Elaborate architecture and exceptional cuisine, legendary landscapes and live history on the streets – western and central Europe is a place well worth its accolades. From the brash elegance of Madrid to the soft-hued sceneries of Avignon, the beer and bar cultures of Brussels and Berlin to the historical grandeur of Rome, this 43-day journey takes in the greatest gloats of the world's most travelled region. Check out the artistic edifices of Barcelona, cycle along the canal-lined boulevards of Amsterdam, discover Poland's hearty cuisine and get your adrenaline kicks in outdoorsy Bled. Striking the perfect balance of time for included activities and independent exploration, this is a great introduction to – or recapping of – some of the world's greatest cities.

Highlights

It's easy to be consumed by the architecture, culture and vibrant nightlife of Barcelona, but the food available for consumption is just as good. Traditional Catalan dishes such as fideua (similar to seafood paella) and botifarra amb mongetes (haricot beans served with sausage) taste a little like heaven. The wine isn't bad either

The beaches of Valencia are some of the most pristine in Europe, if not the world. Relax with a bowl of Valenciana paella at the gateway to the Mediterranean

Amsterdam has been developed with cyclists in mind, so hire a bike and hit the charming streets with the locals (just watch out for those canals)

Now one of the world's most artistic and exciting cities, Berlin has a complex history. See remaining fragments of the famous wall that once divided the city in half

Escape city life on the peaceful shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Visit a church on the tiny island in the centre of the lake and treat yourself to a slice of Bled's famous cream cake

Feast on mouth-watering seafood along Italy's coast, drink fine wine in Tuscany and indulge in the endless pasta dishes on offer in Rome