided sightseeing, on to Budapest.
Guided sightseeing of Budapest with some free time.
To the High Tatra Mountains, stopping en route at Banska Stiavnica and UNESCO village of Vlkolinec, an outdoor living museum; visit Strbske Pleso Lake (1346m) before continuing to Smokovec.
Free day in the mountains; the High Tatras National Park is one of the best in Europe, filled with mountain lakes, waterfalls and glacial valleys and home to marmots, eagles and bears; evening transfer to Krakow.
Morning guided tour of Poland's finest mediaeval city, visiting Old Market, Mariacki Church and Jewish quarter.
Fly to London.