Europe Organised Trips

25 Fontes Walk

The paths that follow the vast network of irrigation channels known as levadas, created over the centuries by Madeira’s farmers, have rightly become popular with those looking to immerse themselves in the island’s most impressive landscapes. This 11km walk, which takes about four hours, kicks off at Paul da Serra, a high plateau where you’ll find extensive areas of rare subtropical laurel forest that UNESCO describes as of “outstanding universal value”. From here, you’ll head downhill towards Rabaçal guesthouse, a popular pitstop that seems almost lost amid the surrounding scenic grandeur, and on to Risco waterfall. You’ll continue on down to the Levada do 25 Fontes, reaching a small lake at the bottom of a cliff fed by 25 natural cascading springs. Picking up another track towards the finish, you’ll pass through a tunnel that carries water to the south side of the island.

• Departs on Tuesday and Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The 11km walk is graded as moderate. Wear suitable clothing plus walking shoes or boots.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 8.15am
End time: 12.15pm

4x4 Exploration Of Western Crete

Pilot your own jeep on a fun-filled driving adventure through some of Crete’s most stunning landscapes. With your hands on the steering wheel, you’ll cruise through a lush, steep-sided gorge to the village of Therisso at the foot of Lefka Ori, or the White Mountains. After a short briefing from your guide, you’ll head off-road and upwards along dirt tracks towards the village of Lakki, the perfect spot to pause for iced coffee, a stroll around the quiet streets and photos of the fabulous views. After that, you’ll drive on to Nea Roumata for lunch in a traditional Cretan tavern, before tackling some tricky dirt roads on the way to the mountain village of Sempronas and then picturesque Palaia Roumata, where you’ll stop again for coffee, photos and view admiring. The road back to the start point passes through the stunning Mesavlia gorge, a superb finale to a thrilling day.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You will need to bring your driving license.

Duration:

Full day

A Walk Through Paradise Valley

A walk beside one of the many man-made irrigation channels, or levadas, that crisscross the interior is a quintessential Madeira experience and a great way to explore the island’s spectacular scenery. This gentle morning stroll is the perfect introduction to this unique way of hiking, which takes you along a particularly beautiful stretch of the 100-year-old Serra do Faial. The 5.5km walk starts in Vale do Paraíso - which translates as Paradise Valley - and ends in the pretty village of Rochão. Along the way, you’ll have time to see how generations of farmers have carved out terraced fields from the steep hillsides, admire some glorious gardens and enjoy the panoramic views over Camacha, also known as “the village of basket makers”. It’s a brilliant way to get some exercise without even noticing, and is suitable for all ages.

• Departs on Tuesday and Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The 5.5km walk is graded as easy and is suitable for all. Wear suitable clothing plus walking shoes or boots.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 8.30am
End time: 11am

A Walk Through Paštrovići, Tivat

Get back to nature while listening to spiritual stories and learning about local monasteries. The Paštrovići is a historical tribe and region in Montenegro. On this hiking tour, you’ll explore some of the stunning landscapes and soak up the views of the Budva Riviera. We’ll visit a few of the monasteries of the Pastrovici tribe, and discover how a one-armed friar built a three-kilometre-long stony footpath to connect Paštrovići’s coast and mountains – Jegor’s path is named after him. Highlights of the tour include the Rustovo monastery, the tiny villages of Čelobrdo and Ograđenica, and beachside Kamenovo. This fascinating walking tour showcases a different side of Montenegro and its people.

• Departing Wednesday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Afternoon Tea at Reid's Palace, A Belmond Hotel

Afternoon tea at Reid’s Palace has been an island institution almost from the moment the hotel opened its doors in 1891, and it’s a wonderfully indulgent way to celebrate a special occasion or just treat yourself. Sitting on its elegant shady terrace, gazing at the panoramic sea views, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to a more leisured era when guests arrived by steamship and stayed for weeks. The effect is enhanced by the meal itself: dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with cream and jam, and beautifully crafted cakes and pastries served on delicate china plates. The only difficulty will be choosing which tea to have from the 24 on offer, from China Green Sencha to Darjeeling Second Flush. Reid’s house blend is available to buy at its in-house boutique and makes a suitable reminder of a wonderful experience.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The dress code is smart casual, as befits a five-star hotel: no shorts, no T-shirts and definitely no flip-flops. Transfers are not included.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 3pm
End time: 5.30pm

Albufeira Wine Tasting

At Adega do Cantor in Albufeira, on Cliff Richard’s Quinta do Miradouro estate, they aim to make high-quality wines using a mix of traditional and cutting-edge techniques. On this guided tour, you begin in the heart of the vineyards, where you’ll learn some of the secrets of successful viticulture, including how the climate, weather, soil and types of grape affect the final product. After that, you’ll head to the winery to see the production process and follow it through the various stages from pressing the grapes to ageing the wine in barrels ready for bottling. The tour ends with a tasting session where you’ll be able to try four of the award-winning red, white and rosé Vida Nova and Onda Nova wines for which this boutique winery has become known.

• Departures Monday-Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included.

Duration:

2 hours

Start time: 10am or 2pm
End time: Midday or 4pm

Algarve Art & Wine Experience

Quinta dos Vales is not just one of the best wineries in the region, it’s also a cultural centre and colourful outdoor sculpture park. On this visit, you’ll be given a fascinating overview of Portugal’s wine industry, which includes a tour of the cellars. You’ll learn about the different varieties of grapes that grow here, such as Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aragonez and Viognier, and taste some of the highly regarded still and sparkling wines that are made from them. You’ll also discover some of the 100-plus sculptures that are dotted around the estate’s 44 hectares. Most of these are designed by owner Karl Heinz Stock and realised by local craftspeople in everything from fibreglass to Alentejo marble. Look out for the delightful and eye-catching “Dance of the Bears”, a project that brought together 26 painters and mosaic artists from around the world.

• Departs Monday to Saturday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included. Participants must be over 18.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 6pm

Algarve Cultural Evening

Experience old-style Algarvian hospitality on an evening that combines good food and wine with some typical entertainment. You and your fellow diners will head to a characterful 18th-century farmhouse for a meal that showcases Portuguese cuisine, including several local specialities: think hearty dishes such as chouriço and black pudding, caldo verde soup, baked cod and roast leg of pork. Those with a sweet tooth will particularly enjoy the Algarvian pastries that bring the meal to a delicious conclusion. As for the entertainment, there’ll be a performance of fado, that quintessentially Portuguese music characterised by its soulful tunes and lyrics, and a colourful display of local folk dances.

• Departures on Tuesday
• Year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Evening

Start time: 5.15pm

Blandy's Wine Tour

Madeira’s namesake fortified wines can trace their development back to the 15th century, and learning about their unique history and ageing process from one of its best-known makers is something that wine lovers are sure to appreciate. At Blandy’s Wine Lodge, the heart of a family-run wine business established in 1811, you’ll get a fascinating insight into the difference between Madeira and other fortified wines as you tour the different areas of the establishment. You’ll tour the warehouse, filled with wooden barrels, where the finest vintages are aged to perfection by the traditional “canteiro” method. You’ll visit the museum, whose collection of artefacts includes letters from Sir Winston Churchill, coins from Blandy’s bank and a 17th-century wooden trough where grapes were once trodden. The visit ends with an enjoyable guided tasting so you can appreciate the end product for yourself.

• Departs on Monday to Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
At the tasting, children will be given the choice of a bottle of water or fruit juice.

Duration:

Half day

Cappadocia Highlights in a Day

The best way to get to know a destination is to immerse yourself in it, and this full-day sightseeing tour with an expert guide will give you a deeper understanding of this otherworldly region. Your experience begins with a visit to the fascinating underground city of Kaymaklı – one of the deepest underground cities in Cappadocia, where a maze of tunnels and rooms are carved eight levels deep. Next, walk around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Göreme Open Air Museum, home to some of the most remarkable rock-cut churches from the 10th-12th centuries. The frescoes here are particularly beautiful. Your guide will take you on to Pigeon Valley, which gets its name from the pigeon houses that have been carved into the landscape. Pigeons have always been important to the Cappadocian people, providing food and fertiliser for the poor soil. In Devrent Valley, you’ll have fun trying to work out the animal-shaped rocks (the most famous one is shaped like a camel!). Visit Monks Valley (Paşabağları), where the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys with twin and triple rock caps are unique even for Cappadocia. The final stop is Avanos, known for its pottery. The Red River has supplied many generations of craftspeople with the red clay used to create their art, and pottery has been produced here as far back as around 2000 BC.

• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 6pm

Cappadocia Your Way – Exploration by Classic Car

Explore Cappadocia in style, travelling in a classic car with your own private driver/guide. You’ll have the freedom to discover the region at your leisure. If you have a list of must-see attractions, you can simply let your driver-guide know where you’d like to go or if you're not sure where best to go, then your driver-guide will be happy to make recommendations based on your interests. This is the ultimate way to get around for families, couples, and honeymooners looking for independent exploration and a more private sightseeing experience of Cappadocia.

• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

2 hours

Cordoba Discovery Walk

With four World Heritage Sites to its name and a history that stretches back more than 2,000 years, Cordoba is an enchanting destination for a cultural break. Uncover the secrets of some of its most celebrated sights on a private two-hour walking tour with an official local guide. You’ll begin at the building that’s become a symbol of the city, the Mezquita or Mosque-Cathedral. Here, as you wander through the various sections, from the earliest part of the mosque with its distinctive horseshoe arches to the cathedral’s 16th-century courtyard of orange trees, you’ll come to understand something of Cordoba’s fascinating past. From here you’ll head to another World Heritage Site, the Jewish quarter, a labyrinth of atmospheric alleyways where you’ll stop to visit the 14th-century synagogue and El Zoko, a 16th-century manor house that’s now a delightful craft market.

• Departs Monday to Friday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day

Crete Snorkelling Experience

The Chania area is blessed with some of the island’s best beaches, and those warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters make this an excellent destination for a relaxed snorkelling adventure as well. Your day begins at a dive centre where you’ll be kitted out with a shortie wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel and given some handy tips on making the most of your time in the water. Then it’s time to hop on a speedy RHIB – as in rigid-hull inflatable boat – for a 20-or-so-minute zip across the waves to your first guided snorkelling session. With superb visibility, you have a good chance of seeing starfish, sponges, crabs and an array of fish, and maybe even glimpsing an octopus. After a reviving snack, you’ll be off to the second, equally breathtaking snorkelling site for the day, where you’ll have another opportunity to discover the marine life of the Mediterranean.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You’ll need to be able to swim, but otherwise the trip is suitable for all.

Duration:

Half day

Croatian Cooking Class, Dubrovnik

Cooking classes are a wonderful way to recreate holiday memories when you’re back at home. On this half-day experience, you can enjoy a traditional taste of Dubrovnik at an authentic agritourism farm in Konavle. In this beautiful rural region, you will learn how to prepare some of Dubrovnik’s best-known dishes from fresh seasonal ingredients. Southern Croatian cooking has a style of its own and your host will show you how to prepare favourite meals such as homemade bread and laurel skewers cooked over stone. You’ll also have the chance to go and gather the fresh eggs that will be needed for baking cakes.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9am or 4pm
End time: 2pm or 9pm

Croatian Cooking Class, Split

Cooking classes are a fantastic way to delve deeper into the local culture and provide you with authentic recipes that can be shared for years to come. Just 30 minutes away from Split, in the town of Klis, you’ll have the chance to learn to cook as a Croatian. We’ll head to a family-run tavern at the top of Klis fortress, where fruit and vegetables are grown in the family garden. Stand-out dishes include grilled meats, fresh bread and homemade pasta – which includes picking ingredients from the garden to prepare pesto. You’ll also enjoy olive oil tastings and understand why this is such a key component in cooking.

• Daily departures from Split
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day; flexible timing

Cruise to Villa Balbianello

Afternoons don’t come much more picturesque than cruising across Lake Como to a beautiful 18th-Century villa. On the tip of the Lavedo promontory, Villa Balbianello sits in the most spectacular spot on the lake. It now belongs to FAI (the Italian equivalent of the National Trust) and has beautiful fragrant gardens. Explore the lavishly furnished interiors and see the collection of pre-Columbian objects, Chinese porcelain and terracottas, reverse-glass paintings, tapestries and carpets that belonged to previous owner Count Guido Monzino – a keen explorer who climbed Mount Everest in 1973. If you think the villa looks familiar, it might be because it starred in Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

• Departing Sunday from Lake Como hotels
• Operates April - October
• Group experience

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 2.45pm
End time: 6pm

Cultural Algarve

Spend a day immersed in the history and culture of the Algarve. Start by exploring the many highlights of Silves, a charming small city that was the capital during the period of Moorish rule. You’ll have time to visit the imposing red-brick castle, from whose towers there are spectacular views of the town itself and the surrounding rural landscapes, and the splendid gothic cathedral, built on the site of a vast mosque. You’ll continue to Caldas de Monchique, a charming spa town in the mountains that’s been famous for its healing water since Roman times, and was once a favourite retreat of the Portuguese royal family. From here, you’ll up through the Serra de Monchique to Fóia, whose summit is the highest point in the Algarve. Providing breathtaking views of sky, sea and mountain scenery, it’s a memorable setting for a wine tasting to round off the adventure in style.

• Departures on Monday and Wednesday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees are not included.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 12.15pm

Dinner at the Orient Express Restaurant, Istanbul

Step back in time to the 1890s with dinner in the evocative setting of one of Istanbul’s most historic railway stations. Sirkeci Gar, designed by a Prussian architect and opened in 1888, was originally the terminus for the luxurious Orient Express from Paris - not so much a train journey as a five-star hotel on rails. Over a relaxed four-course meal of Turkish favourites in the Orient Express Restaurant, you’ll have time to take in the Orientalist-style architecture, admire the old black-and-white photos on the wall and soak up the unique atmosphere. Before or afterwards, take the time to stroll through the station picturing the scene a hundred years ago, with eminent passengers just arrived from Europe with their mountains of luggage and, perhaps, Agatha Christie’s fictional creation Hercule Poirot among them ready to solve his latest case.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Transfers are included. Drinks are extra. Vegetarian option available on request.

Duration:

Evening

Discover Akrotiri & Chania

Spend a fascinating day soaking up the sights in Chania and the rugged Akrotiri peninsula. From the city’s bustling Souda port, you’ll make the short trip to the Suda Bay War Cemetary, set on a small plateau overlooking the sea. This poignant site is the last resting place of around 1,500 Commonwealth servicemen, most of whom lost their lives in the Battle of Crete in May 1941. From here, the route takes you inland to another supremely atmospheric spot, the monastery of Agia Triada Tsangarolon, built towards the end of the 17th century. It’s a tranquil and photogenic complex, with elegant Venetian-style architecture and courtyard gardens filled with bougainvillaea and oleander. Afterwards, you’ll return to Chania for the rest of the day, pausing to drink in the view across the city from the Venizelos graves, the burial place of one of Greece’s most significant politicians. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the beautiful Old Town and colourful local neighbourhoods, before finishing with dinner overlooking the historic Venetian harbour.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The entrance fee at Agia Triada is not included.

Duration:

Full day

Discover Gran Canaria by Jeep

Enjoy a fun-filled adventure on a 4x4 safari through the island’s varied landscapes, from lush valleys to dramatic rocky plains. The action-packed itinerary includes the hamlet of Fataga, with its narrow cobbled streets lined by small whitewashed houses, set in a palm-forested ravine. From here, you’ll venture on to dirt tracks to explore this dramatic setting further, and visit other wild gorges nearby that normal vehicles can’t reach, giving you a unique perspective on Gran Canaria’s geography. You’ll pause for lunch at a typical Canarian restaurant and stop at an aloe vera plantation where you’ll tour the fields of spiky plants and learn how they’re processed to create a host of different products.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Enjoy a fun-filled adventure on a 4x4 safari through the island’s varied landscapes, from lush valleys to dramatic rocky plains. The action-packed itinerary includes the hamlet of Fataga, with its narrow cobbled streets lined by small whitewashed houses, set in a palm-forested ravine. From here, you’ll venture on to dirt tracks to explore this dramatic setting further, and visit other wild gorges nearby that normal vehicles can’t reach, giving you a unique perspective on Gran Canaria’s geography. You’ll pause for lunch at a typical Canarian restaurant and stop at an aloe vera plantation where you’ll tour the fields of spiky plants and learn how they’re processed to create a host of different products.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Discover Knossos

Immerse yourself in the world of the ancient Minoans on a private tour of some of their most important sites. The first of these is the palace of Knossos, the ceremonial and political hub of this extraordinarily advanced Bronze Age civilisation and an archaeological site well worth lingering over. From here, you’ll be whisked in your Land Rover along a dirt road flanked by pine forests towards the summit of Giouhtas, regarded by the Minoans as a sacred mountain and where, legend has it, Zeus is buried. Along the way, you’ll have time to search for aromatic herbs, catch a glimpse of the vultures that live here, and soak up the stunning views of the vine-clad valley of Archanes. After the culture and vultures come wine and food: a tasting and tour at a local winery followed by a delicious Cretan lunch at a local tavern. Refreshed, you’ll head back through vineyards and olive groves to Heraklion Archaeological Museum to marvel at the beautifully made artefacts created by the Minoans so long ago.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know Specialist guides are available at Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum for an extra fee.

Duration:

Full day

Discover Western Crete

Experience a different side of Crete with a trip into the western heart of the island. The first destination is the monastery of Arkadi, in a beautiful setting on the edge of the Psiloritis mountains. Its fabulous 16th-century church with its graceful Venetian facade makes it an essential stop on any tour of the area, but after the tragic events of 1866, which you’ll hear all about, it also became a symbol of the Cretan struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. From here, you’ll head to picturesque Thronos and its traditional taverna for a hands-on cookery class where you’ll learn how to make some traditional Greek dishes and then savour the results while enjoying spectacular views from the terrace. The day’s final discovery is the dramatic gorge of Patsos, where a path leads to an atmospheric 400-year-old chapel in a cave, dedicated to Agios Antonios.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The entrance fee at Arkadi is not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 3.15pm

Dolphin Discovery Cruise

Seeing dolphins in their natural environment is always a thrill and something you have a good chance of experiencing in the Western Algarve thanks to its underwater topography. Just offshore, there are several deep canyons cut into the seabed which help to produce nutrient-rich currents that lure in all sorts of marine life. On this 90-minute adventure, you’ll head out on a 12-passenger vessel from Portimão, home to one of these rift valleys, to go in search of some of the area’s most frequently sighted cetaceans: common, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoises and even minke whales. Dolphins, in particular, are known for their inquisitiveness, and if you do spot any there’s a good chance that they will come in for a closer look and to surf the boat’s wake - so get ready to film that perfect souvenir video clip.

• Departures on Monday to Friday (November-March) and daily (April-October)
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included. Please arrive at Portimão pier at least 30 minutes before departure.

Duration:

One and a half hours
11:00-12:30 (November-March), 09:00-10:30 and 11:30-13:00 (April-October)

Dubrovnik Street Food

Discover some of the best local food spots in town on this mouth-watering evening street food tour. Food and wine is a big part of Dubrovnik’s identity and it’s a glorious mix of influences from other Mediterranean countries. The city’s street food scene comes alive after dark, and we’ll stroll around the historical centre’s cobbled streets with a local guide and food expert. You’ll get to see the beautiful sights and hear about their history, but the focus will be on scents and flavours. We’ll take you to the most local spots, so you can learn the story and culture behind each dish you taste.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Evening

Start time: 6pm
End time: 9pm

Ebike Cycle to the West Coast

At just 17 miles long and nine miles wide, Malta is a dream destination for anyone who loves the freedom of exploring on two wheels. On this fun-filled adventure in the west of the island, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the area’s best-known sights as well as discover more off-the-beaten-track spots. You’ll visit the historic fortified city of Mdina with its dramatic hilltop setting - which is where you’ll be particularly grateful for your bicycle’s electric motor. You’ll experience the even sleepier charms of the neighbouring village of Rabat and of Buskett Gardens, the only woodland area in Malta, before pedalling along a lush valley to Dingli’s spectacular cliffs. From here, you’ll continue north through the quaint farming village of Mgarr down to the sea at Ghajn Tuffieha, a strip of reddish sand backed by hills draped in acacia and tamarisk trees. The last stop is Golden Bay, where you’ll have an opportunity to swim, relax on the celebrated sandy beach and linger over a well-earned picnic lunch.

• Departs on Monday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know The trip of suitable for all levels of fitness.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 3pm
End time: 8am

Embroidery of Madeira

Madeira has a rich tradition of hand embroidery, which brings together influences from across Europe to exquisite effect. One of the most highly regarded makers on the island is Bordal, founded around 60 years ago, at whose small factory you can spend a few hours learning the history and techniques of this exacting craft. You’ll discover how each piece begins with a unique design hand-drawn on tracing paper, and how the design is transferred to the fabric using tiny perforations and a sponge soaked in special blue ink. From here, the marked-up fabric is passed on to the skilled embroiderers to do their delicate stitchwork - satin stitch, pulled thread fillings, appliqué and the like - before the workshop completes the process with cutwork, washing and ironing. You’ll end the session with a real insight into the amount of hard work that goes into creating every beautiful tablecloth, pillowcase and handkerchief.

• Departs on Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
This isn’t a hands-on experience, but Bordal makes kits for beginners who want to try doing Madeiran embroidery for themselves.

Duration:

Half day

Explore Northern Madeira by Jeep

Get off the beaten track on an expedition by 4x4 to the undeveloped north of the island. On this day-long trip, you’ll travel through some spectacular verdant landscapes dotted with picturesque hamlets surrounded by orchards and vineyards. The imaginative itinerary takes in several small towns and villages known for everything from their dramatic settings to their distinctive local culture: São Vicente with its volcanic caves, Ponta Delgada, sleepy São Jorge, Faial and Poiso. You’ll have time to explore Santana, whose distinctive triangular thatched stone houses are a photographer’s delight, and walk through the UNESCO-listed laurel forest at Queimadas Park keeping a lookout for endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon. It’s perfect for anyone who is looking to discover the authentic way of life on the island, and enjoy some of its most unspoiled landscapes.

• Departs on Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The trip is suitable for all ages.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.45am

Explore Siena & San Galgano (self drive experience)

Step back in time to the Middle Ages on an exploration of Siena, whose historic centre is described by UNESCO as the “embodiment of a medieval city”. Start with a guided stroll through its characterful narrow streets, admiring the city’s architectural landmarks and hidden treasures, and hearing tales of the people who helped to shape it. You’ll learn about the Palio, the world’s oldest horse race, in which Siena’s 17 districts compete passionately for victory, and visit the small museum of one of these 17 contradas. Offering a complete change of pace, the next destination is an organic farm in the Sienese countryside, where they specialise in rare breeds; it’s a charming place for a fresher-than-fresh light lunch of Tuscan food. From here, the route leads to the abbey of San Galgano, a romantic roofless Gothic ruin set in a picturesque landscape, and the hermitage of Montesiepi, places of beauty and legend.

• Departs Monday to Friday
• Meet your guide in Siena
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Please advise of any food intolerances or special dietary requirements when booking. Wear suitable footwear as the path from San Galgano to Montesiepi can be muddy.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 6pm

Explore Southern Madeira

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of southern Madeira with a memorable trip by open-top 4x4. The day begins with a scenic drive up to Paul da Serra, the largest and highest plateau on the island, from where there are incredible vistas. The plateau is home to extensive areas of laurisilva, the indigenous subtropical laurel forest that’s so special it’s UNESCO-listed. From here, the route continues down to Ponta do Pargo on the westernmost point of Madeira - the ideal place to put a lighthouse - and along the coast to fishing villages such as Paul do Mar and Jardim do Mar, both magnets for intrepid surfers. Passing by Calheta, one of the few sandy beaches in Madeira, you’ll conclude the day’s activities with a stop at pretty Ponta do Sol, famous as the sunniest spot on the island and the place where the best bananas are grown.

• Departs on Sun
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.45am

Folklore & Flavours of the Algarve

See a side of the Algarve that many visitors miss on a private tour with a delightfully foodie theme. Setting off in style in a Land Rover Jeep, you’ll head inland to São Brás de Alportel, a typically sleepy Algarve village of low whitewashed houses. The surrounding area is home to plantations of cork oaks, and you’ll visit a factory where the raw bark is prepared and treated for use. From here, you’ll stop off at a bakery renowned for its delicious traditional products, such as carob bread, almond cakes and honey cakes, and have a taste of carob liqueur. At the fascinating little São Brás Ethnographic Museum, you’ll be able to check out displays devoted to everything from local traditional costumes to the history of the cork industry, before heading to Salir to explore the ruins of its ancient castle. The final stop is at a large organic farm, where you’ll learn how they make their popular preserves and sample some of them.

• Departures on Monday and Friday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included, and nor is a guide.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 7.50am

Fuerteventura Catamaran Cruise

Spend a fun day out on the water on a sleek catamaran that’s a perfect base for all manner of appealing activities for adults and children. Once Catlanza leaves port, you can take to the nets, feeling the spray from the waves and keeping an eye out for flying fish and dolphins. As you glide through the water, you’ll be able to lend the crew a helping hand with some simple tasks, learn some useful sailors’ knots or relax with a spot of mindfulness yoga. At Papagayo, the boat anchors in a sheltered bay where you can whizz down the slide into the sea to swim, snorkel and maybe hand-feed some of the inquisitive local fish. Back on board, it’s time for a simple but delicious home-cooked lunch, with plenty of time to talk over the morning’s adventures. Afterwards, you’ll be able to try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking before your return to port.

• Departs Tuesday and Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Water, juices, wine, beer and cava are included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10.30am
End time: 3pm

Fuerteventura Deluxe Catamaran Cruise

Explore Fuerteventura’s majestic coastline aboard a state-of-the-art lagoon-style catamaran that’s unique to the island. Sailing within metres of the coast, you’ll be blessed with close-up views of volcanic landscapes and pretty-as-a-picture beaches, with the chance of seeing dolphins and whales along the way. You’ll pause for a refreshing swim in one of the more sheltered bays, with a mouth-watering freshly prepared lunch of seasonal salads, smoked salmon, grilled prawns and grilled steak back on the boat to follow. Spend the rest of the afternoon on deck with a chilled beer or glass of cava, enjoying everything from the warm wind in your hair to the stunning scenery; with a maximum of 12 passengers, there’s plenty of space to stretch out and relax

• Departs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Water, juices, wine, beer and cava are included.

Duration:

Full day

Fuerteventura Jeep Exploration

Enjoy a highlight-filled Jeep adventure that combines well-known sights and hidden gems. The first destination is Corralejo National Park near the northern tip of Fuerteventura, an extraordinary landscape of towering sand dunes. From here, you’ll head inland towards Lajares, heading off-road en route to get a closer look at the starkly beautiful Bayuyo volcano with its twin craters. On arrival in Lajares, there’s time to explore the traditional craft shops of this sleepy Canarian village before continuing on to El Cotillo, a seaside town with some of the best beaches in Europe. You’ll be able to swim in one of its sheltered coves before checking out the Torre del Tostón, built to defend the coast against pirates. From here, you’ll head past Tindaya, a mountain considered sacred by the island’s pre-colonial population, before finishing with a gentle stroll around charming La Oliva, known for its typical island architecture.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Lunch is not included.

Goat Trekking In Fuerteventura

Explore Fuerteventura’s dramatic west coast in the company of some four-legged friends. Near the village of La Pared, you’ll meet your playful and affectionate animal companions for the day – three goats called Nube, Rayo and Torito, accompanied by their guide – before setting off on a scenic circular trek through extraordinary desert-like landscapes. With the goats running free around you, and fabulous views over Jandia natural park, you’ll learn about the area’s richly varied geology, from volcanic mountains stained with minerals to fossilised dunes of finest sand. About halfway through, you’ll pause for a rustic picnic and a well-earned rest (goats included) before continuing through dried-up riverbeds back to the start point. To round things off in style, there’s a final stop for a reviving coffee overlooking the sea.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The hike is around 6km and rated moderate.

Duration:

Full day

Gozo & Blue Lagoon Cruise by Gulet

There are few more relaxing ways to spend a day than aboard a traditional Turkish wooden sailing boat surrounded by the sparkling azure sea, with a crew on hand to rustle up a delicious buffet lunch and snacks. On this gulet cruise to Gozo and Comino, you’ll drop anchor at a secluded bay in Gozo, where you’ll have 90 minutes to swim, snorkel and take in the splendours of the island’s coastal landscapes, or just relax on one of the two decks with a drink and a book. From here, you’ll make for Comino’s stunning Blue Lagoon - a must-visit if ever there was one - where you will have another 90 minutes or so to have a refreshing dip, check out the underwater world, head for the beach or linger on board to take photos of the fabulous rugged scenery.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The cost includes lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, and unlimited beer, wine, soft drinks and water.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 6pm

Gran Canaria Dolphin Watch

Take a trip on a modern catamaran that’s been purpose-built for dolphin-watching, with two viewing decks, a glass bottom and specialised sound equipment for listening underwater. Aboard the wonderfully spacious and stable Multiacuatic, you’ll head out to sea to spend a couple of hours looking out for some of the 27 species of cetaceans that have been spotted around the Canary Islands, from resident bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales to visiting Risso’s dolphins. As you search, the crew of this Blue Badge-holding vessel – awarded to those who have a clear focus on conservation and the safety of marine life – will share their knowledge of these enchanting creatures with you, adding to the experience. Afterwards, you’ll head closer to the shore for a refreshing swim, the perfect way to round your marine adventure.

• Departs Tuesday and Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10.30am
End time: 1.30pm

Hidden Gozo By Tuk Tuk

A tuk tuk may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Gozo, but these nippy little open-sided vehicles turn out to be perfect for exploring its enchanting landscapes and historic sights. You’ll spend a happy day zipping along quiet lanes, visiting a dizzying range of highlights. When it comes to natural wonders, there are rock formations created the same way as the now-vanished Azure Window, sweeps of red-sand beach and caves that inspired Homer - not to mention several viewpoints with panoramas to die for. As for the manmade attractions, there are historic churches of all sizes, signal towers and salt pans, plus the delightful capital, Victoria, an ancient fortified city perched on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the island. Many of the places on the itinerary are not accessible on mainstream tours or by public transport, so this is a fabulous way to get under the skin of this captivating island.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience \

Good to know
Lunch is not included, but there’s a 45-minute stop at Marsalforn Bay where there are plenty of small restaurants and cafés.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10.30am
End time: 4.30pm

Hidden Hvar

Go beyond Hvar’s main attractions on an evening tour around the island. We’ll begin at the fortress to gaze out over Hvar town, the Pakleni Islands and Vis. Then we’ll drive into rural Hvar to wander through a sea of purple in the fragrant lavender fields and enjoy the views over the island from Napoleon Road. There will be time to explore the ghost-like abandoned village and see its empty stone houses and courtyards. Although abandoned, the village is home to some of Croatia’s best wines, olive oil and honey.

• Daily departures from Hvar
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Evening

Start time: 6pm
End time: 10pm

Hidden Madeira by Jeep & Catamaran

Experience two of Madeira’s most scenic environments on a south-coast tour that combines a jeep safari with a boat trip. In the morning, you’ll start at Câmara de Lobos, a charming fishing village that was a favourite painting spot of Winston Churchill and many others; as you’ll quickly discover, it’s also the birthplace of poncha, a heady mix of lemon juice, honey and sugarcane spirit. Continuing on, passing through banana plantations, vineyards and cherry orchards, past tiny rural villages and dramatic viewpoints, you’ll make a stop for a picnic lunch at Funchal’s Santa Catarina park. Afterwards, it’s time to head for the harbour to board a catamaran for an afternoon on the water. Madeira is on the migratory route of many species of whales and dolphins, as well as having a resident population of sperm whales, so you’ve got a good chance of spotting some as you motor gently along the stunning coastline.

• Departs on Tuesday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Hidden Montenegro, Tivat

Be whisked off to secret locations around Montenegro to explore its hidden beauties. The early start is more than worth it, as it means we can travel around the entire country in just one day. This insightful tour gives you the opportunity to understand Montenegro’s four different geographical areas, from the shimmering sea to the high black mountains, and includes a picnic lunch on the lake.

• Departing Friday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 6.45am

Hidden Photography Tour of Split

Split is the ideal subject for keen (or budding) photographers, with its terracotta-tiled roofs, historical buildings and shimmering turquoise waters. Your expert photographer-guide will introduce you to the scenic spots and hidden gems of the city. Taking your time to capture the sights means you’ll get to see Split in a new light and have a deeper familiarity with the city. Plus, you’ll have the perfect keepsakes of your time at this beautiful location.

• Daily departures from Split
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day; flexible timings

Highlights of Gozo by Jeep & Comino Cruise

Malta is actually an archipelago and its two smaller inhabited islands, Gozo and Comino, have distinctive personalities that are well worth discovering. See Gozo at its authentic self on a 4x4 safari that will take you to the heart of its unspoiled rural landscapes, along winding lanes and off-road tracks. The jam-packed itinerary includes visits to a host of sites, from architectural marvels such as the charming fortified capital, Victoria, to natural wonders including caves, salt pans and an inland sea. From here, you’ll take to the water for a sailing trip around diminutive Comino, whose natural landscapes make it a popular day-trip destination for the Maltese as well as foreign visitors. You’ll pause to swim and snorkel in the limpid waters of the famous Blue Lagoon, explore the caves and bays around the island, and fit in another swim-and-snorkel session before returning to the mainland.

• Departs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
There’s a freshwater shower on board the boat, so you won’t have to sail home with salt-encrusted hair.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 5pm

Hike The Cinque Terre (self drive excursion)

The five picturesque fishing villages that make up the Cinque Terre, now part of a National Park, are rightly a must-see for many visitors to this part of Italy. On this four-hour experience, you’ll be able to sample the area’s impressive scenery, taking in stunning views of the sea, cliffs and steeply sloping fields along the way. The adventure begins with a short train ride to the picture-perfect village of Manarola, whose paved alleyways lead steeply down from an atmospheric church to the bustling harbour. A bus ride away is Volastra, where you’ll join the narrow footpath that winds through a dramatic coastal landscape of terraced vineyards and olive groves, interspersed with forest. After about an hour and a half, you descend to the long-established village of Corniglia, perched on a promontory overlooking the ocean. The journey ends here with a well-earned lunch at a typical local bistro featuring several local wines.

• Daily departures
• Meet your guide at La Spezia central train station
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The walk is not suitable for people with reduced mobility. The National Park regulations require visitors to have suitable footwear, such as trekking or sports shoes; sandals and open shoes are not allowed.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9am
End time: 1pm

Hike to Golden Bay & Popeye Village Sunset

Discover a different side of Malta with a hike through some of its less-visited beauty spots. Accompanied by a professional guide, you’ll trek through some of the island’s most stunning landscapes, from secluded bays and inlets to dramatic cliffs and caves. Along the way, weather permitting, there’ll be opportunities to chill out in tucked-away bays that even the locals don’t know exist, where you can swim and snorkel in crystal-clear turquoise waters. For a memorable finale, you’ll finish the walk at a spectacular cave overlooking Popeye Village - which began life as a film set in 1980 - from where you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking sunset views. Suitable for all, it’s a great way to stretch your legs with like-minded explorers and immerse yourself in unspoiled nature, both on land and below the waves.

• Departs on Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fee to Popeye Village is not included.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 3.30pm
End time: 6pm

Historical Algarve

Explore the Algarve’s fascinating past on a full-day guided adventure to some of its most scenic places. You’ll visit the dramatically located castle at Silves, a former capital blessed with a wealth of historical architecture. From here, you’ll continue up into the Serra de Monchique to enjoy the verdant landscapes, the cool mountain air, the sense of peace and the breathtaking views from the summit of Fóia, the highest point in the Algarve. Your next port of call is Lagos, a coastal city with a rich seafaring history that’s known for its walled old town, where you’ll have time to see the glossy modern marina, the 17th-century fort and the fabulous baroque interior of Santo António church, among other highlights. The day concludes with a stop at Sagres and its unusual sea fort, and windswept Cabo de São Vicente with its tiny lighthouse, the most south-westerly point of Europe.

• Departures on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 7.15am

Historical Crete

Dive into Crete’s rich traditions and folklore on a trip that also introduces you to some of the island’s most striking scenery. The adventure kicks off in the charming village of Vrisses, with its backdrop of the White Mountains, where you’ll visit a family-run vineyard and learn about the wines as well as olive oil and other local products. Heading eastward through more enchanting settlements, you’ll reach Myriokefala, home to a picturesque monastery dating from the 11th century. The main draw is its ancient frescoes, only rediscovered recently during renovation work, though the cheese pies with honey from a nearby coffee shop – a local speciality – are also well worth investigating. Your next stop was one of western Crete’s most important cities during Roman times, before being destroyed in 828 AD. You’ll find traces of ancient Lappa in what is now the village of Argyroupolis, where you can enjoy lunch in one of the local taverns. On the return to Chania, there’s one last pause: the stunning Lake Kournas, in a beautiful setting backed by hills.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch and drinks are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 4.30pm

Historical Istanbul

Feel Istanbul’s past come to vivid life as you discover the sights, sounds and smells of Sultanahmet with an expert guide. Your day in the city’s oldest district starts at Sultanahmet Meydanı, a vast square on the site of the Roman hippodrome in which horse and chariot races were once held. From here, you’ll head to the iconic Blue Mosque, with its six slender minarets, graceful cascade of domes and beautiful blue-tiled interior. The next stop is the breathtaking Hagia Sophia, built as a church in the sixth century, before being converted to a mosque and then a museum, and recently reinstated as a mosque. There will be time to see some of the most interesting sections of the labyrinthine Topkapı Palace, where generations of Ottoman sultans once lived in eye-watering splendour. The final destination is the richly decorated and atmospheric Grand Bazaar, home to more than 4,000 small shops selling everything from handmade rugs and ceramics to hammam soaps and local sweetmeats.

• Departs Wednesday to Monday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
There’s no tour on Tuesdays as Topkapı Palace is closed on that day.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 6pm

Historical Konavle, Dubrovnik

Feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you leave the urban buzz of Dubrovnik behind and head south to the tranquil Konavle countryside. This beautiful region stretches between the towering mountains and shimmering Adriatic Sea. Konavle has played an important role in the life of the Dubrovnik people – it was once the main agricultural area of the Dubrovnik Republic. Experience the region’s rich history and delicious local food with visits to a local history museum and the fairy-tale Sokol fort, which has stunning views, before tucking into a local lunch at a family-run eatery. You’ll also have the chance to see the pretty seaside town of Cavtat and stroll along its picturesque promenade.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 4pm

Historical Montalcino And The Music Of Brunello Wine (Self Drive)

The medieval hilltop town of Montalcino is the home of Brunello wine and one of the highlights of the stunning UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia. For this two-part adventure, you’ll begin by exploring its steep stone-paved lanes on foot with an expert local guide, discovering a wealth of palazzos, piazzas and churches, not to mention the ancient fortress that dominates the skyline. Art lovers will particularly appreciate the 600-year-old frescoes in the church of Sant’Agostino, one of the town’s cultural gems. From here, you’ll make the 15-minute drive to a nearby wine estate to learn all about the area’s famous reds as well as an innovative project exploring whether classical music helps the vines grow better. Weather permitting, you’ll visit the section of vineyard where Mozart’s music fills the air, before heading to the ancient cellars to follow the wine-making process from start to finish. Naturally, there’s a tasting at the end of the estate’s red wines and extra-virgin olive oil, accompanied by bread, Tuscan salamis and locally made pecorino cheese.

• Daily departures
• Meet your guide in Montalcino
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The trip is only available as a self-drive option.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9.30am
End time: 12.30pm

Historical Rethymno

Rethymno is the focus of this enchanting day spent exploring Crete’s fascinating history and culture. Its well-preserved old town is like something from a fairytale, complete with an atmospheric old harbour lined with Venetian and Ottoman buildings, and a Venetial citadel from whose hilltop setting the views are a delight. Before you arrive, you’ll stop at Margarites, a village in the foothills of Mount Ida that’s known for its classic pottery, and in Rethymno itself, you’ll visit a bakery owned by one of the last traditional filo masters in Greece. Seeing the superfine pastry being made by hand is quite an experience, as is tasting some of the delicious sweetmeats made from it, such as baklava and kataifi. The final destination is Argiroupolis, a charming village now known for its springs and cascades, which in Roman times was the bustling city of Lappa.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch and entrance fees are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 5.30pm

Horse riding in Maspalomas

Experience the vast volcanic landscapes of southern Gran Canaria in a different way, from the back of a well-school horse. At this highly regarded family-run riding school in El Salobre, just outside Maspalomas, you’ll be teamed up with a suitable mount, whether you’re a complete novice or an experienced equestrian. Then, after a safety briefing, you’ll head out with your qualified guide for a two-hour ride along quiet trails through an arid landscape of mountains, gorges, cacti and exotic plants that’s exactly like something out of a Wild West film. Feeling like a modern-day cowboy, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to soak up the fantastic views over the sea and the sand dunes of Maspalomas as Cumbre, Shiraz, Chester or one of their stablemates carries you smoothly along the 8km circular route.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Riders should be at least 5 years old and weigh less than 150kg.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 10am or 4pm
End time: Midday or 6pm

Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the best places in the world for a hot-air balloon flight. With its soaring boulders, pigeon houses, deep canyons and fairy chimneys, there’s nowhere else like it. During this magical experience, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of Cappadocia as you float above its lunar-like landscape. Your adventure begins with a light breakfast while you watch the crew inflate the balloon. Then you’ll climb into the basket for a gentle take-off before reaching full height – at times, the excellent flying conditions mean you’ll even drift between the fairy chimneys. Fly through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations and colours, and then float up over rippled ravines. Back on the ground, a Champagne celebration and your flight certificate await. This is an unforgettable experience for couples and honeymooners – it’s also a fantastic way for groups of family and friends to make memories together.

• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Departs year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Half day

Start time: Early morning departure

Hvar Sea Kayaking

Explore the natural beauty of the Pakleni Otoci islands on a peaceful morning gliding across the calm waters of the Adriatic. Pakleni Otoci is a picture-perfect group of lush islands fringed by white sands and surrounded by crystal clear waters. The islands are popular with Hollywood A-listers, who travel here by private yacht. Kayaking gives you the chance to immerse yourself in this protected area and get a real feel for its environment as you leisurely paddle around. Dine on fresh local produce for lunch on one of the islands, then relax with swimming and snorkelling in the clear waters.

• Daily departures from Hvar
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9am

In the Footsteps of the Godfather

This is the ultimate Sicilian experience for movie buffs; follow in the footsteps of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino to the movie locations made famous by Francis Ford Coppola’s epic movie The Godfather. Plus, a private car and driver means you’ll have the freedom to choose how long you spend in each traditional Sicilian town. In Savoca, you can drink coffee in Bar Vitelli: the same bar where Michael Corleone asked Apollonia to marry him, then wander through the narrow streets to the church of Santa Lucia, where their wedding scene was filmed. While you’re here, it’s worth also visiting the Monastero dei Cappuccini to see the crypt that houses mummified bodies of Savoca’s monks and nobles. In the village of Forza d’Agrò, visit the beautiful little Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul. Within the narrow alleyways of this medieval centre, all is quiet and time seems to stand still. This is precisely the atmosphere that inspired Francis Ford Coppola to shoot some of the scenes for his iconic movie here, as daily life continues behind closed doors.

• Departing daily
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Entrance fees are not included. You’ll have a private car and driver for a maximum of eight hours.

Duration:

Half day, am or pm

In The Footsteps Of Zeus

Live like a Cretan for a day at the foot of Psiloritis, the island’s highest mountain, in one of whose caves Zeus was supposedly raised. Located in the village of Krana, the Shepherd’s Shelter is the picturesque setting for a host of enjoyable hands-on experiences designed to give an insight into the traditional way of life. Depending on the season, there’ll be various workshops, such as milking the sheep and cheesemaking, growing mountain herbs and vegetables, preparing typical local dishes – which you’ll be able to sample – and sheep shearing. Getting there is all part of the adventure, too. In your comfortable Land Rover, you’ll be whisked up the eastern flank of Psiloritis to the Livadi plateau, following narrow roads that offer incredible views of Heraklion and the sea beyond and dirt tracks lined with pear and apple orchards that are a particularly enchanting sight in spring.

• Departures daily • Operates year round • Private experience

Good to know
Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Duration:

Full day

Istanbul Cooking Class

Part history tour, part cookery class, this engaging hands-on experience introduces you to one of Istanbul’s most cosmopolitan districts and the country’s fascinating culinary heritage at the same time. Your day in multicultural Kurtuluş begins with visits to some of this historic district’s small, family-run shops, from bakeries and greengrocers to specialists in cheese and cured meats; on certain days, there are also organic farmers’ markets to explore. After that, it’s time to head back to the kitchen with your ingredients to learn how to make six favourite dishes from across Turkey, such as creamy Circassian chicken, richly flavoured stuffed aubergine and sweet specialities. As you prepare your meal, you’ll be given a flavour of Turkish traditions, customs and heritage, and there’ll be more cultural insights as you enjoy your food over a glass of rakı. The day ends, of course, with a cup of treacle-thick Turkish coffee.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The menu can be adapted for vegetarians and vegans.

Duration:

Half day; flexible timings

Istanbul Scenic Dinner Cruise

Seeing Istanbul lit up in the evening is a magical experience and one you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate on a private dinner cruise on the Bosphorus. Setting off from Bebek, a trendy district on the European side of the Strait, you’ll motor past various waterfront districts, admiring historic villas, marble palaces and mosques - some illuminated to spectacular effect - and the humbler clusters of cottages belonging to the city’s fishermen. Along the way, you’ll be served a meal of Turkish specialities, accompanied by select drinks and onboard entertainment. The trip ends back at Bebek, whose buzzing bars will appeal to night owls.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
A vegetarian option is available. Please let your Personal Travel Expert know of your dietry requirements.

Duration:

Evening

Jeep Safari & Arade River Cruise

Get off the beaten track on an adventure that features a jeep safari to the interior, a river cruise and a stop at one of the Algarve’s golden beaches. You’ll begin by heading out in convoy for an off-road experience along earthen tracks to the heart of the countryside. Here you’ll be able to drink in the unspoiled scenery, learn about the local fauna and flora, and observe a way of life that’s hardly changed over the decades. You’ll discover the traditional Algarve way of beekeeping and how the locals make Medronho, a potent spirit distilled from the fruit of the strawberry tree which you’ll be able to taste. After lunch at a typical restaurant, it’s time to switch modes of transport with a tranquil boat cruise along the Arade river, formerly an important trade route and now a great spot for birdwatching. You’ll disembark at the beach, with time for a refreshing dip, before returning to the start by jeep.

• Departures on Tuesday or Thursday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Depending on weather conditions, the day’s timetable may be reversed.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.55am

Kestrel Canyon Hike

Spend a fascinating day exploring the lush landscapes of Gran Canaria’s remote north-east. Thanks to a quirk of geology – the particular minerals in the lava of long-ago eruptions – rare plants thrive here, creating a unique ecosystem. As you hike through the ravine, you’ll follow a stream that flows all year round, keeping the humidity high and helping to sustain the jungle-like vegetation. Small animals such as rabbits and lizards abound here, which naturally attracts birds of prey, including hawks and buzzards as well as kestrels. After a picnic where you’ll find the lizards will happily eat bits of your sandwich from your fingers, you’ll continue to the village of Guayadeque, where you’ll be able to explore some old cave houses and taste a variety of the typical products of the area, such as the local sweet wine.

• Departs Wednesday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The walk covers 7km and is rated difficulty level 1.5. Suitable hiking boots are essential; hiking poles, water and a sandwich are provided.

Duration:

Full day

Kotor Bay Highlights in a Day, Tivat

Discover a picture-perfect bay dotted with medieval towns, bright blue lagoons and tiny islands. The beautiful Bay of Kotor – also known as Boka Bay – is one of the world’s most famous bays. It’s a submerged river canyon and its unique environment is UNESCO-protected. The bay is made up of four smaller bays: Tivat, Herceg Novi, Risan and Kotor. We’ll take a guided boat ride through and stop in the centre of the bay for a tour of the much-photographed Church of Our Lady of Skrpjela, which sits on a small island. A delicious lunch will be waiting at a coastal restaurant in the medieval town of Perast, so you can dine on traditional freshly-caught seafood while looking out at the beautiful bay.

• Departing Thursday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Landscapes & Villages Walk

Stretch your legs and discover Madeira’s rugged north on a levada walk that features an appealing blend of glorious landscapes and picturesque villages. You’ll set off from Queimadas, in the heart of a protected ancient laurel forest, to trek beside the 18th-century Levada da Serra de São Jorge, from whose heights you’ll be able to drink in the magnificent views over the villages below. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for local birds such as firecrests, long-toed pigeons and even buzzards. Passing cascades and cutting through small tunnels, you’ll arrive at one of the island’s beauty spots: the waterfall of Caldeirão Verde, the “green cauldron”. It’s the perfect venue for a picnic, far from the bustle of modern life. From here, you’ll continue on through pastureland to Santana, a village known for its unusual colourful triangular thatched cottages.

• Departs Friday
• Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The 13km walk is graded as moderate. Wear suitable clothing plus walking shoes or boots.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 8.15am
End time: 12.45pm

Landscapes & Wineries Of The Algarve

Enjoy a skillfully curated selection of the Algarve’s natural and manmade delights on a private tour by Land Rover Jeep. This fascinating day begins at Porches Pottery, founded in 1968 by two artists - one Irish, the other Portuguese - who were determined to show that handcrafted ceramics still had a place in the modern world. Here, you’ll be able to watch its talented artisans at work, and perhaps pick up one of the workshop’s beautifully hand-decorated pieces as a stylish souvenir. From here, you’ll make your way to Benagil, Carvoeiro and Algar Seco, where you will be able to check out the amazing sea caves carved out of the limestone cliffs over the centuries. Afterwards, you’ll stroll the cobbled streets of Ferragudo, a traditional fishing village at the mouth of the Arade river. The last visit is to a winery, where you can have a guided tour and sample some of the wines produced in the region.

• Departures on Tuesday and Thursday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
This private tour doesn’t include a guide.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.45am

Learn to Linđo Dance, Dubrovnik

Master a new skill and gain an understanding of Croatian culture with a Linđo dance show and lesson. Linđo is the traditional dance of Dubrovnik and its surrounding region. It’s danced to the sound of lijerica (an old southern Dalmatian instrument with three strings), which came from the Eastern Mediterranean in the late 18th century. First, you’ll watch a dance group – who will be dressed in traditional costume – as they perform three different dances. After their performance, they will show you some basic steps so you can get fully involved in the experience.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day; flexible timing

Madeira Dolphin Observation

Madeira is on the migratory route of just under 30 species of whales and dolphins, as well as being home to a resident population of sperm whales, and there are few experiences to match the thrill of seeing them in their natural environment. On this two-and-a-half-hour adventure, you’ll have an excellent chance of spotting some of these captivating creatures, along with a host of other marine life including turtles. Starting with a short introductory talk, you’ll head out to sea on a trio of nippy semi-rigid boats with Rota dos Cetáceos’ team of marine biologists, keeping your eyes peeled for the tell-tale glimpse of a fin, tail or blow. In this, you’ll be assisted by lookouts on land who have up-to-the-minute information as to likely locations. It’s a brilliant way to spend a morning or afternoon that will appeal to families with older children as well as couples.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The species you’re likely to see depends on the time of year, so do your research if there’s a particular one you’re keen to spot.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9am, 12.30pm or 4pm (June to September); 9am or 1.30pm (October to May)
End time: 11.30am, 3pm or 6.30pm (June to September) or 11.30am or 3pm (October to May)

Madeira Dolphin Swim

With a resident population of sperm whales and its position on the migratory route of almost 30 species of whales and dolphins, Madeira is an excellent place to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. On this two-and-a-half-hour trip, starting with a short introductory talk, you’ll head out to sea on a trio of nippy semi-rigid boats with Rota dos Cetáceos’ team of marine biologists, keeping your eyes peeled for the giveaway glimpse of a fin, tail or blow. In this, you’ll be helped by lookouts on land who have up-to-the-minute information as to likely locations. As a bonus, you’ll swim in a safe, controlled way with dolphins for 10 minutes or so - a truly memorable experience that will leave you grinning for hours afterwards. It’s a superb way to spend a morning or afternoon that will appeal to families with older children as well as couples.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Be sure to follow the instructions of the crew when interacting with the dolphins to keep the experience as stress-free for them as possible.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9am, 12.30pm or 4pm (June to September); 9am or 1.30pm (October to May)
End time: 11.30am, 3pm or 6.30pm (June to September) or 11.30am or 3pm (October to May)

Madeira Nights

Sample the delights of traditional island hospitality with an evening of good food, wine and music. You and your fellow diners will head to a typical Madeiran restaurant where you’ll enjoy a three-course meal of local specialities. After a light starter - tomato and onion soup, perhaps, or caldo verde - you’ll have a chance to try one of the islanders’ favourite dishes, Espetada, a skewer of tender marinated beef cooked over hot coals or wood chips. It’s usually accompanied by milho frito (fried corn) and bolo do caco, a type of bread roll made with sweet potato and served with garlic butter. During the meal, there’ll be local wines to sip and savour and live music provided by a folkloric group playing traditional instruments such as the guitar-like rajão and the colourful jangling brinquinho.

• Departs on Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Evening

Start time: 7pm

Malta Exploration by Jeep

See Malta’s highlights in a day on a chauffeured 4x4 adventure that will appeal to all ages. The action begins in Mizieb, a forest of Aleppo pines, carobs and olive trees planted in the 1970s, from where you’ll head to Red Tower, a huge bastioned watchtower in Mellieha that’s 300 years older. Next on the itinerary is a pause at Popeye Village, a film-set-turned-visitor-attraction that you can visit if you wish (at your own expense), before you pick up an off-road track for a scenic descent to Golden Bay, one of the island’s best-known beaches. After taking in the breathtaking views from Fomm ir-rih, you’ll visit the lovely “Silent City” of Mdina for sightseeing and a lunch of local specialities. In the afternoon, there’s a trio of unmissable sights to savour: the spectacular cliffs at Dingli, the Blue Grotto with its complex of caves, and the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Be sure to bring swimwear: there’ll be a stop for a dip during the tour.

• Departs Monday to Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Please note that entrance to Popeye Village is not included and is payable locally should you wish to visit.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 4.30pm

Malta Your Way by Electric Buggy

Eco-friendly and cute in equal measure, Malta’s wonderfully named Rolling Geeks are a brilliant way to explore independently without getting lost. These little electric-powered buggies, which seat up to four adults (or two adults and two children), come with a pre-programmed GPS that shows you where to go and what you’re looking at when you get there. It’s a guided tour with a difference, where you can stop wherever you want along the way and stay there as long as you please, and even skip the bits that don’t appeal. The 17km itinerary guides you gently around the historic fortified Three Cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, just across the Grand Harbour from Valletta, plus the sleepy villages just outside. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning harbour views, medieval streets lined with historic architecture and some tempting open-air cafés.

• Departs on Wednesday and Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Drivers must be aged between 21 and 75 and must show a valid driving licence. Child seats are available on request for a small additional fee. The cars are not suitable for pregnant women.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 9.30am
End time: 1.30pm

Monte Botanical Gardens

Madeira is known for its lush vegetation, and a visit that takes in one of its best-loved gardens provides a perfect insight into the species that grow here. You’ll head first for Monte, perched in the hills above Funchal, which was once a popular health resort and still retains an air of elegance. Nowadays, it’s better known as the starting point for a rather unusual toboggan ride in a two-seater wicker sledge that’s on many visitors’ must-try list. A little closer to the capital, the Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1960. Once part of an estate belonging to the founder of Reid’s Hotel, it was set up to conserve Madeiran plants that were becoming increasingly rare in the wild. Bursting with colour and scent, its six zones are a delight for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.

• Departs on Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Note that this trip does not include a toboggan ride.

Duration:

Half day

Montenegro Highlights in a Day, Tivat

Montenegro is a small country that packs a punch, home to terracotta-roofed fortified towns, idyllic sandy coves and rugged forest-clad mountains that rise out of clear waters. The full-day tour will introduce you to the fascinating culture, history and landscapes. You’ll explore UNESCO-listed Kotor’s medieval old town; visit the Giovanni fortress, old Clock Tower, Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and the Maritime Museum. Soak up the views from Mount Lovcen, which sits 900 metres above sea level, and stop at a small village to taste famous local cheeses, smoked ham, mead and wine. As we return to Tivat, we’ll pass Cetinje, the old capital of Montenegro, and stop at a lookout point to photograph Budva Riviera and the islet of Sveti Stefan.

• Departing Wednesday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Mount Etna & The Crater Zones

Explore Europe’s highest volcano on a trekking and train ride adventure through beautiful valleys up to the craters. Mount Etna stands 3350 metres high and has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013. We’ll trek to the stunning Alcantara Gorges, carved by the Alcantra River, stopping for a scenic short rest before boarding the ‘Circumetnea’: a traditional narrow-gauge train that runs around the foot of the volcano and up to Adrano. We’ll then head to Rifugio Sapienza, the guardhouse at the base of Mount Etna located 1900 metres above sea level, to head off on a soft trek to see the most recent lava flows and the now-extinct impressive Silvestri craters. After time for lunch, you can take the cable car up to 2,500 meters and continue by Jeep to the authorized crater zones at 3,000 meters with the assistance of licensed Italian Alpine Club guides. You’ll be rewarded with views out over the summit craters.

• Departing on Wednesday from Taormina
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Lunch and transfers are not included – trekkers will make their own way to the Taormina Bus Terminal. We recommend bringing warm clothing and suitable shoes. This soft trek may be too challenging for younger children.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 7am

Mount Etna Soft Trek

Add a touch of adventure to your Sicily holiday with a scenic walk up part of towering Mount Etna. Etna is Europe’s highest volcano, standing 3350 metres high, and it has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013. Your trek will begin at Rifugio Sapienza, the guardhouse at the base of Mount Etna located 1900 metres above sea level. From here, you’ll head off on a soft trek to see the most recent lava flows and the now-extinct impressive Silvestri craters.

• Departing Monday and Friday from Taormina
• Departs year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included – trekkers will make their own way to the Taormina Bus Terminal. We recommend bringing warm clothing and suitable shoes. This soft trek may be too challenging for younger children.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 8.30am

Organic Farm Painting Experience

Reconnect with yourself and nature in the harmonious surroundings of a fully certified organic farm in one of the most scenic parts of Malta, not far from one of the island’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On arrival, you’ll have a guided tour of the estate, learning about what’s involved in farming organically and what that means on a day-to-day basis, from dealing with the lack of rain to tending vegetables and making olive oil and conserves. This will be followed by a painting session outside, surrounded by soothing scenery: your chance to create a unique memento of your holiday. You’ll spend the rest of the day pottering around the farm, with a suitably organic lunch served in the shade of a venerable olive tree to set the seal on a truly wellness-enhancing experience.

• Departs on Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Bring cash for the farm shop if you want to buy olive oil and conserves to take home.

Duration:

Full day

Pelješac Peninsula Wine Experience, Dubrovnik

Escape the crowds and enjoy a trip around Croatia’s premier wine-growing region with an expert guide who will share their passion for Pelješac and its wines. We’ll travel along scenic roads through charming villages and vine-carpeted hillsides to meet local winemakers at three family-owned wineries. You’ll have the chance to taste various types of Croatian wines and a few local snacks. We’ll head back to Dubrovnik in the early evening, so you can still head out for dinner or continue your wine tasting journey back in the city’s bars.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 2pm
End time: 9pm

Pizza Making Class

Sicily has a pizza style all of its own; even if you’ve made pizza before, you’ll be in for a treat at this pizza-making class. First, you’ll learn the secret of how to make a great pizza sauce before creating ideas for fun toppings and baking your pizzas to perfection. Enjoy your pizza with a Bruschetta mix, washed down with a glass of delicious local wine.

• Departing daily from Port Messina Arch
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included – guests will make their own way to the Port Messina Arch.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 10.30am

Private Cruise Around the Villas of Lake Como

Channel your inner A-list celeb and glide across Lake Como on a private boat trip showcasing the most exclusive villas. Lake Como is known for its lavish villas and this idyllic private cruise will introduce you to a few of our favourites. Impressive Villa Balbianello has immaculate gardens and a stylish terrace with a breathtaking lake backdrop; it’s no wonder it was chosen to star in Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Then there’s Villa Cassinella, a wow-factor private estate with towering cypress trees and a secluded, romantic setting. We’ll also sail past Comacina Island: the lake’s only island, home to a charming little white church and a fascinating history.

• Departing daily from Lake Como hotels
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You’ll have your private boat for one hour.

Duration:

1 hour

Private Mount Etna Soft Trek

Explore Europe’s highest volcano on this private guided trekking and train ride adventure up towering Mount Etna. Mount Etna stands 3350 metres high and has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013. We’ll trek to the stunning Alcantara Gorges, carved by the Alcantra River, stopping for a scenic short rest before boarding the ‘Circumetnea’: a traditional narrow-gauge train that runs around the foot of the volcano and up to Adrano. We’ll then head to Rifugio Sapienza, the guardhouse at the base of Mount Etna located 1900 metres above sea level, to head off on a soft trek to see the most recent lava flows and the now-extinct impressive Silvestri craters. Lunch and wine tasting at a winery will give you the extra energy to take the cable car up to 2,500 meters. Continue by Jeep to the authorized crater zones at 3,000 meters where, with the assistance of licensed Italian Alpine Club guides, you can gaze out over the summit craters.

• Departing daily
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
We strongly recommend warm clothing and suitable shoes.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am

Relive the Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik

Game of Thrones fans will instantly recognise the red-tiled rooftops and striking battlements of Dubrovnik as King’s Landing, the capital of the seven kingdoms. Explore one of the most stunning walled cities in the world on this private half-day experience. Try and spot key filming locations such as Gradac Park, the setting for Joffrey Baratheon’s ill-fated wedding, and Minčeta Tower on Dubrovnik's Walls, which doubled as the House of the Undying. You’ll also be able to walk up the Jesuit Staircase, which served as the stairs up to the Great Sept of Baelor for Cersei Lannister’s famous ‘walk of shame’.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day, flexible timing

Roque Nublo Hike

Roque Nublo, ‘the rock in the clouds’, was a sacred place in ancient times and remains a symbol of Gran Canaria and a popular goal for walkers. Your hike begins to the west of this 80m-high volcanic outcrop, where you’ll pick up an ancient trail that meanders upward through pine forests, past long-solidified lava flows and strange stone columns. Along the way, you’ll learn about the herbs and medicinal plants that grow beside the path while enjoying the fresh clear air and the rugged mountain scenery. Arriving at the 1750m-high plateau on which Roque Nublo seems to sit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Teide on the neighbouring island of Tenerife, before pausing for a well-earned rest and a relaxed picnic, giving you time to soak up the unique atmosphere of this pre-colonial religious site. From here, you’ll descend to the village of Ayacata, set in an ancient crater, where the hike ends.

• Departs Tuesday
• Operates year round
• Group departures

Good to know
The walk covers 7km and is rated difficulty level 2. Suitable hiking boots are essential; hiking poles, water and a sandwich are provided.

Duration:

Full day

Scenic Catamaran Cruise

Head out aboard a sleek catamaran to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Algarve’s coastline. Departing from Albufeira, you’ll head out across the water to explore hidden sea caves, grottoes and secret beaches, with time for a relaxing swim or two if the weather’s good. You’ll pass dramatic rock formations carved out from the cliffs over thousands of years: the perfect scenic backdrop to a relaxed picnic-style lunch on board. As you glide through the waves, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, several types of which call this part of the Atlantic home.

• Daily departures
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Transfers are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10.30am
End time: 4pm

Snorkelling & Underwater Biowatching

Discover Sicily’s vibrant underwater world and learn how to protect its precious ecosystem on this innovative snorkelling adventure. Head out on a short relaxing cruise with a guide who will tell you about the secrets of the sea, then don your snorkel and mask to see the beautiful underwater world and vibrant marine life. There’s also the chance to do some underwater biowatching – an emerging form of ecology tourism that will enhance your snorkelling time and give you an insight into the precious ecosystem. With the help of waterproof cards and an instruction manual, you’ll be able to identify various marine organisms and creatures to give a clearer picture of Sicily’s marine reserves.

• Departing daily
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Children over 5 are welcome to join this experience.

Duration:

2 hours in the morning or afternoon

Split Wine & Painting Experience

Unleash your creativity at a laid-back painting class. There’s no requirement in terms of your painting skills or previous painting experience – it’s a relaxed and fun environment where enjoyment is key. You’ll be provided with all the equipment and materials that you need, so you can paint whatever fits the theme of the class (themes change regularly) as you sip on fine local wines.

Duration:

Evening

Start time: 7pm
End time: 9.30pm

St Moritz & Bernina Express

There’s something particularly charming about travelling by train. The Bernina Express is Switzerland’s ultimate scenic train – despite its ‘express’ name, it leisurely navigates mountain twists and tunnels. Your adventure begins with a drive along northern Lake Como to Tirano, where’ll we stop for coffee before crossing into Switzerland to board the Bernina Express train for the most scenic part of its route. Our one-hour train journey from Poschiavo to Diavolezza takes in the sights of the White Lake and the Black Lake, as well as breathtaking glaciers. We’ll continue by road to the iconic ski resort of St Moritz on the southern side of the Alps where highlights include crystal clear mountain lakes. There will be free time to wander around the beautiful town of Chiavenna before returning to Lake Como.

• Departing Monday and Wednesday from Lake Como hotels
• Operates April - October
• Group experience

Good to know
You’ll need to bring your passport as this experience crosses the border into Switzerland.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 7.35am
End time: 7pm

Sunset Horseback Experience

The rolling countryside around Mellieha, at the northern tip of Malta, is made to be explored on horseback. Under the care of an experienced mounted guide, you’ll spend an afternoon riding along quiet trails, taking in spectacular views of everything from distant islands to picturesque villages. Your route will take you to the ancient sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha, high on a hilltop and surrounded by fertile valleys, whose tranquil atmosphere is something to be appreciated. You’ll also see for yourself why this part of the island is famous for its sunsets, with breathtaking multicoloured skies providing a perfect backdrop to panoramic vistas over the Mediterranean Sea: a fitting ending to a rewarding journey through one of Malta’s loveliest landscapes.

• Departs on Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The experience is suitable for all.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 2.30pm
End time: 6pm

Syracuse in a Day

The city of Syracuse showcases Sicily’s timeless beauty – prepare to feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you explore some astounding historical sights. This ancient Greek colony was once the largest city of the ancient world and today it is thoroughly deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status. We’ll take you to archaeological areas dating back to the 5th Century BC, including the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hieron II and the Latomies of Paradise with the Ear of Dionysius. Then we’ll head to the historical centre: the small island of Ortigia, where sights such as the Temple of Apollo, the Cathedral and the Fountain of Arethusa with its famous papyrus plant await.

• Departing on Saturday from Taormina
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Lunch and transfers are not included – guests will make their own way to the Taormina Bus Terminal. Entrance fees are at extra cost (free for EU citizens under 18 with proof of ID).

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Tapas Tour of Fuerteventura

Take your taste buds on a culinary journey in southern Fuerteventura. On this full-day adventure, you’ll visit three small farms to learn about three quintessential island products and the story behind them. You’ll begin at a cactus grower, where prickly pears – otherwise known as nopal or Barbary figs – are harvested to make juice, spicy mojo sauces and jams, all of which you’ll be able to sample. From here, you’ll move on to another finca to discover the secret of top-quality organic olive oil and test your palate with a guided tasting. The third destination is a long-established family-owned goat farm, where the rich milk is used to make various cheeses according to a traditional recipe. You’ll be offered several types to try, along with a glass of red wine and a slice or two of the strangely delicious Canarian gofio bread.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The tour includes around 2km of walking, so comfortable footwear is recommended.

Duration:

Full day

The Alabaster Art of Tuscany

The walled mountaintop town of Volterra has a spectacular location and a history that dates back more than 2,800 years. On this half-day trip, you’ll take in some of its most celebrated spots and hidden gems, especially those related to the art of alabaster carving for which the town has been famous since Etruscan times. You’ll stop at workshops to see how this soft, pale and translucent local stone is turned into decorative pieces, from ornate statues to minimalist bowls, and feast your eyes on the ornate interior of Palazzo Viti, a historic house lavishly refurbished by a wealthy alabaster dealer in the 19th century. There’s a feast of another kind to round off the visit: a restorative pause at a typical winery, where you’ll have the chance to taste three different wines along with some typical Tuscan delicacies.

• Daily departures
• Meet your guide in Volterra
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Please advise of any food intolerances or request vegetarian options when booking.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 10am
End time: 2pm

The Gardens Of Lucca

The charming medieval city of Lucca is known for its imposing ancient walls and atmospheric narrow lanes, but it also has some enchanting outdoor spaces. On this guided walk, you’ll discover its much-loved Botanical Garden, founded in 1820, a real natural treasure that’s home to rare medicinal plants and flowers, spectacular trees including a 200-year-old cedar of Lebanon, and a small pond with an ancient legend attached to it. You’ll walk along the top of the city wall, whose ramparts are broad enough to be fringed with centuries-old trees, before heading via a maze of galleries and alleyways to the magnificent Palazzo Pfanner. This former private residence - a popular location for movie makers - has a fabulous garden filled with citrus trees, statues and more. You’ll finish at the appropriately named Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, where you’ll be offered a glass of wine and local-style snacks in a typical Lucchese bistro.

• Departs Monday to Friday
• Meet your guide in Lucca
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The walk takes place whatever the weather, so dress appropriately.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 3.30pm
End time: 6.30pm

The Knives Of Scarperia (self drive excursion)

Scarperia is officially one of Italy’s most beautiful villages, and with its scenic hilltop setting and immaculately preserved medieval architecture, it’s hard to disagree with this verdict. Adding to the “step back in time” atmosphere is its long history as a centre of the ancient craft of knife making, which you’ll have a chance to try for yourself. Starting with a stroll through its evocative streets and alleyways, you arrive at the workshop of one of Scarperia’s long-established makers where you’ll watch a master craftsman at work using traditional techniques and have a go yourself. (Hint: it’s not as easy as they make it look.) Afterwards, you’ll stop at the museum in the Palazzo dei Vicari, with its distinctive bell tower designed by Brunelleschi in 1445, and take an exhilarating walk along the battlements, which make a memorable location for a concluding drink and food tasting looking out over the countryside.

• Daily departures
• Meet your guide in Scarperia
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The trip is suitable for couples, honeymooners and groups.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 10am
End time: 1pm

The Olive & Wine Groves of Crete

Spend a relaxing day savouring the authentic flavours of Crete, from local wines to olive oil. You’ll begin with a pilgrimage to the cave of St John the Hermit in Marathokefala, a village near Kolymbari, where the saint is believed to have lived for three years and which houses a famous healing spring. Continuing through more sleepy villages, you’ll arrive at Vouves. You’ll stop here to have a look at one of the oldest olive trees in Crete, thought to be 3,000 years old, and drop in at the olive tree museum. The award-winning Anoskeli Olive Mill & Winery is the next destination on the itinerary, where you’ll learn about different types of olive oil and the various stages of its preparation before enjoying a guided tasting. From here, you’ll head to the winery for the second part of the tour, an in-depth discovery of the five Anoskeli wines made here, including a chance to taste them. To round off the day, you’ll halt at a tavern overlooking some olive groves, where you can opt to try some typical Cretan dishes or just sip a reviving coffee.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch, drinks and the entrance fee to Marathokefala cave are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.30am
End time: 3.30pm

The Oysters & Wine of Croatia, Dubrovnik

For oyster lovers, it doesn’t get much better than this fine foodie experience. Just a short drive along the coast from Dubrovnik, Ston is one of the best places in the world for fresh oysters. Oyster faming has been going on here for centuries and you’ll get an authentic insight into why the conditions are perfect for growing this popular aphrodisiac. We’ll visit an oyster farm and, if the weather is nice, head out on a boat trip for a closer look. Oysters and wine is a classic combination, so we’ll continue to the Pelješac peninsula and a top family-run winery where you can sample a traditional aperitif, appetisers and wine.

• Daily departures from Dubrovnik
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day; flexible timings

The Wines of Hvar

Indulge in Hvar’s finest local produce as you taste your way around a charming family-owned estate surrounded by lavender fields. In the middle of this UNESCO-listed area, award-winning wines, rich olive oils and other Dalmatian delicacies await. On our journey to lush farmland our guide will tell us about how the local people are committed to protecting the island’s environment. When we arrive, we’ll feast on a homemade lunch of produce from the estate while soaking up the stunning views over Hvar and nearby islands. Then, on a guided tour, we’ll learn about the estate’s organic lavender production, explore their old wine cellar, meet the animals, and see an impressive range of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

• Daily departures from Hvar
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Half day; flexible timings

The Wines of Montenegro, Tivat

For wine lovers, it doesn’t get much better than touring several of Montenegro’s top-notch wineries. The country’s grape-growing tradition dates back to the 2nd century AD, so there’s plenty of experience and expertise here. You’ll gain behind-the-scenes access to the professional side of the wine business and will be introduced to the process of wine production. We’ll also visit Montenegro’s biggest vineyard. The highlight, of course, is the wine tasting: you’ll get to compare the modern and traditional methods of wine production and see if you can taste the difference between the two. There will also be snacks paired with your wines, so you won’t go hungry.

• Departing Thursday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Traditional Montenegro, Tivat

Leave seaside villages behind and escape to a rural eco-village. This family-guided tour will give you an insight into how people used to live in a traditional Montenegrin village on the coast. Here, you can experience the everyday life on the farm and you’re invited to get hands-on – there are animals to feed and cows to milk. You’ll be warmly welcomed on the ‘guvno’ (a gathering place where grain was once threshed) with a drink and priganica (small fried balls of yeast dough, typically served with honey). In a small smokehouse, you’ll see homemade ham, sausages and smoked bacon, while the cellar stores schnapps and wine. The family even has its own little church and they will share some interesting stories with you about its past. Lunch will be an organic feast of the foods you have seen: smoked ham, sausages and traditional cheeses, plus fresh salad and vegetables from the garden.

• Departing Monday from Tivat
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8am

Traditional Turkish Hammam, Istanbul (Mixed Gender Communal Area)

Hammams are a key element of Turkish culture and a visit to one of the city’s finest is an indulgent way to spend a few hours in Istanbul. The boutique Çukurcuma Hamamı, which dates from the 1830s, reopened in 2018 after a decade of careful and sensitive restoration and offers mixed sessions in magnificent surroundings, something that couples will certainly appreciate. You’ll have plenty of time to relax in the marble-lined hot, warm and cold zones, enjoy a traditional body scrub and a bubble-wash ritual on a heated marble platform, and be offered the option of adding other treatments at extra cost. To complete the relaxing experience, you’ll finish with herb tea and dried fruits in the chic and airy lounge area.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know Hammam towel, soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, scrub mitt and slippers will be provided. If you forget to bring your bikini or shorts, single-use ones are available.

Duration:

Half day

Traditional Turkish Hammam, Istanbul (Single Gender Communal Area)

Spending a few hours in one of Istanbul’s hammams is an indulgent way to discover a slice of Turkish culture. The Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı was built in the 16th century for one of the wives of Suleiman the Magnificant, on the site of the ancient Roman baths, between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. After a checkered existence throughout the 20th century, when it was used as everything from an overflow prison to a carpet bazaar, it has since been immaculately restored to its former glory as a luxurious bathhouse with separate, mirror-image sections for men and women. You’ll have time to relax in the marble-lined hot, warm and cold zones, experience a traditional body scrub and a bubble-wash ritual and be offered the option of adding other treatments such as a massage at extra cost.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You’ll be provided with a personal care kit consisting of a bath mitt (kese), shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion, natural olive oil soap, disposable anti-slip slippers and underwear.

Duration:

Half day

Traditional Villages of the Algarve

See a slice of Algarve life away from the coast on a tour through unspoiled rural landscapes dotted with traditional villages. You’ll start by soaking up the cool clean air and stunning views in one of the highest parts of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains, before making for various villages known for their handicrafts. You’ll visit Querença, set on a hilltop that marks the transition between the inland barrocal zone and the mountains. It’s a picturesque spot, with steep cobbled streets lined by small whitewashed houses known for their blue-trimmed doors and windows and ornate chimneys. Your next stop is Salir, the site of a late Islamic castle that’s now a romantic ruin in a dramatic setting. The last port of call is Alte, a typical Algarve village tucked away in a valley in the Serra do Caldeirão, where you can admire quaint cottages with lattice chimneys, check out the blue-and-white-tiled church and dip your toes into spring-fed pools.

• Departures on Monday and Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Entrance fees and meals are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 7.15am

Traditions Of Crete

Enjoy an authentic taste of Crete on a journey that combines history, culture and scenery to memorable effect. The day begins with a visit to Savvathiana, a thousand-year-old monastery in a breathtaking wooded setting chosen, it’s said, to protect the inhabitants from pirate attacks. From here, the route takes you to Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, created in the 1980s to preserve local culture and customs. You’ll take a tour of the buildings – built with materials salvaged from elsewhere on the island – led by a guide in typical Cretan dress, visit the charming museum devoted to art and agriculture, and make your own ‘komboloi’, otherwise known as worry beads. After this, you’ll be able to relax over a typically Greek mezze lunch, rounded off with a much-loved local dish of fruit salad with raki. From here, you’ll finish the day with a scenic drive through some of the island’s unspoiled landscapes.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 3,15pm

Truffle Hunting In San Miniato (self drive excursion)

Truffles have been regarded as a delicacy in Tuscany since Roman times, and the art of finding them comes with its own ancient traditions. On this gourmet adventure, you’ll head to San Miniato to meet a passionate local truffle hunter, who learned the secrets of these subterranean fungi from his grandfather. You’ll accompany him and his truffle dog to a peaceful nearby wood for a walk in search of this “diamond of nature”, where you’ll learn about the various types, how and where they grow, when to harvest them and some of the many legends and stories about them from the past. Lunch, served in the hunter’s house and featuring homemade dishes based around fresh truffles and suitable wine pairings, continues your gastronomic education in a thoroughly enjoyable way. It’s the perfect indulgent prelude to a few hours strolling around San Miniato’s historical centre with its well-preserved medieval buildings.

• Daily departures
• Meet your guide in San Miniato
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
In case of bad weather, the visit to the wood will be replaced with a cooking lesson.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 10am
End time: 3pm

Tuscan Cooking Class (self drive experience)

Learning how to cook some of Tuscany’s regional specialities is a fun way to discover both the local ingredients that influenced it and the area’s rich history. This half-day session takes place in the memorable setting of a 300-year-old wine estate in rolling countryside not far from San Gimignano. After meeting your teacher for the morning, you’ll head to the kitchen garden to harvest the vegetables you’ll be using, before setting to work in the outdoor kitchen, trying not to let the stunning views of vineyards and countryside distract you. The four-course menu includes handmade pasta with a typical sauce, a hearty Tuscan meat dish and something sweet to finish, with clear instructions so you’ll be able to recreate them at home. To end, you’ll sit down to a convivial al fresco lunch of your own making, accompanied by a glass or two of some of the estate’s delicious wines.

• Daily departures
• Meet at a winery outside San Gimignano
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Please mention any food intolerances when booking; vegetarian or gluten-free options can be arranged on request.

Duration:

Half day

Start time: 10am
End time: 1.30pm

Vineyard Wine & Yoga

Taking a more holistic approach to our health is something we’re all encouraged to do, and on this wellness-themed day, you’ll benefit from everything from being in nature to a shared experience of mindful physical activity. You’ll begin with an hour-long yoga session in a magical outdoor setting, surrounded by olive, fig and carob trees as well as vines and with views of the medieval city of Mdina and elegant Verdala Palace. Guided by a professional instructor, you’ll gently work all your muscle groups in a way that’s designed to create a balanced, lean and strong inner core, as well as promote a sense of inner calm. Afterwards, you’ll tour the winery, learning about the whole process from grape to bottle. This mood-enhancing experience concludes with a wine-tasting session, accompanied by a delicious light lunch of cured meats, cheeses, warm bread and olive oil.

• Departs on Friday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The yoga class is suitable for any level of fitness.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9.15am
End time: 3.15pm

Volcano Hike & Wine Tasting

Spend the morning immersed in a fascinating volcanic landscape before heading to a nearby farm and winery to experience another side of Fuerteventuran life. The day begins with a hike on and around La Gairía, a relatively young volcanic cone and natural monument in the heart of the island. Spotting features such as lava streams and pyroclastic material as you walk, you’ll head a quarter of the way up the mountain to admire the views over the island, before descending to the finca at the foot of the volcano. Your guided tour will take you all over the farm, where you’ll visit the vineyards and olive groves, admire the quaint farm buildings and enjoy a wine tasting. Having worked up quite an appetite, you’ll appreciate even more the rustic picnic of typical Canarian ingredients – bread, goats cheese, tomatoes and olive oil – that brings the outing to a close.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The hike is 3 to 4 miles and rated moderate. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are advised.

Duration:

Full day

Walk & Cruise The Algarve

The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail is one of the highlights of the Algarve, winding its way for around 6km through stunning coastal scenery. Your walk will take you along the top of limestone clifftops, eroded by wind and water over thousands of years into weird and wonderful shapes, whose colour changes from pale yellow to burnt umber and all shades in between at different times of the day. Along the way, look out for the wildlife that makes its home in the dense undergrowth beside the path: everything from mongooses to several types of butterflies. After a light snack at the end of the walk, you’ll board a boat to get a closer look at one of the natural wonders of this part of the coast, the Benagil Cave, a much-photographed sea cave with a natural skylight and a hidden beach.

• Departures on Monday and Wednesday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The 5.7km walk is rated as of moderate difficulty and takes around three hours.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.45

Walk Through The History Of Seville

Seville’s magnificent royal palace complex, the Real Alcázar, is a microcosm of the city’s rich history. Beginning life as first a fort and then an Arab palace before becoming a residence for the Christian kings after the Reconquest, it’s a glorious melting pot of different architectural styles. On this private guided visit, you’ll explore inside and out, through lavishly decorated rooms such as the 16th-century Salón de Los Tapices – named after its massive tapestries – and ornate Mudéjar patios. More recently, the Real Alcázar and other spots in Seville became the kingdom of Dorne in Game of Thrones, and fans have the chance to visit the various locations in the palace and the cobbled streets beyond and hear anecdotes about the filming. If that’s not your thing, the guide will tailor your walk through the historic quarter to your particular interests, whether you’re fascinated by local crafts or have a taste for tapas.

• Departs Monday to Friday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You will need to bring your passport as identification.

Duration:

2½ hours

Wine Tasting in the Cellars of Valtellina

Slow the pace with a laid-back day of architecture admiring and wine tasting. We’ll take you to Piona Abbey, which sits at the top of the Olgiasca peninsula on the Lecco bank of Lake Como. The abbey is a typical example of Comacina Art, with its exposed square stone, and is a rare jewel of Lombard Romanesque architecture. You’ll have time to explore this peaceful site – still enjoyed by the Cistercian monks who live there today – and take in the panoramic views of the lake and west coast. Valtellina is home to more than 850 hectares of vineyards and we’ll visit one of the oldest cellars: a natural fridge (‘crotto’) in a cavity between the mountain rocks. We’ll finish the day with four wine tastings accompanied by local produce.

• Departing Thursday from Lake Como hotels
• Operates May – September
• Group experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9.15am
End time: 3.30pm

Wine Tour of Madeira

Madeira has a long history of wine-making, and on this eight-hour adventure, you’ll travel across the island touring its vine-growing areas and learning about everything from the terroir to how various vintages are produced. Starting in the south and heading north, you’ll become familiar with names such as Câmara de Lobos, São Vicente, Seixal and Porto Moniz. You’ll visit several producers - and have a typical Madeiran lunch in the house of one - and taste what they make, from whites, reds and rosés to the famous fortified wines we think of when we hear the name “Madeira”. Along the way, you’ll get to enjoy scenic landscapes in parts of the island that most visitors never reach, making it a fascinating way to spend a day whether you’re a wine connoisseur or not.

• Departs on Wednesday
• Operates Year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The tour is not recommended for children.

Duration:

Full day