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Andrea Szyper's picture

The Mt. Rigi Steam Train, A Swiss Untour Highlight

on Tue, 03/13/2018 - 00:00
Mt. Rigi on the Swiss Untour

We can't get enough of Switzerland around here, even 43 years after we ran our first Untour there. The beauty of the Swiss Alps is a perennial wonder, and the Swiss Travel System is our favorite way to explore the area, using lift, boats, and especially trains to take in the most dramatic mountain and valley views.

The Swiss Heartland Untour is full of beauty, but Mt. Rigi is at the top of our list of favorites in all of Switzerland. Rides on the local steam railway are covered by the Swiss Transit Pass we include with all of our Swiss Untours.

Take a look for yourself!

See you in

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Dinosaurs, Pilgrims, Windmills, and Art: The Leiden Museum Guide

on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:26
Leiden Untour, Holland
Leiden has it all! This charming Dutch Untour hometown is laced with peaceful canals and endowed with an important university, the oldest in the country founded in 1575. With its bustling market, vibrant street life, and excellent train access to Amsterdam and the rest of Holland, it is a fabulous base for exploring the Netherlands.
But there are also a lot of reasons to stay put. The city’s museumscape is impressive. Here is a rundown of some of the best museums in Leiden.
Hortus Botanicus (Rapenburg 73)
The university’s botanical garden is Holland’s first and one of the oldest in
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Paris Cafe Culture in Saint-Germain

on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 13:28
Les Deux Magots, Paris Untour, vacation rentals
There are so many neighborhoods to discover while enjoying a Paris Untour. Each has its own culture and history, and few as celebrated as the café life in St-Germain.
Once the center of Paris’s intellectual life from the 20s to the 50s, the Left Bank district of St. Germain is more popular than ever. Philosophers and publishers, executives and writers as well as students from the neighboring Latin Quarter all mingle among the cafés, restaurants, movie houses and smart shops. Oddly dynamic and quaint, it’s hard not to find yourself entranced by this quartier.
The Boulevard St.
Andrea Szyper's picture

The Best of Edinburgh Part 1: Old Town

on Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:41
Edinburgh, Central Scotland Untour
Edinburgh is a majestic, regal city dominated by history and the academic life of its universities. In its dramatic topography, convivial street life, and stunning architecture, you’ll find a lot to love about Edinburgh. Whether you are joining us in the Scottish Highlands, spending time in our Central Scotland Untour, or combining both locations in a Scotland Sampler, you will want to make time for Edinburgh.
Here is part 1 in our Edinburgh series, on sights in the Old Town.
Edinburgh Castle sits atop a volcanic rock hilltop shaped into a “crag and tail” by glaciers.
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Exploring the Marble Caves of Carrara, Home to Michelangelo’s White Marble

on Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:41
Carrara on a day trip from the Florence Untour
Used for the Pantheon, Trajan’s Column, and Michelangelo’s David in Rome, Carrara marble was valued above all other stone. The mountains were first exploited by Julius Caesar with origins from the 2nd century BC. Located in the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, this blue-grey or white high quality-marble is coveted by artisans and used worldwide.  
The ruling Cybo and Malaspina families established the “Office of Marble” in 1564 to regulate the marble mining industry. By the end of the 19th century, the quarry workers were among the most neglected laborers in Italy.
Andrea Szyper's picture

The 10 Most Romantic Places in Europe

on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:37
10 most romantic places in Europe

There's nothing like travel to stoke romance. The sights and sounds and smells and tastes of new places can stir your passion for living, and sharing those thrills with another is a perfect way to build your relationship.

Untours are made for love, giving you space to spread out in an apartment, autonomy to do your own thing, and a local host who can make suggestions for the perfect date night. Here are our favorite places in Europe for romance! Share these Untours with someone special.

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From the Scottish Highlands: Our Favorite Stops on the Speyside Whisky Trail

on Thu, 02/01/2018 - 11:09
Single Malt Scotch, Whisky Trail, Scottish HIghland Untour
In Scotland, they don’t call it scotch but rather whisky, with no E. And there’s no better place to taste it than in the Scottish Highlands, with some of Scotland’s oldest and best distilleries easily accessible from our Scottish Highlands Untour. Here our Untours host Duncan outlines his favorites.
The Speyside Malt Whisky Trail is within easy reach of the Scottish Highlands Untour hometown of Inverness. Speyside is home to some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery and lush landscapes, as well as roughly half of the country's distilleries.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Shock of the New: 3 Contemporary Sculpture Gardens in the Hills of Tuscany

on Tue, 01/23/2018 - 14:04
Contemporary art sculpture gardens in Tuscany
Above: Tarot Gardens photo by s9-4pr, CC
Interested in contemporary sculpture? Tuscany is a surprisingly furtile place for it! See how the shock of the new and surreal commune with the deep natural beauty of the Tuscan landscape. There are some fantastic sculpture gardens to explore near our farm house apartments on the Tuscany Untour. Here are our favorites.

Site Transitoire

Set off the small road between Leonina and Mucigliani (near Asciano), you will find this monumental sculpture by Jean Paul Philippe, a sort of 1990s stonehenge that inter-
acts strikingly with its natural setting.
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Swiss Alpine Wildflower Walks Over Engelberg

on Tue, 01/16/2018 - 10:18
Engelberg hikes in the Swiss Alps, Switzerland Untour
Nestled in the mountains south of Luzern, handy to our Swiss Heartland and Oberland Untours, the traffic-free village of Engelberg is surrounded by pure countryside and several mountain lifts. It’s packed with activities aimed at families, but placid enough for anyone. 
Here are a few hikes in the area that are accessible to most of our guests. 
Engelberg Valley Stroll 
Difficulty: This is appropriate for anyone.
Time and Distance: You can hike as long as you like, up to 4.6 miles round-trip
These two trails, both immensely popular with the locals, are easy enough for strollers and
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Vienna's 5 Best Coffeehouses

on Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:57
Guide to Vienna Coffee Houses

Vienna is legendary for its excellent coffee and cafés. Austrian coffee houses are something of an institution and a traditional meeting place. A café or Kaffeehaus is the best place to relax, read the newspaper, and enjoy the good things in life. Here you are alone with your thoughts and you can watch Vienna pass you by. Some people will spend all day in a café socializing and reading their way through a weekend newspaper. Soak it in—relax like a Wiener!