Well informed, eloquent and oh-so-romantic, the ‘City of Light’ is a philosopher, a poet, a crooner. As it always has been, Paris is a million different things to a million different people.
Paris has all but exhausted the superlatives that can reasonably be applied to any city. Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower – at sunrise, at sunset, at night – have been described countless times, as have the Seine and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences between the Left and Right Banks. But what writers have been unable to capture is the grandness and even the magic.
Paris probably has more familiar landmarks than any other city in the world. As a result, first-time visitors often arrive in the French capital with all sorts of expectations: of grand vistas, of intellectuals discussing weighty matters in cafés, of romance along the Seine, of naughty nightclub revues, of rude people who won’t speak English. If you look hard enough, you can probably find all of those. But another approach is to set aside the preconceptions of Paris and to explore the city’s avenues and backstreets as if the tip of the Eiffel Tower or the spire of Notre Dame wasn’t about to pop into view at any moment.
You’ll soon discover (as so many others before you have) that Paris is enchanting almost everywhere, at any time, even ‘in the summer, when it sizzles’ and ‘in the winter, when it drizzles’, as Cole Porter put it. And you’ll be back. Trust us.
From the look of it, you’d think Venice spent all its time primping. Bask in the glory of Grand Canal palaces, but make no mistake: this city’s a powerhouse. You may have heard that Venice is an engineering marvel, with marble churches built atop ancient posts driven deep into the barene (mud banks) – but the truth is that this city is built on sheer nerve. Reasonable people might blanch at water approaching their doorsteps and flee at the first sign of acqua alta (high tide). But reason can’t compare to Venetian resolve. Instead of bailing out, Venetians have flooded the world with voluptuous Venetian-red paintings and wines, music, Marco Polo spice-route flavours, and bohemian-chic fashion. And they’re not done yet.
With the world’s most artistic masterpieces per square kilometre, you’d think the city would take it easy, maybe rest on its laurels. But Venice refuses to retire from the inspiration business. In narrow calli (alleyways), you’ll glimpse artisans hammering out shoes crested like lagoon birds, cooks whipping up four-star dishes on single-burner hotplates, and musicians lugging 18th-century cellos to riveting baroque concerts played with punk-rock bravado. As you can see, all those 19th-century Romantics got it wrong. Venice is not destined for genteel decay. Billionaire benefactors and cutting-edge biennales are filling up those ancient palazzi (palaces) with restored masterpieces and eyebrow-raising contemporary art and architecture, and back-alley galleries and artisan showrooms are springing up in their shadows. Your timing couldn’t be better: the people who made walking on water look easy are already well into their next act.
But don’t go expecting to have the city to yourself. Even in the foot-stomping chill of January, Venice has its admirers. The upside is that you’ll keep fascinating company here. More accessible than ever and surprisingly affordable given its singularity, Venice remains a self-selecting city: it takes a certain imagination to forgo the convenience of cars and highways for slow boats and crooked calli. Sculptors, harpsichordists, sushi chefs and dreamers passing as accountants might end up bumping elbows over heaping plates of risotto di seppie (squid risotto) along scuffed wooden tables in authentic osterie (pub-restaurants). Judging by the crowd, you might think the Art Biennale must be happening – but no, that’s just an average Wednesday night in Venice.
Venice is best when caught between acts, after the day trippers rush off to beat afternoon traffic, and before cruise ships dump dazed newcomers off in Piazza San Marco with three hours to see all of Venice before lunch. Those visitors may never get to see Venice in its precious downtime, when gondoliers warm up their vocal chords with scorching espresso on their way to work, and mosaic artisans converge at the bar for tesserae shoptalk over a spritz (prosecco-based drink).
If you could travel through only one European country, which might you choose? Italy? France? Germany? How about a taste of three in one? That can only mean Switzerland!
Known as a summer and winter sports paradise (just look at those glistening white 4000m-plus Alpine peaks and glittering lakes), Switzerland is where people first skied for fun. Illustrious names evoke all the romance and glamorous drama of the mountain high life: Zermatt, St Moritz, Interlaken, Gstaad, the Jungfrau, Verbier and more. Cities like Geneva (the most cosmopolitan), Zürich (the most outrageous), Basel and Lausanne heave with heady artistic activity and sometimes incendiary nightlife.
Beyond the après-ski chic, edelweiss and Heidi lies a complex country of cohabiting cultures. It not only has four languages (Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansch), but the cultural variety to match. You could be chomping on sausages over beer in an oom-pah-pah Stübli one day and pasta over a glass of merlot in a granite grotto the next. And if over-indulgence becomes a problem try one of the country’s thermal baths, from Yverdon-les-Bains to Scuol.
The grandeur of the finest churches, such as the cathedrals in Lausanne and Bern, contrasts with sparkling but lesser-known treasures like the frescoes of Müstair or the abbey complex of St Gallen (both World Heritage sites).
The list of enchanting towns is endless: from Lucerne with its covered bridge to Neuchâtel and its fountains; from Gruyères with its cheese, and Grimentz with its traditional timber houses to the sgraffito-blazoned buildings of Engadine towns like Scuol and Zuoz.
Whether visiting the remotest Ticino villages or sampling the finest of Valais wines, you’ll find Switzerland a chocolate box bursting with unexpected flavours.
INDICATIVE TOUR ITINERARY
Day 01: DELHI– EUROPE
You will have to check in at your international airport at least 3 ½ hours prior to departure.
Arrive at CHARLES DE GAULLE airport where, our coach will be waiting for us, we shall then proceed for Indian dinner and then to our hotel for overnight stay.
“Bon Jour”, after breakfast we shall proceed for a sightseeing tour of Paris, we visit the Arc De Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, The Place De La Concorde, The Notre Dam Cathedral, the various districts etc. Later, visit the Eiffel Tower 3rd level (Topmost level) to get a panoramic view of Paris, followed by a cruise on the Seine River. These boats are perfectly designed to discover and admire the rich architecture such as the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral as well as other landmarks, palaces and ornate bridges. This Cruise will also give you an orientation Tour of Paris. You now have the chance to take the optional to see the illumination of the city, see the once in a lifetime opportunity of the Eiffel tower blinking in awesome lighting, We later proceed for dinner at an Indian restaurant and then to our hotel for overnight.
“Bon Jour”, after a good breakfast we now proceed to Germany. On route we visit the beautiful country of Luxembourg which is its own capital. We visit theDel Fra which commemorates the war heroes. We also walk among the market square and visit the cathedral. We then proceed to Germany.
After reaching Germany, we will be visiting the picturesque city of Heidelberg with the “altstad” the Neckar River, the Cathedral, and the Hotel Ritter which is about 400 years old!! The quaint lanes etc.you will enjoy in this magical place.
We later proceed for dinner at an Indian restaurant and then to our hotel for overnight.
“GutenMorgen”, after breakfast we will visit Titisee which is in the heart of famous Black Forest Region of Germany. We stop at lake Titisee here you have a opportunity to buy cuckoo clocks and other souvenir.
Now we say bye to Germany and proceed towards Switzerland. After crossing the border, we first proceed to Schaffhausen to see the majesticRhine Falls, which were formed in the last ice age about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago!
Next we will see Zurich city on a panoramic drive past tour, where we see theHauptBahn Hof (Main Rail Station), the River Limmat, BahnhoffStrasse, etc. We later spend some time at the lovely lake where we also see the lovely Flower Clock.
We later proceed to an Indian restaurant for our dinner and then to our hotel for Overnight.
Day 05 :SWITZERLAND ENGELBERG–MOUNT TITLIS-BERNE–LUCERNE
“GutenMorgen”, after a good breakfast we start our journey to the most exciting mountain top of MOUNT TITLIS. Experience ‘RotairTitlis’ – World’s 1st revolving cable car ride to Mt. Titlis and visit Ice Grotto. You now have a chance to click your picture in original Swiss national dress. Be ready later to get hit by snow balls from your dear ones. After which we proceed to see the Swiss capital city of Berne. Berne is not just a capital but a very picture post card kind of a city with its very beautiful Kramgasse which is one of the principal streets in the Old City of Bern, the medieval city center of Bern, Switzerland, the bell tower, the BundesPlatz where you have the fountains coming from the ground!!
Later we visit the charming and beautiful city of Lucerne, we shall see the lion monument, the lake, the “chapel bridge” the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge , and the old town etc. we do spend some time here at this old and breathtaking city. Laterwe go for Indian dinner and then back to our hotel for overnight.
Day 06 :SWITZERLAND TO LIECHTENSTEIN ONTO AUSTRIA–INNSBRUCK
“GutenMorgen”, after breakfast we will proceed towards Austria with a memorable route. We first visit Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein.
Vaduz has a lively tourist industry, despite being one of the very few capital cities in the world without an airport or railway station. Vaduz has very small Principality which compromising around 2000 people. Later we reach Austria, on arrival we first go to Wattens, where we visit the famous Swarovski Crystal Musem. Enjoy a fascinating experience in to the world of crystal were Shop displaying a unique selection of Swarovski products where we get a chance to see and buy the world famous original crystal ware and crystal jewellery at factory prices. We then proceed to Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region strategically situated on the Inn river, in the heart of the Austrian Alps. Enjoy this charming town of green domes and red roofs – see theHofburgand the GoldenesDach, Cathedral, the Opera, and Maria TheresenStrasse where we can shop for souvenirs, cow bells etc. Late we go for Indian dinner and then to our hotel for overnight.
Day 07 : AUSTRIA TO ITALY – VENICE – PADOVA
“GutenMorgen”, after breakfast we say bye to Austria and proceed towards the lovely and historic country of Italy, on route we enjoy spectacular scenery as we drive across Europabrucke, one of Europe’s highest bridges, winding our way through the Brenner Pass to enter Italy.
Later we proceed to one of the most romantic cities in the world – VENICE! We proceed by the “vaperetto” or water bus to Venice Island where we seeThe St. Mark’s square with the Basilica, Doge’s palace, Campanile andThe Bridge Of Sighs etc. this city is the most photographed place in the world and is also known as the most romantic city, it is home to the famous lover – Casanova!! Don’t forget to feed the pigeons in this massive square. We later on visit the Murano glass factory where you can even buy some of the Murano wares and you can also go for an unforgettable gondola ride through the smaller canals for a true picture of this lagoon city. We later drive towards Padova, On route we halt for dinner at an Indian restaurant and then proceed to our hotel for overnight stay.
Day 8 : FLIGHT BACK
Today After breakfast, we say bye to our lovely holiday.
After exchanging contacts with all our fellow passengers and others. We are now ready to go back home by flight from Milan’s famous “Malpensa”Airport back to Delhi.
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07 NIGHTS / 08 DAYS
FRANCE : PARIS – Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise, Champs Elyseses, Arc De Triumph, Concorde Square, Place Vendome, Palace, Invalids, Etc.
LUXEMBORGE: Del Fra. Market Square, Cathedral
GERMANY: HEIDELBERG – Altstad, Walking tour of City, Cathedral, Titisse – Black Forest Area
SWITZERLAND: SCHEFFHAUSSEN – Rhine Falls.
ZURICH –orientation tour, Bahnhofstrasse Street, Lake Zurich.
ENGELBERG – Mount Titlis.
BERNE – bell tower, Bundes Platz
LUCERNE – Walking tour, Lion Monument, Chapel Bridge, Lake, Shopping.
LIECHTENSTEIN : Vaduz.
AUSTRIA: WATTENS – Swarovski Crystal Musem.
INNSBRUCK – City tour. Golden Roof, Maria Theresen Strasse.
VENICE – Travel by boa to San Marco Square, Bridge of Sighs, Doges Palace, Murano Glass Factory.
WHAT YOUR TOUR COST INCLUDES-
ü Air fare, airport taxes and all other land taxes
ü Schenghen visas. Kindly note that there is no refund for visas not granted.
ü Overseas medical insurance for persons below 46 only. Rest have to pay the differences
ü Accommodations as mentioned in the itinerary.
ü STAY AT
ü PARIS : 02 NIGHTS
ü SOUTH GERMANY : 01 NIGHT
ü SWITZERLAND : 02 NIGHTS
ü AUSTRIA : 01 NIGHT
ü PADOVA : 01 NIGHT
ü Daily continental breakfasts. Veg/Non Veg/Jain Indian dinners
ü Deluxe A/c DVD coach for all the days as per European driving laws
ü Sightseeing as per tour and as mentioned ABOVE.
WHAT YOUR TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Cost of Basic travel Quota equivalent to us dollars 10,000/-
- Passport making charges
- Your travel to consulates at applicable cities in case of personal interviews
- Cost of date changes or stay back or any deviation from tour programme of rupees 5,000/- per person.
- Porterages of any kind and tips at restaurants, hotels etc.
- Any personal expenses like laundry, minibar in hotels rooms, room services, telephone calls, etc.
- Cost of entrances to monuments other than as specified in the itinerary.
- Trolley charges at airports, rail stations etc.
- Meals other than as specified in the itinerary.
- Anything particularly not mentioned in the WHAT YOUR TOUR COST INCLUDES column.
- BOOKINGS AS PER TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON THE BACK OF THE BOOKING FORM.
- ANY CHANGES OR DEVIATIONS MUST BE GIVEN IN WRITING 15 DAYS PRIOR TO TOUR
- AND SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.
Details of Document Required for VISA:
- Valid passport at More than 9 months:
- Covering letter(Given by TKI Tours) and Covering letter (Personal) and Original NOC on letter head with Stamp and Signature by authorized person:
- Return air ticket confirmed & Hotel Voucher:
- Photo I card copy ( It could be of your Bank)& Your Visiting Card signed by yourself , Also have your active mobile number in that.
- Travel Insurance .
- If not staying at hotel than invitation letter .
- 3 years personal ITR more than 2.5lakh.
- 6 Months latest bank statement in which amount sanctioned by bank should be reflected .
- Last 03 month Salary Slip (Current).
- 07 photos with white back ground 80 % face cover on matt finish paper.
- In case of child ( School I card & NOC from the school on letter head if school is closed Parents must have to give undertaking).