Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montallegro

For the adventurous couple, take a cable car up to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montallegro, considered one of the most characteristic churches in Italy’s Liquria coast. A perfect adventure for your honeymoon or romantic vacation in the Cinque Terre.



The cable car offers a breathtaking ride up to the Neo-Gothic church with stunning views of Rapallo and as far as Portofino. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montallegro is nestled in the woods of the hills overlooking Rapallo and offers lovely picnic places, beautiful walks and a romantic adventure set to the backdrop of the Cinque Terre.



Legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared to a farmer here, presenting him with a Greek-Byzantine icon and asked him to build a church to house it. Our Lady of Montallegro attracts numerous pilgrims as well as non-religious visitors and is a favorite destination for hikers exploring this part of the Italian Riviera.


The cable car is accessible a short distance from the Hotel Bristol in Rapallo, Italy. It is also possible to find your way to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montallegro via bus or a short up hill hike. Either way, this Neo-Gothic church is well worth a visit on your romantic vacation to the Cinque Terre.

Savor the romance of the Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Vacation Package

Savor the romance of the famous Cinque Terre with this romantic vacation package. Consisting of five remote seaside villages, speckled with coral, sage and egg-plant hued buildings, dangling from cliffs mirrored on the crystal waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Cinque Terre moves the heart like few places in the world. Nearly inaccessible by car, the Cinque Terre provides a uniquely intimate experience, a hidden gem for your honeymoon or romantic vacation.


Your Cinque Terre Vacation Package Includes:

* 3 Nights 4 Star Accommodations in Rapallo
* Breakfast daily, except day of arrival
* Welcome Dinner and farewell dinner at hotel (drink not included)
* Local Taxes and service charges


Fall in love with the Cinque Terre with this honeymoon package from Celtic Tours.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Discover ‘Lunar Wine’ in the Cinque Terre


Be whisked away by the legendary and rugged stretch of Italian Riviera coastline, the Cinque Terre. Consisting of five remote seaside villages dangling from cliffs mirrored on the crystal waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Cinque Terre moves the heart like few places in the world. Nearly inaccessible by car, the Cinque Terre provides a uniquely intimate experience, a hidden gen for your honeymoon or romantic vacation.



Tucked away from the rest of the world, the Cinque Terre is one of the more memorable viticultural zones in Italy. The Cinque Terre vineyards are planted on perilously steep slopes, close enough to the sea that the spray from the breaking waves is able to form a fine mist over the vines. In the past, the Cinque Terre’s people would anchor fishing boats below the terraced vineyards. Baskets laden with grapes were then lowered from above into these small boats which then sailed round to the otherwise inaccessible village.


Sciacchetra is an ancient and legendary raisin wine made from grapes left to dry in the Italian sun. Gold colored with amber reflex, Sciacchetra has an intense honey scent – the quintessence of the Cinque Terre. Historically praised by the likes of poets Boaccaccio and Petrarch, Sciacchetra was described at ‘lunar wine’ by Pliny the Elder. And surely the wine is out of this world with 18 percent alcohol, while most wine is only 11 percent.

A dessert wine, Sciacchetra is paired well with biscotti. As with all dessert wines, this one should be sweeter than the food accompanying it. The slight bitterness of the biscotti balances the intense sweetness of the wine. Sciacchetra also works well with a slice of panettone.


Find a romantic spot, enjoy a glass of wine and be whisked away by the Cinque Terre. Visit the Cinque Terre on your honeymoon or romantic vacation with Celtic Tours new honeymoon package: Cinque Terre Romance.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Celtic Tours announces new honeymoon package

The Buzz at Celtic Tours

For Immediate Release – May 17, 2011

CINQUE TERRE ROMANCE
Celtic Tours announces new honeymoon package

Albany, New York….Celtic Tours, a leader in European vacation deals, is delighted to reveal a new honeymoon package for the romantic couple in Italy’s Cinque Terre region for travel in 2011. Newlyweds will savor the romance of the famous Cinque Terre with this romantic vacation package.

Consisting of five remote seaside villages, speckled with coral, sage and egg-plant hued buildings, dangling from cliffs mirrored on the crystal waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Cinque Terre moves the heart like few places in the world. Nearly inaccessible by car, the Cinque Terre provides a uniquely intimate experience, a hidden gem for your honeymoon or romantic vacation.

“The best part about this package is that newlyweds can put their own personal touch into it. The Cinque Terre provides the perfect backdrop for new couples to explore the quaint sea-side villages, walk the promenade amidst palm and olive trees, wander ancient paths such as the ‘the love path,’ taste the flavors of the region and fall in love all over again,” said Vice President of Celtic Tours, Kathleen Writer.

With 3 nights in 4 star accommodations, breakfast daily and 2 dinners, this romantic Cinque Terre vacation package allows ample time to relax, explore and enjoy. This package can be combined with other packages or Celtic Tours can add more nights in a destination of your choice. Land starts at $364 per person sharing. More information: http://bit.ly/lWvc7M .

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Castel del Monte

Situated amidst the unspoilt Italian countryside of pine woods and fields stretching as far as the eye can see – the imposing and peculiar Castel del Monte has sat since 1240. Castel del Monte was built by Emperor Frederick II near Bari in Apulia, Italy. Once a symbol of opulence with marble walls and columns; the castle has been stripped by vandals. The Castel del Monte is a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site and can be viewed on the Amazing South of Italy tour with Celtic Tours.
A unique piece of medieval military architecture, Castel del Monte is a successful blend of Gothic and Islamic architecture and influences. It is considered one of the most imposing structures of its kind in all of Italy, though it has neither a moat nor a drawbridge and was never intended as a defensive fortress.

Emperor Frederick II imbued Castel del Monte with symbolic significance, as reflected in the location, the mathematical and astronomical precision of the layout and the perfectly regular shape.  The use of the octagon shape is unusual in castle design. One theory for the use of the octagon is that it is an intermediate symbol between a square (representing the earth) and a circle (representing the sky). Frederick II may have been inspired to build with the octagon by either the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem or the Palace Chapel of Aachen Cathedral, in Germany.
It was never finished and was used primarily as a hunting lodge by Frederick until his death in 1250. It was later turned into a prison, used as a refuge during a plague, and finally fell into disrepair and stripped of its rich marble walls and columns by vandals.
Castel del Monte is an astounding, if not a bit perplexing, work of medieval architecture best seen in person. Visit Castel del Monte on your Amazing South of Italy tour with Celtic Tours.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Amazing South of Italy: Italian Vacation

Journey through southern Italy and experience its rich scenery, art, culture, food and wine! Witness the breathtaking scenery of the Amalfi Coast, discover the ruins of Pompeii, and visit the stunning trulli village of Alberobello. Sail to enchanting Capri and sip coffee in the Piazza.

Your Amazing South of Italy Tour Includes:

* Accommodation at 4 Star hotels
* Italian buffet Breakfast daily (no eggs)
* Return Transfer by private car/minibus and driver from/to the airport in Rome to hotel in Rome
* Four dinners and two lunches included
* Service charges and taxes included
* Ground transportation by deluxe motorcoach from Day 3 until day 7 (with the arrival at the hotel in Rome)
* Tour escort / Assistant beginning on day 3
* Sightseeing tours as per the itinerary
* Local guides (English - French - Spanish language) and entrance fees during the tour





Enjoy the Amazing South of Italy on this great Italian Vacation. For limited time only, select departures of this tour are on sale - use coupon code CS100.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Edinburgh’s Grassmarket

The Grassmarket is a must see for anyone visiting Edinburgh. Steeped in dramatic history, amazing shopping, eclectic bars and full of literary greats, there is something for everyone. Visit Edinburgh’s Grassmarket on your next self-drive tour of Scotland with Celtic Tours. Going Potter in Scotland, is a great self-drive vacation where you discover some of the filming locations from the popular Harry Potter movies.


The Grassmarket boasts a wonderfully eclectic range of shops. A paradise of Scottish designers, artisans and independent merchants selling everything from gourmet food and drink and luxurious knitwear to cutting edge fashions, antique books and unique gifts. Most shops are owner operated; adding to the feeling that your shopping experience is truly special.
From Willie Wordsworth and Robert Burns to J K Rowling, visitors will find themselves immersed in Edinburgh’s rich literary scene. Many of the caf├ęs in the area provided JK Rowling with the perfect atmosphere to write her first Harry Potter book, stop in for a rest in between shopping and sightseeing in Scotland’s capital city. Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, travelers will enjoy stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, well preserved cobble stone streets and medieval architecture. Try to take some time to investigate the historic Grassmarket, one of the most vibrant, picturesque and convivial areas of the city.

Historically, the Grassmarket was a site for hangings and revelry. A popular story in Edinburgh is that of Maggie Dickson, a fishwife from Musselburgh who was hanged in the Grassmarket in 1728 for murdering her own baby. After the hanging, her body was taken back to Musselburgh in a coffin. However, on the way there she awoke. Under Scots Law she had served her punishment. Only later were the words "until dead" added to the sentence of hanging. It was also to some extent seen as divine intervention, and so she was allowed to go free. In later life (and legend) she was thereafter referred to as Half-Hangit Maggie. There is now a pub named after Maggie situated on the Grassmarket.


Try visiting Edinburgh’s Grassmarket on Celtic Tours Going Potter in Scotland self-drive tour. On this tour you will discover the filming locations from the famous Harry Potter movies, ride on the Jacobite Steam Train and dive into the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Going Potter in Scotland - Self-Drive Vacation

Join this fabulous Harry Potter themed tour and get much more than a day in a crowded theme park or an abbreviated mini-tour! This fantastic exploration of Scotland is perfect for the budget-minded traveler.

Your Going Potter in Scotland Tour Includes:

* 6 Nights Accommodations
* Breakfast daily, except day of arrival
* Jacobite Steam Train return ticket between Fort William and Mallaig (subject to availability at time of booking)
* Going Potter in Scotland Road Book with full itinerary and additional Scotland/sightseeing information
* Car Rental: Group C Standard Shift Car*
* Carbon offsetting contribution donated to the National Trust for Scotland

Learn more about this fantastic Harry Potter Vacation in Scotland

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Discover the Tale Behind Edinburgh's Famous Wizard

Around Edinburgh, especially its Old Town, a lot of mysterious stories are to be found. For example Major Weir, a wizard who lived near the Grassmarket. He used to send his walking stick on errands! Some say he was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Discover the story and mystery behind the famous wizard on your Tales and Mysteries Tour of Scotland with Celtic Tours.



Weir was a Scottish Covenanter who professed a particularly strict form of Presbyterianism, and whose spoken prayers were popular and attracted visitors to his home in Edinburgh. He lived on West Bow with his sister Jean, who is also known as Grizel. There are many stories on how his secret life of witchcraft and sorcery got out. One story is that he took ill and spilled the story on his sick bed. He was convicted in a hugely talked-about trial in April of 1670, and sentenced to be strangled then burned at the stake. Weir was burned to death at Gallowlee. He was the last man to be burned for witchcraft in Scotland.


Weir's staff was said to have a life of its own, carrying out Weir's evil orders as well as his errands. Made of black thornwood and carved with satyr heads, Weir's staff was said to be the source of his powers.


Discover the story and mystery behind the famous wizard on your Tales and Mysteries Tour of Scotland with Celtic Tours.

Scotland's Tales and Mysteries Tour

Scotland is renowned for its ghostly sightings and for its history - steeped in unexplained happenings. Here there is a wealth of wonderfully mysterious castles for you to explore. This tour starts in Edinburgh where you can learn of the wizard, Major Weir; travel on to Glamis Castle reputed to be the most haunted castle in Scotland; and visit the famed Loch Ness.


Your Scotland's Tales and Mysteries Tour Includes:

* 9 Nights Accommodations
* Breakfast daily, except day of arrival
* Ferry one way from Armadale to Mallaig for car and 2 passengers
* Scotland's Tales and Mysteries Tour road book with full itinerary and additional Scotland/sightseeing information
* Car Rental: Group C Standard Shift Car*
* Carbon offsetting contribution donated to the National Trust for Scotland



*Upgrades to automatic and larger cars available for a supplement

Discover the Tales and Mysteries of Scotland on this unique self-drive vacation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scone Palace

Immortalized in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, once the capital of the Pictish kingdom, today Scone Palace attracts visitors from all over the world. There is so much to see and enjoy at Scone Palace, the history, the art and antiques, the superb landscape and architecture, fun for the children, shopping and exploring that one visit is never enough. Scone Palace is an optional visit on Celtic Tours self-drive tour of Scotland, Glimpse of Scotland.

Built of red sandstone, Scone Palace is a classic example of late Georgian Gothic style lending way to its colorful and exciting history. Once the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, Scone Palace occupies a unique position in the history of Scotland. A breathtakingly beautiful place of power and mystery and the rightful home of the celebrated Stone of Scone - also known as the Stone of Destiny. Scone Palace is regarded as a national treasure and is revered as the historic jewel in the crown of Scotland.

Poised over the River Tay with the Grampian Mountains as a backdrop, the Scone Palace beckons with an amazing scenic location. A visit to Scone Palace would be incomplete without enjoying the Palace grounds. They are as splendid as the Palace itself.

Whatever your age or interests Scone Palace is waiting for you to uncover its riches. Visit Scone Palace on your Glimpse of Scotland, self-drive vacation of Scotland.

Glimpse of Scotland Tour

Glimpse of Scotland

Experience the Highlights of Scotland on this leisurely 5-day tour, which includes a comfortable stay by the banks of Loch Ness, a woodland walk, time to explore awe-inspiring Glen Coe.

Your Glimpse of Scotland Tour Includes:

* 4 Nights Accommodations
* Breakfast daily, except day of arrival
* Glimpse of Scotland Tour Road Book with full itinerary and additional Scotland/sightseeing information
* Car Rental: Group C Standard Shift Car*
* Carbon offsetting contribution donated to the National Trust for Scotland

Visit Scotland with Celtic Tours on this wonderful self-drive tour

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tour Ancient Ireland with Celtic Tours

New Budget Escorted Motorcoach Tour - updated itinerary and lower prices!

For those with limited time to spend in Ireland, we bring you the 6-day/4-Night Ancient Ireland Tour. A breathtaking shorter tour that brings you the best of scenic and Ancient Ireland! This is a great tour to combined a self-drive tour to extend your stay and make it a vacation of a lifetime.

Your New Ancient Ireland tour includes:

* First Class and Superior First Class hotels throughout.
* Full Irish breakfast daily, except day of arrival.
* Dinner daily.
* Full sightseeing by Deluxe Touring Motorcoach.
* Professional Irish driver/guide to escort you throughout.
* Visit to Killybegs and the Irish tweed areas of Ardara and Glenties, Achill Island, Cong and Gaelic speaking Connemara.
* Porterage of one (1) suitcase per person.
* Tips and taxes in Ireland. Gratuities to the driver/guide not included.
* Celtic Tours flight bag and portfolio of travel documents.

Join Celtic Tours for this once in a lifetime Irish Vacation. Tour Ancient Ireland on this spectacular 6 Day itinerary.

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