Escape to vibrant Edinburgh, where history and modernity meet in a cosmopolitan city set against the striking landscape of Scotland. Originally Scotland’s defensive fortress for hundreds of years with its position presiding over the North Sea, Edinburgh is now a must-see destination. Visit its namesake Edinburgh Castle, home to the 12th-century St. Margaret’s Chapel, and wander the cobblestone streets that lead to fantastic dining, rambunctious taverns and exciting shopping.

A beautiful and cultured city, you will find a wealth of things to do in Edinburgh. Discover nearby historic attractions like the shops along Princes Street, the National Museum of Scotland or the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, both within walking distance of the hotel. Start your Royal Mile journey at Edinburgh Castle and take in the dramatic panorama over Scotland’s capital. From there, walk down the cobbled street past the St. Giles Cathedral, John Knox’s House and shops selling Scottish crafts and tartan goods. At the end of the Mile, you’ll find a uniquely Scottish marriage of old and new power, where Holyrood Palace sits opposite the Scottish Parliament. After a day spent sightseeing, Edinburgh at night is not to be missed. Take in a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse, enjoy a meal at one of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred restaurants or dance the night away in the lively clubs on George Street or the Cowgate.

Stay at your choice of four wonderful hotels in the city. A stay along Edinburgh’s vibrant Royal Mile at the Hotel Radisson Blu puts you in the ideal location for exploring this breathtaking and historic city! With its attractive turret and 16th-century-style edifice, this alluring hotel in Edinburgh blends charming Old World architecture with modern-day comfort. The George Hotel is the pinnacle of luxury hotels in Edinburgh, a leading four-star, 18th century property with a central location near a wide range of attractions, the best shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh is situated in the city’s historic and beautiful old town, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the world famous Royal Mile and the Scottish Parliament building. The hotel’s convenient location in the city centre also means that you’re within easy walking distance of Waverley Railway station and the bustle of the city’s main thoroughfare, Princes Street. And the Apex Hotel is a stylish property that offers contemporary comfort in an ideal location.

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With its spectacularly scenic cities, an obsession with amazing food and wine, postcard-perfect countryside and artistic masterpieces, it’s no wonder Tuscany is one of Italy’s most cherished, and most popular vacation destinations. You’ll spend an incredible eight days in this region, soaking up the culture and stepping back into medieval Tuscany with a tour of the lovely province of Siena and the medieval hill town of San Gimignano (the Manhattan of Tuscany), which, as legend has it, dates back to 63 BC! Sensational flavors abound with a wine tour that visits three famed wineries, your choice of an artisanal cheese-making or olive-picking food experience, and a tantalizing dinner prepared by a master chef in your villa!

Travelers flock to Tuscany for a myriad of reasons, from its historic cities, inspiring art, great wine and succulent food, medieval hill towns, beaches, and beautiful countryside just to name a few! But it’s also geographically attractive with an ideal location just a one hour drive from arguably the most beautiful city in the world, Florence, and less than a two hour drive from historic Rome. Tuscany hosts innumerable astounding localities, many of which are also named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the Etruscans to the Romans to the Renaissance, Tuscany is possibly the greatest repository of art in the world, from extraordinary paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural masterpieces. A trip to this region means the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Etruscans, the Romans, the Christians, the British, and Napoleon!

Holiday in the comfort of your own five-bedroom villa in a meticulously restored 16th-century Italian manor! Located in the foothills of historic Cortona, this magnificent villa is the perfect compliment to exquisite Tuscany. The five ensuite bedrooms and a private hydrotherapy spa make this the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate yourself – and if that wasn’t enough, the villa also boasts stunning views of the rolling hills!

Your full day wine tour will take you to two famous wineries in Montepulciano and one in Montalcino, and includes a delicious lunch. Your food experience continues with either an artisanal cheese-making lesson in a farmhouse, or a morning of olive-picking before producing olive oil in a field. And on one spectacular evening, an Italian master chef and waiter will come to your villa to prepare a special, memorable feast, which will be served with paired regional wines.

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This is an unforgettable journey through the gorgeous countryside of Scotland and its spectacular collection of castles and mansions set in Edinburgh, Perthshire, Inverness, Fort William and the gorgeous Loch Lomond. You will be granted access to magnificent edifices, which house stories and histories as tremendous as their size! From artwork to painted ceilings, to glens and splendid gardens, these baronial mansions have inspired Queen Victoria, and captured the hearts of those who visit!

Your tour will highlight some of the most popular castles, beginning in Edinburgh, a city whose history is bound up with Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress dominates the city from its lofty seat atop an extinct volcanic rock. You’ll be nearby with your stay at the Balmoral Hotel, an exclusive retreat in the heart of the city. The 19th-century Ballathie House in Perthshire puts you just steps away from the River Tay, as well as Scone Palace, the crowning-place of the Kings of the Scots, and Glamis Castle, which has royal and literary connections, being the birthplace of Princess Margaret, and the central location of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth!

Next you’ll stay at the handsome Culloden House, an exquisite Georgian mansion that stands on nearly 40 breathtaking acres that have hosted hundreds of years of history, including the 1625 purchase of the Culloden by Duncan Forbes. Built in 1863, Inverlochy Castle is the site of two battles, and it is easy to imagine the clansmen fleeing the scene by sailing away down the river to the Loch. But despite its robust history, Inverlochy Castle is one of the most breathtaking destinations, set uniquely among the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands. In September 1873 during a trip to Balmoral, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting where she wrote in her diaries, ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’.

Your exploration will continue with your stay along the world-renowned bonnie banks of Loch Lomond at Cameron House, which conjures images of a majestic world of heather-dappled glens and roaring open fires.

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If you crave an epicurean experience, but want to go off the beaten path, then consider Umbria, known as Italy’s “green heart” due to its lush landscape, which features its own flavor of Italian culture and cuisine. Among its mystical medieval aura, hill towns rich in art and history, and a landscape dotted with castles and fortresses, Umbria is also known for its well-preserved rustic cooking traditions, and you’re invited to explore them – with your eyes and with your taste buds! This trip offers a wonderful opportunity to discover central Italy’s region of Umbria, and savor its outstanding local food heritage and practices with a private walking tour, two hands-on cooking classes, a delectable dinner, as well as a wine and olive oil tasting!

You’ll get the most of your experience in Umbria with your stay at the Park Hotel ai Cappuccini, a beautifully restored 17th-century monastery, perched on a hill in its own magnificent park in Gubbio, and within walking distance of historic town centre. This is the perfect base for exploring Umbria, and also puts you just 45 minutes away from Assisi. The hotel promises good food, brilliant artwork, and many quiet places in which you can relax, including the pool and a superb spa. During your stay you’ll want to take a trip into Gubbio to explore its medieval streets, palaces and churches.

The best way to explore Italy is through your stomach, and with all of the meals and tastings featured in this trip, you’ll get a amazing taste of Italia! You’ll find a refined selection of wines in the ancient wine cellar of the monastery of the Cappuccini Monks. With the guidance of a highly trained sommelier, you can pair these with the best local products during your wine tasting, including cheese, salami, and truffle sauce. Your privately guided walking tour of Perugia is topped off with a delicious olive oil tasting in a local mill. Then you can taste the authenticity of the region’s culinary tradition during two hands-on cooking classes. For the full epicurean effect, both classes begin before you enter the kitchen, as you’ll visit the local markets with the chef to choose only the best ingredients for your recipes.

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The Mediterranean is the perfect destination to satisfy every traveler, regardless of what you are looking for! Explore ancient civilizations, discover ruins, take in beautiful scenery, meet the locals, visit religious sites, study the architecture – you’ll be pressed to find enough time to take it all in! With ports in dozens of Mediterranean cities, from Naples which offers access to the ruined city of Pompeii, to Athens, Crete, and Kusadasi (just to name a few), your Royal Caribbean cruise offers the promise of an unforgettable journey into countries with fascinating storied pasts.

If you begin your cruise in Civitavecchia, the gateway to all the magnificence of the ancient city of Rome, make sure you spend a few days in Rome first. Whether it’s the Forum, the Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon or St. Peter’s Basilica that sparks your interest and intellect, Rome is home to a lifetime’s worth of historical, architectural and spiritual sites. Turkey invites you to Kusadasi, which provides access to Ephesus, a once powerful trading and religious city created by the Ionians in the 11th century B.C. and later expanded by the Romans. In Split, one of the Adriatic’s most amazing seaports and Croatia’s second-largest city, explore Diocletian’s Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman royal residences on the planet, which was built around 295 AD. The long sheltered beaches of Limassol, Cyprus give way to the foothills that are home to the grape vines used to make the area’s famous wines, which are celebrated each September during the Cyrpus Wine Festival.

In other words, whether you prefer the charming legacy of the Renaissance in Livorno, Italy, the cultural epicenter of Barcelona, the breathtaking landscape of Corfu, Greece, or the glamour of Cannes, you’ll find history at every turn, art and culture that will astound you, and of course some of the most delicious food you have ever tasted! Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

Sample Itinerary: Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Messina (Sicily), Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

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Explore England’s secret jewels on this amazing self-driven seven-night tour! From Shakespeare’s birthplace to the refined elegance of Chatsworth House, the scenic beauty of the Yorkshire and the historic cities of Oxford and York, this itinerary will inspire and delight you! Best of all, you’ll experience the charm of Europe first-hand with accommodations in some of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful manor houses!

Welcome to London! After picking up your car, you will travel to Hendon for your first night in Hendon Hall Hotel. The first full day of your trip will take you via Oxford through the beautiful Cotswolds on to Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and where you can stroll down the streets in the famous university town of Oxford, which is just an hour away. You’ll stay at the Ettington Park Hotel before setting off north toward Nantwich the following day. The medieval Coventry Cathedral, Lichfield, and National Memorial Arboretum, should not be missed along the way! That evening you’ll get a good night’s rest at the Rookery Hotel & Spa. Continuing on your journey, the next day will take you further north via Chatsworth House to Wetherby. You’ll want to allow some time to stop at Haddon Hall, an Elizabethan manor house which is often used for period film locations, before resting overnight at Wood Hall Hotel. The following day’s route will take you through York, Scarborough and Whitby into Yorkshire, the largest of all English counties, and finally into Yarm, where you’ll stay at the Crathorne Hall Hotel for two nights. You will have more time the next day to explore the beautiful area of North Yorkshire and Yarm in northern England. You can also travel to Hexam, an historic, bustling town in the heart of the Tyne Valley, and later on to Alston, the highest town in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Your last stop on this amazing trek through the United Kingdom is Edinburgh, which you’ll reach via the coastal route. A visit at Alnwick Castle is highly recommended (did you know that this castle was featured in the first two Harry Potter films?), before retiring to the Norton House Hotel for your final night in Edinburgh.

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A trip to Italy’s Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and Cortona, one of Italy’s oldest towns, will leave you mesmerized, no matter how many times you visit. Soak up the romance, nostalgia, traditions, energy and flavors of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan region in Cortona with a chance to be at peace with the open road with your car rental, a sightseeing tour, two cooking classes, as well as a visit to a wine cellar. You’ve also got three awe-inspiring opportunities to taste the Italian countryside, from biking along the verdant green hills where you’ll catch gorgeous vistas of the vineyards and villas, to a sweet-as-can-be tiramisu tasting and demonstration, to a chance to explore the quintessential flavors of Italy – pizza and gelato!

Discover the charm and elegance of the boutique Hotel Brunelleschi Florence, decorated to exude an intimate and romantic atmosphere. The presence of the city itself can be seen inside the boutique hotel rooms with paintings detailing the main monuments, as well as the glass bathroom doors coated with a special design taken from the Pazzi Chapel, designed by Brunelleschi. Cortona’s Hotel Il Falconiere (Relais & Chateaux) invites you to relax in a delightful combination of country elegance and the pleasures of inspiring food and interesting excursions to discover the Tuscan countryside. The frescoed walls, original antique furniture, four-poster beds and hand-loomed fabrics make this charming residence and chateau the perfect place for a traditional holiday, and ideal for those who love the countryside.

The cuisine of Cortona comes to life with your two included cooking classes, which celebrate traditional Tuscan cuisine, and are taught by either Silvia Baracchi, chef-owner of Relais Il Falconiere, or by one of the restaurant chefs. From delicious bread and pasta, to stress-free main courses, impressive starters and tempting desserts, you will learn to the secrets to cooking authentic Tuscan cuisine in focused, spirited classes in the residential-style kitchen. After your cooking classes, you will be served the food you’ve prepared for lunch or dinner in the charming dining room. You’ll love wine tasting at the Baracchi Wine Cellar, which has a marvelous view of the Valdichiana under the charming Tuscan sun. The cellar boasts an excellent collection of wine, grappa and extra virgin olive oil, all of which are tributes to the land and history of Cortona.

Choose one of three amazing options for exploring Cortona further. One of the best ways to enjoy Tuscany’s warmer months is via a fabulous day tour biking through the Chianti countryside near Florence. Enjoy a wonderful lunch at a famous Tuscan restaurant and savor a wine tasting at a stunning Renaissance villa. All the while, your great guide will share fascinating stories that will bring the past to life on this eco-friendly tour. You don’t have to be a biking expert, either, however you must feel comfortable riding a bike both in the historical center of Florence and on rolling country hills. After a few hours of working up an appetite on your bike, it’s time to enjoy lunch. If you choose the tantalizing tiramisu tasting, you’ll get to participate in the creation of three fantastic variations of this delicious and classic dessert, which can be made with coffee, coconut or chocolate creams, and mocha, espresso or American coffees. Each version produces exceptional flavors that you’ll want to taste again and again. Sip a cup of tea, coffee or cappuccino as you sample the fresh flavors of this incomparable dessert at the end of class; and don’t forget to take a copy of the recipe to bring home! Florence is the perfect place to indulge in fresh pizza and gelato – so delizioso! Let the professional pizza chef, called a pizzaiolo, guide you as you make a tender and flexible yeast dough that stretches until it’s almost paper-thin, and then impart the trick for a flavorful light tomato sauce. And after pizza it’s time for gelato! Learn about the basic raw ingredients, how to select the best products available according to specific principles, the development and application of natural colors, the heating and freezing techniques, and then comes the best part – tasting the flavors!

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Hyatt’s five-star luxury boutique hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street, warmly welcomes guests to discover the unrivaled city of London, the old and the new; to experience it authentically and intimately; to arrive a visitor and depart a local. Indulge in uncomplicated personalized service and inspiring experiences that redefine traditional hotel luxury at the Andaz, where the local neighborhood’s culture makes its way into the walls of its hotels. A stay at the Andaz puts you in the ideal location to explore London and its surrounding areas.

Located in the heart of the city and bordering vibrant East London, Andaz Liverpool Street hotel lends itself as the perfect location. An address adjacent to Liverpool Street station enables ease of access in and around London with the iconic Tower Bridge, Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral all within close walking distance. Whilst near this historic area of London, Andaz Liverpool Street hotel also provides a gateway between the City and East London’s buzzing Shoreditch restaurant, bar and nightlife scene. Just off the main tourist track, an array of art galleries, boutiques and markets await to be uncovered. For high street shopping, Oxford Street and Westfield Stratford City (Europe’s largest urban shopping centre) are each a 10 minute tube journey from the hotel.

Opened as the Great Eastern Hotel in 1884 and one of London’s original railway hotels, the Andaz is housed in a beautiful redbrick Victorian building designed by the architects of London’s famed Houses of Parliament. Once inside it transforms into a 21st-century masterpiece, a stunning blend of traditional and contemporary features throughout. The beautifully appointed guest rooms, seven fabulous restaurants and bars and 24-hour Health Club access cements its reputation as one of London’s most stylish hotels.

While the prominent historical sites are all within walking distance of the hotel, if you fancy seeing a different side to the city, the Andaz’s location on the fringes of creative and vibrant East London opens a door to a world of hidden gems including graffiti art, up and coming designer boutiques and museums and art galleries. If you are looking to ramble through markets, Columbia Road Flower Market, Old Spitalfields Market and Leadenhall Markets are all on the doorstep. For drinking and eating, you could not be in a better location, with East London’s Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Hoxton areas nearby.

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Stroll through the renowned Louvre Museum, one of the world’s largest, and the most visited, museums; then make your way to the Musee d’Orsay to view the impressive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. The Pompidou Center was launched as a cultural institution, and you’ll get to explore the modern art it houses. Paris is one of the most amazing art history destinations in the world, and you’ll have five days to explore it by visiting three of the best museums, each an attraction on its own!

The Louvre is the perfect place to take a closer look at formative works from the world’s Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman civilizations, and to see first-hand magnificent masterpieces, including the one and only Mona Lisa. What was once a palace during the medieval period is now the Louvre, which houses 35,000 works of art in eight departments in a space that spans more than 645,000 square feet.

Set in the former Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station that dates back to the late 1800s, the Musee d’Orsay is best known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces, known as the largest in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Seurat, Sisley, van Gogh and Gaugin. No trip to the Musee d’Orsay is complete without a visit to van Gogh’s breathtaking Starry Night Over the Rhone.

In 1969, French President Georges Pompidou launched the idea of creating a cultural institution in Paris dedicated to modern art. From Matisse to Chagall, Picasso and Dali, the Pompidou Center hosts a fascinating modern art collect right in the heart of the city! The Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as the Pompidou Centre, houses the Bibliotheque publique d’information, a vast public library, the Musee National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a center for music and acoustic research. Among the exhibitions that have graced the Pompidou Center are collections by Picasso, Miro, Andy Warhol, and Dali.

While Paris’ museums can mesmerize for days, the rest of the City of Light offers culture and beauty at every turn. Your five-day Metro and Bus Passes grant you unlimited access to Paris, its inner suburbs, La Defense, and Saint-Denis Basilique, so that you can explore the wonderful capital of France inside and out! After days of walking all over the city, you can relax at the Hotel Littre, where you’ll have all the calm, privacy and services you need at your fingertips. The Hotel Littre welcomes you into its charming atmosphere, set in the middle of Paris.

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Explore two of Europe’s most dazzling cities on this exceptional culinary and history tour. From the height of the Eiffel Tower, to the depths of the Colosseum underground, you’ll tour some of the most famous attractions and significant landmarks, bringing the ancient French and Roman cultures into a modern reality. With a professional chef-led culinary experience in both cities, you’ll also get to feast your way through these amazing regions!

The hotel Le Littre will host you in the City of Light, and puts you on the Paris Left Bank, between Saint Germain des Pres and Montparnasse, the new areas for fashion designers and luxury shops. Stroll up and down the famous Champs Elysees and pose in front the Arc de Triomphe, which impressively stands above the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, solemnly commemorating the dead of the two world wars. See all of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower – and skip the line as you make your way to the top!

Bring your appetite to Paris for your French market cooking class, a wonderful four-hour experience that begins with a stroll through the market with your guide and chef, where you’ll learn about the seasonal vegetables, meats, poultry, and cheeses that you’ll be cooking with later. This culinary experience differs from others in that the menu is not established until the small class shops – everyone will decide as a group what to buy and what to cook! And of course the best part of all cooking classes is the privilege of feasting on the fruits of your labor at the end!

After a short flight, make your way to the second half of your trip – the one and only, Eternal City! Discover all the romance and wonders for which Rome is known during your stay at the four-star Fortyseven Hotel, which puts you right in the heart of the city, near the charming, medieval neighborhood of Trastevere, where you can explore the hidden corners of Rome. This hotel also gives you convenient access to some of the most famous Roman landmarks, including the Forum, Piazza Venezia, the Domus Aurea, as well as the seventh-century church of San Giorgio al Velabro, and several archaeological sites such as the Teatro Marcello. But of all Rome’s sites, you won’t want to miss the Colosseum, and your small group tour of ancient Rome includes an underground visit to this famous landmark! The ancient Roman games come to life, and you can almost hear the echoes of ancient Rome cheer as you walk through the same tunnels where lions and tigers once roared from their cages, and where gladiators sharpened their swords.

Chef Andrea Consoli will instruct you step by step through your five-hour Italian cooking class in the quaint neighborhood of Trastevere. Under the chef’s guidance and expertise, you’ll prepare a four-course meal of antipasto, homemade pasta, a succulent second course, all to be completed with a decadent dessert, all with organic ingredients.

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