10 New Summer Getaways to Europe from Exodus Travels
Featuring walks and wine tastings in Portugal’s Douro Valley, cycling mysterious Translyvania, a Sicily food adventure, and more
From the French Riviera’s turquoise coastline to hole-in-the-wall Italian cafes with the world’s best single shot, rural Portuguese vineyards and Swiss alpine villages, Europe earns the title for the ultimate summertime getaway. Exodus Travels has launched 61 new European small-group and self-guided adventures in 2016, each taking the trail less traveled and hosted by friendly local leaders who know their patch better than anyone else.
With more than 42 years of experience designing and operating extraordinary adventures to 100 countries worldwide, Exodus rounds up its 10 best trips to Europe debuting this summer:
Discover ancient wine cellars and walk the quiet countryside of a country that once dominated the world’s trade routes. Beginning in Porto, Exodus’ new Portugal walking trip travels into the heart of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where sweet-tasting port is produced, and then onwards to the Terras de Basto, home of vinho verde. This premium adventure features generous wine tastings, 4- and 5-star accommodations, and leisurely walks through ancient olive groves and down old stone paths to chapel shrines. Eight-day departures begin May 14, 2016. Rates from $1,695 USD.
Exodus’ new walking adventure invites sun-seekers to explore the French Riviera’s exotic cliff-side villages and lush interior at their own pace. Exodus has handpicked the area’s best coastal and woodland trails that lead to medieval castles, impressive old towns and secluded Mediterranean beaches. Travelers can also visit star-studded Monaco, where mega-yachts sit perched along the coastline, before venturing into Menton and hiking towards the Italian border. Eight-day departures begin April 23, 2016. Rates from $1,185 USD.
From the sweet taste of cannoli to the crunch of arancini, Sicily’s food is a world famous reflection of the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. This southern Italy journey follows the foodie trail where gastronomes get acquainted with Sicilian cuisine in Ballaro’s bustling street food market, make their own dishes alongside a local chef in Trapani, sip wine in Marsala and Etna, and relax in sun-kissed Baroque piazzas with a gelato in hand. Eight-day departures begin May 7, 2016. Rates from $1,695 USD.
Set amongst extraordinary alpine surroundings, the romantic town of Bled and its iconic island make one of the most picture-perfect settings in Europe, if not the whole world. From here, cyclists will cover Slovenia’s best biking trails, like Vintgar Gorge, carved 150m deep into the mountains by the Radovna River, and Radovna Valley. For an easy, breezy ride, Exodus has arranged a car transfer to the top of the Pokljuka high plateau where riders charge downhill through alpine villages to Lake Bahinj and nearby waterfalls. Eight-day departures begin April 20, 2016. Rates from $1,235 USD.
The new route begins in the wild and rugged region of northern Portugal and heads downhill through small villages and extensive vineyards following the River Mingo towards the Atlantic Ocean. Along the ride, cyclists will make way for deer and wild horses, and take breaks to sip and savor organic vinho verde. The trips ends in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Porto, with time to taste world-famous port wine from ancient cellars. Eight-day departures begin April 24, 2016. Rates from $1,355 USD.
La Palma, nicknamed La Isla Bonita (the pretty isle), is a volcanic island located in the western Canaries. During Exodus’ new self-guided walking trip, travelers will follow stunning coastal trails through citrus groves, avocado and mango orchards and small vineyards to whitewashed villages like San Andrés. Highlights include the ‘Barranco de Herradura,’ considered one of Spain’s best walking trails, and the ‘Ruta de Los Volcanes,’ a series of volcanoes in the south of the island. Eight-day departures begin April 21, 2016. Rates from $1,325 USD.
During Exodus’ exhilarating trip to Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, senses will awaken with blissful walks through orchards of apples, peaches, cherries and plums in the Kaldir Valley and along the Adriatic coast to remote coves and azure bays. For panoramic views as far as the Dolomites and Switzerland, hikers can summit Istra’s highest peak Mt. Vojak, before retiring to their 19th century villa in Opatija. Eight-day departures begin May 3, 2016. Rates from $1,735 USD.
With a focus on art, architecture and local traditions and cuisine, this new trip to Italy’s southern heel is peppered with leisure walks that hug the coast, Baroque explorations and lazy beach days. Exploring the diversities of Puglia, travelers will stay in whitewashed ‘Trulli’ houses in Alberobello, sample organic produce at a traditional masseria (a typical Apulian converted farmhouse), and travel 60 metres deep into ancient cave systems in the Itria Valley. Eight-day departures begin May 1, 2016. Rates from $1,635 USD.
Few places can match the beauty and mystery of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. Rich with Saxon history and a landscape dotted with castles, monasteries and wool mills, Exodus’ new bike tour begins in Bran with a visit to ‘Dracula’s Castle’ before heading to the foot of the highest mountain range in Romania. Road warriors cover 35-66 kilometres per day, cycling quiet country roads to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, old citadels and eclectic communist-era cities like Bucharest. Nine-day departures begin May 7, 2016. Rates from $1,405 USD