We're curious and a little impulsive. (Doesn't that sound like you?) We approach a region with total enthusiasm for its people and culture. We take easy-going walks through their villages and fields and countryside. We relish the local cuisine and stay in the region's finest inns. We meet and mingle.in their markets, vineyards, piazzas and homes.
We're flattered that so many have come back to Classic Journeys for a second, third or even a fourth trip. They tell us it's because our small groups with local guides accomplish what they always sought in their own private travels: spontaneity, flexibility and a sense of personal discovery-minus the logistical hassles.
They come back to experience trips that explore the natural world or tantalize the senses, like our walking tours in Ireland and Scotland, our French and Italian Riviera tours, our cooking tours in Italy. They come back to experience our unique combination of family travel and overseas adventure travel.
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Sicily - Island in the Sun
We explore Puglia in Italy's heel, amble through England's Cotswolds, and travel to New Zealand (whose impossibly beautiful landscapes you saw in The Lord of the Rings). You'll also find several exciting adventure vacations in America, including Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, and Bryce, Grand Canyon and Zion national parks.
We also offer travel to Italy--small custom tours, Italian Riviera tours, and culinary tours in Italy; adventure vacations in America and Canada--family travel tours to US National Parks, the Pacific Northwest, and the historic Southeast; travel on foot through the British Isles--walking tours in Ireland, Scotland and England; and the myriad other parts of the globe we introduce to our travelers.
First, we take an average of just 10 guests on each tour. That allows us to craft itineraries full of the things we like to do when we travel on our own. We can check into the most intimate and interesting inns and eat in local restaurants that don't cater to tourists. With groups so small, our guides are able to arrange private invitations to homes, workshops, or archaeological sites-places you couldn't get into as an unknown individual or as a member of a larger group.
Then, we invite you to do the things you please. Every Classic Journey offers you options that can range from snorkeling to cooking lessons to glacier walking. Prefer a day by the pool with a book instead of the planned activities? That's fine with us, too. Or take an afternoon off for shopping, an extra round of tea and scones, or a nearby museum that's not on the itinerary. Every step of the way, you get the benefits of our experience, planning and local contacts. And the freedom to take advantage of them as much as you like.
"Walking" means something special at Classic Journeys. To us, walking means that the world can't slide past you faster than you can absorb it. It means breathing air scented with wild thyme, sea mist and sun-warmed grapes. Walking means encounters with people you'd never meet otherwise, wildflowers you'd never have noticed, chapels whose cool quietness you'd never have entered. In our book, walking is the best way to immerse yourself in the cultural and natural history of a place.
Plan on 3 to 4 hours of walking a day. On a typical Classic Journey, this is usually divided among two or more separate optional walks; whenever possible our minivan is nearby in case you have a change of heart. The walks might include a village tour, a seaside stroll, or a local guide's favorite path through an oasis, vineyard or red rock canyon. Walks like these are easier on the body than hours in museums and on paved city streets. And if time in fresh air is good for the appetite too, then the next day's walk is a pleasant way to atone for spare calories.
We don't hike, trek or walk from inn to inn. At Classic Journeys, we don't rate walks according to difficulty because virtually all are easy-going. (On tour, your local guide will describe walks before they occur; in regions where more strenuous walks are possible they may be offered as options.) The only gear you need is a water bottle, comfortable walking shoes or boots and perhaps a daypack if you like to carry a camera or a jacket. Each trip is different due to the paths available, the terrain and the local walking traditions.
We live la dolce vita in every language. Copenhagen to Québec, Cusco to Siena, we believe in being absolutely self-indulgent when we travel. The creature comforts-from unforgettable lodgings to meals we can still describe course-by-course years after we've eaten them-are essential parts of every Classic Journey.
All accommodations are first-class. Show us a Spanish fortress-turned-parador with cannonball dents in its walls, and we'll show you a Classic Journeys inn. We choose all accommodations for the way they reflect the style and hospitality of the region. Often, each room is unique-after all it's hard to create cookie-cutter rooms in converted abbeys, Mediterranean villas and rain forest lodges. And you can be sure if there's a hotel in the heart of a nature preserve, across the park from the Alhambra or clinging to the cliffs of Santorini, we'll find it. All rooms include private baths. As often as possible, we spend two or more nights in each location so you can settle in a bit.
It's true. we're "foodies." We believe in eating the local specialties in fine typical restaurants. If we start telling you about that pique-nique in Provence, the way the Austrian wine tasted on the patio overlooking the Danube, the little peas that looked like emeralds in the Venetian risotto, we'll never stop. Suffice it to say that all breakfasts and most dinners are included in the tour price. In many European restaurants, chefs make an extra trip to the market to prepare special meals just for us. Lunches are also included on many days. For picnics, we stop at local markets or bakeries for supplies.
Travel in the company of a full-time local guide. We evaluate Classic Journeys guides for their experience, training and knowledge. But we only choose the ones we'd want as traveling companions.
You have a well-connected friend. Your guide will be the kind of person who knows the man whose wife's brother owns the olive press.the opening day of truffle season (and the truffle-hunter who'll let you tag along).and which local specialties don't appear on the menu.
You'll be on a first name basis because your guide stays and travels with you throughout your Classic Journey. If you need help with anything from haggling for a rug to buying a tube of toothpaste, you're never on your own-unless you want to be.
And if there's a special festival. Classic Journeys' local guides can change plans in a moment to take advantage of a local event, a harvest, or an unexpected invitation into a home. And your guide will also be glad to offer you any ideas or opportunities that appeal to your special interests. Some trips have two full-time guides, and on any itinerary you choose you may also be joined by specialists in anything from birding to wine-tasting to archaeology.
Interested in learning more about Classic Journeys?
Call us at: 905-857-1556 or 800-563-2338
Or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information also check out these pages: Culinary Tours and Family Journeys