• Street in Bellagio Italy

    The Best Ways to See the Italian Lakes

    <p><b>VACATION LIKE AN EMPEROR IN THE ITALIAN LAKES</b>. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an emperor, look no further than the Italian lakes. Since the Roman emperors, these <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: none;">gracious waterside resorts</span></a> have drawn visitors. The climate is mild, loaded with the vibrant colors of alpine wildflowers and lush semi-tropical gardens. With views of mountaintop meadows and palm tree-fringed waters, nowhere else does stunning scenery, mellow air and rich history come together with such dramatic results. Read on to get the inside scoop on the best lakes, views, walks, visits and food the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: none;">Italian Lake District</span></a> has to offer.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">LAKE LUGANO</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes" target="_blank"><img alt="Lake Lugano" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bmRq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jZle" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">Lake Lugano </a>is the smallest but it does not lack in beauty nor charm. Nearby, Mount Bre is perched above Lake Lugano in Ticino, the Italian speaking area of Switzerland. Stroll through the cobbled streets and pastel-colored neoclassical palazzi. One of our favorite highlights is a visit to the most famous ornate church in Lugano, Santa Maria degli Angioli.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">LAKE ORTA</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes" target="_blank"><img alt="Lake Orta" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bmRq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jZly" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>The quaint village of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">Orta San Giulio</a> is one of the most picturesque corners of Italy. While here, follow the narrow, cobbled streets through Orta as they wind up and past colorful houses with ornate balconies. We recommend traveling across Lake Orta to the islet of San Giulio for a visit to its 1000-year-old basilica and an exploration around the charming island. <br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">LAKE COMO</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes" target="_blank"><img alt="Lake Como" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bmRq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jZm3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Stroll through the historic town of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">Como </a>and admire the incredible architecture—a mixture of Renaissance Italian and 19th century British. A scenic ride on the funicular will take you to the nearby mountain village of Brunate, situated above century-old olive groves. Ramble along footpaths to the panoramic lookout, where you’ll be treated to an astonishing view of Lake Como below.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">LAKE MAGGIORE</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes" target="_blank"><img alt="Lake Maggiore" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bmRq&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jZlt" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Our favorite views of<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank"> Lake Maggiore</a> is from Someraro, a village that clings like a balcony overlooking the magnificent body of water. We highly recommend taking a boat ride to the Borromean Island of Isola Bella—where one of Italy’s wealthiest families built a series of palaces and gardens in the 17th-century. Bellissimo!    </p>

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  • Ponte Vecchio over Arno River, Italy

    Top 10 Destinations for 2019

    <p>You have travel in your blood. And so, you know that the anticipation is a big part of the fun. With the announcement of Classic Journeys <a href="http://cl.S7.exct.net/?qs=4a925b30984d919c4c7b77a82d679a4f10f0e7893fd87126f3246a62454234509f5e3e5bd71b4af5e5280c380cf8e9f651bb1d176c52a6b2" target="_blank">2019 departure dates</a>, you can begin dreaming now... and to help, we&#39;ve rounded up the 10 most sought-after destinations in 2019. So the question is... where to next?<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#10 COSTA RICA </b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdtc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Costa Rica </a>blends adventure and nature like nowhere else. A quarter of the country is protected paradise for everything from anteaters to orchids. The best part is how easy and exciting it is. You don’t just look at the cloud forest canopy. You stroll through it on suspended bridges or glide through on a zip line. You can high-five a monkey from a kayak or slalom down a colorful tropical jungle river by raft. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b><u>#9 JAPAN </u></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdth" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Japan </a>is a land where ancient tradition and modernity blend and blur into an unforgettable and utterly unique cultural experience. Our itinerary begins in the clamor of Tokyo, slips into the serene forest of Hakone in the shadow of Mount Fuji, and culminates in sophisticated, historic Kyoto. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><b><u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">#8 BRYCE, GRAND CANYON &amp; ZIO</a></u></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b><u>N</u></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdtr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Three of America’s most spectacular—and coolest—national parks without a single are-we-there-yet moment? You can do it on our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><u>Family </u></a>and <u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon/" target="_blank">Multisport</a></u> trips to Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion. We take care of all of the logistics. Mountain bikes? Check. Mule rides into Bryce Canyon? Check. Timing visits perfectly to canyon rims for sunset, hiking through waterfalls, and great inns with swimming pools? Absolutely! <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"> Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank"><b><u>#7 NORWAY</u></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdtw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>There is no finer place to celebrate summer than the fjords of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Norway</a>. Whether you’re cruising the bright blue waters...walking on glaciers that carved the mind-boggling fjords...or exploring remote villages that cling to the shores, you will gain a wonderful sense of how climate and topography influence history, culture and daily life. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><u><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">#6 PERU </a></b></u><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdu1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> is actually in a jungle. Travel by foot along the Inca Trail to the lost city, you approach from above. And the stupendous blocks of stone in its walls are so finely carved that you could barely slip a piece of paper between them. Believe us, Machu Picchu retains the ability to startle and inspire you no matter how many years you’ve thought about visiting. Plus you&#39;ll have leisurely exposure to the rest of the country as you&#39;re immersed into Peru&#39;s conquistador-tinged history, indestructible Inca architecture and spectacular geography. <br><br><b><u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">#5 TUSCANY &amp; THE CINQUE TERRE</a></u></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jduB" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Florence, a decadent stay in a Chianti villa, and scenic walks among the seaside villages of <a href="http://cl.S7.exct.net/?qs=a8c7e161f2a3469aed5c12e5e2d25d547ae7447393379bdb27069a802daa405b212aff3bd6f67a2300cee52d65aed0bbed6903f8edf81864" target="_blank">the Cinque Terre</a>. Italy doesn&#39;t get better than this! <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><b><u>#4 MOROCCO</u></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jduG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Oasis walks, overnight in a luxury Sahara encampment, palace hotels, the exotic <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><u>Medina of Fés</u></a> and much more. It&#39;s an all-time guest favorite trip. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><u><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#3 GALÁPAGOS </a></b></u><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jduf" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>Get a real feel for how it is to have giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies outside your back door. Naturalist-guides will lead you to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">extraordinary wildlife experiences</a>, minus the flocks of tourists. You’ll have abundant chances to walk, kayak and snorkel up-close to marine iguanas, Galápagos penguins and other creatures found nowhere else on earth.<br><br><b><u><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">#2 ICELAND</a></u></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jduk" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>We love traveling to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland </a>because it’s still a land of chaotic, supremely beautiful nature. Whether you’re marveling at an endless colony of cartoonish puffins or watching the clouds turn shades of sherbet at sunset, you’ll experience this place with remarkable intensity. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b><u>#1 PORTUGAL</u></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnBg&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jdup" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank">Portugal </a>also has more hours of sunshine a year than any other European country, perfect for exploring. So, we taste the country’s treasured port wines on walks in the mountainous vineyards where they’re born. On a glorious coastal trail, you’ll face the churning surf that Henry the Navigator conquered to explore Africa and the New World. And we’ll come face to face with the Portuguese people from salt-panners to winemakers. </p>

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  • Stream in Bryce Canyon

    National Parks By the Numbers

    <h2>National Park Statistics in Honor of the 100-Year Anniversary</h2> <p>It officially began in 1872, when Yellowstone became the world’s first national park, followed by the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916 to care for and protect the land. Today, the national park statistics reveal a vast aray of land, species and mementos for the whole family to enjoy. Comprised of 410 sites and more than 84 million acres, the National Park System (NPS) has an awful lot to offer. You could spend many a family vacation exploring the 18,000 trails throughout our country’s park system.</p> <p>The NPS protects at least 247 species of threatened or endangered plants and animals. And more than 75,000 archeological sites, including nearly 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures. There are over 167 million museum items, including George Washington’s inaugural coat.</p> <p>It’s no wonder so many people visit the parks with so much to see and do. Rangers didn’t start keeping attendance records until 1904; 120,000 visits to America’s 11 national parks occurred that year. In 2015 alone, a record-breaking 307.2 million people visited a NPS visitor center and/or contact station! Here’s the lowdown on a few of our favorites:</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Bryce Canyon National Park" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lG&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oA7" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah</b></a></p> <p><b>Established:</b> 1928 with 21,997 people visiting in the following year; more than 1.7 million visitors in 2015</p> <p><b>Size:</b> 56.2 square miles consisting of crimson colored hoodoos, or spire-shaped rock formations.</p> <p><b>Wildlife:</b> View over 100 species of birds and more than 1000 plant species. Rocky Mountain elk, Utah prairie dogs and North American porcupines are just some of the dozens of mammals.</p> <p><b>Must see:</b> Bryce Amphitheatre is a hoodoo-filled depression lying below the Rim Trail hiking path.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lG&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oAC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona</b></a></p> <p><b>Established:</b> In 1919, when it received 37,745 visitors; more than five million visitors in 2015</p> <p><b>Size:</b> 1,902 square miles; more than 1.2 million acres</p> <p><b>Wildlife:</b> You’ll see over 1,737 known species of vascular plants and 167 species of fungi alone. With more than 90 species of mammals, this park is home to Bighorn sheep, canyon bats, elk, mountain lions, mule deer, raccoons, coyotes and more. Yet, the most dangerous animal in the park is the rock squirrel because every year, dozens of visitors are bitten when they try to feed them. (So don’t!)</p> <p><b>Must see:</b> The Canyon, sliced by the Colorado River, is enormous. For its entire 277 miles, it averages 4000 feet deep. At its deepest point: 6,000 feet. At its widest: 18 miles.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Zion National Park, Utah" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lG&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002oAH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>Zion National Park, Utah</b></a></p> <p><b>Established:</b> 1919 when it saw a mere 1814 visitors; 3.6 million visitors in 2015</p> <p><b>Size:</b> 229.1 square miles</p> <p><b>Wildlife:</b> It protects 8 species of fish, 44 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, 78 mammals and 291 species of birds. It’s also a critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, classified as threatened on the federal level. Petite kangaroo rats, bighorn sheep, mule deer, foxes, rocks squirrels and more are some of the mammals you may bump into at Zion National Park. There are more than 900 kinds of plants, too. From soaring firs and cottonwoods to prickly pears and yucca, it’s a feast for the eyes.</p> <p><b>Must see:</b> 2,000-foot Navajo Sandstone cliffs, slopes adorned with pine and juniper trees, waterfalls and vibrant hanging gardens.</p> <p>The National Park Service turns 100<sup> </sup>on August 25<sup>th</sup>. Here’s to 100 more years of safeguarding America’s precious landscape!</p>

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