NEW 2017 Tour Calendar – Travel With Me

My goodness this is early. I have just taken the first four bookings for 2017. Is that a sign of having made it in the guiding business – to be booked 14 months in advance?

Once again I am extremely grateful for the faith shown in me by my agencies and the trust of those former guests who have requested me so far in advance. The plans for 2017 were to take an ‘easier’ year, but as I simply love what I do, when the offers of guiding come through, how can I refuse?

Explaining the Moors... Guiding in my beloved Andalusia

Explaining the Moors… Guiding in my beloved Andalusia

There is one major change planned for this year – no guiding in July and August. I have already for a while started taking August off – too hot, crowded, stressed and expensive and it coincides with our village party. This year however, by adding July I hope to finally undertake my long planned and delayed (an extended stint in Tuscany a few years ago, put paid to those plans… hmmm) walk from Canterbury to Rome – or the Via Francigena as it is called. Just over 1100 miles, I hope to make it in two months and whilst doing so continue my research into Medieval Pilgrimages and carry on work on my book…

You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should do them...

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should do them…

Anyway, enough of that, onto the schedule, and… see you out there!

January

22 – 29 Winter in Southern Spain: Andalusian Highlights – Road Scholar. (1)

Having just (Nov 2015) completed the first of these new tours, I know just how great it is – some true highlights are an amazing private Flamenco lecture-performance, THE best place I ate in 2015, the unparalleled Alhambra and an unforgettable lunch high in the ‘Pyrenees of the South’ in the homes of local people. Situated on the subtropical Costa del Sol, Andalusia boasts stunning scenery, captivating history and one of the warmest winters in Europe. Bordered by mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Southern Spain’s culture emerges in elaborate Moorish architecture, lush olive tree groves, fiery Flamenco and savory Spanish cuisine. Soak in history — along with plenty of sunshine — in Granada, Málaga and Alfarnatejo, where you’re invited into the homes of local families for an unforgettable cultural exchange. Come and let me show you my home. Click here for details: Winter in Southern Spain Road Scholar.

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours...

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours…

29 – 5 Winter in Southern Spain: Andalusian Highlights – Road Scholar. (2)

For details see description above and link: Winter in Southern Spain Road Scholar.

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours...Which is...

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours…Which is…

February

5 – 12 Winter in Southern Spain: Andalusian Highlights – Road Scholar. (3)

For details see description above and link: Winter in Southern Spain Road Scholar.

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours...

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours…

19th Feb Seville Marathon

Ok, I am going to state it in writing; this is the one where I will be trying to break the 3 hours 30 mins ‘barrier’. I don’t know how many more of these I can do – the half marathon is much more my distance. But I want to try just once to get under that time.

Going For Sub 3 hours 30 mins... (finally)

Going For Sub 3 hours 30 mins… (finally)

Any charity ideas? Let me know. Requirements; small charities where the money truly does make a difference.

March

5 – 12 Winter in Southern Spain: Andalusian Highlights – Road Scholar. (4)

For details see description above and link: Winter in Southern Spain Road Scholar.

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours...A Good Thing as...

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours…A Good Thing as…

12 – 19 Winter in Southern Spain: Andalusian Highlights – Road Scholar. (5)

For details see description above and link: Winter in Southern Spain Road Scholar.

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours...I Will Have to!

I Could Watch Flamenco for Hours…I Will Have to!

April

May

5 – 20 Brittany and Normandy: Distinctive Beauty, Proud Ways of Life – Road Scholar (7)

This has become a firm favourite and an annual (repeated event for me). Together with THE best driver, Benoit, I have ever worked with coming back year after year to this corner of France is a true pleasure and one I hope to share with others for many years to come. Experience Brittany and Normandy, two distinct regions of France that boast larger-than-life personalities, legacies of conquests and conquerors, and stunning land-and seascapes. In Brittany, discover prehistoric megalithic sites and Celtic origins, as well as a culture influenced by the sea. In Normandy, explore Mont Saint Michel, Norman and Gothic architecture and landscapes captured by the Impressionists, as well as Normandy’s connections to the liberation of Europe in World War II. Details Brittany and Normandy – Road Scholar.

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Beautiful Mont Saint Michel

26 – 10 Brittany and Normandy: Distinctive Beauty, Proud Ways of Life – Road Scholar (8)

For details, see description above and link Brittany and Normandy – Road Scholar.

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The climb certainly is worth it

June

9 – 18 The Best of Spain; Barcelona and Madrid – Road Scholar (9)

Find out what makes Barcelona and Madrid two of Europe’s most unique cities as you discover bold architecture, world-renowned museums, ancient monuments and celebrated cuisine. Olé! Two great, great cities in one trip with the fab AVE train linking the two. Spain is so wonderfully diverse and I look forward to showing this to my guests on this Road Scholar trip – see more details The Best of Spain – Barcelona and Madrid.

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Royal Splendour – Madrid

 

18 -25 Lake Como – St Moritz and the Bernina Express – Riviera Travel

For as long as I possibly can I want to keep escaping once or twice per year to wonderful Lake Como. It really IS all that to my mind. For 4 or 5 seasons in a row I have lead this Riviera Travel trip to the beautiful Western lake shores and of all the trips I lead I think it is the best value. The hotels we use are nice, the food is perfectly acceptable, and the excursions are varied and very rewarding. The Bernina Express train especially is something I will never tire of – in all weathers. The only warning is that if this is your first Italian lake experience, you might well get hooked and discover you need at least four more visits to Northern Italy – then, there are worse addictions right? Read about it here;

25 – 29 Venice – Riviera Travel

July and August

No Tours – as this is when I’ll be walking. The Via Francigena is an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury Cathedral in England to St Peters in Rome, first mentioned in the 9th Century. Essentially the Via Francigena is a much less known (and that’s, if you know me, why I chose that one of course) version of the Santiago de Compostela route – more often referred to simply as “El Camino“. But the truth is there were, and indeed are, hundreds of ‘caminos’ along with thousands of reasons for taking a first step. My own lie in a combination of loving long walks, research and passion for the medieval mind and life, penitence for a particular failing of the past (crucially with the time needed to think and hopefully finally put it behind me) and ideally, the background needed to complete my book – a historical novel about people on this very route…

The route is more than 1100 miles long and scantly signposted. I have a tent and will sleep rough when required. In 2014 more than 200.000 people walked the Camino; that same year 1200 walked to Rome.

Everything is within walking distance if you have the time...

Everything is within walking distance if you have the time…

No doubt there will be the odd update on 2nd Cup of Tea.

September

14 – 28 From Languedoc to Catalonia Through the Pyrenees: A Cross-Border Discovery – Road Scholar (10).

This is my ‘other’ trip in France – well, at least the first part. I have helped shape this trip since it’s very beginning and once more, this is a trip I love. Explore the French and Spanish Pyrenees, discovering pristine wilderness, medieval villages, picturesque vineyards and secrets of wine and cheese making in this unique region of Europe. My favourite thing about it, is probably the surprises that lie in store for my guests – most at the end say something along the lines of; ‘I simply had no idea’. That, right there, is the joy of travel. For details see Languedoc to Catalonia – Road Scholar.

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It’s a hermits life

28 – 13 From Languedoc to Catalonia Through the Pyrenees: A Cross-Border Discovery – Road Scholar (11).

For details see above and click the link  Languedoc to Catalonia – Road Scholar.

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About as off the path as it gets on tour

October

November

December

 


 
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