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Cote d’Azur and Provence, France

May 2-15, 2024

Provence-Cote d’Azur is the picturesque southeast region of France. It encompasses the inland towns and cities such as Nice, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Chateauneuf du Pape, Isle sur la Sorgue, Les Baux, Fontvieille, as well as the bustling port city of Marseille.

Join Travac Tours as we explore many of the charming villages and towns that have made Provence a mecca for tourists from around the world.

This well-paced tour will start in Nice giving you a chance to soak in the azure complexion of the French Riviera. You will then travel to the fabled city of Avignon, your home for the next 6 nights. It is from Avignon that you will explore the small towns and villages that are the fabric of Provence. Each town will offer a different experience. You will travel into the heart of Provence and savour its natural beauty and captivating 2000 year old history. Your holiday ends in the sea port of Marseille.

Attractively priced, Travac’s Cote D’Azur and Provence program will sell out quickly. Early booking is your best guarantee of space on this vacation!

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa by motorcoach for your overnight flights to Nice from Montreal. Dinner and a light breakfast onboard.

Day 2

Upon your arrival in Nice you will be transferred to your hotel. Since check in time is later in the afternoon you will have ample time to orientate yourself to the ambiance of this delightful town.

Overnight – NH Nice or similar.

Day 3

This morning you will embark on a tour of Nice which is located on the French Riviera in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Blessed by a sunny, temperate climate Nice attracts visitors from around the world. Among its many attractions are its beautiful beaches, its lovely seaside promenade and its many museums. Your tour will also take you to Monte Carlo, famous for its Casino. Monte Carlo located in the principality of Monaco offers a stunning view of the Cote D’Azur. (B, D)

Overnight – NH Nice or similar.

Day 4

Your day will be at your leisure. This delightful town offers an array of opportunities for a relaxing day on the French Riviera. (B)

Overnight – NH Nice or similar.

Day 5

Today is another free day to explore Nice. Your Travac Tours Director will also be offering an optional tour. (B)

Overnight-NH Nice or similar

Day 6

This morning you will travel from Nice to Avignon which is situated in the heart of Provence. Avignon was for a time, the capital of Christendom during the middle ages. Today the city retains a strong link with its past. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), the Saint-Benezet bridge, called the “pont d’Avignon” as well as the ramparts that surround the old town are just a few of the monuments listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Avignon will be your home for the next six nights and will act as a base for exploring Provence. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 7

No visit to Provence is complete without a visit to Arles. This enchanting town is dotted with Roman ruins and is one of the most popular destinations in Provence. After your city tour, you will have plenty of time to enjoy this charming town before returning to Avignon in mid afternoon. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 8

Your tour today will take you into the Les Baux region of Provence. Set in the heart of the Alpilles regional country park, Les Baux-de-Provence is a listed heritage site that has won titles such as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Your tour of this serine area will also include a visit to an olive farm as well as a visit to St Remy de Provence and the St. Paul Asylum. It was at the St. Paul Asylum that Vincent Van Gogh spent a great deal of time. Expect to arrive back in Avignon in the late afternoon. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 9

Your day will be at your leisure. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 10

Your morning will begin with a visit to Chateauneuf du Pape for a wine tasting after which you will head to Uzes for lunch. Your afternoon will take you to Pont du Gard. The Pont du Gard is a bridge, part of the aqueduct of Nîmes, which was built by the Roman Empire between AD 40 and 60 to transport fresh water across the Gardon River. The Pont du Gard is 900 feet long, 160 feet high, with a maximum span of about 8.5 feet. It was actively used as a source of fresh water by the citizens of Nîmes between the first and sixth centuries AD. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 11

Our journey today will take us to Isle sur la Sorgue. L’Isle sur la Sorgue is one of those places in Provence that one has to see. The river Sorgue surrounds the city as if to hug it. This ancient town is also filled with canals that can be crossed by small bridges that lead into court yards and small avenues filled with shops and cafes. On our return to Avignon, we will pass through the village of Menerbes where we can enjoy its magnificent views. We will also make a short stop in Oppede-le-Vieux. This small village is another of the timeless towns perched in the hills that dot the dramatic landscapes of the Luberon region of Provence. Our last stop will be in Bonnieux. Built on a plateau above the valley, Bonnieux is a frequent stage on the famous Tour de France cycle race and a majestic example of the medieval era. (B)

Overnight – Novotel Avignon Centre or similar.

Day 12

This morning we will bid farewell to Avignon and make our way to Marseille visiting Aix en Provence enroute. The town of Aix itself dates back to early Roman times and certainly there is still some evidence of their occupation in the region. However, it is art that has made Aix so popular. Aix was home to Cezanne whose paintings populate many of the finest galleries in the world. It is these images that have drawn artists from around the world to this quaint town.

On arrival in Marseille, you’ll have a tour of the city before checking into the hotel. Marseille is the second largest city in France by population, its biggest Mediterranean port and the economic center of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Founded by the Phocaeans in 600 BC Marseille is one of the oldest cities in all of Europe. With over a million inhabitants it offers a different flavour from the small villages of Provence. (B)

Overnight – NH Collection Marseille or similar.

Day 13

Your day will be at your leisure. (B, D)

Overnight – NH Collection Marseille or similar.

Day 14

Today you will be returning to Canada, bidding farewell to this charming area of France. (B)

 

Itinerary subject to change.

 

*Please note that a visit to Provence entails a fair amount of walking to fully enjoy your holiday experience. You should feel comfortable being able to walk for extended periods of time. Many of the avenues and walk ways are made of cobblestone. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.

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Hotel Information


NH Nice or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
2-4 Parv. de l'Europe, 06300
Nice, France

+33 4 92 00 80 00


Novotel Avignon Centre or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
20 Bd Saint-Roch, 84000
Avignon, France

+33 4 32 74 70 00


NH Collection Marseille or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
37 Bd des Dames, 13002
Marseille, France

+33 4 96 11 31 20



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Italy: The Amalfi Coast and Sicily

A Cultural Escapade into Amalfi and Sicily 

April 14-29, 2024 

Amalfi is a special place. Left to us by the Gods of the ancient world, Zeus and Poseidon, it has been fashioned with dramatic landscapes and vistas that are truly awe inspiring. Your time in Sorrento will include many escapes, including one of the great drives along the jagged cliffs of this ancient coast. You will also have a chance to visit the island of love, Capri, known for its magical beauty. Another excursion will take you to the ruins of Pompeii, set against the backdrop of Mount Vesuvius.

Travelling south, your holiday will take you to Sicily. Located in the midst of the Mediterranean, this island has a personality of its own, full of flavour and teeming with cultural architecture dating back thousands of years. Ruins from both the Greek and Roman period are said to be the best in Europe. Each day will be filled with unexpected riches that are sure to enhance your experience.

 

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

International flight from Canada to Naples. You will meet your Travac Tours Director at the Westgate Mall for your private transfer to the Montreal airport for your flights to Naples. Onboard you will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast.

Day 2

Upon arrival in Naples you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the baggage claim area. You will then be transferred to your hotel in Sorrento. The balance of your day will be free to explore this charming hillside town. (D)

Day 3

Today you are totally free to explore all the wonders that can be found in Sorrento. (B,D)

Day 4

This morning we will explore Naples and the UNESCO-listed ruins of Pompeii. This fascinating tour will be led by a local guide. We will begin with a short city tour of Naples passing by its Royal Palace and the Grand Cathedral. Afterwards, we will journey to Pompeii to explore the largest archeological site in Europe, visiting the Forum, Thermal Baths, ‘Lupanare’ the Pompeii brothel and more. Your trip will conclude in the late afternoon. (B,D)

Day 5

You are again at liberty to enjoy the flavors of Sorrento on your own. (B,D)

Day 6

It is difficult not to fall in love with the Amalfi coast. Your tour today will show you why the Amalfi coast has, for several decades, become the playground of the rich and famous. You’ll pass by Positano and of course stop at the village of Amalfi itself. Along the way you will have plenty of time to explore and revel in the richness of these iconic gems. (B,D)

Day 7

As an option today you may wish to visit the alluring island of Capri. This holiday includes a boat trip around the island to soak up the views of the unique coastal formations. You will also have time to visit Capri’s old town, where you can stroll around the cobbled streets of Piazza Umberto. (B,D)

Day 8

After breakfast, we will depart Amalfi and make our way to Sicily and our first stop in Catania. Expect to arrive in the early evening. (B)

Day 9

Catania has its own magnetic pull and youthful energy. The city itself is over 2700 years old and is full of UNESCO listed sites. Today our tour will afford you ample time to explore the historic sites of this city while at the same time enjoying its extraordinary cuisine. Our tour will also visit the nearby picturesque villages of Acicastello and Acireale. (B)

Day 10

Today you will travel to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna. Indeed, it is the highest peak south of the Alps. The region is famous for its wines and of course its spectacular vistas. While on Etna we will stop at one of the local wineries. To complete your tour, we will visit the town of Taormino. This town is spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Sicily. Founded in the 4th century BC, Taormino enjoyed great prosperity first under the Greeks and then the Romans. Their presence is still felt throughout the town which adds to its charm. (B)

Day 11

Tour of Syracuse. After breakfast we will make our way to Syracuse. More than any other city in Sicily, Syracuse captures the timeless beauty of this land. Today ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards. The city itself dates back to 734 BC and at one point it was the most important city in the ancient world. Syracuse is filled with medieval piazzas and small cafes that can be found everywhere on its cobbled streets. (B)

Day 12

After breakfast, we will be leaving Catania and travelling to Palermo. Our route will take us through Villa Romana del Casale. This Roman villa is famous for its ancient mosaics considered to be among the best in the world. From here you will make your way to Palermo. After checking into our hotel the balance of your day will be free. (B)

Day 13

Tour of Palermo. Palermo is at the edge of Europe and the centre of the ancient world. Your tour of Palermo will cover a lot of ground illuminating some of the city’s fabulous UNESCO sites and its history throughout the ages. Palermo is famous for its eateries. You will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the cuisine while falling in love with the setting. Our tour of Palermo will also include a visit to Monreale, famous for its Cathedral and incredible panoramic views of Palermo. (B)

Day 14

Free day. (B)

Day 15

Explore the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, famous for its golden stone Doric temples left by the Greeks. Learn about the myths of Hercules, Juno, Castor and Pollux. Relive the glories of the people who founded Sicily, colonizing its cities from the 8th century BC. The temples were constructed some 300 years later and remain the largest collection of early Greek architecture outside of Greece. The Temple of Concord and Temple of Zeus, believed to have been the 3rd largest temple the Greeks ever built. (B, D)

Day 16

Flight home. Your tour director will advise you of your return times.

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Hotel Information


Hotel Bristol, Sorrento

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Capo, 22, 80067
Sorrento NA, Italy

+39 081 878 4522


Four Points by Sheraton Catania Hotel

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Antonello Da Messina 45 Aci Castello, 95021
Catania, CT, Italy

+39 095 711 4111


Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133
Palermo, Italy

+39 091 320075



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Portugal- The Algarve 3 Week Stay at the Oriental

February 4th- 26th, 2024

February 25th – March 18th, 2024

March 3rd- 25th, 2024

Travac wants you to explore the ultimate beachfront getaway! Look no further than the breathtaking Oriental Beach Hotel in enchanting Praia da Rocha. Let us transport you to a world of pure relaxation, where golden sands meet the azure waters and every moment is a memory waiting to be made.

Imagine waking up to the gentle sounds of waves caressing the shore, stepping out onto your private balcony, and being greeted by panoramic views of the sun-kissed coastline.

As the sun sets over the horizon, painting the sky with hues of pink, oranges and gold, you’ll find yourself in awe of the sheer beauty that Praia da Rocha has to offer.

Beyond the tranquil shores a world of adventure awaits you. From your hotel you will be able to explore everything that the Algarve has to offer. Your local rep will be happy to assist you with your plans.

The Oriental Beach Hotel offers more than accommodations. It helps create memories that will last a life time. While at the Oriental, both breakfast and dinner are included daily.

Please join us for this fabulous winter escape!

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart from Canada

Departure from Westgate Mall to Montreal via private motorcoach. You will arrive to Dorval, Montreal 3 hours prior to your flight time. You will fly with Air Transat from Montreal to Lisbon. Our office staff will be happy to give you flight/time details.

Day 2-21

Praia da Rocha

Upon arrival in Lisbon, you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel via private motorcoach. Driving time is approximately 3 hours.

Your local representative will meet you on arrival in the main reception. Baggage is not included, so please bring your baggage into reception. Your stay at the includes:

Accommodation as selected and paid.

Breakfast (Buffet) daily

Dinner (Buffet) daily

With many of the country’s safest and loveliest beaches and a year-round balmy climate, it is not surprising that the Algarve is Portugal’s most popular tourist destination. The 200km coastline of the Algarve features all types of coves, cliffs, caves, and its rocky beaches contrasts beautifully with broad expanses of sand. Optional excursions will be available for purchase locally.

Attend a presentation about optional tour ($) offerings. Your local representative will advise of location & time upon arrival.

Day 21-23

Lisbon

You will be advised by your local representative the time of departure today to Lisbon via private motorcoach. Your local representative will get you onboard the coach and say goodbye.

On arrival into Lisbon, you will be met by a local representative for your check in. Your stay for the next 2 nights is at the Hotel Marques de Pombal.

($) Optional tours will be offered of Lisbon and area.

Day 23

Return to Canada

You will be transferred from your Lisbon hotel to the Lisbon airport (3.5 hours prior to departure time from Lisbon). Your flight today is with Air Transat from Lisbon to Dorval, Montreal. Once you arrive in Montreal you will be met by a Travac representative to transfer you back from Montreal to Ottawa. Our office staff will be happy to give you flight details.

Itinerary subject to change.

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Hotel Information


Hotel Oriental

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Av. Tomás Cabreira, 8500-802
Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Portugal

+351 282 480 800


Hotel Marques de Pombal (Lisbon) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Av. da Liberdade 243, 1250-143
Lisbon, Portugal

+351 21 319 7900



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Spain and Morocco Combination Tour

January 28- February 19, 2024

February 25- March 18, 2024

Travac tours is pleased to be offering an exciting new package that will combine the Costa del Sol with the Imperial cities of Morocco!

This holiday will take you to the Costa Del Sol for a 2 week stay at the fabulous Hotel Ocean House before leaving for Morocco.

Morocco will offer you an exhilarating mix of culture and history. Each stop has been carefully planned to illuminate Morocco’s proud heritage that dates back thousands of years.

Your tour will start in Tangier on the coast of the strait of Gibraltar and work its way south. Along the way you will visit Volubilis, Meknes, Casablanca, Marrakech and Rabat. Each offers a different perspective on the past and present life in Morocco.

Breakfast and dinner are included every day throughout this fabulous holiday.

Please note there is a maximum of 36 seats available on this tour.  Early booking is essential!

 

January 28 departure

Total selling price including all taxes:

House Suite – Standard View

Double occupancy: $4669 per person  ($3769  + taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $5839  ($4939 + taxes of $900).

House Suite – Puerto Marina Mediterranean View

Double occupancy: $4878 per person ($3978 + taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $6257 ($5357 + taxes of $900).

February 25 departure

Total selling price including all taxes:

House Suite – Standard View

Double occupancy: $4799 per person ($3899 + taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $6039 including all taxes ($5139 + taxes of $900).

House Suite – Puerto Marina Mediterranean View

Double occupancy: $5008 per person ($4108 + taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $6457 ($5557 + taxes of $900).

 

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart from Canada

Your flight departs with Air Transat from Montreal direct to Malaga, Spain. Our office staff will be happy to give you flight details.

Day 2

Arrival in Malaga

Upon arrival in Malaga, you will be met by your local Travac Tours Director and transferred to your hotel in Torremolinos by private chartered coach. Your Travac Tours Director will assist you with check-in and advise you of a meeting time for your information session on optional tours.

Day 3-15

Costa del Sol

The Hotel Ocean House is a four-star resort hotel located beachfront in the popular holiday destination of Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol, in southern Spain. Accommodations consist entirely of rooms all with their own terrace, as well as breakfast and dinner daily, making it an ideal choice for a delightful vacation.

During your two- week stay, your Travac Tours Director will assist you with optional tours and activities ($). The optional tours are paid locally in Euros and once paid are non-refundable. A listing of these tours along with costs are only available locally once in Spain.

The towns of Benalmádena, Málaga, Fuengirola, Mijas , Malaga, and Marbella are all close by and can be easily reached by public transportation. You will also have the opportunity to visit some of the cities in the region including Seville, Granada and the jewel of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar ($). Shopping opportunities are extensive. There are also local markets in each village that operate on different days of the week.

 

Day 16

Transfer to Tangiers, Morocco

Today you will travel to the Spanish harbour, Tarifa, where you will board the ferry to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangiers. On arrival, you will check into the hotel. There will be time to have lunch, followed by a panoramic tour of the city, including Cape Espartel & Hercules Grotto, and a stroll into Medina.

Overnight in Hilton City Center and Residences (or similar)

Day 17

Tangiers to Fez

Today you will leave Tangiers and travel through the Medium Atlas Mountain range. The first stop will be in Volubilis to visit its Roman ruins. There will be an enroute stop for lunch (on your own), then on to Meknes. There you will stroll through the medina, Plaza El-Hedim, where you will see its famous door, Bab Al Mansour, probably the most beautiful in Morocco. The route continues to Fez, where you will check in to your hotel.

Two nights in Zalah Park Palace (or similar)

Day 18

Fez

Today you will have a full tour of Fez, the first imperial city of Morocco, founded in the 9th Century. You will visit the Jewish and Christian Quarters, the Royal Palace (from the outside), the medina (declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its mosques and university, the Nejarine fountain, and the Tanners Quarters, including entrance to Medersa Bouaninia. In the afternoon there will be free time for shopping.

Day 19

Fez to Marrakech

Today you will depart for Marrakech with a brief stop in Casablanca, where you will have free time in the popular Corniche of Ain Daib promenade for lunch on your own. This will be followed by a panoramic tour of this cosmopolitan city with a visit (from the exterior) of the Hassan II Mosque, the largest functioning mosque in Africa and the 7th largest in the world. You will then continue on to Marrakech to check in to your hotel.

2 Nights in Kenzi Rose Garden & Spa (or similar)

Day 20

Marrakech

Today you will have a panoramic tour of Marrakech, the Red City, where you will see the Menara Gardens, the 16th Century Saadian tombs, the Bahia Palace, the Jewish Quarter, and the Koutoubia Minaret. A visit is also included to the Majorelle Gardens. Optional lunch and continue visiting the medina for shopping. At the Djemaa El Fna Square, you will see snake charmers, acrobats, water sellers and scribes writing letters for the illiterate.

Day 21

Marrakech-Rabat

Enroute to Rabat, the Capital of the Kingdom, we will stop for lunch (not included) Upon arrival in the afternoon, the city tour will show you the exquisite 12th century Tower of Hassan, the bustling Kasbah, and the imposing Royal Palace (from the exterior). You will also visit the Mohamed 5th Mausoleum and the ruins of the old mosque. Before checking in the hotel, you will have time to see the beautiful Kasbah of Oudayas fortress, located on the Buregregs riverbank.

Overnight in Hotel Le Diwan Rabat-MGallery (or similar)

Day 22

Rabat to Costa Del Sol

Today it will be time to bid farewell to Morocco as your travel back to Tangiers to meet the ferry. You will return to the Costa del Sol for a one night stay before heading home.

Overnight at Sol Príncipe (or similar)

Day 23

Return to Canada

Your Tour Director will assist with check out and he/she will travel with you on your transfer from the hotel to the airport via private coach. He/she will assist you with your check-in. Your flight is direct from Malaga to Montreal with Air Transat.

Itinerary and flights subject to change.

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Hotel Information


Hotel Ocean House

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
C. Salvador Allende, 45, 29620
Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain

+34 952 38 70 66


Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Rond point de la gare ferroviaire
Tangier 90000, Morocco

+212 5393-09700


Zalagh Park Palace or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Lotissement Oued Fes, Rte Principale Fès Meknès
Fez, Morocco
30090
+212 5359-49949


Kenzi Rose Garden & Spa or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Av. du Président Kennedy
Marrakech 40000, Morocco

+212 5244-47400


Hotel Le Diwan Rabat-MGalleryat or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Place De L'Unité Africaine
Rabat 10005, Morocco

+212 5372-62727


Sol Príncipe (or similar)

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Paseo Colorado, 26
Torremolinos, Spain

+34 952 38 41 00



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Italy- The Italian Riviera, Tuscany and Florence

October 11-24, 2023

Very few regions of the world evoke the same romantic images as do the Italian Riviera, Tuscany and Florence. Italy is a gift to the senses and a foodie’s dream vacation.  Join Travac Tours for a 14 day, 12-night holiday to this incredibly beautiful part of Northern Italy renowned for art, culture, and cuisine.

You will start your holiday in The Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre. The Italian Riviera, synonymous with Italy’s Liguria region, is a crescent-shaped strip of Mediterranean coastline spanning between the south of France and Tuscany. It is defined by its rugged cliffs, turquoise coves, pastel seaside towns, colourful fishing villages as well as resort areas such as Portofino.

On to Tuscany to experience all that this province of Italy is world famous for. You’ll see picturesque medieval cities with their signature skylines of bell towers. Each day in Tuscany will offer spectacular rolling landscapes blanketed in grapevines and olive groves. You will enjoy lunch and a chance to sample recent vintages at a local winery after your tour with the vintner. This will surely be a highlight of your trip. Complete your visit of Tuscany with a trip to Pisa, famous for its leaning tower and inspirational cathedral.

From Tuscany, you will travel to Florence. This city was the cradle of the Renaissance and once the most powerful city in Europe. Florence holds world-class art collections that rival any city such as the Uffizi Museum and of course Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. To properly experience Florence our Italian guide will take you on a walking tour through its ancient streets and piazzas.

Travac’s tour to Italy includes round-trip flights from Ottawa or Montreal (depending on your departure date), ground transportation, 12 nights’ accommodation and day trips throughout your holiday. This holiday is fully escorted by an experienced Travac Tours director whose first priority is your satisfaction.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart for your overnight flights to Florence. You will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast on board your overnight flights. (D-on aircraft)

Day 2

Upon arrival in Genoa you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the baggage claim area and then be transferred to your hotel. A welcome dinner is included tonight. Monterosso al Mare is a picturesque town in the province of La Spezia on the Italian Riviera that is part of the region of Liguria. It is one of the five villages in Cinque Terre. The area is known for its natural beauty and unbelievable vistas. (B-on aircraft, D)

Day 3

This morning you will embark on a full day tour of Monterosso and some of the villages that make up Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera. Your local guide will take you through the villages of Vernazza and Manarola. Transportation for this tour will be by train and ferry (weather permitting). (B)

Day 4

This morning you will embark on a full day tour of more villages that make up Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera. Your local guide will take you through the villages of Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, and Rapallo. Transportation for this tour will be by train and ferry (weather permitting). (B)

Day 5

Your day is free to rest and enjoy Monterosso. The city has one of the nicest beaches in Cinque Terre. Your tour host will offer some options for your free time. (B)

Day 6

This morning we depart Monterosso for Siena. The drive from Monterosso to Siena is approximately 2 1/2 hours. We will make a stop enroute for lunch. Upon arrival we will embark on a 2 hour walking tour of Siena with a local guide to experience the history of this medieval city. (B)

Day 7

After breakfast we’ll embark on a full day tour of Tuscany. Tuscany is renowned for its history and art, its evocative landscape, and, perhaps most notably, its food and drink. Our tour will encompass eastern and central Tuscany. We’ll visit Cortona, with its spectacular hillside views and Montepulciano, known for its Renaissance palazzo. (B, L)

Day 8

Today we will explore the wineries and olive groves of Tuscany. You will have a chance to visit one of the region’s noted wineries (more details to follow). Lunch and tasting is included. (B, L)

Day 9

Once a regional capital that challenged Florence’s power, Siena might be Italy’s prettiest medieval town. Its old alleys and its town square, the Piazza del Campo, possess a unique charm that captivates visitors to this historic town. Take the day to explore the sights of Siena on your own. (B)

Day 10

After breakfast, we depart Siena for Florence – the drive is approx. 2 hours. Once we arrive in Florence we will have time for lunch. After lunch we will meet our local guide at the hotel for a 2 hour walking tour of Florence. Our tour of Florence will encompass many of the city’s churches, monuments, and squares. Florence first began life as a Roman colony in 59 BC and has been ruled by some of the most notable Italian families. The most famous of these – the Medici family. During this time, Florence was the cultural and intellectual heart of Europe. Artists, architects, and sculptors flocked to the city and their work is still evident in the city’s fabric. (B)

Day 11

Today we explore the western region of Tuscany. Our full day tour will highlight the city of Pisa. In its early days Pisa was famous for its powerful Navy, which had trade links to Spain and North Africa. We’ll see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, (admission into Tower not included) one of Italy’s best known icons. Other stops on today’s tour will include Lucca, a Roman town dating back to 180 BC the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini and Leonardo da Vinci. (B)

Day 12

Today is free to explore Florence at your leisure. You might also consider walking through the eastern part of the city, which still retains a distinctly old-world Italian atmosphere. You may wish to visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia or The Academy of Fine Arts, where you can see Michelangelo’s David. A must-see is the richly decorated Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The church’s dome, built by the famous architect Brunelleschi, was the largest and most impressive such construction of its time. (B)

Day 13

Today is another free day in Florence. Enjoy all the museums, shops and cafes Florence has to offer. Your Travac Tours Director can help you with ideas for sightseeing today. Tonight is our farewell dinner. (B, D)

Day 14

Today we depart for our return flights to Canada. Details will be provided by the Travac Tours office. (B)

 

Itinerary subject to change.

 

** Please note that you are required to have a valid Canadian passport with you. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past your return date. Non-Canadians may require a visa to enter the Italy. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have such a document if required. Any other nationality other than Canadian persons must identify themselves to the booking agent for verification of documents required. IF YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR DEPARTURE POINT WITHOUT PROPER ID YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING. **

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Hotel Information


Hotel Palme

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via IV Novembre, 5
Monterosso, Italy
19016
0187829013


Hotel NH Siena

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Piazza La Lizza. 53100
Siena, Italy
53100
+39 0577 382111


Hotel Adriactico

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Maso Finiguerra, 9, 50123
Florence, Italy
50129
+39 055 27931



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Italy- Rome, Florence & the Treasures of Tuscany

May 15-28, 2024

Very few regions of the world evoke the same romantic images as do Rome, Florence and Tuscany. Italy is a gift to the senses and a foodie’s dream vacation.  Join Travac Tours for a 14 day, 12-night holiday to this incredibly beautiful part of Italy renowned for art, culture, and cuisine.

You will start your holiday in the eternal city, Rome. This exquisite city is one of Europe’s most vibrant towns with awe-inspiring ancient and modern attractions.

While in Tuscany you’ll experience all that this province of Italy is world famous for. You’ll see picturesque medieval cities with their signature skylines of bell towers. Each day in Tuscany will offer spectacular rolling landscapes blanketed in grapevines and olive groves. You will enjoy lunch and a chance to sample recent vintages at a local winery after your tour with the vintner. This will surely be a highlight of your trip. Complete your visit of Tuscany with a trip to Pisa, famous for its leaning tower and inspirational cathedral.

From Tuscany you will travel to Florence. This city was the cradle of the Renaissance and once the most powerful city in Europe. Florence holds world-class art collections that rival any city such as the Uffizi Museum and of course Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. To properly experience Florence our Italian guide will take you on a walking tour through its ancient streets and piazzas.

Travac’s tour to Italy includes round-trip flights from Montreal, ground transportation, 12 nights’ accommodation and day trips throughout your holiday. This holiday is fully escorted by an experienced Travac Tours director whose first priority is your satisfaction.

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa by motorcoach for your overnight flights to Rome from Montreal. You will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast on board your overnight flight(s). (D-on aircraft)

Day 2

Rome

Upon arrival in Rome, you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the baggage claim area and then be transferred to your hotel. Rome is an eternally engaging city. It is a grand and ancient metropolis rich with exquisite art, vibrant culture, and centuries of history. We trace the rise and fall of classical Rome, meander through the heart of Bernini’s Baroque Rome, and make a pilgrimage to the Vatican (optional). You will also have the chance to uncover the charms of hidden neighborhoods.

Overnight in Rome 4 nights at Hotel Miami (or similar).

Day 3

Rome

You will have a free day in Rome to explore the grandeur of the city with your hop-on hop-off pass.

A welcome dinner is included tonight. (B, D).

Day 4

Rome

Today, your Travac Tours Director will escort anyone interested to the Vatican (optional $). The Vatican is the world capital of Catholicism and is the world’s smallest state. The Papal Palaces, next to the great basilica of St. Peter’s, are home to the Sistine Chapel and the eclectic collection of the Vatican Museums, as well as being the residence of the Pope. Expect to spend several hours in this magnificent city. (B)

Day 5

Rome

With galleries and museums, an amazing cafe culture, the magnificent Colosseum, Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps, Rome never fails to inspire and amaze. You will have plenty of time to explore the eternal city with your hop-on hop-off pass. (B)

Day 6

Siena

This morning we depart Rome for Siena. The drive from Rome to Siena is approximately 4 hours. We will make a stop enroute for lunch. Upon arrival we will embark on a 2 hour walking tour of Siena with a local guide to experience the history of this medieval city. (B)

Overnight in Siena 4 nights at NH Siena (or similar)

Day 7

Siena

Today we will explore the wineries and olive groves of Tuscany. You will have a chance to visit one of the region’s noted wineries (more details to follow). Lunch and tasting is included. (B, L)

Day 8

Siena

After breakfast we’ll embark on a full day tour of Tuscany with an included lunch at a local cheese factory. Tuscany is renowned for its history and art, its evocative landscape, and, perhaps most notably, its food and drink. Our tour will encompass eastern and central Tuscany. We’ll visit Cortona, with its spectacular hillside views and Montepulciano, known for its Renaissance palazzo. (B, L)

Day 9

Siena

Once a regional capital that challenged Florence’s power, Siena might be Italy’s prettiest medieval town. Its old alleys and its town square, the Piazza del Campo, possess a unique charm that captivates visitors to this historic town. Take the day to explore the sights of Siena on your own. (B)

Day 10

Florence

After breakfast, we depart Siena for Florence – the drive is approx. 2 hours. Once we arrive in Florence, we will meet our local guide at the hotel for a 2-hour walking tour of Florence. Our tour of Florence will encompass many of the city’s churches, monuments, and squares. Florence first began life as a Roman colony in 59 BC and has been ruled by some of the most notable Italian families. The most famous of these – the Medici family. During this time, Florence was the cultural and intellectual heart of Europe. Artists, architects, and sculptors flocked to the city and their work is still evident in the city’s fabric. (B)

Overnight in Florence 4 nights at Hotel Adriatico (or similar)

Day 11

Florence

Today we explore the western region of Tuscany. Our full day tour will highlight the city of Pisa. In its early days Pisa was famous for its powerful Navy, which had trade links to Spain and North Africa. We’ll see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, (admission into Tower not included) one of Italy’s best known icons. Other stops on today’s tour will include Lucca, a Roman town dating back to 180 BC the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini and Leonardo da Vinci. (B)

Day 12

Florence

Today is free to explore Florence at your leisure. You might also consider walking through the eastern part of the city, which still retains a distinctly old-world Italian atmosphere. You may wish to visit the Gallerie dell’Accademia or The Academy of Fine Arts, where you can see Michelangelo’s David. A must-see is the richly decorated Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore. The church’s dome, built by the famous architect Brunelleschi, was the largest and most impressive such construction of its time. (B)

Day 13

Florence

Today is another free day in Florence. Enjoy all the museums, shops and cafes Florence has to offer. Your Travac Tours Director can help you with ideas for sightseeing today. Tonight is our farewell dinner. (B, D)

Day 14

Depart to Ottawa from Florence

Today we depart for our return flights to Canada. Details will be provided by the Travac Tours office. (B)

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Hotel Information


Rome – Hotel Miami

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Nazionale, 230 - 00185 Roma
Rome, Italy

+39 064817180


Florence – Hotel Adriatico

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Maso Finiguerra, 9
Florence, Italy
50123
+39 055 27931


Siena – NH Excelsior

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Piazza La Lizza. 53100 Siena
Siena, Italy

+39 0577 382111



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Greece & The Splendour Of Its Legendary Islands

Pictured above: Santorini, Greece

A 5 star holiday with 5 star hotels!

Greece and its islands have long inspired travelers from around the world. In fact, it has been part of a major trade route (and tourist destination) for some 5000 years since the earliest days of the Bronze Age. Located in south eastern Europe, this country of 11 million people lies at the meeting point of three continents; Europe, Asia and Africa. With its 6000 islands and islets scattered throughout the Aegean Sea, Greece makes a delightful holiday with wonderful opportunities to explore various cultures and changing landscapes.

This 16 day, 14 night fully escorted holiday includes round trip transportation, inter-island transportation by air or sea, 5 nights in Crete, 3 nights in Santorini, 3 nights in Mykonos, 3 nights in Athens, 14 breakfasts and 6 dinners.

Travac includes a sightseeing excursion in Crete, Santorini and Athens.

You will have plenty of time to enjoy the pleasures of the islands on your own. Optional tours will also be available.

May 1-16, 2024

May 5-20, 2024

 

 

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa motorcoach from the Westgate to Montreal. You will have an overnight flight from Montreal to Athens.

Day 2

Upon your arrival in Greece, you will depart for your flight to Crete. You will then be taken to your hotel, via private motorcoach – Cretan Malia (or similar)- which is your home for the next 5 nights. Your Travac Tours Director will assist you with check-in at all hotels.

Day 2-7

Your stay in Crete includes breakfast and dinner daily.

Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. While in Crete you will have a chance to visit and admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, enjoy its impressive mountain landscapes, fertile valleys, steep gorges and explore its glorious beaches. Crete is famous for a rich gastronomic culture. There are plenty of excellent restaurants near your hotel that offer the island’s superb local cuisine.

A full day private motorcoach tour of Crete is included. Optional tours are available through your Travac Tours Director locally – paid in Euros ($).

Day 7

This morning you will be transferred by private motorcoach to the high-speed ferry terminal. You will ferry from Crete to Santorini (this ferry is approximately 2 hours), then be transferred to your hotel by private motorcoach.

Santorini may well be the most famous island in the world; it is certainly the most popular in Greece. People travel thousands of miles just to relish in one of its incredible sunsets. There are very few more idyllic islands. It offers beaches, spectacular scenery, great restaurants, an active volcano, and ancient towns of mythical importance. Your hotel in Santorini is the Volcano View resort or similar.

Day 7-10

While in Santorini your daily breakfast is included.

A half day private motorcoach tour with a local guide of Santorini is included.

Optional tours are available through your Travac Tours Director locally – paid in Euros ($).

Day 10

Today you will say farewell to Santorini and travel by ferry to Mykonos (approximately 2 ½ hours). This island is Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island. It is known as a whitewashed paradise dotted with windmills in the heart of the Cyclades Islands. According to mythology Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. The island itself is named after the grandson of Apollo “Mykonos.” Your hotel in Mykonos is The Petinos Beach Hotel or similar.

Day 10-13

While in Mykonos your daily Breakfast is included.

There is not an included tour in Mykonos. Optional tours are available through your Travac Tours Director locally – paid in Euros ($).

Day 13

Today you will travel to Athens by high-speed ferry (approximately 2 ½ hours) and then be transferred by private motorcoach to your hotel. Your visit in Athens includes a private motorcoach tour of this timeless city with a local guide. While in Athens, you will have the opportunity to experience many of the legendary attractions of this fascinating city including the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Much of Athens can be explored on foot. Your Travac Tours Director or the hotel concierge will be happy to give you directions to the attractions or museums located near the hotel. Your hotel in Athens is The Divani Palace Acropolis or similar.

Day 13-15

While in Athens your daily Breakfast is included.

A half-day private motorcoach tour with a private guide of Athens is included. Optional tours are available through your Travac Tours Director locally – paid in Euros ($).

On your last night in Athens, a Farewell Dinner is included (D).

Day 16

After breakfast you will be transferred by private motorcoach to the airport for your return flights to Montreal. Once in Montreal you will meet your Travac Tours Director and travel via private motorcoach to Westgate Mall.

Itinerary subject to change.

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Hotel Information


Crete - Cretan Malia Park (or similar)

Hotel website



Hotel Address
700 07 Malia
Crete, Greece

+30 28970 31461


Santorini – Volcano View

Hotel website



Hotel Address
Fira - Santorini 847 0
Santorini, Greece

+30 22860 24780


Mykonos: Petinos Beach Hotel (5 star) or similar

Hotel website



Hotel Address
Platy Gialos
Mykonos, Greece

+30 228 902 4310


Athens: Divani Palace Acropolis (5 star) or similar

Hotel website



Hotel Address
Parthenonos 19, Athina 117 42
Athens, Greece

+30 21 0928 0100



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Portugal- The Algarve 3 Week Stay at the Jupiter

January 21 – February 12, 2024

February 4 – 26, 2024

February 11 – March 4, 2024

February 18 – March 11, 2024

April 10 – May 2, 2024

 

Travac has crafted a fine vacation to Portugal’s Algarve in the beautiful Praia de Rocha region.  Just a few steps from the beach, marina, restaurants, shops, and casino, the Jupiter Hotel is a perfect choice for a memorable stay.  This fabulous hotel features one of the few heated outdoor pools in the Algarve.  Your worry-free vacation includes return flights and airport transfers, accommodation at the highly rated Jupiter Hotel, and two meals per day.  Join us to discover the best of the Algarve’s mild climate and cultural diversity.  Attractively priced, this holiday is a fantastic alternative to many of the semi-inclusive holidays you’ll find in Florida or the Carribbean.

 

 

Travac is also offering exceptional long-stay vacations between 5 and 12 weeks to the Algarve this winter- for more information on these packages, please click here.

 

January 21- February 12, 2024:

Total selling price including all taxes:

Premium Room with Front Sea View:  

Double occupancy: $4249 per person ($3399 + taxes of $850).

February 4- 26, 2024:

Total selling price including all taxes:

Superior Room with Side Sea View:  

Double occupancy: $3999 per person ($3149 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy:  $6048 ($5198 + taxes of $850).

 

Premium Room with Front Sea View:  

Double occupancy:  $4249 per person ($3999 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy:  $6648 ($5798 + taxes of $850).

February 11- March 4, 2024:

Total selling price including all taxes:

Superior Room with Side Sea View:  

Double occupancy: $3999 per person ($3149 + taxes of $850).

 

Premium Room with Front Sea View:  

Double occupancy:  $4249 per person ($3999 + taxes of $850).

February 18 – March 11, 2024:

Total selling price including all taxes:

Superior Room with Side Sea View:  

Double occupancy:  $3999 per person ($3149 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy:  $6048 ($5198 + taxes of $850).

 

Premium Room with Front Sea View:  

Double occupancy:  $4249 per person ($3999 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy:  $6648 ($5798 + taxes of $850).

April 10 – May 2, 2024:

Total selling price including all taxes:

Superior Room with Side Sea View:  

Double occupancy: $4249 per person ($3399 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy: $6248 ($5398 + taxes of $850).

 

Premium Room with Front Sea View:  

Double occupancy: $4449 per person ($3599 + taxes of $850).

Single occupancy: $6848 ($5998 + taxes of $850).

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart from Canada

Departure from Westgate Mall to Montreal via Private Coach. You will arrive to Dorval, Montreal 3 hours prior to your flight time. You will fly with Air Transat from Montreal to Lisbon. Our office staff will be happy to give you flight/time details.

Day 2- 21

Praia da Rocha

Upon arrival in Lisbon, you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel via private motorcoach. Driving time is approximately 3 hours.

Your local representative will meet you on arrival in the main reception. Baggage is not included, so please bring your baggage into reception.

Your stay at the Jupiter includes:

Accommodation as selected.

Breakfast daily with coffee/tea/juices and water.

Dinner daily with coffee/tea/water/soft drinks/local wine or beer.

With many of the country’s safest and loveliest beaches and a year-round balmy climate, it is not surprising that the Algarve is Portugal’s most popular tourist destination. The 200km coastline of the Algarve features all types of coves, cliffs, caves, and its rocky beaches contrasts beautifully with broad expanses of sand. Optional excursions will be available for purchase locally.

Day 21-23

Lisbon

You will be advised by your local representative of the time of departure today to Lisbon via private motorcoach. Your local representative will get you onboard the coach and say goodbye.

Upon arrival into Lisbon, you will be met by a local representative for your check in. Your stay for the next 2 nights is at the Hotel Marques de Pombal with breakfast daily. Optional tours ($) will be offered of Lisbon and area.

Day 23

Return to Canada

You will be transferred from your Lisbon hotel to the Lisbon airport (3.5 hours prior to departure time from Lisbon). Your flight today is with Air Transat from Lisbon to Dorval, Montreal. Once you arrive in Montreal you will be met by a Travac representative to transfer you back from Montreal to Ottawa. Our office staff will be happy to give you flight details.

Itinerary subject to change.

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Hotel Information


Jupiter Hotel Algarve

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Avenida Tomás Cabreira 92
8500-802 Portimão, Portugal

+351 282 470 470



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Battlefields of Europe That Helped Define Canada

Join Travac as we visit some of the many sites that have been built to commemorate the contribution of our brave young men and woman who fought during the Great War and World War II. The courage and battles fought by these men and women during these wars made Canada the wonderful respected country it is today. You will have a chance to see some of the locations where the fieriest battles were fought.

We will travel to the liberated countries of the Netherlands, Belgium and France visiting some of the Commonwealth and Canadian cemeteries, memorials and museums built to show the thanks and appreciation to these men and women.

During the tour you will experience the enduring gratitude from the people of the region towards Canadians for the ultimate sacrifices made in two world wars.

Your experience in France, Belgium and Holland will be enhanced by the natural and architectural beauty of the towns and villages you will visit. While each of these towns played and important role in either the first or the second world wars, they have since flourished in peace. Their attraction is their magnificent past- a past that in some cases goes back over a thousand years. Indeed, these villages are an important part of the fabric that draws us to Europe.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 Lest we forget

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Depart Ottawa on your overnight flights to London Heathrow. You will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast on board your overnight flight(s). (D)

Day 2

Maidstone 1 night

Upon arrival in London, our local guide will join us for a scenic tour of London. If time permits, we will visit The Memorial to the Merchant Marine, commemorating the sacrifice of merchant sailors during both world wars. By 1943 Canada provided 48% of escort ships for the convoys bringing vital supplies to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic.

 

Afterwards we will make our way to our hotel.

Day 3

Calais 1 night

On our way to France, we will visit the Battle of Britain Memorial and Visitors Centre at Capel le Ferne overlooking the English Channel between Folkestone and Dover.

 

This afternoon we cross the Straight of Dover for our overnight in Calais.

Day 4

Caen 2 nights

Dieppe

Canada’s experiences in war have been marked by great triumphs but also by harsh setbacks. The Dieppe Raid during the Second World War was one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s military history. It did, however, help lead to important lessons learned.

 

The Dieppe Raid saw more than 6,000 men come ashore at five different points along a 16 kilometer-long stretch of heavily defended coastline. The raiding force was made up of almost 5,000 Canadians, approximately 1,000 British commandos, and 50 American Army Rangers.

 

While many men were lost and the raid did not meet most of its objectives, many historians feel that the lessons learned played an important role in the success of later actions. For example, the Dieppe Raid and later beach assaults contributed to improvements in amphibious landing techniques. While the cost of gaining this knowledge was steep, it likely saved many lives on the beaches of Normandy when the Allies returned to the shores of continental Western Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

 

The men who participated in the Dieppe Raid paid a great price. Of the 4,963 Canadians who went on the mission, approximately 2,200 returned to England and many were wounded. More than 3,350 Canadians became casualties, including approximately 1,950 POWs. 916 Canadians died as a result of Dieppe on the beaches, in the air or at sea supporting the landings. Some died as German captives or of their wounds after returning to England. A total of 210 British and Americans also lost their lives.

 

The Dieppe Raid also took a considerable toll on the ships and aircraft that supported the assault. The campaign saw the war’s single worst day for Allied aircraft losses, with 119 aircraft shot down as they protected the supporting ships.

 

The Canadians who participated in the Dieppe Raid were among the more than one million men and women from Canada who served in uniform during the Second World War. The efforts of all of these Canadians helped ensure that victory was achieved. The sacrifices and achievements of those who gave so much to restore peace and freedom to the world cannot be forgotten.

(Boxed Lunch)

Day 5

Today we will visit the Juno Beach Center. We will have a guided tour of the beach and bunkers (German Observation post and command post) and a self-guided tour of the museum. We will also visit one of the Normandy beaches.

Normandy

By the spring of 1944, Germany had occupied France and much of the European continent for almost four years. A narrow stretch of water, the English Channel, was all that separated the German forces from Great Britain.

 

Even with all these preparations, the Normandy campaign would be very difficult. The shores of Northwest Europe were littered with German land mines, barbed wire, heavy artillery batteries and machine-gun nests. There were also anti-tank walls, shelters constructed of thick concrete, anti-aircraft guns and many other types of defensive positions. For these reasons, the coastline from Denmark to the south of France was known as “Fortress Europe.”

 

Many Canadian soldiers in the Normandy campaign were young and new to battle, but their courage and skill meant they often helped lead the Allied advance against a determined enemy. Canadians soon captured three shoreline positions on D-Day and established themselves near the village of Creully, but this was to be only the beginning of the struggle to liberate France.

 

Against difficult odds, the Canadians advanced against the best troops the enemy had. Victory in the Normandy campaign, however, would come at a terrible cost. Three hundred and forty Canadians were killed on Juno Beach on D-Day alone and the Canadians would suffer the most casualties of any division in the British Army Group during the Battle of Normandy. More than 5,000 made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives, and lie buried in a place far from their homes and loved ones. Others returned home with injuries to body and mind that they carry to this day.

 

Victory in Normandy would be only the beginning of many months of hard fighting on the ground in Western Europe. Canadians would play an important role in the offensives that would finally defeat the Germans and end the war in this part of the world.

 

On return to Caen, we’ll stop to visit Abbabye D’Ardeene.

Day 6

Arras – 2 nights

Depart Caen for Arras. We will make a stop at Le Quesnel Canadian Memorial – at this battle the Canadians fought along with the British, French and Australians to capture 5,033 prisoners and 161 guns.

Day 7

This morning we will visit the Beaumont Hamel, where you will find the Newfoundland Regiment Memorial, a memorial site in France dedicated to the commemoration of Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. The 74-acre (300,000 m2) preserved battlefield park encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful attack on 1 July 1916 during the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The Battle of the Somme was the regiment’s first major engagement, and during an assault that lasted approximately 30 minutes the regiment was all but wiped out. Purchased in 1921 by the people of Newfoundland, the memorial site is the largest battalion memorial on the Western Front, and the largest area of the Somme battlefield that has been preserved. Along with preserved trench lines, there are a number of memorials and cemeteries contained within the site. Keep your eyes open for the danger tree, a skeleton of a tree that lay in No Man’s Land and had been utilized as a landmark.

 

Next we visit Lochnagar Crater. At 91m wide and 21m deep, this is one of the largest war-time craters ever created. You can walk around the rim on a duckboard trail. The mine dug by the 179th Tunneling Company Royal Engineers, under a German field fortification known as Schwabenhöhe, is the front line south of the village of La Boisselle in the Somme department of France. The mine was sprung at 7:28 a.m. on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

 

We will also visit Thiepval Memorial – the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme battlefields bears the names of 72,194 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces. These men died in the Somme battle sector before 20th March 1918 and have no known grave. The date of 20th March was the day before the German Army launched a large-scale offensive, code-named “Operation Michael”, against the British Army Front in the sector of the Somme. Over 90 percent of those commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial died in the 1916 Battles of the Somme between July and November 1916.

(Boxed Lunch)

Day 8

Ypres 3 nights

This morning you will be visiting Vimy Ridge, where Canada became a nation. This is a site all Canadians should have an opportunity to visit. A guided tour will be available.

 

We will stop to visit a memorial to the Airmen of the Great War, where the names of 46 Canadians are listed. We will also stop at the Dury Canadian Memorial, recognizing a battle in which seven Victoria Crosses were won by Canadians.

(Boxed Lunch)

Day 9

Today we will visit Passchendaele Canadian Battlefield Memorial that marks the site of Crest Farm where Canadians encountered some of the fiercest resistance they were to meet during the war, and the Memorial Museum Passchendaele which tells the story of the war in the Ypres Salient with special emphasis on the Battle of Passchendaele.

 

The Tyne Cot Cemetery will be visited today. Tyne Cot Cemetery is the resting place of 11,954 soldiers of the Commonwealth Forces. This is the largest number of burials contained in any Commonwealth cemetery of either the First or Second World War. It is the largest Commonwealth military cemetery in the world.

 

Every evening at 8:00 pm at the Menin Gate Memorial, a deeply moving ceremony takes place under the vast arch of the Menin Gate. The traffic stops and buglers from the local fire brigade play ‘The Last Post’. The Menin Gate is the most famous Commonwealth war memorial in Flanders and perhaps the world. Tens of thousands of soldiers passed through here on their way to the front, many of them never to return. Opened in 1927, the memorial bears the names of 54 896 soldiers who were reported missing in the Ypres Salient between the outbreak of war and 15 August 1917. The Menin Gate was designed in classical style by Sir Reginald Blomfield. This ceremony takes place every evening at 8 pm. Sometimes the ceremony is attended by just a few spectators, or on more formal occasions hundreds can be present. Irrespective of numbers, the Last Post remains a unique and moving experience.

(Boxed Lunch)

Day 10

Today we will visit Hill 62 Memorial, St Julien (the Brooding Soldier), Langemark (German Cemetery) and Essex Cemetery. It is in this cemetery where John McCrae (1872–1918) wrote his famous poem In Flanders Fields. A cenotaph for McCrae is located in the cemetery.

Day 11

Mons 1 night

Today we will depart our hotel, heading towards Dunkirk. “Dunkirk spirit,” an expression used to describe the tendency of the British public to pull together and overcome times of adversity, is still heard in the United Kingdom today.

 

Dunkirk, and the evacuation associated with the troops trapped on Dunkirk, was described as a miracle by Winston Churchill. As the Wehrmacht swept through Western Europe in the spring of 1940, using Blitzkrieg, both the French and British armies could not stop the onslaught. For the people in Western Europe, World War Two was really about to begin. The “Phoney War” was now over.

 

The advancing German Army trapped the British and French armies on the beaches around Dunkirk. 330,000 men were trapped here and they were a sitting target for the Germans.

 

The beach at Dunkirk was on a shallow slope so no large boat could get near to the actual beaches where the men were. Therefore, smaller boats were needed to take on board men who would then be transferred to a larger boat based further off shore. The little ships of Dunkirk were 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate in England to Dunkirk in France between 26 May and 4 June 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo, the rescue of more than 338,000 British and French soldiers, who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk during the Second World War. It is thought that the smallest boat to make the journey across the Channel was the Tamzine – an 18 foot open topped fishing boat.

 

We will continue to Mons where we will visit the Price Memorial.

Day 12

Nijmegen 2 nights

Depart Mons for Nijmegen.

This afternoon, stop at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Nijmegen holds an annual walk in which both military and civilians participate- this event is over 4 days and the participants walk 30km, 40km or 50km in a day ending at the Groesbeek Cemetery.

Day 13

Today we will head toward Hoogeveen, where we will visit Kamp Westerbork.

 

**Kamp Westerbork was the site of a large transit and work camp in the Dutch province of Drente. Over 100,000 Jews, Gypsies and resistance members were taken to Westerbork. The camp consisted of an orphanage, school, industrial barracks, punishment barracks, housing barracks, a larger square for roll-call and a railway. While interned at Westerbork in 1942, Bob Cahen described camp life in a letter:

“More and more new people have arrived in the camp. The barracks have become crowded, overcrowded. The smithy is working flat out producing beds, one after the other. Straw mattresses or other mattresses haven’t been available for a long time now. The people just have to lie down without one, on the iron. People were lying or sitting outside. At night, they would sleep in or under barrows or under the open sky. There was not enough food.”

 

Anne Frank was among the thousands held at Westerbork. Anne died with her sister in Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, just weeks before the end of the war. The last train left Westerbork September 13, 1944 carrying 77 young children who had been taken away from their hiding places by the Nazis. Westerbork was liberated April 12, 1945 and 876 prisoners were set free when the Canadian Army came upon the camp. After the liberation, the camp remained in service and various

activities took place there, but in 1971 the last barracks were torn down. Kamp Westerbork is now a commemoration centre. (For more info visit www.veterans.gc.ca)

 

After our visit we will make our way back to Nijmegen, with stops in Apledoorn to see a Man with 2 hats statue – the twin to this statue can be found at Dow’s Lake in Ottawa Commissionaire Park and Arnhem the location that you may remember from a bridge too far.

Day 14

Transfer to Amsterdam for our flights back to Ottawa.

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Hotel Information


Mercure Maidstone Great Danes

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Hollingbourne
Maidstone , UK
ME17 1RE
+44 1622 528565


Nijmegen- Mercure Hotel Nijmegen Centre

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Stationsplein 29
Nijmegen, Netherlands
6512 AB
+31 24 323 8888


Mons- Hotel Lido

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Rue des Arbalestriers 112
Mons, Belgium
7000
+32 65 32 78 00


Ypres- Novotel Ieper Centrum

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Sint-Jacobsstraat 15
Ieper, Belgium
8900
+32 57 42 96 00


Caen- Ibis Styles Caen Centre Gare

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
52 Quai Amiral Hamelin, 14000
Caen, France

+33 2 31 34 20 00


Holiday Inn Calais

Hotel website



Hotel Address
6 Boulevard Des Alliés
Calais, France
62100
33-3-21346969



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Portugal and Spain

January 28-February 23, 2024

February 11-March 8, 2024

February 25-March 22, 2024

Portugal’s Algarve province, with its magnetic Moorish appeal has become a Mecca for snowbirds trying to escape the harsh reality of winter. It’s also one of Europe’s most picturesque and friendly holiday destinations. The Algarve is what most of us envision the Mediterranean to be. The whitewashed villages cascade into the sea. Cobblestoned streets are lined with outdoor cafes, bistros, wine bars, and markets full of fresh fruits and vegetables. The weather is wonderfully spring like and invigorating.

The Costa del Sol region of southern Spain is remarkable for its diverse landscapes, fabulous beaches and coastal sites as well as a wealth of small villages that dot the shore line. This Mediterranean coastline is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, hosting millions of tourists on an annual basis. Villages have grown into robust towns with great restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The area’s history dates back thousands of years and it has developed a unique and warm culture that defines the region.

Whether this is your first visit to the Costa del Sol or you have enjoyed its pleasures in the past there is always something new to discover.

Early booking is your best guarantee of enjoying this great holiday!

January 28-February 23, 2024

Luna Solaqua in Portugal (14 nights) and Sunset Beach in Spain (11 nights)

Based on a One Bedroom Land view in Portugal and a One Bedroom Mountain view in Spain

Total selling price including all taxes:

Double occupancy: $3799 per person ($2899 + taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $5129 ($4229 + $900 taxes).

Portugal room upgrade:

One Bedroom Pool view: Add $75 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $150

Spain room upgrades:

One Bedroom Sea/Pool View: Add $109 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $218

One Bedroom Prime Sea View: Add $172 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $345

Deluxe Junior Suite Sea View: Add $275 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $550

February 11-March 8, 2024

Luna Solaqua in Portugal (11 nights) and Sunset Beach in Spain (14 nights)

Based on a One Bedroom Land view in Portugal and a One Bedroom Mountain view in Spain

Total selling price including all taxes:

Double occupancy: $3999 per person ($3099 +taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $5579 ($4679 + $900 taxes).

Portugal room upgrade:

One Bedroom Pool view: Add $60 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $120

Spain room upgrades:

One Bedroom Sea/Pool View: Add $169 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $338

One Bedroom Prime Sea View: Add $249 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $498

Deluxe Junior Suite Sea View: Add $390 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $780

February 25-March 22, 2024

Luna Solaqua in Portugal (11 nights) and Sunset Beach in Spain (14 nights)

Based on a One Bedroom Land view in Portugal and a One Bedroom Mountain view in Spain

Total selling price including all taxes:

Double occupancy: $4099 per person ($3199 +taxes of $900).

Single occupancy: $5779 ($4879 + $900 taxes).

Portugal room upgrade:

One Bedroom Pool view: Add $60 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $120

Spain room upgrades:

One Bedroom Sea/Pool View: Add $189 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $378

One Bedroom Prime Sea View: Add $269 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $538

Deluxe Junior Suite Sea View: Add $429 per person based on double occupancy | Single add $858

 

Hotel Information


Luna Solaqua

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
R. do Mediterrâneo, 8200-156
Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

+351 289 540 980


Sunset Beach Club

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Av. del Sol, s/n, 29630 Benalmádena
Malaga, Spain

+34 952 57 94 00



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