Russell & Barbara Crum, Renaissance Untourists of the Week (Umbria..Switzerland and Austria!)

Submitted by

1. Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

Our most recent Untour was to Kuchl, Austria in May 2012. We chose the Seiwald apartment for two weeks. We found this to be a charming small town to base in with great scenery. It was interesting to sit on our balcony and watch a spring season rain storm come over the mountains and roll through the valley. We also found the Seiwald family to be delightful hosts.

2. Why did you choose to go there?

We had been on two Untours before and loved them. The first was in Umbria at the Alessandra near Trevi. Prior to this, we had visited Italy from north to south spending several weeks on an organized tour and on our own and were ready to try settling down to see a smaller area more thoroughly. We liked the hill towns so we chose Umbria. We talked good friends into joining us and were able to stay on this operating olive farm with our own two bedroom house. Each day, we were faced with the decision as to which towns to visit. Our apprehensions about driving soon vanished because the area is so rural with less populated roads. We got hooked on Untours as a great way to travel.

Our second Untour was to the Ticino region of Switzerland staying in Locarno. We had spent time in other parts of Switzerland but never Ticino and not in any one place for an extended period of time. We found our two weeks sailed by with daily hikes up various valleys and enjoying local festivals and events.

We had previously visited the Salzburg area on an organized tour and wanted to return, so Untours seemed the logical choice to visit this lovely region more thoroughly. We were correct!

3. What is your favorite Untours memory?

Seiwald—where they stayed

During the Ticino Untours we looked forward to each day’s hike in the valleys around Locarno. We also enjoyed the Chestnut Festival in nearby Ascona, and a cog railway trip up to Monte Generoso near Lugano, where we could see the Jungfraujoch off in the distance.

In Umbria, we enjoyed the Chocolate Festival in Perugia as well as a return visit to Orvieto and just being on the olive farm during harvest season.

One favorite memory from Kuchl was the Fischerfest put on by the local fisherman’s club on the shore of Lake Vurgerau. Another highlight was a monthly gathering of local musicians to share their talents over dinner and brew at a restaurant in nearby Bad Vigaun. A trip to Melk Abbey including a boat ride on the Danube was another memorable day.

4. How is taking an Untour different from other ways of travelling?

Having made fourteen European trips, some independently, some with tours, and three with Untours, we feel each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Admittedly our total tour experience has been with Rick Steves which we understand is not the typical big bus tour. We have thoroughly enjoyed each style of travel.

The tours were great for not having to be concerned about transportation, lodging, museum entrances, etc. A good tour is pretty difficult to beat if you want to cover a lot of area with a minimum of apprehension, but options are limited by necessity.

Traveling independently requires lots of planning time, which we enjoy, some concerns regarding lodging and language and can sometimes be pretty inefficient in logistics compared to the tour. On the other hand you have a lot of flexibility to go when and where you want.

We feel Untours is an excellent compromise between the other two styles of travel. Concerns about your lodging are answered. Good advice on local attractions is available and up to date. Fundamental transportation issues are addressed, yet, you are free to explore, or not, each day. You also have local support in case of emergencies if needed. We have never required that but have first hand knowledge of other Untourists who did.

5. If you could describe an Untour in just three words, what would they be?

Flexible, supportive, relaxing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *