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Top 10 European Coach Trips

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Europe Coach Travel

According to the Coach Tourism Council, which represents around 150 national, regional and family-run coach tour operator members in Britain, intrepid holidaymakers in the UK have a wide range of interest when it comes to choosing destinations.  Here are ten hot tips of where to go this year for your coach holidays:

1. WWI Battlefield Tour

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.  Using Lille, historic Bruges or Ghent as a base for excursions to the infamous battlefields, various coach tours provide an experienced battlefields guide for visits to the trenches at Passchendaele and the Somme.  Tour excursions also include visits to Essex Farm Cemetery, Thiepval, Arras, Péronne and the First World War Museum.  Depending on the time of travel, prices range from £199 to £598 per person for five days, including half-board accommodation.

2. WWII Battlefield Tour

This year also sees the 70th anniversary of some of WWII’s fiercest battles.  Travel to Germany and see what has become of the former prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle or discover how bombed out cities like Dresden and Berlin have re-emerged from the ashes.  Excursions with some coach tour operators include visiting sites destroyed by the world-famous Dambuster raids and the Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp that was used as the setting for the movie “The Great Escape”.

Other tours concentrate on Normandy and the airborne landings that took place around Arnhem.  Various tour operators offer four day tours to Holland including excursions to the Hartenstein Museum, Arnhem-Oosterbeek Cemetery and Arnhem Bridge, the Groesbeek National Liberation Museum and Groesbeek Memorial as well as visiting various drop zones.

Including half-bard hotel accommodation, coach tour holidays cover 4 to 11 days, costing from £399 to £1,299 per person.

3. Czech Republic and Austria’s Tyrol

Tyrol Mountain - Austria

Tours lasting 10 days and costing around £975 per person take in Prague and Bohemia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cesky Krumlov and its 13th century castle overlooking the Vltava River, as well as the lovely medieval towns of Budweis and Pilsen, a Mecca for anyone who enjoys a glass of first rate lager or Pils!

Other Czech Republic coach holidays last for 9 days and cover Prague, Vienna and Budapest, three of Europe’s most beautiful cities.  Prices start at £499 per person.

The Tyrol mountain range in Austria is home to one of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. Famous for Salzburg, apple strudel cake and composer Mozart, the impressive Grossglockner glacier, picturesque hillside villages and charming people dressed in traditional Austrian costumes, the Tyrol is a much under-rated holiday destination that is perfect for all ages.

You don’t have to be a member of the Von Trapp family to appreciate the natural beauty of the Tyrol’s snow-capped peaks, its imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, turquoise mountain lakes or its upmarket ski resorts like Kitzbuehl!

4. Amsterdam

Amsterdam and the Netherlands have so much to offer, including many of the world’s finest art collections. A six day trip with a springtime cruise thrown in for good measure allows visitors to see the Netherlands at its best, from its colourful tulip displays at Keukenhof Gardens, its eel fishing grounds at Volendam and picturesque windmill village of De Znaase Schans, the historic cheese market at Alkmaar or the gorgeous medieval city of Ghent across the border in Belgium.  Prices start at £799 per person for this particular tour leaving in mid-April.

5: Italian Lakes

Italian coach holidays are typically either city centred or cover the Italian lakes, such as the gorgeous lakes Como, Garda and Maggiore in Northern Italy.  Combine city tours with a trip to Italy’s vineyards at Valpolicella.  See the wonderful historic towns of Venice, Verona, Milan and Rome.  A nine day tour starts from £569 per person.

6. Switzerland

Switzerland Chocolate TrainWhile most coach tour operators will take you to Switzerland on sightseeing trips to Zürich, Lake Geneva, Basel and Chamonix, some will actually incorporate a ride on the famous Swiss Chocolate Train in Montreux or take you on an excursion to visit cheese factories at Gruyères.  In winter there is the chance to combine a coach tour of Swiss towns and cities with a few days’ skiing.  Summer trips start from £959 per person for a 10 day trip and include half-board accommodation.

7. Explore Eastern Europe

A ten day trip this summer starts the Eastern European adventure in Germany before taking in beautiful Prague in the Czech Republic, sightseeing in Krakow and Wroclaw in Poland.  Prices start at £600 per person.

 8. Croatia and Slovenia

The stunning Adriatic coast makes for a fantastic family holiday destination.  Taking in the seaside resorts of Opatija, historic Pula and its Roman temples and amphitheatre, Rovini and the stunning Postojna Caves located in Slovenia, various tours allow passengers to get a first flavour of this beautiful part of Europe.  Prices for 12 days including half-board accommodation start at £989 per person.

9. French Château Tour

French Chateau Tour

For any romantic at heart a coach tour of the Loire Valley has to be a dream come true.  Costing around £850 per person for a seven-day trip, the tours take in the historic town of Nantes which hosts the International Floralies this May and includes excursions to Château de Villandry and Château des Ducs de Bretagne on the Loire River.

10. German Christmas Markets

German Christmas markets are a highlight among winter coach tours.  Visiting Cologne, Bernkastel, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Trier, Stuttgart, Nuremberg or Munich, coach operators typically pick the most tried and tested of Germany’s Christmas markets.  Why not try something different this year?

There are Northern Germany’s yuletide offerings, such as the famous Christmas market in Lübeck, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers far more than fried sausage stalls and tumblers of Glühwein.  Hamburg’s Christmas market, held opposite the imposing Town Hall, celebrates centuries of Hanseatic tradition, and has a distinctly maritime flair.  Some operators offer also Bremen, Celle, Bonn and Baden Baden Christmas Markets on tours lasting from 4 to 14 days.

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