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.


For A New View Of The Italian Riviera Consider Kayaking

In Liguria, northwestern Italy, there are 30 superb coastline miles between Portofino and Cinque Terre, perhaps the loveliest of Italy’s thousands of miles of beach. It is here that the Apennine Mountains drop a thousand feet straight down into the turquoise Ligurian Sea.  Small, colorfully painted homes cling to the rugged cliffs.  Ancient olive trees dot the terraced hills framing the inlets, harbors, bobbing boats, vineyards and scrub – barely accessible even by foot.

Instead of the usual hiking tour, Tofino Expeditions, the 25-year sea-kayaking outfitter top-rated by National Geographic Adventure, is now offering  a new way to explore this fabled coast – by gentle kayak over the course of 11 days.  This soft manner of travelling will provide paddlers with an unusually personal introduction to Italy’s marineria culture (“life of the sea”.)  And the local fishermen welcome those exploring by sea in a way they do not welcome the hikers.

A sea kayak is about 18-19 feet long and carries one or two paddlers.  Adventure kayaker Grant Thompson, founder, welcomes novices, preferably those with muscles. He calls kayaking a “cadence” type of sport, like cycling or cross-country skiing, where one becomes immersed in rhythmic movement as opposed to having to exert a great deal of strength. From the water, participants will enjoy a unique view of this intensely dramatic and intricate coastline.

Beginning in Genoa, the capital of Liguria and birthplace of Columbus, time to explore the city’s labyrinthine medieval old quarter, the 17th century walls, grand cathedrals, a bustling promenade, the enormous “Lanterna” (lighthouse) and the monumental Piazza De Ferrari, the heart of the city.

As you and your small group (12 max) paddle south along the coast of Cinque Terre (“five villages”) there will be plenty of breaks to enjoy short hikes into vineyards and olive groves. Visiting the car-free fishing village of Vernazza will be a satisfying treat, sampling warm focaccia bread, sipping the vino delle Cinque Terre, and hiking in ancient Phoenician ruins.

Overnight ferry to the wild isle of Sardinia and the Maddelena Archipelago, a group of 7 big and many small islands, national park and UNESCO World Heritage site (one of three on this tour) and explore stone monuments from 1500 BC, way older than the Etruscans on mainland Italy.



Tap Into Your Inner Artist In Italy

Paint, Cook, Draw, Photograph

Under the radar in the heart of Tuscany, Il Chiostro, (“the cloister,” the central square inside a monastery) has been an energy center for creative travelers and magnet for solos since 1995.

Steeped in traditional Tuscan values that reach back to the essentials of living: beauty, taste, community, nature, Il Chiostro offers workshops in painting, photography, fiction writing, cooking, singing, acting, poetry, creativity, yoga – -  to deliver the optimal experience in and of the very location of your workshop – Bologna, Lake Garda, Cortona and others. Small groups.  Passionate instructors.

Owned and created by Linda Mironti and Michael Mele, warm and welcoming Italian Americans who live in NYC and Italy. Both have strong backgrounds in the arts. Linda was a singer and a chef, and Michael, a dancer-choreographer turned fiction writer. “For us Il Chiostro is a metaphor. Take yourself away from your hectic, demanding life and place yourself in a beautiful, seductive environment that will allow your spirit a chance to breathe.”

Hot Shot Highlight: Venice via iPhone

One of the most thrilling cameras in the history of photography—hardly a secret — is neatly parked in the iPhone. No mere snap-shooter, the iPhone is a powerful creative tool that both invites and inspires images without the techno-load. Learn to better capture, as well as process, images in the field in an ultra-special Il Chiostro workshop in Venice  – - and be thrilled by the color, depth, and texture of your results.

Dan Burkholder is the professional photo workshop wiz, an award-winning author and instructor of 15+ years. Ever heard of the Eye-Fi memory card? Dan has!  His one-week workshop will take place from October 14 – 21, 2012. Sleep in a 15th c. former convent, wander the back streets, cross the little humps of bridges, sip a Bellini at Harry’s, float in a gondola, and gather for meals and special events in preparation for an exhibit to be staged at the end of the week.

Check out Il Chiostro’s extraordinary, eye-popping array of exceptional art/culture/culinary programs taking place all summer and fall in many marvelous locations: Click:  To know more, call Linda and Michael in NYC at 800-990-3506.




Digging Israel

Looking to work, literally like a slave, in the hot sun for no or low pay some summer?  If you join an archaeological dig in one of the ancient sites in Israel, you will sift soil where King David walked and Jesus trod. You will see and feel the past, alive in your own hands and on the soles of your feet. The thrill and incredible excitement of finding authentic treasures such as pottery, mosaics, glass, and gold that are thousands of years old and holding them is hard to describe.

What’s in store? Dust! Heat! Stones! Sunburns! Brains! Brawn! History!  New friends. And sometimes even romance… (hey, you never know…) So shake out your shovel, grab a hat with a big visor, slather on the sun cream and join one of the many major archaeological excavations scattered throughout this modern-ancient land, some near cities, some on the shores of the Mediterranean, some in the mountains or deserts.

Biblical Archaeology Review publishes a wealth of information on their excellent website:  They show which digs are current, which ones need extra hands and where, exactly, they are located in Israel as well as in Jordan, Italy and Spain.



  • La Vita Nocturna!
  • Spettacolare Roma!
  • Città Eterna

Here’s the ultimate buzz: you, in the starry starry night on a classic Vespa being driven by a knowledgeable guide. Spectac 4-hour tours of Rome to see the city’s monumenti illuminati, and all you have to do is hang on.  Buzz through the best piazzas, gawk and stop at the Colosseum, buzz the Arch of Constantine and the Circus Maximus.  Then sip a cool drink amidst the sipping cool locals.  Or, another choice, buzz through the real scenes filmed in Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck’s Roman Holiday (1953) shot at the divine Trevi Fountain.

Too chicken for a Vespa? Hop into of their classic Italian cars (with or without driver.) For more info, click on or e-mail: They have 20 years experience in the buzz biz.