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Best of Europe in 14 Days - This October

Hi All,

For the purposes of background, I will be signing up for a Best of Europe tour soon, choosing either the departure leaving 10/3/15 or 10/5/15. I'll be a solo traveler (among couples/pairs, as the staff reports), which doesn't bother me too much. Is anyone else slated to go on either trip?

My question is: would you have any preference between starting the tour on a Saturday or a Monday? Sure, the Monday start allows for easier pre-tour sightseeing in Paris, but would result in landing home at home on a late Sunday night, staring down a full work-week! I will be flying PIT-CDG, FCO-PIT on Delta. If I do the Saturday start, I will definitely give myself an extra day in Paris, pre-tour.

Finally, what might be some good "free time" activities during the short stay in Beaune, France? The RS Best of Europe guidebook gives me a lot of suggestions for Paris, Venice, and Rome, (and I want to visit BMW with my free time in Munich), but I really don't know that much about the 1-day Beaune stop.

Any feedback is appreciated, and hope to see some of you on the tours!

Posted by
608 posts

It's hard to make that decision for you, since I don't know your preferences or work situation. I'm probably in the minority here, but we try to eek out every last minute we can of our vacation time, since traveling is so important to us. So if that means I have to come in late on a Sunday and go straight to work the next day so I can stay a few days longer, that's what I do. I figure I can sleep when I'm dead, right? ;) But i know this may change as i get older. On the other hand, my brother and sister in law also like to travel but wouldn't dream of taking a trip and not having 2-3 days at home to relax before getting back to work. I would pick the tour that starts on Monday and fly out on Friday or Saturday and spend the extra time in Paris. That trip sounds amazing, hope you have a wonderful time!

Posted by
287 posts

Congrats on your decision to take the 14-day BOE trip, it's a fantastic itinerary with a great balance of historic sights and free time to explore on your own. The Beaune portion, however, doesn't offer a 'ton' of free time, but for good reason. Arrival from Paris is detoured by a lunch and wine tasting at a nearby (Burgundy) chateau; this puts you into town around 2:00p. The group then takes a walking tour of Beaune and gains entry into Hotel Dieu, which can easily take two hours. The next day you're off to Switzerland, so your free time is basically late-afternoon/early-evening. We opted for a casual dinner at La Canot (very good, especially the escargot) and a stroll around the square. Suppose you could rent a bike and ride around the area (instead of a 6:00-ish dinner), but daylight/sunset may start to be a concern by October. To your other question, would recommend starting this tour on a Monday for several reasons: This aligns your arrival into Rome on a Friday (around Noon) which allows for Friday Night entry into the Vatican Museum [the one night each week they're open... far less crowds, more room in Sistine Chapel, etc]. Secondly, a Saturday-start would mean they/you have to strategize museum visits in Paris (the first Sunday of the month -- i.e. when an Oct 3 start would put you there -- many museums are free and therefore very crowded). Lastly, a Monday start puts you in Munich over the weekend, when Bavaria locals are off work and really enjoy the beer halls/gardens (think lederhosen). : )

Posted by
1176 posts

I went on this tour last September as a solo female traveler and loved it!!! If it was me, I would choose Saturday departure and the tour ends on Friday. I left on a Thursday, had Friday to get over jet lag and the tour started on Sat. I then stayed one extra day in Rome to see more and flew home on Saturday. Even if you don't want to stay on Friday, you still have time to recover by getting home on Friday for Monday work. You still have to come in a day a head of time to recover from jet lag. As for Beaune, it seemed to me when I was there, you have two choices, one: go to the Hospices de Beaune which is the Hotel-dieu de Beaune which is now a museum, read about it in the guide book, two: walk the streets of this very quaint town and if the shops are open there is plenty to go into and they are really nice shops. Not a lot to do, but it is a very nice town. Look at YouTube as there is plenty of free videos on travel and should find one on Beaune. You should not fly into Paris the day of the tour, regardless of which day you pick, Monday or Saturday. Huge mistake, this is a very active tour and on all 12 tours I have taken, everyone comes in the day before to adjust to the time zone and relax and rest and have a look around. It will be hard on your body if you don't. Your choice, but I speak from experience. The day of your tour you meet at 2Pm and hit the ground running with a tour of the Lourve and then dinner. Then on the go every day and there is no chance to really rest during the tour. Yes, you can opt out or go back to your room during free time, but you never fully recover from the jet lag if you don't come in early. If you want to PM me with any questions, please feel free to do so. I am not telling you what to do, but telling you what I have found and learned from my travels. Have a great trip. Best, Ann

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you all for the great feedback and new perspective! I don't think there is a wrong answer when it comes to this itinerary.