Europe

  There are few vacations that are more romantic and evocative of place than a European villa rental. And while there are dozens of agencies that rent European villas and homes, there is only one HomesAway. Yes, this Toronto-based company has charming properties in all of the right locations. But

You won’t find the word "tourist" in most travel magazines, blogs or websites. It’s thought to be pejorative, conjuring up images of a tour bus filled with befuddled Americans, the kind that populated the classic film "If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium." Instead, the word "traveler" is nearly always

  What is the leading educational travel company? It has to be Smithsonian Journeys, a company that hires experts as trip leaders, crafts unique itineraries and more or less patented the idea of "behind the scenes travel." To learn more, I caught up with Smithsonian Journeys director Amy Kotkin during

When my wife Gayle and I contemplated taking our then six-month old daughter Emma to Villars, Switzerland a few winters ago, I wasn’t thinking of Alpine pistes and lazy slope side lunches. I was dreading the thought of the three of us crammed into a standard-size European hotel room. I

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER:  I would willingly strand myself at the Hospiz, a legendary white-walled hostelry with a medieval chapel at its heart ( it contains an enormous statue of St. Christopher and is still used for services) and one of Europe’s most important Bordeaux cellars below.You come for a

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: Lots of travelers have heard about the ultra-modern "design hotels" in the vibrant city of Barcelona, but they might not have a clue about why they’re special. On a recent trip to the capital city of Catalonia, we tried three hotels that exemplified this trend. At

I first met Tom Hale, the founder and president of Backroads, in his Berkeley, California headquarters about eight years ago. And I was a little floored by his exercise regimen. That morning, as on most mornings, he had risen somewhere between three and four to exercise. He had done 400

When I was in Budapest in 1989, the mood was dour, the city’s Art Nouveau treasures were crumbling, and there was nothing for anyone to buy except little souvenir bags of paprika. But fast forward 17 years. Not only is the Communist government history but I have to discard my

WHY IT’S A CONTENDER: The hotel opened in 2004 in the restored 1906 Gresham Palace in Pest, one of the grandest and most important Art Nouveau buildings in Europe. With its dramatic setting at the foot of the Chain Bridge and views across the Danube to Buda, the hotel is

     I was standing on a bed of quivering mud, the Irish Sea lapping away at my brand new Gore Tex hiking boots, at a point where the River Leven meets Morecambe Bay. Six other people in shorts and fleece and silly smiles stood there with me, engaged in