Here are some great discovery trips in Europe you can do before Christmas


November is a great time to be in Europe - if there were any crowds at all this summer, they are definitely absent now. And while the weather is cool, especially in the south it is pleasant enough to spend your time outdoors.


Below you will find the best small-group tours, river cruises and privately guided tours in Europe. If you prefer active trips, you can find them here.



Iceland Northern Lights Adventure

Small Group Holiday

6 days from CA$1705

Nature in Iceland is designed to make you feel small - volcanoes covered by ice loom over a verdant green coastline, glaciers grind their way to the ocean, geysers erupt and the northern lights dance in the sky. This adventure tour of Iceland has you discover all of this and more!



Best of Iceland

Small Group Holiday

10 days from CA$4379

Iceland is raw, restless nature, stunning scenery, wonderful food and great people. Visit the original Geysir, the Viking parliament at Thingvellir and waterfalls like spectacular Gullfoss. Enjoy the beautiful coastline, the icy glaciers and the ever-present volcanoes and mountains and witness the Northern Lights in winter or the endless days of summer in this island paradise.



Explore the Baltic Republics - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Small Group Holiday

12 days from CA$2479

The three Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania share a common history but each of them is quite different. On this trip you will discover the capitals Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, along with beautiful old town like Kaunas, beautiful scenery at Lahemaa and the dunes and beaches of the Curonian Spit. Then there are oddities such as crusader castles, the Hill of Crosses and a Soviet ballistic missile launch complex. This tour shows you all the highlights of these three fascinating countries.


Discover Classical Greece

Small Group Holiday

9 days from CA$3049

After a full day in Athens, during which we explore the Acropolis and Plaka, we travel via the Corinth Canal to ancient Corinth, one of the major cities in antiquity. Via the archaeological site of Mycenae we reach Nafplio, with its Venetian fortress, followed by Epidavros with its Theatre of Epidaurus, one of the greatest monuments of ancient Greece.

From Sparta we visit the UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site of Mystras, originally a a Frankish fortress and home to some beautiful Byzantine churches. After little-known Messene, we visit Pylos Castle with its museum dedicated to underwater archaeology before travelling to Olympia, host to the first Olympic Games and one of the most important religious centres of Ancient Greece.

A holiday in Greece wouldn't be complete without a visit to the fantastic UNESCO Worldwide Heritage Site of Delphi or the monasteries of Meteora. The latter lie perched on top of 400 metre high sandstone cliffs and are a sight to behold. Our adventure tour of Greece ends back in the capital Athens.



Best of Italy

Small Group Holiday

14 days from CA$4999

Italy, Oh Italy - land of la Vita Bella! Where style and flair live next to Michelangelo and Bellini. Where ancient Roman ruins stand next to Renaissance churches. Where picturesque hilltop towns look over verdant vineyards. Where good food and wine are a way of life.

From the canals of Venice to the museums and churches of Rome and from the renaissance treasures of Florence to the stunning Amalfi Coast, this tour shows you all the highlights of Italy in a 2-week holiday.



River cruise on the Danube - Germany to Budapest

Small-Ship Cruise

8 days from CA$3362

Discover the magic of Central Europe on this cruise along the Danube from southern Germany via the Wachau and Vienna in Austria to Budapest in Hungary. Monasteries, castles, pretty towns and dramatic scenery vie for your attention. Combine this with stellar dining, a menu of excellent excursions (including cycling, hiking and wine tasting), and you have a wonderful cruise through the heart of Europe.



River Cruise on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam

Small-Ship Cruise

8 days from CA$4090

Take a river cruise from Basel in Switzerland along the Rhine through Germany and France to Amsterdam in the Netherlands (or vice versa), and explore vibrant cities, beautiful castles and charming villages. Combine this with stellar dining, a menu of excellent excursions (including cycling, hiking and wine tasting), and you have a wonderful cruise through the heart of Europe.



River cruise on Portugal's Douro river

Small-Ship Cruise

8 days from CA$4858

The terraced vineyards of Portugal's Douro Valley invite you to visit wineries and taste the sweet, fortified wine, Port, or the intense red Barca Velha. On this return sailing between Porto and the western region of Spain you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of one of Europe's best-preserved riverscapes.



River cruise in France - Rhône and Provence

Small-Ship Cruise

8 days from CA$5114

Sailing from Lyon, France’s culinary capital, to Avignon (or vice versa), you will encounter the best of Provence. From vibrant cities to small villages, from colourful landscapes to beautiful vineyards, where classic wines such as local vintages like Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône are produced, this river cruise will truly give you a taste of France's good life. Trace the steps of famous artists in Arles, visit the Palais des Papes, the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct, or the medieval hilltop village, Les Baux de Provence. Combine this with stellar dining, a menu of excellent excursions (including cycling, hiking and wine tasting), and you have a cruise that is hard to beat.


River cruise on the Danube - Romania to southern Germany

Small-Ship Cruise

15 days from CA$8179

From well beyond the old Iron Curtain, this river cruise will show you all the gems of South Eastern Europe. Travel through lands once occupied by the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires. Monasteries, castles, wine-growing regions, towns lost in time and dramatic scenery vie for your attention. Combine this with stellar dining, a menu of excellent excursions (including cycling, hiking and wine tasting), and you have a wonderful cruise through the heart of Europe.



Private Russia - A Tailor-Made Journey to the Land of the Czars

Private Journey

10 days from US$8895

Travel to Russia on this luxury tailor-made journey covering the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg in amazing detail. In Moscow you will visit not only the Kremlin’s cathedrals, State Armory, Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral but also several museums, including the Tretyakov Gallery.

After a high-speed train journey to St. Petersburg, you will get to know this city intimately. Visit the Hermitage Museum, Catherine Palace and Peterhof along with lesser known sites like the St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Yusupov Palace.

All our private tours can be completely tailored to create the perfect journey of discovery for you.



Private Turkey - A Tailor-Made Journey to the Crossroads of Civilizations

Private Journey

11 days from US$10495

Turkey, crossroads of culture and history. You experience it in the bazaars of Istanbul, the city founded by the Romans, cultivated by the Byzantines, conquered by the Ottomans and made cosmopolitan in the modern era. You feel it in the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the churches hidden deep in the rocks of Cappadocia and the medieval fortresses along the coast. You taste it in the olive oil–lathered Aegean vegetables and the spicy Anatolian kebabs. Turkey truly is the place where East meets West - come and explore it with us.

This tailor-made private tour of Turkey will take you from the museums, churches, mosques and palaces of timeless Istanbul to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, to the the great Ionian city of Ephesus and the stunning harbour of nearby Bodrum.

As with all our private tours, this sample itinerary can be completely tailored to create the perfect journey of discovery for you.



Private Italy - A Tailor-Made Gastronomic Journey to the home of Slow Food

Private Journey

10 days from US$14295

Italy, Oh Italy - land of la Vita Bella! Where style and flair live next to Michelangelo and Bellini. Where ancient Roman ruins stand next to Renaissance churches. Where picturesque hilltop towns look over verdant vineyards. The land where good food and wine are a way of life.

This tailor-made privately guided holiday through Italy will take you from the capital Rome to Florence, into the Val d’Orcia, Bologna, Modena and Parma. On the way you sample espresso, authentic pizza bianca and Roman street food, master the art of pizza-making, taste outstanding wines, learn to make authentic cantuccini, explore local food markets, watch paste being made before your eyes and learn about the art of crafting balsamic vinegar and Parma's prized culatello salami.

As with all our private tours, this sample itinerary can be completely tailored to create the perfect journey of discovery for you.



Private Italy - A Tailor-Made Journey to the birthplace of Renaissance

Private Journey

10 days from US$14995

This 10-day luxury privately guided tour of Italy will show you the three cities no one should miss: Rome, Florence and Venice. Starting in the Eternal City, you will have an unforgettable exploration of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by a full day to explore ancient Rome. Via the hillside town of Orvieto you will travel to Florence, where you discover master pieces of Renaissance art in the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria dell'Accademia. A day trip in to the Chianti region has you appreciate the beautiful Tuscan countryside, along with the fantastic wines and olive oil the region is famous for.

By high-speed train and boat along the Grand Canal you will arrive at your hotel in Venice. This will be your base for local discoveries, including glorious St. Mark’s Basilica. Markets, islands and churches abound on this last part of your tailor-made journey through Italy.

As with all our private tours, this sample itinerary can be completely tailored to create the perfect journey of discovery for you.