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Boutiquejourney20131

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Boutiquejourney20131

  1. 1. Boutique Journeys Worldwide 2 0 1 3BrendanVacations.com MORE THAN 35 ENRicHiNg VAcATiONS iN 30 cOuNTRiES guARANTEEd dEpARTuRES MAxiMuM 24 guESTS
  2. 2. bagan,myanmar has over 2,000 ancient pagodas and temples
  3. 3. 3 DearTraveler, It is my pleasure to introduce to you boutique journeys, a new way of exploring the world with Brendan Vacations, the travel expert you have relied on for over 40 years. Boutique Journeys go to the core of what we believe and what we do.When we say Brendan looks forward to “tAKinG you PersonALLy,” we mean it, in more ways than one. First, we personally delight in showing you hidden gems and renowned landmarks, whether it’s a quaint Tuscan café or the mountaintop wonder of Machu Picchu. Second, we create vacation experiences with you in mind – someone who is eager to learn new things, meet new people and step into new realms of culture and geography – and even the mind and soul – that can transform a pleasant sojourn into the journey of a lifetime. We relish the opportunity to be your resource and your inspiration, your navigator through the complexities of travel and your guide to storied cities and spectacular landscapes. Flip through the pages of this travel catalog to get a feel for what Boutique Journeys are all about. Of course, like all BrendanVacation experiences, they offer unPArALLeLed quALity And vALue, plus a marvelous ease of travel, with everything planned and done for you so that all you have to do is enjoy. Boutique Journeys take it one step further.This collection of Premium guided vacations accommodates as few as two guests and a maximum of only 24, letting you delve deeper into local traditions, bond more tightly with your travel companions and interact more personally with the people you meet along the way. Everything from enriching excursions and ideally located accommodations to festive meals and tantalizing wine tastings are designed to bring you that much closer to the sights you venture to the corners of the world not just to see, but to experience. For the foodies among you, we’ve whipped up six enticing sLow food itineraries, mixing together regionally grown ingredients, historic locales and local hosts for a generous serving of something extraordinary. We personally invite you experience a mAGicAL journey that unfolds across oceans, along cobblestone streets and forest paths, through palaces and temples, back into the centuries and, first and foremost, within the pages of this travel catalog. weLcome Happy traveling! nico zenner President BrendanVacations
  4. 4. what it’s all about 4 boutiQuE JouRNEYs Small Group Travel 5 A Unique Journey 6 Going Places 8 The People You’ll Meet 10 Out of the Ordinary Experiences 11 A New Kind of Feeling 12 A Culinary Extravaganza 14 Where You’ll Stay 16 Ways to Save 16 Express Check-In 97 Travel Protection Plan 97 Airport Transfers 98 Terms & Conditions BrendanVacations is a division of the family-ownedThe Travel Corporation, and is renowned and trusted for its outstanding quality, service, value, reliability and financial stability.VisitTheTravelCorporation.com EuRoPE Savor authenic flavors of Europe, its history and natural beauty 18 CuisiNE, wiNEs & ChâtEaux of thE loiRE VallEY 9 days 20 PRoVENCE: fRom faRm to tablE 8 days 22 baVaRia & its RomaNtiC Road 8 days 24 PiEdmoNt’s GastRoNomiC PlEasuREs 7 days 26 thE foods & ViNEYaRds of tusCaNY 8 days 28 CuliNaRY dEliGhts of umbRia 7 days 30 a taNtaliziNG tastE of siCilY 8 days 32 aloNG thE aNCiENt Roads of GREECE 9 days 34 ExPloRiNG thE GREEk islaNds 12 days 36 ComPlEtE GREECE 18 days 38 CastlEs & maNoRs - iRElaNd 8 days 40 islaNd of fiRE & iCE - iCElaNd 10 days south & CENtRal amERiCa Experience the vibrant cities, ancient ruins, unusual flora and fauna and lush rainforests of our neighbors to the south 43 JouRNEY thRouGh thE aNdEs from machu Picchu to the atacama desert 21 days 46 EmPiRE of thE iNCas 9 days 48 aNdEaN sPlENdoR 14 days 50 hiddEN sECREts of thE aNdEs 16 days 52 ColoNial Colombia fRom thE hiGhlaNds to thE Coast 8 days 54 maYa lEGaCY with belize options 9 days / 10 days / 13 days 56 baJa CalifoRNia & thE GREat GRaY whalE miGRatioN 7 days 58 ExtENd YouR latiN amERiCa VaCatioN asia Explore the exotic lands of the Orient, from China to India, Mongolia toVietnam, plusThailand, Myanmar and Angkor Wat 61 kiNGdoms of iNdoChiNa Vietnam tothailand 23 days 64 thE GoldEN laNd of mYaNmaR 11 days 66 sENsatioNal thailaNd & thE aNCiENt RuiNs of aNGkoR wat 10 days 68 thailaNd, aNCiENt aNGkoR wat & ExotiC mYaNmaR 20 days 70 ViEtNam REVEalEd with angkor wat 11 days / 13 days 72 PoRtRait of iNdoChiNa 17 days 74 hiddEN ChiNa 11 days 76 ChiNa iNsidER including a 3 night Yangtze River cruise 14 days 78 GRaNd ChiNa disCoVERY 17 days 80 moNGolia & thE Gobi dEsERt 8 days 82 moNGolia: iN thE footstEPs of GENGhis khaN 12 days 84 imaGEs of iNdia 14 days 86 tRaditioNs & laNdsCaPEs of iNdia 18 days 88 ExtENd YouR asia VaCatioN southERN afRiCa The delights of South Africa and Namibia await – wild animals, spectacular scenery and friendly people 91 a woRld iN oNE CouNtRY 14 days 94 wildlifE, laNdsCaPEs & CultuREs of Namibia 11 days 88 ExtENd YouR afRiCa VaCatioN
  5. 5. 5 Chances are you have seen a bit of the world. Perhaps you have even explored entire regions and ventured to far-flung locales. Very likely you have nibbled brioche in Paris and surveyed the masterpieces at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Maybe you have trekked through Germany or Ireland equipped with nothing but a map and an intrepid sense of adventure. Perhaps you strolled the Bund in Shanghai during a free day while there for business, or maybe you were in the Land of the Rising Sun as part of a grand vacation, but weren’t able to spend the time you wanted to at the GreatWall. Maybe now when you consider a vacation abroad, you shrug your shoulders and say, “Been there, done that.” May we suggest:You have not been there or done that until you have experienced the world’s premier destinations on a Boutique Journey by BrendanVacations. SometimeS, Smaller iS better What’s different about a Brendan Boutique Journey is its size.You will travel with up to 24 savvy adventurers, who are seeking distinctly different and remarkable experiences, just like you. You’ll have greater access to – and therefore enjoy a deeper appreciation for – the timeless traditions and fascinating cultures that make a trip something you can apply the word “magical” to. You’ll have many wonderful things to say about a Boutique Journey by BrendanVacations:That it’s memorable, intimate, personalized, stress-free, dream-fulfilling and sensory-indulging. Most of all, it’s small. And “small” makes all the difference in the world. What’s Unique about Boutique a warm smile welcomes you in laos
  6. 6. 6 Your typical motorcoach can’t negotiate the narrow roads of a German village or take you up close to a medieval Italian town. But your Brendan Boutique Journey is anything but typical. Seated on smaller vehicles, you’ll enjoy comfort and convenience, with greater access to the city and countryside jewels of your destination. This elevated idea of travel goes beyond the road. It extends to rivers and lakes, too. During a cruise of theYangtze, for instance, you’ll step aboard a smaller, newer river ship, one not offered for larger groups. Explorations of South America’s LakeTiticaca are all the more enjoyable – and logistically possible – with your group of 24 or fewer. Visits to sequestered old monasteries and grand temples in places likeThailand and Greece leave the realm of myth and enter the world of reality when experienced with a Brendan Boutique Journey. Go Places Small GroupS meanYou Can: You wouldn’t normallY Go the atacama desert, a grand prize presented by mother nature the 14th-century walled city of pingyao,china the greek isle of mykonos spans an area of 33 sq.miles
  7. 7. paris’eiffel tower was built as the entrance to the 1885 world’s fair victoria falls on the zambezi river is 354 feet high and over a mile wide the white marble taj mahal was constructed in the mid-17th century 7 the mayan ruins of caracol were occupied as early as 1200 b.c.
  8. 8. 8 Peru is famous for Machu Picchu, but what about the smaller yet no less impressive works of an industrious people, such as colorful weavings painstakingly produced in family homes, or intricate jewelry offered by smiling vendors at a SacredValley marketplace? You might pictureVietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, otherwise known as Saigon, with its French-colonial streets and sidewalk cafes, but what about the fragrant herb garden of a cooking school in Hoi An, where expert chefs will show you the secrets of Vietnamese cooking? And, Ooo la la, you know France as a splendid destina- tion for food, art and architecture, mostly centered in Paris. But what about the enchanting villages of the LoireValley and Provence populated by passionate cooks, hospitable shopkeepers, expert vintners and free-spirited artists? Meet the locals . . . Embark on a Boutique Journey by BrendanVacations and you will meet the people who make up the fabric of vibrant cultures, adding texture and meaning to your travel experience. sMall Groups MeanYou can: Meet People You wouldn’t norMallY Meet Join us and meet . . . the salt-and-sea-air-weathered fishermen of a village in Provence, who will hook you with tales of life on and near the sea; the South American artisan who will show you how to handcraft a piece of pottery; a French countess who will escort you through her château garden, which she designed herself; the owner of a family-runTuscan farm who will introduce you to the process of making organic olive oil; the camel-breeding family in Mongolia who will reveal how they watch over their animals and each other; the family in Beijing who will demonstrate the ancient art of calligraphy and the fine art of making small talk in Chinese (or even more likely, in English – most Chinese are eager to practice). These folks are off the beaten track, and we have made special arrangements for you to not only nod Hello, but also to engage in conversation and hear about their lives in these foreign settings, which to them are simply home. a gracious welcome in thailand vineyard owner in chianti traditional weaving in peru
  9. 9. Some of Brendan’s most delightful destinations are the locals’ own neighborhoods, cottages, estates, shops, galleries, vineyards, farms and fields, the stomping grounds of their daily lives. Set foot in these locales and lifestyles yourself with a Boutique Journey by BrendanVacations. Meet the experts . . . Your hotels boast fabulous locations and friendly hosts who will relate helpful hints about what to see and do. Wineries, farms, restaurants, art galleries and museums are where you’ll discover a country’s true treasures – the winemakers, growers, chefs, artisans and curators who have a passion for their craft. Your adventures with Brendan are thoughtfully and entertainingly guided by your local travel experts, who will help make your journey seamless and worry-free, and also marvelously informative and memorable. Join Brendan and meet them all. Meet people like you . . . During your Brendan journey, you may find yourself sitting at a village pub, one filled with history and bubbling over with conversations between barkeep and guest . . . and between you and your fellow Brendan travelers. Meet your like-minded traveling companions – get to know them, share tales of travel, home and family. With a maximum of only 24 guests on your Brendan adventure, you will enjoy the chance to create tight bonds, some of which may last a lifetime. 9 mingle with the natives in india luang prabang,laos market in france safari guide in kruger
  10. 10. Places that are big in history, enrichment and entertainment are often small in size. Think of the homey kitchen of an Italian trattoria, or the private dining room of an Irish family who possess a love for the poetry ofYeats and for entertaining. These venues are simply off the menu for larger groups. But during your Brendan Boutique Journey, the doors are flung open, the table is set and the scrumptious food is prepared, delighting you with every course and every anecdote. Food is just the beginning.You’ll also thrill to shopping expeditions in Indian marketplaces, horse-drawn carriage rides in the orchards of the Mekong Delta, soaks in the thermal baths in Iceland, wine tastings at a family-run estate in a medieval Italian village, or aTai Chi class on the top deck of aVietnamese junk during a cruise of Bai Tu Long Bay. The possibilities are endless . . . because the guest list is not. SMALL GROUPS MEANYOU CAN: Experience Activities YOU WOULDN’T NORMALLY EXPERIENCE 10 the great pacific grey whale migration in baja explore the markets of italy
  11. 11. SMALL GROUPS MEANYOU CAN: Feel HOWYOU WOULDN’T NORMALLY FEEL Worry? No way. Stress? Absolutely not. A sense of being overwhelmed? Nonsense. You won’t feel any of these things during a Boutique Journey by BrendanVacations. Because, like all our expertly crafted and artfully executed vacations, your Brendan Boutique Journey takes you to the storied places of the world, plus the hidden gems and tucked- away wonders, with nary a hassle or a hitch in sight. You don’t even have to worry that your perfect Brendan Boutique Journey, the one you so carefully selected and are so excited to join, won’t actually depart. Most Boutique Journeys by Brendan Vacations are guaranteed to go at the time you book. We’ll do the planning, fine-print reading, narrow-road driving, fine-tooth combing, hurdle jumping, exchange rate figuring, rate negotiating, and reservations making. All you need to do is relax. Try it:Take a deep breath, release your travel anxieties and leave it all to us. Feels wonderful, doesn’t it? With worry out of the picture, you have all the time and energy in the world to feel inspired, moved, surprised (in a good way!), mesmerized, impressed, delighted and, regretfully, sad when your exciting Brendan Boutique Journey draws to a close. But don’t worry (we told you not to worry!).There are many more Boutique Journeys by BrendanVacations to choose from. Maybe your first Boutique Journey will be along Bavaria’s Romantic Road. Next time, perhaps it will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the timelessTaj Mahal or a safari in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Just be sure to let Brendan be your guide . . . and your inspiration. 11 machu picchu
  12. 12. 12 A rAre tAste of something speciAl Asia, South America, Italy, France, Ireland, Germany, India, Greece, Mexico – think of any of these places and your mouth begins to water. Each region – even each village and rustic outpost – has its own traditions in growing, cooking and savoring food, and Brendan wants you to experience it like the locals do. Around a family dining table, in a small café, al fresco under the shade of an umbrella – but never from a long buffet line.We’ve made reservations for you at the most atmospheric, beautiful and historic of your destination’s dining venues. But we haven’t stopped there – you will also sample rich Colombian coffee in Bogota; yellow wine in Pingyao, where it’s been made in the same way for over 300 years; hearty rye bread and schnapps in Iceland and more little tastes of local life. Sit down to delicious meals prepared in regionally authentic ways by locals who love to cook as much as they love to entertain. Feast on fine food and exquisite views. Savor the moment. We know you’re hungry for culinary experiences that give you a real taste of what your destinations’ cultures are all about. And we are more than pleased to indulge your cravings. smAll groUps meAnYoU cAn: Eatthe WAYYoU normAllY WoUlDn’t eAt peking duck, a chinese classic empanadas are a popular treat in south america
  13. 13. 13 A quick introduction to Slow Food® Remember those fishermen you will meet in Provence, the ones who as part of your explorations of France will regale you with tales of sea and shore?Well, as a special treat, not only will they acquaint you with their seafaring traditions, but they will also introduce you to the fruits – or in this case, the seafoods – of their labor by making a fresh batch of bouillabaisse, just for you. This is just one of the culinary experiences show­ cased in our Slow Food® itineraries, unique travel experiences imagined and developed in partnership with Slow Food®, a global, grassroots organization with supporters and connections in 150 countries around the world. Their goal is simple: to link the pleasures of enjoying good food with an appreciation for the foods’ origin and history, which are deeply rooted in the culture and places – indeed, in the very soil – of your travel destinations. Our collection of Brendan Boutique Journeys includes six Slow Food® itineraries, featuring meals at eateries carefully selected to bring regionally sourced recipes and that certain local ambience to your Brendan sojourn. You’ll also meet cooks, chefs, farmers, shepherds, cheesemakers, butchers, bakers and winemakers and learn about an array of culinary delights, ranging from Italian pastries made with a natural sweetener extracted from endemic ash trees to cheese made from the milk of goats raised near Marseilles. In some cases, ingredients traditionally used in old, cherished recipes are on the verge of extinction. Our Slow Food® experiences give you the opportunity to see and taste these delicacies, and to appreciate what is being done to preserve their place in culinary history – and on present­day tables. Slow Food® itineraries are concentrated in France and Italy, home to some of the most prestigious wine estates in the world.You will visit these wineries and sample their fine vintages, admiring both the complexity and richness of the wines and the historic beauty and significance of ancient, wood­beamed cellars and lush, sun­dappled vineyards. the pastries of france thai is now a favorite worldwide
  14. 14. 14 The GreatWall is one of the world’s most astonishing sights.Virtually all who visit, including you, will trek along a portion of its length, taking pictures of this imposing fortification as it snakes its way over the hills and horizon. But who will be able to say they stayed at a hotel at the foot of the GreatWall, savoring views of this imposing fortification while sipping a cocktail? Well, you will – if you choose a Brendan Boutique Journey. We have scoured tiny hamlets, countryside hideaways, mountain enclaves, seaside resorts, historic cities and vibrant metropolises to find unique properties that will add that little something extra to your travel experience. It might be a château in the LoireValley, a grand manor in Ireland, a whitewashed villa high on the cliffs in Greece, a cruise down theYangtze, an airy, teak-floored room in a Burmese resort, a luxury lodge in the Atacama Desert, a regal palace in India, or the round, yurt-type dwelling used by the nomads of Mongolia. No matter what accommodation you call home during your Brendan Boutique Journey, it will be special, not only for its relatively small size and often quaint or elegant atmosphere, but also for its deep roots in the local culture. SMALL GROUPS MEANYOU CAN: Stay WHEREYOU WOULDN’T NORMALLY STAY spend a night aboard the jasmine in ha long bay andromeda villas,santorini
  15. 15. the brand new,luxury century legend on the yangtze river cruise sabi sabi bush lodge, kruger national park, south africa mongolian ger country club hotel,lima 15 chomu palace hotel,india the 5-star hotel kunza, in san pedro de atacama,chile the malton,killarney
  16. 16. 16 Savings AIR SELLS OUT QUICKLY & PRICES CHANGE DAILY. BOOK EARLY FORTHE MOST CHOICES & BEST PRICES! PAY LESS FOR YOUR SECOND VACATION Our itineraries are created so that they can be easily combined.When you book two consecutive Boutique Journeys anywhere in the world with Brendan, you will receive a discount of up to 5% off the land only portion of the shortest journey.Take three journeys and save on two! Trips are combinable with second and subsequent additional trips, must be con- secutive and booked at the same time.The discount is per person only and does not apply to extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. TRAVEL IN A GROUP & SAVE! Sharing your travels with your family and friends makes the trip even more enriching and memorable.Travel with 10 friends or family members, and one traveler qualifies for a 50% discount* off the land portion of the vacation price. In a group of 21, one traveler receives a 100% discount*! Space is limited to one group per departure.These discounts cannot be combined with any other discounts. Not valid on extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. Other restrictions may apply. All passengers’ names must be advised before the discount is applied. * Discount is on a twin-share basis only. EARLY PAYMENT DISCOUNT ON THE CASTLES & MANORS IRELAND BOUTIQUE JOURNEY The earlier you pay, the more you save! See the Castles & Manors Boutique Journey, pages 38-39, for the amounts you can save. Select departures only.Your Castles & Manors Boutique Journey must be booked and paid for in full by the listed dates for this discount to apply. Not valid on any other Boutique Journeys, extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements or airport transfers. For more details, ask your Brendan Specialist. SAVE UP TO 5% TRIPLE ACCOMMODATIONS DISCOUNT On many of our itineraries, we offer a reduced land rate to three people sharing a room.Triple room savings are listed on the itinerary pages. Triple rooms are usually not larger than a twin-size room.The room can accommo- date three people, however it may only have two beds or one double bed and a rollaway.This discount applies only to itineraries featuring theTriple Room Reduction offer, and is not combinable with GroupTravel Discounts. GREAT SAVINGS FOR YOUNG TRAVELERS Brendan offers a savings of up to 10% off of the land price of your Boutique Journey to travelers between the ages of 5 and 17 years, provided they are accompanied by an adult. There is a limit of oneYoungTraveler per room on Boutique Journeys. See itinerary pages for the amount you will save.YoungTravelers must be between 5-17 years on the departure date to be eligible.This discount cannot be combined with any other discount (exceptTriple Room Discount) and does not apply to extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. EXPRESS CHECK-IN – THE ULTIMATE HASSLE-FREE BOUTIQUE JOURNEY EXPERIENCE To provide you with the best travel experience possible, we encourage you to check in immediately after you have paid your deposit and received your booking reference number. Not only will this allow us to better anticipate your needs while on vacation, it also means you won’t have to show your passport at each hotel. All you will need to complete the EXPRESS CHECK-IN REGISTRATION are your booking reference number, the passport details for all the travelers on your booking, travel insurance details, and information for a contact person in the unlikely event of an emergency. All your details are kept secure, and we will not share your information with third parties. Registration will only take about 10 minutes. Access to Express Check-In is via Brendan’s secure website: BrendanVacations.com/expresscheckin If you check in within 15 days of departure, we cannot guarantee that your local travel expert will receive the information. So, the sooner you register the better. For late check-ins (within 15 days of departure), we recommend you print your check-in details and present them to your local travel expert on the first day of your vacation. AFTER CHECK-IN Upon completion of your Express Check-In, Brendan Vacations will send you a CONFIRMATION EMAIL as well as additional information which will allow you to better prepare for your vacation. Express Check-In is yet another way Brendan is working with you to enhance the quality of your overall vacation and to ensure your experience with us is as seamless and hassle-free as possible. GROUP DISCOUNT SAVE UP TO 10% TRIPLE ROOM DISCOUNT CASTLES & MANORS BE SURE TO CHECK US OUT ON: BrendanVacations.com facebook.com/brendanvacationsfanpage twitter.com/brendanvacation youtube.com/brendanweb pinterest.com/brendanvacation
  17. 17. 17 SkogafoSS waterfall in iceland plungeS almoSt 200 feet 17 Europe including Iceland
  18. 18. F r a n c e PARIS TOURS CHAUMONT- SUR-LOIRE CHENONCEAU AZAY-LE-RIDEAU MONTLOUIS-SUR-LOIRE AMBOISE SEPMES LARÇAY CHANÇAY CANDES-SAINT MARTIN B elg ium BOURRÉ VACHS 1 6 1 1 Arrive in pAris, frAnce Bonjour!Welcome to Paris! After taking the private transfer from the airport to your hotel, settle in or start exploring. Later enjoy your welcome dinner.You’ll get a taste of what’s to come with an introduction to the Slow Food philosophy and overview of your upcoming Brendan vacation, featuring the delights – both visual and gastronomical – of the LoireValley. D 2 pAris / Tours A morning tour of Paris acquaints you with the architectural gems, historical monuments and the tree-lined avenues of this magical city.The EiffelTower, Notre Dame, the River Seine (you have to say it that way – “River” first – or it’s just not the same) are the sights most likely to be highlighted. Late this afternoon, head toTours and enjoy free time at your hotel, once an 18th-century castle. B 3 Tours. Discover The splenDiD loire vAlley: monTluis-sur-loire, chenonceAu & Bourré Follow the River Loire to the town of Montluis-sur-Loire, for a memorable winery experience at the Domaine Les Loges de la Folie vineyard.Winemaker Valerye Mordelet will tell you about the stages of crafting fine wine, from vineyard to cellar, grape to glass. Next, visit Château de Chenonceau, perhaps one of the most romantically beautiful of all of France’s châteaux. Dating to 1513, the manor is built on the site of an old mill, with characteristic turrets and towers and elegant formal gardens. Making the chateau unique is its place on – actually on, not beside – the River Cher. A grand, arched bridge-come-hall spans the river’s waters, making it a photographer’s dream. Continue to Bourré to visit La Cave des Roches, orThe Cave of Rocks. More accurately, it is the cave of mushrooms, as you will discover when you descend 164 feet underground to explore the world’s only example of mushrooms being cultivated DAY Loire Valley in a subterranean labyrinth. Explore some of the nearly 75 miles of galleries on seven levels, spaces that are dank and somewhat chilly for humans at 53°F, but ideal for growing tasty fungi. Tonight spend time inTours’ medieval district (Old City) with its half-timbered buildings and open-air restaurants and pubs. B 4 Tours. explore sepmes villAge & lArçAy villAge Today will prove a delight for the palate, as you depart for the village of Sepmes to visit Cabri au Lait, aptly named for its production of cheeses from the milk of cabri, or young goats. Taste luscious samples of excellent cheeses and other products before taking a short walk along the river to nearby Larçay. Here, a delightful and insightful cooking experience awaits, hosted at a village restaurant.Then savor dinner of traditional dishes. B D 18 pAris To pAris $3,669 lAnD only from lA cAve Des roches,bourrÉ cuisine, wines & chÂTeAux of The 1 overnighT sTAy 1 sTArT ciTy 1 enD ciTy chÂteAu De chenonceAu
  19. 19. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Paris on Days 1 and 9 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 8 breakfasts (B); 2 lunches (L); 3 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 3 Guided tastings > 1 Cooking lesson > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Paris | Pullman Paris Montparnasse SF Tours | Clarion Chateau Belmont SF SF Superior First Class F First Class YOUR PERSONALLY SELECTED HOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 19 DEPARTURES (REF: R140) & PRICES PER PERSON* Sundays: Jun 30 – $3,759 Aug 4 – $3,669 Oct 6 – $3,759 Nov 3 – $3,669 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. Single Room Supplement: $1,080 (Jun 30 & Oct 6); $995 (Aug 4 & Nov 3) Triple Room Reduction: $155 Young Traveler Discount: $367 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed CHATEAU DE VALMER 5 TOURS. DISCOVERING CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE, AMBOISE & VALAIS Deux – two – wondrous châteaux are on the itinerary for today: Chaumont and Amboise. Both stand above the River Loire; both have been protected monuments historique since 1840; both are associated with names such as Catherine de Medici and Henry II. Each is a classic French manor in character and design, boasting towers, spires, and steeply pitched roofs. Surely, your heart will go aflutter when you encounter these architectural masterpieces.The town of Amboise is home to not only its namesake chateau, but also an ancient oil mill, which you will visit.Valais is your spot for lunch;Tours is the continuing locale for your overnight stays.Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities such as the pool, spa and freeWiFi. B L 6 TOURS. LOIRE RIVER CRUISE & CANDES-SAINT MARTIN Venture to Candes-Saint Martin to board a traditional Loire riverboat for a serene cruise, giving you an opportunity to relax and take in the beauty and history of the LoireValley. Lunch will be served on board. Afterward, learn about the famed red wines of the region with a discovery guided by Nicolas Reau, winemaker of Clos deTreille. B L 7 TOURS. CHANÇAY, CHATEAU DE VALMER & GOUPILLIERES You may have noticed that the grounds of a chateau are often as impressive as the chateau itself. Such is the case at Chateau deValmer, home to the SaintVenant family, including a countess who is a renowned landscape designer and botanist.The chateau is surrounded by a 17th-century park and glorious Renaissance gardens. Italian-style terraces offer fabulous views overTouraine, while a troglodytic chapel, a hornbeam labyrinth, moats, fountains and statues add to the landscape’s fanciful allure. If the chateau’s expansive gardens are the height of opulence, the maisons troglodytes des Goupillieres, or “homes of the cave dwellers of the town of Goupillieres,” are agreeably basic. Located in Azay-le-Rideau, these cave dwellings reveal both an appealing utilitarianism and a storybook quality. Peek into the lives of the peasants of the Middle Ages who made their homes in this complex of houses hewn from rock, then return to your nicely appointed home-away-from-home inTours. B 8 TOURS / PARIS Travel back to Paris, check into your hotel and enjoy time on your own to experience the City of Light. Later, gather for your farewell dinner in a typical Parisian restaurant. B D 9 DEPART PARIS Time to say au revoir! After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take the private transfer to the airport where your journey concludes. B HOTEL CLARION CHATEAU BELMONT, TOURS
  20. 20. 1 ARRIVE IN NICE, FRANCE Bienvenue en France! After your private transfer from the airport to your hotel, settle in and relax, then gather for your welcome dinner. During the evening, you will be introduced to the Slow Food philosophy and get a taste of what your upcoming Brendan vacation will bring. D 2 NICE / CUGES LES PINS / BANDOL / SAINT CYR SUR MER C’est parti! – And we’re off! Head to the town of Cuges Les Pins to meet Luc Falcot, one of the last producers of Brousse de Rove, a goat cheese typical of the Marseille area. Made exclusively from the milk of goats of the Rove breed, the cheese has a delicate flavor and rich aroma. After delighting your taste buds, proceed to the Bandol region, an area situated between the Côte d’Azur and the Calanques of Cassis with its unique lifestyle and landscape.Visit Domaine LaTour du Bon to sample their spicy rosé and remarkable red wines, aged 18 months before bottling. B 3 SAINT CYR SUR MER. DISCOVER SANARY-SUR-MER & AIX-EN-PROVENCE Food and sunshine are on the menu today with your visit to Sanary-sur-Mer, the pretty fishing village that is one of the sunniest spots in France, with an average of only 61 days of rain a year.Walk along the harbor and meet with fishermen who will acquaint you with their work and traditional techniques of fishing.They will also prepare bouillabaisse, the delicious Mediterranean fish soup, for you to taste. Next, depart for Aix-en- Provence, usually shortened to simply Aix, a characteristically Provençal town known for being home to French painter Cezanne.The town surely will make an impression on you, thanks to its pedestrian friendly streets that wind through tidy neighborhoods and back in time. Savor a sweet end to your day out with a visit to a producer of calissons, the delicately iced, candied fruit traditionally associated with Aix. B DAY Provence - 4 SAINT CYR SUR MER. EXPLORE MARSEILLE & CASSIS Another food-filled day is ahead with your visit to Marseille and its lively farmers market, held in the trendy area of Cours Julien. A dash of insight is added with a lesson on the spices managed by the Conservatory of Cuisines of the Mediterranean. Enjoy a light lunch and then head to Cassis for a look at this quaint town and fishing port built on the ruins of a medieval village. Appreciate some of its elegant fountains, old village streets and perhaps glimpse the chateau-fort dating to 1381 before returning to your hotel. B L 5 SAINT CYR SUR MER / ST-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE / ARLES / AVIGNON Charming St-Rémy is where you’ll savor a bit of small-town French life and sample goat cheese and olive oil. In Arles, you’ll join a guided visit of this ancient Celtic and Roman city, which may look familiar to you:VincentVan Gogh painted 20 NICE TO MARSEILLE FROM FARM TO TABLE LE PONT SAINT BÉNEZET-THE MOST FAMOUS BRIDGE IN PROVENCE ATTEND A COOKING LESSON IN CUCURON $3,239 LAND ONLY FROM SANARY-SUR-MER F r a n c e NICE SAINT CYR SUR MERSUR MER SAINT CYR SUR MER AVIGNONAVIGNON AIX-EN-PROVENCE CUGES LES PINS CASSIS ST. REMY DE PROVENCE MARSEILLE ARLES CHÂTENAUF DU PAPE ST DIDIER MEDITERRANEAN SEA The LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe LuberonThe Luberon ROUSSILLON CUCURON I t a l y 1 3 3 1 OVERNIGHT STAY 1 START CITY  END CITY
  21. 21. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Nice on Day 1 and in Marseille on Day 8 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 7 breakfasts (B); 1 lunch (L); 2 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 6 Guided tastings > 1 Cooking lesson > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Nice | Novotel Nice Centre F Saint Cyr Sur Mer | Hotel Dolce Fregate SF Avignon | Hotel De L’Horloge F or similar SF Superior First Class F First Class YOUR PERSONALLY SELECTED HOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 21 DEPARTURES (REF: R150) & PRICES PER PERSON* Thursdays: May 12 – $3,570 Jun 9 – $3,570 Oct 13 – $3,339 Nov 10 – $3,239 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. Single Room Supplement: $1,115 (May-Jun); $1,020 (Oct); $830 (Nov) Triple Room Reduction: $100 (May-Oct); $60 (Nov) Young Traveler Discount: $324 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed many of the town’s colorful houses and oh-so-French squares. View highlights of the city (a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site), such as its Roman amphitheater and the Roman Circus. B 6 AVIGNON. VISIT CHÂTENAUF DU PAPE Explore the beautifully preserved medieval town of Avignon, surrounded by the original fortified walls and featuring the iconic Papal Palace. A truly enormous structure, the palace is the world’s largest Gothic edifice. History is so deep and meaningful here, that the central part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drink in the magnificent architecture and artsy atmosphere, then transfer to Châtenauf du Pape to sip some wine. Both a village and a wine appellation, Châtenauf du Pape is one of the most renowned names of the splendid Rhône region. B 7 AVIGNON. EXPLORE THE LUBERON You’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience the area’s delights, starting with a stop in St-Didier, where you’ll visit a producer of Provençal nougat and taste other local delicacies, including Banon goat cheese. Here in the Luberon, the towns are so pretty that they don’t seem real. But indeed, you can explore their enchanting nooks and crannies, admire the old buildings and meander along cobbled streets. In the town of Roussillon, walk along the OchreTrail, a marked path through an orange-hued landscape eroded by wind, rain and the march of time.Yet another picturesque town is Cucuron, which you will visit for a cooking lesson, followed by dinner at La Petite Maison de Cucuron. B D HOTEL DOLCE FREGATE , SAINT CYR SUR MER THE LAVENDER FIELDS OF PROVENCE 8 AVIGNON / DEPART MARSEILLE En effet – indeed – it is time to conclude your marvelous Brendan culinary adventure. After breakfast, take a private transfer to the Marseille airport where your vacation ends. B
  22. 22. FRANKFURT G e r m a n y FREIBURG MUNICH HEIDELBERG LAKETITISEE LINDAU NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE OBERGAMMERGAU GARMISCH-GARMISCH- PARTENKIRCHEN LINDERHOF PALACE ROTHENBURG OB DERTAUBER ETTAL ABBY INNSBRUCK A u s t r i a C z e c h R e p u b l i c FÜSSENFÜSSEN 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 Arrive in frAnkfurt, germAny Take the private transfer from the airport to your hotel and spend the rest of the day as you please or relax and settle in. Explore Frankfurt by foot to discover this financial and cultural hub’s compelling contrasts between old and new. Later, join your local travel expert for your welcome dinner at the hotel. Guten Appetit! D 2 frAnkfurt / HeiDelberg / freiburg Chapter one of your enchanted BrendanVacations adventure officially begins in charming, red-roofed Heidelberg, Germany’s oldest university town.Take the cable car to see the ruined Renaissance castle, picturesquely situated on a hillside over- looking the city. Should the sometimes finicky weather allow, venture to Freudenstadt via the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, a popular touring road for good reason:The scenery is simply breathtaking. Overnight in Freiburg, gateway to the Black Forest. b 3 freiburg / lAke titisee / linDAu / füssen Tour lovely Freiburg to admire its classic German architecture, original city gates and the magnificent medieval cathedral. Next, travel to glacier-carved LakeTitisee, nestled in the fabled Black Forest. Get a real taste of the region by making your own Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, more commonly known as Black Forest cake, and witness a presentation on the making of a cuckoo clock. Time will fly by as you make your way to the small island of Lindau in Lake Constance, which boasts spectacular mountain views. Weather permitting, travel the Alpine road to Füssen, the southernmost town of the Romantic Road. b 4 neuscHwAnstein cAstle / ObergAmmergAu / ettAl Abby / gArmiscH-PArtenkircHen You have already seen iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, or at least the famous rendition of it, in the form of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.To visit the real thing, with its spec- tacular storybook architecture matched only by a majestic DAY alpine setting, is beyond imaging. Afterward, visit the town of Oberammergau, famous for its fresco-decorated buildings, traditions in woodcarving and regular productions of the Passion Play. In the hamlet ofWies, visit the Pilgrimage Church, an exuberant masterpiece of Bavarian Rococo architecture and a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site.Then head to Ettal to appreciate the splendid Baroque Benedictine Abbey. Stop at a cheese factory for a visit and tasting before arriving in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany’s winter sports capital, site of the 1936 winter Olympics and home to Germany’s highest peak, 9,715-foot Zugspitze. b 5 gArmiscH-PArtenkircHen / innsbruck, AustriA / linDerHOf PAlAce, germAny / municH With the Alps rising above and the river flowing below, Innsbruck evokes all the romance associated with Austria and triggers a flurry of picture taking. Or, instead of traveling to 22 frAnkfurt tO frAnkfurt HEIDELBERG Bavaria RotHEnBuRG 1 OvernigHt stAy 1 stArt city 1 enD city $1,750 lAnD Only frOm & its rOmAntic rOAD
  23. 23. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Frankfurt on Day 1. Free hotel shuttle on Day 8 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 7 breakfasts (B); 2 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Frankfurt | Mövenpick City Center f Freiburg | Parkhotel Post f Füssen | Hotel Hirsch f Garmisch | Rheinischer Hof f Munich | Hotel Excelsior f Frankfurt | NH Frankfurt Airport f f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com 23 DEpARTURES (REF: R160) & pRICES pER pERSON* Sundays: May 26 – $1,750 Jun 30 – $1,750 Jul 21 – $1,750 Aug 11 – $1,750 Sep 1 – $1,750 Sep 29 – $2,150 Dec 8 r – $1,750 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.  Octoberfest departure. r Christmas Market departure. Single Room Supplement: $450 Triple Room Reduction: $175 Young Traveler Discount: $175 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed neuschwanstein castle, southwest bavaria spend a night at the traditional rheinischer hoF in garmisch Innsbruck, join an optional excursion to the top of Zugspitze. Then this afternoon head to Munich with an en route visit to Linderhof Palace, a petite version ofVersailles that served as a royal residence to King Ludwig II. B 6 mUNICh CITY SIghTSEEINg Rivaling Berlin, Munich’s cultural scene and architectural treasures impress even the most well-traveled visitor. Enjoy a city tour concluding at Marienplatz, where you’ll see its famous Glockenspiel, the clock tower at NewTown Hall that delights onlookers with daily “shows” featuring the chimes of 43 bells and mechanical antics of 32 life-sized figures. Then explore the city on your own.Tonight savor a traditional Bavarian dinner. B D 7 mUNICh / ROThENBURg OB DER TAUBER / fRANkfURT At Rothenburg ob derTauber, you will feel as if you are walking in the pages of a Grimm’s fairytale, with flower boxes adorning steep-roofed, half-timbered buildings and clock towers spanning narrow, cobbled lanes.Taste Schneeballen, or “snowball” pastry, the signature sweet of Rothenburg.Then on to Frankfurt, for one last night in Germany. B 8 DEpART fRANkfURT After breakfast, take the free hotel shuttle to the airport where your vacation ends. B
  24. 24. 1 Arrive in MilAn, itAly Buongiorno!Welcome to Italy, where food, scenery and history meet. In fact, it was here in the Piedmont town of Bra that the Slow Food movement got its start.Your Brendan Slow Food experience is off to a great start as you take the private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Milan. Settle in, then perhaps go for a stroll. Later, enjoy a welcome dinner at tonight’s Slow Food “Osterie d’Italia” at the Osteria Grand Hotel. An introduction to the Slow Food philosophy will have you hungering for a real taste of Italy, one that your exciting Brendan vacation promises to deliver. D 2 MilAn / lA MorrA / CArMAgnolA / pollenzo Venture to the lovely hilltop village of La Morra and stop at a scenic viewpoint to appreciate panoramas of mile after mile of vineyards dotted by farms, romantically positioned villas and the occasional old castle.Taste the products of all this fertile land with a visit to Elio Altare’s cellars, where wine will be accompanied by local produce. At nearby Carmagnola, pay a call to a farm where you will see the rare Carmagnola grey rabbit, a large breed raised for meat.Then transfer to the historic Hotel Albergo dell’Agenzia, home to the University of Gastro­ nomic Sciences, and your home for the next four nights. b DAY Piedmont’s 3 pollenzo. bArbAresCo, CherAsCo & Monforte D’AlbA A second taste of the region’s wondrous wines is in store with a visit to the town of Barbaresco. Here, you will discover the wine of the same name, made from the Nebbiolo grape. Like people, Barbaresco wines get better with age; it is not uncom­ mon for a Barbaresco to drink well after 20 years. Sample a few fine examples, then stop in Cherasco, a medieval village with quaint, narrow lanes and traditional shops that produce dark chocolates with hazelnuts called “Baci di Cherasco.” Enjoy free time to wander through town and soak in the charm­ ing, old­world flavor before heading to Giovanni Manzone , a family­run wine estate with a setting that is as wonderful as the wines. Situated in the ancient fortified town of Monforte d’Alba, the estate has a roster of award­winning vintages. Taste a few selections and sample local products before returning to your hotel, once the country estate of King Carlo Alberto of Savoy. b 4 pollenzo. Asti & MongiArDino ligure Surely you have heard of your next destination, Asti, as the name is associated with Asti Spumanti sparkling wine.This region indeed produces the pale­gold libation made from white Muscat grapes – not just of the Spumante label, but of many brands. Historic and largely pedestrianized, the medieval town of Asti certainly will be a sparkling highlight of your Piedmont experience. Adding to the delight is a visit to Torronificio Barbero, where you will taste rich chocolates and nougats. Next, travel to a country farmhouse in Mongiardino Ligure to savor Montébore cheese. Dating as far back as the 15th century, this cheese has a truly aged history. Join a cooking class dedicated to the foods and agricultural traditions of Piedmont, followed by dinner and a presentation on the good works of the Adopt a Sheep program. Afterward, return to your hotel in Pollenzo.Tonight take advantage of the hotel gym,Turkish bath and outdoor pool. b D 5 pollenzo & grinzAne CAvour Explore Pollenzo, the location of your hotel for the last few nights and host to a history stretching back more than a few centuries. Once an important Roman settlement, Pollenzo today is home to the University of Gastronomic Sciences. A district in the larger town of Bra, Pollenzo is also within a stone’s throw of the birthplace of the Slow Food movement. 24 MilAn to MilAn gAstronoMiC pleAsures montébore cheese tAste the rich nougAts of torronificio bArbero milAn’s mAgnificent cAtheDrAl lAnD only $2,160froM
  25. 25. MILANMILAN I t a l y POLLENZOPOLLENZO CARMAGNOLA BARBARESCO CHERASCOMONFORTE D’ALBA MONGIARDINO LIGURE GRINZANE CAVOUR ASTI Mediterranean Sea LA MORRA 11 4 YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Milan on Days 1 and 7 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 6 breakfasts (B); 3 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 7 Guided tastings > 1 Cooking lesson > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges Milan | Hotel NHTouring – superior rooms f Pollenzo (Cuneo) | Hotel Albergo dell’ Agenzia f f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 1 OVERNIGhT STAY 1 START CITY 1 END CITY 25 Speaking of which, you will visit the Slow Food Banca delVino, orWine Bank, a cellar and “library” of Italian wines, housed in a former royal palace. Enjoy a tasting and tour before departing for the town of Grinzane Cavour for your visit to the Piedmont Regional Enoteca. Situated in the town’s imposing medieval castle, the enoteca, or “wine repository,” offers tastes of wines from numerous regional vintners.Toast your Brendan food and wine adventure during your last dinner at your Pollenzo hotel.Tomorrow, it is off to Milan. B D 6 pOLLENzO / MILAN hIGhLIGhTS From the undulating hills of Piedmont, travel to Milan – a glamorous city with a thriving cultural scene and a top city for shopping. After check-in, enjoy free time. Then join an afternoon walking tour to discover the landmarks of this fashion and financial center of Italy. Highlights include the incredible Duomo, an enormous Gothic cathedral that took nearly six centuries to build; the castle-turned-museum, Castello Sforzesco; the city’s renowned opera house, La ScalaTheatre; and the stunning GalleriaVittorio Emmanualle, a masterpiece ofVictorian architecture connecting two of Milan’s best-known avenues to create a marvelous shopping arcade, housing elegant shops with brands such as Prada, Gucci and LouisVuitton. B 7 DEpART MILAN Alas, your Slow Food Brendan Boutique Journey has passed far too quickly. After breakfast, take your private transfer to the Milan airport where your vacation ends. Buon viaggio! B DEpARTURES (REF: R100) & pRICES pER pERSON* Sundays: May 5 – $2,160 Jun 9, 23 – $2,160 Jul 7 – $2,160 Aug 11 – $2,160 Sep 8, 22 – $2,325 Oct 6, 13 – $2,325 Nov 3 – $2,325 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. International airfare between your U.S. gateway and trip is additional please check with yourTravel Agent or Brendan Specialist for special airfares originating in the U.S. Single Room Supplement: $340 (May 5-Aug 11); $440 (Sep 8-Nov 3) Triple Room Reduction: $35 Young Traveler Discount: $216 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed grinzane cavour vineyards hotel albergo dell’agenzia
  26. 26. RIGNANO SULL ARNOSULL ARNOSULL ARNO RIGNANO SULL’ARNO I t a l y ROMEROME MONTEPULCIANO PIENZA SIENA CASTELLINA GREVE MONTALCINO SAN GIMIGNANO FLORENCE 1 1 5 1 Arrive in rOMe, iTALY It is said that all roads lead to Rome. And here you are, ready to launch an amazing journey for the senses.The first step:Take the private transfer from the airport to your hotel.Then settle in and enjoy your welcome dinner at the eatery, Grappolo d’oro, or “golden grapes,” and learn how this is your golden opportunity to sample Italy’s culture during your introduction to the Slow Food philosophy and overview of your Brendan vacation. D 2 rOMe / MOnTepuLciAnO / pienzA / rignAnO suLL’ArnO Have your camera ready for superb vistas as you venture to two ofTuscany’s most picturesque hill towns. Medieval Montepulciano sits at an elevation of almost 2,000 feet, offering astounding views over the surrounding hills. Narrow alleyways invite exploration despite their leg-challenging slopes, and Renaissance buildings make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. Drink in not only the scenery but also the wine with a visit to an enoteca, or wine shop, for a tasting. Experience the town center before samplingTuscan cuisine at the charming restaurant Osteria dell’Acquacheta. Don’t put your camera away just yet: Next up is Pienza, a Renaissance town so marvelous that it is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site. Grand architecture and Pecorino cheese are Pienza’s claims to fame. Sample the latter and learn about the cheese-making process at a local farm. Continue on to your historicl hotel in Rignano Sull’Arno where you’ll stay for the next five nights. b L 3 rignAnO suLL’ArnO. cAsTeLLinA in chiAnTi & greve in chiAnTi In Italy, half the beauty is in the getting there.This is certainly the case along theVia Chiantigena, the road connecting Siena and Florence, unfolding over the timeless Chianti hills. Arrive in Castellina for an introduction to ancient techniques for harvesting and drying aromatic herbs. Have lunch at a specially selected trattoria, then head to a farm to taste organic cheese made from the milk of goats that graze in the Chianti hills.Tonight enjoy the outdoor pool and take advantage of the freeWiFi at your hotel. b L 4 rignAnO suLL’ArnO. FLOrence There is hardly a traveler who won’t gasp in delight over Florence’s beauty and revel in its abundant works of Renaissance art and architecture.Walk through the historical DAY Tuscany center and visit Santa Croce Basilica, known as the “Pantheon of Italian Glories.” Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Machiavelli and Alfieri all are entombed here. See other Florence land- marks, including the Duomo, the iconic domed church that rises above the city; the octagonal Baptistery with its three sets of bronze doors, one by Michelangelo; Giotto’s bell tower, a masterpiece of Florentine Gothic design; and the Piazza della Signoria, home to the oft-photographed Romanesque fortress-palace with its crenelated tower. Stop at one of Florence’s oldest ice cream shops, called Perché No! (Why not!), to see how the ice cream is made and taste indulgent samples. Enjoy free time to explore this gem of a city on your own, perhaps visiting the Uffizi Gallery or shopping for the city’s renowned leather goods.Wind down an extraordinary day with a traditional dinner at a local trattoria. b D 5 rignAnO suLL’ArnO. sienA & sAn giMignAnO Where do Gothic architecture, the famous Palio horse race, and sweets made of hazelnuts and chocolate come together? In 26 rOMe TO rOMe sAn gimignAno The FOODs & vineYArDs OF cArmignAno DrieD figs 1 OvernighT sTAY 1 sTArT ciTY 1 enD ciTY $2,455 LAnD OnLY FrOM
  27. 27. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Rome on Days 1 and 8 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 7 breakfasts (B); 3 lunches (L); 3 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 6 Guided tastings > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Rome | The Independent Hotel f Rignano Sull’Arno | HotelVilla Il Palagio f f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 27 Siena, ovviamente! (of course)! Join a guided tour of the city, the historic center of which is a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, and sample Siena’s traditional Christmas fruitcake called panforte at a well-known pastry shop. Stroll some of the city’s tangled lanes on your own before traveling to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano.The journey is as memorable as the destination as you travel theVia Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route between Rome and Canterbury. Stop at a small, family-run farmhouse for lunch featuring the regional Certaldo onion and organic olive oil, and learn how the olive oil is produced.Then, it’s on to San Gimignano, where you’ll discover some of its 14 medieval towers and visit the San Gimignano 1300 Museum, with multi-media exhibits, street scenes and a ceramic city recreation that shows San Gimignano as it was in 1300. B L 6 RIgNANO SULL’ARNO. MONTALCINO Experience the hill town of Montalcino, famed for its steep streets and Brunello wine. Pay a call to the Enoteca La Fortezza, a wine shop where you will sample fine wines and exceptional honey – a local specialty. After some free time, visit a leading wine producer for a tasting and tour. Return to your hotel for your last dinner inTuscany.Tomorrow, the road leads back to Rome. B D 7 RIgNANO SULL’ARNO / ROME hIghLIghTS Vibrant.Timeless. Majestic. Magnificent. All these words and more describe Rome, a city that captures the imagination with its history of empire and art and current-day obsessions with espresso and fashion. Check in at your hotel, then this afternoon take a tour to see impressive highlights that include the Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine and the famous Coliseum. B 8 DEpART ROME Take a private transfer to the airport where your vacation ends. B DEpARTURES (REF: R110) & pRICES pER pERSON* Sundays: 2013: Apr 28 – $2,455 May 19 – $2,515 Jun 2, 30 – $2,515 Aug 4 – $2,480 Sep 15 – $2,515 Sep 22 – $2,455 Oct 6, 20 – $2,455 Nov 3, 24 – $2,455 2014‡: Mar 30 – $2,455 Apr 27 – $2,455 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. ‡ 2014 dates are subject to date, price and itinerary modifications. Details will be available in Jul 2013. Single Room Supplement: $420 Triple Room Reduction: $15 Young Traveler Discount: $246 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed beautiful tuscan landscape spend 5 nights at the villa il palagio, once a former palace
  28. 28. PERUGIAPERUGIA I t a l y ROMEROME ASSISI TODI CASTIGLIONE DEL LAGO ORVIETO MAGIONELAKE TRASIMENO MONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCOMONTEFALCO BEVAGNA CASTELLO DI PORETA TYRRHENIAN SEA 1 1 4 1 Arrive in rome, itAly When in Rome, do as the Romans do: Eat! After taking the private transfer from the airport to your hotel, settle in and start to relax.Tonight, enjoy your welcome dinner at the inviting restaurant Grappolo d’Oro, or “golden grapes.” During an introduction to the Slow Food philosophy and overview of your upcoming Brendan vacation, learn how this is your golden opportunity to discover the “green heart of Italy.” d 2 rome / orvieto / todi / perugiA Two splendid towns are on today’s menu offering tantalizing encounters with outstanding views, Gothic architecture and cobblestone lanes. Situated atop a cliff, Orvieto seems to grow right out of the rocky promontory, making the place as rustically picturesque as it gets.Tour the city, including the magnificent Gothic cathedral, and visit the Palazzo de Gusto, the head office of the Enoteca Regionale of Umbria. Here at this wine repository, you will join a guided tour and savor a light lunch featuring local fare and Umbrian wines. Stop at a pastry shop to taste Orvieto’s typical desserts, such as chocolates made with chilies and saffron.Then venture to the quaint hill town ofTodi, a wonderful slice of medieval Italy.Wander the maze of ancient streets and absorb the historic atmosphere at the picture-perfect central plaza.Then transfer to Perugia, the capital of Umbria.You will spend the next four nights at the Hotel Alla Post dei Donini – the former 17-century summer residence of the noble Donini family. b l 3 perugiA. CAstello di poretA & perugiA In the delightful town of Poreta, you’ll visit the Castello di Poreta, an inn and restaurant housed in an old castle and boasting terrific views. Sample extra-virgin olive oil and the Roveja, a small wild pea grown here in Umbria. Back in Perugia, experience the Perugina chocolate museum, famous for exquisite Baci Perugina chocolates. Free time gives you the chance to get a delectable taste of history as you explore one of Italy’s best-preserved hill towns, complete with city walls, Gothic palaces and a “new” 19th-century shopping promenade. Enjoy a visit to an old pastry shop and to the Bottega delle Erbe Aromatiche, or “shop of aromatic herbs.” Delighting nose and palate are a selection of 6,000 herbs and other products.Traditional dishes at tonight’s Slow Food “Osterie d’Italia,” Osteria La Lumera, will tempt the taste buds. Enjoy another night’s stay in Perugia. b d DAY Umbria 4 perugiA. Assisi, bevAgnA & montefAlCo If Perugia is the actual capital of Umbria, Assisi is the spiritual center, the home of St. Francis, the sainted Catholic friar who was born here in 1182. Assisi is where you’ll find a marvelous two-story basilica, fine artworks of the early Renaissance, a maze of charming medieval lanes and – being another of Umbria’s hill towns – sweeping views. After a morning guided tour, continue to Bevagna, a town with Roman origins and an idyllic medieval atmosphere, to enjoy some free time. Next, it’s on to Montefalco, another timeless village showcasing medieval and Renaissance wonders, not to mention fine views over the hills. Rivaling Montefalco’s visual charm is its palate- pleasing wine, called Sagrantino, which you will sample at Cantine di Antonelli. Learn about and taste examples of another area specialty, extra-virgin olive oil, with a stop at the ancient olive groves owned by the Romanelli family. Return to Perugia for a free evening. b 28 rome to rome CulinAry delights of 1 overnight stAy 1 stArt City 1 end City hilltop orvieto lAnd only $2,285from
  29. 29. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Rome on Days 1 and 7 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 6 breakfasts (B); 1 lunch (L); 3 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 6 Guided tastings > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Rome | The Independent Hotel f San Martino in Campo (Perugia) | Hotel Alla Posta dei Donini f f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELSmadrevite vineyards ,umbria region For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 29 5 pERUgIA. LAkE TRASImENO, mAgIONE & CASTIgLIONE DEL LAgO No major river feeds or flows out of LakeTrasimeno, the largest lake in the area, yet a steady current of enthusiastic travelers stream in and out, thanks to the lake’s appealing locale and array of attractive shoreside towns. First stop: Castello di Magione, where you will visit the cellars and sample local wines. Next up is Castiglione del Lago, a town with a classic, medieval city center and home to Azienda Madrevite, an ideal venue for a stroll through the vineyards and a wine tasting. Discover the marvels of the town with a memorable exploration and then gather at the selected Slow Food “Osterie d’Italia,” Trattoria l’Acquario. Savor traditional cuisine featuring the Fagiolina de Lago, a legume that has been grown around the lake since ancient times. Return to your hotel in Perugia with your cravings for good food and fine company satisfied. B D 6 pERUgIA / ROmE hIghLIghTS Arriving in this historical, magical and vibrant city, you will be taken to your hotel for check-in. Next, thrill to a day of sightseeing, with chances to ponder the ancient wonders of the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine and the Coliseum, and to simply drink in Rome’s heady brew of chic, fashion-forward style, alluring Baroque ornamentation, and impressive Roman Empire permanence – even as it fades and crumbles over the centuries.Your guided visit to Italy is capped off by an evening at leisure. B 7 DEpART ROmE Arrivederci! After breakfast, it will be time to bid farewell to the Eternal City and take the private transfer to the Rome airport, where your vacation ends. B DEpARTURES (REF: R120) & pRICES pER pERSON* Sundays: 2013: May 12 – $2,285 Jun 16 – $2,285 Jul 21 – $2,285 Aug 18 – $2,285 Sep 15, 29 – $2,285 Oct 20 $2,285 Nov 3 – $2,285 2014‡: Apr 6 – $2,285 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. ‡ 2014 dates are subject to date, price and itinerary modifications. Details will be available in Aug 2013. Single Room Supplement: $425 Triple Room Reduction: $100 Young Traveler Discount: $229 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed stay 4 nights at the 17th-century hotel alla posta dei donini
  30. 30. 1 Arrive in pAlermo, sicily, itAly Buongiorno!Welcome to Italy, perhaps the food capital of the world – and very definitely the birthplace of the Slow Food movement.Take the private transfer from the airport to your hotel, a beautifully restored 18th-century paper mill.There is time to relax or begin exploring.Then whet your appetite with a welcome dinner showcasing the delicious and sustainable foods of Slow Food Presidia. Also get a taste of what’s to come with an introduction to your upcoming vacation experience and the Slow Food philosophy. D 2 pAlermo. Discover mArsAlA & erice Discover Marsala, the city renowned for its wine of the same name, with a wine tasting at RalloWinery and free time to wander through the old town. Of course, Marsala wine will be featured as you gather for lunch at today’s Slow Food “Osterie d’Italia” of choice,Trattoria Il Gallo e l’Innamorata. In delightful Erice, you’ll step back in time with a walk through the medieval streets and visit to an old pastry shop that still uses 15th-century recipes. Delight your taste buds with almond pastries filled with candied lemon, cannoli, a local wine called Zibbibo, and biscuits aptly called “brutti ma buoni,” or “ugly but tasty.” B l 3 pAlermo. explore pAlermo & monreAle Palermo is the bustling Sicilian regional capital, boasting atmospheric streets, ancient buildings, and the lively Vucciria market. Stroll among the colorful stands offering an overwhelming assortment of fruits, vegetables, handcrafts, herbs and seafood, with the merchants shouting to attract shoppers’ attention. Palermo itself will surely grab your attention, with centuries-old history oozing from the city- center streets, which you will have time to investigate on your own.Then visit the village of Monreale, famous for its grand Norman cathedral and adjoining cloister.Tonight, why not take a free shuttle to Palermo’s historic center for dinner – just over a mile away. B 4 pAlermo. Discover mADonie pArk & polizzi GenerosA Both a nature reserve and home to dozens of historic little villages, Madonie Park is this morning’s fascinating destination. Visit the medieval town of Polizzi Generosa before having lunch of local cuisine at a farm called Agriturismo La Manna. DAY Sicily Explore the farm and taste something truly special: pastries made with manna, the natural sweetener extracted from the bark of ash trees that grow here in the Madonie Mountains. B l 5 pAlermo / Buccheri / syrAcuse Head to the small mountain town of Buccheri. Here, set within a 18th-century fortress made of limestone and volcanic rock, you will find theTerraliva Agricultural Estate, the perfect place for lunch and a taste of delectable olive oils.Traveling to Syracuse, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, stroll the heart of the old city, called Ortigia, and enjoy a guided walk of the nearby Archaeological Park of the Neapolis, renowned for its impressive number of well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins. Especially interesting is the Greek theater, dating to the 5th century BC. B l 30 pAlermo to cAtAniA A tAntAlizinG tAste of cAnnoli were first creAteD in pAlermo pAlermo cAtheDrAl, sicilY’s lArgest church tAste DelectAble olive oil At the terrAlivA AgriculturAl estAte lAnD only $2,599from
  31. 31. Sicily PALERMO BUCCHERI MONREALE MARSALA ERICE POLIZZI GENEROSA SYRACUSEBUCCHERIBUCCHERI RAGUSA MODICA NOTO MT. ETNA TAORMINA CATANIA GIARDINI NAXOS MADONIE PARK Italy 4 2 1 YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Palermo on Day 1 and Catania on Day 8 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 7 breakfasts (B); 4 lunches (L); 2 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > 6 Guided tastings > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Palermo | Hotel Baglio Conca d’Oro f Syracuse | Hotel Des Etrangers DLX Giardini Naxos | Atahotel Naxos Beach Resort f DLX Deluxe f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com In partnership with See page 15. 31 6 SYRACUSE. EXpLORE RAgUSA, MODICA, NOTO Two more UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites are on the menu today: Ragusa and Modica. Admire the splendid Baroque architecture on a guided walk of Ragusa’s old town, called Ibla. Be sure to keep your eyes trained upward to spy the ornate iron balconies supported by carved corbels depicting ghoulish figures and faces. In Modica, you will have the chance to appreciate more Baroque architectural masterpieces. Perhaps taste sumptuous chocolate treats at an old pastry shop before sampling Italian dishes and local wines at the selected Slow Food “Osterie d’Italia,”Trattoria La Rusticana. Before returning to Syracuse, stop in Noto to nibble the area’s famous almonds used to make the exquisite Sicilian confectionery marzipan and, of course, the Italian liqueur, amaretto. B L 7 SYRACUSE / wINES Of MOUNT ETNA / TAORMINA / gIARDINI NAXOS Taste local delicacies and prestigious regional wines such as V.S.Q. and Metodo Classico in Mount Etna on your way to the small, medieval town ofTaormina.With free time to stroll along the narrow streets, visit the Greco-Roman theater and ponder inspiring sea views, you’ll see whyTaormina is called the “Pearl of the Ionian Sea.” Enjoy your farewell dinner and overnight stay in the beautiful seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. B D 8 gIARDINI NAXOS / DEpART CATANIA Arrivederci! Closing the menu on your Slow Food Brendan Boutique Journey, join your private transfer to the Catania Airport where your vacation ends. B DEpARTURES (REF: R130) & pRICES pER pERSON* Sundays: 2013: May 19 – $2,695 Jun 23 – $2,695 Sep 8,15, 22, 29 – $2,599 Oct 6, 13, 20 – $2,695 2014‡: Mar 16 – $2,599 Apr 20 – $2,599 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. ‡ 2014 dates are subject to date, price and itinerary modifications. Details will be available in Jul 2013. Single Room Supplement: $480 Triple Room Reduction: $90 Young Traveler Discount: $260 teatro greco in taormina the historic hotel des etrangers overlooks bustling syracuse harbour ✔ All Departures Guaranteed  END CITY1 OVERNIghT STAY 1 START CITY
  32. 32. 1 arrive in athens, greece Fly into the capital of Greece and take the included transfer to the your hotel.This evening meet your local travel expert. 2 athens / corinth canal / mycenae / nafplion Drive west from Athens toward the Peloponnese Peninsula. Cross the Corinth Canal to Mycenae, the ancient capital described by Homer as “rich in gold.”The most famous treasure found here was the so-called Death Mask of Agamemnon discovered in the late 19th century.The ruined hilltop citadel features a granary, temples and a palace complete with throne room. On to Nafplion, occupying an entire peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Argos.You’ll enjoy exploring the old town, which mixes Greek,Venetian and Ottoman architecture.The antique Palamidi Fortress guards the town, and many narrow streets are just broad flights of stone stairs leading up to Acronafplia Castle. b 3 nafplion / arcadian mountains / vytina You’ll be welcomed today at Domaine Skouras, a winery with its own splendid facility at Malandreni.This region has a centuries-old tradition of wine-making. Stop for a stroll through DAY Roads of Greece Lagadia village, built on the slopes of a mountain.The locals are famous for their abilities in stone sculpting. On toVytina village, the most significant mountain resort of Peloponnese, and situated over 3,000 feet up in the hills on the slopes of Menalon Mountain. According to mythology, the gods Hera, Artemis and Pan lived up here. Many paths invite walkers to explore the Arcadian landscape. b 4 vytina / olympia Drive to ancient Olympia, the home of the original Olympic Games.Take in views of theTemple of Zeus, the stadium and the hippodrome, constructed for chariot racing. Explore the scattered ruins and visit theArchaeological Museum. In the afternoon, stop at a family-run farm to sample olives, olive oil and wine from land that has been cultivated for centuries. b d 5 olympia / nafpaktos / galaxidi / arachova Travel north via Rio-Antirrio bridge, visit the village of Nafpaktos and enjoy a stop in Galaxidi.Then head for the mountain village ofArachova, set 3,000 feet high on the slopes of Parnassos Mountain.You’ll love the beautiful stone houses, narrow streets and burbling fountains. InWorldWar II a fierce battle here established the Greek Resistance as a force against the Nazis. b 6 arachova / delphi / kalambaka Drive to Delphi, considered the center of the world in ancient times. It was here that the revered oracle brought the wisdom of the god Apollo to the people. Listen for his voice echoing across the centuries as you walk along the SacredWay to the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo. Continue to Kalambaka where the steep rock pinnacles are improbably topped with Greek Orthodox Monasteries. b 7 kalambaka / meteora / thermopylae / athens Visit one of Meteora’s cliff top monasteries, a UNESCOWorld Heritage site. Centuries ago, monks and supplies ascending to the summits hand-pulled by rope in a basket.Today, steps lead to the top. Heading south, stop inThermopylae, where 300 Spartans famously fought off a Persian army. Continue to Athens, where your evening is free. b 8 athens. culinary excursion & sightseeing Take a culinary excursion to the Central Market, brimming with fruits, vegetables and all kinds of meat.Then on for a 32 athens to athens bourtzi fort is locAteD in nAfplion hArbour along the ancient $2,795 land only from
  33. 33. METEORA ATHENS G r e e c e AEGEAN SEA IONIAN SEA CORINTH MYCENAE NAFPLIONNAFPLIONNAFPLION VYTINAVYTINA OLYMPIAOLYMPIA ARACHOVA NAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOS DELPHI KALAMBAKAKALAMBAKAKALAMBAKA THERMOPYLAE MEDITERRANEAN SEA Albania Macedonia Bulgaria 21 1 1 1 1 1 YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Athens on Days 1 and 9 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 8 breakfasts (B); 1 lunch (L); 1 dinner (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel expert > Travel by luxury, private, air-conditioned mini-coach > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX Nafplion | Ippoliti Hotel F Vytina | Seleni Suites Boutique Hotel F Olympia | Arty Grand Hotel MD Arachova | Santa Marina Arachova - boutique resort & s pa SF Kalambaka | Divani Meteora Hotel F Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX DLX Deluxe MD Moderate Deluxe SF Superior First Class F First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com 1 OVERNIGhT STAY 1 START CITY 1 END CITY 33 lesson in Greek cooking.You’ll help prepare a delicious lunch, then relax and savor your creation. Afterward, visit the incomparable Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, and see more Athenian highlights, both ancient and new. B L 9 DEpART AThENS Transfer to Athens airport where your vacation ends. B DEpARTURES (REF: R202) & pRICES pER pERSON* Saturdays: May 25 – $2,795 Jun 15 – $2,795 Jul 27 – $2,795 Sep 7, 21 – $2,795 Oct 5 – $2,795 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. International airfare between your U.S. gateway city and the itinerary’s start and end cities is not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. Single Room Supplement: $795 Triple Room Reduction: $110 Young Traveler Discount: $280 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed royal olympic hotel,athens the rock-top monasteries of meteora
  34. 34. ATHENS G r e e c e AEGEAN SEA MYKONOSMYKONOS PAROSPAROS SANTORINISANTORINI Turkey P P 1 2 3 2 3 1 ARRIVE IN ATHENS, GREECE Fly into the Grecian capital and transfer to your hotel. Meet your local travel expert.The rest of the day is free. 2 ATHENS. CULINARY EXCURSION & SIGHTSEEING Visit Athens’ Central Market, just as locals do. Fresh and colorful, all the fruits, vegetables, fish and meats look delectable. Choose the best, and proceed to a kitchen where you share the fun of preparing a Greek feast – then savor it for lunch. Afterward, visit the incomparable Acropolis, high above Athens, “the” icon of Greece and probably one of world travel’s top-ten must-sees.The temple actually survived intact for almost 2,000 years before the Ottomans used it as an arsenal and blew it up. At the base of the mount visit the new Acropolis Museum, built in modern style to showcase the ancient sculptures. Space has been specifically created here to place the Elgin Marbles if Greece ever succeeds in getting them back from the British Museum. B L DAY Greek Islands 3 ATHENS / MYKONOS Fly to Mykonos.This delightful island in the Cyclades was put on the modern travel map by Jackie O in the 60s – and remains very popular with billionaires and backpackers alike, with pic- turesque fishing towns and great sandy beaches. Enjoy the amenities of the elegant Hotel Semeli, with a freshwater pool, stonewashed walls and a garden with geraniums and bougainvilleas. B 4 MYKONOS. FREE TIME & ANO MERA VILLAGE Spend the day discovering Mykonos.This evening, head to the very center of the island to visit the traditional village of Ano Mera. See the 16th-centuryTourliani Monastery, dominating the central square. Savor a meal with local specialties such as Kopanisti cheese, Loutza ham and the famous milk pie before returning to your hotel. B D 5 MYKONOS. FREE DAY Explore Mykonos on your own, or visit one or two of Greece’s 34 ATHENS TO ATHENS SANTORINI EXPLORING THE MYKONOS 1 OVERNIGHT STAY 1 START CITY 1 END CITY LAND & INTERNAL AIR $3,929FROM
  35. 35. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers throughout Days 1-12 > All internal air flights: Athens-Mykonos, Santorini- Athens > Roundtrip transfers on the islands: between airports, hotels and ports > Ferry from Mykonos-Paros and Paros-Santorini > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 11 breakfasts (B); 2 lunches (L); 1 dinner (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned vehicle > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX Mykonos | Semeli Hotel F Paros | Saint Andrea Seaside Resort SF Santorini | AndromedaVillas F Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX DLX Deluxe SF Superior First Class F First Class YOUR PERSONALLY SELECTED HOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com 35 finest beaches.You’ll swim in clean blue seawater in lovely Aegean bays, each backed by rugged hills. Or venture by ferry out onto the wine-dark sea to the nearby sacred islet of Delos. Founded at least 3,000 years ago, Delos was the religious capital of the Cyclades. Much of the island’s 1½ square miles is covered in ruins, and it was named a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1990. B 6 MYKONOS / PAROS Travel by sea from Mykonos to Paros, famous in classical times for snow-white marble, perfect for sculpture.The highlight of Paros town itself is the 1,700-year-old Hundred Doors Church, one of the oldest unaltered churches in the world. Cafés by the sea, golden sandy beaches and peaceful fishing villages make Paros your Grecian island idyll. Madonna, Brad Pitt andTom Hanks have all discovered this island. Spend two nights at the Saint Andrea Resort, whose Cycladic architecture overlooks Naousa Bay. B 7 PAROS. FREE DAY Options on a free day in Paros! Perhaps visit the century-old Moraitis winery in the impossibly pretty village of Naousa. Taste local vintages and learn about winemaking.Your second option for today is a caique cruise all the way around Antiparos Island to explore some wonderful beaches and absorb impressions of age-old island lifestyles. Enjoy a beachside lunch with seafood delicacies along the way. B 8 PAROS / SANTORINI Arriving at Santorini by sea is another of those indelible travel experiences in Greece.You’re entering a huge and very DEPARTURES (REF: R201) & PRICES PER PERSON* Fridays: May 31 – $3,929 Jun 21 – $4,535 Aug 2 – $5,715 Sep 13, 27 – $4,535 Oct 11 – $3,929 * Per person prices are based on two people sharing a room. Land & internal air prices above include economy air and air-related charges for flights between Athens-Mykonos and Santorini-Athens. Prices are accurate as of Jul 30, 2012. International airfare between your U.S. gateway city and the itinerary’s start and end cities is not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. Single Room Supplement: $1,240-$1,760 Triple Room Reduction: $140-$255 Young Traveler Discount: $358 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed ST.ANDREA SEASIDE RESORT,PAROS deep volcanic caldera. Directly on the rim of steep 1,000 foot cliffs, whitewashed villages cling like a geometric beehive. Legend relates that the villagers withdrew to this precipitous spot centuries ago due to pirate attacks. Enjoy two nights in beautiful Imerovigli, a charming hamlet perched high on the cliffs of western Santorini.The sunset view can be absolutely enchanting. B 9 SANTORINI. PYRGOS COOKING CLASS Visit a local restaurant in the village of Pyrgos to learn about Santorini’s local foods and the cuisine of the Aegean islands. Experience the whole preparation process of a traditional meal and then enjoy the results with a glass of excellent Santorini wine. B L 10 SANTORINI. FREE DAY A day to do as you please!You might want to find a spot on a black sand beach then go for a swim in the clear waters of the Aegean. Maybe stroll through village of Imerovigli and browse through the shops or sip a cool drink in a café. Or simply relax and take in the extraordinary views. B 11 SANTORINI / ATHENS Fly to Athens and transfer to the Royal Olympic Hotel.The rest of the day is free. B 12 DEPART ATHENS Take a private transfer to the airport where your vacation ends. B STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH THE ISLAND NATIVES
  36. 36. “I loved Greece! It’s such a historic country – the ruins, temples and museums were fascinating.Then cruising around the islands was just pure relaxation. Mykonos was my favorite, but Santorini with its black sand beaches was great too.” Brian Morrison Reservations BrendanVacations 1 arrive in athens, greece Fly into the capital of Greece and transfer to your luxury hotel set in front of theTemple of Zeus and the National Gardens. The balance of the day is free to relax or begin exploring the city.This evening meet your local travel expert. 2 athens / corinth canal / Mycenae / nafplion Drive west to cross the Corinth Canal to the Peloponnese Peninsula. At Mycenae, the ruined hilltop citadel features a granary, temples and an ancient palace complex complete with throne room. On to Nafplion, occupying an entire peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Argos. Explore the old town, which mixes Greek,Venetian and Ottoman architecture. Many narrow streets are just broad flights of stone stairs leading up to Acronafplia Castle. B 3 nafplion / arcadian Mountains / vytina Smiles greet you at Domaine Skouras, a splendid winery in Malandreni.Then stroll through Lagadia village, which is perched on the slopes of a mountain. Arriving inVytina village, situated over 3,000 feet up in the hills on the slopes of Menalon Mountain, your evening is free. B 4 vytina / olyMpia Drive to the home of the original Olympic Games, Olympia. Take in views of theTemple of Zeus, the stadium and the hippodrome, the site of ancient chariot racing. Explore the scattered ruins and visit the Archaeological Museum.This afternoon, stop at a family-run farm to sample olives, olive oil and wine from land that has been cultivated for centuries. B d 5 olyMpia / nafpaktos / galaxidi / arachova Drive north to visit the village of Nafpaktos and enjoy a stop in Galaxidi.Then head for the mountain village of Arachova, set 3,000 feet high on the slopes of Parnassos Mountain.Take in the breathtaking mountain views stretching to the sea. B 6 arachova / delphi / kalaMBaka Drive to Delphi, the center of the world in ancient times. It was here that the venerated oracle brought the wisdom of Apollo to the people. Listen for his voice echoing across the centuries as you walk along the SacredWay to the ruins of DAY Complete Greece the Sanctuary of Apollo. Continue to Kalambaka where steep cliffs are topped with Greek Orthodox Monasteries. B 7 kalaMBaka / Meteora / therMopylae / athens Visit one of Meteora’s sky-high monasteries, a UNESCOWorld Heritage site. Centuries ago, monks and supplies ascending to the summits hand-pulled by rope in a basket.Today, steps lead to the top.Traveling south, stop inThermopylae, where 300 Spartans famously fought off a Persian army. Continue to Athens, where your evening is free. B 8 athens. culinary excursion & sightseeing Head to the Central Market, brimming with fruits, vegetables and all kinds of meat.Then on for a Greek cooking lesson. You’ll help prepare a delicious lunch, then savor your creation. Afterward, visit the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum. B l 9 athens / Mykonos This charming island in the Cyclades was put on the modern travel map by Jackie Onassis in the 60s, with picturesque fishing towns and great sandy beaches. B 36 athens to athens pAros hArbour land & internal air $5,975froM
  37. 37. METEORA ATHENS G r e e c e AEGEAN SEA IONIAN SEA CORINTH MYCENAE NAFPLIONNAFPLIONVYTINAVYTINA OLYMPIAOLYMPIA ATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENSATHENS ARACHOVA NAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOSNAFPAKTOS DELPHI KALAMBAKAKALAMBAKAKALAMBAKA THERMOPYLAE MYKONOSMYKONOS PAROSPAROS SANTORINISANTORINI MEDITERRANEAN SEA Macedonia Bulgaria Turkey Albania P P 11 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 3 YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers throughout Days 1-18 > All internal air flights: Athens-Mykonos, Santorini- Athens > Ferry from Mykonos-Paros and Paros-Santorini > Round-trip transfers on the islands between airports, hotels and ports > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 17 breakfasts (B); 2 lunches (L); 2 dinners (D) > Services of an English-speaking local travel expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned vehicle > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX Nafplion | Ippoliti Hotel F Vytina | Seleni Suites Boutique Hotel F Olympia | Arty Grand Hotel MD Arachova | Santa Marina Arachova Resort & Spa F Kalambaka | Divani Meteora Hotel F Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX Mykonos | Semeli Hotel F Paros | Saint Andrea Seaside Resort SF Santorini | AndromedaVillas F Athens | Royal Olympic Hotel DLX DLX Deluxe MD Moderate Deluxe SF Superior First Class F First Class YOUR PERSONALLY SELECTED HOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com 1 OVERNIGHT STAY 1 START CITY 1 END CITY 37 10 MYKONOS. FREE TIME & ANO MERA VILLAGE Spend the day discovering Mykonos. This evening, head to the very center of the island to visit the traditional village of Ano Mera. See the 16th- centuryTourliani Monastery, dominating the central square. Savor a meal with local specialties such as Kopanisti cheese, Loutza ham and the famous milk pie before returning to your hotel. B D 11 MYKONOS. FREE DAY Explore Mykonos on your own, or swim in clean blue seawater in lovely Aegean bays. Or venture by ferry to the nearby sacred islet of Delos, formerly the religious capital of the Cyclades. B 12 MYKONOS / PAROS Ferry from Mykonos to Paros. A highlight is the 1,700-year-old Hundred Doors Church, one of the oldest unaltered churches in the world. On to your hotel overlooking Naousa Bay. B 13 PAROS. FREE DAY Options! Perhaps visit century-old Moraitis winery in the impossibly pretty village of Naousa. Or venture by caique around lovely Antiparos Island, with a beachside lunch featuring seafood en route. B 14 PAROS / SANTORINI Arriving at Santorini by sea is one ofTHE unforgettable experiences in Greece.You’re entering a huge and very deep volcanic caldera. Directly on the rim of steep 1,000 foot cliffs, whitewashed villages cling like a geometric beehive. B 15 SANTORINI. CULINARY EXCURSION Visit a local restaurant in the village of Pyrgos to learn about Santorini’s local foods and the cuisine of the Aegean islands. B L 16 SANTORINI. FREE DAY Enjoy a full free day on the beautiful island of Santorini. B 17 SANTORINI / ATHENS Fly to Athens. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free. B 18 DEPART ATHENS Enjoy a leisurely morning before you are transferred to the Athens Airport where your vacation ends. B DEPARTURES (REF: R200) & PRICES PER PERSON* Saturdays: May 25 – $5,975 Jun 15 – $6,575 Jul 27 – $8,375 Sep 7, 21 – $6,579 Oct 5 – $5,975 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Land & Internal Air prices include economy air and air-related charges for flights between Athens-Mykonos and Santorini-Athens. Prices are accurate as of Jul 30, 2012. For up-to-date information, please visit www.BrendanVacations.com. International airfare between your U.S. gateway city and the itinerary’s start and end cities is additional; please check with yourTravel Agent or Brendan Specialist for special airfares originating in the U.S. Single Room Supplement: $1,685-$2,195 Triple Room Reduction: $225-$350 Young Traveler Discount: $562 ✔ All Departures Guaranteed IPPOLITI HOTEL,NAFPLION
  38. 38. DUBLIN RING OF KERRY Ireland SLIGO INISBOFIN ISLAND ROCK OF CASHEL MIDLETON KILLARNEYKILLARNEY CLIFFS OF MOHER BALLYNAHINCH CASTLE GALWAY CLEGGAN DONEGALDONEGAL CLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGANCLEGGAN CLIFDEN IRISH SEA CELTIC SEA NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN Northern Ireland 11 2 2 1 1 ARRIVE In DUBLIn, IRELAnD Haven’t you had a wee bit o’luck, because here you are in Dublin, ready for your afternoon guided walk. See Dublin Castle, ruins of medieval buildings, and the vibrant, modern city. Raise a mug of the “black stuff” and drink in Dublin views at the Gravity Bar, located at the popular Guinness Storehouse. Later, savor free time and a welcome dinner with wine. D 2 DUBLIn / KILLARnEY Drive south and view the Rock of Cashel, an impressive medieval fortress complex perched atop a verdant hill. Stop at the Old Midleton Distillery, home of Jameson IrishWhiskey, and taste the triple-distilled, twice-as-smooth whiskey. Continue to charming Killarney. B D 3 RInG OF KERRY EXCURSIOn One of the must-dos for travelers to Ireland is the Ring of Kerry, and for good reason: It is about as beautiful a drive as you would ever want to see.Travel the road to glimpse rugged coastline and medieval ruins. AtTorcWaterfall, you might wish to join a leisurely guided hike. B NOTE:The hike travels over wooded paths and lakeshore trails. While there are no mountains to climb, walkers need to be fit and wear good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and raingear. Approx. 3 miles/2 hours 4 KILLARnEY / COnnEMARA See the dramatic, near-vertical Cliffs of Moher, rising 700 feet above theAtlantic. Next, head to Galway for a visit to the cathedral.Then continue through lovely Connemara to Ballynahinch Castle, the luxury castle hotel that will be your home for the next two nights. B D 5 COnnEMARA. InISHBOFIn ISLAnD Stop in the picturesque town of Clifden, then take a drive along spectacular Sky Road to Cleggan and board a ferry bound for Inishbofin Island. Inhabited since 4000 B.C., the island boasts magnificent scenery, from velvety green hills to white sandy beaches.You might even spy farm animals and seals. Should it be a “soft old day” – raining or otherwise inclement – an alternative tour will be planned. B D DAY Castles & Manors 6 COnnEMARA / SLIGO / DOnEGAL Venture north to Sligo and into the heart ofYeats Country. Here, amid the hills and loughs that inspired the lyrical lines penned by beloved poetWilliam ButlerYeats, you will be treated to a celebration of “The Gathering Ireland 2013” with a visit to a private home for a bit ‘o food, fun and poetry. Damien Brennan and his wife Paula, together with their adult children Sarah and Paul, live at Broc House, a modern abode with rustic touches overlooking beautiful Lough Gill. Inside, you will find walls 38 DUBLIn tO DUBLIn InISHBOFIn ISLAnD 1 OVERnIGHt StAY 1 StARt CItY 1 EnD CItY belleek’s white porcelAin chinA the rUins oF A 13th centUrY cAtheDrAl At the rock oF cAshel $2,699 LAnD OnLY FROM
  39. 39. YOURTRAVELVALUE INCLUDES > Private airport transfers in Dublin on Days 1 and 8 > Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling > 7 breakfasts (B); 1 lunch (L); 6 dinners (D) > Services of an Irish local travel expert > Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach > Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges > Portfolio of travel documents Dublin | Brooks Hotel – boutique Sf Killarney | The Malton Sf Connemara | Ballynahinch Castle Hotel f Donegal | Lough Eske Castle Hotel DLX Dublin | Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel f DLX Deluxe Sf Superior First Class f First Class YOUR pERSONALLY SELECTED hOTELS For more information, visit BrendanVacations.com 39 DEpARTURES (REF: BRCM) & pRICES pER pERSON* fridays: May 3, 24 – $2,750 Jun 21 – $2,750 Jul 12, 26 – $2,750 Aug 9, 16, 30 – $2,750 Sep 6, 20 – $2,775 Oct 4 – $2,699 * Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Air: Please note that international airfares are not included in the prices above. BrendanVacations guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book. Single Room Supplement: $550 Triple Room Reduction: $10 Young Traveler Discount: $270 Early payment Discount: pay in full by Dec 27, 2012 save up to $278; pay in full by Feb 28, 2013 save up to $208; pay in full by Apr 30, 2013 save up to $139 Second Vacation Discount: save up to $139 ballynahinch castle,connemara lough eske castle hotel,donegal adorned with contemporary Irish paintings and a table set for a feast prepared by Paula, a noted chef. Damien, meanwhile, is an acknowledged expert on theYeats family. Scrumptious food, fine company and the delicious poetry ofYeats come together ‘round the accommodating table, positioned in front of gracious windows that let in countryside views. Hearts warmed and souls nourished, say fare thee well to your hosts and head to Donegal and the 17th-century Lough Eske Castle Hotel. B L D 7 DONEGAL / DUBLIN Go behind the scenes at Belleek Pottery, where you’ll witness skilled craftsmen create the intricate and timeless white porcelain china during a personally guided tour. Back in Dublin, relish a farewell dinner and an overnight stay at the 18th-century Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. B D 8 DEpART DUBLIN May the road rise to meet you as you transfer to the airport, where your Emerald Isle adventure concludes. B ✔ Ask about Guaranteed Departures Add an extra night and a Hop-On Hop-Off city tour in Dublin at the beginning of your vacation Spend one extra night in the lively Irish capital and take a Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing tour to introduce you to Dublin (entrance fees not included). Airport transfers and breakfast at your hotel (the morning after arrival) are included. Your personally Selected hotel: Brooks Hotel Sf price per person: Twin $195; Single $315

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