A mosaic of culture and language adds vibrant texture to our unique journey through Southern Europe. Trek across the majestic Swiss, Italian and French Alps where action packed days end in delightful mountain refugios. Feel the presence of long-gone gladiators in the shadow of the Coliseum. Savor the delight of Italian gelato as you discover the Eternal City of Rome. Whitewater raft down the exhilarating turquoise waters of the Isére River in Southern France. Discover the classic beauty of Italy’s seaside villages. Kayak along the dramatic Mediterranean coastline. Hike on the famous footpath that connects the villages of Cinque Terre. Experience the ‘City of Lights’ as you stroll through the Champs-Elysées and take in the wonder of the Eiffel Tower. Discover the unique splendor of Europe on this remarkable expedition through pristine landscapes and ancient cities.
““Best summer I have ever had. Loved the people and the places – I didn’t want it to end!””
— Grace T., New York, NY
Our European adventure begins in the Eternal City of Rome, where the Coliseum, Michelangelo’s masterpieces, and the Pantheon are at our feet. We may also choose to visit the Sistine Chapel within Vatican City, explore the ancient Forum, or creep through Rome’s underground catacombs. We become part of this historical city as we fully immerse ourselves in the ancient architecture and lively culture.
Cinque Terre & Sea Kayaking
Surrounded by stunning views of the Mediterranean, our next destination, Cinque Terre, is classic Italy. We trace a centuries-old scenic footpath that connects five picturesque seaside villages built into the hillside, all part of a well-preserved national park. At day’s end, we swim in the gentle Ligurian sea and spend four nights in one of the villages where life continues as it has for ages. We make our way from cobblestone paths to the inviting warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea for two days of sea kayaking. After learning kayaking fundamentals in the stunning turquoise sea, we tour along seaside villages passing vibrant communities and friendly fishermen.
Alps Whitewater Rafting
Next, we move into the French Alps at the crossroads between Italy, France and Switzerland. After setting up camp, we spend two high-action days with professional French water guides learning to whitewater raft the tumbling waters of the Isère River. As we plunge down some of France’s best whitewater, the lofty peaks of the Alps surround us.
Our final backpacking adventure is dominated by views of Europe’s tallest peak, Mont Blanc. We cross into three different countries and meet backpackers from all over the world. Highlights include hiking into Switzerland, where we snuggle into our chalet-style lodge and sample Swiss treats, and exploring the classic Alps town of Chamonix. Finally, we visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the famed Champs D’Elysees which decorate Paris. During our final two days in the City of Lights we cap off our European journey in style.
For the next two days we explore the wonder of Paris! We climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, view the Mona Lisa at Le Louvre, and shop on Les Champs d’Elysees. We may choose to explore Montmartre - home of countless artists, the majestic Sacré Coeur, and the infamous Moulin Rouge. We cap off our adventure with a final feast, French-style, and reminisce about all of our amazing adventures together.
*Students participating in the Southern Europe Multisport program should be comfortable hiking at elevation to fully appreciate this experience.