Budapest | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Avignon France

    River Cruising, Reimagined

    What happens when the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Danube</a>, the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Rhône </a>or the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Douro </a>runs like a rich thread through the heart of your vacation?<br><br>Standing in the clifftop castle of a lost kingdom you feel the ebb and flow of time. When you walk the path through a near-vertical vineyard you can’t help but appreciate the infinite ingenuity of man (while you build a suitable thirst). As you shop a village market or sit down to lunch in a private home tucked away in the surrounding countryside, you have the rare chance to soak up the tempo and tastes of everyday life like few travelers ever do.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman in a French Market, Provence" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89s" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/river-cruising/" target="_blank">Europe’s great rivers</a> don’t just connect mountains to seas. They link prehistoric past to the bustling present – and when you explore them with Classic Journeys you’ll experience it all in deeply personal, once-in-a-lifetime ways. Every inch of the way, your fulltime local guide will introduce you to friends and favorite places that give you the insights that you crave as a traveler. You’ll meet the likes of artisans, farmers and schoolchildren, not to mention vintners happy to pour tastes from their premier barrels. And, of course, you can count on chefs to prepare traditional cuisine for you in some of the region’s finest cafes and restaurants.<br><br>Welcome to river cruising the Classic Journeys’ way. Your home base throughout your visit will be a five-star river cruise ship. It’s a real pleasure to unpack a single time in a stateroom where expansive floor-to-ceiling windows mean the views are always with you. In addition, you’ll have unlimited access to all of the ship’s luxury amenities – gourmet restaurants, concierge service, fitness facility and spa, and a top deck where you can settle into a chaise to watch the world slide by or grab a nap.<br><br>Every day, you have the option of choosing your own adventure. Because your Classic Journeys’ guide is with you full time, they’ll lead you on expeditions handcrafted exclusively for your small group of no more than 18 guests. Thanks to your group’s small footprint, you’ll have opportunities that the ship’s other passengers can only dream of. If you or a traveling companion decides instead to take a “day off” to lounge on board or set off for an on-your-own stroll, go for it. The choice is all yours. After all, it’s your vacation.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayaking under the Pont du Gard, Provence, France" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89i" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>If the idea of a vacation that blends rich cultural experiences with wonderful logistical ease floats your boat, you’ll love these river-based Classic Journeys. Please join us as we launch our inaugural itineraries this fall in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Rhône</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Douro </a>and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Danube </a>river valleys.<br><br><b>GO WITH THE FLOW!</b><br><br>Choose from three new river-based itineraries that blend our award-winning approach to handcrafted trips of a lifetime with the ease of riverboat cruising.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank">THE DOURO</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Porto to Salamanca</a><br>Through a gentle series of locks, you ascend from <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank">coastal Porto</a> up to a scenic land of olive groves, vineyards and medieval hilltop villages. At the highest reaches of the valley, you explore Salamanca and the glorious Spanish countryside.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/douro-luxury-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><img alt="View from a River Cruise Boat" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89T" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><b>THE DANUBE</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Vienna to Budapest</a><br>The Hapsburg Empire still reigns supreme along the <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank">banks of the Danube</a> as you’ll discover on your exclusive activities that reveal the Austrian countryside, as well as Vienna, the Slovakian capital of Bratislava and gorgeous Budapest.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/danube-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><img alt="Exterior of River Cruise Boat on the Danube" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89d" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">THE RH</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Ô</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">NE</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank"> </a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">Burgundy &amp; Provence</a><br>Discover the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank">France of Cézanne</a> and gastronomic thrills. On an itinerary that ranges from the wine capital of Beaune to the Pont du Gard and Avignon, you’ll walk the legendary countryside, meet olive growers, and dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/rhone-river-cruise/" target="_blank"><img alt="Room and View on a Rhone River Cruise" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89Y" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Corsica at Sunset

    6 of Europe's Best-Kept Secrets

    <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/europe/" target="_blank">Europe</a> is known for having some of the most iconic sites in the world. From the picturesque canals of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice</a>, the standing stones at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Stonehenge</a>, to the lavender fields of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">Provence</a>. It’s easy to find yourself on a merry-go-round of repeating travels. But you can still find amazing places off the beaten path… the places not known yet to tourists. And with the help of Classic Journeys, you’ll find that Europe is full of them!<br><br>Here you’ll find six of the best-kept secrets in Europe. Which one will you visit first?<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rP9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank"><b>Slovenia + Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula</b></a><br>Just a generation ago, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/istria-slovenia-walking-tour/" target="_blank">Slovenia and Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula</a> were part of Yugoslavia. Now, they’re two of the great under-the-radar and off-the-chart destinations in all of Europe. These unspoiled next-door lands sit right at the top of the Adriatic Sea just east of Venice. The scenery is so insanely perfect that you don’t want the walks to end. Think vineyards rolling into olive groves sweeping to the Adriatic and mirror calm mountain lakes reflecting snow-capped Alps.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><img alt="Basque" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rPE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><b>Basque Pyrenees</b></a><br>A museum sheathed in titanium. Wild horses that eat baguettes. Villages with names in three languages—Basque, French and Spanish. Farmers on tractors yield the right of way to fierce but friendly pelota games in village squares. Garlands of brilliant red pimientos dry in the sunlight… then show up on a dinner plate stuffed with seafood. You’ll be surprised at the richness of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank">Europe’s oldest culture</a> that few have had the chance to experience.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sardinia/" target="_blank"><img alt="Corsica" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rPJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sardinia/" target="_blank"><b>Sardinia + Corsica</b></a><br>Travel between the isles of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sardinia/" target="_blank">Sardinia and Corsica</a> and you&#39;ll only venture eight miles...but they&#39;re worlds apart. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sardinia/" target="_blank">Corsica</a>—part of France, but defiantly non-French—is blanketed in fragrant herbs and dotted with quaint villages. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/sardinia/" target="_blank">Sardinia</a> seeks adventure. Travel through the island and see how it&#39;s rustic, mysterious; with a few thousand years of Phoenician, Spanish and Italian blood in its veins. Together, these two gorgeous islands are some of the least-touristed spots in Europe. When you leave behind the yacht-studded harbors for the mountains, pastures and vineyards of the interior, you have the rarest of privileges—to see and experience countryside and culture that seem to have stood still in time.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><img alt="Montenegro" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rPO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><b>Montenegro</b></a><br>How will you explain <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank">Montenegro</a> to your friends who haven’t been (and that will be 99.9% of them)? Do you start with its Adriatic coast, where golden stone villages nestle on secluded, palm-lined bays? You can’t leave out the wild mountains with their sheer canyons and whisper-quiet lakes. You’ll certainly have stories about the hospitable Montenegrins… the olive growers, grappa-makers, shepherds and artists. You’ll fall in instant love with this compact Balkan land because it’s still so undiscovered, unexpected and unforgettable.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank"><img alt="Prague" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rPT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank"><b>Prague to Budapest</b></a><br>The journey from <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank">Prague to Vienna to Budapest </a>is one of Europe’s best hidden gems. These one-time capitals of the Habsburg Empire, with its spires and castles, create the continent’s most inspiring skylines. Out in the countryside, the sights are spectacular. Powder-blue cathedrals leap up from the heart of valley towns. Incredibly intact villages are so perfectly preserved that the U.N. recognizes them as World Heritage Sites. Vast farmlands make it feel as though you’ve stepped back into feudal times. This is a rich slice of Europe’s life and history that most travelers never see.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank"><img alt="Apulia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ei9Z&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015rPY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank"><b>Apulia</b></a><br>When we ask our Italian guides where they&#39;d most like to take our friends who think they know Italy on a walking tour we get one response: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/apulia/" target="_blank">Apulia</a>. And then they use their hands. To paint a vista of gnarled olive trees silhouetted against a lapis lazuli sea. To express the amazing sunlight. To sketch the saw-toothed skyline of a village comprised entirely of trulli—the conical stone roofs unique to the region. Best of all, Apulia (pronounced ah-pooh-lya) passes the most important Classic Journeys test—it offers fine leisurely walking, elegant accommodations, and a glimpse into a region and culture that&#39;s not quite like any you&#39;ve encountered before.

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  • Hotel Ruze, Czech Republic

    Hotels We Love: Hotel Ruze in Czesky Krumlov

    <p>Visiting Eastern Europe is like taking a walk through a deep tome of history that stretches as far back as the Renaissance, maybe farther. In the big cities of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank" title="Travel to Prague, Budapest and Vienna">Prague, Budapest and Vienna</a>, the ornate Romanesque and Gothic architecture of the Medieval period dominates the skyline, but it is the more-recent history of two World Wars and the Communist era that seem to dominate the conversation as you view and learn about the cities’ pasts. At day’s end, you’re all too happy to retire to a bright, sleek, modern 21st century hotel.<br><br><img alt="Hotel Ruze" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rnW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>In the quaint countryside town—village, really—of Cesky Krumlov, there’s hardly an indication of the region’s “dark days.” The village, nestled in a crook of the Vlata River, emerged from World War II mostly unscathed, and before Communism took hold, the townspeople dedicated themselves to preserving its cultural and historic relics so that even today, it looks almost exactly like it did hundreds of years ago. In fact, its authenticity is so unspoiled, it almost feels like you’ve stumbled into the manufactured Epcot version of the Czech Republic at Disney World.<br> </p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank" title="Prague to Budapest cultural walking adventure">STEP BACK IN TIME ON AN 8 DAY/7 NIGHT CULTURAL WALKING ADVENTURE IN PRAGUE, BUDAPEST AND VIENNA.</a></h3> <p>At Classic Journeys, we’re all about truly immersive travel experiences. That’s why we chose the historic and charm-riddled <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank" title="Visit Cesky Krumlov, Prague">Hotel Ruze as our home during our visit to Cesky Krumlov</a>. At the 16th century Jesuit dormitory, the staff dress in period costumes and the menu consists of whatever fresh delights are caught from the river each morning or gathered from the surrounding countryside. The Renaissance architecture of the hotel—its original dark-wood paneled walls and arched stone ceilings—and the surrounding structures of the town’s meticulously preserved castle complex make visitors feel like they’ve truly stepped back in time and into the page of a history book.<br><br><img alt="Hotel Ruze" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mL&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rnb" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>In addition to the amazing architecture and historic details throughout, the hotel also features a state-of-the-art spa with massage treatment rooms and unique peat baths in traditional wooden tubs. This is the perfect home base from which to explore the rich heritage of Bohemia, starting with its working glass factories right here in Cesky Krumlov and ending with a peaceful stroll through the working farm fields of the nearby countryside.</p>

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