WHAT DO BREATHING in the delicate perfume of alpine rock jasmine on an early-morning hike in the Swiss Alps, discovering a Parisian patisserie in the back streets of Hanoi and weaving through secret shortcuts to uncover Chicago’s underground pedway system have in common? They can all be done only on foot.
Exploring a destination by foot is a great way to gain a new perspective of a town, soaking in the sights, sounds, smells and scenery at your own pace. Guided walking tours amplify those sensations by providing an intimate look into the intricacies that make a destination so distinct, often providing a focus on art, architecture, history, food or nature.
Walking tour operators range from local guides booked through sites like Tours by Locals and Viator to expert guides booked through Context Travel. All the guides with Context Travel have a Ph.D. or equivalent certification in their respective fields for the tours they lead. Context leads private and semi-private tours in 50-plus destinations around the world covering a variety of interests. Explore the Louvre with an expert art historian on the three-hour Louvre Museum Tour: Crash Course, and walk the streets with a food writer or chef in search of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’ most beloved chocolates and macrons on the 2.5-hour Paris Pastries and Chocolates Tour. The company also offers more exclusive tours, like the After Hours Vatican Museum Visit and the Exclusive Early Morning Tower of London tour.
Many hotels provide private walking tour access for guests, like the complimentary neighborhood tours offered at all Triumph Hotels within New York City, including the Evelyn Hotel, The Frederick Hotel, The Iroquois Hotel New York, Hotel Edison, Hotel Belleclaire and the Washington Jefferson Hotel. The Cambrian Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, in Adelboden, Switzerland, gives guests direct access to the region’s top hiking guides, who create customized trips for guests with either simple hikes or more demanding routes with climbing sections.
Hyatt Hotels recently launched a program aimed at promoting well-being for its guests with a range of local experiences, many of which involve some truly unique walking tours. The experiences can either earn World of Hyatt loyalty points or members can use already accumulated World of Hyatt loyalty points to book adventures. These might include foraging alongside a naturalist in the mountains of Southern California, heading underground to navigate and explore the Chicago Pedway or taking a meditative hike through the Redwood Forest with a certified yoga instructor.
Unlike zipping through a city on a train or in a car, walking tours allow guests the chance to slow down and view the details, people and stories that bring a destination to life; just make sure to wear comfy shoes!
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes:
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Hotel Indigo recently launched its Clues to the Neighborhood initiative, a fun way for travelers to discover experiences in property neighborhoods. Clues to the Neighborhood uses curated artifacts to artfully present travelers with a new look at a locale, with the hope of leading them to local museums, shops, music venues, restaurants and bars.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Travelers in Las Vegas can enjoy a new dining concept at Wynn Las Vegas starting March 19. A new restaurant, Elio, will debut, offering an energetic environment and thoughtful menu items reflecting Mexico’s rich culinary traditions. Small plates focus on seafood and produce, while entrees are shareable. A lounge offers agave-based spirits.
ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Château Élan Winery & Resort reopened in Braselton, Georgia, following a $25 million comprehensive renovation. The first major refurbishment since the resort’s inception in the mid-1980s pays homage to the estate's 16th-century charm, while taking the property into the future. Now, the resort offers 251 brand-new guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage venues, an immersive spa, pool terrace and new lobby. The winery likewise received a facelift.