To my mind there are two kinds on European Tours on offer, short and long. The short takes you to near Europe, and would you believe, the long to further afield.
So do I wish to learn about the Battlefields of the Somme, visit Paris or Bruges, or the Austrian, Swiss or Italian Lakes? Maybe a river cruise, or fly/coach option? The options are plentiful, and the opportunities almost endless.
I freely admit to liking my comfort, so whilst I am quite happy to consider a ‘normal’ continental touring coach (reclining seats, air conditioning etc) for a longer journey I would opt for the higher end. Leger’s new Luxuria brand, or Silver Service, Shearings Grand Tourer programme and other well-known operators offer a very high level of comfort with extra leg room, hot and chilled drinks, a w.c. and washroom, and even a lounge space available. (Check individual offerings on the relevant pages). If you can join your coach in Ashford or Dover your choice of operators is even greater, and well worth consideration. Edwards Coaches, Bakers Dolphin, and so many others offer award winning holidays and are worth consideration.
I like the idea of Door to Door picks too, so am I a snob? I don’t think so, I just like the added convenience and level of service some operators are able to offer.
Longer journeys can mean thinking differently. It may mean an early departure on a couple of days just to get from A to B, but so what? I can recline my seat, enjoy the views only available from a coach, or snooze. I am sat in comfort and the coach holiday operator has kindly arranged for the scenery to pass by my window. It’s a holiday, let the weight disappear from your tense shoulders and enjoy every minute!
Borders in Europe are not the hassle they used to be, and at most you sail through and only know you are in a different country when your Tour Manager tells you! OK, Switzerland, Russia and others may be different, but you get my drift.
In my next piece – the hotels and the food!
Written by: Jon Hartley