Tag Archives: georgia

SALE: Solo Adventures with Alexander + Roberts

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Attention Solo Adventurers! One of our favorite small group vendors, Alexander + Roberts, is having a huge SALE for Solo Travelers on incredible itineraries through Colombia, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Greece. 

Single? Love to travel? No problem. When you book with us you can save outrageous amounts — better to pamper yourself during the trip!

+ Save $500 More when you pay-in-full at booking with your Travel Agent!

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NEW for 2018: Colombia Emerging

7 Days for $3,499 Now $2,999 Solo

Traveling in an intimate group of never more than 16 guests and staying in the country’s finest hotels, our terrific Trip Leaders will take you deeper inside Colombia’s history and its modern spirit as this friendly nation sheds its past.

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Ancient Crossroads

11 Days for $3,799 Now $3,299 Solo

This unique itinerary to Albania, Greece and Macedonia has proven to be one of our most popular journeys to Europe. With our original and intimate style and never more than 16 guests, we open doors and windows to the people, cuisines, and centuries-old traditions that still endure in this storied, lesser-visited corner of the Continent!

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New for 2018: Georgia & The Caucasus

9 Days for $4,599 Now $4,099 Solo

Acclaimed for its unique cuisine and hailed as the world’s first wine region, Georgia also offers rich history, soaring mountain terrain and fine medieval landmarks. Artfully designed for never more than 16 guests, our Original Journey features stylish hotels and congenial dining.

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New for 2018: Undiscovered Greece

10 Days for $5,999 Now $5,499 Solo

Steeped in ancient myths, the forested mountains and pristine coasts of untrodden Pelion beckon. With an intimate group of never more than 16 guests, enjoy a leisurely 6-night stay at our boutique hotel in the heart of Pelion. Then set out each day with our expert Trip Leader to explore the region’s fabled sites of antiquity, its timeless villages, and local food + wine.

Any of these amazing itineraries caught your interest? Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com for the specifics.

Stay in Touch with Solo Trips by joining our Solo Adventurers Email Blast today. Throughout the year, Wittravel receives notice from various travel partners offering special rates tailored just for you. Email frontdesk@wittravel.com to sign up today. We only send marketing information via email if you have signed up, and we never give away our client list.

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Filed under Colombia, Europe, Greece

Tours: Special Events

Yesterday the United States was glued to their screens as the XLVII Super Bowl raged on! Did your team win? Did you know that many tour operators can arrange custom packages for you during major events? From the Super Bowl to the World Cup, there is a variety of special sport events, festivals, and races around which we can design your travel! Our travel partners can arrange exclusive travel experiences during these major events, so you’re right in the action!

And remember: if you aren’t attending the event, best to stay away from the destination during this time as there are sure to be enthusiastic crowds!

MASTERS IN AUGUSTA

Join the pros at the Augusta Golf Tournament, held in April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Founded by Bobby Jones in 1933, it’s a dream for every avid golfer everywhere, and rival only to the Old Course at St. Andrews. Watch the greatest golfers in the world as they plan on the emerald green. Combine the event with a few relaxing days at the nearby Ritz-Carlton Lodge, with its gorgeous lake villas or Mediterranean style lodge villas around the stunning Lake Oconee. Put the ball on the famous Great Waters Course, a 7,073 yard, par-72 layout course that hosted the 41st PGA Professional National Championship in 2008.

Dates: April 11-14, 2013

THE KENTUCKY DERBY

Kensington Tours hosts guests during the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. Take your reserved seat in the most famous horse race in the United States, and root for your winning stallion amid the mighty roar of the crowd. Tours are tiered based on seats at Churchill Downs—from Clubhouse Seating, Grandstands, Grandstands Orange to the luxurious VIP Suites. Arrangements are full customizable, and can include transfers, shuttles, accommodation, upgraded tickets, bourbon distillery tours and horse farm tours.

Dates: May 4, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA

New Mexico hosts one of the world’s most photographed events in October. Join Collette or Globus on a tour of sound and color. Enjoy the incredible mass ascension and race as the colorful balloons take off. At night, the balloons burn fires during the Balloon Glow and follow up with a fireworks show. Go on a balloon ride yourself on the Sandia Peak Tram, the world’s longest aerial tramway. In addition to the main event, your hosts will take you through the unique markets and streets of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Visit the International Balloon Museum, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the beautiful Turquoise Trail.

Dates: October 5-13, 2013

TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

Pasadena holds their famous Tournament of Roses annually in winter. Be up-close and personal in the parade on a reserved seat and get a sneek-peek of final touches on the gargantuan floats. Celebrate the season with New Year’s Eve Gala dinner dance with live entertainment and champagne. Afterwards, enjoy a farewell dinner on board the RMS Queen Mary, or take a guided tour through the Getty Museum or the Ronald Regan Presidential Library.

Dates: December, 2013

BRAZIL WORLD CUP

The 20th FIFA World Cup will be a soccer (for our international readers, football) tournament hosted in Brazil in 2014. As the first World Cup held in South America since Argentina’s in 1978, the continent is understandably excited and already making plans. Kensington Tours have created an exclusive collection of customizable Brazil tours around your soccer experience that are based out of Rio de Janeiro. Transport yourself to the heart of history on Brazilian soil. Pair with a destination expert. Explore natural beaches, rainforest safaris and cultural highlights. Be part of football history. You can even follow your team around the country as they race to the championship.

Dates: June 13-20, 2014; June 20-27, 2014; June 27-July 5, July 7-14.

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Filed under Brazil, California, South America, Travel by Sport, USA

Top 2013 Destinations

This has been a fun and fabulous year at Willamette International Travel, and our agents are just as excited about 2013! Here are our top destinations to watch next year:

1. ICELAND

Thingvellir. photo by Daniel Williams, Creative Commons.

Iceland—land of midnight suns, eerie landscapes, wild frontier. Iceland has some of the finest natural wonders available to see in a small area. In 2008, the government established Europe’s largest national Park, Vatnajökull, covers about 12,000 square km. Visit ice caps and glaciers, spewing geysers, sulphuric deserts, golden falls, glacial lagoons, and some of the most dynamic volcanic activity you’ll ever see. During midsummer, the sun dips to the horizon, but never sets—and creates some gorgeous pale colors in the night sky. Visit hip Reykjavik and the therapeutic Blue Lagoon. Don’t miss Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, where the Vikings held their seat of government; or Snæfellsjökull National Park and its ice-smothered volcanic crater. The recent currency crash, devaluing the krona by nearly 75%, has opened up Iceland to travelers mindful of their budget. Beat the majority of tourist throngs by booking this year.

Brush up on: Icelandic. English is widely understood however, especially by the younger generations.

Bring: rainproof coat, sturdy walking shoes or rubber boots, leggings

Wittravel can customize some great adventures and assist you with airfare, accommodation, and car for traveling the fabled Ring Road.

2. SRI LANKA

Polonnaruwa Ruins. Photo by R Barraez d’Luca, Creative Commons.

Sri Lanka is an island that is recovering quite rapidly from a decade of civil conflict and the devastating 2004 tsunami. Let not the long flight from the continental USA deter you—Sri Lanka is an incredible destination. The tourism industry is stretching its wings, prices are affordable, low-cost flights from Bangkok, tickets are still affordable with much to see. There’s an array of topographies, climates, wildlife zones. Sri Lanka is a land where 2000+ years of culture and history is packed in just 25,000 square miles—from temples, old-style villages, green tea plantations, wild jungles, and coconut beaches. Head over to Yala National Park for some spectacular safari experiences and spot water buffaloes, birds, primates, elephants and leopards. Surfing is quite popular, as is the hike up Adam’s Peak, a mountain considered sacred by 4 local religions. Wander through the old Buddhist ruins of Polonnaruwa from the 12th century, stroll the ramparts of Galle, say hello to the world’s oldest living tree, Anuradhapura. Try the local delicious curry, feast on seafood on Negombo beach, visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and scale the steep Sigiriya rock fortress.

Brush up on: Sinhala, Tamil. English is commonly used in official areas and spoken by about 10% of the population.

Bring: mosquito repellents and creams

WIT agent and owner Christina has traveled to Sri Lanka. Call her up for more information.

3. GEORGIA

Svaneti – Svan Tower in Mestia. Photo by Deguonis, Creative Commons.

Georgia is a land of mountainous scenery, ancient churches and wine regions. The country’s complex history speaks in its cultural influences from Turkey, Persia, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe. Explore sophisticated Tbilisi and admire its unique, fragile architecture, then head over to Gori, Stalin’s hometown, which still reveres its most famous resident. Venture out of the main cities into the ancient Christian town of Mtskheta or the fertile wine region of Kakheti. Curious travelers should wander into the mysterious and beautiful region of Svaneti, renowned for its mountain villages, tower architecture, and remote village communities. If you have time, check out the lush and green Rioni region in the west hills–known in ancient times as Colchis, the land of the Golden Fleece. The capital of Kutaisi is worth a visit to see the magnificent Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati Monastery, and the Rioni river.

Brush up on: Georgian in most regions, Russian if you are traveling where ethnic minorities live.

Bring: Study and comfortable walking shoes for rough terrain. If you do any sort of traveling inside the country, expect to leave the main road.

The MIR railway company offers a great two-week itinerary through Armenia and Georgia starting around 4,000 per person.

4. TANZANIA + ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar. Photo by Harvest Barrison, Creative Commons.

Tanzania is probably known best for the Serengeti safari plains, Ngorongoro Crater, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. There is no end to National Parks around the country, the northern ones tend to have more tourist infrastructure, while in the southern ones there are more wild fauna. Camping ranges from luxury tents to affordable ones. You can also visit numerous historical slave trade sites, kayak, scuba dive, or climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Spend a week traveling the plains of Tanzania and then retreat to the languid resorts on the isles of Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago off of the fabled Indian Ocean. Zanzibar possesses a rich blend of African and Arabic heritage. There are a number of great resorts for indulging the traveler after a busy safari, and many fishing villages to keep you occupied. You may also explore Jozani Forest and its red Colobus monkeys or swim with dolphins off one of the many sandy beaches.

Brush up on: Swahili, Arabic (for Zanzibar). English is widely understood.

Bring: It tends to be very hot and dry in Zanzibar, so bring light, airy clothes that are still modest. The island tends to be conservative so be sure to pack a full body swimsuit!

We can recommend some top-level itineraries to Tanzania and Zanzibar. Our agents Pam, Linda, and Christina have been!

5. PERU

Machu Picchu, photo by audrey_sel, creative commons

Peru is a diverse country both in landscape and culture. From the wildlife-rich Amazon Basin, to ancient Incan Ruins around Cuzco and the lost city of Machu Picchu, the adventurous and curious traveler will never be idle. Wander through the streets of the colonial capital of Lima, sail on Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian Border, take to the sky and see the stunning Nazca Lines from the best bird view on offer. Peru is also home to some delicious and indigenous food—ceviche, rocoto relleno (meat-stuffed peppers), anticuchos (spiced grilled beef heart). If you’re brave, try a sampling of the infamous roasted guinea pig, and wash it down with the local cocktail pisco sour (grape brandy, lemon juice, egg whites, sugar).

Brush up on: Spanish, Quechua

Bring: anti-malarial medication

Avanti Destinations offers some great tour itineraries to Peru. Packages typically include tours, dinner, and transfers. Our agents Pam and Barb have been and would love to share their experiences with you.

6. BORNEO

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Mt. Kinabalu, photo by s-a-m, creative commons

Borneo is the third largest island in the world, with the area of square kilometers of 287,000 square miles. It’s divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Borneo has long been a magnet for adventurers, naturalists and explorers. As a traveler, you can enjoy the plethora of adventures and wildlife the island has to offer. The highest peak is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, with an elevation of 13,435 feet. Enjoy a night safari in the Danum Valley, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, cruise up Oxbow Lake, visit Selingan Island for the turtles, journey through rural Sarawak, share your evening with the Iban people at one of their longhouses. Borneo is also known for its major river and cave systems—Clearwater Cave has one of the world’ longest underground rivers, and Deer Cave is home to 3 million + bats, with guano accumulated to over 330 feet deep.

Brush up on: Malay. English is spoken widely throughout the country.

Bring: Clothing fit for a rainforest—long-sleeved shirts, sturdy boots, wide brimmed hats, full-length and quick-drying pants with pockets.

G Adventures has a number of itineraries to Borneo that range from 10-19 days in a variety of activity levels to suit the client. Sleep in a variety of jungle lodges, mountain huts, villa huts and permanent camps during your stay and experience real adventures on Borneo.

7. INDONESIA

Indonesia market street. photo by craftivist collective, creative commons

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, and as expected of a country composed of 17,508 islands its regions are diverse both geographically and demographically. The most popular islands are Java, Sumatra, New Guinea, Sulawesi, and Bali. Tourists can venture out here for a real adventure. Catch glimpses of the legendary Komodo Dragon, visit golden temples in Yangon and Bagan, visit the fishermen of Inle Lake, go on a catamaran cruise or jungle safari. Indonesia has dozens of tropical forests, and when combined they make up the second largest rainforest in the world after Brazil’s. Shop around in the markets of Jakarta and Bali, or kickback in an idyllic villa in Ubud. A popular stop to Indonesia is Singapore. Spend a few days in the world’s busiest port, where it’s illegal to chew or sell gum.

Brush up on: The official language is Indonesian, but as expect with such a diverse landscape, there are 742 different languages and dialects.

Bring: Weather tends to be hot and humid, so pack lightweight, airy clothes.

Kensington Tours offers customizes tours to Indonesia for every type of traveler. They build in air and land transfers in your tour—important in an archipelago as large and diverse as Indonesia! Several of our agents have been—give us a call!

8. NEW ZEALAND

Aoraki. photo by Michael Bridgen, creative commons

With the recent release of the Hobbit, New Zealand will be sure to attract even more attention in this coming year. The country has always been a haven for adventurers and active enthusiasts. From the Southern Alps culminating in the highest peak Aoraki Mount Cook, to the breathless beauty of Fiordland National Park and the gorgeous Milford Sound, there’s no shortage of natural wonder here. Travelers can climb the massive glaciers at Fox and Franz Josef, or venture into the towns of Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland. Head over to Rotorua and its landscape of geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes. Head south to the Catlins for some amazing glimpses of marine wildlife—penguins, albatross, seals, sea lions. Hike into the rainforests and see the isles’ unique animals: the kiwi, the takahe and the tuatara.

Brush up on: Maori. English is one of the official languages of New Zealand but there’s such a rich culture in Maori, and many place names are still in Maori.

Bring: You will definitely need a good pair of hiking boots to take full advantage of New Zealand’s famous outdoors.

Qantas Vacations offers self-driving itineraries in New Zealand, and Willamette Intl Travel can customize your travels by hand based on your preferences. Most of our agents have been and can provide you with firsthand knowledge and tips.

9. BRAZIL

Iguazu Falls, photo by Phillie Casablanca, creative commons

When it comes to tourism, Brazil is on the cusp of a gigantic boom. With worldwide events such as the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, travelers have already started looking and planning their itineraries. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, with diverse landscapes to match (and explore). About sixty percent of the Amazon Rainforest is within Brazil’s borders; it is also home to one of the world’s largest tropical wetlands, the Pantanal. Don’t miss Iguaçu Falls (check out both Brazil and Argentina sides for the full effect), go to a soccer match, or dare through Carnival, a giant festival of parades, costumes, and revelries in February or early March.

Brush up on: Brazilian Portuguese.

Bring: Slippers and swimsuits. If you enjoy Rio’s famous beach, you’ll definitely want to pack these.

Avanti Destinations offers some great tour itineraries to Peru, fully customizable! Give us a call for more specifics.

 

10. YOU PICK

What do you think will be one of the hottest destinations of 2013? Tell us in the comments!

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