Archive for Tuscany

10 European Destinations to Visit in 2015 20 Jan 2015

10 European Destinations to Visit in 2015

Another year is here once again. It’s time to carefully plan your 2015. Plot your adventures for a more memorable twelve months. If you haven’t traveled much last year, you can always make up this year and go to many places and gain new discoveries.

There may be a lot of interesting places in your state or country but it is highly recommended that you go out of your comfort zones. This year, take the chance of having an exciting experience in some of the top European destinations. Here at Gateway Destinations, we have excellent travel and tour packages to help you experience a wonderful girlfriend getaway, your dream honeymoon, memorable family vacations, or unique specialty tours.

Traveling is important because it gives you a new perspective and new ideas. Traveling will also give you a chance to meet new people, as well as, experience a time out from your stressful life.

So where will 2015 take you? We have listed the Top Travel Trends some of the more popular European destinations. We promise you a memorable trip to these places because we’ve planned them with interesting activities, great places to shop, new things to discover, and more.

Here are Gateway Destinations’ Top European Destinations to Visit this 2015:

1. The Alsatian Wine Route
Taste the crisp, clean wines and relish in the abundant natural beauty of the Alsace region. Its Germanic influence extends to food and architecture, serving up some of the most delicious foods in France and beautiful timbered houses and fortified castles. (READ: Discovering The Alsatian Wine Route)

2. Belle Provence, France’s Southern Jewel
Sunny skies, multi-colored fields, perfumed air, and charming medieval villages await your discovery in beautiful Provence. No other area in France, or Europe for that matter, boasts such a rich tapestry of history, delectable wines, abundantly varied cuisine, and inviting countryside. (READ: Belle Provence Tour: Discover France’s Southern Jewel)

3. Paris Couture & Country Châteaux
Begin your luxurious women-only journey into France exploring exquisite châteaux in the Loire Valley. Taste regional wines at a local vineyard and see how mushrooms are cultivated in limestone caves, while experiencing a regal life in the Valley of the Kings! (READ: 8 Travel Tips to Paris)

4. The Pays Basque & French Pyrénées
A mélange of colors awakes your senses in the Pays Basque and Pyrénées Mountains. Taste the clean salty air of the sapphire blue Atlantic, smell the freshness of the green forests and lush mountain valleys, gaze at vibrant building façades and festive clothing unique to the Basque people, and feel the strong deep traditions embodied in the ancient grey stone of this unique region. (READ: Bask In The Beauty Of Pays Basque & French Pyrénées )

5. Ancient Athens and the Greek Isles
Discover the mythological rich history of Athens with its prominent archaeological wonders of ancient times set in the midst of modern surroundings. Savor great food, enjoy abundant shopping and experience the lively atmosphere of this vibrant city.

6. Corfu & Crete, Greece
Corfu, Greece is a beautiful lush island in the Ionian sea on the west side of mainland Greece. It boasts inviting beaches and offers a variety of fine accommodations and great dining venues. (READ: Travel Tips For Corfu And Crete, Greece )

7. Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre
Spend relaxing days in the “other side of Tuscany,” the Versilia Coast, with its beautiful and expansive beaches. Venture further south to explore the five cliff-side villages of the Cinque Terre.

8. London Theatre & Shakespeare Country
Enjoy one of London’s infamous live theatre performances, contrasting it to a Shakespearean play in the countryside. (READ: London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour )

9. Sensational Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast
Bask in sunny southern Italy on the hillside of Sorrento as you enjoy this women-only tour. Enjoy stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius from the lovely Hotel Bristol, your base for the entire week. (READ: Experience Sorrento And The Amalfi Coast )

10. Venice, Verona, and Lovely Lake Garda
Revel in the unique beauty of Venice with its impressive architecture and network of intricate and romantic canals. Visit the island of Murano, famous for its beautiful glass designs throughout the world. (READ: Visiting Venice, Verona & Lake Garda )

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Travel Guide to Tuscany 16 Oct 2014

Travel Guide to Tuscany

The hills are alive….in Tuscany! The rolling hills, vineyards, and olive orchards are only some of the highlights of our women-only tour to this side of Italy. The Tuscan lifestyle can be experienced with your best girlfriends if you go on this very special tour created just for you.

Discover the heart of Italy and explore the hidden regions of the region. Taste the world-renowned Chianti and Brunello wines and enjoy the regional authentic cuisines as part of the special tour.

If you want a more relaxed travel, then a trip to the Tuscany countryside would be perfent. Life is quiet and tranquil in the forested area of Chianti. See for yourself the endless views and beautiful vineyards.

To complete the experience, you’d be staying in a quaint, lovely farmhouse located at the Podere Ciona Vineyard. It will be your home for three nights. The hosts will be gracious to teach you how to cook the famous regional dishes in a cozy country kitchen.

For several days, you will travel to the nearby villages that are as picturesque as the rest of the country. A visit to the magnificent medieval city of Siena will also be part of this women-only trip.

To experience nature, you’ll venture south of Tuscany where a natural hot spring can be found. It’s situated in a small village of Bagno Vignoni. It will be another adventure you don’t want to miss. Enjoy another luxurious day at the Adler Spa Report where excellent fitness, relaxation, and spa services are offered.


You can rent a car to go around town but it is more convenient to use the train as the stations are strategically placed. It’s quite affordable too so there really is no need to worry about gasoline and rental car rates.


Climate in Tuscany is mild. Summers are usually hotter in the valley and the coast compared to the mountains and the hills. The best months to visit Tuscany are April, May, October, and November. It’s sunny most of the time with occasional rainy days. During winter, nights can be cold but sunny during the day.

Here are some more places you can visit in Tuscany:

WINERIES. Visit any tourist-friendly wineries so you can meet the makers and get to taste wine in the region.

TOWNS. The towns of Siena, Lucca, Cortona, and San Gimignano are all enthralling and enchanting.

CHURCHS. The churches in Tuscany are considered iconic. You may start touring the Basilico di San Franceso in Arezzo.

SHOPS. Shopping in Tuscany will be fun. Check out the handmade paper products, gold, and leather goods. Shopaholics will love this town.

Gateway Destinations can customize a women-only tour for you and your girlfriends. Your tour will begin and end in beautiful Florence. If you’re interested to visit Tuscany, contact Gateway Destinations.

Learn more about our Chianti Cooking & Tuscany Spa Retreat Package HERE.




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October 5 – 12, 2008, Women-only Tour to Tuscany! Jan Acorn, owner of Gateway Destinations, had the pleasure of leading a small group of ladies into the heart of Tuscany, Italy for eight days in October. We began with a guided walking tour of Florence, a delicious welcome dinner at a local trattoria to get to know each other, and spent the next morning exploring on our own before venturing into the countryside for the rest of the week. Our countryside adventure began in the Chianti region during the bustling grape harvest season and included cooking classes, wine tasting, an introduction to olive oil,  market visit, tour of Meleto Castle and much more! Our journey continued further south where we shopped and explored Siena and numerous charming villages, picked chestnuts and wild porcini mushrooms, enjoyed lunch in an authentic country kitchen, and picnicked in picturesque Pienza – all while residing at a luxurious thermal spa resort.  Read more about some of the highlights of this women’s journey.

Country Cooking in Tuscany

Two delicious evenings were spent in authentic country kitchens as our guests learned to cook treasured Italian family recipes with the Tuscan Mamas. Located in the heart of Tuscany, this cooking school resides in the beautiful forested hills of the Chianti region. From stuffed zucchini flowers, risotto with local fresh mushrooms, to gelato with fresh citrus and limoncello liqueur to name some of the dishes, our dinners were heavenly and fun to prepare. Join us in 2009 as we return for more cooking in this beautiful region of Italy!

Thermal Spa Indulgence in Italy

Our 8-day escorted women’s tour to Italy in October was rounded out by spending several relaxing days at Adler Thermae, a beautiful 5-star natural thermal spa resort in southern Tuscany. Overlooking an expansive valley filled with Cyprus trees, vineyards and olive orchards and located on a picturesque hillside in the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni, this resort has it all. It is blessed with non-odorous thermal water and unbelievable views. The rooms are spacious, well-appointed and all have views of the outdoor pools and valley below. The food and service are great, and the spa includes an array of fitness classes, exercise equipment and a wide variety of spa treatments. There are even bicycles available to tour the countryside.

Local Life in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia

Aah…the simple pleasures of life lived as a local under the Tuscan sun! Our guide introduced our small group of ladies to authentic country life in this region. We started the morning by picking and sorting chestnuts as well as harvesting wild porcini mushrooms (a rare find), then visited the home of his mother in Castledelpiano. We enjoyed homemade polenta made with chestnut flour, our fresh mushrooms and other tasty regional food, while enjoying young wine made by his brother that morning. All in all, a perfect expression of la dolce vita!

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