Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.
- We share a passion for special places in Europe, places that have stirred something deep inside ourselves, places we enjoy sharing with people who are seeking a different kind of tour.
- We share a common philosophy about travel. We believe in traveling more slowly and seeing what’s around you, immersing yourself in the local landscape, the history and culture, the food and the wine, and the people.
- We believe a small group enhances the quality of that experience, and we enjoy the camaraderie with like-minded travelers. The people who join our groups become our friends.
- We love what we do and where we do it. We’re small business owners who manage and lead our trips ourselves. We base in places we know well, involving local friends with our groups.
Some of us live in Europe; others visit several times a year. We’re not just in the travel business – we’re travelers too. Learn about our tours here. Then visit our websites for more detailed information. Read our Slow Travel Tours blog for the latest information.
Small Group Tours of France
Personalized tours in Provence and the Dordogne.
The Luberon Experience – Kathy and Charley Wood
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Luberon, the most scenic part of Provence. Experience the good life in the medieval perched village of Bonnieux. Savor the countryside, history, food and wine, markets, and local culture. Enjoy a relaxed week with a group of compatible travelers.
We’re passionate about Provence. We spend several months a year here, and we love sharing the special places we’ve discovered with others. Our groups are small, never more than 14 people. We usually host our groups every May and can offer smaller private groups in the fall. Other people visit the Luberon. With us you will experience it. (Selected as one of National Geographic Traveler Tours of a Lifetime for 2012, the 50 best tours in the world.)
Caves & Castles – Steve and Judie Burman
How can you see 30,000 year old cave art, medieval castles and find out about the 100 Years War in 7 days AND enjoy great food in great company? Take a Caves & Castles Guided Archaeology Tour in the Vezere Valley, Dordogne, France! Travel slowly: fly into Paris, stay a while and then take a train to Brive. It’s easy.
Steve and Judie Burman live 10 minutes from the world famous Lascaux II painted caves and close to the “capital of prehistory,” Les Eyzies. With them you can get close to your ancestors. Professional archaeologist Steve will guide and interpret for you, take you to places you’ve dreamed about and others you’ve not even heard of.
Saint Louis Hotel Barge – Alasdair and Barbara Wyllie
The hotel barge the Saint Louis accommodates up to six guests in comfort and style, and carries out Week-long cruises mid-April to mid-October in the Garonne valley in south-west France. The boat may be chartered (4 – 6 guests in a group of family or friends) or it is possible to come as a couple and share the boat with other like-minded guests.
Barbara and Alasdair and their crew provide the highest standards of cuisine and wine, and the slow pace of travel through glorious unspoiled Gascony countryside ensures a vacation that is both relaxing and memorable. Guided excursions are arranged daily to a wide range of places of interest, selected according to guests’ wishes. These holidays are luxurious and all-inclusive.
Small Group Tours of Italy
Personalized tours of Italy in Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio.
Adventures in Italy – Kristi and Bill Steiner
Rediscover the joy of learning through our cultural and art based trips. We engage all your senses in adventures of cultural understanding, self discovery, personal enrichment, and travel. Spend a week in enchanted Orvieto and its environs falling into local rhythms, residing at a homey convent B&B, and exploring food, culture, wine, and artful living. Live at an Italian pace. Melt into, feel, and absorb the culture. An array of local activities yields cultural insights. Immersion in the Italian way instructs us about our own.
Our trips pair Kristi’s creative teaching background with Bill’s international, cultural past for trips of a lifetime. Uncover that inner child alive with the joy of life. Travel to learn, learn to travel.
Arts Sojourn – Matthew Daub
Arts Sojourn is more than a traditional art workshop or guided tour. It is for those who enjoy the camaraderie and advantages of group travel, but without the rush and regimentation. Our Sojourns are impeccably planned, but we intentionally keep the dynamics of the painting workshop and group relaxed. Our philosophy is simple – to create the most enjoyable cultural travel experience possible, featuring the best accommodations at the most reasonable cost. We are expert in the areas that we visit.
Director Matthew Daub is a nationally known artist who has been leading groups to Italy for well over a decade.
Sapori e Saperi – Heather Jarman
Return to the simple pleasures of life as you immerse yourself in the flavours and traditions of one of Tuscany’s most distinctive culinary regions. Sapori e Saperi (flavours and knowledge) takes you into the fields, forests and vineyards of Lucca, the Garfagnana and Versilia, to the workshops and kitchens of farmers and artisans. You will taste and cook, make your own olive oil or cheese or gather porcini and chestnuts alongside the locals. Eat at a tiny trattoria one night and a Michelin-starred restaurant the next.
Friendly food guru Heather Jarman is a passionate member of the Slow Food movement with specialist knowledge of the area. Whether you are a novice or expert, individual or group, Heather will help you create your personal itinerary for an unforgettable gourmet adventure.
Specialized Small Group Tours in Europe
Personalized tours of Europe.
Music and Markets Tours – Anne and Kirk Woodyard
From Tuscany to Prague, from Amsterdam to Provence, we enjoy marvelous music while discovering historically significant or out of the way places. With our guests, we share delightful times over delicious cuisine, insider shopping tips and trips, and thrill to the artistry of music at exceptional concert venues.
Discover alluring destinations across Europe with remarkable cultural happenings that you might not otherwise have experienced on your own. On our small group tours, featured in Gourmet magazine, engage all your senses at a little known village market, a specialty spa, a visit to a private home, or listening to memorable music.
Grape Hops – Shannon Essa
Spend a week getting to know the wines, local foods and lifestyle with a small group of like-minded travelers. We offer a food, wine and craft beer experience in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, excursions to the small wineries of Galicia and the Bierzo region of northwest Spain, and a weeklong exploration of wine, food and neighborhoods of Venice, Italy.
In 2015, we are introducing a week-long visit to wine producers, cultural sights and outdoor wonders in Fruili, Italy and Slovenia. Longer tours include nine days and nights visiting Catalunya on the Iberian peninsula and the wine regions of Priorat, Montsant and the Penedes, and 10-14 day tours of some of the most beautiful regions and towns in Croatia. Meet the producers of local foods and wines and taste what they have on offer, visit local farms and vineyards, and enjoy many meals with small production wines (and sometimes craft beers).
European Experiences – Kathy and Charley Wood
Are you dreaming of a different kind of European vacation? A beautiful setting in the countryside? A leisurely pace? An immersion in a different way of life? If this type of vacation appeals to you, you’ll enjoy a European Experiences week in one of Europe’s most beautiful places. Our groups base for one week in one location, in areas rich with beauty, history and culture.
Our schedule varies each year. In addition to our Luberon Experience trips to Provence, in 2013 we offered trips to the Dordogne in southwest France and the Cotswolds in the English countryside. In 2014 we’re hosting trips in the Luberon, Chianti (Tuscany), the Dordogne, and the Cotswolds.
Photography Travel Tours – Jim and Magrit Nilsen
Take your photographic skills to the next level with a European photography tour with Jim and Magrit Nilsen.
With the advent of digital capture and digital post processing techniques photographers are able create stunning imagery like never before. We are excited to offer our expertise in sharing these techniques and guiding you to some of the most beautiful and iconic scenes on earth.
Our tours are open to photographers of any skill level. Our goal is a personalized experience to maximize each participant learning a pro’s secrets of photography. All this is interwoven with a wonderful cultural experience, enjoying the delicious food, great wines, the people, and the ambience of Europe.