welcome to Western Europe
Mention Europe and most are likely to think of Western Europe, usually London, Paris, Rome and perhaps Ireland. There are good reasons for this area's popularity and everyone wants to experience this. At Ultitude, we can help you travel this region better than anyone else. We break each country down into more discreet areas, allowing for greater exploration and far more intimate experiences. Southern England come to mind, Dordogne in France or maybe the Basque coast of Spain? Overlay art, wine, food and architecture to create a one of a kind experience just for you...and maybe a few friends, who share your interest!
The term Benelux refers to the three entities of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Two are countries and one, Luxembourg, is a Duchy left over from the Middle Ages. All three areas are an integral part of the European Union but also have history and culture dating far back from that amalgamation. Due to their small size, each is easy to get around and the majority of residents speak fluent English. Tour the art galleries, taste the beer and walk the cobblestone streets. You will find that this is an easy way to experience Europe in miniature.
England & Wales
"As seen on the Telly!" - Though not large in size, Britain packs a whole lot of history, culture, cuisine and scenery into its limited canvas. While some look to experience the British Isles in one marathon visit, we think breaking this cozy country down into smaller segments allows the traveler to absorb the character of each city. PBS brings familiarity to this region with areas like Cornwall (Poldark and Doc), Berkshire (Downtown Abbey), and all things Harry Potter. London evokes imagery from Sherlock, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary and the Crown. Wales should not be ignored as Dr. Who was set in Cardiff, it's beautiful capital. Offering a selection of areas, much like a shop selling chocolates...you get to select which pieces go into your box.
No matter where you go in France you should try and add a couple of days in Paris at the beginning or end of your trip, regardless of the number of previous visits. There is a far more to France than Paris. Head to the east and enjoy Reims, the heart of Champagne, then head south to the vineyards of Burgundy which produces wine that pairs perfectly with the cuisine of Lyon - just a few miles south. Head north from Paris and visit the Normandy Coast including the landing beaches then follow the coast to Brittany for the best oysters ever. From there you may follow the coast south to Bordeaux and the surrounding vineyards. Turn inland towards Provence and the Cote’d’Azur. It’s all there to explore in either one extensive trip or a series of visits. Our suggested itineraries can show you both.
A guided trip through Germany is not only a pleasure but a synopsis of the history of Western Europe in the 20th Century. From the Belle Époque living off the Kaiser and his court at the beginning of the 20th Century, to the reunification of Berlin and Germany itself at the end of the Cold War. Germany's story can be aptly told through her cities. Throw in a touch of Belgium, Holland or France for context and you get a complete overview of German life. We have picked interesting sights in fascinating cities and curated them in a logical fashion. You will be the judge of that however, and with your input - make a good itinerary not only better, but yours alone.
America is a melting pot of cultures but when any American lands in Ireland, they feel that they have arrived home, regardless of their origin. It may be St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated with such abandon or the re-runs of movies like "The Quiet Man." It may be the fact that from arrival, until you return home - you will certainly meet people whose relatives live in the United States and the many trips that they have made to visit them. This feeling of familiarity is only the beginning. Whether it's a pub in a quiet Irish town, the majesty of the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry or the scenery around Cong (where The Quiet Man was filmed) life does indeed imitate art. Stay for a week or a month, but no matter how long you stay...a piece of Ireland will forever remain with you.
From Lake Como in the far north to Sicily in the far south, Italy never fails to captivate, impress and leave an indelible expression. Italy has existed as a country for less than two hundred years but her individual areas date back to before the Roman Empire. For most people, a first visit usually involves Rome, Florence and Venice and we are delighted to help create a highly personalized version of your trip. If you are a return visitor, let us open up new vistas in Sardinia, Puglia, Sicily, the Dolomites and the lesser known areas of Central Italy. Our intimate hotels, superb guides and thoughtful dining recommendations from our office in Sorrento will ensure an even more captivating experience.
Although taking up a much smaller portion of the Iberian landmass versus its neighbor, Spain, Portugal takes a back seat to no one when it comes to impact on history. It was Portuguese explorers who opened up new worlds and created a colonial empire that covered South America (Brazil), India (Goa), Africa (Angola and Mozambique) and China (Macao). Today Portugal is more focused on welcoming explorers from other countries. Portugal offers charming towns, superb wine, unique music and pristine beaches. It also offers its own charming islands in Madeira and the Azores. We are delighted to submit some suggested journeys to begin the process of creating the ideal trip to Portugal for you.
Scandinavia is commonly thought of as Denmark, Norway and Sweden but that definition can readily be expanded to include Finland (once part of Sweden) and Iceland based on a shared Viking ancestry. While thought of as a ‘cold weather' area, these regions actually enjoy a year round attraction for intellectually curious travelers. Where else can you find the home of Sibelius or Santa Claus, snorkel between Europe and America, and enjoy the Midnight Sun and the Aurora Borealis from the same spot at different times of the year? With strong democracies, most of the countries also have Royal families who live in Royal Palaces open to the public. From a cultural point of view you can explore the fairy tale land of Hans Christion Andersen in Norway and ultra-fashion design in Stockholm. Let us share our suggested places in Scandinavia with you.
Scotland occupies the same island as England and Wales but has not always been part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom. It has been a rival and a reluctant partner. Like Ireland, it saw a mass migration to North America but with the Scottish choosing Canada more often than America. For many years, Scotland was known for bagpipes, kilts and blended whiskey like Dewar’s, Johnny Walker and Bell’s. Today, Scotland has experienced a renaissance based on the appeal of single malt whiskey and new and exciting cuisine ranging from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye. Old castles have become charming boutique hotels and people are taking a new look at Scotland’s many scenic attractions. Our local knowledge and your input will create your ideal Scottish Experience.
If it were not for the Pyrenees connecting Spain with its northern neighbor France, Spain would be a large island which it would share with Portugal. Otherwise, Spain is surrounded by water With the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic on the west, the Alboran Sea connecting North Africa with the Costa del Sol in the south and the Mediterranean on the East. Combine this focus on the sea with the fact that most of Spain was ruled by the Moors of North Africa for 700 years and you have a good idea as to why the food and the culture differ markedly from other parts of Europe. Join us as we take you to the varied areas of Spain, each with its own language, culture and cuisine.