The weather is better than you think
It may be wonderful to be in St. Petersburg in June during White Nights, but it is just as likely to rain and be dull as in September, October, or April! October in Dubrovnik is infinitely more enjoyable and the average temperature is 65 degrees with 8 hours of sunshine!
The crowds vanish
Between May and the end of August many European cities hit their peak visitor numbers. Additional charter flights, plus sea and river cruise ships and large group tours dominate this time of year. Traveling outside this period makes all the difference to the pace of your visit.
You have the museums to yourself
Well, perhaps not quite. But you will be sharing them with locals and individuals, rather than large groups.
The atmosphere is more authentic
Stroll through the medieval streets of Prague and the grand avenues of Budapest without competing for the best photo frame, or being photo bombed by an umbrella wielding tour leader!
No cruise ships in port
Cruising can be wonderful. Unpacking only once, and enjoying multi-destination trips with little fuss and maximum comfort. Because cruising has become so popular, there are many different standards of ship, and some destinations have embraced a few too many! Enjoy unadulterated views of the Danube in Budapest and the old town in Riga without the crowds!
The locals are happier
The local population get to enjoy their cities again, and the people that work in hospitality and travel just LOVE showcasing their home towns and cities when things are not quite as hectic. Guides love it as they have more time to take you off the beaten path and show you a quirky store or café.
Fall, winter and spring are the height of the cultural season
Most theatres and concert halls go dark (close) in July and August, and part of September. International companies like the Bolshoi in Moscow and Mariinsky in St. Petersburg go on international tour in the summer and the only ballet you can enjoy comes from companies that are not first rate. The best symphony, ballet and opera performances start again in September.
Hotels and air fares are better value outside of perceived peak season. You will be able to upgrade your hotel, or splash out on a special meal. If you book more than one destination with our Exeter Exponentially Program, you will also save on custom touring!
Your custom touring will be more relaxing
We custom design many trips each year to Russia and Europe. We know that the flexibility in changing your program when in destination is so much greater out of the bustle of summer. This and the fact that you are not competing with so many people for space and restaurant reservations makes for a more relaxing trip.
The best restaurants are all open
In Vienna, Copenhagen and many other major European cities the very best restaurants simply shut in the summer. They cater mostly to locals and individual travellers and take their own vacation in summer!
Christmas Markets & New Year
Winter is really a romantic time of year in Europe. Mulled wine, gingerbread, sparkly lights and cozy fires. Shop for unique gifts at our favorite Christmas markets. New Years Eve is much celebrated in Europe and a highlight. Enjoy a troika ride in St.Petersburg before a performance of the Nutcracker at the Mariinsky, or for the ultimate experience of a lifetime, book for the Tsars Ball at Catherine palace.
For more details about any of our destinations, contact us: 800.633.1008 or 813.251.5355 or email.