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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.
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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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Bellinzona, A Swiss City With Italian Flair

on Tue, 11/07/2017 - 11:29
Swiss apartment stays in Ticino

Ticino is a region of Switzerland that surprises and delights travelers, as those who have taken our Swiss Ticino Untour will tell you. And the town of Bellinzona is the surprise of Ticino!

At the crossroads of the valleys leading to Italy from the Alps, Bellinzona is a natural sentinel and crossroads of trade that was coveted by the north and the south. It is the capital of Ticino, and the canton’s richest historical town, with no fewer than three castles, at least one palace, several noteworthy churches, and relatively few tourists.

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Meet Hundertwasser's Whimsical Vienna

on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:36
There are so many reasons to love the arts and architecture in Vienna! The city has had a reputation for interesting architecture since the completion of the Ring in 1865. 
 
The Hundertwasser House is a great place to start! Innovative Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser has enraged and delighted an equal number of Viennese with the city-subsidized construction of a low-income apartment complex on the corner of Löwengasse and Kegelgasse. 
 
His building (photographed above) was completed in 1985. It was designed to bring city dwellers closer to nature.
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Home Cooking from Tuscany: A Recipe for Gnocchi with 4 Cheese Sauce

on Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:00
Cooking classes in Tuscany

Tuscany is a wonderland for those who live to eat and believe in vino veritas. So the Tuscany Wine and Food Untour was a natural. Here Donella, Serenella and their family, who will lead one of the events, share one of their favorite recipes. It’s a a hearty and satisfying dinner for a cool, dark winter night: Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi.

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Eating in Secret Paris: Sweets, Cooking class, Take-out and More

on Mon, 10/02/2017 - 11:59
Insiders guide to eating in Paris
Paris is a city for foodies, a true epicurean paradise. While its restaurant scene is storied and extremely well known and documented, we have our own lesser known favorites.
 
Here are some of our favorite ways to eat
 
• Pack a picnic and head out to the Jardin de couvent pour habitant laïc, a garden open to the public and maintained by the Soeurs de la Charité: 33 rue de Babylone; Métro: Sèvres-Babylone or Saint François Xavier 
 
• Not excited about cooking your own dinner, but reluctant to spend too many euros on a restaurant meal?
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Meet Ellen Peters, Professional Voice and Untours Accounting Diva

on Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:11
Untours staff Ellen
Ellen Peters has been part of the Untours family for 17 years, working in our US office. If you have called the office you may have spoken with her, but only briefly as she passed your call. Ellen is our accounting director, so when all goes well, our guests never talk to her. Yet our enterprise could not run without her.
 
In her time at Untours, Ellen has managed personnel, overseen our office affairs, balanced our books, initiated our worm composting, and even helped start our Alsace Untour many years ago. Here are some of Ellen's favorites. We hope they are useful!
 
My Favorite Travel
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Helen's Florence: 7 of Our Favorite Overlooked Gems

on Mon, 06/26/2017 - 16:21
Hidden gems in Florence, the Florence Untour
Helen Glave, on-site host of the Florence Untour, is a whiz with logistics and hospitality. But she is also deeply knowledgeable about Florence’s sights. We recently ask her to name her favorite hidden gems of Florence. Here is her response.
 
It is quite difficult to signal 'hidden gems' in Florence as most are so well documented. Here are a few personal favorites, places that might be easy to miss or overlook. Although they might be known, they are a lot less busy than the main attractions.

Bardini Gardens

Spectacular views, a nice place to hang out on a sunny day, and is is not overrun by
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6 Reasons to Love Locarno, Home of our Swiss Ticino Untour

on Tue, 05/23/2017 - 09:00
The Swiss Ticino Untour is Locarno, Switzerland
Our Swiss Ticino Untour offers the perfect marriage of Italian romance and Swiss efficiency, with spectacular hikes, excellent train connections, and picturesque lakeside towns. 
 
Here are 6 reasons to fall in love with Locarno, homebase of our Swiss Ticino Untour.

1. History  

Locarno was settled before Roman times and was an important glass-making center. Its continued prominence in the Middle Ages is seen in the ruins of the Visconti Castle. Then Locarno was in the hands of several noble families of Lombardi and it became an important market town. 
 
Locarno suffered during the Protestant
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The 5 Best Restaurants in Amalfi (plus one in Atrani)

on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 15:29
Amalfi Coast restaurants, Amalfi Untour
The Amalfi Coast is a place of dramatic beauty, of pastel villages built into cliffs and hillsides overlooking sandy beaches and shining sea. Anyone who has taken our Amalfi Coast Untour will tell you about its natural beauty.
 
But one thing that surprises some travelers to the region is the quality of the local cuisine! In southern Italy, fresh vegetables are abundant and the basis of lots of local dishes. Add the crisp wines of Campania, the abundance of seafood and citrus, and the flair of Neapolitan cuisine, and you get the picture.
 
Come for the beauty, stay for the food.

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