Category Archives: European travel

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, Designed for Active Travelers, Sets Spring Departures

Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland – Touring Ireland in March and April means fun-filled festivals, better value flights, quieter roads, lambkins, bluebell-carpeted woodlands. Vagabond Adventure Tours  an award-winning travel company offers two styles of culturally immersive travel.

Vagabond Adventure Tours are designed for active travelers who want to mix up hiking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. An 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour (Vagabond Adventure Tours, departs March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Why wild? Because the tour, recognized by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime, is off-road as much as it’s on, relying on signature 4×4 tour vehicles to go where other sightseeing companies tend not to tread.

Why Irish? Because the tour blends pubs, people, castles and lore into the hearts of active travelers.

Why roving? Guests are never rushed traveling from the west coast of Ireland and the peninsulas of the southwest all the way up to Connemara.

Our itinerary of the southern half of Ireland keeps guests on their toes and exploring under their own steam power. In fact, they’re sometimes, after a walk or cycle, grateful for a sit down in the 4×4,” said Rob Rankin, founder and owner with Amy Rankin. “Every stone we walk over has a story to tell. Ruins and castles are, after all, about people.”

The €1,919 per person double rate (before the early booking discount) includes eight full days of touring, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfasts, services of a professional Vagabond tour guide, guided walks, entrance fees to historical and archaeological sites, demonstrations of local craftsmen at work, ferry excursion tickets and taxes. Activities require a good level of fitness for walking and cycling 2.5 hours each on undulating paths. Additional 2019 departures are weekly on Sundays through mid-October.

Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at an intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion. A 6 Day Northern Island Tour ( offers spring departures April 7 and 21.

“This tour brings tourists into a region that for decades was overlooked because of border issues,” said Rankin. “Basically, nobody wanted to visit Northern Ireland because of the ‘troubles’ there. This only started to change in the early 2000s really. The northwest county of Donegal, despite being in the Republic of Ireland (the ‘south’), was almost cut off from the rest of the state geographically. Thus, its tourism did not develop in the same way as in other parts of the country.” A border region deemed “very hard” up until early in the 21st century emerged with its own identity and culture, partly formed by the years of political turmoil and violence.

The per person double rate of €1,509 (before the early booking discount) includes six full days on tour, five nights’ accommodation with full Irish breakfasts, some entrance fees and relevant taxes. Additional 2019 departures are May 5, 19; June 16, 30July 14, 28; Aug. 11, 25; Sept. 8, 22; and Oct. 6.

For all of the current specials and promotions offered by Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland visit online;

Vagabond staff curate locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the mission is to have guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a custom 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows access beyond where regular tour buses go.

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been revealing the hidden treasures of Ireland through its carefully planned and executed tours since 2002.  Last year the Irish Tourism Awards singled the company out as offering Best Adventure Experience, and also in 2017 it became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification.

For details on all of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2019 reservations, visit Call toll free (from the US) 1.833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email: [email protected].

Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way since 2002. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and in 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards.


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Busabout Brings Europe Home for the Holidays

Busabout offers several trips that allow those with itchy feet to celebrate the holidays in exotic locales among like-minded fellow travelers. These late December adventures combine food, fun, and festivities in European locations steeped in holiday spirit, like New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland.

BOCA RATON, Fla.– Free-spirited travelers may well reconsider that old expression “home for the holidays” after hearing about the European feasts and festivals they can enjoy on an end-of-year trip with Busabout.

Busabout, the flexible travel expert, offers several trips that allow those with itchy feet to celebrate the holidays in exotic locales among like-minded fellow travelers. These late December adventures combine food, fun, and festivities in fantastic European locations that are steeped in snow and holiday spirit.

  • Rise Festival 2018 Ski Adventure: Combine hard rigid peaks with penetrating grooves on this ice cool festival adventure to France and England that visits the one and only Rise Festival. Party in mountain bars after shooting down soft-snowy Alpine slopes, mellow-out with meditation marathons in incredible ice caves, and have the chance to mount husky-sleds, helicopters, and snowmobiles. Then attend the unique festival, which merges dance moves with mountain views.9 days; departs December 14, 2018. Priced from $759 pp.
  • Eastern Festive Trek: This December, discover all the jingles and bells of Eastern Europe, and show Santa you’ve been a good little traveler. Stuff your stockings in the markets of Krakow and Vienna, get merry under the mistletoe in the parties of Krakow, admire the craggy mountains around Zakopane, and ring in the New Year in Prague. You’ll also visit Budapest, Vienna, and Český Krumlov. Even if you’re a little bit naughty, we’ll make sure Santa’s little helpers give you a good gift! 11 days; departs December 22, 2018. Priced from $1,229 pp.
  • Mega Highland Christmas (operated by HAGGiS)This is one truly traditional Scottish Christmas to remember. Imagine a Highland setting for Christmas, with lochs, glens and rugged mountains. Then add a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings followed by a ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance party) and a dram or two! A wee bit different to sitting by the TV… eh? Throw in a real Christmas cracker, the magnificent Scottish Highlands covered in a blanket of snow, and have the time of your life with Christmas Day spent in a Highland hotel fit for the royals. Visit Edinburgh, Loch Ness, and Inverness. 5 days; departs December 23, 2018. Priced from $799 pp.
  • Highlands and HogmanayScotland is simply one of the best places in the world to ring in the New Year! On this trip you’ll celebrate it in so many ways: attend the incredible Edinburgh torchlight procession, participate in traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing, attend the sparkling Winter Festival, and party with thousands at the Hogmanay Street Party amid an eye-popping fireworks displays. On New Year’s Day attend the early-morning Aussie and Kiwi New Year celebration before getting the chance to plunge into the sea during the insane “Loony Dook” in the Firth of Forth. This trip also includes a day trip to the stunning Scottish Highlands. 7 days; departs December 27, 2018. Priced from $799 pp.

Busabout offers a distinctive Hop-on Hop-off bus network across Europe and guided Adventure trips around the world, Busabout and its partner companies Shamrocker Adventures and HAGGiS have been helping independent-minded travelers of all ages see the world affordably and without too much hand-holding since 1998. Their “freestyle” form of travel combines the flexibility that independent travelers crave with the best aspects of traditional tours. Sometimes they show you around, other times you are free to explore. Either way, you get plenty of local knowledge of destinations and the chance to make unforgettable memories alongside like-minded friends.

For more information, visit or call 1-844-888-0216.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to help safeguard the planet, wildlife & people for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported over 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism through conservation, leadership and support for communities. The Foundation’s priorities are set by the Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include supporting various women’s social enterprises, the recently announced Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, and working with inspiring nature advocates like Céline Cousteau, Costas Christ and Terri Irwin. To learn more visit; follow  on Facebook Instagram, and Twitter using hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.


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Day of the Dead in Lithuania: Where Pagan and Christian Traditions Meet in Enchanting Cemetery Settings

During Vėlinės in Lithuania, ancient cemeteries are afloat with flowers and sinking in the sea of candles. People come to remember dead heroes and prominent poets of the nation, but they also don’t forget the unknown graves of dead people whose relatives might not be around anymore to light a candle.

Looking for a unique experience this Halloween? Head to Lithuania, where Day of the Dead is celebrated by the whole nation, and the country offers unique glimpses into the world of crypts, crosses and ancient cemeteries.

Take one of the special tours – visit old cemeteries of Vilnius, adrift in flowers and candles; take a tour of the underground crypts of Vilnius Cathedral; head to the old pagan Lithuanian capital, Kernave, and see pilkapiai – ancient cemeteries with no crosses; take excursions to the seaside and southern Lithuania, visit national parks and local cemeteries with UNESCO-recognized cross-making traditions; head to the extraordinary Hill of Crosses  – a site of pilgrimage in northern Lithuania with over 200,000 of crosses of all shapes and sizes. The first crosses were put on the hill by the relatives of the dead rebels of 1831 revolt against the Russian tsar.

On the first day of November, Lithuanian offices, shops and schools close, roads become packed with cars, families reunite, and everyone heads to one special place – the cemetery.

Lithuanian cemeteries are already different from what you’d find in other countries – they rather resemble a botanical park, sinking in the sea of trees, adorned with flowers and beautiful tombstones. On November 1st, Lithuanians celebrate Vėlinės (vėlė means “soul” and ilgėtis means “to long”) – the Day of the Dead, which is not as joyful an occasion as El Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico, but rather the day of remembrance and reunion that bears deep traditions. Cemeteries become the place of family gatherings, where young and old arrange flowers and light candles. When the sun sets, the cemeteries become enchanting, alive and mysterious from the sea of flickering candlelights and the aroma of thousands of fresh flowers.

When golden trees and low-hanging sun create special autumn atmosphere, it’s a perfect time to visit Lithuania and to get enchanted by the scenery and traditions, to explore some off-the-beaten track activities, and to see some old Lithuanian customs put into action.

According to the old Lithuanian tradition, this is the time to remember the ancestors and to re-think one’s place in the world. When Lithuania finally accepted Christianity (last country to be “baptized” in Europe), pagan and Christian traditions blended into one over time, giving special significance and depth to the Lithuanian Day of the Dead.

The Old Cemeteries of Vilnius 

The Old Vilnius Cemeteries belong in the list of European historical cemetery heritage.

There are three main cemeteries in Vilnius city center: the first one, Rasų Cemetery, was founded in 1796, and is the eternal home to famous Lithuanian poets, artists and politicians, such as the activist and folklorist Jonas Basanavicius, and composer and painter M.K. Ciurlionis. This was the first cemetery that was founded outside of the city, on a hill surrounded by old oak trees. The name of the place – Rasos – suggests this used to be an ancient pagan ceremony site.

The Bernardine Cemetery was established in 1810 by the Bernardine monks of the the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. As most cemeteries in the city center, it was closed by the Soviets and remained mostly unchanged from that time, with burials allowed only in existing family graves.

Antakalnis Cemetery is commonly referred to as the Military Cemetery. 12 of the 14 Soviet Union protest victims from 1991 TV tower attack are buried here, as well as the victims of Soviet Medininkai Massacre. Among other perished soldiers there are graves of Polish soldiers from 1919-20, Lithuanian, German and Russian soldiers who have fallen in World War I and thousands of French soldiers of Napoleon’s Army, whose remains were found in Vilnius and reburied in Antakalnis in 2001.

During Vėlinės, these old cemeteries are afloat with flowers and sinking in the sea of candles – people come to remember the dead heroes or prominent poets of the nation, but they also don’t forget the unknown graves of dead people whose relatives might not be around anymore to light a candle.

Lithuanian Cross-Making and the Hill of Crosses 

If you feel like venturing outside of Vilnius, Southern Lithuanian region of Dzukija and Lithuanian seaside will offer a special glimpse into the culture of Lithuanian cemeteries, with their  distinctive crosses and breathtaking nature that surrounds them.

The Lithuanian art of cross-making was recognized to be unique and added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Since Lithuania was the last country of Europe to abandon paganism and convert to Catholicism in the 14th century, pagan and Catholic elements intertwine in Lithuanian crosses – which were forbidden by Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union.

Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, located in the northern Lithuania, is a unique and enchanting place, with over 200,000 of crosses of every shape and size, and attracting thousands of Catholic pilgrims as well as curious tourists. People started leaving crosses on the hill after the 1831 uprising against the Russian tsar – relatives put crosses to commemorate dead rebels, since they had no bodies to bury. During Soviet occupation, the KGB bulldozed the hill twice – but today, the Hill of Crosses stands tall again as the symbol of resistance and faith.

Pre-Christian Cemeteries

You can also find cemeteries in Lithuania that have no crosses – these are pre-Christian pilkapiai dating from 12-13th century – abandoned in the 14th century – but still reminding everyone of pagan Lithuania. The most prominent site of pilkapiai is in Kernave, whose first residents arrived in the 9th century BC, and which later became an important pagan city.

Similarly, you wouldn’t find any crosses in the ethnic Jewish cemeteries, or the cemeteries of Lithuanian Turkic minorities – Tatars and Karaites.

Lithuanian Cemetery Excursions by Vilnius in Love:

  • Royal Mausoleum. A visit to the crypts of Vilnius Cathedral
  • Uzupis neighborhood. The Bernardine Cemetery
  • The old Military Cemetery of Antakalnis
  • Rasu Cemetery
  • The pagan capital Kernaveand pilkapiai
  • The Hill of Crossesin Northern Lithuania
  • National Park of Dzukija
  • National Park of Curonian Spit
  • Jewish Vilnius
  • Trakai Castleand old Karaites cemetery

Vilnius in Love is a tour guide company that offers customizable and personalized tours across all regions of Lithuania.  Hiring guides who are very well versed in local history, they are able to offer trips to unique destinations and rare attractions. Contact to learn more.


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See Italy by Bicycle – Freewheel Holidays Offers Weeklong Self-Guided Tours

Freewheel Holidays is offering a variety of self-guided bicycle tours through Italy.

MANCHESTER, UK – Inquisitive travelers eager to see the real Italy at the speed of a bicycle can choose among four bespoke, self-guided tours that dip variously in and out of the Dolomites, Lake Garda, Venice, Tuscany and the Chianti region. These seven-day/eight-night itineraries are available through early autumn from Freewheel Holidays, a UK specialist cycling vacation provider offering a 2017 portfolio of more than 40 European holidays on two wheels.

“We are really passionate about Italy as a cycling holiday destination and have selected cycling holidays that really showcase the varied nature of the country,” says Steven Rittey, Freewheel Holidays’ spokesperson. “There’s still time to book a trip this season and to help decide where to go, here are four of our favorite tours.”

Dolomites & Lake Garda begins in Resia (accessed by train from Bolzano) near the Austrian border where Italy’s South Tyrol region combines Italian and Austrian influences. Here at 5,000 feet, a dedicated cycle track winds down through Val Venosta and a collection of small villages as mountains on either side rise up to over 13,000 feet. Merano, a town that pampers people in its spas, is followed by Bolzano, the regional capital. Lake Garda beckons through the Adige valley past apple orchards and vineyards, promising a boat trip from Riva del Garda down the lake to Peschiera, a walled town with a traffic-free center. The Arena di Verona Opera Festival can be the piece de resistance in the city of Romeo and Juliet where this summer’s offerings include, among others, three Verdi favorites: Rigoletto, Nabucco and Aida. Per person double rates are from £669.

Venice Lands – Self Guided is a classic tour between the Alps and the Adriatic that is centered on the jewel of Venice. Cycle tracks and minor roads are generally flat on this tour that begins and ends in Vicenza with its own Teatro Olimpico and an array of historic buildings and cobblestone streets. The next stops are Marostica, famous for its castle and chessboard in the main square, and Bassano del Grappa with a covered wooden bridge and grappa. Another Italian city shares a canal culture with Venice. This is Treviso that follows a downhill run through Prosecco vineyards. This walled city also sports a castle and may be the birthplace of radicchio and tiramisù. The cycle continues into Venice and later along two rivers which carried Venice’s trade centuries ago. The Bacchiglione River leads to Costozza, a small town at the foot of the Berici hills. The cycle path passes in front of La Rotonda, the architect Palladio’s most famous creation. Per person double rates are from £519.

Tuscany – Pisa to Florence 7 nights embraces the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, enroute exploring an intimate landscape beloved by anyone who has ever visited Tuscany. Travel is on cycle-friendly tracks and minor roads, with two rest days to explore Lucca, a city ringed by Renaissance walls and the birthplace of Puccini. Enroute to Montecatini Terme, known for its spa waters, is a village, Collodi, known as the place where Pinocchio sprang from his creator’s hands. There’s never enough time to imbibe all of the ancient villas and landscapes, but two days in this region affords a fair amount of time for unscheduled pedals led by curiosity. The per person double rate is from £659.

Siena, Chianti Region and Florence brings into the spotlight the history of Palio di Siena, a race held twice annually in Siena with riders representing 10 of the city’s 17 wards and political feuds never to be forgotten. This adventure begins and ends here. The history of the dynamics, again political, between this one-time highly important municipality and Florence begin to sink in, along with ample quantities of Chianti ripe for the sampling. Along with viniculture comes high culture (think Florence), thanks to Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and, of course, assorted Medicis. Siena was also an important stop along the ancient (11th century) pilgrim’s way (from Canterbury to Rome), the via Francigena. The per person double rate is from £659.

Freewheel Holidays’ ( self-guided tours include, among others, inn and/or bed and breakfast accommodations, bike rental, luggage transfers, route maps and notes, services of a tour host including welcome and information talk.

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email [email protected]
or visit

A division of Sports Tours International, Freewheel Holidays specializes in self-guided, expertly supported European cycling holidays that strike the perfect balance between leisure pedaling and immersive sightseeing. The company offers easy cycling programs designed with special appeal to European and North American travelers.

Guests cycle on their own, with enroute assistance and distinctive accommodations expertly chosen and secured by the company. A portfolio of more than 40 European holidays offers choices for riders of all levels. The company features a range of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 night itineraries to 12 European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Portugal. The majority of tours are self-guided with the exception of a few fully-guided vacation packages in Croatia, France, Italy and Prague to Vienna.  The company also offers family-focused, coastal, wine lover and solo traveler holidays. 

Follow Freewheel Holidays on Social Media
Twitter:           @FreewheelHols

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Austin Adventures Relaxes Its Cancellation Policy for Overseas Travel

Austin Adventures is relaxing its trip cancellation policy to allow for a “no questions asked” full refund up to 14 days prior to departure. This new policy applies to the ground portion of all of its multisport, cycling, hiking and cultural adventures in Europe.
Austin Adventures is relaxing its trip cancellation policy to allow for a “no questions asked” full refund up to 14 days prior to departure. This new policy applies to the ground portion of all of its multisport, cycling, hiking and cultural adventures in Europe.

BILLINGS, MTTaking a cautious but determined approach to recent tragic events in Brussels, one leading adventure travel tour operator is pro-actively addressing current and future Europe-bound clients’ concerns about traveling during uncertain times.  Aware that travelers may be uneasy at this time to plan European travels, Austin Adventures  is relaxing its trip cancellation policy to allow for a “no questions asked” full refund up to 14 days prior to departure.

This new policy applies to the ground portion of all of Austin Adventures’ multisport, cycling, hiking and cultural adventures for both adults and families in Europe. Countries visited by Austin Adventures include Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Macedonia, Scotland, Slovenia and Spain. The standard policy is a 90 day cutoff for full refund (less a small handling fee) due to cancellation.

“Our guests’ safety, enjoyment and wellbeing are our top priorities,” explains Dan Austin, founder and president of Austin Adventures ( “That’s why we have increased our vigilance and communications on the ground in Europe and have decided to address booking concerns with a relaxed cancellation policy. While we encourage travelers to consider Europe as a destination, we don’t want to add any additional stress to the equation.”

In Europe, program director Ron van Dijk is utilizing his lifetime of local connections and resources to monitor and stay on top of any safety concerns. “Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the terrorist events in Brussels. But if we stop traveling, change our day to day activities, or avoid Europe all together, in essence we’ve given them the victory they seek.”

Austin and van Dijk point to a recent article by Katia Hetter for CNN entitled “Travel Advisories: What does ‘exercise vigilance’ mean?” as helpful in understanding the true risks and what can be done to stay informed and secure when abroad. See:

Along with revised booking policies, the Austin Adventures team of trip planners and consultants also can help explain available travel insurance options, coverages and limitations. They also advise U.S. citizens to register with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), so they can be kept abreast of travel alerts and warnings. See:

Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a provider of scheduled small group tours and customized trips to all seven continents. Recently, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings that includes operations in Grand CanyonYellowstoneZionCrater LakeGlacierRocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National MemorialFurnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park; and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also owns and operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in Williams, Ariz., the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., Windstar CruisesVBT Bicycling and Walking VacationsCountry Walkers and Austin Adventures.

For information, call 800-575-1540, email [email protected], or visit /
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Insight Vacations’ ‘British Royale’ Tour Offers Intimate Glimpse into British High Society

The Milestone Hotel is featured in Insight Vacations®, “The British Royale,” an elegant foray into British high society.
The Milestone Hotel is featured in Insight Vacations®, “The British Royale,” an elegant foray into British high society.

As “Downton Abbey’ winds down its final season, fans can extend their pleasure with a special tour from Insight Vacations®, “The British Royale,” an elegant foray into British high society. This journey, part of the escorted tour operator’s expanding portfolio of new portfolio of Luxury Gold Special Events, is limited to a single departure on Aug. 11, 2016 and guests booking before Feb. 29 will receive a $500 per couple air credit.*

“These popular Special Events represent the ultimate choice for discerning travelers,” said Phil Cappelli, president of Insight Vacations. “Our ‘England Featuring Downton Abbey’ tour sold out in a matter of days, but guests who wish to visit Highclere Castle (famous for its use in the show) can do so on ‘The British Royale’ along with a variety of luxurious experiences themed around the heritage of British royalty. This is a definite departure with limited seating, so interested guests should be sure to book now before it sells out too.”

In London, guests witness Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the pomp and pageantry of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. A Yeoman Warder leads a private viewing of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London before drinks and canapés are served in the Hall of Monarchs. The Kent countryside and its fairytale Leeds Castle is explored before continuing on to Canterbury’s 11th century cathedral and Highclere Castle.

Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland welcomes guests into her Alnwick Castle home, featured in the Harry Potter films, for a personal tour of the gardens and a locally-inspired lunch on the grounds. The magnificent Edinburgh Castle highlights elegant 18th century neoclassical façades and the Royal Yacht Britannia provides an insightful view into what life was once like aboard the Queen’s floating royal residence. The tour culminates with a  performance of the traditional Military Tattoo set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

Along the way, guests dine at private members clubs, private properties and renowned restaurants from London to Edinburgh. Unforgettable private performances and  five-star hotels provide the comfort and extravagance consistent with Insight’s Luxury Gold collection.

Insight Vacations® has been designing escorted travel itineraries for more than 38 years. Insight offers over 100 journeys across the European continent, covering more of Europe than any other operator. Insight Vacations also offers carefully curated itineraries in North America, South America, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Morocco, Egypt and Israel.

Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations is a collection of journeys that elevate travel beyond the ordinary. Guests traveling with Luxury Gold stay at the finest hotels, dine on the epicurean regional cuisine at featured Michelin-starred restaurants and enjoy an unmatched collection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and sightseeing.

Each tour includes the services of an experienced Tour Director who acts as “traveling concierge,” and Signature Experiences that provide revealing look into the history and culture of each destination. The authentic flavors of each country are incorporated through included Signature Dining experiences, Insight hotels are handpicked for their high quality and desirable central or scenic locations and the Insight motorcoach is specially customized to provide Business Class legroom.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant and preserved for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported more than 35 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities.

TreadRight’s past project partners include WWF, Conservation International and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include sponsoring the National Geographic Society’s inaugural “World Legacy Awards,” helping to combat wildlife crime with WildAid, and empowering individuals with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. 

For more information, visit For reservations, contact your travel agent or speak with an Insight Luxury Gold Specialist at 888-680-1241.


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