5 Optional Excursions You Won’t Want to Miss

Are you getting excited about your future program with EF Study Abroad? We hope so because we are so excited to travel with you again!

Did you know that oftentimes there are additional experiences you can add to your program? That’s right, you can add even more amazing experiences on top of your already life-changing time abroad. These are called optional excursions. An optional excursion is an activity or experience that you can decide to participate in while on your program in lieu of free time. There is an additional fee when opting into these excursions, but when we say it is worth it…trust us, it’s worth it.

Below are 5 of our most popular excursions. Keep reading to learn about each excursion and what you can expect to experience when opting in!

Cape Sounion | Athens, Greece

Travel to Cape Sounion where you will see incredible views of the Aegean sea at sunset. With a local guide, you will visit the temple of Poseidon and learn about its significance in Greek Mythology. This Temple was one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens and is surrounded on three sides by the sea.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounio
Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

After touring the ruins, close out the day with a sunset dinner with your group. Ignite your senses of taste, sight, and sound by eating delicious Greek foods while taking in the breathtaking views and sounds from the sea.

Swiss Alps Experience | Switzerland

Travel by boat across stunning Lake Lucerne and arrive at the base of the Swiss Alps. A cogwheel railway takes you up the mountain. At the top, you will have free time to explore. There are small hiking trails, incredible views, and a café to enjoy. And to top off the day, a gondola suspended above the treetops takes you back down the mountain.


As a group, you will either visit Mount Pilatus or Mount Rigi depending on the time of the year. Definitely pack warm layers no matter the time of year you are traveling, it gets cold up there! This is a half-day excursion full of adventure and the most amazing views. Make everyone back home jealous with some amazing snapshots of your trip into the Alps.

Gondola Ride | Venice, Italy

Check this item off your bucket list and enjoy a peaceful ride through the historical and beautiful canals of Venice.

Versailles | Paris, France

Have you ever wondered how French Royalty once lived? Well, cure that curiosity by stepping foot into the Palace of Versailles, one of the most famous palaces in the world and home to French royalty like Marie Antoinette and King Louis. During your visit, you will have a guided tour of the palace where you will learn about the history of the palace while touring its rooms and works of art. Afterward, you will have time to explore the enormous gardens on your own.

Photo by Gwen King on Unsplash

You’ll also of course see the famous Hall of Mirrors.

Located just about an hour outside of Paris, you will take a bus with your group and then get to skip the (often) enormous line waiting to get into the palace. You definitely will not want to miss out on this experience.

Windsor Castle | Windsor, England

Did you binge-watch The Crown this year too? If so, then you already know about Windsor Castle and its significance to the Royal Family.

Windsor Castle has been a residence for the Royal Family for centuries. It is vast enough to be almost considered a small town. Explore the Castle and its grounds on a guided tour and you will see for yourself why this is the preferred weekend getaway for Queen Elizabeth II.

With your group, you will travel by bus to Windsor Castle. You will have a guided tour throughout Windsor Castle and St. George’s castle and then will end with some free time to explore the grounds and the state apartments.

Imagine the kinds of treasures a royal family has collected over the centuries – you can see original sketches from Leonardo Da Vinci and a vast collection of famous paintings from artists all over the world.

If you’re curious to learn about other optional excursions offered on EF Study Abroad programs, be sure to browse all of our programs on our website here.

Call our Traveler Support Team today to see if your program is currently offering any optional excursions! You can reach us at 877-485-4184. We are available Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm EST.