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Sandra Kohler's picture

Sandra's Alsace Part 4: Excursions to the Heart of Europe

on Tue, 05/24/2016 - 17:06
 
In the fourth and final installment of her series on Alsace, Sandra Kohler writes about Alsace’s history during the first and second world wars. She and her husband Walt (whose photos are featured here) have been on many Untours, but Alsace was an especially captivating region for them.
 
When I think back on our excursions to Breisach and Strasbourg, what is striking, and has become even more striking as we’ve reflected on this Untour, is the sense we are finally left with of Alsace being the heart of Europe.
 
It is mostly art that takes us on these two excursions, but what we find goes
AndreaSzyper's picture

How to Travel with All of Your Senses

on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 13:44
Untours taste
Paolo Conte’s song Max makes me cry. Its undulating melody echoes the Tuscan hills. I played his greatest hits often on a family trip to Tuscany nine summers ago. I close my eyes when I hear it now and see the sun setting on lush green hillsides. 
 
Travel is sensual. We readily think of sights, the visual, but there are other senses that pull us into a place more deeply if we allow ourselves the time and space to engage them.
 
The morning smell of espresso or bread in the bakery ovens. Rosemary and lavender warming in the Mediterranean sun. Geraniums.
AndreaSzyper's picture

A Scotland Untour in Stirling? We Have Located our New Untour Here for 9 Reasons

on Wed, 05/11/2016 - 09:58
Stirling, home of the new Scotland Untour

We’re thrilled to announce our new Scotland Untour, with our first arrival dates this fall. Stay tuned for details or sign up to get first notice when it is ready to book. In the meantime, here is a little more about our homebase there, and the reasons we have chosen Stirling and its surrounding countryside to host our Untour.


1. Stirling is vibrant. Enjoy its cobbled shopping streets, art centers, parks, and cozy cafes and pubs. Stirling’s medieval old town will captivate you. You’ll find a strong sense of place in the city’s castles and parks.
 
2. Stirling is central. Located in the heart
V. J. Fadely's picture

Irish Music 101: U2, Trad, and Beyond

on Tue, 05/03/2016 - 09:20
Irish Trad music on the Ireland Untour

Ireland has produced many famous musicians, among them U2, the Dubliners, the Chieftans, and Van Morrison. There are many musical offerings in both concert and pub venues all over Ireland, with touring shows and international performers covering all genres of music. And it isn’t unusual to hear rock and roll spilling from a corner pub on a Saturday night, especially in Kenmare, home of the Ireland Untour. It is traditional music that’s played in the pubs.

Traditional music performances in pubs are called “sessions,” a term started many years ago when musicians gathered informally in someone’s

AndreaSzyper's picture

8 Tips for Wine Tasting in France

on Tue, 04/26/2016 - 09:38
Vineyards in France

One of the great joys of touring France is visiting its many wineries, where you can connect with the scenery, the local people, and the history of a region one memorable glass at a time. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience.

1. Look for Degustation or Goutez on signs outside vineyards in the countryside. This means vineyards welcome guests and you may pull up and sample some wine. Depending on the setting, it may not be a formal tasting, and there may not be hired help waiting to pour you a glass, but be adventurous!

2. Know your AOCs. French wines are labeled based

Special guest's picture

5 Essential Apps for Your Time in London

on Tue, 04/19/2016 - 10:45
Smart apps for your London Untour
London is an incredibly popular destination that never fails to impress. Tourists from all over the world flock here to see its numerous famous landmarks, red buses, and British culture. This dynamic destination is filled with the vibrant hustle and bustle of any capital city, and because of this, getting the most out of your experience sometimes requires a helping hand.
 
Fortunately, the days of long tours and bored tour guides are over! Now you have the power to create the perfect getaway right in your pocket.
AndreaSzyper's picture

Booking a Cruise? Ask These 6 Questions

on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 14:04
Cruise with Untours Venture
Cruising can be a great way to cover a lot of territory in comfort. But choose wisely, as not all cruises are created equal. We've hand selected the best of what's on the market, for French barge and canal cruising, the rivers of Europe, and small-ship seas cruises to Greece and beyond! Check our Ventures site for details. And the next time you book a cruise, ask these 6 questions.
 
1. What are the port charges? Beware that port charges are rarely included in the package price, so factor them into your trip costs.
 
2. What does the price include? Are excursions included?
AndreaSzyper's picture

Dingle Peninsula, the Heart of Traditional Irish Culture

on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 15:22
A cruise off Dingle, Ireland Untour
Ireland's wild coast and sylvan scenery are best taken in on its ring drives. We've covered the Iveragh Peninsula (both Killarney National Park and the Skellig Ring) and the Beara Peninsula in previous posts. Our last installment takes us to the Dingle Peninsula, another great peninsula that is easily accessible from the Ireland Untour homebase of Kenmare.
 
Dingle is probably most famous for its dramatic high coastal views and the quaint, popular town of Dingle. The area offers some of the best sea views of the three peninsulas, and it is home to several archaeological sites.
 
It is also a
Untours staff's picture

Travel and Terrorism: Some Thoughts From the Untours Community

on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 09:54
Travel thoughts among old friends

Years before our big presence on Facebook and other social media, we set up an email listserv for travelers called Idyllchat. It became a community of friends who shared a love of travel, many of them Untourists, sharing advice on Untours and lots of other travel options. It continues today and has had a flutter of activity and posts recently, as old friends unite and exchange views on all sorts of topics.

One of the most popular and timely conversations has revolved around the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels and the safety of travel in these uncertain times.

AndreaSzyper's picture

Vatican to Partner With Tesla on Green Vatican Initiative

on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 09:14
April Fools in Rome
On Wednesday the Vatican announced plans to replace all motorized vehicles in Vatican City with electric cars by 2017. It is part of a larger plan to make Vatican City carbon neutral by 2024.
 
Tesla will partner with the Vatican to produce modified electric vehicles to replace those driven by guards and officials. The fleet will include 25 cars in black and gray and a special white version to be used exclusively by the pontiff himself. This new "popemobile" will be custom fitted to special security specs.
 
“I am delighted to make Vatican City a model for sustainability in a world growing

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