Tag Archives: adventure travel

2018 Travel Trends: Walking Tours in and out of Town

walking tours

We know that many of our clients are revving up and ready to hit the road this year. Stay active and keep on adventurin’, that’s what we always say.

One of the coolest experiences you can have on a trip is a walking tour – it’s simple, doesn’t take too much time and effort, keeps your blood pumping, makes you feel energetic, and is a fantastic way to tour the city or countryside the way the locals do every day. Plus, you often get to see a side of the destination that many tourists don’t.

Here are some of our favorite walking tour companies – call Willamette Intl Travel to book yours today. 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com.


Walking in Venice: luxury tours focusing on history, art and photography with art aficionados to the Accademia, or the Ca’Rezzonico, or the Ca’Pesaro and Fortuny Museum. Discover Renaissance Venice at the height of its power.

Spanish Trails: our in-country supplier for tours of Barcelona, Madrid and the Catalonian Coast. They offer small group walking tours in the city, wine tours in La Rioja region, or succulent food-tasting tours.


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Photo from Context Travel


Context Travel: Small group tours and private tours in many cities around the world, from Edinburgh, Budapest and Istanbul to Philadelphia, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. Spend the day with a local historian or scholar who will enchant you with their in-depth knowledge.

Chocolatine: How can we forget lovely France. Chocolatine provides a wealth of fun private walking tours (including those hard-to-find tickets to exclusive Parisian events!) all around Paris, Provence, Normandy and throughout.


Adrienne & Renato: Adrienne & Renato are a husband-wife team, she from Portland and he from Naples. With their team of local guides they can arrange everything from private Pompeii tours to dinners in the Tuscan countryside. Their services include close, personal attention illuminated by a background in art history and mythology.

Art Tours by Amy / Mountain Hiking Holidays: It seems every time we check in with these folks, Amy and John Osaki have something new and exciting up their sleeves. Amy organizes the art tours in Europe and Asia, and John heads the mountain hiking trips all across the globe. Look for the next trip to explore the heritage of Japan, November 2018.

Marissa: Marissa is a one-of-a-kind one-woman operation in Buenos Aires. She’s organized tailor-made tours in and around the city for more than a decade — we highly recommend her if you’re in town!

“When you spend a day with Marisa in the fabulous city of Buenos Aires, you become Argentinian!!” ~~ John @ Wittravel

Sherpa Expeditions: Looking for a multiday challenge? these folks curated self-guided walking and cycling trips throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. They supply you with the itineraries, some of the gear, and hand-picked B&Bs and inns to give you that small-town feel!


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Filed under Asia, Europe, Travel by Backpack

3 Adventure Travel Companies that’ll knock your socks off

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Adventure Travel seems to be the big keyword this year, and we couldn’t be happier. Willamette Intl Travel works with some amazing and reputable adventure travel companies, designed to keep your curiosity alive!

Origins Safaris

Nothing says “adventure” quite like Africa, home of uncharted plains and diverse wildlife. We’ve praised Origins Safaris on our blog before, and with good reason. OS offers incredible safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Chad, and more. They pair guests up with certified guides and drivers, who have grown up in the region, and take you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to come face to face with gorillas, migration herds, and local tribes.  Many of the trips that WIT Founders Christina and John escort on their annual African trip are courtesy of Origins. You can always count on a life-changing trip with Origins.

Read more on our previous post in our “Conscientious Traveler” series

Origins Safaris films “Monkeys with Altitude”!

Macs Adventure

Looking to be the leader or your own expedition? Macs Adventure curates self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Europe and Asia. We’ve used these folks in Portugal and Ireland—and recently they’ve released a few new incredible destinations like Shikoku, southwest Madeira, the Loire Valley, Meteora and the Pindos, and Swiss alpine valleys. The collection of their latest includes a spiritual journey on foot, luxury cycling and more. If that can’t get your wanderlust going, we don’t know what can!

Join cycling tour development specialist Jo Payne on her research trip for cycling in Provence: 

Mountain Hiking Holidays

Our good friends at Mountain Hiking Holidays always has some interesting itinerary to share with you—whether it’s hiking the Dolomites, obscure mountains of Bulgaria, trekking through the temple route on Shikoku, or conquering Patagonia. MHH specializes in guided, small-group hiking trips amid mountain ridges, where you can breathe fresh alpine air and fall under the spell of magical mountains. Enjoy comfortable stays in hotels and inns, excellent gourmet meals, and hiking options that range from moderate to challenging.

Their international team of certified guides and licensed mountaineers have taken rigorous training in order to cultivate the perfect mountain holiday for you!

Read more about Mountain Hiking Holidays on our previous post here

Check out MHH in the Azores:

Have your curiosity piqued? Call Willamette Intl Travel to talk more about these incredible adventure opportunities. Unleash your inner explorer out into the world!

Call us at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Mountain Hiking Holidays on PBS – Tune in Dec 16!

Our friends Amy and John Osaki over at Mountain Hiking Holidays will be featured on television next week!

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at 9:00 PM, Oregon Public Broadcasting will be airing the second episode of the six-part PBS television series “Sacred Journeys.” This episode focuses on the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage and features, among others, the group from the Mountain Hiking Holidays Shikoku Temple Trek in April 2013.

PBS Sacred Journeys: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sacredjourneys/

OPB program: http://www.opb.org/television/programs/sacred-journeys-with-bruce-feiler/episodes/102/

Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 to book any tour offered by the Osakis.

They arrange guided Mountain Hiking Holidays and Art Tours around the globe.

Mountain Hiking Holidays runs frequent trips to the mountains of Patagonia, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, the Julian Alps, the volcanoes of Japan’s Hokkaido island—and many more destinations. Sleep comfortably in your private room with private bath, and carry only a day pack with your water and jacket on the trail. Their skilled international team holds certificates and licenses in mountain guiding, have received rigorous training, and take great pleasure in leading you on the trail.

If a walking tour into culture is your thing, take a look at Art Tours by Amy. They offer occasional tours that immerse you in local history, art and architecture. As an art historian and former museum professional, Amy Osaki leads the Art Tours through a variety of culturally rich destinations, including Boston, Paris, Japan, Russia, Italy and more. Her tours encourage you to explore art “in situ” for a deeper understanding of the local history.

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Filed under Art & Architecture, Asia, Europe, Japan, Travel by Backpack, Vendors

Vendor of the Month: G Adventures

Top 3 Highlights

In celebration of Earth Month, we will take a closer look at our vendor of the month, G Adventures, and its nonprofit, Planeterra.

Willamette International Travel is proud to be a partner of G Adventures. This exceptional company offers unique travel opportunities that combine small, escorted tours with cultural immersion, tailoring trips to your taste and budget. Here are WIT’s Top 3 Highlights of G Adventures:

1.     Customization

No matter your tastes, G Adventures can offer you the type of travel you prefer. Their team of experts can customize any trip for you regardless if your niche; services range from youth travel, outdoor activities, overland, polar expeditions, family travel, to Limited Edition themed itineraries offering activities from from biking and hiking to rafting and touring festivals. They also work with partners Discovery Channel and Canada Goose to add exclusive excursions to explore wildlife and landscapes while accompanied by teams of naturalists and historians. With such a variety in focus, destinations, and services, there’s bound to be a G Adventures trip for everyone.

2.      Immersion

G Adventures strives to create unique opportunities, weaving in the unexpected and the meaningful with any one excursion. They encourage travelers to step outside the box, to immerse and involve themselves with their host culture. Their trips can include activities ranging from culinary delights, language lessons, market visits, to wildlife safaris, catamaran sailings, swimming, tastings, visits to architectural masterpieces, and even riding elephants. Each trip is fully escorted in small groups averaging 10 people, allowing for members to have a truly intimate and informed experience.

3.      Accessibility

To find out more what G Adventures can offer, check out their website. They showcase an impressive homepage, easy to navigate and connect through social media channels. One of the main features is their blog, the Looptail Beta, which includes postings from so-called “Wanderers in Residence” – travel bloggers from around the world who reveal their home bases in a series of lively pictures, captivating prose and surprising anecdotes. In 2012, these bloggers have started working with G Adventures’ offshoot project, Planeterra.


Planeterra is a nonprofit that promotes voluntourism—merging volunteering with travel. They aim to connect concerned travelers—looking for an immersive and productive experience beyond mere “observational” travel—with the preservation, support and development of places and people.

As stated on their website, “We take a serious, holistic look at how we can help these iconic destinations emerge from being exploited, to using the tools it takes to support happy communities living with proper healthcare, education, and protected environments. This means finding better jobs, sending their children to better schools, drinking cleaner water and caring for their environment.”

Travelers assist in cultural and environmental programs for a period of 3-7 days before or after heading out on the sightseeing leg of their trip. Volunteers can visit and participate in the Bifengxia Panda Breeding Centre, the Conservation and Community Tourism Project on Phra Thong Island, the NGO New Hope in Cambodia, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, Cape Peninsula and Thailand schools, conservation projects protecting Costa Rica sea turtles, and many others.

Thinking of going on a G Adventure or participating in a Planeterra Project? Willamette International Travel have travel agents on hand who have worked with this unique travel company. Call us at 503.224.0180 or email us at info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Vendors, VOTM