Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! As I write this newsletter on a sunny, cool morning, I’m thinking ahead to what I have on tap for fall travel. My schedule ramps up in the offseason (mid-October to mid-December) for many destinations making it ideal for scoping things out without the crowds.
Regular readers will recall that last fall I traveled to Ireland with a focus on its castles and hidden gems and sailed the Caribbean on the new adults-only cruise line Virgin Voyages.
For 2022, I’ll give you two hints as to where I’m going: one trip involves epic wildlife and the other festive décor. On both trips, I’ll be taking tours and having experiences I know you will love learning about.
Speaking of tours, they aren’t created alike. One reason to work with a travel advisor is that your tour options are vetted, high-quality, and aligned with your interests. While I highly recommend private tours for the best experience, some small group tours can also be excellent. And not all tours are available to book online – you find them through a travel advisor; those experiences are the hidden gems 😊
Read on for the scoop highlighting favorite tours from some of my clients who loved their Hidden Gem Travel vacations to Europe this year…
Whitewater Rafting in Iceland
If you’ve been to Iceland, you know it’s an eye-candy destination for lovers of unusual natural landscapes. Unless you’re on a cruise, there’s a lot of driving. For families, like many of my clients, being active to break up time on the road is important.
This summer, one of the best-rated tours was family-friendly white water rafting on the northern coast of Iceland. The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable year-round, so tour guides need to bring energy and fun no matter how cloudy or rainy it may be. Instead of leaving your tour selection to random reviews on the internet, consult a travel expert to cut through the average options.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact.
Cooking With Nonna in Italy
There are hundreds of culinary experiences for travelers throughout Italy. The key is finding an engaging host or guide who connects with their guests and customizes the experience to specific interests.
My clients loved their cooking class with Nonna in Sorrento (Amalfi Coast area) last month. Not only did they learn to cook delectable dishes they can make at home but have arranged to text photos of their creations from home back to Nonna!
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Looking for a food and wine-focused trip to Italy? Do you know which region is best matched to your interests? Use this link to schedule a call: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact.
Touring Charming Copenhagen
If you haven’t been to Scandinavia, I highly recommend spending time in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of your trip. In fact, I studied abroad in Copenhagen back in the day and can tell you that this charming city is well worth your exploration.
My client was truly surprised at how much they enjoyed the city having been to several European destinations on that trip. Their day tour with an engaging local showed them the main sights while putting it all in the context of Scandinavia’s 850 years of recorded history and modern culture.
Exploring Croatia’s Krka National Park
Heading inland from Split, Krka National Park is an unexpected delight from visual, historical, and biological perspectives. After exploring coastal Split, my clients took a group day tour (a little over an hour’s drive) to view its series of waterfalls and distinctive green river.
The local guide brought the history of Croatia to life on the drive to Krka and shared what it’s like to be Croatian in the context of the world and its relationship with neighboring Balkan countries – fascinating stuff.
Read more about Croatia here: https://hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/adventures-and-experiences-in-croatia/
Croatia is hot for 2023 travel when it will officially become a part of the EU.
Sailing Paros, Greece
When exploring Greece, there are many highlights making it hard to just pick one. I send many clients to Greece, and they all come back hoping to return one day to explore more islands as well as areas inland.
One highlight for my clients this summer was their sailboat trip to the many secluded coves and beaches in Paros, one of the Greek Islands in the Cyclades group that also includes better-known Mykonos and Santorini. Snorkeling and swimming from the boat in turquoise waters and taking in the coasts of islands near Paros is a dream experience for all ages.
Another boating highlight and classic experience in Greece is a sunset cruise on a catamaran when in Santorini. There are multiple options, some far better than others. I work with the company that consistently gets rave reviews!
Make your own Wanderlist for wellness destinations! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you! Check it out here: https://bit.ly/wanderlisthgtc
Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023 and schedule a chat here: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Wishing you and your family continued good health,