Luxury Travel Blog

Ideas to inspire your world: luxury, culture, food, travel, style

Destination: Europe

Our list of articles tagged with "Europe."

April 6, 2022

Just Back: Cornwall & Devon in England

We just returned from a private tour of Cornwall and Devon, counties in southwest England that are known for their beautiful coastlines, windswept moors, magnificent gardens, superb cuisine and mild climate.

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February 16, 2022

Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in England

Celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee taking place in the United Kingdom this year will demonstrate British pomp and pageantry at their best. Artisans of Leisure can arrange private England tours that incorporate the Platinum Jubilee events and festivities and private tours of places related to the queen and the British monarchy.

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January 31, 2022

Private Perfume-Making Lessons in Grasse, France

The hillside town of Grasse in the South of France is renowned as the perfume capital of the world. Artisans of Leisure can arrange private tours of the leading perfumeries and a private lesson to create a custom scent.

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December 30, 2021

Floriade Horticulture Expo in the Netherlands

Floriade is a once-a-decade international horticultural exposition held in the Netherlands that showcases the latest innovations in gardening and green technology. The garden expo will next take place near Amsterdam in the Dutch town of Almere from April to October 2022.

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December 27, 2021

Switzerland in Winter

We love visiting Switzerland in winter when snow transforms the alpine scenery, festive Christmas markets take place, and great winter activities abound.

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November 23, 2021

Exploring the Roman Forum in Rome

The Roman Forum is a sprawling archaeological complex in Rome, Italy and one of the city’s most iconic sites. Once the center of the Roman Empire, the Forum contains the ruins of some of ancient Rome’s most important temples, monuments and government buildings. A privately guided tour is a must for travelers interested in history, archaeology and architecture.

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November 16, 2021

The Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany

Every 10 years, the renowned Oberammergau Passion Play takes place in Oberammergau, a picturesque village in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany. The next performances of the Oberammergau Passion Play will take place between May and October 2022.

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November 13, 2021

Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s Country House in England

Chartwell is the much-loved family home of Winston Churchill in the countryside south of London. For travelers interested in historic houses, English gardens and the life of one of the United Kingdom’s greatest statesmen, Chartwell makes a wonderful private excursion from London.

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October 21, 2021

Unique Hotels in Sweden, Norway, Finland & Iceland

For adventurous travelers looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, Artisans of Leisure can incorporate stays at ice hotels, tree hotels, igloo hotels or other unique hotels in the Nordic countries as part of a private tour in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

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August 10, 2021

Touring & Climbing the Duomo in Florence

Artisans of Leisure arranges private Italy tours filled with insider experiences. Upon request we can arrange exclusive access to the Duomo Terraces, private meals in private palazzos overlooking the Duomo, and more.

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June 25, 2021

The Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam

A highlight of Jewish touring in Amsterdam is the 17th-century Portuguese Synagogue, a landmark complex whose impressive size and beautiful interiors reflect the wealthy, prominent Sephardic community in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age.

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June 15, 2021

Private Yacht Charters in the Mediterranean

Artisans of Leisure can arrange private, full-day and half-day luxury yacht and catamaran excursions in favorite destinations such as the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the Cote d’Azur in France, the Greek Islands and the coasts of Turkey, Croatia and Spain.

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June 15, 2021

A Private “Sound of Music” Tour in Salzburg, Austria

Many of our travelers to Salzburg, Austria, enjoy taking a private tour of locations made famous in The Sound of Music, the classic 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Read about some of our favorite film locations we take travelers to in and around Salzburg.

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June 10, 2021

The Tower of London and the Ceremony of the Keys

The iconic Tower of London is an ancient castle complex steeped in nearly 1,000 years of English history. For a very special, exclusive London experience, Artisans of Leisure can arrange after-hours private tours, including attendance at the Ceremony of the Keys.

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May 20, 2021

Lavender Season in Provence

The image of sun-drenched lavender fields is synonymous with summer in Provence, where the plant has been cultivated for centuries. Artisans of Leisure takes travelers to the best places to see lavender blooming in the Luberon Valley during lavender season.

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May 4, 2021

Must Stay: Amanzoe in Greece

Amanzoe, one of the most luxurious resorts in Greece, is ideal as a relaxing getaway from Athens or as a base for touring the scenic Peloponnese.

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April 27, 2021

Iconic Image: Positano

Positano’s spectacular setting enchants visitors from around the world who come for the iconic views and authentic la dolce vita on the Amalfi Coast.

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April 7, 2021

Top 10 Favorite Attractions and Things To Do in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of our favorite cities. Artisans of Leisure arranges private luxury Turkey tours that include Istanbul’s best attractions, shops, bazaars, restaurants and more. Read about some of our top favorite experiences and sites in this legendary city on the Bosphorus.

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March 17, 2021

Shopping for Traditional Crafts in Ireland

For many travelers, a highlight of visiting Ireland is shopping for exquisite traditional crafts and other items. Artisans of Leisure knows the best artisans, studios and shops—places that showcase and preserve centuries-old craft techniques and traditions and are great places to see and buy beautiful handmade items.

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March 10, 2021

Our Favorite Museums in Paris

Renowned as a bastion of culture, sophisticated Paris is one of the world’s most incredible destinations for art, architecture and design. Artisans of Leisure arranges private, expert-led tours of the extraordinary museums in Paris.

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March 5, 2021

Trulli in Puglia, Italy

Trulli–the distinctive limestone cottages of Alberobello in Puglia, Italy–create an enchanting scene of whitewashed walls and conical stone roofs.

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January 28, 2021

Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik in Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia, is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. We love walking the perimeter of the Old Town on top of the famously well-preserved medieval walls. The leisurely two-hour stroll offers fantastic, 360-degree views of the city’s red-tile roofs and white limestone streets, as well as the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea below.

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January 26, 2021

The Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium

Travelers interested in immigration, family history and genealogy will enjoy a visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, which is dedicated to the history of the two million Europeans who immigrated to America aboard Red Star Line cruise ships in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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December 7, 2020

Private Golf Tours in Portugal & Spain

An exclusive golf tour of Portugal or Spain is an ideal way to experience some of Europe’s top golf courses while staying at top hotels and resorts and enjoying private cultural touring as desired.

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November 30, 2020

A Private Tour of Veuve Clicquot in Champagne

The beautiful Champagne region in northern France is an ideal destination for wine and culture lovers. Veuve Clicquot is one of the most iconic Champagne houses in France. Artisans of Leisure arranges private tours of the cellars. 

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November 4, 2020

The Best of Our Private England Tours

England is one of our favorite tour destinations. Enjoy photos of the very best of the country with our private England tours that include top cultural, scenic and culinary highlights of London, Oxfordshire, Bath, the Cotswolds, the Lake District and more.

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September 17, 2020

The Best of Belgium, including Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp

Belgium offers travelers much more than great beer, chocolate and waffles. It also has the atmospheric medieval towns of Bruges and Ghent, the vibrant modern cities of Brussels and Antwerp, incredible art masterpieces by van Eyck and Rubens, beautiful Art Nouveau landmarks, numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, fascinating military history and excellent contemporary cuisine. Here […]

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August 14, 2020

Private Literary Tours of England

England is an incredible destination for literature lovers, full of landmark literary sites that bring to life favorite authors and characters. Read about some of our favorite literary destinations throughout the country that we can incorporate into any private Artisans of Leisure tour of England.

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July 15, 2020

A Visit to the Franciscan Church & Monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of our favorite historic places for a private tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia, is the Franciscan Church and Monastery, a 14th-century complex that’s a microcosm of the city’s cultural and artistic heritage. The still-active monastery has a celebrated Romanesque cloister, an impressive library and one of the world’s oldest continuously operating pharmacies.

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June 21, 2020

Meals We’re Dreaming of Around the World

One of the things we love about traveling is the food! Here are some of the meals and culinary treats that Artisans of Leisure travel experts are dreaming about for when we’re able to travel again.

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April 22, 2020

Accessible Travel, the Artisans of Leisure Way

Artisans of Leisure arranges private international accessible tours and accessible travel in destinations around the world. We work closely with individuals who have mobility limitations to make sure that each tour is personalized to their individual needs, requirements and interests.

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February 9, 2020

A Luxurious Honeymoon in Greece

Artisans of Leisure travel expert Maria Merrill shares her favorite luxury resorts and top cultural, scenic and culinary highlights from  her recent honeymoon in Greece.

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December 12, 2019

Must Visit: Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens is one of the world’s oldest theme parks and an enduring landmark in the heart of Copenhagen, a must-see during any visit to the city. Artisans of Leisure arranges tickets, transportation and restaurant reservations for travelers on our private, luxury tours of Denmark.

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November 18, 2019

Wine and Truffles in Piedmont, Italy

We just returned from a food and wine immersion tour in Piedmont, Italy’s northwest region famous for white truffles, the Alba Truffle Festival, Barolo and Barbaresco wine, and the Slow Food movement.

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October 28, 2019

Exclusive Private Whisky Tour of Scotland

Artisans of Leisure’s exclusive Whisky Tour of Scotland features insider experiences at iconic distilleries, the most luxurious accommodation and highlights of private cultural and scenic touring.

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October 16, 2019

Must Visit: Delphi in Greece

The spectacular archaeological complex at Delphi is one of the most impressive ancient sites in Greece and a must-visit with one of our private expert guides.

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October 8, 2019

Afternoon Tea in England

Afternoon Tea is a wonderful way to experience local culinary culture in England. Artisans of Leisure arranges Afternoon Tea throughout England, including at legendary hotels, country estates, heritage homes and insider spots.

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September 24, 2019

Norway’s Atlantic Road

Artisans of Leisure arranges private excursions to Norway’s spectacular Atlantic Road, an incredible off-the-beaten-path experience.

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May 20, 2019

Iconic Image: Santorini

Few images evoke summer like the whitewashed houses, blue domed-churches and spectacular scenery of Santorini. One of the most beautiful islands in the Aegean, it offers incredible cultural touring, luxurious resorts and outstanding food and wine.

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May 10, 2019

Munich: Quintessential Germany

Artisans of Leisure arranges private in-depth cultural and scenic touring in and around Munich, Bavaria’s capital city and major European cultural powerhouse.

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April 24, 2019

Just Back: The Best of Paris, Provence and the Cote d’Azur

Enjoy this interview with Ashley Isaacs Ganz, the founder of Artisans of Leisure, about her recent France tour that included Paris, Provence and the Cote d’Azur–some of our favorite destinations during the glorious summer months. Q: Where did you visit on this trip? A: We started in Paris, where we stayed at the iconic Ritz Paris. […]

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April 12, 2019

Iconic Tuscany

Artisans of Leisure’s bespoke private tours of Tuscany feature highlights of this iconic region, including ancient hill top towns, incredible art, renowned food and wine, and luxurious countryside resorts.

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January 18, 2019

Highlights of Switzerland

Artisans of Leisure tours of Switzerland feature the country’s very best luxury hotels, attractions, food and wine experiences, and incredible landscapes.

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December 28, 2018

Soaking in Budapest’s Thermal Baths

Soaking in Budapest’s legendary thermal baths is a wonderful way to experience the local culture. Artisans of Leisure arranges tickets to the top thermal baths in Budapest, including the Gellert, Szechenyi and others.

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November 1, 2018

Ashley Isaacs Ganz on The Best of Ireland

We asked Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz to share some favorite experiences in Ireland based on her most recent visit to this beautiful country. Read more about her tour and the best of Ireland. Q.) Tell us about your trip. Where did you go? I traveled all over the country, and I also […]

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October 19, 2018

Exclusive Access to Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte in France

For travelers wanting a unique and very special day trip from Paris, consider visiting exquisite Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the privately owned palace and gardens that were the inspiration for Versailles. Artisans of Leisure arranges exclusive private tours of the chateau with the owners, as well as elegant lunches, dinners or cocktails in the lavish interiors. […]

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October 1, 2018

Alesund: An Art Nouveau Jewel in Norway

Built on a series of small islands in an archipelago in the fjord region, Alesund is a jewel in Norway known for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and proximity to one of the country’s most famous fjords, Geirangerfjord. Artisans of Leisure arranges in-depth private cultural and scenic touring in and around Alesund. Devastated by a […]

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August 23, 2018

Just Back: The Best of Scotland

For travelers looking for incredible scenery, interesting culture and history, warm hospitality and wonderful luxury hotels, we highly recommend Scotland. Artisans of Leisure travel specialist Stephanie Dosch just returned from a trip through Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Enjoy these images from her trip. There’s so much to see and do […]

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June 18, 2018

History, Food, Crafts, Jewish Touring and More in Poland

Many travelers are aware that Poland is a wonderful destination for culture, history and Jewish heritage. But they may not realize that the country also has beautiful decorative arts, delicious food, vibrant cities and charming traditional villages. The newly opened Raffles Europejski Warsaw hotel is the capital’s most luxurious hotel and the perfect base for […]

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May 18, 2018

Vacation like Royalty at Cliveden

The sumptuous interiors, beautiful gardens and extensive grounds at Cliveden make this one of our favorite properties in the London area, conveniently located near Heathrow Airport and Windsor Castle, and a fitting choice for Meghan Markle, who will spend the night before the Royal Wedding at the historic property with her mother.

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March 15, 2018

A Private Day Tour to Capri

The idyllic island of Capri makes for an ideal day trip from the Amalfi Coast, with the chance to enjoy beautiful scenery, tour the historic highlights, savor local cuisine, shop for specialty goods and more.

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August 30, 2017

Postcard from Sicily

Few images evoke a sense of summer like a shot of the breathtaking blue waters off the Italian coast. In Sicily, short hikes along the coast–through beautiful nature preserves–lead to secluded beaches where locals and visitors flock to enjoy the sun. Our private Italy tours feature the best of the country’s gorgeous coastal regions, including […]

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July 25, 2017

Architecture & Design Touring in Vienna

 Vienna, Austria’s stylish and sophisticated capital, is one of our favorite destinations for design and architecture touring. The compact city is a veritable open-air museum of fascinating buildings that reflect its changing styles and power structure over the centuries. As the former capital of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna has a wealth of Baroque architecture, including beautiful churches […]

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June 8, 2017

Jewish Touring in Budapest

With centuries of Jewish history and a large Jewish quarter, the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary, is one of the best places in Europe for Jewish heritage touring. Jews first arrived in the city around the 11th century, establishing a community in Buda, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed district on the right bank of the Danube […]

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May 19, 2017

Just Back: Keukenhof

Spring at the Keukenhof in Holland is an explosion of vibrant color. More than seven million tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowers fill this renowned 79-acre (32-hectare) garden outside Amsterdam. We recently returned from a visit to the Keukenhof at peak bloom, and it was a sight to behold. Patchworks of pink and purple, fields […]

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May 2, 2017

Favorite Shop: Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm

For travelers interested in Scandinavian design and textiles, the Svenskt Tenn store in Stockholm is a must. Founded in 1924, Svenskt Tenn began as a pewter shop run by local art teacher Estrid Ericson and has since grown into one of Sweden’s most highly regarded design and textile shops. The store received the “Purveyor to […]

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March 1, 2017

The Glories of Athens

Athens should be on every traveler’s must-visit list for its outstanding ruins, excellent museums, atmospheric neighborhoods and great food.

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February 23, 2017

Amazing Landscapes, Food & More on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Located off Scotland’s rugged west coast, the remote and wild Isle of Skye is a must for travelers interested in spectacular landscapes, outstanding local cuisine and a dash of Hebridean history. Around the island, unique natural formations—many with volcanic origins—are ideal for hikers, walkers and photographers. One of the most famous and most photographed is […]

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February 13, 2017

Interview: An Incredible Around-the-World Tour

Artisans of Leisure travel specialist, Abbey Chase, recently spent a year traveling around the world—in style. Some of the highlights of her incredible tour included visiting more than 80 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Bagan, a helicopter tour of Siem Reap, a private tea ceremony in Kyoto, a river […]

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January 9, 2017

Decorative Arts at the Opulent Palace Residences of Seville

Artisans of Leisure arranges visits to private homes and important, formerly private residences in destinations around the world. Such visits are a great way to learn about local history, experience exceptional architecture, and see impressive collections of art and decorative arts–they also often provide a fascinating peek into the lifestyles and personal whims of their inhabitants. A […]

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January 6, 2017

Oplontis: An Undiscovered Archaeological Gem in Southern Italy

Close to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, Oplontis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the most interesting yet least known ruins in southern Italy. Oplontis was once a cluster of villas on the outskirts of Pompeii and was also buried under ash after the infamous 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Though […]

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December 12, 2016

Must Experience: Truffle Hunting in Italy

Italy abounds in gastronomic treasures, but perhaps none is more highly prized than white truffles. Travelers visiting the Piedmont region in October and November—prime white truffle season— can see and taste the best of the best at the Alba International White Truffle Fair. We arrange for our travelers to visit the fair, and we also […]

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November 16, 2016

Exclusive Tours of The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia, is a must for anyone interested in art and design. Beautiful palaces and museums in the former imperial capital overflow with incredible art treasures. The most renowned of these is the State Hermitage Museum, a mind-boggling art collection housed in the pistachio-green-and-white Winter Palace and adjoining structures built by the Romanov czars. […]

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October 27, 2016

Must Experience: The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Iceland, “The Land of Fire and Ice,” is packed with dramatic natural features: the largest glaciers in Europe, several of the most active volcanoes in the world, rugged lava fields, bubbling geothermal pools, thundering waterfalls, jagged peaks and spouting geysers. One of Iceland’s most famous sights is the Blue Lagoon, a pale-blue slash of geothermal-heated […]

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October 17, 2016

Just Back: The Best of Spain

Highlights from our recent travels to some of our favorite places in Spain, including Barcelona, San Sebastian, Pamplona, Mallorca, Madrid and Seville.

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September 20, 2016

Jewish Heritage Tours of Poland

Poland has a deep Jewish history that goes back centuries. Before World War II, 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland, making it home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. The Nazis nearly destroyed all of this during WWII and the horrific and tragic Holocaust. However, Poland’s two most interesting cities—Warsaw and […]

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August 19, 2016

Must Stay: Ballyfin in Ireland

Ballyfin is—without question—the finest of the many aristocratic manor hotels in Ireland. The 19th-century Regency mansion sits on a 614-acre demesne (estate) in County Laois, about an hour and a half by car from Dublin. For anyone interested in design and interiors, staying at Ballyfin is a dream. Elegant furnishings and details fill every inch […]

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August 12, 2016

Akrotiri Archaeological Site on Santorini, Greece

When most people think of the beautiful volcanic island of Santorini in Greece, they think of terraces of whitewashed houses clinging to the steep sides of the caldera or cliffside pools with dreamy views of the Aegean Sea far below. In the southern part of the island is another sight that visitors shouldn’t miss: the […]

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July 26, 2016

The Douro Valley and Porto, Portugal

Portugal’s dramatic Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of steep hills covered in vineyards extending down, row by row, to the Douro River. The planting patterns form intricate designs in the hills, which are best viewed during a slow cruise up the river in a vintage wooden boat. Between the vineyard terraces, the […]

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July 10, 2016

Flowers in Holland: Keukenhof and Aalsmeer

When many people think of Holland (the Netherlands), they automatically think of tulips. Since first being imported from Turkey in the middle of the 16th century, tulips have thrived in Holland, becoming one of the country’s most important sights and industries. During the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, tulips were an essential possession […]

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June 20, 2016

A Few Favorite Dining Spots in the Cotswolds, England

Rolling hills, charming stone villages, Roman ruins, and beautiful gardens are the best-known highlights of the Cotswolds in England. The pastoral region—which is at the heart of England’s farm-to-table movement—has also become a popular foodie destination where restaurants incorporate fresh, local ingredients into refined versions of traditional British cuisine and more modern takes on international […]

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May 24, 2016

The Rich Culinary Heritage of Genoa, Italy

Genoa, a port town in the Liguria region of northern Italy, may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of culinary destinations in Italy, but that means fewer tourists and lots of hidden gems. Genoa’s culinary tradition is rich and vibrant. The city is best-known as the birthplace of pesto, but […]

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February 22, 2016

Stay at a Private Club in London: The Arts Club

Private members clubs have been a tradition in London for centuries. One of the most prestigious is The Arts Club, which was established in 1863. Long a haven for writers, artists, musicians and other creatives, the club is in the heart of stylish Mayfair, one of our favorite London neighborhoods. Recently, The Arts Club created […]

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February 18, 2016

Carcassonne: An Ideal Stop between Barcelona and the South of France

When traveling between Barcelona, Spain, and destinations in southern France, such as Provence and the Cote d’Azur, we highly recommend a stop in Carcassonne.    A spectacular fortified city, Carcassonne sits atop a strategic hill above the Aude River in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. From afar, the scale of the city, with its fairy-tale […]

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February 3, 2016

Insider Iceland: Interview with an Iceland Travel Expert

Iceland has been one of our most popular destinations since we launched our private Iceland tours. Luke Pyenson, one of our Iceland travel specialists, has visited the country several times and closely studied its tourism industry while in graduate school. We chatted with Luke about what makes the island so compelling, and why he can’t stop […]

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January 15, 2016

Sintra, Portugal: A Favorite Excursion from Lisbon

The town of Sintra, about 30 minutes west of Lisbon, is rarely described without some mention of the word “fairy-tale.” It’s easy to see why. Tucked into verdant hills and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Sintra is awash in over-the-top castles and estates with design elements both fanciful and mysterious. These unique structures and their related […]

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December 31, 2015

Delicious and Hearty Winter Food in Central Europe

Woodsy foraged mushrooms, roast goose with dumplings (above), foie gras, grilled sausages, braised cabbage, dill, sour cream, paprika—these are some of the things that make Central Europe such a satisfying place to eat, particularly over the winter months. Though not always thought of as leading food and drink destinations, cities such as Budapest, Prague, Krakow […]

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December 28, 2015

Must Stay: Chateau la Cheneviere in Normandy

Many of our private France tours include a stay at Chateau la Cheneviere, a wonderful luxury hotel in the heart of Normandy.  Situated in a beautifully restored 18th-century chateau surrounded by expansive grounds, the hotel makes a perfect base for exploring the region, including highlights such as the D-Day beaches, Mont-Saint-Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry, the […]

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December 4, 2015

Iconic Image: Winter Light at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Stunningly beautiful Iceland is known for its unique, otherworldly landscapes including rugged hills, icy blue glaciers and black-sand beaches. But Iceland’s stylish capital city, Reykjavik, is also home to impressive cultural attractions, such as Harpa, the magnificent concert hall designed in part by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and opened in 2011. The mesmerizing glass-paneled facade […]

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November 29, 2015

Exclusive Experience: A Private Tour of the Strahov Library in Prague

Some of our favorite places to visit around the world are libraries, with their collections of unique objects, rare manuscripts, and beautiful works of art that are lesser known yet no less impressive than their counterparts in busy museums. In Prague, Artisans of Leisure arranges private tours of the magnificent Strahov Library, part of the […]

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November 6, 2015

Exclusive New Culinary Tours

Artisans of Leisure has been on the cutting edge of culinary travel for over a decade. Staffed by a group of in-house foodies, food writers, cooks and culinary travel experts, we continue to expand our culinary tours around the world. With an international network of culinary experts, acclaimed chefs, food historians and writers, Artisans of […]

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October 27, 2015

Christmas Markets in Europe

We love visiting European cities during the holiday season, especially to visit the wonderful Christmas markets that take place throughout the region. The markets—which showcase local holiday traditions, seasonal cuisine, and regional crafts—are an amazing way to join in the local holiday cheer. Many cities in Europe—from Salzburg, Austria to Waterford, Ireland—have Christmas markets. Some […]

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October 19, 2015

Must Stay: La Bastide de Gordes in Provence

The South of France is a perennial favorite destination for Artisans of Leisure travelers. This year, we’re excited about the reopening of La Bastide de Gordes, a sophisticated hotel and spa that offers luxury and style in the heart of Provence. Perched on the steep slopes of Gordes, a beautiful and ancient Provencal hill town, […]

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September 9, 2015

Just Back: Expo Milan 2015 – A Must For Architecture Lovers

Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz just returned from a trip to Italy that included a stop at Expo Milan 2015, an ambitious World’s Fair focused on food. While the many international delicacies on offer were a highlight, the stunning architecture of the national pavilions left the biggest impression. At the top, geometric […]

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September 6, 2015

Hiking along the Caldera in Santorini

The Greek island of Santorini is one of the world’s most stunningly beautiful destinations.  A prehistoric volcanic eruption formed the unique topography of Santorini. In fact, the island’s western coast is actually the rim of a partially submerged caldera, or crater. For active travelers, hiking a scenic path along the edge of the caldera is […]

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July 31, 2015

Must Visit: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

Located along the peaceful coastline north of Copenhagen, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of our favorite museums in Scandinavia and a highlight of the region. Named for the three wives of the estate’s 19th-century owner (all named Louise), the museum comprises a beautiful sculpture park, galleries displaying modern and contemporary American and European […]

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June 25, 2015

Must Visit: Serpentine Pavilion

The Serpentine Gallery is one of the best places in London to experience contemporary art. We especially love exploring the temporary pavilion the gallery commissions in Kensington Gardens each summer. This year’s pavilion was designed by the Spanish architecture firm selgascano, led by Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano.  The tunnel-like structure hides a cafe at […]

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June 23, 2015

Just Back: Sicily

Sicily is an enchanting region of Italy and an ideal destination for travelers interested in history, food, art and design, culture, adventure and luxury.

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June 18, 2015

Chateau Mcely in the Czech Countryside

For travelers wanting a luxurious tour of Central Europe that includes ample time to relax, we arrange a stay at Chateau Mcely, a romantic spa hotel and resort in the beautiful Czech countryside. The hotel’s sprawling, English-style grounds (and the adjacent St. George Forest) offer plenty of spots for nature walks, bike rides and garden […]

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June 5, 2015

An Interview with the Duchess of Palma di Montechiaro, a Cooking Instructor in Palermo, Sicily

A great way to get to know the delicious and fascinating cuisine of Sicily is through a hands-on cooking class. One of our favorite cooking instructors is Nicoletta Polo Lanza Tomasi, the Duchess of Palma di Montechiaro, who conducts lessons at her beautiful 18th-century palazzo by the sea in Palermo. (The palazzo was once the home of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the classic Sicilian novel The Leopard and the adoptive father of Tomasi’s husband, Gioacchino.)

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May 18, 2015

An Interview with Laura Rowe of Crumbs Magazine – England for Foodies

On a recent trip through England’s beautiful Cotswolds region, we fell in love with local foodie publication Crumbs. The well-designed magazine focuses on regional chefs, ingredients and culinary traditions through in-depth articles and mouth-watering photographs. Artisans of Leisure culinary travel specialist Luke Pyenson caught up with Crumbs editor Laura Rowe, who also edits the magazine’s sister […]

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May 11, 2015

Notes from Our Travelers: Mother’s Day in Giverny, France

We just received the following message and photos from Artisans of Leisure travelers in France. They had a private tour through beautiful Normandy, where they visited the historic city of Rouen and Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, among other places: “The day in Giverny and Rouen was PERFECT!  Mother’s Day . . .  Perfect […]

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May 1, 2015

Another Reason to Visit Germany: the Food

Germany has a rich and varied cuisine that extends far beyond pretzels and sausages. Informal pubs, lively markets and white-tablecloth restaurants are among the many facets of Germany’s dynamic food scene. Treats such as mohnschnecken (poppy seed “snails”) and Berliners (jelly donuts, also known as krapfen or pfannkuchen in different parts of the country) are […]

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April 26, 2015

Top Picks for Scandinavia & the Baltic States Tours

We’ve recently launched new private tours featuring the very best of Scandinavia and the Baltic States. This is one of our favorite parts of the world, and we’re excited to offer tours that incorporate our unique expertise and perspective on Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The comprehensive private tours include exclusive access […]

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March 12, 2015

A Visit to the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland

One of our favorite excursions from Helsinki is to the Iittala glass factory. We can arrange a private tour of the factory to watch artisans creating the glass vases, tableware and objets d’art that are synonymous with modern Finnish design. This tour is especially recommended for collectors of Oiva Toikka—designed Iittala annual birds, eggs and other works of art. All of the vases designed by master Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, including the iconic Savoy vase, are made in the main factory.

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March 3, 2015

Dublin for Foodies

Dublin’s fabulous culinary scene is finally gaining the recognition it deserves. In recent years, restaurants, bars and markets in the Irish capital have taken a renewed interest in top local products from the surrounding land and sea, resulting in many intriguing eating and drinking options. We always enjoy visiting Dublin cheesemongers to try favorite Irish […]

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February 19, 2015

Private Cooking Classes in Puglia

We love Puglia for its excellent local cuisine, whitewashed villages, outdoor activities, sandy beaches, luxurious hotels, and interesting culture and history. A highlight of our private tours in Puglia is a private cooking class. Puglian cooking is distinct from other Italian regional cuisines in its simplicity and fascinating Greek, Middle Eastern and North African influences.

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February 13, 2015

Beautiful Lake Como, Italy

We love returning year after year to Lake Como, one of our favorite destinations in Italy. Villa d’Este is our preferred lakeside hotel. A classic grand hotel in the European tradition, it’s perfect for both families and seekers of Old World romance. We love its immaculately manicured gardens, excellent restaurants, clay tennis courts and the […]

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February 11, 2015

Must Experience: A Private Tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle

Artisans of Leisure arranges private Iceland tours including Reykjavik and the Golden Circle. Visit Geysir geothermal area, Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park UNESCO site. Diving, farm visits, hiking also. Iceland tours, luxury Iceland tours

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February 5, 2015

Just Back: Seville

We have just returned from Seville, Spain. Located in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, Seville has gorgeous Moorish gardens and unique Mudejar architecture. Our private luxury tours feature the best of the city.

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January 5, 2015

Hiking in El Torcal, Spain

El Torcal Natural Park Reserve is one of our favorite off-the-beaten-track destinations in Spain, especially for hikers or anyone interested in spectacular scenery. A craggy, otherworldly landscape of eroded limestone karsts on a high plateau, El Torcal was formed millions of years ago during the Jurassic Period, when the area was under the sea. In […]

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December 30, 2014

Must Visit: Rosendals Tradgard in Stockholm, Sweden

If you want to experience Stockholm as the locals do, we recommend visiting Rosendals Tradgard, one of our favorite places in the Swedish capital. Located on the leafy island of Djurgarden—which is also home to major cultural sites such as the Vasa Museet and the Skansen open-air museum—Rosendals is a large garden and one of […]

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November 10, 2014

Letter from a Mother: Don’t Wait to Travel with Your Children

We were touched and honored to read this letter from the mother of a family that travels regularly with Artisans of Leisure. We hope you enjoy reading about how traveling together has become such an important part of their lives. As my eldest daughter enters her senior year of high school, with her two sisters not […]

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November 9, 2014

Must Visit: Milan Expo 2015 (A World’s Fair in Italy)

Italy is adding another must-see destination to its already long list with the Milan Expo, which runs May 1–Oct 31, 2015. This World’s Fair explores the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” in individual country pavilions, as well as group pavilions with displays related to cacao, coffee, rice, spices and other foods. In […]

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October 7, 2014

Notes from Our Travelers: A Romantic and Luxurious Honeymoon in Switzerland

Many of our travelers ask us to plan trips that celebrate some of the most important moments in their lives, including spectacular customized honeymoons. We were delighted to plan a private tour of Switzerland for Brian and Allison Reichenbach, newlyweds who have generously allowed us to share their photos on our blog. The honeymooners started […]

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October 3, 2014

Spain Through the Eyes of a Sixth-Grader

More and more Artisans of Leisure travelers want their private tours to include activities based on their passions. One such traveler is Derek S., an energetic sixth-grader who loves soccer. Last spring break, Derek’s parents surprised him with an Artisans of Leisure private tour of Spain that included Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo and Valencia. To help […]

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September 18, 2014

Best of Ireland

Our private Ireland tours feature the most beautiful places, most luxurious hotels and most interesting cultural experiences throughout the Emerald Isle.

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June 5, 2014

Must Stay: Park Hyatt Vienna

The Park Hyatt Vienna is a great hotel option for travelers wanting luxury and contemporary style in the heart of the Austrian capital. Set in a grand historic building in one of our favorite neighborhoods of this culturally rich city, the Park Hyatt is just steps from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, major museums and historic attractions, […]

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April 29, 2014

Just Back: Scotland

We recently returned from a private Scotland tour, including favorite destinations such as Edinburgh, the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Artisans of Leisure arranges the private touring of the cultural and scenic highlights of Scotland.

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April 16, 2014

The New Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Travelers who appreciate the finest craftsmanship will be happy to know that Artisans of Leisure arranges tours of the outstanding Faberge Museum, which recently opened inside the restored 18th-century Shuvalov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The museum contains more than 1,500 objects crafted by the legendary Faberge workshop, including the nine imperial eggs once owned […]

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April 2, 2014

Top 10: Favorite Breakfasts around the World

We always enjoy experiencing how different cultures approach the most important meal of the day. Here are a few of our favorites: 1.) Breakfast at a cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey We love sitting on the hotel terrace and taking in views of the fantastical rock formations of this beautiful region while eating a classic […]

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February 20, 2014

Exclusive New Sicily Tours for Foodies, Culture Lovers and More

Lunch with a duchess in her seaside palazzo. A private cooking lesson with a renowned Sicilian cookbook author. Meeting a member of the Italian royalty and touring her exquisite Mediterranean garden. These are a few of the exclusive culinary and cultural experiences included in our all-new 2014 private Sicily tours. The tours define the best of […]

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February 13, 2014

Must Try: Private Yoga Lessons When Traveling

If you love yoga, or if you have always wanted to try yoga, consider incorporating it into a private tour. Artisans of Leisure can arrange expert-led private yoga sessions in many of our destinations, including a sunrise session among ancient ruins in India, one-on-one lessons at spa retreats in the Himalayas, a beach side yoga […]

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January 8, 2014

A Winter Getaway to Zurich and St. Moritz

We recently returned from a winter getaway to Zurich and St. Moritz, Switzerland. Based at the luxurious Dolder Grand and Badrutt’s Palace hotels, we enjoyed the best of both cities. Here are a few favorite places and experiences from our trip: The Dolder Grand is the perfect luxury retreat in Zurich. We love the light and […]

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November 29, 2013

Iconic Experience: Visiting a Pub in Ireland

Experiencing pub culture is a quintessential experience when traveling in Ireland. Large or small, modern and elegant or centuries-old, these neighborhood bars serve as community living rooms, where friends and family gather to socialize or enjoy a hearty meal. We love that wherever we are in Ireland we can stop in a local pub, order […]

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October 3, 2013

Hiking on the Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is a renowned hiking trail that skirts the dramatic Turquoise Coast in southwestern Turkey. Walking along portions of the trail is an exceptional way to experience the beauty and culture of a less-visited part of Turkey. Highlights include rugged mountains, picturesque villages, ancient ruins and endless views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. […]

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September 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Abroad: Unique Trips Families Will Love

The Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal time for a quick overseas getaway with family or friends. It’s also a great way to celebrate the tradition in a creative way. Artisans of Leisure’s private, customized Thanksgiving tours combine in-depth cultural touring with the best of the season, such as fall foliage, special cultural performances and holiday […]

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August 15, 2013

A Jewish Tour of Krakow, Poland

Krakow is a compact, UNESCO World Heritage-listed city filled with culture and history, including some of the most interesting Jewish touring in Poland. Before World War II, a quarter of Krakow’s population was Jewish, and many important buildings related to Jewish life still exist in the city. The Kazimierz neighborhood, the historical center of Krakow’s […]

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August 7, 2013

Amsterdam: Our Top 10 Recommendations

Amsterdam is an incredibly rich cultural destination with world-renowned museums, beautiful canals lined with gabled buildings, and a dynamic social milieu. The city is also an ideal base for touring the many other interesting places in the Netherlands, such as Delft, Maastricht and The Hague. Here are our top 10 most recommended experiences in and […]

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June 14, 2013

Private Scandinavia Tours

Our private Scandinavia tours bring the Artisans of Leisure style of travel to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Here are a few of our favorite destinations and activities in the region. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a wonderful introduction to Scandinavia. The beautiful city is built on several islands, and we usually recommend taking […]

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April 29, 2013

An Interview with Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas

We recently caught up with Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas to discuss tea, travel, fashion, food and more. Q: What makes Harney & Sons unique? A: Harney & Sons is a tea company that is committed to making quality tea an everyday luxury. We pride ourselves on providing education on proper tea […]

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April 9, 2013

An Interview with Ashley Isaacs Ganz on Greece & Turkey

Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz has spent the past few summers touring in the Mediterranean region, including Greece and Turkey. Here are a few of her favorite places and experiences. Q: What’s the one place in Turkey that every visitor should see? I never tire of Istanbul. It’s one of the great […]

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February 19, 2013

Just Back: Portugal

Artisans of Leisure tours feature the very best of Portugal, including Madeira, Porto, the Douro Valley, Lisbon, Sintra and the Alentejo region.

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February 15, 2013

Just Back: The Basque Country of Northern Spain & Southern France

Stephanie Dosch, one of our Spain travel experts, just returned from her most recent trip through Northern Spain and the Basque Region. Q: Where did you go? I spent several days in the Basque Country, including time in Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao and the French Pays Basque, before traveling to Madrid. Q: What was your […]

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November 29, 2012

Sicilian Food and Wine: A Delicious History

One of our favorite ways to experience Sicily’s unusually complex history is through its delicious food and wine. The beautiful Mediterranean island has been colonized, invaded and controlled by many different groups over the centuries, including the Greeks, Romans, Normans, Arabs and Spanish. Each wave of people brought its own ingredients and culinary traditions. The […]

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September 21, 2012

Flying in a Hot-Air Balloon over Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is one of the most unusual and atmospheric destinations in Turkey. A rural region in Central Anatolia, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient underground cities, fresco-filled cave churches and fantastical rock formations. In addition to excellent cultural touring, Cappadocia’s dramatic landscapes and sunny climate make it one of the best places in […]

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August 21, 2012

Five Favorite Basque Country Experiences

Comprising four provinces in northern Spain and three provinces in southern France, the Basque Country packs a lot into an area about the size of New Jersey. The region has its own language and a rich cultural heritage that make it a surprising change from the flamenco-tinged pueblos of Andalusia and the big-city bustle of […]

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July 14, 2012

Learn by Doing While Traveling the World

Want to learn to make mozzarella by hand on the Amalfi Coast? How about a private karate lesson in Kyoto? A surfing lesson in Bali? Would you like to paint porcelain in Austria or assist on an archaeological dig in Israel? We offer hundreds of such learning experiences that can be incorporated into our private […]

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June 7, 2012

Just Back: Austria, Germany, Switzerland & France

Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz shares a few of her favorite things about her recent two-week overland trip that visited parts of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France. Favorite hotels on this trip: I love the luxurious Old World hotels found throughout the region, such as Brenners Park-Hotel in Baden-Baden, Germany; the […]

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June 6, 2012

Traveling vegan, kosher, gluten-free or with food allergies

Many people with restricted diets or food allergies worry about finding appropriate meals when traveling overseas. Several of our in-house travel experts have food restrictions, so we understand firsthand the challenges. We also know how to overcome them. Artisans of Leisure regularly works with travelers who have food restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free and […]

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June 1, 2012

Conversations: Fabio León Ramírez, Hotel Ritz Madrid

Fabio León Ramírez, sales director at the Hotel Ritz Madrid, shares stories with us about this legendary hotel. Q: You have a long history with the hotel that goes back to when you were a child. Tell us more. Yes, my family lived in many countries when I was a child because my father was […]

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May 15, 2012

An Interview with One of Our Birding and Travel Experts

Artisans of Leisure travel specialist, Stephanie Dosch, tells us how she has been lucky to be able to combine her twin passions–birding and travel–since she was a child. Q: When and how did you become interested in birding? A: My mom has been birding forever, and she would take me along with her when I […]

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May 6, 2012

Top 5: Creative Ideas for European Summer Getaways

Europe is one of our favorite regions to visit in the summer, and there’s still time to plan an incredible summer vacation. Here are a few ideas from our travel specialists. 1.) For the Mediterranean at its best Recommended destinations: Italy & Sicily, French Riviera, Greece & more Inspiration for your tour: Enjoying beautiful views […]

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April 13, 2012

Inspiration for Amazing Family Trips

Your son likes castles, your daughter likes shopping, your husband likes history, and you like art–how can you make sure that family vacations please everyone? Artisans of Leisure specializes in one-of-a-kind, private, customized family tours that feature a world of engaging experiences sure to satisfy families of all sizes, ages and interests. Here are a […]

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March 6, 2012

An Interview with an Artisans of Leisure Portugal Guide

Portugal is a cultural and culinary gem still waiting to be discovered by many travelers. Our carefully planned Portugal tours and excellent local guides give access to iconic Portugal experiences such as touring the atmospheric back streets of Lisbon, attending a fado performance, private wine and port wine tastings at local vineyards, and tracing echoes […]

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January 6, 2012

Just Back: Russia

An Artisans of Leisure travel expert recently returned from Russia. Here are a few highlights from her trip. Most memorable meal: Café Pushkin in Moscow. This is a great place to sample traditional Russian fare such as borscht or pelmeni, which are dumplings with various fillings. My meal of mushroom pelmeni was delicious in its […]

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December 19, 2011

Just Back: Scotland

Artisans of Leisure founder and CEO Ashley Isaacs Ganz reveals a few of her favorite things about Scotland and her recent trip there. Favorite hotels on this trip: Gleneagles, in the Perthshire countryside, is truly one of the great resorts in Europe. I also love The Balmoral in Edinburgh. The location is ideal. It’s a […]

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October 21, 2011

Touring the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is one of Europe’s “must visit” attractions, especially for travelers interested in Moorish architecture, design and gardens. Located on a hilltop above the town of Granada in Andalusia (southern Spain), the Alhambra is a fortress-palace-garden complex built from the ninth through the 14th centuries by the Moors who ruled over much of the […]

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September 21, 2011

Last-minute Fall Travel Ideas

October and November are two of the best months to travel in many of our destinations—the crowds are gone and the weather is often ideal. If you are considering booking an overseas getaway during the next several months, here are a few of our travel specialists’ top picks for autumn trips. MOROCCO Autumn is a […]

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August 17, 2011

Highlights of Our Private Greece Tours

Greece is rich in ancient history, spectacular scenery and luxurious seaside resorts. These images capture some of our favorite destinations and experiences on the mainland and islands.

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August 15, 2011

Private shopping tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is one of our favorite shopping destinations, and we love arranging private shopping tours in Turkey’s dynamic capital. Many first-time visitors want us to incorporate stops at the city’s best shops and bazaars into their private cultural touring, which includes highlights such as the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, […]

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July 15, 2011

Just Back: Andalusia in Spain

Andalusia in Spain is an incredible destination for its fascinating cultural heritage, exquisite architecture, beautiful landscapes and great cuisine. Read about some of our favorite places including Granada, Ronda, Cordoba, Malaga and Marbella.

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July 14, 2011

Touring the Berner Oberland in Switzerland: A Family Favorite

For many of our travelers, a day in the Berner Oberland is a highlight of their Switzerland tour. This beautiful region in central Switzerland is perfect for anyone wanting to see iconic Swiss landscapes such as snow-capped mountains, waterfalls streaming over cliffs hundreds of feet high, and chalets sitting on meadow-covered hillsides speckled with cows […]

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June 28, 2011

Quiet time in St. Petersburg, Russia

One of our favorite hotels in Russia is the Hotel Astoria, in St. Petersburg. The minute you arrive and are greeted by the doorman, you’re made to feel right at home. The staff is very friendly and professional, and they are eager to assist in any way they can. The Astoria is elegant and cozy. […]

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April 28, 2011

Versailles Beyond the Palace: Markets, Gardens, Antiques, Nature and Luxury

Versailles is one of the most interesting and elegant cities in France. Our private France tours bring travelers to our favorite spots in Versailles, many of which are rarely visited by international travelers. One of the grandest royal palaces in the world, the Chateau de Versailles is a magnificent Baroque complex set on thousands of […]

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January 14, 2011

A Tour of Tivoli: incredible gardens, ruins and food near Rome, Italy

We always encourage travelers on our Italy tours to visit Tivoli, either as a private day tour from Rome or during their private transfer from Florence or Tuscany to Rome. Tivoli is home to Villa d’Este, a Renaissance palace with one of the most famous, influential and delightful gardens in the world. Built in the […]

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December 14, 2010

Segovia and El Escorial: A perfect day trip from Madrid

For travelers to Madrid interested in an experience beyond the urban center, we recommend a private day tour that combines the grand Royal Site of San Lorenzo of El Escorial and the charming Castilian town of Segovia. Segovia is one of our very favorite towns in Spain. It is best known for its wonderfully preserved architecture, which […]

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October 12, 2010

Touring the Highlights of Sicily

On our recent journey around Sicily, we explored the highlights of Palermo and the Baroque cities, dined on delicious Sicilian cuisine and relaxed at the top resorts around the beautiful Italian island. Architecture in and around Palermo displays Sicily’s diverse cultural influences. Our local guides help travelers understand the meaning of the forms and symbols. […]

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September 1, 2010

Must Stay: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

We love the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London–it’s a hotel that gets it right on every level. It has a perfect location in Knightsbridge, just steps from some of the city’s best shopping spots (including Harvey Nichols, Harrod’s, Walton Street, The Kings Road, Sloane Street and Sloane Avenue), beautiful Hyde Park and the Chelsea […]

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December 22, 2009

Luxury Family Tours of Italy

Italy is one of our most popular family destinations for many reasons. Food is easy: nearly everyone loves Italian specialties such as pasta, pizza, antipasti, fried vegetables, cheese and gelato. Culture is everywhere: older children are fascinated by places where history is so tangible (and beautiful), and younger children are wowed by iconic places such […]

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October 6, 2009

Top 5: Quick getaways over the Christmas and New Year holidays

Looking for great options for a short international trip over the Christmas and New Year holidays? Our luxury travel experts have selected five of their favorite destinations. 1.) Marrakesh A week in Marrakesh promises over-the-top luxury, thriving traditional culture, great shopping and dining, and plenty of outdoor options. We recommend using Marrakesh as base for five or […]

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September 25, 2009

Porticos of Bologna

Porticos are as essential to Bologna as gourmet food and university students. The distinctive covered walkways course 38 kilometers (more than 23 miles) through this attractive and very walkable city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, sheltering pedestrians and window-shoppers from the elements while providing access to daylight and fresh air. Porticos typically flow […]

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September 17, 2009

Classical Music: A Central European Tradition

Classical music is the enduring soundtrack of Central Europe and one of the many compelling reasons to visit the region. Some of the world’s greatest composers were born here—including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Dvorak—and their musical masterpieces are a legacy treasured by locals and visitors alike. One of our favorite ways to immerse […]

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August 12, 2009

An interview with one of our culinary travel experts

Artisans of Leisure is well known for our private culinary tours in destinations around the world. We hope you enjoy this interview with one of our culinary travel experts. Q: How does food influence how you travel? A: Basically, I travel to eat. Quite often I plan my touring around a certain restaurant I want […]

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August 3, 2009

Secret London: Chelsea Physic Garden

The Chelsea Physic Garden is one of our favorite places in London. Hidden behind high brick walls and largely unknown to many travelers, this three-and-a-half-acre garden is not just a beautiful and relaxing sanctuary. It’s also a fascinating window into the botanical world, international trade and London’s history. The garden was founded in 1673 by […]

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June 24, 2009

A conversation with hotel designer Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Collection

Olga Polizzi, director of design for the Rocco Forte Collection, is the creative mind behind many of our favorite international hotels, including Hotel de Russie in Rome, Brown’s Hotel in London, and Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg. Olga works closely with her brother, famed hotelier Sir Rocco Forte. We recently spoke with her about travel, […]

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June 10, 2009

Just Back: Italy

Highlights from our recent trip through Italy, including Lake Como, Bologna, Florence, Tuscany and Rome.

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June 9, 2009

The Best of Normandy: Food, History, Villages, Gardens and Art

Normandy is one of our favorite travel destinations in France. It’s just a few hours by private car and driver from Paris, and there are endless touring options. One of the highlights of traveling in Normandy is the food, which we feel is among the best in France. Normandy is the home of many of […]

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June 2, 2009

Top 5: the most romantic travel destinations

Our travel experts have created a list of our Top 5 favorite romantic destinations–these locations are perfect for honeymooners or anyone seeking a special romantic getaway. 1.) Morocco Our favorite way to experience the most luxurious and romantic side of Morocco is to stay in Marrakesh for several days at luxury resort such as the […]

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May 18, 2009

A Conversation with Renowned Art Curator David Elliott

We recently caught up with David Elliott, the British-born, globetrotting curator. A major tastemaker in the contemporary art world, Elliott has been the director at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan and at the Istanbul Modern in Turkey, helping introduce a fresh approach to contemporary art in both cities. Elliott’s current post is artistic […]

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May 15, 2009

Ryabushinsky House and Other Highlights of Moscow’s Art Nouveau

Among the riot of buildings that make Moscow such an exciting cultural destination–polychrome medieval churches, proletarian-Baroque subway stations, bold Constructivist experiments, Stalinist “wedding cake” skyscrapers, etc.–some of our favorites are in the Moscow Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau came into vogue in Moscow at the end of the 19th century, an exciting time for local […]

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April 17, 2009

Madrid for art and design lovers

Madrid is one of Europe’s most interesting cities for art and architecture lovers, with renowned art museums, notable contemporary architecture and beautiful historic sites. The first stop for many international travelers arriving in Spain is Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas International Airport. A stunning complex of glass walls and undulating rooftops designed by British architect […]

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April 14, 2009

Helsinki and the architecture of Alvar Aalto

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is home to an intriguing collection of architectural monuments ranging from vernacular wooden structures and stone fortresses to neo-Classical edifices and even a church hewn from rock. But for fans of modern architecture–and those curious about one of Finland’s most creative minds–a trip to Helsinki would be incomplete without touring […]

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April 3, 2009

Portuguese tiles (azulejos) are a visual delight and a travel highlight

We love Portugal and especially love the tiles (azulejos) that can be seen everywhere—on the exterior walls of private homes, in the train stations, on water fountains, and covering the walls of the magnificent countryside palaces. Tiles have been used as architectural and decorative elements for many centuries in Portugal. We’ve carefully selected our Portuguese guides—they are experts on the country’s history […]

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March 31, 2009

Our favorite day trips from Prague

Most travelers fall in love with Prague and never want to leave its fairytale architecture and enchanting backstreets. Prague’s beauty and charm is obvious, but it’s the experience with our guides–who bring the history, traditions, art, architecture, music and cuisine to life–that is what our clients rave about the most. Travelers also appreciate that our […]

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March 24, 2009

Private Jewish Heritage Tours

Many travelers ask us to incorporate people, places and activities of Jewish significance when they are traveling internationally with us. We can incorporate Jewish touring into any of our tours around the world, from Sydney to Shanghai and most places in between. Many travelers simply want us to incorporate some Jewish-related sightseeing in Europe, Asia, […]

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March 19, 2009

Potsdam: a perfect day trip from Berlin

Just outside Berlin is one of Germany’s most enchanting destinations: Potsdam. The one-time residence of Prussian kings and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is set among a chain of lakes, and features royal palaces and gardens, a historic town center filled with unique boutiques and great restaurants, and unique architectural works from […]

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February 27, 2009

The perfect dramatic opening to Venice

Cruising by private boat from Marco Polo airport to your palace hotel is a quintessential Venice experience and the best, and most romantic, way to arrive in this city of islands. As you depart the airport and glide through the lagoon, watch as the views of rural islands and sparkling water slowly give way to […]

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February 24, 2009

An Interview with One of Our Art and Architecture Travel Experts

John is one of the travel experts based in our New York City office. He’s passionate about art and architecture, and helps design our tours around the world. Q: What are your favorite travel destinations? A: Each destination is fascinating in its own way, and I love exploring new places and discovering what’s distinctive about them—local […]

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February 18, 2009

Top 5: Best food markets in Europe

We feel that food is a window into culture, history and traditions, and we always encourage our travelers to visit local food markets as part of the private tours we arrange. It’s a great opportunity for people-watching and to sample the tastes and flavors of each destination. Here are a few of our favorite food […]

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February 18, 2009

The best English gardens in the Cotswolds

One of the highlights of having a privately guided tour of the Cotswolds is the opportunity to learn about the incredible gardens in the region–the history, unique characters and characteristics of the manor homes and their gardens, and how international trade and exploration influenced English gardens, planting and style in the Cotswolds. Our tours of England and the […]

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February 18, 2009

Family festivities during Christmas season in Vienna

Our favorite time to visit Vienna is during the magical holiday season that takes place from late November through December. For families traveling in Vienna during this time, we arrange special activities that are particularly recommended during the holiday season, such as making gingerbread in the kitchen at Schonbrunn Palace. We also arrange for families […]

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February 13, 2009

A tour of Barcelona’s Top 5 Modernista sites

One of the main draws for travelers to Barcelona is the number of structures built in Modernista style, that fantastical, colorful, most whimsical of architectural styles popularized in the late 1800’s that is the Catalan equivalent to Art Nouveau. Most often associated with Antoni Gaudi, there are in fact other renowned Modernista architects, most notably […]

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February 13, 2009

Padua: a perfect day trip from Venice

Known as the City of Frescoes, Padua is a compact historic town less than an hour from Venice. It has a lively university atmosphere, great outdoor cafes and a wealth of cultural treasures well worth seeing. In fact, fitting all of them into one day can be a challenge! For our travelers, we take care […]

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February 12, 2009

Shopping in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Covered Bazaar is a perfect spot for one-stop-shopping for traditional Turkish goods. There is something for everyone in its thousands of shops, including jewelry and kilim (traditional Turkish rugs). Lamps and tea sets made of colored glass are plentiful and recall the glittering jewels of the spectacular treasury at Topkapi Palace. The bazaar […]

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February 12, 2009

An Interview with One of Our Honeymoon Specialists

Artisans of Leisure has developed a real following with honeymooners who want our expertise when planning their unique, totally customized, once-in-a-lifetime honeymoons. We asked our travel specialists for their tips: Q: What advice do you give honeymooners? A: Don’t try to do too much (or too little)! We find the best honeymoons have a perfect balance of […]

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February 12, 2009

Touring France with young children

We love planning family tours in France. It’s a perfect destination for families with children of all ages. Our private France tours are designed so the touring is flexible and fun for all family members. For those with young children, parents can truly experience all of the pleasures of France–the incredible history, beauty and cuisine–without compromising anything. There is plenty […]

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February 11, 2009

Afternoon tea around the world

Something I like to do when I travel is try the local version of a traditional British afternoon tea. Usually this is found in countries that have a history of British occupation, but not always. One of my favorite versions is at The Peninsula in Hong Kong. Held in the hotel’s elegant lobby, the menu […]

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February 10, 2009

Must Buy: linens in Deauville

We love Deauville…its glamour, village-feel, incredible seafood, legendary racecourse, and its beautiful beach lined with colorful umbrellas. Each time we visit, we love to pick up colorful French linens that are bright and fun and a perfect reminder of Deauville. Destinations:  Europe, FranceTags:  beach, culture blog, Deauville, design blog, France tours, French, French linens, interior design, luxury travel blog, Normandy, Normandy […]

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February 10, 2009

Antiquing in Vienna

Vienna is one of the best places in Europe to find antiques, and many Artisans of Leisure travelers ask us to arrange their private day tours to include time to browse the best antique districts and visit Vienna’s leading auction houses, including the Dorotheum. For such clients, we assign guides who are particularly knowledgeable about Austrian and […]

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February 6, 2009

The 5 Best Ancient Ruins in Turkey

We recently returned from a private luxury tour of Turkey that featured the some of the best ancient ruins in the country. Read about some of our favorite sites we visited, including Ephesus, Cappadocia, Aphrodisias and more.

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February 5, 2009

Must Stay: The Four Seasons Budapest is a work of art

Every inch of this hotel is absolutely stunning. Our private luxury tours in Budapest include accommodation at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, and we also arrange other related activities. For example, upon request we take our travelers to meet the renowned artist who created the sculptures in the lobby (see above). Also, the hotel features authentic Zsolnay ceramic […]

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February 5, 2009

A gourmet hideaway in Lisbon’s botanical garden

Estufa Real Lisbon Estufa Real is located in Lisbon’s botanical gardens and was one of our most memorable dining experiences during our recent visit to Lisbon. The cuisine was innovative yet unpretentious, featuring fresh ingredients and herbs picked from the garden out the window. After dining, it’s worth strolling through the gardens. A driver is […]

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