5 Great Countries For You To Explore!

As budget coach holidays go, you simply cannot beat Expat Explore.

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See some of the great countries Expat can take you to Explore!

France

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France is the world’s number one tourist destination, and it’s certainly not hard to see why.

From Paris with its vast amount of cultural history, amazing monuments and architecture, to the beauty of the French Riviera and the stunning region of Burgundy, France has it all.

You can explore the Mont Saint-Michel and the historical Normandy beaches in the north, and the medieval citadel of Carcassone and ancient Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard that crosses the Gardon River in the south.

Expat Explore has many coach tours that visit Paris. See the Champs Elysees and famous Arc de Triomphe, visit the the Louvre Museum or infamous catacombs. Enjoy a cruise up the River Seine, Climb the Eiffel Tower and explore the many museums, galleries, boulevards and restaurants, as far as places to go, the ‘City of Lights’ is truly a remarkable experience not to be missed.

Germany

Germany sits central at the heart of Europe and boasts stunning rural scenery and natural landscapes dotted with historical architecture. The Rhine Valley is a picturesque glacial alpine valley that cuts between enchanting hillside castles and rolling vineyards.

See the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace seated on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Bavaria. You have to see it to believe it as this extraordinary castle takes you to a world of fantasy and fairy tales.

The magical countryside is contrasted by urban cities which are steeped in thousands of years of history. This urban culture reflects a dynamic and creative force that can be seen in cities such as Berlin and Munich. Berlin has an enticing mixture of history and contemporary culture, so you can witness the historical Berlin Wall while enjoying the bustling cutting edge social scene.

Likewise, in Munich enjoy the Oktoberfest beer festival on a guided tour with Expat Explore tour to get a true feel of German culture as it is meant to be.

Netherlands

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The Netherlands is one of the most unique if not smallest countries in Europe, and is recognized by its many canals and iconic windmills.

It may be small, but it has also provided considerable power and influence over the years. In the 17th century, the Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major economic powers, excelling in science and the military. The Dutch also had considerable cultural influence which can be seen in its legacy of master painters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, and is well known for its artistic heritage and bustling nightlife. You can visit the Van Gogh museum and Rembrandt House museum there and see the truly wonderful work of these great artists, or take a trip down one of its many canals to see the true spirit of the city.

If the countryside is more your thing, why not take a trip to the famous Keukenhof Tulip Garden, and be blown away by the outstanding beauty of the place, especially in spring. Whatever your preference, the Netherlands will have something for everyone, and is a truly inspirational place to be.

The Netherlands is perfectly situated for an Expat Explore Europe multi-country coach tour, and is often the first or last destination to visit depending on which way round you travel.

Switzerland

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In the heart of central Europe lies the outstanding beauty of Switzerland, home to numerous enchanting lakes and valleys, and the founder of the intricate Swiss watch. Sample the famous cheese fondue and indulge in the finest Swiss chocolate, arguably the best in the world.

Switzerland is also known for its alpine peaks and glaciers, especially the 11,400 feet Jungfraujoch which is one of the highest peaks in Europe and one of most famous landmarks in the world. Take a train ride up to the peak and witness breathtaking views.

Visit the beautiful Lake Lucerne, which can be found in central Switzerland, and embark on a boat cruise on either an elegant salon motor vessel or historic paddle wheel steamer.

With France to the west, Germany to the north and Italy to the south, Switzerland is also perfectly situated for Expat Explore Europe multi-country coach tours.

Italy

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Last but not least Italy, what isn’t there to love about Italy – a truly extraordinary place!

As well as boasting the famous Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and  St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy also has the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world!

Home to the Pope and the Catholic church, Rome has more than its fair share of  beautiful architecture and incredible history. Explore the Vatican city and see the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, or wonder at the beautiful Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Explore Venice, famous for its canals, gondolas and amazing festival; visit the Leaning tower of Pisa, or bask in the glory of Florence. The Romans surely did leave a wealth of legacies to behold.

Immense yourself in the Italian culture with Expat Explore on one of their regional coach tours of Italy, and enjoy a holiday of a lifetime.

Back-Roads – The Roads Less Travelled!

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A fully packaged popular coach tour can really tick all the boxes when deciding on a well deserved break. Sometimes though, a more laid back and intimate experience is what people need, something a bustling coach tour just can’t provide.

Well, there are touring companies out there that can fill that need, companies like Back-Roads Touring who are experts in small group and tailor made touring holidays. With their small group size tours, they offer a unique range of fascinating and leisurely regional tours throughout the UK and Europe.

With Back-Roads Touring, the journey is just as important as the destination, so you get to travel along the beautiful back roads, enjoying spectacular scenery and exploring hidden gems all along the way.

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What’s more, you will also experience specially selected accommodation loaded with charm and home comforts, dine at the local restaurants sitting amongst the locals, meet traditional local producers and mingle with local characters.

This is the Back-Roads Difference!

Maximum Group Size of 18

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For most Back-Roads tours there is a maximum of 18 passengers, which allows the professional tour leaders to offer a more personalised experience.

This in turn enables more attention given to the interests of individuals, flexible touring days and a less obtrusive style of touring.

Less people means more intimate hotels and restaurants with local charm and character can be selected.

 

Scenic Back-Roads not Freeways

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Back-Roads Touring mini-coaches may be smaller but they are also are extremely comfortable.

Unlike larger motor coaches, their smaller size allows them to travel along smaller local roads and across breath-taking mountain passes to find charming villages and picturesque vistas.

They also usually drive into the centre of tiny villages and towns to park beside charming accommodation and intimate local restaurants.

 

Authentic Local Experiences

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With Back-Roads Touring you will be shown the heart and soul of a nation with their Authentic Local Experiences.

You’ll really get to know the people, customs and history of a region in depth by enjoying intimate concerts and seeing demonstrations by local producers and tradesmen.

You’ll also get exclusive access to private tours of country houses and gardens, as well as being able to explore towns and villages that aren’t on the tourist trail.

Leisurely Paced Itineraries

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A lot of other tours can start their days early and finish late, but not Back-Roads Touring.

Most days begin around 9 am and itineraries are carefully planned to avoid cramming too much into a day, as well as keeping long drives to a minimum.

Discoveries can be made at a more leisurely pace with time to socialise or delve deeper into attractions on your own.

 

Charming Accommodation

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Accommodation is carefully selected to always reflect the character and charm of the destination you are staying in.

Whether an old country estate, traditional villa or castle hotel, the accommodation will be situated in a stunning setting or have interesting historical and architectural heritage.

Others may be chosen for their owner-hosted welcome or excellent food, with guaranteed quality and comfort a given.

Culinary Experiences

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Back-Roads Touring makes sure tasting the local cuisine is an important part of any holiday, and ensures that particular emphasis is placed on food and drink whilst on tour.

Their included Culinary Experiences enable you to enjoy truly authentic cuisine at iconic restaurants run by award-winning chefs.

You’ll also be able to enjoy cooking classes using regional ingredients and visit local farms and wine tastings.

Music Festivals Around the World!

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What could be better than exploring the world by coach, boat or plane and indulging in a music festival.

From Great Britain to the USA and everywhere in between, get the experience of a lifetime by catching a music festival when on your coach travels. Find some inspiration below to get you started:

 

1. Glastonbury

Somerset, UK

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Glastonbury takes place from Wednesday June 22 until Sunday June 26 2016 and has a capacity for around 200,000 people.

It was founded in 1970 by Michael Eavis as the Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival, and as well as music, now boasts theatre, dance, comedy, cabaret, arts and crafts as well as healing as an attraction.

 

2. Bestival

Isle of Wight, UK

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Bestival takes place from Thursday September 8–Sunday September 11 on the Isle of Wight and has a capacity for around 79,000 people.

The Isle of Wight festival has a reputation for awesome line-ups, and this year is no exception. From Fatboy Slim to Years and Years, Bestival has it all.

You’ll also find a fire-spewing steel spider and other quirky experiences. It’s also child friendly with plenty of activities on offer.

 

3. Coachella

Indio, USA

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Coachella dates are Apr 15 – Apr 24, 2016 and has a capacity of 99,000.

Coachella is held on polo grounds in the desert not far from the Joshua Tree National Park, so hats, water and sunblock is a must.

Dance, drink and enjoy nostalgic music until the sun sets spectacularly behind the San Jacinto mountains.

 

4. Golden Plains

Victoria, Australia

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Golden Plains is held in March and is much smaller than most of the other festivals with a capacity of just 10,000.

This festival has a communal vibe and is kept on a smaller scale so there is plenty of space for everyone to camp and get some peace.

The festival has developed some quirky traditions over time, including a salute from the crowd to the best performers at the festival in the form of shoe or boot being held in the air.

 

5. Governors Ball

New York, USA

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The Governors Ball dates are June 3-5, 2016 and has a daily capacity of 45,000.

New York City’s only major music festival has now moved from its original location on Governors Island, in view of the Statue of Liberty to Randall’s Island.

This festival regularly attracts the big acts and has the advantage of being in the Big apple for a walk around afterwards.

Spring Gardens Around the World.

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The stunning beauty of a spring garden in all its glory is amber nectar to the soul and makes us feel that little bit more humble about our world.

Beautiful gardens are there for a reason, they have been created for us to enjoy and basically give us time in our lives to “smell the roses”.

Sample the Dutch delights of the Keukenhof tulip garden in Spring on the Amsterdam Tulip Long Weekend coach tour, or find below some more of the worlds most extraordinary gardens:

 

1. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Kew, Richmond, Surrey, England

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Explore the world’s most famous botanic garden – Kew Gardens, and immense yourself in the wonderful landscapes, astonishing historic buildings and glasshouses,  and a vast range of beautiful and rare plants.

Witness the glorious awakening of spring beauty and surround yourself with the stunning colours of the rainbow which are erupting around you.

The Kew Gardens are particularly enchanting in spring when flowers start to come alive and take over the gardens.

Not to miss is the Cherry Walk when in bloom, the Davies Alpine house with its displays of unusual and exotic bulbs, the magnificent magnolias and of course, the bluebells which carpet the Woodland area at Kew in April and May.

 

2. Château de Versailles Gardens

Versailles, France

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An outstanding example of  French garden design, Versailles’ vast gardens are notably famous for stunning tree-lined paths, ingenious geometrically aligned terraces and magical ponds, fountains and canals. The Versailles Chateau Gardens cover in excess of 800 hectares of land and were designed by the landscape architect Andre Le Notre.

One of the main focal points of the garden are the 50 fountains which come to life from late spring to early autumn. Other features include the horses and chariot of the Apollo Fountain and the Grand Canal, amazing sculptures and the Orangerie.

The splendour of the gardens are at their best in the spring and summer where you can wander all day long soaking up the wonderful surroundings of water features, sculptures and enchanting flowers.

 

3. Villa d’Este

Tivoli, Italy

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A Renaissance cardinal, Ippolito II d’Este, brought this extraordinary Italian garden to life by first starting the transformation of a dilapidated Benedictine monastery into what Villa d’Este is today.

This recently listed UNESCO wonder has one of the most enchanting and fascinating garden and fountain complexes in the world, built in the mannerist and baroque styles.

You can find the large shell-shaped Fontana del Bicchierone, the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains and the Rometta fountain which has a wolf-suckling Romulus and Remus.

With its vast array of fountains and grottoes, nymphs and bewitching water features, the gardens of the Villa d’Este is an experience not to be missed.

 

4. Sanssouci

Potsdam, Germany

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The Sanssouci Palace was commissioned by Frederick the Great in 1744 and built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff in the Rococo design. The style of  architecture became known as “Frederician Rococo” because of the King’s considerable influence.

You can stroll around the beautiful gardens and take in the impressive architecture of Sanssouci Palace as well as the many  temples and follies in the park.

Sanssouci and its extensive gardens became a public museum in East Germany after World War II, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.

Walk through this beautiful landscape and see the vision the King saw.

 

5. Butchart Gardens

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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The Butchart Gardens were created by Jennie Butchart in 1921 and are filled with excess of 700 varieties of extraordinary plants that bloom from March to October.

This visually outstanding garden has to be seen to be believed. Every corner of this magnificent place bombards your senses, from the fountains to the bronze statues, the Rose Carousel to the many ornamental birds, all lit up at night with illuminations.

This enchanting place will leave you wanting more, not just in spring , but through all the seasons of the year.

 

 

 

 

Inside Out with Trafalgar!

 

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When travelling on holiday, we mostly get to look at the touristy type places and popular experiences that are on offer.

However, sometimes we may want to broaden our experiences and find out what a culture and its people are really like.

So, if you want to get a truly authentic insight into the local culture of your destination, you’ll love Trafalgar’s hand-picked Insider Experiences.

Authentic and exclusive, Insider Experiences introduce you to the people, places and moments that are only possible by getting into the heart of a local community and its culture.

Be My Guest

Trafalgar’s Be My Guest experiences are extremely popular as they allow you to meet interesting characters by dining with families in their own homes.

Interestingly, food and drink tastes so much better when it’s shared with local people who have many tales to tell. It gives you a deeper understanding of their lives and history.

You’ll also have the chance to learn how to cook regional dishes, and share a glass of wine with winemakers at their own vineyards.

Be My Guest dining at a French chateau on the Best of France tour and be truly inspired.

 

 

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Best of France 2016

Châteaux, chic beach resorts, cheese and wine – all you want to see and taste in France. But this in-depth experience also peels back the layers to reveal the soul of this great country.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… learning the strategic importance of Carcassonne’s double ring of ramparts with its 52 towers from our local historian, and why the fortified town made such a good backdrop for the film ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.

  • Lasting for 13 Days
  • Prices Starting From £160 per day

 

 

Local Specialists

Local Specialists are local people such as dancers, archaeologists, geologists and artisans who can provide you with the information to take you deeper into the local culture. They allow you to see things in a fresh and vital way and supply you with fresh insights and anecdotes to make your trip memorable.

For example, if you’re in Amsterdam, they’ll take you to the Royal Delft Pottery workshop to witnes porcelain being hand-painted by expert artisans. Similarly, when you to visit Seville, you get the chance to learn flamenco dancing.

Be inspired by the Local Specialists on the European Highlights tour.

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European Highlights 2016

Discovering six countries, this introduction to Europe compares its big players, France and Germany, and their smaller neighbours, Switzerland and The Netherlands.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… smelling sawdust in the air as German clockmakers craft cuckoo clocks in front of you, in a fairy tale Black Forest setting that feels like it’s straight from a Hansel and Gretel pop-up book.

  • Lasting for 7 Days
  • Prices Starting From £171 per day
Gaudi’s incredible buildings and sculptures

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Spanish Wonder 2016

Explore every side of Andalusia, including its Moorish twist, and visit the principal Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville and Barcelona – with passionate experts on every encounter.You’ll enjoy Insider moments like… exploring Toledo’s ancient cobbled streets with a local historian, who leads you into the cool tranquillity of the Church of Tomé to reveal the hidden meaning behind El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz.

  • Lasting for 9 Days
  • Prices Starting From £128 per day

In Warsaw, Poland, hear about the heroic history behind the Little Insurgent and discover a story that helps you understand what the city and its people are all about.

You can do this on the Highlights of Eastern Europe tour which takes you to Warsaw as well as many other amazing places.

 

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