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Following in the Footsteps of Picasso

January 28th, 2016 by

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We’re pleased to announce the launch of a NEW guided walking tour,  Following in the Footsteps of Picasso in the Terra Alta region of Spain’s Southern Catalunya region.

Largely unknown to tourism, the Terra Alta (High Land) is a region of lush forests, stunning rock formations, vineyards and farmland; all leading us to breathtaking panoramas over the Els Ports Mountains and the River Ebro as it flows into the Mediterranean Sea.  The Els Ports Natural Park is a botanical paradise as well, supporting over 1000 species of flora and fauna including Hispanic goats (Ibex) and Griffon vultures.

As a child, Pablo Picasso spent summers here living in the mountains and observing rural life. According to his biography, Picasso stayed in the mountains, sleeping in caves, or under the stars, cooking rice over bonfires. It is said he drew his inspiration for the cubism movement from the contrast of lighting and dramatic shapes of this stunning environment.

With our superb guide, Philippe, you’ll walk in and around the rugged Els Ports National Park where we enjoy a mix of walks, from gentle to much more challenging to take us off the beaten track into the, at times, barren and wild terrain of the Natural Park.  And no visit to this region would be complete without exploring the hilltop town of Horta de Sant Joan.  We’ll take a guided tour of the Picasso Museum here, home to some 200 works painted during his stay in the village.

The Hotel Mas del Cigarrer is your home for the week, a lovely rustic property with a small pool and great food. Try specialities such as charcoal-grilled rabbit or pigs’ cheeks braised in red wine, all washed down with the excellent local wines (included). Limited to a maximum of 12 people, this “2 boot +” walk is offered on selected dates in May, June, September and October, with custom dates on offer for private groups.

7 Brand NEW Cycling tours for 2016!

January 22nd, 2016 by

France-AlsaceWith more than 18 years’ experience in hand-crafting relaxed active holidays, Breakaway continues to grow, improve and extend its range of unique cycling choices! Breakaway’s 2016 CYCLING HOLIDAYS program is an exciting mix of pancake-flat routes (perfect for families and first-timers), gentle climbs and more challenging ascents rewarded by the most incredible of views. Tours – which range from 6-10 nights – are either single center, or follow self-guided hotel-to-hotel itineraries (detailed maps and meticulous route notes provided; luggage always transported for you) with every trip graded so that you know what level of activity to expect. At the end of each cycling day, you are guaranteed to be staying in somewhere very special too, with accommodation including fabulously restored castles, magnificent turn-of-the-century villas, gastronomic country houses and fortified farmhouses with pools, ancient palms and hidden courtyards.

For 2016, there are 7 BRAND NEW CYCLING HOLIDAYS – in France, Spain and Portugal – as well as lots of old favorites.

Here’s a quick look at what’s NEW:

Cotes_de_Ventoux_CyclingFRANCE: Cotes de Ventoux Cycling

A gentle (1-bike+) 6-night cycling trip taking in the world-famous Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards (Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes-de-Venise) so a perfect choice for foodies and wine buffs! Plenty of tasting opportunities too – and, with Breakaway’s complimentary wine pick-up service included, no worries about carrying heavy, breakable bottles on a bike either! Wonderful, family-run hotels with pools, great regional cuisine, option to choose electric bikes if you want to make it even easier! Departs every two days from May 13 to  Oct 14; prices from $1,525.

Lanscapes-of-Luberon-CyclingFRANCE: Landscapes of the Luberon Cycling

This 2-bike, “moderate” trip is hard to beat if you have 9 days to spare and want to experience Provence’s incredibly varied and diverse landscapes: sprawling vineyards, ancient olives, pretty perched villages, charming medieval towns, curious caves, crumbling castle ruins …. We’ve chosen an eclectic mix of hotels too (pools 6 nights out of 8) including a C19 manor house and charming farmhouse with sauna, spa and hot tub! Departs every two days from May 23 to Oct 14 with prices from $1,732.

Hilltop_Villages_of_Provence_CyclingFRANCE: Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling
Aimed at regular cyclists, or active couples looking for a challenge, this 2-bike+ route spends 6 nights exploring the landscapes and photogenic perched villages whose natural light and beauty served as inspiration to Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and Dumas (not forgetting, of course, Peter Mayle, author of “A Year in Provence”!). While we do provide more gentle alternatives for the toughest sections, those choosing to climb will experience the most incredible views before exhilarating downhill descents! Departs every two days from May 23 to Oct 14 with prices from $1,695. Note: We can provide electric bikes at a supplement and on request.

Cycling_around_the_River_Ebro

SPAIN: Cycling around the River Ebro
This is a luxury 6-night cycling tour (staying mostly in **** hotels with pools) which has been designed to appeal in the main to bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Following a gentle (1-bike+) loop inland from coastal L’Ampolla, the route explores the magnificent Ebro Delta – a region of vast lagoons, freshwater reserves and wetlands – and home to 160+ species of birds. Departs every two days from Apr 21 to Oct 24 with prices from $1,423.

 

Discovering_the_Ebro_Delta_by_bikeSPAIN: Discovering the Ebro Valley Cycling

Perfect for guests not wanting to move on every couple of days, this 7-night, totally flexible, single centre holiday allows you to do as much – or as little – cycling as you’d like. Staying at the charming boutique Hotel L’Algadir in the white coastal town of Poble Nou del Delta, highlights include: the magnificent Ebro Delta rich in birdlife, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tarragona (Roman walls, necropolis, sea-facing amphitheatre), wide sandy beaches, fishermens’ markets. Departs every two days from Apr 21 to Oct 24, prices from $1,358.

Undiscovered_Southern_Catalunya_CyclingSPAIN: Undiscovered Southern Catalunya

Starting on the coast before following a circular loop inland, this 2-bike “moderate” route traces the footsteps of Picasso (he once lived and painted here) and is crammed with interest and variety: quintessential white villages, medieval hill towns, traditional fishing villages, the 2000-year-old Templar Tortosa whose beautiful cobbled streets are rich with Roman and Spanish Civil War history. Departs every two days from Apr 21 to Oct 24, prices from $1,698.

 

Porto_Coastal_CyclingPORTUGAL: Porto Coastal Cycling

A showcase trip for beach lovers wanting to combine gentle cycling with luxury hotels, unspoiled sands, colorful marinas and protected wildlife – pink flamingo, purple heron, kingfisher and sandpiper! Plus, there’s the added bonus of an almost perfectly flat cycle route too making it a great choice for novice or fair weather cyclists! Departs Sundays from Apr 10 to Oct 23, with prices from $1,780. Option to upgrade to electric bikes on request and at a supplement.

The Guadeloupe Islands: Direct Flights from the USA!

January 14th, 2016 by
Exploring the French Caribbean Walk

Exploring the French Caribbean Walk

We’ve offered walking tours to the Guadeloupe Islands in the French Caribbean for a number of years, but only recently (Dec 1) could you fly direct from the USA.  Believe it or not, the only routing available previously was to fly to Pointe-à-Pitre via Paris.  We even offered stopover hotels in Paris as part of the tour package.  You could also fly via Puerto Rico on a complicated connection, but Paris actually seemed easier!

Now, Norwegian Airlines (don’t ask us why, maybe Norwegians really appreciate warm weather escapes?) is offering non-stop flights from three major US departure cities:

New Non Stop Flights to the Guadeloupe Islands  for $99 from JFK, BOS and BWI! 

Norwegian Airways has announced the launch of new non-stop flights to the Guadeloupe Islands from three major gateways in the Northeastern United States aboard Norwegian Air Shuttle:

– New York (JFK) on Mon, Wed and Fri.

Boston (BOS) on Thurs and Sun.

Baltimore/Washington, D.C. (BWI) on Tues and Sat.

The new service, which began December 3, 2015, offers U.S. based customers some of the lowest fares to the Caribbean, with an introductory fare starting at $99 one way, valid from all three U.S. airports!

Please click here for more information.

So, brush up on your French and pack your swimsuit (don’t forget your passport; all American and Canadian visitors must have one for entry) and visit these unspoiled islands before anyone else catches on!

 




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