The Start of Something New

When creating and designing a new tour it is about looking at a destination and knowing what other magical places are there, how we should treat them, and build them in a balanced stay of 3 or 4 nights. How should we, Albatross Tours, sensibly visit this area, make it more in depth, and capture the feel of an area, whilst ensuring the tour has a sense of continuity, even a theme.

In 2016 we are launching four new programmes, two of which can also be combined into one amazing regional tour through Europe. When I mentioned a theme above I was certainly thinking about our new 14 day ‘The Ireland Connection’ tour.

The Luck of the Irish

Carrick a rede, Ireland

For a long time now I’ve wanted to launch an Irish tour designed the ‘Albatross Way’. I knew I could create something for Ireland that was so much more fulfilling and different by emphasising mostly three night stays. And with the three night stay formula, we could really get beneath that Irish ‘skin’. But it evolved again with a theme when the staggering story of the mass deportation and emigration of the Irish to Australia opened up. Because our tours are specifically designed for Australians and New Zealanders, it was obvious we could wrap some of this ‘Connection’ background into the tour.

That, and the much more comprehensive inclusions and visits we have planned, certainly makes our new 2016 Ireland Connection tour programme so exciting. Having small group sizes gives us a great opportunity to do more. Do you know about the ancient Megalithic passage tombs at Knowth and Newgrange? Due to our small group size and longer stays, Albatross Tours are able to visit this World Heritage Listed site.

Ireland landscape, Killarney

There’s so much more to our new ‘The Ireland Connection’ tour. Scenic drives along the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route, some wonderful nostalgic accommodation, brilliant excursions and site visits, so many being linked to Australia, and even a farewell dinner dining on a menu once served on the Titanic!  

The Grandeur of France

Rocamadour, France

Our new La Grande France tour is another ground breaking tour. Again, look at what is out there on the touring market, and you will see this glorious country of France handled by a series of 1 night stops, occasionally 2. France is much larger than you expect and it is filled with dozens of regions that have such incredibly different histories, and backgrounds and styles. Our new 15 day ‘La Grande France’ is genuinely different. We track an enticing path from Paris to Provence and the Cote d’Azur, and there are no one night stops! This way you can really get beneath that tourist veneer and catch that regional ‘flavour’. By flavour I don’t just mean the food, I mean the spirit, the feeling, the regional culture.

Chateau Chambord, Loire Valley, France

In the Loire Valley we have 3 full days amongst the Chateaux, in the Dordogne we cover at least 3 times as many sights as the faster tours, in fact all the way through the whole pace and style is unique and definitely ‘Albatross’. For instance we visit the sad village called Oradour Sur Glane. ‘Sad’ because it is a ‘ghost village’, destroyed by the Nazis in June 1944, and preserved exactly how it was left in ruins. On a lighter note we enjoy a cruise on the picturesque Canal du Midi, as well as on the Dordogne, we enjoy afternoon tea in the stunning Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on the Cote d’Azur, and learn to play pétanque beside the River Dordogne. That’s just a few special events. Believe me there are so many more as this tour is very different!

Be Romanced by Italian Lakes & Tuscany

Lake Como, courtesy of Paul Thornton

Our third new tour is so interesting. It is 16 days long and called ‘Italian Lakes and Tuscany’. As with our other tours, the tour boasts two, three and even four night stays. Looking at our incredibly successful Italian Grande tour we felt it was time to create a similar style tour which enjoys some of that tour’s highlights and also packs in some exciting new elements.

Like the Italian Grande tour we start with four nights in Stresa, beside beautiful Lake Maggiore, with a day trip on the Lago Maggiore Express through the dramatic mountains to the beautiful Swiss town of Locarno. Then a total of 6 nights are spent in Liguria and Tuscany allowing travellers to completely immerse themselves in the stunning surroundings. Visits to Cinque Terre, Florence, Pisa and a dinner in the Tuscan Hills are to be enjoyed.

Tuscany, Italy

From Tuscany, we travel up to Lake Garda with a visit to the Ferrari factory and exhibition on the way. A relaxing 3 nights are spent on the shores of Lake Garda with ample time to explore the lovely towns along the lakeshore. The final 2 nights are spent in a beautiful Villa near Treviso, close to Venice. A perfect way to compete the tour and so easy for you to jump on one of the many Mediterranean cruise boats from Venice to continue your European holiday.

Take a Grand Journey

Lake Garda - courtesy of Roy Morgan

How do you fancy a remarkable 26 day tour that takes in all the remarkable highlights of a Grand Journey from Paris to Venice? A combination of our 15 day ‘La Grande France’ tour which ends in Nice to then join the ‘Italian Lakes & Tuscany’ tour in Genoa. Therefore I can now introduce you to the one, the only, magnificent, ’26 day, ‘La Grande France, Lake Garda & Tuscany’ tour. Definitively Albatross, this unique tour boasts a combination of two, three and four night stays to ensure travellers gain a truly rewarding touring experience of France and Italy.

Order your copy of our 2016 Europe, Britain & Ireland summer brochure or please contact us.

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Euan Landsborough

Euan Landsborough is the Managing Director and Tour Designer at Albatross Tours