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tour for myself and my 20 year-old granddaughter

tour for myself and my 20 year-old granddaughter

Old Jun 11th, 2017, 01:31 PM
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tour for myself and my 20 year-old granddaughter

I"d appreciate any recommended good-quality tour companies, for southern Italy/Sicily; or perhaps Slovenia; Portugal; or perhaps New Zealand (my ideas are not cast in concrete!!!).........
for sometime spring of 2018. up to 2 weeks in duration

not too much running around (avoiding the 1 and/or 2 night hotel stays as much as possible); can be somewhat physically active with walking/perhaps even easy biking.

we are both experienced travelers.

Thanks!!!!
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 03:03 PM
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For experienced travelers, I recommend do it yourself for any part of Italy?
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 03:14 PM
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There can be reasons for not doing it yourself, of course.

Most tours tend to attract either young adults, or much older adults. Rick Steves tours are an exception--I've been on 2, and there were people of all ages. Might be worth a look to see if any fit your needs.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 04:35 PM
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Few tours cater to both demographics -- a 20 yo and her grandmother. Also -- most tours stay ay most two nights in each place.

For those reasons it might be hard to find something that meets your needs. Maybe consider traveling independently to places you want, staying as long as you want in each . . . and hiring local driver guides for day trips or taking local group tours.
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Old Jun 11th, 2017, 11:31 PM
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Even if there are reasons for preferring a tour, 2 weeks on a bus with strangers strikes me a big risk unless you know you both really enjoy that kind of travel. So you might want to consider mixing a week of independent travel with a one-week tour. For instance, maybe a week in Lisbon independently + a guided tour of the Azores, or a week in Venice independently + a guided tour of Slovenia. From the big cities there are lots of oppotunities for easy day trips, and you can join guided tours in the cities if you like having a guide, but these are easy places for independent travel. But for a guided tour, makes sense to pick a more exotic place that might not go to unless you had pros organizing it for you.

In the alternative, you can work with private tour operators & consultants in Sicily to craft a 2 week tour of the island that suits your pace and interests, where your transportation & hotel bookings would be arranged for you, and you would meet up with tour guides for half-day tours of places you visit, but otherwise would not be with a big group. If that idea appeals to you, there are several residents of Sicily who post on the TripAdvisor forum for Sicily who can recommend who to contact for this kind of service, and give you an idea of what their services cost.
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Old Jun 12th, 2017, 04:39 PM
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Although I can’t speak to tour options, you have many options if you are willing to plan your own trip.

If one goal is to avoid 1 or 2 night stays insofar as possible, then I must admit that I’d strike delightful Sicily from your list, as it doesn’t lend itself to hubs very easily and is better seen with 2.5 or 3 weeks.

In contrast, other parts of southern Italy could work well for you – depending on your interests, perhas 1 week for Naples and the Amalfi Coast (1 or 2 locations, depending on how much time you want in fascinating Naples) and perhaps 1 week in Puglia (perhaps Lecce and one other destination, perhaps Matera, just outside of Puglia).

You might combine a week in Slovenia, based in Ljubljana, with a week in Istria (Croatia).

I would also think Portugal should work well for you.

I must admit that the airtime to New Zealand would make me want to wait until I could have more than 2 weeks. JMO.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 04:36 PM
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Thanks to EACH and ALL of you for your very thoughtful and informative replies.
You've given me much to ponder and research further. My husband and I have done much independent travel, including a memorable week in Sicily with our own car and another couple; we had a great time; this was probably close to 15 years ago; and I still think of it with great joy. And I think the weather there (our trip would be in early-midApril) would be temperate, also a plus. I don't think I want to drive solo with my granddaughter, as she admits to not having a great sense of direction and I don't want to be in charge of the driving, AND the mapping, GPS notwithstanding.....

Yet going someplace like Slovenia and maybe Trieste where I've never been might be a good option. (am spending a week in Venice in a few months;feeling a lot of gratitude for being able to move about in the world!!!).
And, great idea about Rick Steves!!!
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 04:40 PM
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Thanks to EACH and ALL 5 of you for your very thoughtful and informative replies! Much appreciated.

Rick Steves, yes, I shall look this up.

Loved Sicily maybe 15 years ago on an independent trip with my husband and another couple in our rental car. Don't want that responsibility for my "direction0challenged" granddaughter, though! Also loved the Amalfi Coast and she is intrigued by what I described, about Pompeii and Herculaneum (which we did not visit, Herc.)

I've thought about southern Italy, also haven't been. those Trulli homes!

Perhaps Slovenia and Trieste would be a good combo (we've been to Croatia)?
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 04:47 PM
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We went on a O.A.T. tour some years ago with our late teen and early 20s children. Although they were the only ones that age in the group, it was small (16) and everyone melded well in a family-type group.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 04:50 PM
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If you want to avoid a rental car, the Amalfi Coast could work very well as the public transportation options are excellent -- at least if you go late enough for the ferries to be running frequently. (I think the transition occurs sometime around early May, but I'm sure others can provide better advice.) And while many people claim that one "needs" a car for Puglia, I visited just a bit -- but a bit that included trulli -- using public transportation.

Slovenia could also work well without a car, particularly if you seek something a bit relaxing. As a rule, the public transportation in Slovenia is on a hub and spoke system with charming Ljubljana at the hub, so you go out and back and out and back ... and that can make for some long days, but those moments on a bus can provide some welcome time for relaxation, reflection, and enjoyment of the scenery.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 10:52 PM
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Venice + Slovenia, Verona or Padova + Slovenia or the lakes + Slovenia might be a better combo if you don't want to rent a car. Bologna + Slovenia would also be good. That city also has excellent train connections for sightseeing. Depends on what you and your granddaughter's major interests are.
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Thanks, Virginia, kja, and massimop for your ideas. We did go on one OAT trip, and I will look into that for Sicily as well. Slovenia for how many days would you think, using Ljubljana as a base? I"ve read a lot about the lakes there; they sound beautiful.
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 04:47 PM
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How long one would spend in Slovenia depends on what, exactly, you want to see and experience and your preferred travel pace! I would think a bare minimum of 4 days up to a a week or more.... You might want to take a look at the excellent Rough Guide to Slovenia.
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