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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
CathrinBaumbach's picture

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!

Andrea Szyper's picture

St. Andrews: Sacred Ground for Golfers, Scholars and Pilgrims

on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 11:07
St. Andrews, golfing on a Scotland Untour
There is so much to see on our popular Untour in Central Scotland. Edinburg and Glasgow are top of list, not to be overshadowed by Stirling's own castle. But one of our absolute favorite day trips is to St. Andrews, a must-see for golfers, of course. But it offers so much more than that!
 
St. Andrews is widely credited as the place where the game of golf originated. Indeed, the roots of the game here go back to the mid 16th century, and the town is home to the first known golf course, today called the Old Course. It is a gorgeous expanse, abuttng the coastline of the West Sands.
Special guest's picture

First Person Account: A Barcelona Report on the Catalan Independence Vote

on Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:56
Barcelona and the Catalan independene vote
Adriana Nadal coordinates our Barcelona Untour and welcomes our guests on the ground in Spain. She was born in Barcelona and works there as a journalist and in theater. Here she reflects on the movement for Catalan independence, its history, and what she's seen on the streets in her beloved hometown.
 
If I look back at this past year in my beautiful Barcelona, I can’t tell when exactly this situation made the click and how it did so fast.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Meet the 2017 Hal Taussig Award Winner: Roshan

on Wed, 12/27/2017 - 12:29

To honor Hal Taussig and acknowledge some of the best and brightest progressive businesses, B Lab awards the Hal Taussig Award each year at their annual retreat. This year's winner is a true inspiration: Roshan, a telecom company committed to bettering the lives of their customers, not just in communications, but in many other realms. The theme of this year's conference was interdependence, and founder Shainoor Khoja spoke eloquently about their work and the community support that works both ways in times of crisis.

Here is the amazing speech she gave at the conference in Toronto in October of 2017.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Mystras, Greece

on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 13:29
Mystras on a Greece Untour
Greece is one of our most beloved Untours, largely because of the great diversity of things to do right in and around Nafplio. But there is nothing like hitting the open road and enjoying the countryside as you make your way to some of the farther flung corners of the Peloponnese.
 
On the outer edges of our day trip suggestions lies one of my favorite destinations, the historic ruins of Byzantium’s second capital, Mystras.

 
In the latter days of the Byzantine Empire, much of the Peloponnese was under Byzantine rule, and Mystras was a major seat of power—second in size and power only to
Special guest's picture

Andalusia, Spain, Close to Home

on Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:47
Apartment stays in Andalusia

We decided it would be fun to drive around in the local country and explore the villages of Rute and Iznajar. Juan, our wonderful landlord, had furnished us with grapes from the vine in the courtyard. It was time to cut the vines back and he saved us some of the most delicious, sweet white grapes. We took them on every picnic! Armed with our maps and Garmin, we set off for Iznajar, driving the most spectacular scenery roads along the way.

They were harvesting some olives at one point, and we learned these were for green olives; they were not yet ripe, when all are picked and crushed for olive oil. We entered the village of Iznajar after a fair amount of driving and drove on some of the steepest grades I've ever been on! Wow, was the view from the top spectacular! The town is on an embalse, or reservoir of the Genil River. The plaza by the church of Santiago is the place to get the best views, but there are charming walks all over town.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Untours Foundation Gift Guide: Creative Presents, Soulful Giving

on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:45
Untours travel gift guide

It’s that time of year again. Whether we relish or dread it, many of us are gathering gifts to give for Christmas and Hanukkah.

This year, consider skipping the mall and giving something with purpose. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas and the values behind them. The Untours Foundation supports lots of worthwhile businesses, and we have many B Corp friends who share our values. We have ideas for kids, pets, hosting gifts, stocking stuffers, and experiences.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Scottish Highlands Q&A: Duncan on Heritage, Food & Skulduggery

on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:50
Scottish Highland hosted vacations
We chose Duncan MacKellar to be the on-site staff for our new Scottish Highland Untour for many reasons. He's already been a huge help to our first guests in the region this fall. Meet the newest addition to Untours' global family of friendly on-the-ground hosting staff.
 
Tell us briefly about what you’ve done before your work for Untours?
Professionally, I trained as an engineer and my two brothers and I ran our own engineering business in the Highlands of Scotland for 25 years, servicing the offshore oil and gas Industry.
Special guest's picture

Paris, in the Footsteps of Grandmere

on Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:11
Personal journey on a Paris Untour

Elizabeth Pontarolo recently joined us for Untours in Prague and Paris. Her time in Paris was a personal journey of sorts, in pursuit of her late grandmother's haunts. Here she shares some images and thoughts from her time in the City of Light. A highlight was finding the apartment building that her Grandmere lived in when she was a baby and young child

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