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The Sunflowers of Tuscany: What's Happier Than That?!

on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 15:21
Sunflowers from Tuscany, the Tuscan Untour

Photographer David Hessell joined us on the Tuscany Untour a few years ago and brilliantly captured the region in the full flush of late summer. As we face a cold and drab January, here are some of his beautiful images. We like to think of sunflowers as nature's antidepressant, a perfect foil for the short, dark days of winter.

RachelWortmann's picture

Room with a View: The 20 Best Untours Apartment Views

on Wed, 01/18/2017 - 09:51
Le Chiuse farm in Tuscany

At Untours we're big believers in slow travel. What is slow travel? It's slowing down, staying among the locals, spending more than just a few days (maybe even a few weeks), and immersing yourself in the local culture and ways.

With travel becoming more accessible to more people than ever before, traveling to small European towns or historically more isolated villages, is easier than ever. Now that travelers have more choices than ever before, it's time to make the right choices. That's why at Untours we hand pick each individual property we rent.

One of the criteria we try to meet in most of

Untours staff's picture

Versailles: An Easy and Regal Paris Escape

on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:32
Versailles day trip from Paris Untour
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a daytrip to nearby Versailles, just a short trip on the regional train.
 
France’s most famous château overwhelms most visitors. Breathing in its beauty, one understands how Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette could have made the fatal error of failing to flee in time to avoid Revolutionary mobs. Versailles simply wasn’t a place easily abandoned. 
 
Today, it ranks as the most popular destination for day-trippers from Paris, receiving more than three million visitors a year.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Ventures River Cruise Report: AmaWaterways Enchanting Rhine

on Thu, 01/05/2017 - 10:32
Untours Ventures river cruise Romantic Rhine

I just experienced my first AmaWaterways river cruise, a 7-day journey from Basel to Amsterdam, on the Enchanting Rhine. I had high expectations, and my experience actually exceeded them! Here are some of the reasons we partner with AmaWaterways, and why we love their river cruise options in Europe.

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What's On in Kenmare, Ireland? Here are Some Events to Help You Plan

on Tue, 01/03/2017 - 12:23
Kenmare Ireland apartment stays

Let's be clear. There is never a bad time to visit Kenmare, on the edge fo the Ring of Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. That's why we set up our Ireland Untour there. But here is a rundown of town events from a local that might help you decide when to travel.

Ongoing:

Outdoor Market – Every Wednesday in The Square and on some weekends during summer.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Gift Ideas for Your Hosts in Europe

on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 13:21
Gifts for European apartment hosts
In the days of globalism, there are very few American things you cannot get in Europe. We live on a rapidly shrinking planet where influences and cultures mix, and we all buy our couches from Ikea. What is distinctly American, anyway?
 
I asked these questions before heading to Europe, wanting to bring thoughtful gifts to my hosts in Scotland, Alsace, and Provence. What to bring that will be unique?
 
A legend in our office has it that an apartment host on our Provence Untour invited a guest into his pantry once to show him a shelf full of jars of peanut butter.
Andrea Szyper's picture

The Christmas Markets of Cologne

on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 11:53
Christmas markets in Cologne Germany

If you read our Untours blog and Eurozine newsletter or follow us on Facebook, you know we love the Christmas markets of Europe. We've been writing about them and sharing photos for years. For my part, I have gazed on colleagues' pictures, edited and produced their blog posts, and listened to their tales with envy.

But on my recent trip I got to experience the Christmas markets first hand. And I was not disappointed! The experience brought tears to my eyes. I was in Cologne, Germany on the opening day of their Christmas markets, and I was in bliss.

Robin Lasersohn's picture

Untours Foundation Fundees for 2016

on Tue, 12/06/2016 - 11:28
Untours Foundation
If you travel with Untours, you should feel good about how you are spending your travel dollars. Your Untours booking helps support the work of our owners, the Untours Foundation. They fund grassroots projects and green businesses that create jobs and strengthen communities. Here are the Untours Foundation investees for 2016.
 
Kitchen Harvest collects food scraps and yard trimmings, composts them at local farms, then distributes the finished compost back to customers for use in their gardens. Using such a simple, low-impact design, they are leading the way in this sector.
RachelWortmann's picture

Our 3 Coolest Places to Stay in Europe

on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 10:55
A Tuscan farmhouse on an Untour

For so many years I thought the closest thing I would get to being a princess would be Halloween costumes and Disney movies. But now it's possible to stay in a real-life castle in Sommersdorf, Germany! The castle is surrounded by a moat and a system of ponds, guarded by your own royal team of ducks and swans. As if that wasn't enough, the castle has its own chapel, and a small restaurant across the grounds perfect for local ale and bratwurst. Click here for the royal treatment.

Andrea Szyper's picture

From Craft Beer to Street Food: 11 Things to Eat and Drink in Rome

on Mon, 11/14/2016 - 12:44
Food is one of my primary motivations in travel. And to know a city well, I want to savor its signature dishes, discover its street food, and imbibe its most typical beverages. Aside from the sensory pleasures, I enjoy the shared experience of loitering in a city’s cafes, following the suggestions of the proud vendor at market, and being part of a noise in a crowded dining room.
 
Afterall, food connect people. And local dishes can be a window into the soul of a place and its people, its traditions, and its history. In Rome, Jewish history, ancient butchery, and new food and drink trends

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