Within the boundaries of Europe’s 10 million or so square kilometres, you’ll find around fifty states and territories, each with their own unique languages or regional dialects, cuisines, cultures and landscapes. It may not be the largest continent in terms of size, but its variety can make it seem so vast that a month-long visit is barely scratching the surface. That’s why many visitors opt for small group tours, taking advantage of local guides and in-depth itineraries to experience the best of Europe.
Whether it’s a stunning fifteenth century chateau in the heart of the Loire Valley, a half-timbered inn complete with four-poster bed and hidden passages in the English countryside, or even a private yacht that can sneak into the secret coves of the Croatian coastline, a small group tour gives you the opportunity to sleep in some very unique places, which add atmosphere, ambience and authenticity to your time in a destination.
Try calvados in France, learn to cook tapas in Spain or sample the best of British spotted dick and jam roly-poly at the Pudding Club in Gloucestershire: each culinary experience you’re introduced to on a small group tour will leave you feeling not just satisfied but a little more in tune with the local culture. Your guides know where to find the best markets, the best coffee shops and the best watering holes, and they’re happy to share them with you.
As well as visiting the major attractions that feature on any tour itinerary, a small group tour will earn you invitations to all manner of unique experiences. Whether it’s the enthralling voices of a Welsh male choir, the sight of thoroughbreds galloping through the mist at the Irish National Stud in County Kildare or the drama and flair of Sevillian flamenco, you’ll leave with a greater appreciation of the local culture.
Many of Europe’s most fascinating journeys come from leaving the motorways far behind and exploring the narrow, winding local roads that big tour buses can’t manage. A small group tour means you still get to enjoy all the benefits of touring such as expert tour guides and having someone else worry about the driving, but their smaller coaches mean you get to admire the less-travelled roads, through mountain passes, quaint villages and country lanes, plus the smaller coach size means a smaller group size – which means a more personalised tour for you.
Itineraries are carefully constructed to ensure that you get to experience the best of a destination, but the smaller group size means you have greater flexibility within that itinerary. Maybe you want to spend a little more time in a particularly appealing village or market; maybe you need five more minutes to wait for the perfect sunset photo opportunity; or perhaps the group wants to enjoy the craic over one more pint in a particularly welcoming pub: a small group tour means you’ll usually have the option.
There are so many European small group tours to choose from, with a variety of durations, destinations and even special interests. Talk to your personal travel manager for assistance choosing the best one to suit you.