We love to talk about our trips. But we also know it’s helpful to read what our guests have had to say. So we followed that old adage, “Enough talking about ourselves. What do you think of us?” A number of our guests responded with comments about their trips. Here’s what they have to say.
Cultural Walking Adventures
- You never traveled in a group before us. Why did you decide to give it a try with Classic Journeys?
- Did you get the right amount of walking to balance out the cultural part of the tour?
- And the cultural part of the trip…Did you get a good sense of what life is like in the region(s) you visited?
- We promised you incredible inns and small family-owned hotels. How did we do?
- Why did you choose a Classic Journeys culinary tour instead of a regular cooking tour?
- What else distinguishes our culinary activities from the classes on other tours?
- Do you need a workout when you get home from all of this great cooking…and eating?
- Are you still cooking in Italiano?
- Kids, how did you find traveling with other families that you did not know?
- Parents, we're often asked about how we cope with picky children's appetites. Did we satisfy your kids?
- For the adults, how does taking a Family Journey differ from your other vacations with the kids?
- Among the kids, what was your most fun Family Journeys experience?
- Did all the generations in your group get along?
- Why didn't you just plan your own family trip?
There were several reasons, despite our reluctance to travel with groups: extraordinary care and time spent in answering our initial questions, restricting the size of the groups to a manageable number, flexibility in each day’s activities, the mix of walking and absorbing local culture, and giving us the feeling that client service is what the tour business is all about.
- Raymond and Marion Niedowski (4-time guests: Cornwall Coast, Scotland, Tuscany and Costa Rica)
To a single traveler, you offered the best value in small group tours and kudos to you for encouraging those traveling “solo” by not charging a fortune for the single supplement.
- Karen Carcione (4-time guest: Tuscany, Pacific Northwest, Sicily, and Barcelona)
We were drawn by the opportunity to visit places other tour operators cannot, for example, into the little towns and private homes.
- Tom and Patricia Dombroski (4-time guests: Southern Tuscany to Rome, Amalfi Coast, Puglia and Sicily)
Classic Journeys has always been known for your repeat guests. We thought that "repeat guests" spoke to the quality of the tours that Classic Journeys run.
CJ: Did you get the right amount of walking to balance out the cultural part of the tour?
The walks were great. They were varied in landscape and just right in length. And for a New York City girl, walking through meadows of cows and sheep was an enjoyable culture shock!
- Barbara Rowes (6-time guest: Scandinavia, Prague to Budapest, Cornwall, Loire and Burgundy, Provence and Nova Scotia)
You did your homework from beginning to end. The walks were structured so that no matter what age, you could handle them. They were punctuated with stops that gave our feet a rest and educated our minds.
- Richard Sherrill (Morocco)
CJ: And the cultural part of the trip…Did you get a good sense of what life is like in the region(s) you visited?
Every time, we come home from a Classic Journey with the feel and taste of where we’ve been. The way you balance your walks and more leisurely activities like meeting the locals is just perfect. And when it comes to great inns and amazing food, you people are our soulmates. Thanks for helping us rediscover how exciting (and relaxing) travel can be.- Lowell and Barbara Anderson (9-time guests: Croatia, Prague to Budapest, Scandinavia, Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Sicily, Greece, Quebec, and Santa Fe & Taos)
Your trips are a perfect combination of adventure, exercise, self-indulgence, learning experience and just plain fun. One night on the Basque tour, our guide, Sylvie, took us to a cider mill known only to locals for dinner. Outstanding! Rustic atmosphere with A-1 food and a hilarious experience trying to capture the cider stream Basque style.- Lorraine MacLeod (3-time guest: Turkey’s Coast and Cappadocia, Basque Pyrenees and The Swiss Alps)
CJ: We promised you incredible inns and small family-owned hotels. How did we do?
One of the elements I appreciate most is the hotels! Invariably, they are more charming and better located than those I could have found myself. They also help immerse me into the feeling of the region and culture.- Yvonne England (2-time guest: Tuscany and Sicily)
Each of the hotels has been so well selected. They complemented the regions perfectly.- James & Joan Fencil (5-time guests: Costa Rica, Pacific Northwest, Prague to Budapest, Scandinavia and England's Cornwall Coast)
CJ: The mood of a tour has a lot to do with the personality of the guide. Did yours do a good job of connecting?
Our tour far surpassed our expectations for a variety of reasons, but especially because of the incredibly smart, attentive, knowledgeable leadership of our guide, Cemil. He had great humor and led us on memorable hikes and to remarkable cultural visits.- Susan Brainerd (Turkey’s Coast and Cappadocia)
I’ve always thought that Classic Journeys’ trips are special in that the guides always interact so well with the guests. It’s always like a bunch of friends!- Nancy Richer (5-time guest: Provence, Southern Tuscany to Rome, Vietnam and Cambodia, Croatia, and French Riviera)
We have traveled around the world with many different groups and individually, and we have never had a trip such as this. Our guide was not just an excellent tour guide, but brought history to life.
Alfred and Zora Miller (Dordogne Valley)
Our experience with Classic Journeys in Italy was nothing short of miraculous. Our guides made everything transparent, though considerable coordination had to be necessary to make everything come off so well. There was no service, small or large they could not manage to accommodate. The trip itself was well planned, the selections of restaurants and non-traditional dining events were exemplary. The locales we visited and the places we stayed were top quality and always with an offering of something better than touristy tours. It was worth all that I paid, and would never hesitate to travel with Classic Journeys again. And that's a personal recommendation I've shared with many friends and family!
- Simon Goldstein (Tuscany & the Cinque Terre)
CJ: Why did you choose a Classic Journeys culinary tour instead of a regular cooking tour?
You guys have really perfected the recipe! There was just enough instruction. And I loved the time we spent out in the countryside. With CJ I have the great opportunity to explore the towns, villages and countryside that I am visiting as well as have time in some great kitchens. I've since taken a couple of proper cooking school tours and none of them do that. Your visits really help me to understand the cuisine of the region.- Vivian Carroll (4-time guest: Tuscany & Cinque Terre, Puglia, Amalfi Al Buon Gusto and Taste of Tuscany)
CJ: What else distinguishes our culinary activities from the classes on other tours?
Vivian (again): They are not just in restaurants or hotel kitchens. I love that they are often in the homes of real people. In my two culinary tours with you, I've cooked in the homes of a cookbook author, a famed local chef, and on the farm of an art historian whose kitchen was featured in the New York Times magazine. I also love the friends I have made on these small group tours. We still keep in touch and have even come back with you to visit other regions of the world.
Vivian (back for seconds): I've actually never gained a pound, and that's after two weeks of cooking and eating in Italy! On each of the trips we've had opportunities to walk about two or so hours each day in the countryside.
Vivian (once more): My friends may be getting tired of me throwing around Italian names for the dishes I make—but nobody is turning down my dinner invitations!
There were four families on our tour: an 11-year-old girl and her grandmother, a 16-year-old boy, his six-year-old brother and their parents, and two cousins—ten and fifteen years old who came with their grandparents. Unlike modern reality shows, our group got along perfectly. By the second day, I'd made friends with all the kids. Together we went on nature hikes and to wildlife reserves. Having the other families on the tour made it really fun.
Daniel Schwartz, age 12 (Costa Rica Family Journey)
Our son, Cameron, is a very picky eater. On both of our trips with Classic Journeys, our guides have been very helpful in finding food that is enjoyable for him to eat. That having been said, there has also always been a wonderful variety of options for kids who are more adventurous eaters—we’ve watched kids try everything from gnocchi to octopus!
Thank you for making us travelers again! Ever since the kids came into our lives we’ve had to build all of our trips around them. (Enough mouse ears!) We got to be adults. (Wine! No hamburgers!) The kids can’t stop jabbering on about how cool it all was. Classic Journeys let us have a family vacation that was really about our whole family.
Sandy DuCarme and Sal Campo (Tuscany Family Journey)
At Monteverde I went on the zip line, a wildlife experience where you speed over the cloud forest attached to a cable. Our guides made sure to fit us into our gear and explained all the safety instructions. There were ten different cables and we took some walks to get to some of them. The first six cables were warm ups. Then we experienced the longest, the fastest, the highest and the concluding cable. Speeding through the air, sweeping over the trees, on a small cable, I was George of the jungle.
Daniel Schwartz, age 12 (Costa Rica Family Journey)
We loved exploring with the other kids. And the guides did a good job telling us stories about the area and its history in a way that made it fun for us…and for the adults.
Jordan and Brooke Raabe, ages 16 and 9 (Tuscany Family Journey)
All 11 of our family members from 10 to 72 had a magical experience. Anton and Brett were wonderful guides and became part of our family. Our time together was obviously carefully thought out, but you were flexible in planning things you thought we would enjoy.
Dorothy and Logan Wharton (Zion and Grand Canyon)
Several of my friends have asked me that question and I tell them that it is so nice to have someone else to make the arrangements. Classic Journeys’ guides know the off-the-beaten-track places that we wouldn't normally see. That really makes the vacation more special and personal than what we could organize on our own.
Want more? Call us any time to talk. We’ll be happy to tell you what we think of our trips too!