2016/7 Holidays at a Glance:
September 14 – 21, Autumn in Slovenia
October 9 – 16, An Istrian Harvest, North Croatia
February 20 – 2 March, Cuba!
March 16 – 23, Western Algarve – the ‘real’ Portugal
April 5 – 12, Northern Majorca
May 27 – 3 June, Maramures Region, Romania –‘ The land that time forgot’.
June 13 – 20, Springtime in The French Pyrenees
July tbc, The Making of the English Landscape and in the Footsteps of Oliver Rackham
September 13 – 20, Autumn in Rural Sicily
October 8 – 15, Olimbiada, Mainland Greece
We begin 2017 by visiting Cuba for the first time.
Maramures in the heart of Romania is a very special place with its ancient traditions spanning centuries. Peasant culture still exists with traditional music, colourful festivals and traffic jams of horse drawn carts. Life has always been hard but the area, being separated from Transylvania by impenetrable mountains was never under the communist regime. Collectivism was never imposed and so the small-holdings remain. The terrain is gently hilly rather than mountainous and the fabulous flowery haymeadows are ideal for our walks. We also come across many beautiful UNESCO listed wooden churches.
Another new destination for us is Northern Mallorca. This part of the island is now quite upmarket as well as being stunningly beautiful and is ideal for our walks. Being based near the village of Deia we are able explore the Tramuntana Mountains and some gorgeous little villages when we visit in April. A perfect time for flowers and nesting birds.
Greece has always been one of our favourite destinations. The friendly people, stunning coastal scenery as well as a traditional and relaxed way of life is hard to beat and so in October, for our final trip of the year, we are visiting the unspoilt seaside village of Olymbiada on the Greek Mainland – birthplace of Aristotle.
South West Portugal has a good all-year climate and we take advantage of this by visiting the Algarve in mid-March when the wild flowers will be abundant and very colourful. We base ourselves in the remote and historical little town of Sagres in a pousada that has fabulous views over the cliffs towards the dramatic Atlantic Ocean. We enjoy walks along the little visited and unspoilt west coast including The Fisherman’s Way and discover a ‘lost’ village.
In autumn 2015 we spent a wonderful week in the French Pyrenees and now we return but this time in June. We stay in the peaceful village of Gèdre not far from Gavarnie with its amazing geology, spectacular scenery and will be able to sample some excellent food and wine. This is prime time for gentians and orchids including black vanilla and elderflower.
In September we return to Rural Sicily staying on a farm that is now run as an Agroturism destination. We shall be very much off the beaten track and visit mellow stone hilltop villages, spend a day on the coast and look for late summer flowers and the fruits and seeds of autumn.
In July, and closer to home, we learn about how the English landscape was created over the centuries by referring to Oliver Rackham who sadly died recently. We are based in St. Ives, Huntingdon and visit nature reserves including Wicken Fen, Wood Walton and ancient woodlands such as Hayley Wood.
Due to Brexit we must admit we have had difficulties in working out the prices for 2017 but have done our best to keep them reasonable.
Reunion Weekend – This year our popular Reunion will take place on 28 – 29 October and will be held at Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich. The weekend is a good opportunity to hear more about our plans for the following year and, as usual, we will enjoy a good lunch and, for those that wish, meet up again for supper in the evening. We will also have a walk on the Sunday morning so why not make a weekend of it.
We have recently made a donation to Norfolk Wildlife Trust to help towards their project at Hickling Nature Reserve. Over the past three years Hickling Marshes has experienced large scale wetland habitat restoration and now needs to follow this with a programme of improvements to enhance the visitor experience and to coincide with their 90th anniversary celebrations.
CUSTOMERS COMMENTS – We receive lots of lovely letters from many of you and we thought the comment below sums us up well:
“Many thanks to you and Richard for the chance of a most enjoyable visit to Corsica – a chance to ‘travel slowly’ and absorb the wonderful landscape and meet with great company.”
Cuban images courtesy of Ori~ (CC BY-SA 2.5) and Christophe Meneboeuf (CC BY-SA 4.0).