Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way with Vagabond Adventure Tours

Vagabond Tours

Vagabond Tours

The Wild Atlantic Way… we’d never heard about this rugged beautiful place before, but, apparently, it’s the longest defined coastal touring route in the world, embracing Ireland’s wild West Coast landscape, ancient monuments, and historical sites. This stunning route twists and turns for 1,600 miles along an undulating coastline from the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal to Kinsale in County Cork. The Wild Atlantic Way is not just a driving route, it’s an invitation to adventure.

With countless ways to explore it by sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and even surfing, we wanted to introduce our readers to Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland makes it all accessible, thanks to their smartly planned multi-sport scheduled trips that take adventurous travelers to these authentic, off-the-beaten path areas along the route. In operation since 2002, Vagabond was founded by Rob & Amy Rankin after traveling extensively through Southern Africa. Impressed by the classic African travel modes of safari and overland tours, they decided to bring the concept to Ireland. They established Driftwood Irish Journeys of Discovery in 2011 as a division of Vagabond to offer trips for more leisurely travelers. We can dig that since we love leisure.

Surfing in Ireland with Vagabond Tours (because... why not?)

Surfing in Ireland with Vagabond Tours (because… why not?)

Utilizing custom-designed Land Rovers that take no more than 13 passengers, Vagabond trips explore an area in depth with daily adventures. One day, it might be sea kayaking in sheltered waters off the coast of Cork, while another day its horseback riding along a beach in Kerry. Nightly stays are in coastal villages and towns, in locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels.

One of Vagabond’s classic Wild Atlantic Way journeys is their World Tour of Ireland. Focused on the southwest and counties Kerry and Cork, this seven-day trip includes sea kayaking off the Beara Peninsula, horseback riding on the Dingle Peninsula, and mountain biking in Killarney National Park.

The price is $1,340, based on double occupancy, including accommodations and breakfasts.

The Wild Atlantic Way may be Ireland’s best-kept secret and with the dollar at its strongest in 11 years, this is quite possibly the perfect year to discover it.

vagabondtoursofireland.com

Follow The Camino: A Unique Scented Journey To Santiago de Compostela

Camino-de-Santiago-Route

If you’ve never heard of it before, the Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage in Spain inspiring millions of pilgrims throughout the centuries. It has also been a unique source of healing for all of those who have walked it. Many pilgrims still use this pilgrimage as a way to balance their life, find some answers, or simply take some time away from the over busy life style we experience. So, a group called Follow The Camino decided to bring pilgrims a new way to experience the Camino, easing this unique Camino and transforming it into a scented spiritual journey.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

They’re inviting guests to follow the last part of the French Way, from Sarria to Santiago, the very famous last 100km of the pilgrimage with a unique Aromatic Camino Kit and the comfort and advice of their aromatherapy expert, Pam Conrad. Popular scented herbal examples in these regions include lavender, rosemary, thyme, bergamot, and eucalyptus, to name just a few. Connecting your walk with the aromatic plants and their gifts is a perfect way to fully experience your Camino.

Some Spanish food along the way...

Some Spanish food along the way…

As you walk the Camino Zen Aromatic, you will learn the benefits of aromatherapy to ease your Camino, but also to heal your mind in a natural way. The Camino Zen Aromatic tours will include Aromatic Camino Kits to support your journey as well as two experiential aromatherapy sessions with Pam, customized for physical, emotional, and spiritual support as well as aromatic education. Daily aromatips will be provided too.

A B&B on the Camino

A B&B on the Camino

This Camino Tour is priced at 795 Euros and includes 8 days/7 nights, rustic charm B&B accommodation, dinners, and transfers.

http://www.followthecamino.com/camino_zen_aromatic_trip83.html

Finnair’s Crazy Good Deals to Moscow, Dublin, and Beyond

finnair
Looking to book a last-minute summer getaway? Starting from just $609, you can fly round-trip on Finnair’s Economy Class* from New York (JFK) to selected European destinations when you book by July 31st. 
Here’s a snapshot:
  • You can’t beat these rates to Dublin, starting from just $609
  • Fares to Moscow begin at just $725
  • Fancy a visit to London? Book a flight for just $899
The summer is far from over, so get traveling!

Your Own Version of Downton Abbey in the English Countryside

Welcome to the Four Seasons

Welcome to the Four Seasons Hampshire

By Sarah Ivens, Editor-at-Large

It is a truth universally acknowledged that on a pretty summer’s day there is nowhere better to be than in an English country garden. Waves of bluebells dance in a honeysuckle breeze as butterflies glide from glittering stream to ancient oak tree. And, of course, there’s always a chance you’ll spot Peter Rabbit in the vegetable patch, or Winnie the Pooh taking a nap on a bed of nettles.

Many travelers are so drawn to the bright lights and big sights of London that the English countryside is lost for them. As a born and bred Londoner who finds herself able to breathe deeply during a flora and fauna-tactic escape past the suburbs and into the green patchworks of her homeland, I can’t impress on anyone what a mistake this is. It is beautiful, historic, literary and charming – all those things foreigners love about Downton Abbey wrapped up in a village cream tea and a meander down a cobbled street.

Don't you just want to kiss Matthew and talk about Papa?

Don’t you just want to kiss Matthew and talk about Papa while you stroll the green?

The Four Seasons have done a very clever thing, opening a resort a one hour drive away from their two city hotels, making it the perfect add-on for the culture vulture, theatre lover or weary business traveller. Leaving London behind, on a road that takes you past the old (the 1,000 year old Windsor Castle, the Queen’s favorite palace) and the new (fancy a ride on a space shuttle at Legoland, anyone?), you arrive at The Four Seasons Hampshire.

Your jaw will drop.

Dating back to 1728, the heritage-listed manor house around which the Hotel is built is much documented in historical texts throughout the centuries. With spectacular views over the Hampshire countryside, the Hotel’s resort-like facilities place the countryside’s finest pursuits on its doorstep. On-site facilities include a 14-horse stable, fishing lakes, clay pigeon shooting, narrowboating, nature rambles and tennis.  Add to this, the manor’s ancient association with high society – and in Henry VIII’s case, a royal scandal – and guests can experience a taste of Hampshire’s historical and cultural wealth before they even leave the Hotel grounds. You’ll feel very Lord and Lady Grantham, without the  need for a corset.

England Country Homes

Finish off your lovely trip with a nice soak

If you can tear yourself away from the spa and outdoor vitality pool, the picturesque surroundings will keep you very busy. In fact there’s so much to see you’ll wish you’d doubled the length of your stay. Just 30 minutes away lies Winchester, a traditional cathedral city with impressive boutiques and numerous museums and art galleries. Boasting a 1300 year unbroken succession of bishops, Winchester is home to the legendary ‘Arthurian’ Round Table, situated in the Great Hall of the old castle. The ancient capital of England has been inspiring visitors for centuries, including Keats, who wrote his Ode to Autumn, while staying here.

Hampshire is also littered with a wide range of beautiful historic houses that are open to the public.  Stratfield Saye is the estate purchased by a jubilant Duke of Wellington at the bequest of an adoring nation upon his return from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The house is still the home of the present Duke and Duchess of Wellington and exhibitions in the Hall and original stable block document the 1st Duke of Wellington’s life and triumphs.

Compete with Jane Austen history too

Compete with Jane Austen history too

Charles Dickens’ birthplace can be visited in Portsmouth, and having inspired writers for centuries, it is no surprise to discover that Jane Austen penned her literary classics Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense & Sensibility in the tiny Hampshire village of Chawton, a pretty fifteen minute drive from the hotel.  Now a museum documenting her life and works, many of the rooms in her 17th Century house have been preserved in their original state. You can see the desk and chair where she wrote, taking in the view from the window that inspired her. I mean, come on… How awesome.

And as 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice, there is no better time to grab your beloved and get your Elizabeth and Darcy on over a romantic feast of English fare (try the divine if pant-bursting Hampshire Farmers’ Market Lunch every Sunday at the Four Seasons – a refined, edible exploration of Hampshire’s famous Farmers’ Markets) before burying yourself into a classic novel by the fire in the hotel ‘s library, and perhaps a sneaky doze, dreaming of Lords, Ladies and clotted cream.

http://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/

Sarah Ivens, Editor-at-Large

Sarah Ivens, Editor-at-Large

 

Sarah Ivens, Editor-at-Large for Jaunt Magazine, is the founding editor in chief of OK! magazine in the US and a bestselling author in her native UK. Her writing has been seen in Marie Claire, Glamour, In Style and GQ. A born and bred Londoner, she currently resides in Los Angeles.

Beauty Along the Bosphorus

 

Four Seasons Spa & Hammam Bosphorus

Four Seasons Spa & Hammam Bosphorus

Most spa treatments speak to four of the senses, from sight and smell to sound and touch, but when you really think about it, there hasn’t been one blissfully perfect experience that engages all five — until now.

People have always flocked to the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus for its traditional Turkish hammam treatment, a bathing ritual that activates blood circulation, detoxifies the body and — bonus! — improves the look of your skin. But the decadent new Epicurean Hammam will give you a taste of Istanbul in more ways than one.
Part way through your 25-minute hammam treatment in the hot marble sauna, you’ll be served an olive oil ice cream popsicle to keep you feeling cool and hydrated — just before receiving a luxurious 15-minute foam massage with natural olive oil soap. Next, you’ll be drenched head to toe in a special creamy mixture of strained yogurt and rose water. As the healing yogurt absorbs into your skin, making it look firmer and brighter, a scalp massage will send you even deeper into relaxation.
And at the end of your sensory journey, you’ll rest with a refreshing yogurt with honey to leave just the right taste in your mouth — and ensure you’re feeling good and looking great, inside and out.

So check out Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus  to stimulate your five senses with the exclusive Epicurean Hammam treatment.  Oh, and did we also mention that spa goers voted the Four Seasons Spa & Hammam as their favorite spa in Turkey for three consecutive years in the SpaFinder Wellness Reader’s Choice Awards?

Pair that with your popsicle!

The Hotel de Paris St. Tropez Has Opened!

Hotel de Paris St. Tropez

Hotel de Paris St. Tropez

Viola… The Hotel de Paris St Tropez has just opened in the heart of Saint-Tropez. So, for those seeking a sexy jaunt to the South of France, you’ll get 52 rooms & 32 suites of awesome. Amenities include:

  • “Suffren Café by Georges ”, a French brasserie orchestrated by the 3-star chef Georges Blanc
  • Rooftop terrace with clear-bottom pool suspended 15 meters above the atrium
  • Spa “My Blend by Clarins”
  • “The Roof”, Lounge bar with caviar & Champagne
  • Lobby Bar & landscaped patio
  • Access by plane
  • Nice International Airport (90 minutes)
  • Hyères – Toulon Airport (60 minutes)
  • La Môle – Saint-Tropez Airport (25 minutes)

And here’s a sweet secret Special Opening Rate…

$375/night

Buffet Breakfast and Taxes are also included.

Valid from March 23rd to May 7th, 2013

You can say ‘Merci’ later.

http://www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com/

A Little Luxury at Les Deux Alpes

Les Deux Alps

Les Deux Alpes

Ah, le superb resort of Les Deux Alpes, nestled in the French Isère département, is a village at the mouth of the largest skiable glacier in Europe, giving visitors access to all-year-round skiing. Since we’re all about winter right now (I even skied Central Park this weekend, fellas), we say… check out some online reputable agents to book ski deals, and you can see for yourself how fabulous this resort is while benefiting from great value for the money.

Les Deux Alpes offers around 137mi of pisted runs, perfect for the family (or you and your amour). Often termed ‘upside-down’ due to the steeper runs being nearer to the resort than the beginner slopes higher up the mountain, there are plenty of opportunity for everyone – no matter how proficient they are on a pair of skis. Don’t worry about the beginner and intermediate runs being further up the mountain though – there are gondola rides that can help you get there.

There is also believed to be the same amount of miles in off-piste track, particularly the area known as La Grave, giving plenty of opportunity for cross country adventure. If you’re a little more practiced skier, this could be a great way to hone your skills and escape the crowds on the groomed slopes.

Are you a boarder? Don’t worry – there’s an extensive snowpark boasting a half pipe, a multiple kicker and a handful of grinding rails, meaning you can grab and grind as much as you like. Since we do love a good grind.

While the groomed slopes and marked runs are fabulous for novices, if you want to really test yourself, the glacier is a perfect place to go. Offering skiing throughout the year, the glacier can be accessed by Jandri Express ski lift or a funicular railway that transports you through a tunnel beneath the ice.

The resort also provides an ideal spot for mountain biking during the summer months, both downhill and freeride options readily attainable.

So, take the plunge and head for the family friendly resort of Les Deux Alpes. Whatever you hope to achieve from your ski holiday, this resort will surely provide it!