You’ll Never Walk Alone…

Travel fantasy:  be guided  gently, step by step, through the heart of a city, town or village, along intriguing paths, in special places all over the world.  Follow well-crafted itineraries, hang out with top local guides, sleep in premium, locally-owned accommodations, and scarf down fine food and wine… the best and most reflective of the local scene.


Cited as stellar in all the top travel magazines  (how about “World’s Best”  list of Travel + Leisure), multi-award winning Country Walkers is offering  a seductive discount to enthusiastic walkers who might be traveling solo:  they’re knocking off the nasty old single supplement fees on 14 of their most popular Guided Walking Adventures. The offer is two free single supplements per trip– a total of 54 rich experiences- very well-priced, throughout 2014.

Adventurous walking will place you in the midst of like-minded souls – the perfect format for those travelling solo.

Click on 14 for 2014 Solo Savings to reveal a vast array of wonderful walking adventures.

Turn your high beams onto the most exotic trip: Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia. This welcoming terrain is combined with a mega-dose of the heady Khmer, French Colonial and Chinese cultural mix.  Walk into local towns, villages and partially obliterated temples, passing silent monks in saffron robes.  3-5 miles a day.

For the macho among us, check out Europe’s apex alpine, one of Country Walker’s most challenging: The Mont Blanc Circuit requires 6-7 trekking hours a day through France, Italy and Switzerland on paths that will lead close to heaven on earth.



And for deep rooted traditional charm, the hills and dales of Dingle Bay in Ireland delivers a walk along the wildly dramatic North Atlantic beaches bordered by dense forests. Explore early Christian and UNESCO World Heritage sites, castles, half-ruined abbeys and forts… Easy and amazing at 3-6 miles a day.


Tired Of French Tourist Traps? Try A Cooking Vacation In Southwestern France

In the “Foodie’s Field Trip to France” Aurélie Brown guides you through a less-well-trod area of France, the Midi-Pyrenees. French-born and bred, she is a culinary travel expert, descendant of four generations of chefs and bakers, currently living in Chicago, and charmingly bilingual.

After the first night at the Hotel des Beaux Arts in the historic heart of the dynamic city of Toulouse on the Garonne River, your small group (8 maximum) will move deeper into the country to a luxurious 13th-century stone house in a hilltop village in the department of Ariège.

On the border of Spain, with the great spiky Pyrenees mountain range as backdrop, the Midi-Pyrenees is an area characterized by magnificent architecture, medieval villages, river valleys, rolling farmlands, and food that is fabulous as only the French can deliver. Ultimate perk of this trip: Aurélie will introduce you to the beloved local chef with 30 years experience tucked under his apron, Jean-François Martin who will open up his restaurant’s kitchen to teach you a trick or two about his exquisitely healthy “market” cuisine during hands-on classes.

A visit to the Marché Victor Hugo, one of the largest indoor food markets in France with over 100 shops, offers mounds of farm-fresh produce. Aurélie will also lead you through an unmarked door, upstairs, where five small and very lively restaurants serve the freshest food in Toulouse.  Set side by side, lunch-goers must walk through each one, checking the large chalkboard menus of specialties to get to the right one – and she knows which one that is!  The menu stars here are home-cooked cassoulet (a slow-cooked stew of white beans, sausages and duck or goose confit) and Mediterranean-style grilled fish.

More perks: A gourmet picnic in a picturesque vineyard. Visits to local artisanal bakers andles fromagers.  Endless photo opps in the little old villages with their half-timbered arcades, the Canal du Midi, and visit the 6th c. Roman-built medieval fortress city of Carcassonne (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

Re:Cycling in France

One of the liveliest festivals of the year, the Feria de Pentecôte (Pentecostal Fair), takes place in the Languedoc region of southwestern France in Nimes, May 23-28, 2012.  Positioned between the Atlantic and Mediterranean this region is a sexy mix of French and Spanish cultures dotted with vestiges of local Roman history.

Mingle with the locals to watch the grand Pégoulade (procession) — a giant snake of dancers, singers and illuminated floats undulating through the streets. The air is filled with music of the peñas (small brass bands), everyone dances the ‘Sévillane’ ‘til the wee hours, eats paella, watches water-jousting in the Canal de la Fontaine, snoops around in the evening market, and goes to mass in the cathedral. It’s one big outdoor Spanish-accented French soirée, complete with fireworks and Provençal-style bullfights in Nimes’ Roman amphitheater, the best-preserved in the country.

One way to “get under the skin” and feel more of a participant and less a spectator is to pump your pedals in a cycling tour in the Languedoc timed to connect with this ethnic fair.

ExperiencePlus!, the first North American tour company to offer cycling tours in Europe starting in 1972, offers two new spectacular tours aimed to take advantage of the Feria de Pentecôte: an 11-day journey of over 430 miles for $4,550 per person (double) that begins and ends in Nimes/Perpignan. Or an 8-day version for $3,595 that ends in Carcassone, an awesomely intact medieval fortress town.

ExperiencePlus! Is the winner of two recent National Geographic Traveler “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” and features Maria Elena Price and Monica Price, co-owners, among its “World’s Top 10 Tour Guides.” Click or call them in Colorado: 800-685-4565.