Be Bold with Insight Luxury Gold!

An Insight Gold Vacation tour is the ultimate in luxury and refinement when you want to indulge in a fabulous holiday.

Insight Gold is a selection of unique itineraries offering above and beyond the basics to offer something extra when it comes to style, service and comfort.

These standout tours also provide an all-inclusive experience where all visits, sightseeing, activities and evening dining are included.

Try new foods and experience meals as the locals do. By doing this, you can expect to taste plenty of amazing authentic flavours in some beautiful and unique restaurants.

Insight Gold not only takes you to many destinations iconic highlights, it will also delve more deeply into each place with activities, sights and events that only Insight Gold can bring.

These are ‘Signature Experiences’ that allow you to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the country you’re in and the cities and towns you visit.

These Signature Experiences will allow you to live like a local by introducing you to the regional culture and the local people who live there.

Doors can be unlocked that are normally closed to the public, giving you the unique chance to get to know a destination in full, away from the usual tourist sights.

You can learn the art of working sheepdogs in the Scottish Highlands or even try glassblowing in a Bohemian crystal glass factory in Prague, an exciting Signature Experiences is awaiting you!

Insight Gold vacations also means staying in some of the finest hotels that the world has to offer.

These hotels are chosen for their prime location, ambiance, and outstanding level of luxury, as well as a warm welcome and professional service.

They are also located in scenic, central areas in order to give you the best experience and impression of every destination you visit.

Insight Gold offers the ultimate in guided vacations, from delicious regional food to fascinating local culture, unique moments that bring your vacation to life to outstanding, luxurious hotels.

 With Insight Gold Vacations, you won’t just see Europe; you will become a part of it.

 

Christmas & New Year Travelling!

The first snowfall is always a good reminder that winter is hear, if not just around the corner.

Xmas

That means Christmas is also not far away, and for some, this is a very special time to celebrate.

christmas sign

It can also be a wonderful time of the year to travel the globe and see this magical season in a different light.

space-1025560_640

A good way to do this is by coach on a guided tour lasting a few days which will enable you to experience and soak in the different cultures during your travels.

coach-tours-trafalgar-trips-world-wide

Although a lot of people enjoy coach tours during the warmer weather, winter getaways are becoming ever more popular with more and more people wanting to experience the world during the colder seasons.

yellow stars

Europe is a very popular destination during winter as its rich cultural diversity takes on a magical form around Christmas time.

candle

Take in the extraordinary Swiss Alps, revel in the lights of  Paris in France, Barcelona in Spain or Sorrento in Italy and discover some of the finest Christmas Markets in the world! Most tours add extras like a complimentary meal on Christmas day and, of course, Hogmanay festivities when visiting Edinburgh in Scotland.

2016

Please note that most of these extraordinary photos are by Gerd Altmann from Freiburg, Deutschland on Pixabay.

10 Reasons to go on a Winter Holiday!

Why go on holiday in winter?

Well, there are many reasons why going on a winter holiday is a great idea.

Take a look below to see 10 fab reasons why a winter getaway to Europe is the best way!

alps-952614_640

Winter Wonderland

 

1. You can travel for less and view major attractions at a cheaper rate.
Winter is the cheapest time to fly to Europe. Airfare prices drop after the high season, and you get cheaper deals and better service at major attractions and local restaurants.

plane-856353_640

Fly Cheaper

 

2. You will have more of Europe to yourself.
Winter and autumn time in Europe means less crowds and and fewer queues. This means you will have extra time to fit more into your itinerary every day and have a complete and satisfying experience of each destination.

Less Crowds

Less Crowds

 

3. You get to see all of Europe (and not just the main attractions).
Travelling in autumn and winter can include visits to places you would not normally have time for. Art galleries, museums and places of worship for example. Plus, because you do not get the stifling summer heat, you would not mind being indoors.

100_3249

Visit York minster and the Christmas shop on Stonegate.

 

4. Cultural Paradise.
In Europe the cultural calendar swings into full action during winter. Revel in late night exhibitions, enjoy  the warmth of heated indoor museums and take advantage of the busy schedules at opera houses and theatres.

Take in a Show - enjoy some ballet!

Take in a Show – enjoy some ballet!

 

5. Enchanting Christmas Markets! 
Christmas in Europe is a sight to behold! European capitals have their city squares decked out in festive finery and Christmas markets can be seen in almost every European city. Be mesmerized by Christmas markets in Vienna, Munich, Nuremberg, Bruges, Berlin and Krakow to name a few. Indulge in some some Christmas shopping, enjoy some traditional Glühwein and savour the many delicious Christmas treats available at this time of year!

christmas-market-579083_640

Christmas Market in Ulm, Germany

 

6. Food! Glorious Food! 
Talking about food, winter time in Europe is the perfect time to eat, drink and be merry. Top winter treats not too miss are Belgian Waffles and Belgian hot chocolate, German cinnamon stars, Swiss Fondue, gingerbread, and of course, the traditional Glühwein!

gingerbread-646402_640

Ginger bread treats

7. Ice skating, sledding and skiing.

Travelling through Europe in winter means you can do activities that are not possible to do in summer. Ice Skating is a must during the festive season and Europe is home to some of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in the world. Sports enthusiast can also indulge in their passion for skiing in the Swiss or French Alps and sledding is a great way to experience the great outdoors in winter.

Why not try dog sledding

Why not try dog sledding

 

8. Winter walking and great photo opportunities

Enjoy the fresh air in the Countryside where the crisp air, freshly fallen snow and frozen lakes will make you want to grab your camera for a snap shot of the wonderful scenery.  The quaint cobbled streets found in the medieval cities of  Europe will make you to stay outside even if the weather is cold!

Taking photos in the snow

Taking photos in the snow

 

9. The locals are in town.

Winter is the perfect season if you are out to meet people! The cafe & pub culture in Europe is on fire over winter months and the locals are everywhere. Meet up for a coffee, beer or wine and soak up the warm atmosphere. It’s the best season to get cozy and chatty inside, and to find out more about the local history and culture of a place!

Cheers!

Cheers!

10. You can experience New Year celebrations in a different country.

European capital cities celebrate the New Year like no other.  Millions of people  gather around major attractions like the Eiffel Tower in France, the Piazza in Florence, or Oosterdok in Amsterdam, counting down the minutes to the New Year and amazing celebrations. Scotland in particular is a popular place to celebrate the new Year, calling it Hogmanay and  throwing one of the biggest parties full of huge firework displays and musical performances.

 New Years Eve celebrations

New Years Eve celebrations

 

So, as you can see, travelling to Europe ‘out of season’ makes absolute sense and can make for a truly amazing experience to cherish and never forget!

Christmas & New Year 2015/2016 Coach tours!

Again, it’s that time of year when we start to think about Christmas Time.

santa

 

Whether it be thinking about what presents to buy, worrying about who to invite on Christmas day or  just stressing about the cost of it all, the build up to Christmas can be eventful to say the least.

 

DSCN5786

 

There is an alternative though. Why not spend Christmas doing something else instead by taking a coach trip and letting other people take all the stress!

I’m not saying you should do it every year but every now and again won’t hurt. What’s more, there are coach trips designed especially with Christmas and New Year in mind.

 

Coach-Pics7

 

Expat Explore do an excellent tour of Britain around the festive season called the ‘Great Britain Christmas Tour’.

 The tour starts in England, taking in beautiful Cambridge and the great City of York, before heading into Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh where you will celebrate Christmas Day. You will then experience the amazing scenery of the Scottish Highlands while travelling to Liverpool – the home of ‘The Beatles’ and two world famous premier league football clubs! Next, head to Wales’ Capital, Cardiff  before visiting the birthplace of William Shakespeare – Straford-upon-Avonand. Next stop is Bath – a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring some of the finest architecture in Europe. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the town, and learn about the historical significance of the region, including the natural hot springs which supply the Roman baths the famous Roman Bath site in Bath.

 

bath

Bath’s famous Roman Baths

 

Christmas time and New Year in Europe is also a fabulous place to be. Full-blown winter in Europe arrives in December and lasts until mid-March, and for most of Europe, winter is really cold. But winter in Europe is a celebration that greets you with the true warmth of festive joy and cheer. Snow-covered rooftops, Christmas markets and cities decorated with amazing displays of light will take your breath away.

 

christmas-market-646398_640

Christmas market

 

Expat Explore also do an excellent tour of Europe called the ‘Europe Christmas Taster Tour’.

The tour starts in London and takes you on to Paris where you will see some of the city’s most treasured landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower! Spend two days in Paris before heading off to the Swiss Alps and the dramatic Swiss mountain scenery. Spend two days here soaking up the wonderful snow-capped peaks and tumbling mountain waterfalls. Take an optional excursion up to Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe! Next, travel to Germany’s famous Rhine Valley and relax on board a Rhine riverboat which takes  you to your hotel in the heart of the Rhine Valley. This is the most concentrated stretch of castles in all of Europe, and it also features vineyards, charming medieval towns and lofty cliffs – wonderful at Christmas. For the next two days you can enjoy Christmas time in the Netherlands and Bruges, both enchanting places at the best of timers, never mind Christmas!

 

bruges-313204_640

Bruges at Christmas

 

Some of the most popular and impressive destinations in Europe are just waiting to be explored on these Christmas and New Year tours. Recapture the magic of this wonderful time of year by doing something a bit different and discovering Europe’s Christmas cultural traditions as well as the truly delicious Christmas treats that are created especially for this magical time of year.

 

Edinburgh’s Feast of Festivities!

The City of Edinburgh has a wealth of festivities during the month of August which dates back to the 1940’s!

 

edinburgh-664947_640

The city of Edinburgh

 

 

The list of festivities in Edinburgh is endless and different events have been created over many years as can be seen on the lists below:

 

Edinburgh International Festival (EIF)

  • Edinburgh International Festival (founded 1947)
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival or EIFF (1947)
  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo (1950)
  • Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (1978)
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival (1983)
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival (1988)
  • Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival (1990)
  • Scottish International Storytelling Festival (1990)
  • Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (1994)
  • Edinburgh Mela (1995)
  • Edinburgh Art Festival (2004)
  • Edinburgh Comedy Festival (2008)

 

tattoo

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe (The Fringe)

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe (1947) — now the largest of all the festivals and largest arts festival in the world.
  • Edinburgh Free Fringe (2006) – A festival of free shows, and part of The Fringe.
  • Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2004) – Another festival of free shows, also part of The Fringe.

 

Other annual cultural festivals

  • Festival of Spirituality and Peace, now the just Festival based at St John’s Episcopal Church (2005)
  • iFest (2007) — the Internet Festival and Conference
  • West Port Book Festival (2008) – a free book festival based around secondhand bookshops in the West Port area
  • Edinburgh Book Fringe
  • Edinburgh International Marketing Festival (2010)
  • Edinburgh Swing Festival
  • Edinburgh Harvest Festival
  • Edinburgh International Internet Festival (1999)
  • Edinburgh People’s Festival (2002, but claims heritage from earlier festival of same name 1951-1954)
  • Edinburgh Interactive Festival (2003)
  • Edinburgh Annuale (2004) — contemporary art
  • Festival of Politics (2005)

 

festival

Edinburgh marching band

 

 

The Edinburgh Festival is an event which takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland mainly in August. The festivals are actually put on by various unrelated organizations so are officially separate events. However, they are mainly regarded as a whole one event, therefore together forming the largest annual cultural festival in the world.

 

edinburgh-346571_640

Street musicians

 

The original and largest, component festivals are the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), which consist of classical and contemporary theatre, opera, music, dance, visual arts, talks and workshops, and

the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (The Fringe), which includes theatre, comedy, music, musicals, dance and children’s shows. Furthermore, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest of all the festivals and largest arts festival in the world.

 

Indian

Live music!

 

There are also many other cultural festivals including the International Internet Festival and Festival of Politics!!

Chinese

Multicultural street parades!

Live like a Queen Bee with CIE!

CASTLES, CASTLES, CASTLES – LIVE LIKE A QUEEN BEE!

 

CIE Tours uses three classes of hotels – first class (3-star), superior first class (4-star) or deluxe (5-star) properties on all their tours. They choose hotels in central locations or scenic regions and  deluxe hotels offer luxurious features which are often in unique settings.

 room

 

 For a royal experience, choose one of the CIE deluxe tours where you can stay in 5-star properties including Ashford Castle or Dromoland Castle. Many other tours stay in 4-star castle hotels such as Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, Clontarf, Cabra or Kilronan Castle, giving you the experience on a more moderate budget.

 

 

Ashford Castle

Cong

5 star hotel

This famous castle dates back to the 13th century and now is one of Ireland’s most luxurious retreats. There are 83 bedrooms to choose from which are all individually designed with stunning views. Dine on superb cuisine in the elegant restaurant or enjoy afternoon tea or a snack in the lounge. The hotel offers spa facilities, golfing, horse riding, fishing and more. 

 

SolotravelTop1

Enjoying Ashford castle!

 

 

Dromoland Castle Hotel
Newmarket-on-Fergus

5 star hotel

One of Ireland’s premier hotels, this magnificent castle Hotel offers guests every imaginable facility and comfort. Guest rooms are furnished to an amazing standard of comfort whilst the spacious public rooms are filled with numerous antiques. The Finest cuisine is enhanced by an impeccable service. You can relax in the spa and health facilities or play a round of golf on the lovely landscaped grounds with a lake and 18-hole golf course. 

What’s more, just down the road is Bunratty Village for an opportunity to visit Bunratty Castle!

 

bunratty

Enjoy a medieval feast at Bunratty Castle.

 

 CIE Tours also feature Bunratty Castle, as well as Knappogue and Cardiff Castle  on a number of tours offering Banquets.

 

cardiff

Amazing view from Cardiff castle!

Plus, all itineraries visit plenty of more castles throughout Ireland and Britain – WOW!

 

 

Edinburgh Castle

The majestic Edinburgh Castle!

 

Windsor Castle

The very Royal Windsor Castle!

 

 

 What’s more, on all CIE Tours’ holidays that visit Edinburgh during the Tattoo dates, prime tickets to this event are included!

5 Amazing Places to visit in Scotland!

1. Edinburgh Castle

IMG_1933

 

Edinburgh Castle is an amazing  icon of Scotland and has stood majestically in the capital of Scotland for centuries.

It actually sits on top of an extinct volcano and boasts Scotland’s most visited attraction.

This magnificent fortress has powerful stone walls which have withstood many sieges over the centuries, its sumptuous apartments also housed many Scottish Kings and Queens.

It is now home of  of the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a dazzling celebration of music and entertainment which continues to delight audiences from all over the world.

 

2. Loch Ness

 

The world-famous Loch Ness is the stuff of legends and is situated within the Scottish Highlands, packed with wild mountain scenery, rugged green hills and the tales of old clans.

Cruise along the beautiful lake and find out about the lake’s mythical monster, or take a leisurely walk along the shore.

The more adventurous could take on the challenge of the  South Loch Ness Trail, approximately 28 miles between Loch Tarff near Fort Augustus to Torbreck on the edge of Inverness via Whitebridge, Foyers, Inverfarigaig and Dores.

 

3. Urquhart Castle

The fairy tale Urquhart Castle sits on a headland overlooking Loch Ness.

The castle dates back to the 13th century and played a dramatic role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century.

It was subsequently held as a royal castle but continued to suffer many battles before falling into decay.

However, it is now one of the most-visited castles in Scotland and is a breath taking sight to behold.

 

4. The Whisky Experience at Glengoyne Whisky Distillery

 

Have a whisky experience like no other at the Glengoyne Distillery.

Glengoyne is a distillery with pretty whitewashed walls and pagoda roof nestling into the bottom of Dumgoyne Hill.

It is a happy, thriving business and home to tenth generation distillers with the knowledge and methods passed to them by their forefathers.

It offers fascinating and  in-depth visits to whisky experts and beginners alike and makes it an utterly fun experience.

 

5. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay New Year celebrations

 

Last but not least, be part of Scotland’s famous Hogmanay New Year celebrations, a must experience to behold in your lifetime!

Let the good times roll as Edinburgh puts on the world’s biggest party festivals, full of awesome entertainment, exciting rides and cool bands!

Visit Winter Wonderland and skate on the ice rink, enjoy the cool bars & clubs or take to the streets & soak up the awesome atmosphere & fireworks!

 

 

Contiki Holidays – an excellent choice for young adventure seekers!

contiki-logo-2016

 

Do you seek adventure and have a hankering for all things British?

Want to explore the amazing sights and sounds of England, Scotland and Wales?

Does the thought of Ireland make you want to leave everything and go there now?

Well look no further as Contiki tours has one of the widest choices available, from quick breaks to epic journeys, Contiki trips cover the world from all angles for 18-35 year old adventure seekers!

From Contiki tours Europe to Contiki tours UK, you cannot fail to find something especially for you.

Contiki tours UK combines the most picturesque countries in Europe – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

From short and date specific tours such as ‘St. Patrick’s Day (Ends in London)’ 4 day tour to more extensive tours such as their ‘Great Britain & Ireland (Ends in London)’ 16 day tour, Contiki holidays has the adventure you are looking for.

 

Contiki tours also offer an amazing ‘England & Scotland’ 9 day tour which can either end in Glasgow or London. This tour has the lot and includes a whirlwind of sightseeing, amazing medieval history & culture , and of course legends – watch out for the Loch Ness monster. 

What’s more, although there are some cheap places to stay in the UK, Contiki trips also offer a way of extending your stay with their ‘London Explorer (2 nights) (Imperial Hotel, Ends in London)’ short tour. It’s more like a  self-guided package which you can add onto your other Contiki holidays. Having said that, there are Contiki tours UK Representatives in central London  on hand to help you out with sightseeing info and tips on getting around. There are also plenty of day trips from London to choose from if you want to go further afield.

 

You can book a Contiki tour plus all Contiki  tours Europe with BIG SAVINGS all year round. Book with Global Coach Tours and they will give you an extra 8% DISCOUNT off most Contiki tour prices listed on their website that are 8 days or longer.

This is additional to other Contiki savings, including group savings when 4 or more friends book together and last minute deals – wow!

Book a Contiki holiday for the most amazing experience of  your life and the best holiday deal to match!!

All-inclusive adventure with CIE Tours!

CIE Tours International - Like travelling with friends
Did know that most other tour companies sell optional extras to clients while on tour?
When you travel with CIE Tours, you get an all-inclusive adventure that doesn’t have any fine-print expenses for extra side trips.

With the CIE Tours 350 pound Advantage, your holiday money goes a lot further!

It  can cost most couples up to £350 per week for optional extras such as medieval banquets, dinner/shows, walking tours and more.

CIE Tours coach tours include airport transfers, daily sightseeing programs with prepaid admission fees, full breakfasts,  medieval banquets and cabarets to make your holiday perfect! They include these features so that you are free to enjoy your holiday without daily sales pitches or unexpected additional costs. Their tour directors do not sell optional tours so that they can focus 100% on your enjoyment and interests. So from the moment you get to your start location, you’ll be escorted by an experienced tour director who has intricate knowledge of the local history while keeping your tour exciting.

With all the attractions to see in Ireland, it can be hard to plan a trip that is efficient while including as much sightseeing as possible. CIE’s 10- or 11-day trip packages are the perfect solution: step back in time in an ancient castle, discover old battlefields, and take in the breathtaking countryside views on the “Taste of Ireland and Scotland” tour, all for less than 100 dollars a day.
On the “Taste of Wales and Ireland” tour, you get to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, visit the luxurious House of Waterford Crystal, and travel to extraordinary castles dating back centuries.
If it’s a shorter trip you’re looking for, there’s something for even the getaway traveler. Going by coach allows you to cover a lot of ground in a little time, so that you can soak in as much of Ireland and its surrounding areas as possible, all in only a week. From traditional Irish music and pubbing with the locals on the “Irish Fling” tour, to castle and peninsula exploration on the “Southern Gems” tour, you can’t go wrong no matter which option you choose.
Map of
Map of
Unlike other tour companies that charge hidden fees, with CIE Tours you won’t have to stress about getting to your location only to realize that you have to pay more to go on additional side trips. Get a discounted rate when you buy through Global Coach Tours.

Fun and Exciting CIE Tours

CIE Tours offers the best tours of Britain and Ireland. The company, which has been in business for 81 years, is an industry favorite among travelers. One of the main reasons for this is the high level of customer service provided by the tour guides. These tour guides, who are extremely friendly, work tirelessly to ensure that each tour is a huge success. The tours offered by CIE are guaranteed to start on time and are well worth the money one will pay to participate.

CIE Tours Coach - travel in the height of comfort aboard one of our state-of-the-art touring coaches

Relax and travel in style aboard one of the state-of-the-art CIE coaches

CIE offers tours of many different travel destinations. Some of the most popular and well-known of these places are Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Italy, and Eastern Europe.

Each one of these wonderful travel destinations offers visitors a fun and unique experience. People have the option to register for an independent or a group tour. The independent tours are highly organized and give travelers a multitude of attractions to choose from. These tours are customized to meet each individual person’s desires.

The same holds true for the group tours. These tours are classified as either a brochure tour or a customized tour. CIE gives travelers a list of tourist sights and attractions. It is up to the traveler to choose which places they want to visit. The professionals at CIE are always available to help people out with these decisions. They make it a point to do everything in their power to ensure that each one of their clients has a safe and exciting travel experience.