With travel trends reports suggesting that consumers are seeking “greater flexibility but with all the security of a package.”
Coincidentally, this same trends report pointed to classic destinations like France, Greece and Italy as popular travel choices, because “in times of economic uncertainty many people put their faith in where they know best.” With Europe being particularly well-suited to tailored travel, the two trends fit together like Mozzarella and Tomato.
What makes Europe the ideal destination to embark on a tailored travel experience?
The diversity of the continent means that it caters to a great variety of individual interests. Although an undeniable mecca for art and architecture lovers, Europe also offers some of the world’s most majestic mountains simply made for scaling or skiing. The continent is also a foodie’s paradise, an historian’s puzzle book, a wine lover’s wonderland and a stylist’s playground. A traveler’s unique personality should determine a European itinerary.
The prospects of train travel. Without doubt the most scenic way to travel, Europe’s well-developed rail network offers passengers the most glorious opportunity to discover changing landscapes while moving from country to country. Options like the Eurail Pass allow visitors to flit from place to place on a schedule based on personal whims - whether you’re filled with the desire to race around the continent in a whirwind of awe or have a preference for a more laid-back journey that provides plenty of time to linger in the places you discover an affinity for. By hopping off the train at charming stations between the big cities, train travel lets you happen upon lesser-known gems.
Magical small towns are ripe for exploring. Many of the large tour operators organising bulk packaged tours are likely to overlook Europe’s astounding selection of under-appreciated smaller towns. For instance, it would be a shame to pass over gems like Reine, the Norwegian fishing village on the island of Moskenesoya. Recently voted Norway’s most beautiful village, Reine has a population of just 300 so there are no crowds to fight over its breathtaking vistas (some even providing glimpses of the Northern lights). Similarly you wouldn’t want to miss out on the most picturesque parts of Slovenia, where visitors marvel over Bled castle situated in the centre of a glacial lake. Bled is also famous for its luxury health spas. A packaged tour is also unlikely to offer a trip to Austria’s Hallstatt, an old fairytale of a town. Founded in 5000 BC, Hallstatt is one of the oldest settlements in the country and offers fascinating views into Austria’s history, not to mention lakes and mountains for days.
But ultimately, if you’re looking for the country with the most beautiful, stimulating and culturally-rich small towns in the world, you can’t go wrong with Italy. It’s a country laden with real jewels, from Treviso to Ravenna, Lecce to Jesi, Cefalù to Lucca, these enchanting small towns are just waiting to be discovered. On most tours that claim to let you experience Italy, guides offer the usual suspects: well-known cities, major galleries, crowded squares. But Italy is a treasure trove of lesser-known gems. Unimaginative packaged tours discount Italy’s secret wonders: an escape into the Dolomites Mountains for instance. These jagged pale rocks tower over great green valleys in Summer and endless snowy heaps in winter. The Dolomites are a dream for snow skiers, hikers, cyclists and all those who appreciate marveling at the mountains from the cosy comfort of a luxury log cabin.
For further details about once-in-a-lifetime tailored travel in Italy, get in touch with Charme & Adventure. As native Italians with decades of experience in tailored travel, we are passionate about sharing the hidden wonders of our country with all those who wish to experience Italy authentically.by Luca on Oct 8, 2015