Hike the Camino de Santiago with The Wayfarers


Always dreamed of walking the Camino de Santiago but never had the time or resources?

Not even sure where to begin to hike the world’s most famous pilgrimage route?

Never fear! Introducing two departures – one in Spring, one in Fall 2020.

Welcome to The Wayfarers

The Wayfarers is an exceptional company for walking vacations. They combine active holidays with a thoughtful mix of ancient sights and towns. Follow your expert guide on an adventure that packs weeks of wandering on your own in a single bite-sized, week-long trip.


Follow ancient roads marked by graceful scallop shells – the symbol of St. James – through medieval villages, chapels, sanctuaries, sweeping valleys and soaring cathedrals

Highlights of a Week on the Road

  • Begin in Burgos, the burial place of El Cid
  • Visit the Cruz de Hierro towering above thousands of pilgrims’ stones
  • Discover the unspoiled village of O’Cebreiro with its oval stone huts
  • Rejoice in Santiago’s Praza do Obradoiro.


A Wayfarer Experience

The Wayfarers stay in historic palacios, manor houses and pilgrims’ pousada (“pilgrim pensions”). In Santiago itself, reward yourselves to a night in the oldest hotel (and one of the most luxurious) in the world! The Parador de Santiago was originally a Royal Hospital and dates back to 1499. 

The history of the Camino de Santiago goes back to the beginning of the 9th century, with the discovery of the tomb of St. James in the Iberian Peninsula. Since this discovery, Santiago de Compostella has become a pilgrimage site across the entire European continent.

Just the Facts, Sir

7 nights from $4,495 per person

Double occupancy

Departures in 2020: May 2-9, Oct 10-17


What’s Included

  • Full-time services of two staff – a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals – with choices – (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants

Call to discuss adventure holidays and walking trips with our travel consultants. Call 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com.

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Travel News: Disney World’s Epcot gets an Update


We’re back with more exciting travel industry news, and the latest travel articles to get you inspired. 

Some Destinations and Airlines are looking to make major developments in 2020: 

Puerto Rico is going all out with a new high-tech entertainment district, El Distrito. Just two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the District will be a major milestone in recovering tourism for the destination. Plans include five acres of tech-savvy entertainment spot, urban zip line, LED screens, theater complex, and a performance venue for concerts and corporate events. Set to launch in early 2020 in San Juan. 


KLM is continuing the green mission and using processed cooking oil as sustainable aviation fuel. The renewable fuel, provided by Neste, will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%. 

The Mexico City government has launched an English-language tourism website to promote and provide information for foreigners. 

Disney World’s Epcot is going to make major renovations come 2020! New themes will include Ratatouille, Guardians of the Galaxy, Moana, and Mary Poppins. The Epcot VP even went so far as to say it “will be the largest transformation of any Disney park, ever.”

Uniworld is coming to the Peruvian Amazon, debuting two itineraries (11- & 15-day) in September 2020. 

the 16-suite Aria Amazon is an eco-friendly ship with floor-to-ceiling windows,  giving guests the ultimate panoramic views of the rainforest at every corner. On all sailings, guests will be joined by native born-and-raised naturalist guides who will assist in getting up close to native wildlife and meeting village locals. 

The Strike in France – Reports “On the Ground”

The strikes in France have continued to put the whole country transport turmoil. But what is it like, on the ground? We asked some of our friends in France their thoughts:

Dominique & Jim, who operate the countryside hotel La Bastide d’Eygalières in Southeast France, drove from Provence to Paris a few days ago. Trains were few and they couldn’t book one, so they were forced to take the car. Fortunately, there was no traffic on the road, and it was an easy commute.


Christina and John’s friend Jacques V. visited the rail station in Cannes:

“Today I went to the train station, only one old man working on the floor and not very cooperative, just grouchy! They print out once or twice a day the schedule on a bulletin board and it’s not very dependable either. 

As for the bus Nice to Cannes, same problem, if the unions decide on a strike, they will do so just like sheep!

Right now the next big strike will be on Tuesday 17 December and they are calling for a general strike all over France unless they call it off which is doubtful. For other strikes, no one knows and usually they have to give a minimum of 48 hours warning.

If you wish to rent a car, no idea how many rental cars will be available either in Nice or Cannes.”

Get Inspired with Weekend Reads

Read up on the Best things to do on water in Egypt. 

Learn why the zero-waste movement is no new trend in Pakistan.

Have you ever wondered how horses travel in the air? Now you don’t have to.

Dream a little Dream: 10 Great Winter Rail Journeys in Europe. 

Great places to kick up your heels after you’ve kicked off your ski boots.

Here’s CNBC’s list on where/when to travel in 2020!

Where Should You Travel Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?

Escape the Winter Blues in Themed Igloos near the Beach.

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WIT Agent in Switzerland: Basel


WIT Agent Lindsay rounds up her trip to Switzerland with Raileurope in Basel. Here are some of the highlights for her time in this beautiful city!


Welcome to Basel

Located on the border of France and Germany, Basel is Switzerland’s 3rd most populous city. Its famed for its own world-renowned museums, included the first publication art collection in Europe, Kunstmuseum (1661).

The Kunstmuseum houses works from the Renaissance all the way to 21st-century Modernism, with major pieces by Cranach the Elder, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso and Cézanne.


Vintage Tram

Trams are an indelible part of Basel life and history. In the city center, you can hop onboard a vintage tram for an aperitif for a little window into the past. Get a glimpse of what it was like to travel around Basel 100 years ago!

Neue Alte Markthalle

A main attraction in Basel, the Market Hall was build in 1929 and now houses food stalls and Sunday market. 


Chocolate Workshop

Delve into the world of Swiss chocolate, including a walking tour of Basel’s most irresistible confectionaries, a chocolate factory, and a connoisseur tasting session. Visitors are invited to dream up, pour and refine their own chocolate creativity.

Christmas Market Basel

‘Tis the season! Basel’s charming Christmas market is in the center of festive Old Town, where over 180 artisans offer up goods and treats in rustic wooden chalets. Nibble on waffles, Basel Läckerli (gingerbread), Swiss raclettes, and grilled sausages, plus washing it all down with classic glühwein. 


Exhibition Tower

The Exhibition Tower soars up 105 meters over Basel, one of the highest buildings in town. For a stylish night out, head to the top floor’s bar BarRouge

Hotels – Swissotel Le Plaza & Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois

She’s staying at two hotels — the first is Swissotel Le Plaza, one of the largest hotels in the city, within easy walking to the Musical Theatre. The 4-star hotel boasts 238 spacious rooms and suites, with gym and spa facilities. The hotel even provides a complimentary BaselCard, for free use of the public transport during your stay. 


Photo Courtesy of Swissotel

The second is Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, dubbed Gault & Millau Hotel of the Year 2020. Les Trois Rois is one of the oldest city hotels in Europe, with an old world charm and luxury 5-star service in the historic city center overlooking the Rhine.


Photo Courtesy of Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois

Dreaming about a trip to Europe? Call our experienced travel agents at 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com to make your dreams come true. 

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Travel News: Sustainability: The Hot Topic in Tourism


Welcome to the weekly installment of Travel News, where we look back at this week’s articles and essays and what’s going on in the world of trips and tours.

The travel industry is prepping for the holiday season, as we all are. This means food, decorations, and dreaming about travel in the new year.


Cruise ships are hopping on the bandwagon of data gathering to speed up wait times and lines. Princess Cruises is using its Ocean Medallion technology to design future ships for optimal movement flow: monitoring passenger movements onboard, identifying pinch points, and bottle necks. 

’Tis the season for Christmas escapes!


Less than an hour from London, elegant and cozy Coworth Park curates England’s Most Magical Christmas Escape. 

To no one’s surprise, Windsor Castle’s Christmas decorations puts everyone else’s to shame — and you can even visit them!

Bits & Bobs

A local’s guide to Cork, Ireland. 

Is this Japan’s most perfect ramen?

In Lake Titicaca, a traveler’s favorite in Peru, villagers want to draw tourists on their own terms.


The Black Forest boasts Germany’s largest theme park and indoor water world: Rulantica. 

Check out Disney’s New Star Wars Ride. 

11 Over-the-top Kid-friendly Hotel Rooms Your Little Ones Will Never Forget.  

Best Places to Travel in 2020


Architectural Digest released its Top 20 Places to Travel in 2020 this week.

And Forbes debuted its 5 Hottest Places to Travel in 2020.

Beat Overtourism by traveling to Eastern Europe in 2020.

Sustainable Travel


A hot topic more than ever, sustainable travel is making waves across the travel industry, from carbon neutral airports, to fuel-efficient planes, responsible tour operators and even tips, tricks and packing lists for travelers seeking to stay sustainable when traveling. 

CNN: How to travel without destroying the planet

Atlantic: A Future without long-haul vacations

Curiosity: How to Be a Better, More Sustainable, Traveler This Earth Day 


Air New Zealand is testing edible coffee cups to combat waste. These leak-proof cups are made from vanilla-flavored biscotti. Yum, and yes!

Europe’s Sleeper Trains Are Making Comeback In A Big Way. Thanks to cutbacks and setbacks, sleepers all but lost their allure in Europe in the 20th century. Now, with environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s “flight shaming” making people more aware of their carbon footprint, the night-train industry is seeing a renaissance. It’s luring a new class of traveler: ordinary business people and tourists with a climate conscience on Sleeper Trains. 

Australia’s First Underwater Hotel Rooms have Opened On the Great Barrier Reef. And don’t worry: the hotel replanted 4,000 pieces of coral, taken from old moorings, onto the existing reef walls. Queensland’s tourism industry development minister, Kate Jones, reaffirmed that their team had ensured the reef was protected.

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WIT Agent in Switzerland: Jungfraujoch & First Mountain


We return once more to Switzerland, where WIT Agent Lindsay is exploring the magical, snowy peaks of Jungfraujoch this week with Switzerland Tourism and Rail Europe.


Day 3: Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch is a huge alpine saddle in the Bernese Alps that connect Jungfrau and Mönch mountains. It’s also the heart of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dubbed the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch boasts an Ice Palace with ice sculptures, snow plateau promenades, and the Sphinx Observatory (one of the highest viewing platforms and astronomical observatories in the world). This year, the Jungfrau Railway is celebrating 100 years as Europe’s highest track!

Lindsay will also get a chance to stop by the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, chocolate exhibits at 11,332 ft (3,454 m) above sea level.


Day 4: First Mountain & Bucherer Store

First Mountain is a world-renowned destination for thrill-seekers. Hikers start here to trek up to Lake Bachalp and Faulhorn, and check out the spectacular suspended walkway known as The Cliff Walk. First Mountain is also home to First Flyer or First Glider, two adventures that let you soar like an eagle above alpine meadows.


First Flyer / Glider, courtesy of Jungfrau.ch

First Flyer straps passengers in a secure stable harness, then whiz along a 800-meter-long steel cable from First to Schreckfeld at up to 52 mi/hr (84 km/hour) and 164 ft (50 meters) up!

First Glider introduces passengers to panoramic views at high speeds. The First Glider is pulled back from Schreckfeld to First at 72 km per hour. On the return, it glides along the 800-meter-long route at up to 83 km per hour!


Note! Because these adventures are highly dependent on weather conditions, they have varying open hours. Most days they open at 10 or 11, and close by 3 or 5. The First Flyer is free during the winter season if you have a valid Jungfrau or Grindelwald-Wengen Sportpass.


Dreaming of Switzerland? Call our agents to arrange your perfect holiday today. Call 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com. 

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WIT Agent in Switzerland: St. Gallen – Appenzeller Cheese Dairy – Grindelwald


WIT Agent Lindsay has embarked on a FAM trip to Switzerland, to discover the world of skis and chalets!

For 6 days, she’ll be journeying on 1st class trains on some of the finest train routes in all of Europe.

Hosted by Swiss Tourism Board, Swiss Travel System and Rail Europe, the trip will take her to St. Gallen – Luzern – Grindelwald and Jungfrau – Basel.

Day 1: Appenzeller Cheese Dairy & St. Gallen

First stop after arrival in Zurich is St. Gallen, to check in at the Hotel Säntispark, an upscale business hotel with three restaurants.

She’ll hop on a bus to the Appenzeller cheese dairy, where Ralph Boese explains the process behind the strong Appenzeller cheese. At the farm, you can shop, have a tasting with aperitifs, and even make your own cheese in copper vats over a wood fire. The Mutschli matures in the cellar over eight weeks and will be sent to you afterwards.  The cheese is made in a 400-year-old Alpine hut of the Appenzeller folklore museum.

Then it’s back to St. Gallen for cocktail making at Einstein Hotel and dinner at Restaurant Schlössli. 

Day 2: St. Gallen & Rail Journey & Grindelwald

The morning begins with a guided city tour of St. Gallen, where the Abbey District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After a quick lunch, iti’s time to hop on a train to Luzern on the Voralpen-Express, marked with rolling hills, cute villages and lovely orchards. The train climbs the 00-meter-high Sitter viaduct and the landscapes of Toggenburg.

Then it’s a switch to the Luzern-Interlaken Express with its world-famous route and glimpse of the Jungfrau region. This 2-hour ride takes travelers to the heart of Switzerland, past crystal-clear lakes, romantic waterfalls and iconic Brünig mountain pass.


Photo Courtesy of Zentralbahn.ch

The day wraps up with the arrival at Grindelwald (no relation to Harry Potter!), the vibrant Eiger alpine village. Grindelwald lies in the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland, a world-class winter destination dominated by towering mountains. This evening, Lindsay will check in, unwind and dinner at the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof. 

Thinking about Switzerland this winter? Sign up your family for a ski holiday in 2020! Call us at 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com. 

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On the Ground Report: Flooding in Venice


By Wailana Kalama, WIT Correspondent

Venice has been in the news all the last two weeks, and some of you may be wondering: 

What’s it like in Venice right now?

I was just there last week and here to give my on-the-ground report!

Every winter, Venice floods. All of Venice can handle 1 meter. From 1.10, flooding starts somewhere. I won’t waste time recapping what’s been on the news, but instead give you a sense of what it was like day to day. 


Wednesday, November 13 – Breaking News

It was two days before we were to fly out to Venice when I saw the headlines: major flooding. Destruction of sites. Highest water levels since the 1960s. I sent the news on to my brother, whom I was supposed to meet in Venice, and he replied: So what do we do? Do we cancel? I told him let’s wait and see. He’d have to cancel the hotel, train tickets, everything, and reroute his family of four to another city. It was a lot of trouble. (And for travel insurance companies, likely an Act of God.) 


Thursday, November 14 – Should We Cancel?

“Cancel? Why would we cancel?” My partner asked me the night before we were due to fly out to Venice. I had just read that the Mayor of Venice declared a state of emergency. The news had a map with a scarlet red circle encapsulating Venice. His comments were echoed in a recent article I read about how for the tourists, “Venice’s Flooding Has Become Another Tourist Attraction”

“Tourists are enjoying the high tide, and the floods, very much. It’s picturesque. You have a very old city flooded with water. Visually, it’s beautiful. For tourists, it’s another attraction.”

Friday, November 15 – Arrival in Venice

Half a day later, we were on the train, rolling across the bridge from the mainland. It was raining heavily that day. The waters had risen up so much it looks like we were entering some sort of Waterworld, and it felt almost as if “this train exists out of time,” as my partner said. Fortunately, we had brought tall rain boots and an umbrella. By the time we had checked in at our hotel, the rain had stopped. 


Saturday, November 16 – The Sun Returns!

An amazing day. Sunlight, warm, no rain or flooding. Some pools of water here and there. We walked around in rain boots just in case. 

Sunday, November 17 – The Flooding Returns!


On this day, the flooding returned. This was the worst day while I was there. We were staying in Dorsoduro, one of the lower neighborhoods. Across the Grand Canal is San Marco. St. Mark’s Square is apparently the lowest part of Venice, and thus all the dramatic photos of the square flooded. 

Our hotel keeper had warned us to head North in the morning. By 10am, water levels were shin-high. Shops were mostly closed except for the odd sandwich shop and bar. Most had installed wooden barriers on their doors to keep the water out. Some even had electric pumps pumping out the water. 


We walked to Cannaregio, the north part of Venice. It was a slow process. I could wade in the water as long as I did it slowly, in long strides. Trying to go fast would just result in splashing an annoyed neighbor. 

A lot of people were walking around with hip-high galoshes. A few tourists, bootless, stayed on the bridges in their sneakers and looked out nervously at the water. In smaller alleyways, the smell was one of sewage. 


Monday, November 18 – Back to Normal Water Levels

The water receded back to normal levels, and there was even some sunlight on this day. Shops were reopening and everyone was talking about the flood. I asked a few shopkeepers in San Marco about the damage they had suffered. They had lost a few things, but most people had spent the better part of the day before the flooding packing the shelves. One printmaker said she had been cleaning the shop for hours, and would probably be cleaning into the next day. 


Verdict – Status Quo

As of the time I’m writing this, water levels have gone back to normal. Shops are open and business in Venice is as usual. If you’re interested, you can keep in touch with the Tidecast for Venice, available here (in Italian). 

Our travel agents keep up to date with the travel trends and news to better serve your travel experience. Call us now for a consultation or to book your next trip: 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com. 



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