Any traveler who’s visited the Dolomites will tell you: There is nowhere quite like it in the world. The rugged and jagged limestone mountain range mark the northeastern section of Italy, made up of 18 peaks that were declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2009. UNESCO describes the Dolomites as “some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys.”
The Dolomites walking tour takes place near the border of Austria, and is dominated by the breathtaking and famous Tre Cime, the three freestanding peaks of pale colored limestone which jut 3,000 meters toward gorgeous blue skies.
On this 8 day trip, you’ll stay at one four-star hotel, which offers excellent amenities including a steam room, swimming pool, massage treatments, and a luxurious spa, as well as a lounge and fantastic evening meals in a charming dining room. And from the hotel, you have access to more than 600 miles of trails, either directly from the hotel or following a quick cable car or bus ride (you’ll receive a Mobil Card pass which will grant you unlimited travel). The walks you’ll take will amaze with Tyrolean hamlets that look as though they came straight out of a fairy tale, through forests fragrant with pine, and along mountain passes with views that can only be described as breathtaking. You’ll visit the Ampezzo National Park, the idyllic Gotres Valley, and the spectacular Carniche Alps.
Now, if you’re planning ahead now for a winter trip, it’s not too early to reserve your spot on a cross country skiing adventure in the Dolomites and Dobbiaco, which departs between December and March. You’ll start in the village of Dobbiaco, where you’ll be utterly charmed by the overlap of cultures as Italy and Austria meet. Expect onion domed churches, Baroque castles, and painted houses.
This trip begins with a cross-country ski lesson, and then you’ll immediately set off to Dobbiaco’s lake. The views of the stunning Dolomites carry a unique charm in the winter time as the rugged peaks are draped in glittering snow. There’s nothing quite like the experience of skiing around in the Alps and taking a break over the perfectly prepared cappuccino, it’s a perfect way to see the Dolomites in a totally new and fresh light.
There are so many ways to enjoy France. There’s the lavender scented fields of Provence, best seen from the saddle of a bicycle; the coastal paths and white beaches of Brittany’s Emerald Coast, perfect for a walking tour; quick tours of wine country and of astounding countryside perfect for foodies; and then of course there are the places you simply must see with paddle in hand from the seat of a leisurely floating canoe.
Picture this: You’re floating along on the wide, flat Dordogne River—the water reflects blue sky, some wisps of cloud, and the lush greenery along the bank. As you come to a bend in the river, listening only to the drip of water off your paddle as you leisurely row your way down river. As you turn the corner, you see rose gold limestone cliffs overhanging the water tucked among the walnut groves at the riverside, you spot ancient stone châteaux. When you stop for the day, you discover a village with narrow, winding streets, charming markets, and even better views of the river you’ve been enjoying all day long.
One of the best things about canoeing the Dordogne is thinking about the history of the region: The Dordogne is home to some of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. As you make your way down the river, you can imagine prehistoric man taking shelter in the naturally occurring caves at the water’s edge—some with amazing ancient formations, including the caves of Lacave, caverns with more than a mile of stalactites that form queer reflections in the water.
And of course, all along your trip down the Dordogne, you’ll enjoy stays at fantastically friendly hotels with outstanding food, plus pools for the ultimate relaxation. This 9 day trip truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience.You’ll also have the opportunity to visit villages with clusters of cottages with the occasional 16th Century turreted manor houses and even historic religious sites. One of our favorites along the tour is Rocamadour shrine, which is perched atop a rocky outcropping above the Alzou Valley. Legend says the shrine was at one time home to the hermit Zaccheus of Jericho, an early Christian who died around 70 AD and is said to have spoken with Jesus during his lifetime. Zaccheus was buried at Rocamadour, and after his death it became a popular pilgrimage site. In the past, visitors have climbed all 216 steps to visit the statue of the black virgin, which dates to the 9th Century.
To some people, a vacation’s hardly a vacation without that island feeling—sunshine, warm sand and the sound of surf lulling away all your worries. We don’t blame them! And here at Breakaway Adventures, we have plenty of options for an island getaway. One of our favorites takes you to the Maltese island of Gozo, a historic island with a long association with the ancient Homerian story of the Odyssey, in which the besotted nymph Calypso kept Odysseus for several years. Calypso’s island is named in the Odyssey as “Ogygia,” but sine the 4th Century, BC, the gorgeous island of Gozo has been associated with Calypso—it’s often called “Calypso’s Isle.”
The island is smaller than the island of Malta, and a perfect location to get away if you’re looking for a vacation that has all the warm character of the Mediterranean, but less-developed and more in-touch with nature.
Our Exploring Gozo trip is an independent walking tour that allows you total freedom to discover the island. You’ll stay in one hotel for the duration of your 8-day trip, leaving you plenty of time to explore, enjoy, and relax.
The hotel you’ll stay at in Gozo is situated among the Ta Cenc cliffs on the outskirts of the village of Sannat. The Hotel Ta’ Cenc comprises 83 stone buildings which are designed to live in harmony with the natural setting: 400 acres on the highest point on the island of Gozo, offering views of the Maltese archipilago, fragrant gardens, and protected natural landscape. The area surrounding the hotel is marked by white globigerina limestone jutting out from the azure sea, ruts in the stone left by Neolitic man, and even remains of Neolithic Dolmens, among the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
On this trip, you’ll be able to explore Mgarr, the port of Gozo with its colorful fishing boats. Your suggested walking tours take you along paths that were followed by Turkish raiders in the 16th Century, along ancient mule tracks and to the remains of a temple that dates to the copper age. You’ll have the chance to visit the northwest corner of the island, which can only be reached by foot, and visit some of the many churches found on the island, including the basilica Ta’ Pinu, the neo-Romanesque shrine, and the Garb, a 17th Century Baroque church.
And in between all of this amazing history you’ll be continually stunned by the stark beauty of your surroundings: wide salt pans, breathtaking views of rocky cliffs jutting from the sea, fields alight with poppies, white sand beaches, groves of bamboo, or of lemon, fig and peach trees, and of course the infamous Azure Window—a naturally formed stone archway that perfectly frames the water and sky. There truly is no other place in the world quite like it.