After successfully expanding its customized tour offering into Italy, Audley Travel will soon offer bespoke trips in more European countries, including the UK, Ireland and France.
For two decades, the UK-based company offered custom-tailored tours everywhere but its own backyard. But after opening a U.S. office, the company responded to high demand from American customers who wanted unique experiences in Europe. Last summer, Audley launched a program to create one-of-a-kind trips through Italy, including truffle hunting in Tuscany, fishing for your own supper in Sorrento, and mask making in Venice.
After just six months, demand propelled the program to become the second-highest revenue destination at a company that sells trips to more than 80 countries around the world. Inspired by their customers’ passion for experience-rich trips to Italy, Audley is in the process of expanding their offerings across the European continent, including trips to the British Isles and France this year; and Spain and Portugal in 2018.
Beginning this summer, discerning travelers can work with one of Audley’s country specialists to create their own private itinerary to the UK and Ireland, with France launching in September. Trips are tailored to each traveler’s individual tastes by a country specialist who has spent months getting to know their region of specialty. A tailor-made tour with Audley to these destinations may include experiences such as:
- Taking afternoon tea in Beatrix Potter’s cottage, with an expert guide who actually lives there – an experience only available through Audley Travel.
- Earning a distiller’s certificate through a course at the Jameson distillery.
- Fly fishing in Scottish rivers with a gillie (hunting and fishing expert).
- Ricotta-making demonstrations with the chef at Sicily’s Eremo Della Giubliana.
- Private visits to culinary artisans in Bologna to get an authentic glimpse into the creation of Parmigiano, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto.
- Cruising in a private boat beneath the arches of Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, a home famously fought over by Henri II’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers and his wife Catherine de Medici, to get a rare view of the building away from the crowds.
- Touring a family run Olive oil mill at the bottom of one of Provence’s most picturesque hilltop villages, before enjoying a tasting under the shade of the olive trees.
- An expert-led pub crawl through Dublin’s literary history.
Audley’s tours offer a unique take on travel. Their dedicated country specialists work with clients to design a personalized itinerary, tailored to their individual interests. By September 2017, the Europe team will total 25 European country specialists, all of whom have lived and traveled extensively in their specific countries of expertise, and can provide the in-depth knowledge that can only be gained through on-the-ground experience. That enables them to offer singular insight into the land, sights, and people of a country to best prepare clients on what to expect and direct them towards the experiences that will be most meaningful for them. People choose tailor-made travel because they appreciate that sort of authentic insight, behind-the-scenes access, and insider knowledge.
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