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Ring in the New Year European Style

A&K Destination Management Company
Enjoy Free Sightseeing in Europe this New Year

New Year is an event celebrated the world over as people gather together full of hope for the year to come. With such expectation, it can often be difficult to decide how to see in the New Year, but we have the perfect solution to your dilemma. Why not take advantage of a truly worldwide event and make this year the year to experience something different, somewhere different.

In Europe we like to welcome the New Year in style with street parties, dinners, fiestas and balls taking place across the continent and dazzling firework displays illuminating the skies at midnight. Among the exuberance and festivities, Europe boasts some quirky and unusual traditions sure to bring you luck and good fortune, or an evening of entertainment at least. We have depicted a few of the more popular traditions below. Come and revel in the European atmosphere this New Year, learn more about our fascinating rituals, and maybe even take part in a few customs yourself.

Book a minimum 5-night tour anywhere in Europe this New Year and receive a free day’s sightseeing with one of our hand-picked, local guides who, with their unrivaled local expertise, can take you on an insightful journey into the culture of your chosen location.

To give you more inspiration we have put together six very special itineraries incorporating the highlights and spectacular New Year festivities of London, Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and St Petersburg, guaranteeing you a celebration to remember. Book now to avoid disappointment as these events are very popular and tickets are likely to sell out soon.

 

CALL US FOR MORE DETAILS ON THESE EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES!

New Year Traditions Around Europe

France
New Year’s Eve, known as “la Saint-Sylvestre” in France, is celebrated with “le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre”, a special feast with family and friends thought to bring good luck. Signature dishes include pancakes, foie gras and champagne.

Germany
Bleigiessen is a popular tradition in Germany and involves the telling of fortunes.The unusual ritual involves dropping molten lead into cold water and the shape it forms is used to predict the person’s future.

Russia
New Year trees are popular in Russia. Known as Novogodnaya Yolka, these are decorated like a Christmas tree. Russians say farewell to the old year by remembering the most important events of the last 12 months and making a wish for the New Year.

Scotland
Home to the lively Hogmanay, Scotland upholds a number of unusual traditions. Auld Lang Syne, directly translated as “times gone by”, is an old Scottish song, first published by the poet Robert Burns. The song is now sung at midnight while everybody links arms. First footing is a custom in which the first male visitor to enter a house on New Year’s Day brings with him coal, whisky, or perhaps shortbread, as a symbol of good luck. However, a blonde or red head is not allowed to enter first.

Spain
In Spain it is traditional to eat twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock at midnight. It is thought the tradition dates back to 1909 when grape growers suggested it as a way to cut down on surplus production from the year.

Italy
“La Festa di San Silvestro” in Italy is often celebrated with a meal. Lentils are thought to symbolise money and good fortune while pork symbolises the richness of life in the forthcoming year. Wearing red underwear is also thought to bring good luck!

 

Walking in Scotland

Walking in Scotland Packages

walking-in-scotland190.jpgScotland is the perfect walking holiday destination. Wide-open landscapes, good access, a temperate climate, and a vast range of walking tracks means there is something to suit everyone – whatever your level of fitness or experience.

Our self-guided, single-centre walking holidays, based in the walkers paradise of unspoiled Perthshire, is sure to widen the appeal of walking holidays to all. Whether you simply enjoy a Sunday stroll or a serious stretch of the legs, the importance of a walk is not its distance or difficulty, but the opportunity to see new sights, breathe the fresh air and observe the surrounding countryside. Contact us for more details…

 

Honeymoon in Romantic Scotland

Honeymoon in Romantic Scotland

honeymoon_in_scotland190.jpgFor one of the most memorable holidays of your life, whether you are looking for a romantic location that offers spectacular scenery and relaxation or adventurous activities and modern facilities, Scotland should be the destination at the top of your wish list.

Enjoy your first week of wedded bliss in the sumptuous surroundings of elegant Scottish country house hotels.  Discreet, friendly staff will recognise the importance of the little details, helping make your honeymoon a true holiday of a lifetime.

 

Holiday offers in Scotland

Let us design your dream vacation in Scotland ….here are just a few ideas for you to consider. Trisha Iannazzi, ScotsMaster

Scottish Island Hopping Packages

calmac190.jpgScotland has some of the most beautiful and romantic Islands in the world.  From Lewis, Harris, North and South Uist in the Outer Hebrides to Skye, Rhum, Eigg, Islay and Mull in the Inner Hebrides this tour covers most of the islands.

Take your car and island hop on this magical tour.

Guaranteed Golf Handicap Certificate in 3 Days

elmwood_golf_course_edited-190.jpgAcquiring a golfing handicap certificate can be quite difficult.  Best of Scotland Holidays is introducing a new package to make this easy for you, by teaming up with Elmwood College. The college, a short drive from St. Andrews, has its own golf course, Elmwood.

Getting your guaranteed handicap is easy and fun and can be combined with a holiday in Scotland. Stay in St. Andrews for 4 nights, driving  to Elmwood Golf Course near Cupar, daily, to play 3 separate rounds of golf.

 

Scotland’s West Highland Line Package

west_highland_line190.jpgThe spectacular scenery surrounding Scotland’s West Highland Railway Line recently merited the route the title of ‘Worlds Best Railway Journey’ ~ as voted by the readers of Wanderlust Magazine.

The route from Glasgow to Fort William, and onward to the west coast at Mallaig, passes sparkling lochs, rugged mountains and sheltered glens.

 

 

Conan Doyle Pub Edinburgh

EDINBURGH PUB TOUR

If you are planning a holiday to Scotland’s capital based around a pub tour, you’ll be in good company! Edinburgh has a plethora of pubs to suite every taste, from the exclusive style bars and gastro-pubs to the traditional, unspoilt Scottish “locals” offering whiskies, real ale and real atmosphere.

To give you a true taste of unique Scottish hostelries, venture to the historic inns of the Old Town, or join the in-crowd as they crawl the fashionable bars on George Street.

 

Eilean Donan Castle

TOURING SCOTLAND PACKAGES

From the Highlands to the Lowlands and visiting the Island’s as well. This tour will give a true taste of Scotland.

We can custom build this tour to suit everyone – either groups or individuals.

 

 

Cotswold Gardens and A Balloon with a View

A Balloon with a View

Enjoy an aerial view of the Cotswolds from our new A&K balloon!

Launched from Pittville Park in the Regency spa town of Cheltenham for the first time on 10th June, the new Abercrombie & Kent hot air balloon is now available for flights exclusively to A&K clients.

The balloon will be flown from the beautiful gardens of Barnsley House Hotel, in the heart of the Cotswolds. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the peaceful English countryside as you glide across miles of green landscape and quaint villages dotted with honey-coloured cottages, the perfect way to capture the essence of this idyllic location.

To celebrate the launch of our eye-catching balloon, we have put together a Cotswold itinerary incorporating an exclusive flight as well as visits to some of the most famous and enchanting Cotswold gardens and quintessentially English villages.

We have teamed up with Barnsley House, a picturesque Cotswold stone house built in 1697, to offer you 4 nights for the price of 3 when booking our Aerial View of the Cotswolds itinerary before 23rd December 2011.

This is the perfect opportunity to experience the real English countryside.

Day 1Arrive in The Cotswolds
You will be met at the airport by your private representative and transferred to Barnsley House Hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Your local representative will meet you at the hotel reception and assist with checking in. He/she will run through your itinerary with you and answer any questions you may have. Your representative is then available by telephone throughout your vacation to answer any queries.

Day 2 A&K Balloon Flight and Cotswold Gardens
An early start this morning, enjoy the calm tranquillity of the English countryside from the air with a special opportunity to fly in A&K’s own hot air balloon. The flight promises spectacular panoramic views of the Cotswolds with its quaint villages and acres of green land.

After coming back down to earth with a (small) bump, the rest of the day will be spent exploring some of the best loved gardens of the Cotswolds. Visit Buscot Park, a neo-classical country mansion, once home to Lord Faringdon and a fantastic series of murals painstakingly produced by the pre-raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, and the enchanting gardens of Malmsbury, home to the intrepid ‘Naked Gardeners’. If booked sufficiently far in advance, you may also be able to secure an invitation to visit Highgrove, the private gardens of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure. Why not unwind in the extensive gardens of Barnsley House. Formal structures and planting styles, a herb garden, flower borders, and the ornamental vegetable garden make this an interesting and varied garden to explore.

Day 3North Cotswolds
Today you will head towards the north Cotswolds. Along the way, head to the chocolate box village of Bibury, one of the most photographed of all villages in England where quaint cottages date from the 14th century. Also, make a quick detour to Burford, voted the 6th most idyllic destination in Europe by Forbes in 2009. Burford High Street sweeps down the hill towards the River Windrush and is lined with many interesting shops, including antiques shops, where souvenirs can be purchased. One of the local pubs is a great spot to sample some local cuisine for your lunch prior to heading to the delightful gardens of Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate Court.

The masterpiece of Hidcote Gardens consists of a series of outdoor ‘rooms’, each separated by walls and hedges of many different species and created by the horticulturist Major John Lawrence. Kiftsgate Court also offers a series of interconnecting gardens, each with a distinct character, and is home to the largest rose in England.

Day 4Explore Bath
This morning you will take a walking tour with a local guide to explore the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, often regarded as one of the loveliest cities in all of England.

From its beginnings as a Roman camp in the first century AD, Bath developed through troubled centuries to emerge in the 1700’s as a fashionable “spa” resort. Some of England’s best-preserved Georgian architecture is housed here, together with fascinating relics of earlier eras. Visit the Roman Baths that were discovered in an excellent state of preservation near to Bath Abbey church and also see the magnificent Palladian architecture for which the city is renowned, seen at its best in the Circus and the Royal Crescent.

Day 5Depart Cotswolds
Transfer to London this morning for your departure flight or alternatively your itinerary can be extended to include a tour of London and the surrounding area.

CALL US FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND TO BOOK THIS AMAZING GARDEN TOUR! WE WERE JUST THERE AND VISITED ALL THESE PLACES THIS PAST MAY AND CAN TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. TRISHA IANNAZZI – 585-624-1285 – travel@iedestinations.com

Scotland As You Like It

Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland are all year round holiday destinations so why not organise a break and let us custom build your package for you. Our BRITAGENT and SCOTSMASTER certifications added to the fact that Trisha is a born and bred Brit and we travel there at least once a year, assures that nobody does Britain better than Iannazzi Enterprises!!

Here are just a few ideas you may dreamed about or never have imagined…..

 
The Shambles York

UK CHURCH TOUR PACKAGES

Whatever your religion you will find this church tour a fascinating glimpse into the history of British heritage.

 You will travel through Scotland and England visiting churches, cathedrals, chapels and many other heritage sites as well. 

Motorcycle Touring in Scotland

MOTORCYCLE TOURING PACKAGES

We are pleased to introduce the ultimate in Scottish touring, incorporating the freedom of the open roads, breathtaking mountain scenery, sweeping bends, history and culture abounds.

 Touring Scotland by motorcycle you can pause when you spot any must-photograph vistas before you, visit famous castles or simply take in the traditions of welcoming locals. 

Old Course St.Andrews

GOLF PACKAGES IN THE ST.ANDREWS AREA

St Andrews is renowned, the world over, as the birthplace of golf, which has been played here for over 400 years. Few can fail to be awed by the sense of history, as they view the hallowed links of the Old Course, host of the Open on numerous occasions and again last year.

Just outwith the town, the superb links at Kingsbarns, combined with the further two courses (Torrance and Kittocks) at the Fairmont St Andrews Hotel, make this area truly vacation heaven for all golfers. 

Eilean Donan Castle

CASTLES & GARDENS PACKAGES

Scotland can boast many castles and beautiful gardens.   This popular tour takes in some of our most outstanding gardens and fabulous castles.

 Travel all over Scotland from the Highlands and Islands down to our capital city Edinburgh and further south. 

 

For more information on one of these exclusive programs or any other customized touring anywhere in Britain, call us ….. your British experts!

Britain

BritAgentTrisha grew up in the south of England and still visits Britain regularly.  She has visited virtually every corner, castle, cathedral, Grand Country House and garden and charming village in the British Isles.  She is designated a BritAgent by the British Tourist Authority because of her superior knowledge of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is everyone’s favorite European destination with easy flights from all over the US and a language usually understood (some dialects can be challenging however!)

Whether you are planning a trip to visit London or an extensive tour of the British Isles, she can put together a comprehensive itinerary. Throughout Britain you will find history written in a time capsule of stone: prehistoric remains, mighty Norman castles, cathedrals, magnificent stately homes and tiny hamlets where, at the village pub, the tradition of hospitality spans centuries. 

In BRITAIN, garden tours and literary tours (think Jane Austen, Dickens and Agatha Christie) are very popular and we usually escort one each year. London of course is the world’s most exciting city but there is so much more to explore from Land’s End to John O’Groats. When a visit to London and Great Britain is on your agenda, you can rely on our professional expertise to handle all your travel plans. Our first-hand knowledge of every corner of the realm will offer you assistance with every detail in your itinerary.

       

 

SCOTLAND provides superb opportunities to enjoy wild and grand scenery along with towns and cities with a rich cultural life. It is one of the last places in Europe where it is possible to be alone in an empty countryside. For active vacations, the golf is legendary, the fishing memorable and the opportunities for hiking and hillwalking are unlimited. Dotted with endless castles and filled with many unique traditions, Scotland is truly glorious. Trisha has been designated a SCOTSMASTER by the Scottish Tourist Board acknowledging her superior first hand knowledge of this beautiful country and all that it has to offer to its visitors.

Scotsmaster Logo

        

WALES is a little gem that too many people pass by – magnificent natural beauty combined with over 600 majestic castles and more sheep than people, it is absolutely glorious and should not be missed! The famous little trains of Wales take you on magical journeys through stunning scenery. The landscape also offers opportunities for all kinds of activities – walking, cycling, climbing, golf, water sports and paragliding to name but a few. Wales has three National Parks (including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – the only coastal National Park in the UK), five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and only 2.9 million people. Unlike national parks in some other countries, the Welsh National Parks aren’t wildernesses, but living communities with beautiful countryside containing pretty villages and market towns. Trisha has also traveled throughout Wales and received Wales Specialist designation from the Wales Tourist Board.

            

 

Bath, the Cotswolds and Chelsea Flower Show

Exploring Bath and the Cotswolds

English Gardens in the footsteps of Jane Austen

May 14-22, 2011

In this marvelous program we combine everyone’s fascination with Jane Austen with some of the most beautiful scenery, exquisite villages and gardens in England. Follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps, walk where she has walked, stand where she must have stood, and tread where she has trod. See some of the incredible locations from the film versions of her novels, and just imagine… Explore and experience the countryside that inspired her to write Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice.

We start in Hampshire. Amidst this stunning countryside, Jane was inspired to create many of her characters, whilst experiencing 18th century society for the first 25 years of her life. In the pretty village of Chawton we visit Jane Austen’s House and Museum. This 17th century house is where she wrote and revised many of her novels and the bookcase contains first editions of some of them.  In addition, the pretty garden has many varieties of plants and herbs common in the late 18th century.

Then to beautiful, Georgian Bath – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which was home to Jane Austen from 1801 to 1806 after she moved from rural Hampshire to enjoy fashionable city life. Jane Austen set two of her six published novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, in Bath. Let the pages from her novels come to life as you visit their locations and discover more about her life in Bath. We will also visit the incredible Roman Baths, the magnificent 15th century Abbey and gardens in and around the city.

We’ll visit Lacock, a wonderfully preserved village dating from the 13th century, which played the village of ‘Meryton’ in the BBC’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.  Here the Bennet girls shopped for bonnets, sought the latest tittle-tattle from their Aunt Philips, and hoped to attract the attentions of the officers – in particular a certain Mr. Wickham. Lacock Abbey was also the location for films, Emma, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, The Other Boleyn Girl and Wolfman. And we’ll stop in Tetbury known for its 25 antique shops and home to Prince Charles’ Highgrove Shop (Highgrove, his home, is nearby.) The town is known as an ‘architectural gem’ as many of the wool merchants’ houses still look as they did 300 years ago.

And on to the glorious Cotswolds. The Cotswold landscape is one of the most evocative in England. Gently rolling hills, secluded wooded valleys, clear running streams, picturesque, unspoilt, golden stone villages all paint a picture of timeless beauty. One typical village is Adlestrop where Jane Austen made several visits to stay with her uncle who was the Church rector. It is rumored that the house and grounds of Adlestrop Park were the setting for her novel Mansfield Park. The crowning glory of the Cotswolds is its gardens and we will visit some of the finest including Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Sudeley Castle and more.

As with all our personally escorted small group tours, many special features and lovely accommodations will be included. Space is extremely limited – call us now to hold your place.

Note: For those wishing to visit the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show the following week, we can extend your stay with independent arrangements in London