I’m a little bit country. I’m a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Not because I was raised on the Osmonds but because when I travel, I like to have it all.
It’s tempting to divide destinations into country and city, old and new world. But often you don’t need to choose. You can enjoy quiet rural charms and still access vibrant, bustling cities.
Alsace is one such region, with Untours cottages in quaint villages on the wine route, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. Strasbourg and Basel are nearby, both with deep history and striking modernity. Think universities, Art Basel and the EU. (See my two takes on Alsace above, photos of charming Riquewihr and of street art in Strasbourg. Read my love letter to Strasbourg below.)
The Amalfi Coast offers cliffs and beaches, grottos and islands and mountain hiking set in the tropical foliage and citrus groves of the southern Italian coast. But not far away, Naples throbs.
Nafplio is a surprisingly chic little city on the Greek Peloponnese, chock-a-block with cool restaurants and sophisticated bars that cater to Athenian weekenders. In the other direction, find endless olive groves, beaches and remote ruins. Read more below.
Our homebase in Scotland grants access to historical castles and lovely glens and lochs of the highlands. But it’s also near Glasgow, an eccentric high-rise city laced with Macintosh architecture and brimming with contemporary art and energy.
The Salzburg Untour has mountain hikes and Alpine views to accompany the high culture and music of cosmopolitan Salzburg. Of course the soundtrack there is Mozart, but you get the idea.