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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.
Andrea Szyper'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?
Andrea Szyper'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.

Andrea Szyper'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
Untours staff's picture

Meet Adriana: Our Anchor in Barcelona

on Mon, 03/28/2016 - 10:36
Adrianna in Barcelona

Meet  Adriana, our local Untours staff representative on the Barcelona Untour. She is a great resource for our guests in Barcelona, resourceful, smart, full of city knowledge, and quick with a friendly smile. Like so many of our European staff members, Adriana has a fascinating background and a very rich professional life beyond her work with us.

I love traveling and I do it all the time. It's amazing, being back home, to be able to explain details of my city (and my favorite one) to those who love doing the same thing!

I was born in Barcelona and hold a BA in Media and Communication Studies

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Cruise the Rivers of Europe With Us: A Ventures Video Adventure

on Tue, 03/22/2016 - 15:46
Paris on a river cruise with Ventures

It's no secret that we love Europe. We've been hosting guests on apartment-based vacations in Europe for 40 years! But we've also fallen in love with Europe's waterways over the years. The rivers of Europe cut through some of its most beautiful countryside and string together majestic cities and chaming smaller towns. A river cruise is an interesting was to cover more territory and take it all in. Here's a little video tour of some of our favorite rivers of Europe:

Sandra Kohler's picture

Sandra's Alsace Part 3: World War History in the Countryside

on Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:23
War memorial at La Linge, France

We headed for Le Linge. For me, this was probably the most intense experience of the trip. The densely tree-lined road to it takes hairpin turns, climbs up and up. When we got there the site of the battle was amazing. It’s so high up, the German trenches are so solidly built, with enormous rocks anchoring steel-plated gun ports. They’re impregnable. The French trenches, now mostly invisible, were just dug into the soil. How could the French have hoped to take this hillside? It looks so clearly impossible, doomed. 17,000 dead here – one of the bloodiest battles of WWI, forgotten. Now campanula, tiny blue bellflower, bloom between the rocks of the German trenches – they would have been blooming there from July to October, as the battle wore on.

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8 Tips for Painting the Tuscan Landscape

on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 09:36
The light in Tuscany has inspired painters and artists going back to the Renaissance. Indeed you will feel like you are moving through a painting most days, the landscape and setting are so lovely. We have hosted several painter groups in the area near Montalcino, on the Tuscany Untour. Our farmhouse apartments there provide a comfortable and scenic refuge for painters and artists. Some of our past trip leaders have made the following suggestions for how best to capture Tuscany while painting outdoors.
 
1.  Simplify the scene. Squint your eyes and focus on the total landscape.
Andrea Szyper's picture

Beara Peninsula: County Kerry's Undiscovered Gem

on Wed, 03/02/2016 - 12:02
Views from the Beara Peninsula, Ireland Untour
We are continuing our tour of Ireland's most beautiful peninsulas with a visit to the Beara, an easy drive from Kenmare, homebase to the Ireland Untour.
 
Less traveled than the other two peninsulas, the Beara Peninsula is a hidden paradise of quiet, winding roads through beautiful country dotted with small colorful villages and beaches. Half of the peninsula is in Cork, the other half in Kerry. Watch out for sharp turns and sheep! 
 
As it is not visited by tour buses and is less popular and touristed than the Ring of Kerry, we recommend this as a first outing to help you orient yourself to

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