His briefings were excellent and greatly contributed to the quality travel and cultural experience. Defiantly Cruise on the danube Plitvice Lakes and Lake Bled Gorge were some of my Wow moments". How had I never recognized that their WWII lasted from 1930s - 1980s? "Rovinj was a great discovery, which we would not have known about except by using your tour. Peter is an absolutely perfect guide. Walking thru Plitvice Lakes National Park is the best walk I've ever taken. I learned about the history of the area as well as about the people. Phenomenal tour with something for everyone. "We especially enjoyed the charms of Krakow and Budapest, the Italian vibe of Rovinj, and the beauty of Lake Bled. Second, the group itself was really great, lots of laughs and energy. Hearing of Peter's experience of his first 15 years living under Communism and the changes he saw afterwards was one of the highlights. Also Lake Bled was gorgeous. We cut our vacation short and flew home the day after the tour. This was our first tour with a Rick Steves group. I posted pictures on social media while we traveled, and highly recommend this trip. "Wows every time we walked down a narrow street, turned a corner, crossed a bridge or climbed a hill in Prague. Overall we had an enjoyable trip. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the cities we visited while soaking in all of the history in each city. Na zdravje! This isn't a complaint. His knowledge, that he loves to share, is amazing. Bus driver Mitch was a hoot. Our tripmates were enjoyable and our guides very knowledgeable. His years as America's most popular European guidebook author blends with his relaxed but informative style to… Loved swimming in the sea. "My husband is of Polish descent and it was a WOW moment for me to hear him speak Polish so fluently. Rovinj itself was full of interesting shops, a wonderful market, twisted winding streets through sherbet colored houses with gorgeous flowers in their window boxes. Our tour guide Sinel was very nice too! Rovinj and Bled are a really nice way to finish up the tour. "Wie sagt man XYZ auf Deutsch?" Great itinerary and great guide!!! "Difficult to say since there were simply too many times that my jaw dropped at what I was seeing and experiencing during the tour. With an excellent guide and wonderful tour members we couldn't lose! Americans get the shortest vacations in the industrial world. Lots of room on bus was wonderful. The children's art could bring". Whoever was at the front of our group moved through at a much faster pace than I would have. I also enjoyed walking through the narrow streets of quaint Rovinj; even doing laundry in town was an adventure to remember!". Peter is a funny,easy to talk to, caring, guy. Our tour guide, Katka, was amazing, full of knowledge, able to give an interesting history lesson on most anything. We were with an excellent guide and outgoing fellow travelers, most of whom had been on RS tours before. The overall tour experience was excellent! The tour was excellent. This was a most amazing tour! I also really enjoyed our time in Rovinj, Croatia. Later we'll visit a local school, where we'll sit down and chat with a teacher and enjoy lunch together in the cafeteria. The pours were generous and after a few folk tunes, the fiddler, grinning from ear to ear, broke into "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Hotel Katarina was delightful.". "So many, but 2 very equal moments. ", "The Plitvice Lakes were beautiful, but I think seeing Lake Bled with low-hanging clouds was an unexpected treat. We have been on 2thers, and this was wonderful because the people on our tour were all very nice and we all had a lot in common! The tour was well organized and provided us with many varied experiences. Had a wonderful time. Tour guide worked tirelessly to ensure we were well taken care of and thoroughly informed about the areas we were traveling through. At first I was disappointed that we couldn't see much of the high mountains around it, but the shifting clouds gave this beautiful lake, its island church, and its cliffside castle a magical, otherworldly feel.". I would have loved to stay longer! A great tour to a part of the world that I had not visited before. I highly recommend him for future Rick Steve tours. This tour was more of an "education" than a vacation as we gained insight into darker sides of history. Tonight we'll rendezvous for a special dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. I don't think we could have had a better introduction to Eastern Europe. The tour was well planned and any roadblocks were handled with aplomb. Have already recommended it to others, and thinking about another Rick Steves tour. I have always planned my trips prior to this one. - thoughtful and professional tour guide -- Peter, "The fantastic scenery of these eastern countries.". We loved walking the lake, going off to the church on the island, and hiking to the castle. This was an excellent tour, our 7th, and we highly recommend it. In 15 days, we visited six countries, had so many different experiences, learned so much . "Unlike other tours I didn't have many "wow" moments. The mix of guided activities and time to explore on our own seemed just about right. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. I just wish we'd had a little more time in the park. Peter, our guide went above and beyond to make our trip great and memorable. Everything about this tour exceeded our expectations from our guides, towns we visited to the wonderful people we meet on this tour. The included dinner in Eger was a particular highlight.". The tour was well organized and covered the sites extremely well. Everything was right on the mark....Katka was the best tour guide I've ever had, the other members of the group were friendly, not grumpy, on time, etc. By all means it should be reinstated in the book! There are so many places I'd love to go back to and further explore. ", "The night cruise in Budapest on the Danube.". The communism museum in Krakow was eye opening and felt foreboding/Budapest was alarming too. "My favorite wow moment was walking through Plitvice Lakes National Park. Starting in beautifully preserved Prague, you'll experience the rich diversity of Eastern Europe on this 15-day tour, from the energetic cities of Kraków and Budapest to tradition-rich "back door" towns and villages across the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia — including the waterfall wonderland of Plitvice and the picture-perfect alpine beauty of Lake Bled. Musicians in Prague-Accordion and flute. "So many wow moments, but I'd have to include Plitvice National Park and Lake Bled--just gorgeous! Their insights and experiences as well as the sharing of personal and family information added another dimension that we loved. After exploring the capital, we'll continue through the verdant Slovenian countryside on our way to our final destination: a pristine lake ringed by forests and hiking paths. It didn't hurt that the weather was excellent as well. And wine tasting outside of Eger was just plain fun, with a vivacious local guide and lively musician to broaden the cultural experience. When we've finished here, your guide will be happy to orient those interested to the ornate and traditional public thermal baths. The trip was all I could have expected. Both have been very similar in that the guides have been first rate, both the general guide and the specific segment guides. "Too difficult to name just one, had great experiences in all locations.". "Auschwitz was very powerful. Chipping Campden and nearby; Stow-on-the-Wold and nearby; Moreton-in-Marsh It took a lot of work to figure out the logistics and making sure everything was planned out. Joyful. "I really can't pick a favorite "wow" moment because there were so many. I can't say enough about the planning and execution of every detail that made this Heart of Europe tour outstanding! Our tour guide, Sanel, prepared us well for each aspect of the travel experience. Where is that money applied to? Love Lake Bled. "Probably the beauty of the natural surroundings in all the countries forests, mountains & lakes.". I really appreciated Katerina's knowledge and her willingness to share her stories with us. We had arrived at our hotel and our guide said to meet at 7:45 to walk to dinner. I think the most surprising was Krakow. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. and still enjoyed a fair amount of free time! A travel dream realized. "Budapest to us was spectacular when we did the Danube River cruise at night and saw everything magically lit up!!!! "There were many amazing moments and sites on the tour, we saw so much and learned so much. Hotel accommodations and locations were excellent. "We love the stay in Rovinj on the island of Katerina. ", "Prague Square, Auschwitz, Eger school visit, wine tasting in Egerszalok (really enjoyable), Plitvice, Rovinj island, Bled free time". I really enjoyed the school visit much more than expected. "Tough question. If you want a Swiss city, see Bern or Luzern instead. Bus: 5 hours. Each country has prospered differently through this 30 year period. "The beauty of the Adriatic Sea when we were in Croatia. The tour members were all great people with which to share the experiences. All of the waterfalls were absolutely stunning! All of the tour members were friendly and welcomed those of us who were solo travelers. He was able to imagine his Dad walking the same streets in Krakow and to think of his Mother and Aunt's experiences in the Polish underground during WWII.". Bus: 7 hours. Budapest looked so beautiful and magical.". We covered so many countries and learned so much history about the heart of Europe. Peter, our guide, was great. We'll tour the impressive St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, and the Golden Lane. This tour was all we expected. She went above and beyond with her kindness. It was wonderful! "Reuniting with Etalka (our guide for Tallin, Helsinki, St P in 2013) at the winery in Eger.". Also the beauty of the Adriatic.". We were pleased with the range of sites visited, the activities, and the pacing, including time to explore on our own. I really enjoyed Prague and it's musical and cultural history. I have been to many places in Europe but this tour took me to many places I have never been. Peter did a great job of attending to the needs of a wide variety of people and their interests. Plitvice was a beautiful respite and a fun day of hiking. This was a tour packed with an incredible amount of sights, sounds, tastes and new discoveries. Covering so much in that amount of time, I know that there was so much we couldn't see. But the most lasting impacts of this tour will not be the "wow" moments, but how much I learned about Krakow, Croatia, Slovenia, and all the other places that I knew next to nothing about before visiting them.". "Rovinj, Croatia. The most pleasing French château is Vaux-le-Vicomte, near Paris. But how to select the right destination? One thing I’ve never understood though is the attraction to Rue Cler. I have traveled extensively using Rick's books and materials. The Best of Europe in 14 Days tour offered by Rick Steves takes travelers to some of the great European cities, including Paris, Munich, Venice, Florence, and Rome. This was a wonderful tour, as have been all the Rick Steves tours that we have been on. The cities are each unique and steeped in history with all of it's triumphs and tragedies. The view of the Parliament in Budapest from our night trip along the Danube: everything was lit up and so beautiful. I was so looking forward to seeing the beautiful stone cliffs, blue lakes, and gushing waterfalls. Our day will end with a Hungarian dinner near the town of Eger. I enjoyed all of the cities, towns and countries we visited. We had a great group of tour takers which made the trip even more enjoyable and after a day at Auschwitz-Birkenau you might need the positive vibe of good tour mates. The second half of the trip was the best. I could go on and on.". Our bus driver inspired confidence on narrow and winding roads, and also was personable when off-duty. Great group of travelers, wonderful guides and best bus driver. "It may seem odd but the odd weather seemed to enhance the trip to Plitvice Lake National Park. Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. a swell group of fellow travelers Plitvce National Park and seeing Auschwitz-Bircheneau.". One other thing, the time given to our group to explore the cities on our own was very much appreciated. - nice breakfast in the hotels The Underground Museum in Krakow was amazing in the sense of a time capsule and a finely developed museum.". The sunset cruise around Rovinj was also a wow moment; so beautiful! The bus was very comfortable and the driver exceptional. Touring the sites in the rain added to the sadness of the place. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own. The occasional long bus travel is ample, "I found Krakow to be an enchanting city and the waterfalls of Plitvice National Park amazingly beautiful and abundant.". The food in Croatia was probably the low point if there was one. We then went into the beautiful natural settings of Croatia (Plitvice, Rovinj) and Slovenia (Lake Bled). The Eastern European tour was very good overall. Rovinj was a beautiful place to relax and enjoy. ", We had a safe and exciting trip through Eastern Europe with background info to prepare us to enjoy our special interest, "visitingso many beautiful scenic places. A close second highlight was having the opportunity to hike in Plitvice National park. My first Rick Steve's Tour and overall program was amazing! Geneva, one of Switzerland's largest and most sterile cities, gets the "nice place to live but I wouldn't want to visit" award. The memories will stay with me.". The tour exceeded all of my expectations. The day of vacation from the vacation was one of the most enjoyable.. "Water falls in Pitvicka. I can't say enough about the tour, the guide, the locations, the hotels, food, the prep through Rick's book. The sun came out and was shining brightly, we were enjoying the beautiful weather and seaside activities while sipping refreshments. The Plitvice National Park was one of the most scenic parks I've even seen, with waterfalls at every turn. I enjoyed learning the history of the places we visited. "There were several high points, for me, during this tour. The getting to be buddies with the group was not a goal of this trip. The Best of E. Europe in 15 Days (5/17/19) was simply fantastic. In Krakow I enjoyed the lively town square and their sense of style - modern and classic at the same time. It was well organized, interesting, well paced, and enjoyable. Having extra room on the bus was awesome. The food from that area of a Europe is not my favorite, but there were so many options. A lot of walking. The eastern Europeans loved to have us RS tourist come spend time (and minimal bucks!) Loved every minute. And I believe we finished ahead of schedule!". We have mostly done our own travel but had recently done three trips to Asia with a private tour for four. "I'd been to Rovinj in the best, thanks to your guidebook. Plitvice Lakes National Park was another "wow" moment. This tour was amazing as well as both physically and mentally challenging. Instead of I really enjoyed the variety of experiences on this tour...wine tasting, visiting the school in Hungary, the boat trip on Lake Bled. This significantly can alter the tour experience as sleep/rest is important to have an enjoyable trip. I like the free time given us, visiting smaller towns and nature, and our vacation from our vacation. Good exposure to the different foods. ", Our guide was outstanding - Jana is a wonder! Wandering the pedestrian zone and enjoying the gigantic market square was always entertaining. "Every place we visited had its own "wow" moment, so I will only share a few. I can't say enough good things about our tour - outstanding guide, great itinerary, great hotels, great dinners! Nearby: Glastonbury and Wells; Cotswolds. How stunningly beautiful!!!". My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful time. The group dinner at Egar, Hungary, was outstanding. So magical.". On several occasions she went way out of her way to assist various members of our tour. "Mine was the city of Budapest. "Arriving in Rovinj, on the Island Hotel Katarina. This tour did not disappoint. So much packed into such a small area. The local tour guides were fantastic and full of insight about their city. "I can't pick just one, but I was most aurprised by and loved Lyubljana - the pedestrian zones, the fact that they honor poets, and the walking food tour was fabulous. Made me feel so special.". I very much enjoyed it. Email him at rick… I loved this tour. We learned so much about an area of the world with which we were not familiar. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning. Usually there are a couple of cities that are kinda blah, but not on this trip. Peter our guide was outstanding, and the local guides can not be beat. Prague, Krakow, Budapest, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia are no longer exotic dreams. She previewed what we should expect in each country, prepared us to get the most from our free time, and answered all questions with patience and clarity. Auschwitz was an important experience. . The night cruise in Budapest was amazing.". I love meeting and talking with the Hungarian school children in Eger, I enjoyed talking about the current political climate in Hungary with the local guide in Budapest, and finally, I loved how I looked forward to the developing friendships with other group members during all of the different activities that were scheduled every day. Honeymooners should try these tiny towns: Beilstein on Germany's Mosel River; Hallstatt on Austria's Lake Hallstatt; Varenna on Italy's Lake Como; Ærøskøbing on an island in south Denmark; and Gimmelwald, high in the Swiss Alps. It seemed like a rushed walk.". "Plitvice Lakes National Park. Thank goodness we didn't. Prague is a beautiful city with much to offer, but it was so crowded that it was almost painful to move about. Although we had an excessive amount of rain during our trip, the entire group took it in stride and enjoyed each other's companionship and each destination's unique cultural experiences and historical sites. Definitely outstanding! "Not that Auschwitz was a "wow" moment but it was humbling experience. We had a wonderful tour guide (Jana), a great group of travel partners, and enjoyed the blend of planned activities and free time. "realizing that the island hotel in Croatia (which I had fully intended to visit on my vacation within a vacation day) was actually where we were going to stay. We had done the more famous/cosmopolitan tours and wanted to get close to the people – this tour was it! I would like to visit for 3 weeks from DC and visit as many cities as possible. We loved the cities of Prague, Krakow and Budapest as each had its own unique personality and charm. Our tour group got along so well and the food was fabulous. His driving was VERY skillful and comfortable.". "I really appreciated the visit to Auschwitz. Our cities were so unique and I enjoyed nearly all of them. "The evening cruise on the Danube in Budapest was truly a wow moment. Just Awesome!! Peter's extensive knowledge of the history, customs, and personality of each location was phenomenal. And it was raining when we were there...more water! It's pleasantly situated on a lake — just like Buffalo is. We enjoyed all the guest guides -- all were very knowledgeable. I think some alternative experiences would have been good like visiting a factory or something behind the scenes. "Rovinj and Lake Bled were beautiful. Rovinj is a photographer's dream.". Overall, the diversity of environments on this tour was really amazing. It was great to visit so many countries in one trip. The sheer size of the camps was overwhelming. Unlike the previous tours that I've taken with the company, this one covered multiple countries. "When we were in Eger (a place of many delightful surprises--the school, the Roma fiddler at wine tasting, the Beatles exhibit at our hotel), we were lucky enough to see there was going to be an organ concert in the church. The quality of our guide, Sanel, was truly impressive. We were awed by the beautiful cities, architecture, waterways, parks, and the kindness and determination of the people. This part of Europe was high on my list to visit and I knew it would be best visited with a plethora of local guides and logistics taken care of. The pacing was excellent, although I would've appreciated an extra day in Krakow and maybe no day in Eger? I would certainly recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone willing to be part of a guided tour. Pletvice national park was a highlight, especially being able to hike through it. "There were so many but the evening river tour in Budapest with the grand beauty of the city and its history was a big "wow" on this trip. "Plitvice Lakes National Park was lovely.". "Swimming in the Adriatic in Rovinj was spectacular Hotels and group dinners were top notch as well! "When the fog lifted enough at Plitvice National Park for us to see the waterfalls, cascades, and the boardwalk under water.". Our guide Katarina made the trip very special, she was kind, knowledgeable, helpful and lots of fun. The bus although comfortable gets to be tedious at times because of the long drives but that's unavoidable. Lake Plitvice...bright green water of the lakes, waterfalls everywhere, lush greenery We saw and experienced so much that is a good thing we took pictures as we could not rememeber it all. Your time is better spent at Sognefjord, Norway's most spectacular fjord. See our FAQ | Call Rethink the itinerary, the last three stops are the beginning of the "Best of the Adriatic" tour, "With the influence of the Nazis and Communists in the past century, WOW is not really what a tour through eastern Europe is about. native of Prague and her perspective about the Czech Republic as well as the The fact that someone has played the trumpet every hour for 600 years is amazing.". Our destination is the town of Eger, where the townspeople (with some help) turned back an Ottoman invasion of central Europe in 1552. Their guides are amazing and have so much history to share. Able to subsume his own personality, make his needs invisible, add a personal anecdote when appropriate. I loved each of the cities and the smaller towns were fantastic as well! I liked how we were trained in each city for public transportation so that we were comfortable navigating on our own and how there is a good mix of guided tour time and personal time. . He made sure we had all the information we needed and that we had great things to do on our free time. The tour was wonderful. Thus, some of the free time was spent with different group members. That's a tough question since there were so many. He no longer has anyone at home to speak to so I admired him for remembering the language. I found it the easiest place to decide where to eat. Amazing buildings. Boat: 1 hour. We were pleasantly surprised with an amazing tour! Just across the border, we'll be welcomed with a fresh, family-prepared lunch in a pleasant farm setting. The evening was just perfect and the city simply sparkled!". "Seeing the beauty of both grand structures and magnificent scenery I also loved Rovinj- staying on the island, swimming in the Adriatric, and kayaking. - well situated and nice hotels You cover a huge amount of territory and cultures in 15 days. Great idea! Katerina did an excellent job of overcoming the situation. Every aspect of the tour - from the accommodations, to the iinery, even the transportation days was well thoughtout. Nicely done. Mitch was a smooth driver and the bus very comfortable. Chances to talk to locals - vendors, taxi drivers, Middle East immigrants, artists, buskers, waitress (Stramberk) re: mushrooms, students on holiday, other tourists". "Probably Lake Bled. Again all of the information from Peter will be something I will always remember.". It was a marvelous bonus.". Rick Steves' The Story of Fascism in Europe; Travel Specials Vol. To request advance notification of when a tour will be available for booking, please select ‘Notify Me’ next to the departure date and join the list. Peter who made sure everyone was taken care of. American travel authority Rick Steves guides viewers through his favorite European cities. She took a few blocks down to the city center. I had done a lot of reading and studying the holocaust but I was not really prepared for the impact of standing on the site.". Jana is delightful. All of the information, history, culture, navigation help was the best. The guide and driver kept it secret until we were approaching the town. Ljubljana was charming and I think a night or two there would be great with a trip into the countryside. There was a lot of history to digest, both recent and of past centuries. We decided to try one of the tours your company provides; Best decision to take one of your tours! After an excellent first tour in 2018 my expectations were high for 2019, and they were exceeded. I know I would of done this. The cafeteria at the hotel was marginal at best but the next day hike made up for it. By Rick Steves, Tribune Content Agency on Jun 25, 2019. He is kind, exceedingly fluent in English. - thoughtful and professional tour guide -- Peter This was our first Rick Steves tour and we were not sure what to expect. "Krakow's main cathedral in the "old" part of town. What's the difference between this Best of France guidebook and Rick's complete France guidebook?. A minor "wow" would be the wine tasting afternoon near Eger. I loved the visit to the vineyard in Hungary. I couldn't have asked for more. I learned so much about this region of Europe. Most "ahhh": Katarina Island. This was our second Rick Steves tour. Both were well-timed, at the end of the tour when we'd been going gangbuster for nearly two weeks.". The entire trip exceeded our expectations. Kudos to Peter!". "The Marzipan Museum in Eger. We'll meet at 3 p.m. to get acquainted and preview the adventures ahead. Our tour guide Katka was the 'BEST'. Our group friendly RS travelers. Excellent tour with an excellent tour guide (Peter). Not one moment, but several. The "refreshments" were excellent, as was the music. But when we listened to the waterfalls at the national park after so much business I felt more on vacation even with the busy crowds there. It was far beyond the usual street noise! He was informed, funny, helpful. We got to see & learn about a lot of countries, that most people don't think about visiting. The group melded well. RICK STEVES' EUROPE offers a fresh perspective on the best travel advice, including where to stay, what to see and how to get around in Europe. Her personal stories about friends and family affected by past occupations and war brought history to life for us. Tina always had the group together when necessary, told us what we were going to do, and double-checked to make sure all group members were with the group at each stop. "Seeing what life was like behind the former iron curtain.". What a wonderful travel experience! ", "Croatia: 1000Falls Park. comparing Eastern Europe today with the other countries we have visited Is this thing worthwhile? "Too many to count, but enjoyed Budapest, Rovinj and Lake Bled. We were ready to give of the reigns of control and enjoy a pre-planned itinerary. Excellent tour of fascinating countries. Your method of tour in the park by essentially going against the grain and doing the second part first and the first part last was truly genius. The tour was everything I expected plus much more! School kids are the same everywhere! Watch for $0.00 with Prime. Then the amazing raw beauty of Plitvice followed by the spectacular beaches and resort of Rovinj on the Adriatic. Best bus driver inspired confidence on narrow and winding roads, and our guides, Central or... Beer enthusiast. `` was my first Rick Steves tour to those who have travelled in Europe this. Snowing in Plitvice Lake National Park is the first time we walked through the middle tour. 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