Canals, castles and rolling countryside – see Europe at it’s most picturesque

From the melancholy beauty of Venice to the city of Vienna, this 10-day tour takes you on a historical journey through Italy and Austria. Take in breathtaking alpine meadows in Alpe di Siusi and beautifully preserved medieval buildings in Salzburg, indulging in flaky pastries and rich coffee along the way. With a mix of scheduled activities and free time to explore on your own, this trip is the perfect introduction to the charm of central Europe for independent travellers.


Start
Venice, Italy
Finish
Vienna, Austria
Destinations
Austria, Italy
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
ZLSP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Pedal past villas and vineyards on a bike tour of the South Tyrolean Wine Road, stopping to try some famous local drops along the way.

  • Stroll through the picturesque alpine meadows of Alpe de Siusi with a local storyteller as your guide and learn about historical farmer uprisings and witch burnings.

  • Watch the sun set over the domes and spires of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Castle, an 11th-century structure with views of the whole city.

  • Explore Bolzano, a medieval city in the hills beneath the Dolomites mountain range that is filled with vineyards and villas.

  • This adventure combines the insights and camaraderie of locally-led, small group travel with plenty of free time to explore independently.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train, a good way to traverse long distances, avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can often be quite busy.

  • Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the trains and up and down stairs at train stations and at hotels, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information.

  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C/104°F). It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Many hotel rooms in Europe are not equipped with air-conditioning. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask an Intrepid travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies. Hotel rooms in Europe can seem rather small by American or Australian standards and often have two single beds that can be pushed together. Please also note that often hotels offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities.

Itinerary

Welcome to Venice. This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are no activities planned before a group meeting at your hotel tonight at 6 pm, but if you arrive early there are plenty of things to keep you busy. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you're going to be late, please let hotel reception know. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Follow your leader on an orientation walk to familiarise you with the city. After this you are free to venture out and explore Venice at your own pace. Ask your leader for information on the optional activities on offer today. Maybe take a classic journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola or enjoy getting lost crossing hundreds of bridges and uncovering your own slice of Venice. In the evening, perhaps join your fellow travellers for a group dinner at a local restaurant. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Venice - St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • Venice - Accademia Gallery - EUR16
  • Venice - St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR5
  • Venice - Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • Venice - Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR14
  • Venice - Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Venice - The Sweet Taste of Venice Urban Adventure - EUR94
  • Venice - Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Bolzano is as curious as it is beautiful, and it is very, very beautiful. A mixture of German and Italian heritage makes for an interesting cultural mix in this valley town, from European-style epoque buildings to the Mediterranean-flavoured porticoes of the main square. The 3.5-hour train journey to Bolzano is made enjoyable by glimpses of gorgeous countryside from the window. Arrive and enjoy an orientation walk through this picturesque town then enjoy a free evening to it up at your leisure. The Piazza Walther (central square) is beautifully lit up in the evening and makes a great place to begin.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bolzano - South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology - EUR9
  • Bolzano - Renon Cable Car - EUR10
  • Bolzano - Nature Museum South Tyrol - EUR7
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll get to sample some of the wines this region is famous for while enjoying the fresh air and stunning surrounds with a bike tour of the South Tyrolean Wine Road. Peddle along the river and through orchards, taking in the delightful sight of villas and vineyards nestled in the hills. Stop and sip along the way, perhaps trying a glass of fragrant gewurztraminer or lightly spiced cabernet – both varieties are particularly popular here. The ride will take less than 3 hours, leaving the rest of the day free for you to enjoy this beautiful area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • South Tyrol - Wine & Bike Tour South Tyrolean Wineroad
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a full day in the Alpe di Siusi, the largest high-altitude alpine meadow in Europe. See the incredible vistas from above in a cable car ride over the area. Explore Prosels Castle, a building with a fascinating history. Constructed in the 13th century, the castle was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 15th century and was briefly occupied by farmers as a form of protest in the 16th century. Then, take a scenic walk with a local storyteller to learn more about the area’s history, which (spoiler alert) involves witch trials. Enjoy an included lunch and contemplate the often dark history behind the beauty of Alpe di Siusi at the Rauchhutte, a well-situated alpine chalet restaurant at 1850 metres above sea level.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • South Tyrol - Alpe di Siusi Cable Car
  • South Tyrol - Rauchhütte Lunch
  • South Tyrol - Scenic Walk with Local Storyteller
  • South Tyrol - Prösels Castle Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Journey into Austria, taking a train ride to Innsbruck (approx. 2 hours), the provincial capital of North Tyrol. You'll store your luggage at the train station and head into town for some exploration. Make sure you spend some time in the beautiful old town and visit the famous Golden Roof. Perhaps check out the lavish interior of the 16th century Imperial Palace (Hofburg). Next up is another train ride to Salzburg (approx. 2 hours), the birthplace of Mozart and a World Heritage-listed city. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and get acquainted with the streets around your hotel. The skyline of Salzburg is filled with the domes and spires that typify baroque architecture. Later, enjoy a fantastic view of the city while watching the late European sunset from lofty Hohensalzburg Castle. After that, your evening is free. Maybe grab an Almdudler spritz (white wine mixed with the popular herbal soft drink).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salzburg - Hohensalzburg Fortress Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you are free to see Salzburg at your own pace or choose one or more optional activities to partake in. Maybe head to the birthplace of Mozart or relax in the gardens of Mirabell Palace. In the evening, maybe ask your leader where you can grab some Tafelspitz. This classic Austrian dish features meat boiled in a broth, served with minced apples and horseradish. The description may not sound particularly special, but this hearty meal combines salty, sweet and sharp flavours in a way that is incredibly satisfying.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Salzburg - Sound of Music Tour - EUR45
  • Salzburg - Mirabell Palace and Gardens - Free
  • Salzburg - Mozart's Birthplace - EUR12
  • Berchtesgaden - Salt Mine Visit - EUR17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The capital of Austria and the undisputed legacy arts hub of central Europe, Vienna awaits after a 2.5-hour train journey. Get started with an orientation walk, then you’re free to do whatever you want. The public transport in the city is fantastic, which makes getting around easy. The geometric tiling on the roof of St Stephan’s Cathedral is worth a look, and you can climb 136 metres to the top of the south tower for amazing views of the city. In the evening why not head out for a meal? Of course, the classic schnitzel is abundant (and delicious) but if you’d like to try something a little different ask your leader where to find a traditional beuschel (a ragout made with calf lung and heart).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Vienna, with a choice of optional activities. One choice is Schonbrunn Palace, an expansive estate with lawns perfect for lounging and multiple rooms preserved from different eras. Or perhaps check out the central Hofburg Imperial Palace, where bibliophiles can see one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Prefer to learn about a city through its culinary tradition? Consider a Food, Coffee and Market Urban Adventure. In the evening, you have the option of joining your fellow travellers and leader for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Vienna - Leopold Museum - EUR14
  • Vienna - Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR12
  • Vienna - Belvedere Gallery (Lower Gallery) - EUR14
  • Vienna - Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR18
  • Vienna - Food, Coffee and Market Tour Urban Adventure - EUR98
  • Vienna - Spanish Riding School Practice - EUR28
  • Vienna - Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check-out. As there is so much to do and see in Vienna you may want to consider extending your stay here. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Speak to an Intrepid representative for more information.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Just can’t get enough? Why not join our connecting 'Best of Central Europe' trip (AMSB), travelling from Vienna to Dubrovnik via the Czech Republic and Poland. Contact an Intrepid representative for more information.

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Metro, Bicycle, Cable Car

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights)

Included activities

  • South Tyrol - Wine & Bike Tour South Tyrolean Wineroad
  • South Tyrol - Alpe di Siusi Cable Car
  • South Tyrol - Rauchhütte Lunch
  • South Tyrol - Scenic Walk with Local Storyteller
  • South Tyrol - Prösels Castle Visit
  • Salzburg - Hohensalzburg Fortress Visit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there are a limited number of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement, please speak to an Intrepid booking agent.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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