Special Interests


A well-rounded journey across cultures will naturally include a variety of interests. Even so, maybe you and your travel partner, or group of adventurers, would like to focus more on one particular travel theme over others. The following are just a few of the special-interest trip categories we can customize for your next overseas vacation.

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Food and Wine


Food and wine tours invite you to celebrate our global cultural differences, while uniting around one thing we all love to do – eating and drinking!

Some of the activities we offer to help you get immersed in the local cuisine routine include: Visiting neighborhood markets (like the Mercato di San Lorenzo in Florence) to select the best regional products, Learning to cook signature cultural dishes from local professionals or experienced home chefs (pizza-making in Campania anyone?), Walking through and sampling a city’s street food scene and special bites with a local food expert (if you’re in Lisbon you must try the “pasteis de Belem”), and Visiting food artists/food producers to witness their techniques honed to perfection, sometimes over centuries (have you ever wondered just how a Greek olive is harvested, or how truffle hunters find those gems in the forests of San Miniato? You can watch and get your hands dirty at the same time). For wine lovers, we can set you up with special tastings and presentations at some of the best vineyards in wine-producing regions all over (Bordeaux, Tuscany, the Piedmont, Douro Valley, Rioja, Istria to name a small handful) Enjoy pairings with some of the vine’s favorite partners like cheeses and olive oils. And it doesn’t stop at wine – you can also sample various drams of scotch on a distillery tour in Scotland, roadtrip to unique breweries in the Czech Republic or make a plan for Oktoberfest.

 

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Finding Your Roots


Ancestry vacations allow you to become a detective in search of your own story – the intercontinental saga of your relatives and where they came from.

There are several ways a personalized travel itinerary can facilitate your reconnection to foreign roots and your family’s heritage. Once you’ve done some digging to find out where your ancestors came from, we can help connect you to a local translator or genealogist in your ancestral hometown so that you can pore over local church or civil records to find out more. We can’t promise you’ll locate your family, but you should learn something more about the era and conditions in which they lived. If you’re not searching for specific information to fill in the family tree, and your main goal is more of an overall cultural absorption (walk-where-they-walked and eat-what-they-ate kind of thing), our local guides will be happy to step back in time with you. Visit regional folk museums, learn why citizens may have emigrated, try your hand at traditional recipes, engage in conversation with locals at markets, cafes and pubs, see the area’s landmarks and discover how the visual, political or economic landscape may have changed over time.

 


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Traveling With Children


Plan a vacation with children to share experiences, make memories, and have real-world educational adventures.

At home, kids and teenagers alike often seem glued to their electronics, so both you and they will be refreshed by all the opportunities available for fun educational engagement with another culture – limited screen time allowed. When we get to know you through our travel planning conversations, we will be able to suggest the right activities that fit your family. Cooking classes are ideal for children and adults – what could be more fun than learning to roll and cut fresh pasta in Italy, or put together a paella in Valencia? Speaking of Valencia, it has Europe’s finest marine-life complex, the Oceanogràfic. Of course there are countless aquariums, museums and monuments, but the key to maximizing your time here is to enlist the aid of a knowledgeable guide to lead you to the best exhibits and highlights that your kids will enjoy. In Paris, you could go on a scavenger hunt at the Louvre, attend a private pastry class or taste your way through the city’s creative chocolate boutiques. Be a gladiator for the day in Rome or stay in an Italian agriturismo to experience farm life and traditional home-cooked dishes. Seek out gorgeous Adriatic scenery while hiking in Croatia’s national parks or going on a Game of Thrones tour, or set off on an Algarve boat tour for dolphin-watching and cave exploration along Portugal’s southern coast.



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Faith-based Travel


Many travelers are led by a spiritual motivation to visit holy monuments and pilgrimage sites, or see where their religious compatriots faced trials and found inspiration.

Whether traveling as a couple, a family, or a religious group related to a place of worship or faith-based organization, we want to help you design the best plan for a more meaningful expedition. There are many Catholic pilgrimage sites in Europe (not to mention Vatican City), such as Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela and Fatima to name a few. When you visit any of these locations, you may also want to do more sightseeing and discovery in the area and the country or its neighbors. For those interested in Christian heritage, the rich destinations of Greece and Turkey give a wonderful context to the stories and words found in the Bible. One popular itinerary is a journey through modern-day Turkey to the Biblical Seven Churches of Revelation. For those interested in Jewish history, you can trace the diaspora, the influence of the Jewish people and the heartbreak of the 20th century in destinations like Istanbul, Spain, Barcelona, Rome, Budapest, Prague, Germany and others. In the same spirit, a tour of Islamic Heritage could take you through gorgeous Andalusia with Granada’s magnificent Alhambra and Cordoba’s Mezquita-Cathedral, or also the mosaicked palaces and mosques of Istanbul.

 


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