Europe’s Tiny Countries

Europe’s Tiny Countries

from £2,198 excluding flights

  • 13 nights
  • Year round
  • Multi-destination
  • Rail
01737 214 250
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Europe’s Tiny Countries

from £2,198 excluding flights

  • 13 nights
  • Year round
  • Multi-destination
  • Rail

Customers rate Discover the World

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Highlights

In pictures
liechtenstein alpine village istk

Travel through the stunning alpine scenery by rail

italy vatican museum ceiling istk

Explore the Vatican’s art treasures including the Sistine Chapel

monaco old town street istk

Immerse yourself in Monagasque lifestyle

liechtenstein alps and vaduz castle astk

Hike in the Liechtenstein Alps

italy rome trevi fountain in spring istk

Take in the sights of Rome from the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain

san marino rocca della guaita istk

Climb the iconic towers in San Marino’s medieval Old Town

Why this trip...

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On track and flight free

Slow travel from London to the classic towns and cities of Europe with your rail tickets and accommodation taken care of

Aoraki Mt Cook National Park tailor made white

Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe

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Euro culture

Experience a wealth of history and heritage exploring the fascinating heart of Europe

Overview

Liechtenstein, San Marino, Vatican City, Monaco… four tiny countries that pack a vast amount of history, culture, art and architecture within their borders – not to mention some of Europe’s most spellbinding sights (from the Alps to St Peter’s Square), fabulous local cuisine and even an opportunity for an adventurous hike or two. This intriguing rail journey will capture the imagination of anyone who has ever poured over an atlas and marvelled at the existence of Europe’s tiny countries. Travelling by train from London, you’ll embark on a two-week journey through the heart of a continent, with plenty of time to explore the highlights and hidden wonders of Europe’s ‘small four’. In between each mini country, simply sit back and enjoy views of northwest France, the Alps, Tuscany and the Mediterranean passing by your window.

Liechtenstein

With a backdrop of alpine peaks, the 12th-century Vaduz Castle perches on a forested slope above the capital of Liechtenstein – an iconic image of Europe’s fourth smallest country (and sixth smallest in the world). Down in the streets below, Vaduz is a cultural hotspot where you can easily fill a day delving into fascinating museums and churches and enjoying its shops and cafés. With two days to explore, we can tailor make your itinerary with suggestions for hikes in the surrounding mountains – there are 400km of trails to discover, from gentle riverside strolls to high-altitude jaunts with majestic views.

San Marino

On this rail holiday you have three nights in the microstate of San Marino – 61 square kilometres in area. Long after the demise of other Italian city-states, like Venice and Genoa, San Marino somehow endures. The world’s oldest surviving sovereign state and its oldest republic (dating from AD301), it has a reputation as a tax-free shopping haven. But with our insider knowledge, we’ll help you discover the medieval treasures of the capital, its iconic defensive towers and wide range of restaurants and cafés.

Vatican City

The world’s smallest country (0.44 square kilometres in area), Vatican City nestles in the heart of Rome. Even with three nights to immerse yourself in this cultural and historical gem, the sheer range of attractions in this city-within-a-city can seem overwhelming. We’ll help you plan the ultimate sightseeing wish list, combining must-sees, such as the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and Roman Forum with less well-known highlights, such as a walk to the medieval area of Trastevere –renowned for its traditional trattorias and artisan shops.

Monaco

The final tiny country on your rail journey is Monaco – the world’s second smallest, with an area of just two square kilometres. With a third of its population estimated to be millionaires, this wealthy principality on the French Riviera is well known for its flashy casinos, glitzy grand prix and harbour glistening with super yachts. The city of Monte Carlo has all the wow factor, but we’ll also give you suggestions for exploring the old town of Le Rocher perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea and home to the royal palace, oceanographic museum and exotic gardens.

Itinerary

Day 1 UK - Zurich

Depart London in the morning and travel to Paris Gare du Nord on Eurostar. Transfer to Gare du Lyon, just two stops on the Paris PER, in time for lunch, before departing on your onward journey to Zurich for an overnight stay.

Depart London in the morning and travel to Paris Gare du Nord on Eurostar. Transfer to Gare du Lyon, just two stops on the Paris PER, in time for lunch, before departing on your onward journey to Zurich for an overnight stay.

Day 2 Zurich - Vaduz

The train to Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, leaves in the afternoon, so you have this morning to explore Zurich’s medieval old town, Altstadt, strolling along the waterfront lined with guild houses that were once used by carpenters, merchants and other traders. After lunch, take the one hour rail journey to Sargans – a beautiful journey that takes you through the foothills of the Swiss Alps and alongside the lakes of Zurichsee and Wallensee. From Sargans there is an easy connection by a local bus or a taxi to Vaduz (payable locally). As you are approaching the city, you can’t fail to admire the fairy-tale turrets of Vaduz Castle rising against a backdrop of mountains. Overnight in Vaduz.

The train to Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, leaves in the afternoon, so you have this morning to explore Zurich’s medieval old town, Altstadt, strolling along the waterfront lined with guild houses that were once used by carpenters, merchants and other traders. After lunch, take the one hour rail journey to Sargans – a beautiful journey that takes you through the foothills of the Swiss Alps and alongside the lakes of Zurichsee and Wallensee. From Sargans there is an easy connection by a local bus or a taxi to Vaduz (payable locally). As you are approaching the city, you can’t fail to admire the fairy-tale turrets of Vaduz Castle rising against a backdrop of mountains. Overnight in Vaduz.

Days 3-4 Vaduz

With two days to explore Vaduz and the surrounding countryside of Liechtenstein, divide your time between cultural highlights and the great outdoors. The modern and eye-catching Art Museum houses one of Europe’s largest private collections, while the National Museum displays archaeological and cultural artefacts in a medieval building. There are several options for long or short hikes in the Liechtenstein Alps, each offering breathtaking views. Don’t forget to try saukerkas, the local cheese, or Liechtenstein’s famous smoked sausages and schnitzel. Established in 1380, the Restaurant Löwen is famous for its traditional cuisine. Further two nights in Vaduz.

With two days to explore Vaduz and the surrounding countryside of Liechtenstein, divide your time between cultural highlights and the great outdoors. The modern and eye-catching Art Museum houses one of Europe’s largest private collections, while the National Museum displays archaeological and cultural artefacts in a medieval building. There are several options for long or short hikes in the Liechtenstein Alps, each offering breathtaking views. Don’t forget to try saukerkas, the local cheese, or Liechtenstein’s famous smoked sausages and schnitzel. Established in 1380, the Restaurant Löwen is famous for its traditional cuisine. Further two nights in Vaduz.

Day 5 Vaduz - San Marino

Another memorable rail journey today, as you wind through the Alps to Innsbruck, then head south to Bologna and the Adriatic coast before reaching San Marino for a three-night stay. After a day of travel, indulge in some local gastronomy, such as fagioli con le cotiche, a bean and bacon soup or Torta Tre Monti, the ‘cake of three mountains’ – a culinary nod to the three towers of San Marino. Overnight in San Marino.

Another memorable rail journey today, as you wind through the Alps to Innsbruck, then head south to Bologna and the Adriatic coast before reaching San Marino for a three-night stay. After a day of travel, indulge in some local gastronomy, such as fagioli con le cotiche, a bean and bacon soup or Torta Tre Monti, the ‘cake of three mountains’ – a culinary nod to the three towers of San Marino. Overnight in San Marino.

Days 6-7 San Marino

San Marino’s three towers of Guaita, Cesta and Montale are connected by stone walkways with several places along the way to take a break for a picnic and admire the scenery. Perhaps the most famous and romantic spot, Passo delle Streghe (the Pass of the Witches) reveals a breathtaking panorama of the Adriatic Sea, Romagna Coast and distant valleys and mountains. Don’t miss the cable car ride over the rooftops between Borgo Maggiore and the historical centre. Oozing with medieval charm, San Marino’s architecture ranges from medieval to neoclassical. The Basilica del Santo, Church of San Francesco, the Public Palace on Liberty Square, the ancient monastery of Santa Chiara and the Church of San Quirino are just some of the highlights. Further two nights in San Marino.

San Marino’s three towers of Guaita, Cesta and Montale are connected by stone walkways with several places along the way to take a break for a picnic and admire the scenery. Perhaps the most famous and romantic spot, Passo delle Streghe (the Pass of the Witches) reveals a breathtaking panorama of the Adriatic Sea, Romagna Coast and distant valleys and mountains. Don’t miss the cable car ride over the rooftops between Borgo Maggiore and the historical centre. Oozing with medieval charm, San Marino’s architecture ranges from medieval to neoclassical. The Basilica del Santo, Church of San Francesco, the Public Palace on Liberty Square, the ancient monastery of Santa Chiara and the Church of San Quirino are just some of the highlights. Further two nights in San Marino.

Day 8 San Marino - Rome

Today’s train journey meanders between the cypress-studded hills and vineyards of Tuscany and Umbria before arriving in the region of Lazio and the city of Rome for your next three-night stay. This ancient city requires little introduction, but whether you’re a seasoned visitor or it’s your first trip to the Italian capital and the Vatican City, there is always plenty to see and do. Overnight in Rome.

Today’s train journey meanders between the cypress-studded hills and vineyards of Tuscany and Umbria before arriving in the region of Lazio and the city of Rome for your next three-night stay. This ancient city requires little introduction, but whether you’re a seasoned visitor or it’s your first trip to the Italian capital and the Vatican City, there is always plenty to see and do. Overnight in Rome.

Days 9-10 Rome and Vatican City

From Michelangelo’s iconic painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s masterpiece The Transfiguration, the Vatican Museum houses some of the world’s most precious artworks. You will also be mesmerised by Giuseppe Momo’s spiral staircase, while outside – standing in St Peter’s Square – the architecture will have your head spinning as you take in the legendary facades of the world’s largest basilica of Christianity. Venture beyond the smallest country on earth and you’re swept away by the equally captivating sights of Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona… the list seems endless. The trick is to combine a few famous landmarks with more offbeat exploration – and that’s where we can offer suggestions. You might, for example, choose to wander across the River Tiber to Trastevere, a charming medieval part of the city where narrow lanes and small squares are lined with authentic trattorias and pizzerias. Further two nights in Rome.

From Michelangelo’s iconic painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s masterpiece The Transfiguration, the Vatican Museum houses some of the world’s most precious artworks. You will also be mesmerised by Giuseppe Momo’s spiral staircase, while outside – standing in St Peter’s Square – the architecture will have your head spinning as you take in the legendary facades of the world’s largest basilica of Christianity. Venture beyond the smallest country on earth and you’re swept away by the equally captivating sights of Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona… the list seems endless. The trick is to combine a few famous landmarks with more offbeat exploration – and that’s where we can offer suggestions. You might, for example, choose to wander across the River Tiber to Trastevere, a charming medieval part of the city where narrow lanes and small squares are lined with authentic trattorias and pizzerias. Further two nights in Rome.

Day 11 Rome - Monaco

Travelling north via Milan or Genoa, you reach the French Riviera and Monaco, the last of our ‘Tiny Countries’. Smaller than New York’s Central Park, Monaco is a condensed mix of high life, history and medieval town planning. With three nights in the principality, you have plenty of time to take an optional private tour or explore at your leisure – we can tailor make your visit. Overnight in Monaco.

Travelling north via Milan or Genoa, you reach the French Riviera and Monaco, the last of our ‘Tiny Countries’. Smaller than New York’s Central Park, Monaco is a condensed mix of high life, history and medieval town planning. With three nights in the principality, you have plenty of time to take an optional private tour or explore at your leisure – we can tailor make your visit. Overnight in Monaco.

Days 12-13 Monaco

Monte Carlo’s opulent waterfront, lined with luxurious yachts and supercars, is certainly a head-turner – as are the city’s wonderfully extravagant casinos. After mingling with the millionaires, visit the old town of Le Rocher, high up on a rocky bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Narrow streets wind past landmarks like the Prince’s Palace, Courthouse and Roman-Byzantine Cathédrale de Monaco. Also in Le Rocher, the magnificent Oceanographic Museum celebrates marine life and maritime history with an extraordinary range of aquariums and exhibits. There’s plenty of choice for eating out in Monaco, from haute cuisine to smaller, family run restaurants serving French, Italian and international fare. Traditional Monegasque dishes include barbajuan, a puff pastry treat filled with cheese and herbs, and stocati, dried cod in tomato sauce with black olives. Further two nights in Monaco.

Monte Carlo’s opulent waterfront, lined with luxurious yachts and supercars, is certainly a head-turner – as are the city’s wonderfully extravagant casinos. After mingling with the millionaires, visit the old town of Le Rocher, high up on a rocky bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Narrow streets wind past landmarks like the Prince’s Palace, Courthouse and Roman-Byzantine Cathédrale de Monaco. Also in Le Rocher, the magnificent Oceanographic Museum celebrates marine life and maritime history with an extraordinary range of aquariums and exhibits. There’s plenty of choice for eating out in Monaco, from haute cuisine to smaller, family run restaurants serving French, Italian and international fare. Traditional Monegasque dishes include barbajuan, a puff pastry treat filled with cheese and herbs, and stocati, dried cod in tomato sauce with black olives. Further two nights in Monaco.

Day 14 Monaco - London, via Paris

The homeward leg of your rail odyssey passes through some beautiful French countryside, villages and towns before arriving in Paris. From there, the Eurostar whisks you back to London St Pancras and journey’s end.

The homeward leg of your rail odyssey passes through some beautiful French countryside, villages and towns before arriving in Paris. From there, the Eurostar whisks you back to London St Pancras and journey’s end.

Accommodation Options

We will recommend accommodation for this holiday, but with a vast choice available, we can adapt to suit your personal preference mixing different grades and styles in different cities.

Discuss your options with our Travel Specialists.

Prices and Departures

Price from £2,198 excluding flights

This itinerary is based on rail travel from the UK, so flights are not required.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Breakfast throughout
  • All rail travel
  • All compulsory seat reservation fees on high-speed and international trains
  • Return transfer between Rimini Railway Station and San Marino
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

From price per person

Based on two sharing a twin room with private facilities and breakfast. Prices may vary depending on departure date. Please contact us for a detailed quote based on your preferred travel dates.

Departure Duration Twin Price Rail / Flight
Year Round 13 nights £2,198 Round trip by rail
Year Round 13 nights £1,873 Fly back on Day 14 - price excludes flights*

*Please note that flights are not included in the price, but will be quoted at the time of booking.

This itinerary is flexible and the number of nights at each of the overnight stays can be extended or reduced.

Meet our expert

nordic team eric shadbolt bw
One of our specialists
Meet Eric

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.

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We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.

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