Smithsonian Journeys Presents Best Tours to Europe Featuring 20 Exclusive Insider’s Tours

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Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, offers more than 20 custom-designed tours to Europe that feature intriguing destinations and an insider’s perspective on their culture, history and arts. Through Smithsonian contacts, travelers can enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities, such as meeting with a conservator at the famed Uffizi in Florence, discussing plot and character with mystery writers in England and enjoying the people and sites of Athens and a nearby island with a local expert. Full details on all Smithsonian tours to Europe can be found at http://www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.

Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, offers more than 20 custom-designed tours to Europe that feature intriguing destinations and an insider’s perspective on their culture, history and arts. Through Smithsonian contacts, travelers can enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities, such as meeting with a conservator at the famed Uffizi in Florence, discussing plot and character with mystery writers in England and enjoying the people and sites of Athens and a nearby island with a local expert. Full details on all Smithsonian tours to Europe can be found at http://www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.

Lovers of British mystery stories will meet Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin, Kate Ellis and other authors and discuss the craft of writing a mystery novel during this special British mystery tour. who . A team of experts provides a lively overview of British mysteries, including lectures and tours that reflect settings and plots, as fellow mystery lovers travel from the Yorkshire moors to Edinburgh. Travelers also tour a forensics office and meet with other experts. “Mystery Lover’s England and Scotland” is scheduled for Oct. 13-22 and costs $5,995.

Smithsonian also offers a behind-the-scenes Christmas tour in England. During “Christmas in Canterbury” (Dec. 20-27), travelers will experience a week of quintessential English holiday traditions such as carol singing with town residents, special seating at services at the Canterbury Cathedral and traditional holiday meals and festivities as well as exclusive tours and presentations. Throughout the holiday tour, the Smithsonian resident expert provides insight into the region as well as holiday traditions. More information about both tours is featured at http://www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.

Travelers interested in special art tours to Italy have three choices from the Journeys portfolio. While “Hidden Venice” (Nov. 6-13) and “Insider’s Florence” (Nov 12-19) offer special entrée into the arts and culture of two of Italy’s most charming cities, “Art Treasures of Italy” (Oct. 3-12) features Venice, Florence and Rome. All tours showcase special behind-the-scenes meetings with local experts, exclusive tours and fine accommodations and dining and range in price starting from $4,995.

Designed for the independent-minded traveler, “City Explorers: Athens and Aegina” offers a relaxed pace with a balance of insider’s guided group activities and time at leisure to pursue personal interests independently. The Smithsonian expert leads specially arranged tours to top sites and lesser-known gems in and around Athens, while guest speakers offer additional insight into special topics. Travelers will also have a two-day visit to a nearby island to meet local residents, including artists and fishermen, join a culinary lesson, and have dinner in a private home with local residents. With the luxury of time and local connections, as well as a few language lessons, travelers may be as active as they want and feel like true Athenians. More information about “City Explorers: Athens and Aegina” (Oct. 17-29), including its cost of $4,745 for two weeks, can be found at http://www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.

“France through the Ages” (Oct. 7-21) provides travelers with an overview of French history and the richness of the culture and scenic beauty from Toulouse to Paris. Highlights of this tour to France includes visits to many World Heritage sites, including medieval castles such as Carcassonne and Mont St. Michel and chateaux of the Loire Valley; other important sites features the cave paintings of Lascaux II, the D-Day landing beaches, haunts of the Impressionists at Honfleur and Giverny and the Louvre Museum in Paris. The tour price starts from $5,395, including international airfare. “Sojourn in the Dordogne” (Sept. 15-23) features a nine-day stay in southern France renowned for prehistoric cave art, untouched medieval towns and superb cuisine and wine. The Smithsonian resident director provides travelers with a comprehensive understanding of the region, specifically in the arts, anthropology, culture and the local cuisine and wine. The tour price starts from $4,595 per person.

Smithsonian’s “Old World Europe” (Oct. 13-29) is a comprehensive journey showcasing more than seven World Heritage sites in five distinctly different nations, including the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Austria. The Smithsonian expert on this Eastern European tour brings special insights to the culture and sites visited. Tour pricing starts from $4,595, including international airfare.

About Smithsonian Journeys
Smithsonian Journeys is the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, with more than 40 years dedicated to life-enriching experiences worldwide. The Smithsonian is known for “Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery,” which is central to Smithsonian Journeys and its more than 150 expert-led international and domestic tours featuring exclusive access and unforgettable experiences. The Smithsonian Journeys collection includes small-ship luxury and value cruises, private-jet tours, custom designed private travel options and small-group, air-inclusive tours worldwide. For more information, call toll-free 1 (877) 338-8687 or visit http://www.SmithsonianJourneys.org.

About Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees, including approximately 500 scientists, and more than 6,500 volunteers. There were approximately 30 million visits from around the world at the Smithsonian in 2010 with more than 188 million visits to the Smithsonian websites. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

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