France is the world’s number one tourist destination, and it’s certainly not hard to see why.
From Paris with its vast amount of cultural history, amazing monuments and architecture, to the beauty of the French Riviera and the stunning region of Burgundy, France has it all.
You can explore the Mont Saint-Michel and the historical Normandy beaches in the north, and the medieval citadel of Carcassone and ancient Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard that crosses the Gardon River in the south.
Expat Explore has many coach tours that visit Paris. See the Champs Elysees and famous Arc de Triomphe, visit the the Louvre Museum or infamous catacombs. Enjoy a cruise up the River Seine, Climb the Eiffel Tower and explore the many museums, galleries, boulevards and restaurants, as far as places to go, the ‘City of Lights’ is truly a remarkable experience not to be missed.
Germany sits central at the heart of Europe and boasts stunning rural scenery and natural landscapes dotted with historical architecture. The Rhine Valley is a picturesque glacial alpine valley that cuts between enchanting hillside castles and rolling vineyards.
See the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace seated on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria. You have to see it to believe it as this extraordinary castle takes you to a world of fantasy and fairy tales.
The magical countryside is contrasted by urban cities which are steeped in thousands of years of history. This urban culture reflects a dynamic and creative force that can be seen in cities such as Berlin and Munich. Berlin has an enticing mixture of history and contemporary culture, so you can witness the historical Berlin Wall while enjoying the bustling cutting edge social scene.
The Netherlands is one of the most unique if not smallest countries in Europe, and is recognized by its many canals and iconic windmills.
It may be small, but it has also provided considerable power and influence over the years. In the 17th century, the Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major economic powers, excelling in science and the military. The Dutch also had considerable cultural influence which can be seen in its legacy of master painters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, and is well known for its artistic heritage and bustling nightlife. You can visit the Van Gogh museum and Rembrandt House museum there and see the truly wonderful work of these great artists, or take a trip down one of its many canals to see the true spirit of the city.
If the countryside is more your thing, why not take a trip to the famous Keukenhof Tulip Garden, and be blown away by the outstanding beauty of the place, especially in spring. Whatever your preference, the Netherlands will have something for everyone, and is a truly inspirational place to be.
In the heart of central Europe lies the outstanding beauty of Switzerland, home to numerous enchanting lakes and valleys, and the founder of the intricate Swiss watch. Sample the famous cheese fondue and indulge in the finest Swiss chocolate, arguably the best in the world.
Switzerland is also known for its alpine peaks and glaciers, especially the 11,400 feet Jungfraujoch which is one of the highest peaks in Europe and one of most famous landmarks in the world. Take a train ride up to the peak and witness breathtaking views.
Visit the beautiful Lake Lucerne, which can be found in central Switzerland, and embark on a boat cruise on either an elegant salon motor vessel or historic paddle wheel steamer.
Last but not least Italy, what isn’t there to love about Italy – a truly extraordinary place!
As well as boasting the famous Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy also has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world!
Home to the Pope and the Catholic church, Rome has more than its fair share of beautiful architecture and incredible history. Explore the Vatican city and see the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, or wonder at the beautiful Saint Mark’s Basilica.
Explore Venice, famous for its canals, gondolas and amazing festival; visit the Leaning tower of Pisa, or bask in the glory of Florence. The Romans surely did leave a wealth of legacies to behold.
Immense yourself in the Italian culture with Expat Explore on one of their regional coach tours of Italy, and enjoy a holiday of a lifetime.
A fully packaged popular coach tour can really tick all the boxes when deciding on a well deserved break. Sometimes though, a more laid back and intimate experience is what people need, something a bustling coach tour just can’t provide.
Well, there are touring companies out there that can fill that need, companies like Back-Roads Touring who are experts in small group and tailor made touring holidays. With their small group size tours, they offer a unique range of fascinating and leisurely regional tours throughout the UK and Europe.
With Back-Roads Touring, the journey is just as important as the destination, so you get to travel along the beautiful back roads, enjoying spectacular scenery and exploring hidden gems all along the way.
What’s more, you will also experience specially selected accommodation loaded with charm and home comforts, dine at the local restaurants sitting amongst the locals, meet traditional local producers and mingle with local characters.
This is the Back-Roads Difference!
Maximum Group Size of 18
For most Back-Roadstours there is a maximum of 18 passengers, which allows the professional tour leaders to offer a more personalised experience.
This in turn enables more attention given to the interests of individuals, flexible touring days and a less obtrusive style of touring.
Less people means more intimate hotels and restaurants with local charm and character can be selected.
Explore the world’s most famous botanic garden – Kew Gardens, and immense yourself in the wonderful landscapes, astonishing historic buildings and glasshouses, and a vast range of beautiful and rare plants.
Witness the glorious awakening of spring beauty and surround yourself with the stunning colours of the rainbow which are erupting around you.
The Kew Gardens are particularly enchanting in spring when flowers start to come alive and take over the gardens.
Not to miss is the Cherry Walk when in bloom, the Davies Alpine house with its displays of unusual and exotic bulbs, the magnificent magnolias and of course, the bluebells which carpet the Woodland area at Kew in April and May.
An outstanding example of French garden design, Versailles’ vast gardens are notably famous for stunning tree-lined paths, ingenious geometrically aligned terraces and magical ponds, fountains and canals. The Versailles Chateau Gardens cover in excess of 800 hectares of land and were designed by the landscape architect Andre Le Notre.
One of the main focal points of the garden are the 50 fountains which come to life from late spring to early autumn. Other features include the horses and chariot of the Apollo Fountain and the Grand Canal, amazing sculptures and the Orangerie.
The splendour of the gardens are at their best in the spring and summer where you can wander all day long soaking up the wonderful surroundings of water features, sculptures and enchanting flowers.
A Renaissance cardinal, Ippolito II d’Este, brought this extraordinary Italian garden to life by first starting the transformation of a dilapidated Benedictine monastery into what Villa d’Este is today.
This recently listed UNESCO wonder has one of the most enchanting and fascinating garden and fountain complexes in the world, built in the mannerist and baroque styles.
You can find the large shell-shaped Fontana del Bicchierone, the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains and the Rometta fountain which has a wolf-suckling Romulus and Remus.
With its vast array of fountains and grottoes, nymphs and bewitching water features, the gardens of the Villa d’Este is an experience not to be missed.
The Sanssouci Palace was commissioned by Frederick the Great in 1744 and built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff in the Rococo design. The style of architecture became known as “Frederician Rococo” because of the King’s considerable influence.
You can stroll around the beautiful gardens and take in the impressive architecture of Sanssouci Palace as well as the many temples and follies in the park.
Sanssouci and its extensive gardens became a public museum in East Germany after World War II, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
Walk through this beautiful landscape and see the vision the King saw.
The Butchart Gardens were created by Jennie Butchart in 1921 and are filled with excess of 700 varieties of extraordinary plants that bloom from March to October.
This visually outstanding garden has to be seen to be believed. Every corner of this magnificent place bombards your senses, from the fountains to the bronze statues, the Rose Carousel to the many ornamental birds, all lit up at night with illuminations.
This enchanting place will leave you wanting more, not just in spring , but through all the seasons of the year.
Châteaux, chic beach resorts, cheese and wine – all you want to see and taste in France. But this in-depth experience also peels back the layers to reveal the soul of this great country.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… learning the strategic importance of Carcassonne’s double ring of ramparts with its 52 towers from our local historian, and why the fortified town made such a good backdrop for the film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.
Local Specialists are local people such as dancers, archaeologists, geologists and artisans who can provide you with the information to take you deeper into the local culture. They allow you to see things in a fresh and vital way and supply you with fresh insights and anecdotes to make your trip memorable.
For example, if you’re in Amsterdam, they’ll take you to the Royal Delft Pottery workshop to witnes porcelain being hand-painted by expert artisans. Similarly, when you to visit Seville, you get the chance to learn flamenco dancing.
Discovering six countries, this introduction to Europe compares its big players, France and Germany, and their smaller neighbours, Switzerland and The Netherlands.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… smelling sawdust in the air as German clockmakers craft cuckoo clocks in front of you, in a fairy tale Black Forest setting that feels like it’s straight from a Hansel and Gretel pop-up book.
A Coach Tour of Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, Switze…
Some of the hotels on a Trafalgar tour capture local culture in a way that’s entirely unique and are truly ‘Authentic Accommodation’; there’s nothing like waking up in a place that is steeped in history.
Ruthin Castle is a beautiful historical retreat nestled in acres of parkland in North Wales. Indulge yourself with exquisite dining, experience a Medieval Feast and unwind in the distinctive spa which rests beside the rustic woodland grounds of The Castle’s original moat.
Castles, Crown Jewels and Harry Potter – this classic family experience introduces the history, mystery and magic of England, Wales and Scotland.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… entering a red telephone box to imagine Harry Potter’s descent to the Ministry of Magic, and finding Platform 9¾ as you search for the Hogwarts Express with an expert at this famous train station.
“When in Rome do as the Romans do”. Likewise, when travelling anywhere, do as the locals do to gain a true insight into their culture and what they enjoy doing.
So, for example, in Italy Trafalgar will take you to the Vatican’s Bramante staircase, a spiral of carved stone which is usually out of bounds to the general public.
Likewise, when visiting Barcelona, as well as seeing Gaudi’s incredible buildings and sculptures, Trafalgar will take you to Camp Nou – FC Barcelona’s football stadium, for an experience of a totally different kind.
Embrace cultural insights on the Spanish Wonder tour.
TRAVELKR / Pixabay – Gaudi’s incredible buildings and sculptures
Explore every side of Andalusia, including its Moorish twist, and visit the principal Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville and Barcelona – with passionate experts on every encounter.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… exploring Toledo’s ancient cobbled streets with a local historian, who leads you into the cool tranquillity of the Church of Tomé to reveal the hidden meaning behind El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz.
Trafalgar’s desire to discover more has unearthed many Hidden Treasures that they’ll share with you. You might see an intriguing building that’s off the beaten path or a lesser-known piece of artwork with a unique story to tell.
In Warsaw, Poland, hear about the heroic history behind the Little Insurgent and discover a story that helps you understand what the city and its people are all about.
The major capitals of Eastern Europe are encountered on this multi-country trip – showing you the contrasts and nuances between the places that once lay either side of the Iron Curtain.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… being welcomed into Europe’s capital cities by people who live there – and experiencing its traditional rural life, by returning to nature for two nights at Slovenia’s scenic Lake Bled.
A Coach Tour of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Pol…