All of Spain Coach Tour

English only and small group tour – max. 25 participants

14 days/13 nights, start and finish in Madrid

Madrid-Cordoba-Seville-Granada-Valencia-Barcelona-Zaragoza-San Sebastian-Bilbao-Santander-Santillana-Covadonga-Oviedo-Gijon-Lugo-La Coruna-Santiago de Compostela-Rias Bajas-Vigo-Salamanca

2019 regular bilingual departures Mon: Apr 1 – Oct 28
4* hotels from: $2619 pp twin share (s/supp $834)
Supplements: $145 pp Sep-Oct. €153 Easter & April Fair

2019 exclusive English only departures: 17 June, 16 Sep, 14 Oct
4* hotels from: $3551 pp twin share (s/sup $908)
Supplements: $138 pp Sep-Oct

Tour itinerary

Day 1 (Mon): Madrid-Cordoba-Seville
Own arrangements to coach terminal ready to depart at 08.00. through La Mancha to Cordoba. Sightseeing tour, visiting its famous Mosque/Cathedral and Jewish Quarter. After the visit, continue to Seville for dinner and overnight.
Optional tour to attend a flamenco show.

Day 2 (Tues): Seville
Morning city tour visiting the Barrio de Santa Cruz with its narrow streets, the Park of Maria Luisa and Plaza de Espana, with a panoramic sightseeing of the city. Optional Artistic tour including the Royal Alcazar Palace. The afternoon is at leisure to continue discovering the city.

Day 3 (Wed): Seville-Granada
Today, depart to Granada to do a sightseeing tour visiting the Alhambra with its beautiful Nazari Palaces and the Generalife. Optional visit to the caves of Sacromonte and attend a typical show of gipsy flamenco. Enjoy dinner in the evening.

Day 4 (Thurs): Granada-Valencia
Departure via Guadix, Baza and Puerto Lumbreras towards the Mediterranean coast and arrival to Valencia.

Day 5 (Fri): Valencia-Barcelona
This morning is at leisure before departing to Barcelona at mid morning.

Day 6 (Sat): Barcelona
This morning visit the Park of Montjuic, monument to Columbus and the old Gothic Quarter. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to do more sightseeing. Optional night tour through the wide avenues and lighted buildings and fountains.

Day 7 (Sun): Barcelona-Zaragoza-San Sebastian
Departure to Zaragoza with a short stop before continuing to San Sebastian.

Day 8 (Mon): San Sebastian-Bilbao-Santillana-Santander
Departure to Bilbao with a short panoramic tour to admire the Guggenheim Museum building. Continue to Santillana del Mar, city considered as a National Monument where you will have a short stop before continuing to Santander for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 (Tues): Santander-Covadonga-Oviedo
Today, we will drive through Pico de Europa Mountains and see splendid landscapes. Arrival to Covadonga with free time to visit the Shrine and continue to Oviedo for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 (Wed): Oviedo-Gijon-Lugo
Departure to Gijon the second capital of the region of Asturias. Short panoramic tour and continue through the areas of Luarca, Ribadea and Lugo in the region of Galicia. Enjoy dinner in the evening.

Day 11 (Thurs): Lugo-La Coruna
Today, head towards La Coruna for a short panoramic tour. In the afternoon, optional excursion to the Riad Altas through typical villages as Pontedeume, Betanzos. Enjoy dinner in the evening.

Day 12 (Fri): La Coruna-Santiago de Compostela
Departure to Santiago de Compostela to enjoy city tour of this legendary pilgrimage town, Plaza del Obradoiro, Cathedra. The afternoon is at leisure. Enjoy dinner in the evening.

Day 13 (Sat): Santiago-Rias Bajas-Vigo
Departure for the area of the Spanish Fjords (Rias Bajas), through splendid landscapes: La Toja Island, ria de Arosa and Pontevedra. Optional excursion to Santa Tecla and Valenca do Mino across the Portuguese border. Continue to Vigo for dinner and overnight.

Day 14 (Sun): Vigo-Madrid
We will begin our journey through the Galician Mountains to return to Madrid crossing the Castilian region. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in Madrid.

Inclusions: Twin share in 4* accommodation, breakfast daily, eight dinners, deluxe coach, English speaking tour escort, local tour guides, small group tour min. 10 pax & max. 25 pax, entries to monuments visited on tour and porterage of one baggage per person.

Hotels: 4* Sevilla-Hesperia Sevilla, Granada-Melia Granada, Valencia-Rey Don Jaime, Barcelona-Catalonia Atenas, San Sebastian- Silken Amara Plaza, Santander-Santemar, Oviedo-Exe Oviedo, Lugo-Gran Hotel Lugo, La Coruna-Tryp Coruna, Santiago-Hesperia Peregrino, Vigo-Ciudad de Vigo (or similar).

Antarctica and the Falkland Islands

Save up to 25% on Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia and Patagonia cruises.

17 days in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands from AU$7594 p/p based on 17 March 2020 departure.

Hurtigruten exclusive sale for a limited time:
Save up to 25% off expedition cruises to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Patagonia during the 2019/20 season. You can travel to magical Antarctica and the rugged Falkland Islands from just AU$7594. This is the most competitive price for this type of expedition in Australia right now.
Most expedition cruises for this season are actually sold out, so this may be the last chance to book the most remote corners of the world within the next year.

*Prices are in AUD and are correct as of 15 May 2019. Sale ends on 26 June 2019. Discounts are subject to availability at time of booking and applicable to specific departure dates. Contact us for terms and conditions.

This 17-day adventure introduces you to the highlights of the southern hemisphere as you fly from historic and vibrant Buenos Aires to Ushuaia to board the MS Midnatsol, bound for Antarctica and the Falklands. Five days are spent exploring the stunningly beautiful ice wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula, with its abundance of penguins, seals and whales, amazing carved icebergs and glaciated mountains. Then its north to the isolated yet ruggedly beautiful Falkland Islands with their vast open spaces that are a haven for wildlife. Disembark in Uruguay’s colonial capital of Montevideo, one of South America’s most interesting cities.

CRUISE ITINERARY
17 DAYS

DAY 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
This adventure starts with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. We offer an optional city tour in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure and discover the ”Paris of South America” for yourself.

DAY 2: Fly South – Ushuaia
Fly early in the morning to Ushuaia, where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once on board, we kick off our journey with a welcome-on-board dinner.

DAY 3: At Sea – Drake Passage – Day 3 & 4
Prepare yourself for Antarctica as we cross the infamous Drake Passage, and trust us – it will overwhelm you! MS Midnatsol is designed to bring polar exploration to all ages and learning levels. There will be lectures on the environment around us, films about Antarctica and the Activity Center provides the latest technology for preserving your memories. This Center is the heart of the expedition community, a friendly place to gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, and a warm area to mingle and share stories.

DAY 5: Antarctica & South Shetland – Day 5 to 9
Antarctica is sure to overwhelm your senses, with endless white horizons above oceans full of glorious icebergs and whales. Maybe even more awe-inspiring will be your meeting with the huge colonies of penguins. They are not afraid of humans, so you can look forward to true close encounters with this most charming of bird species as you come ashore to explore the impressive Antarctic scenery. From deck, there are great chances to spot whales. Enjoy close encounters with Antarctic wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations and relics. You are in one of the most remote areas of the world and the sensations are non-stop.
We will land several times for unforgettable excursions. Among the locations we may visit are Half Moon Island and Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of gentoo penguins. Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay, and Paradise Harbour got its descriptive name from the whalers who came here long ago. When the storms were at their worst, this is where they came to seek shelter. The high glacier walls in Wilhelmina Bay convey the mighty power of ice, from calving glacier fronts to floating ice.

DAY 10: At Sea – Drake Passage
The Expedition team will continue the lecture programme, covering history and the great explorers, marine biology, wildlife, oceanography and climate change. Spend some time on deck and look out for wildlife as we make out way north to the Falklands.

DAY 11: Falkland Islands – Day 11 to 13
When we arrive the Falkland Islands, you will experience everything from red buses and English pubs in the capital Stanley to penguins, hikes in the hills or along the coastline or kayaking clear waters. New Island is an adorable inlet, with sandy white beaches and turquoise waters. It could easily be mistaken for a Caribbean island, if the sun was a little stronger. We pass an old shipwreck on our way ashore to enjoy a day amongst penguins and seals. While we are here, you can join several excursions like history tours, bird watching tours, nature walks and even a scenic plane tour where you can discover the Falklands by air in a classic island-hopping aircraft.

DAY 14: At Sea – Day 14 to 16
Days at sea are full of activity. By now, our Expedition team will probably have convinced everybody on board that science is fascinating and fun! We can promise first class edutainment.

DAY 17: Montevideo, Uruguay
Montevideo boasts colourful cultural diversity, with a picturesque blend of colonial Spanish, Italian and Art Deco architectural styles. Long considered one of South America’s most interesting cities, you can visit the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) with its 18th century buildings, the vibrant Mercado del Puerto, the bustling Avenida 18 de Julio with its numerous theatres, museums and art galleries, and the stretch of white, sandy beaches surrounding the city after disembarking on MS Midnatsol.

Montenegro – Special feature country

We would like to feature a selected country that most people have not been to in Europe called Montenegro. It is truly a must see if you are thinking of heading anywhere near the Adriatic coastline. Only a 94 km drive from Dubrovnik to the city of Kotor – and regular buses run from Dubrovnik daily.

The beauty of this very small country is quite stunning. It only a population of 622,000 people and borders Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia and Kosovo.

After the tragic Yugoslav civil war in the 1990’s Montenegro has slowly begun to recover and tourists are now discovering this little gem of a country. It is blessed with a rugged terrain, very high mountains (2,100 metres) to explore that feature a number of National Parks with many walking trails, rafting opportunities and skiing in winter. The Bay of Kotor is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe where a river valley extends into the mountains. The coastline has some nice beaches and historic villages and the main tourist area of the Budva Riviera has a lively nightlife. The village of Perast and the ancient town of Kotor are both UNESCO certified world heritage sites.

Kotor is a preserved medieval town with lots of cobblestone streets and lively piazzas. Climb the 1,500 steps to take in scenic view the bay and surrounding mountains.

Perast has some amazing Venetian and Baroque architecture as it belonged to the Republic of Venice in the 17th and 18th century.

Just off the coastline from Budva lies the island of Sveti Stefan that now features a 5 star hotel resort called Aman Sveti Stefan. It was once a formal royal residence and has an expanse of 80 acres.

The capital city is called Podgorica and is centrally located within the country. Close by is the Durmitor National Park which has the Tara River Canyon considered the deepest canyon in Europe and the second longest in the world.

Travel around Montenegro could be via car hire or a mix of local buses and trains. Important to note all roads are single carriageways and no motorways exist. Driving is predominately thru mountainous areas, so lots of curvy roads to cover.

In summary we would suggest a stay of around 4-7 days depending on how much you would want to venture around. A few days in Kotor done as a side trip from Dubrovnik would also be a nice extension if you wish to travel in Croatia mainly.

A great country to consider for all.

Himalayan Adventure

WENDY WU TOURS ‘HIMALAYAN ADVENTURE’ – 21 Days

Only one departure left on this tour for 2019, departing on 2 Oct 2019.

All inclusive cost inc airfares, taxes, accommodation, all meals, sightseeing, visa fees and entrance fees is $7780 per person.

Two further departures in 2020 on 6 May and 7 Oct at $8180 p/p.

DAY 1: AUSTRALIA TO CHENGDU
Fly to Chengdu. (D)

DAY 2: GIANT PANDAS
A visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding allows you to see China’s celebrated bears up close in surroundings that mirror their natural habitat. Stroll through People’s Park, see Matchmaker’s Corner, and visit a traditional tea house. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: FLY TO LHASA
Fly to Lhasa and have some time at leisure to acclimatise to the high altitude. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: DEBATING MONKS
Lhasa is a modern city but among the old streets, at its core, you’ll feel a million miles from the modern world. Venture inside Jokhang Temple where queues of people worship in the flickering light of yak butter candles. Wander around the Barkhor with traditionally dressed locals and prostrating pilgrims. There will also be a visit to Sera Monastery to witness the debating monks. This evening, try yak burgers for dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: POTALA PALACE
The Potala Palace is an architectural wonder towering over the city. The winter palace of the Dalai Lama, it houses thousands of rooms filled with old treasures. This evening enjoy a Tibetan dance performance during dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: SHIGATSE
Travel across Tibet’s stark plains to Shigatse, Tibet’s second city and the traditional home of the Panchen Lama. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: TASHILHUNPO MONASTERY
Visit Tashilhunpo Monastery, the hilltop complex that is the monastic seat of the Panchen Lama. From here drive to New Tingri, admiring awe-inspiring Himalayan views. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: EVEREST BASE CAMP BOUNDARY MONUMENT
Rise early to make the final assault across the Gue La to Pasum and Rongbuk, a monastic village festooned in colourful prayer flags. See the world’s highest post office, with the Himalayas dominating the horizon, before reaching the Everest Base Camp Boundary Monument. Here, situated under the gaze of Everest’s north face, the views of the world’s highest peak are unsurpassed (weather permitting). (B,L,D)

DAY 9: NEW TINGRI TO GYANTSE
Drive to the pleasant town of Gyantse and visit the famous Kumbum Monastery. (B,L,D)

DAY 10: GYANTSE TO LHASA
Return to Lhasa, stopping en route at Karuola Glacier and Yamdrok Lake. Stay overnight in Lhasa. (B,L,D)

DAY 11: INTO NEPAL
Fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Meet your Nepalese guide and transfer to Dhulikhel to see the traditional Newari houses and browse the local market. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: BHAKTAPUR
Take a visit to Changu Narayan Temple before hiking to Telkot through the forest landscapes, admiring the stunning Himalaya scenery. Drive to Bhaktapur and visit the Old Houses before enjoying a traditional Nepalese lunch. This afternoon wander Bhaktapur’s cobblestone streets where you’ll stumble across many old courtyards, temples and artisans busy at their craft. Visit the Golden Gate and the Palace of 55 Windows on Durbar Square. (B,L,D)

DAYS 13-14: POKHARA
Travel to Pokhara. The town sits on the verdant banks of Phewa Lake with virtually uninterrupted views of the majestic Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. Take a walking tour, admiring the views. (B,L,D) The next day, explore Pokhara’s traditional bazaar, Bindyabasini Temple, Gupteshwor Cave and Devi’s Fall. Spend the afternoon wandering the Mountain Museum. (B,L,D)

DAYS 15-16: CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Admire the sunrise and the serenity of a Hindu temple before departing for Chitwan National Park. A jungle safari delivers you to the plains of Terai. (B,L,D) Tomorrow, take an early morning nature walk, and visit the elephants. Later, take a serene trip down the Rapti River to search for wildlife along the river banks. Observe an elephant bath and this evening take in the fun of a traditional Tharu Stick dance performed by local farmers. (B,L,D)

DAY 17: DAMAN
Drive to Daman which has one of the most spectacular outlooks over the Himalayan range of anywhere in Nepal. Continue to Kathmandu. (B,L,D)

DAY 18: LAMA BLESSING
Essentially a suburb of Kathmandu, Patan was once the capital of an independent kingdom, something that is noticeable in its distinctiveness. See the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Palace and Patan’s Durbar Square. Returning to Kathmandu, visit the Boudhanath Stupa and Monastery for a very special Lama blessing. Continue to Pashupatinath Temple. (B,L,D)

DAY 19: KATHMANDU
Kathmandu is a city of many layers – a modern day assault on the senses, a hub of cultural and artistic heritage and a monument to the medieval era. Explore Swayambhunath Temple, Durbar Square, the Kumari Temple and Thamel Market. (B,L,D)

DAYS 20-21: KATHMANDU TO AUSTRALIA
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Kathmandu airport to board your flight to Australia, arriving home the same or following day. (B)

For more information or to book, contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Mayan Adventure

With G Adventures – covering Mexico, Belize and Guatemala dept Playa Del Carmen with various departures from JUN thru till NOV 2019 on special 15% off normal price**

Cost from $2667 p/p. Small group operator with maximum 16 people per trip.

**Need to book and pay by 30 JUN 19 for this offer.

Leave the resorts of the Mayan Riviera behind and explore the authentic Yucatán. From sunny beaches and lush jungles to the highlands of Chiapas, journey through Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico on this incredible 22-day adventure. Explore the amazing ruins of Chichén Itzá, Palenque, and Tikal and walk the cobblestoned streets of colonial San Cristóbal de las Casas and Antigua. Snorkel with stingrays or just get into the reggae pace of life on a sunny Caribbean island. Experience a journey that introduces you to local culture and offers insight into the history of the Mayan heartland.

  • Explore incredible Mayan sites and colourful local markets
  • Snorkel on Belize’s world-famous barrier reef
  • Wander colonial towns and Caribbean shores

Duration: 22 days
Start/finish city: Playa del Carmen to Playa del Carmen
Service level: Standard
Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

For more information or to book, contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

USA Grassroots Music Tour 2019

Listening Through The Lens presents
The Grass Roots Music Tour 2019
9 – 30 September

PLACES FILLING – ENQUIRE NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

Arrive Nashville downtown independently
Nashville Tennessee – 7 nights
Americana Music Festival and Conference
Americana Honors and Awards Show (premium seats)
Knoxville Tennessee – 1 night
Asheville North Carolina – 2 nights
Earl Scruggs Centre
Biltmore Estate
Two live shows
Bristol Tennessee/Virginia – 4 nights
Live Show
Rhythm and Roots Reunion Festival
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Clintwood Virginia – 1 night
Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Centre
Paintsville Kentucky – 1 night
Loretta Lynn’s Butcher Holler
Country Music Highway Museum
Lexington Kentucky – 2 nights
Red Barn Radio Show
Explore Lexington or free day
Bill Monroe Family Home and Grave
Owensboro Kentucky – 2 nights
International Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame
Live Show
Drake Vintage Music & Curios
Nashville Tennessee – 1 night
independent departure from Nashville 30 September a.m.

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to minor alteration due to changing circumstances beyond the control of Listening Through The Lens.

Contact
The tour guide Rob Dickens – robdickens101@gmail.com

Inclusions

  • Experienced Guide
  • All accommodation (incl. breakfasts)
  • Full badge registration for all 6 days at Americana Festival
  • Americana Honors and Awards Show (premium ticket)
  • One year membership Americana Music Association
  • Tickets for all 3 days at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
  • Admission to four live shows plus Biltmore Estate, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Earl Scruggs Centre, Ralph Stanley Museum, Country Highway Museum, Butcher Holler, Bill Monroe Home, International Bluegrass Museum and Hall of Fame
  • Vehicle Transfers from September 16 to September 29

Exclusions

  • Tips, gratuities
  • Transport during Americana Festival [we will have a perfectly-located hotel, most venues a 15-20 minute walk away – other options are Festival Shuttle (free), Uber and taxi (at own expense)
  • Transit costs pre-Tour and post-Tour
  • Some public gigs may emerge during Tour, at own expense, optional to attend
  • Travel insurance (this is compulsory for all participants)
  • Meals and beverages
  • Additional transport required due to emergency situation

Tour numbers
This will be a small group. Final numbers determined according to vehicle logistics. Places filled on a first-come basis.

Price
AUD $4,900 per person twin share basis (contact me robdickens101@gmail.com for single room supplement price and/or price in US$). Deposit being half balance due 30 May 2019 or within 3 days of booking, remainder 31 July 2019.

Deposit
A deposit of AUD $2450 per person is required to hold your place. The deposit, payable to Trans Otway Travel, will be refunded if tour does not proceed or is full. In all other cases the deposit is non-refundable.

Testimonials for Rob Dickens

“You were a wonderful tour leader – so well organised, quiet, kind, patient, considerate and knowledgeable – with so many interesting contacts and friends who clearly respected you and whom you shared with us. Each day was highlighted by the fact the activities, events, sights and travel were all so well sorted. There was no indecision or time wasted by us, perfect.
I now appreciate and understand so much more the road that the music has taken, what has and is involved in creating it, the differences in areas, the roles that family, community and conditions have played in its development, and so on. Music will never be taken for granted again.
We can never thank you enough for these experiences and the wonderful memories we have been left with. What a magnificent, trouble-free, well organised expose of Americana, bluegrass and blues music! We look forward to doing it all again with you in the future”- Len and Janette

“An absolute phenomenal trip, three fabulous weeks of touring and experiencing a variety of music festivals and events throughout a number of the southern States of the USA with another seven like-minded people. The team at LTTL, as well as being great leaders, has got it right. With a carefully planned itinerary, wonderful accommodation, and including enough downtime for some R&R, makes this tour a truly unforgettable life experience. Cannot thank you enough, for the warmth, wisdom, professionalism and humour you portrayed in leading us down paths less travelled and wait now in anticipation for details on next year’s adventure” – Sandra

“Rob put together a great trip. His knowledge of each location, venues and the artists were top notch and greatly contributed to a rewarding and enjoyable experience” – Keiran

“His tour was a new experience for me and I appreciated Rob’s organisational skills and his special care of all members of the group. We had plenty of freedom to do our own thing while still adhering to the itinerary. The breadth of music and the musicians’ skills were impressive. Thank you for giving us such a great experience” – Peter and Renate

“The trip was a joy to participate in. Rob was an excellent host and having visited all places previously added a lot to the smooth operation of it all. A nice blend of music across a lot of genres. Happy to recommend Rob’s future music trips” – Philip
“A perfect mix of great live music and heritage attractions” – Jim

“Loved all of it! Great itinerary and well organised with experienced tour leader. Lots of great locations and musical experiences and people we met. Like minded music fans in the group. Thank you for the fun time” – Trish

Who might you see at our festivals?
Musically, what to expect? The line-up for Bristol Rhythm and Roots is out (see banner above). The artists for AmericanaFest will be announced over time, the first instalment very soon. As a guide, here’s who we saw perform at AmericanaFest 2018:
Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, Drivin n Cryin, Jason Eady, Jim Lauderdale, Amanda Shires, The Black Lillies, Brent Smith, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Israel Nash, Paul Thorn, Tony Joe White, Anderson East, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Guy, Courtney Marie Andrews, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, I’m With Her, Irma Thomas, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, John Prine, K.D. Lang, Lilly Hiatt, Lucero, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Margo Price, Mary Gauthier, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Robert Earl Keen, Rosanne Cash, Tyler Childers, Alejandro Escovedo, Asleep At The Wheel, Earls of Leicester, Josh Rennie-Hynes, Kaia Kater, Paul Cauthen, Romantica, Sam Morrow, Whitehorse, AHI, Becky Warren, Benjamin Jason Douglas, Brian Henneman (Bottle Rockets), Cedric Burnside, Eliza Gilkyson, Ellen Starski, Kevin Gordon, Paul Burch, Robby Hecht and Caroline Spence, Sunny War, Trisha Ivy, The War and Treaty, The Wild Ponies, The Accidentals, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Jim White, Lera Lynn, Max Gomez, Micah Scott, Michael Logen & Lizanne Knott, Mike Farris, Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis, SHEL, Strung Like A Horse, Tim Bluhm, Larry Cordle, Mike Rogers, Val Storey.

For more information or to book, contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

The Best of Portugal – 11 Days

From $2,743 per person

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Accommodation included
  • Admission entrance to monuments included
  • Tour guide
  • 11-day tour of the different regions of Portugal including a visit to Santiago de Compostela
  • Transportation on an air-conditioned luxury coach
  • Daily breakfast

SUMMARY
Explore the different cities and towns of Portugal including Obidos, Alcobaca, Nazare, Batalha, Fatima, Porto, Aveira, Coimbra, Vale do Douro, Sintra, Cascais, Evor and more. You will also visit the pilgrim site of Santiago de Compostela.
Departure Time: 9:00 am
Departure Point: Marquês de Pombal (Lisbon) or pick up at any hotel in Lisbon

ITINERARY
Day 1
Through a landscape rich in windmills and fruit trees, you arrive in Óbidos, surrounded by medieval walls where you can admire the harmony of the architecture, the diversity of the handicrafts and taste the famous ginginha (bitter cherry liqueur). Visit Alcobaça with the first and largest gothic church in Portugal with the tombs of the doomed lovers Pedro and Inês de Castro. Stopping in Nazaré, a typical fishing village and seaside resort immersed in tradition and legend. you continue to Batalha – visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Victoria, a masterpiece of gothic architecture in Portugal where you also encounter the tomb of Henry the Navigator, the mastermind behind Portugal’s era of maritime discoveries. After you arrive in Fátima, the famous Marian Shrine, there is the opportunity to attend the candle-lit procession.
Hotel accommodation in Fatima.

Day 2
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for Coimbra – visit to the University, one of the oldest in the world, with its magnificent baroque library and its unique atmosphere characterised by ancient traditions and customs such as the black student capes and the melancholic fado music. Stop at St Clara Church, where lies the tomb of Queen St. Isabel, the protagonist of the “miracle of the roses”. In the city centre, there is a chance to admire Coimbra’s exclusive ceramics. In the afternoon, you continue to Aveiro, a city of canals and known as the “Venice of Portugal”, where you shall have time to see the graceful “moliceiro” vessels and taste the local delicacy “ovos moles”. Drive to Porto.
Hotel accommodation in Porto.

Day 3
Breakfast at the hotel. Porto, the 2nd city of Portugal and UNESCO classified world heritage site – a living amphitheatre inviting us to make a morning visit to discover the riverside area, old houses, palaces and churches that history has made eternal and served up with a glass of the world famous port wine. Continue to Minho, the northern region of Portugal that offers natural green sceneries and sparkling “green wine”. Starting in Guimarães – the cradle of the nation and birthplace of the first king of Portugal where, walking through the historic centre, one is plunged for moments back into medieval times. Visit the Sacred Hill, crowned by the Castle, as the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança with its original buildings dating back to the 15th century. Drive to Braga known as the “Portuguese Rome” for its concentration of religious architecture, including the oldest cathedral in the country and the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, with its famous baroque stairway and gardens. Return to Porto.
Hotel accommodation in Porto.

Day 4
Breakfast at the hotel before setting off for Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia and the centre of pilgrimage at the end of the Santiago Way. In 1985, UNESCO declared Santiago de Compostela a World Cultural Heritage Site and you have the entire day to freely discover this fascinating city. Wander its historical streets and learn about its most extraordinary monuments before sampling some of the traditional local dishes.
Optional tours at Porto.

Day 5
Departure for Amarante, a pretty town proud of its Saint Gonçalo, renowned for promoting love and marriage and where the river facing monastery houses his tomb and with a lively, bustling market where you can find fruit, vegetables, chickens, fabrics and an immense variety of other popular items. Afterwards, you drive onto Vila Real – visiting the gardens of the Mateus estate, whose façade is still depicted on the known Portuguese rosé wine bottles. Then, you enter the demarcated port region, travelling through the vineyards and the breathtaking landscapes of the Douro Valley. Stop in Lamego, overlooked by one of Portugal’s most important shrines N. S. Remédios with its magnificent baroque style staircase. Here, you can sample some of the local delicacies, including the local ham and the famous “Bola de Lamego” (a loaf baked in the oven with smoked ham). Continue on through the mountainous hinterland to Viseu, centre of the Dão Vineyards and a city connected to Portugal’s oldest hero, Viriato, a Lusitanian chief. In the shadow of the cathedral, narrow streets and doorways with coats of arms carved in granite make up the ancient town of Viseu. you tour the centre and its busy commercial zone. Arrival in Urgeiriça.
Hotel accommodation in Urgeiriça.

Day 6
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive through the heart of Portugal to Bussaco youll known for its luxuriant forest, made up of a selection of rare trees and plants of exotic beauty, and hosting a charming and romantic hotel, formerly a royal hunting lodge. continue to Tomar, a city whose development is closely interlinked with the Order of the Templars, which received these lands in 1159 as a reward for the assistance given to Dom Afonso Henriques (the first King of Portugal) in the Christian reconquest of the country. It was Dom Gualdim Pais, the first Grand Master of the Order in Portugal who founded the castle and the remarkable Convent of Christ within. Enlarged and altered over the centuries, the complex displays the influences of various architectural styles; it is the centrepiece of the city and classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Continue our journey until Lisbon.
Hotel accommodation in Lisbon.

Day 7
Departure to Sintra for a day of luxury. Visiting the Palace of Sintra, you walk through this charming town before enjoying the amazing views from the western most point of mainland Europe (Cabo da Roca). Along the coast, you pass one of the most famous surfing beaches, the incredible Hell’s Mouth, cosmopolitan Cascais and the gardens of Estoril Casino. Return to Lisbon.
Hotel accommodation in Lisbon.

Day 8
One day spent discovering the town of Évora, a mosaic of culture, history and traditions. Leaving Lisbon, you cross the bridge over the river Tagus and head through a beautiful and bucolic landscape of olive trees, cork oak trees and vineyards before arriving at Évora – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the narrow streets of this whitewashed town you walk back through time visiting some of Évora’s most important monuments: the Roman Temple, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, Saint Francis Church with its “Chapel of Bones” and the University. At the market, you see and feel the richness of the products applied in preparing one of the most elaborate and best appreciated gastronomies of Portugal. Throughout the visit, you also get to admire the diversity and authenticity of local handicrafts with cork, ceramic and copper objects. Time for lunch. In the afternoon, there is free time to better discover this city. Our suggestion: gourmet standard wine, cheese and olive oil.
Hotel accommodation in Évora.

Day 9
Breakfast at the hotel. Part of the morning provides further leisure time in Évora before then driving southward passing Beja where the highest tower in any Portuguese medieval castle dominates the town and the region. Crossing the low mountain range, you enter the Algarve. Alongside fields of orange trees, you arrive in Silves, the renowned town dominated by its red sandstone castle dating back mainly to Moorish times and by the memories of its former cork industry. you continue onto the golden sands of the Algarve passing Praia da Rocha en route to Lagos.
Hotel accommodation in Lagos.

Day 10
Breakfast at the hotel. The Algarve has the call of the sea that led to the discovery of the New World. Stop Ponta da Piedade to admire the magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean, and cliffs whose shapes have been sculpted by the erosive action of both the sea and time. Continuing onto Sagres, a fishing port, for a visit to the fortress that was the mythical “navigation school” forever linked to the presence of Prince Henry the Navigator during the first days of Atlantic navigation and the discovery of the African coast. Proceeding along the cliffs to Cabo São Vincente, the most south eastern point in mainland Europe. The city of Lagos, a cosmopolitan town with a marina and fishing port and home to some of the most delicious Algarve dishes, such as the fish and shellfish cooked in a cataplana copper pan, – and not forgetting the fine treats such as the famous marzipan, almond and fig cakes. Return to the hotel, where an afternoon at leisure invites you to take a dip in the warm sea.
Hotel accommodation in Lagos.

Day 11
A last look at the water while travelling along the coast before bidding farewell to the Algarve. The return trip to Lisbon takes you through the city of Setúbal, a major port and industrial centre on the north bank of the Sado estuary. Then comes a scenic route over the Arrábida Mountain Range, an area preserved as a Natural Park, with amazing scenery and unique vegetation at the gates of Lisbon and incorporating sweeping views of the Troia Peninsula. Crossing the Tagus River bridge, you arrive in Lisbon. End of tour.

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation on buffet breakfast basis
  • Transport by air conditioned bus or minivan, as per detailed itinerary
  • Guide present throughout the tour
  • Entry into the following monuments: Batalha Monastery, Coimbra University, Palácio da Bolsa (Porto), St. Francisco Church (Porto), Gardens of Palácio Mateus, Convent of Christ (Tomar), Palace of Pena (Sintra), Chapel of Bones (Évora), São Francisco Church (Évora), Évora Cathedral, São Vicente Fortress (Sagres).

EXCLUSIONS

  • Expenses other than detailed above, porter fees at hotels, lunches, or dinners, personal expenses, entrances other than those mentioned.

For more information or to book, contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

MSC Cruises ex Genoa – 50% off second guest

50% off second passenger on MSC Meraviglia
PLUS Cirque Du Soleil at sea dinner and show!

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Exclusively for MSC Meraviglia, Cirque du Soleil has created two different shows, VIAGGIO, an immersion into a world of colour and SONOR, an auditory adventure with unique sensations and sounds.

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7 night cruise departing Genoa (Italy) via Italy, Malta, Spain and France.
Inside from AU$1,136 per cabin*
Oceanview from AU$1,511 per cabin*
Balcony from AU$2,023 per cabin*

*Cirque du Soleil promotion only valid for Balcony or Deluxe Suite bookings, selected departures only.

TriFest USA Music Tour

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Rob Dickens and I have put together and are running a music tour of the USA starting on 10 September 2018.

We have only two places left to make a total group of 10 people. If you have an interest in Americana, Country and Blues and Roots Music, this could be for you!

We’ll need to close off the trip soon, so would love to fill the last two places – land price is $5900 p/p based on a twin share – subject to availability at time of booking. You’ll then need to add airfares to this, arriving in Nashville and departing from Kansas City, which we’re more than happy to arrange on your behalf.

Full details from tour guide Rob Dickens:

The TriFest Music Tour 2018 will take in three weeks, three festivals and three States and visit many historically significant and unforgettable places.

The itinerary for our music journey is below. I (Rob Dickens) will be the guide. Having been to every festival and city/town that we will visit, I would love to share these places and experiences with you.

The tour is fully escorted, starting in Nashville TN for the Americana Music Festival and Conference, moving through Tennessee and North Carolina to Bristol TN/VA for the Rhythm and Roots Reunion and finishing off in Columbia Missouri (via Kansas City) with Roots n Blues n BBQ. The Tour is using the experienced services of Philip Osborn at Trans Otway Travel.

The full line-ups for Rhythm and Roots Reunion and Roots n Blues n BBQ are now out with half of the showcase artists announced for Americana Music Festival and Conference. A key part of the Americana event in Nashville is the Americana Honors & Awards Show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, one of the best acoustic venues in the USA. Those Awards will be presented for the best new releases and artists.  All performers for these exciting events can be found following the links below.

Listening Through The Lens presents
TriFest Music Tour
10 September – 1 October 2018

  • Nashville Tennessee 7 nights
  • Americana Music Festival and Conference
  • Americana Honors and Awards Show
  • Knoxville Tennessee – 1 night stay
  • Asheville North Carolina – 2 nights
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Bristol Tennessee/Virginia – 4 nights
  • Rhythm and Roots Reunion festival
  • Birthplace of Country Music Museum
  • Nashville Tennessee – 1 night
  • Fly to Kansas City Missouri – 2 nights
  • Columbia Missouri – 4 nights
  • Roots n Blues n BBQ festival

This itinerary is subject to minor alteration due to changing circumstances beyond the control of Listening Through The Lens.

Tour inclusions

  • Experienced Guide
  • All accommodation (incl. breakfasts)
  • Full badge registration for all 6 days at Americana Festival
  • An upgraded ticket to the Americana Honors and Awards Show
  • One year membership Americana Music Association
  • Tickets for all 3 days at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
  • Admission to Birthplace of Country Music Museum
  • VIP Whole Hog tickets for all 3 days at Roots n Blues n BBQ festival – some food provided
  • Vehicle Transfers and flight (excl. checked bags fees) between Nashville and Kansas City
  • Admission to Biltmore Estate, American Jazz Museum, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Tour exclusions

  • Tips, gratuities
  • Transport during Americana Festival [we will have a perfectly-located hotel, most venues a 15-20 minute walk away – other options are Festival Shuttle (free), Uber and taxi (at own expense)]
  • Transit costs pre-Tour and post-Tour
  • Public gigs will emerge during Tour, at own expense, optional to attend
  • Travel insurance (this is compulsory for all participants)
  • Meals and beverages
  • Additional transport required due to emergency situation

Testimonials from the 2017 tour:

“You were a wonderful tour leader – so well organised, quiet, kind, patient, considerate and knowledgeable – with so many interesting contacts and friends who clearly respected you and whom you shared with us. Each day was highlighted by the fact the activities, events, sights and travel were all so well sorted. There was no indecision or time wasted by us, perfect.”

“I now appreciate and understand so much more the road that the music has taken, what has and is involved in creating it, the differences in areas, the roles that family, community and conditions have played in its development, and so on. Music will never be taken for granted again.”

“We can never thank you enough for these experiences and the wonderful memories we have been left with. What a magnificent, trouble-free, well organised expose of Americana, bluegrass and blues music! We look forward to doing it all again with you in the future.”

To book the final two remaining places on this tour, please contact us on (03) 9600 1482 or via email at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

South America Escorted Tour

22 days / 21 nights

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Come along on this amazing escorted tour that takes you through the most unforgettable places in South America. Be captivated by Cuzco the capital city of the ancient Inca civilisation, the picturesque Sacred Valley, the memorable ruins of Machu Picchu and the beautiful Lake Titicaca.

Discover the witch’s market in La Paz before visiting Santiago, set amongst the Andes Mountains. Feel the rhythm of the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro,

Visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls, and enjoy the elegant cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires.

Choose from a range of optional pre and post tour extensions, including the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon and Patagonia.

Package includes:

  • International economy airfares ex MEL/BNE/SYD
  • All internal flights within South America
  • Accommodation in selected class hotels with private facilities
  • Meals as indicated (20 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners)
  • Return economy Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • First class catamaran journey across Lake Titicaca
  • Transport by air conditioned vehicles
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and excursions
  • Meeting service and airport transfers
  • English speaking local guides
  • Tour Escort (minimum 10 people)
  • Tipping

Package excludes:

  • Air Taxes (taxes invoiced as tickets are issued – approx. $1180pp)
  • Departure Taxes (paid locally at airports)
  • **Pre-extension to Amazon
  • **Pre-extension to Galapagos Islands
  • **Post tour extension to Patagonia

Two date options: 3 September – 8 October 2018 or 11 March – 1 April 2019

To find out more, contact us on (03) 9600 1482 or via email at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au