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What makes for a great trip?
A friendly, knowledgeable guide with a passion for life, a relaxed pace and travel atmosphere, intriguing and inspiring site visits, good dining and lodging, and shared stories.
Our small group exploration travel excursions represent our signature travel style. Groups of 4 - 16 people travel by van or mini-van (one or two vehicles) along beautiful routes, exploring authentic history and culture. As Chumley likes to say, "We'll see how the people here live . . . and we'll learn something about their stories." Along the way we'll enjoy local dining, comfortable accommodations (often in historic inns), and meet experts in regional arts and crafts, history, and ways of life.
International travel often takes on this signature persona - small travel groups (again, 4 - 16 people; one or two comfortable vans); multi-night stays that allow us to get a true sense of place as we explore. Special site visits, local experts, and backroads discoveries often enhance our experience. Country inns, family-owned boutique hotels in city-centers, and acclaimed local dining round out the experience.
For the sake of fun, fitness, healthy living, and a sense of adventure, Explore Up Close offers active / adventure travel. These trips are designed for those who are physically active, and like to "get in the middle of it." Hiking, paddling, and cycling activities are easy-to-moderate - designed for active people of any age.
History and Culture are important components of exploring any place. The trips listed below are built around particular stories, and prominently feature site visits, exploration routes, and local authorities to elucidate those stories.