Best European Travel Web Sites: 2011
What Web sites have helped you plan your trip? What do you like about the various sites? Anything missing that we could add to ours?
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Natural Italy Tours
I just recently booked a tour with Natural Italy Tours. They were fantastic! We did their Vampires Nectar Tour and the Fiesole hike! It was like having a friend take you around. They also showed us how to order at restaurants and to get things for cheaper. It was a nice tour and educational! oh and their site is www.naturaltaly.it
Phoenix, az USA Thu 12/22/2011
For the most amazing time in Tucany Italy, go to Villa Ferraia- an easy 45 minute drive south of Siena. A group of 6 of us just returned after spending a week at this fairytale experience. There literally are not enough words to explain how tremendous this place is. You get to experience the feel of a luxury resort, but with the down to earth,personal touch of the owner Vittorio and his charming wife and staff. Eating is family style with Vittorio at the head leading conversations and having the whole table doubled over from laughter, to making you think twice about the blessings we have in America. Outings we experienced included a tour of a small olive oil press enterprise, a Benetictine Abby, a sheep-cheese farmers operation and getting lunch with his family, picnics in the sight of vineyards, olive groves and rustic villas after a morning of horseback riding. There is an on-site pool, hot tub, sauna, observatory, and massage therapist....and not to forget the cooking lessons!! Vittorio will customize your activities to your personal interests and desires. These are the most marvelous Italian people you could ever want to meet in one of the most beautiful places in Italy! www.villaferraia.com
Cedaredge, CO USA Wed 12/14/2011
If you are planning a trip to Italy, Rentvillas.com is the best! Barbara made our travel easy and stress free! We stayed on the Amalfi Coast in the small town of Minori. Our Villa, Casa Minori, was a short walk to this enchanting town. The villa was like walking into a piece of heaven- each bedroom had double doors walking out to the covered porch facing the ocean. The owners were gracious and supplied everything to make it the perfect vacation. One tip if you are going to Italy- remember, you are on their time. You may have to wait on a bus but what a view while you are waiting!!
Chattanooga, TN USA Thu 12/01/2011
Global Hotel Destination Index
I came across this site that has a pretty good page of countries and hotels with special offers ... I hope it is useful
USA Wed 11/23/2011
Marcello (at AgaVe Travel Creative) was so charming and so much fun. I loved the food (at our Welcome Dinner) - a great introduction to Sicilian food. He was very kind and followed up with to ask how we were enjoying ourselves and if there was anything we needed. Our Culinary Guide took us to the market and we had a blast- he has a great rapport with many of the vendors so that was so much fun! Cooking in the kitchen was great also! I could go on and on.... The hotels were so amazing- each had it's own charm and style. We loved Siracusa- great history and charming town. We had wonderful dinners. Our guide for Ragusa and Modica- we loved her! She has a command of the history of both towns! The Chocolate Chef was so charming and I think he had a great time with us. He even surprised me with a birthday cake which was such a lovely personal touch! Our guide in Siracusa was wonderful. When we were in the tunnel of the caves at the Greek Theater, she sang for us and attracted such a crowd. She was a wealth of information and we learned so much from her, and what a voice!
New York, NY USA Sat 11/19/2011
I stayed at the Kraneturm in Bacharach last summer. Not only were Fatima and Kurt wonderful hosts, but Kurt is an unbelievable chef!! We had the most fun in the dining room conversing across tables with all of the guests! The flowers were beautiful! It was a terrific experience. Thanks for the tip!
Boston, MA USA Sun 10/23/2011
Paris Museum passes on sale
Paris Museum passes on sale. The Paris Museum Pass provides unlimited priority access to over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. The most important feature of the Museum Pass is the priority entrance. Remember, the most popular museums and monuments have line-ups regardless of the season, so the priority access is a valuable benefit. The museum pass is also very good value, considering individual entry prices to most museums and monuments averages over $15 per person. With the Paris Museum Pass there is no admission charge, no waiting in lines, and no limit to the number of times you can visit the participating museums and monuments in the Paris region. The pass provides priority entry to the permanent collections, and unlimited in & out access until December 31, 2011. Passes are valid for 2,4, or 6 consecutive days, beginning on the first day of use. More info at http://en.parismuseumpass.com/
Some of the most popular museum and monuments included in the Paris Museum Pass are: Arc de Triomphe, Musée de l'Armée and Napoléon's tomb, Museum of Modern Art, Cité des Sciences, Conciergerie, Delacroix Museum, Sewers of Paris, Louvre, Crypt of Notre Dame, Musée D'Orsay, Musée Picasso, Musée Rodin, Chateau Fontainebleau, Chateau Malmaison, Basilique Saint-Denis, Château Versailles, plus many more. Museum passes are not required for children, since most museums and monuments in Paris are free for children under the age of 18. Children can still take advantage of the priority access, when accompanying parents with museum passes. Children should have ID to prove their age and relationship to pass holders. When you are planning your visit to Paris, keep in mind that many museums are closed either on Mondays or Tuesdays.
2 day pass - 30 euros
4 day pass - 45 euros
6 day pass - 60 euros
Vancouver, BC Canada Tue 10/18/2011
Fun Travel Blog
Hello Everyone I came across this fun blog about a family who are currently traveling through Europe, Asia and the Middle East for 8 months. Check it out at thecamelatemyhomework.tumblr.com
Bellingham, WA USA Sat 10/08/2011
Singles Travel Europe
A fun singles travel club that goes to Europe often--went to Ireland with them this past year.
Boston, MA USA Wed 09/21/2011
Good Restaurant in Cochem on the Mosel
Ate at a wonderful restaurant in Cochem Mosel Germany, Castello located at Oberbachstrasse 55
Sun City Center, FL USA Sun 07/03/2011
Hotel Die Raeckse Haarlem Netherlands
Avoided Amsterdam hotels, went to Haarlem as Rick suggests. Stayed at Hotel Die Raeckse and it was very good, very clean, and a wonderful staff. Left a tip and the maid tried giving it back. Told her it was for her doing a good job.
Sun City Center, FL USA Sun 07/03/2011
Europe and World Travel Club/Blog
This is a cool travel club and blog site that just got back from Ireland--they are doing Turkey and some other trips to Europe coming up...
Boston, MA USA Wed 06/29/2011
There is a website that I found useful for Valencia, spain. www.valencia-cityguide.com and it provides current practical information which has made my planning very easy. I even purchased travel local travel cards on line as well as tickets to city of arts and sciences the dinosaur and ocean exhibits
merrimack, nh USA Mon 06/20/2011
Going to Portugal
We are going to Portugal next fall and we have found this website. No adds, just text and pictures about the country and it is realy helping us to plan a nice vaccation for us four. It is allways dificult to find a place that everyone of us likes. But we seam to be getting there. The site is www.portugaltraveladvisor.com
L.A., Ca USA Wed 06/08/2011
Paris, France; Alcove & Agapes B&B Service
For accommodations for our recent trip to Paris, we used the Rick-Steves-recommended "Alcove & Agapes" web-site bed-and-breakfast-in-paris.com. It is the best lodging web-site we have ever used for any type accommodation. The descriptions of the lodging options are informative, thorough, and 100% accurate--no surprises. The B&B service offers many locations throughout Paris in a wide range of price options. All the prices are excellent values for Paris. The web-site is easy to use with personal email help if needed. We stayed at B&B #368 (Chantal & Joe), near La Madeleine and a 5-minute walk to Place de la Concorde. It was a fantastic experience. Do yourself a favor; check it out.
Marlene & Dave
Fort Collins, CO USA Wed 05/18/2011
Do NOT use
Seattle, WA USA Fri 05/13/2011
Travel Club for Europe
A good travel club that goes to Europe frequently for solo travelers is singlesbythebaytravel.com
They are going to Ireland soon!
San Francisco, CA USA Thu 04/21/2011
new Family Europe itinerary
We"d love to see a second itinerary for Family Best of Europe. Europe. We loved our first trip with a granddaughter and would like to bring her again along with a grandson.
Northridge,, Califo USA Wed 04/13/2011
After 3 weeks in Venice, Florence and Chianti we thought it couldn't get any better...how wrong we were! Sicily is the new Tuscany...but at the same time raw and real, with a culturally rich and complex blend of amazing food, wine, history, culture and landscapes that outshine other regions of Italy. In Sicily, you really need somebody who gets both the local culture and international traveler's needs to help you navigate your trip and cultivate the right experience with personal care and passion. All I can say is that Marcello's expert guidance, insiders knowledge to local experiences really helped us get the most out of our time while feeling part of the Sicilian family. Originally from Hollywood, California. Marcello grew up in his father's Italian restaurant, Emilios, and has an innate passion for food, wine and local culture. As a personal chef looking for rich, real and regional culinary experiences. I really could not have asked or expected more than the magical itinerary of culinary adventures that the Agave Travel Creative team [INVALID]d for us, which ranged from a Sicilian Cheese Tasting / Making Workshop on a local Dairy Farm, tasting amazing wines overlooking the volcanic valleys of Mt. Etna to guided culinary tours of outdoor food markets. Not to mention the precious restaurant recommendations. Marcello and Agave Travel Creative (www.agavetravelcreative.com) really made our trip to Sicily unforgettable!
Los Angeles, Ca. USA Mon 04/04/2011
Blog & Podcast from Le Marche, Italy
La Tavola Marche (farm, inn & cooking school) in Le Marche posts festivals, markets, day trips & recipes from the little know region of Le Marche, Italy. Run by 2 fun energetic young American expats - they even have a podcast!
bothell, WA USA Sun 04/03/2011
Parisian Food Lovers Blog
We loved reading David Lebovitz's blog before our trip to Paris. Great restaurant recommendations, as well as travel advice (make sure to check out the My Paris and FAQ sections).
Washington, DC USA Sun 02/27/2011
Best Help for Finding Italian Historical Estates
Last year while searching on the internet for historical farm estates in Tuscany, I found Trust & Travel (www.trustandtravel.com). They have historical estates all over Italy that are "Agriturismos." The Trust & Travel website is really informational and breaks down all the regions in Italy and has comprehensive recommendations for each region of Italy. There are a couple of videos of the estates on the website and also there is a blog that does a great job of telling interesting stories and unique experiences of Italy. The best part about the whole start to finish of the vacation was the owner of Trust & Travel, Katharina really did an exceptional job in helping me make an extraordinary vacation for my family and friends, and she answered my emails and phone calls and made me feel very comfortable and confident in traveling to rural Tuscany with family and friends.
Paris, France Wed 01/26/2011
We did a portrait session on vacation with an American photographer - That was pretty cool! It was nice to have great vacation pics instead of our own usual heads being cut off or out of focus. www.internationalfamilyportraits.com
Tampa, FL USA Tue 01/18/2011
Romance in France
romanceinfrance.co.uk We found this great web site and accommodation lived up to expectations Wonderful apartments in the Armorick national Park. Hand carved French beds, whirlpool bath, log fire. perfect for couples who want something special. We had a wonderful time in this undiscovered part of France. Great countryside peaceful surroundings, lots of places to visit.
Finistere Brittany, France USA Sat 01/15/2011
We had a fantastic stay in a lovely village on the edge of the cotswolds in October, A beautiful cottage recently renovated it was very spacious and cosy, all mod cons and just 2 mins walk from a wonderful village pub doing food with a value for money that I haven't seen for a long time!.. Oh. and they had a log fire! The web site for the cottage was cotswoldscottagefor2.co.uk
Loqueffret, France France Sat 01/15/2011
Best student travel website - Bus2alps
I studied abroad this past fall in Florence, Italy and came across this travel agency, Bus2alps. Their website is www.bus2alps.com and they organize group trips for study abroad students throughout Europe. They were incredibly helpful in planning trips to destinations that most of our my fellow students and me already planned to go. Best of all, I was able to meet up in Munich with my friends studying in Rome and Barcelona on one of their trips since Bus2alps organized trips departing from there.
New York, NY USA Thu 01/06/2011