Blog readers might wonder what this means, but everyone within the Slow Travel Tours group knows. Earlier this week Kathy revealed to us that The Luberon Experience had been selected for a prestigious National Geographic Award and this seemed the most appropriate way for the rest of us to congratulate them publicly – it was no easy ride achieving this accolade.
Each year National Geographic hand pick tours from a myriad entries and home in on those they regard as worthy of being included in their ’50 Tours of a Lifetime’ which are featured in their Traveler magazine. It must have been an agonising wait from Christmas until early April, but then the great news came via email: this year The Luberon Experience is one of the companies to wear this crown. The 50 selected Tours are world wide and this year’s selection is revealed in the May issue of the Traveler Magazine.
This is how National Geographic describes the Tours they are looking for:
“They offer a short but deep dive into far-flung cultures and transformative experiences. We looked for tours (including volunteer, adventure, family, and small-ship trips) designed for experience, immersion, sustainability, and cultural connection.” and “An antidote to the average”
Obviously Kathy & Charley’s Luberon Experience Tours fit this bill and it’s true to say that all the Tours offered by Slow Travel Tour group members do too. But to be selected for such an award is irrefutable confirmation that those ‘returners’ are right – a Tour with Kathy & Charley is a life-changing and memorable experience.
This is just one comment from Kathy & Charley’s Travelers’ Feedback Page:
“I felt like a traveler, not a tourist… seeing those things most people do not. Goat farms, family homes, private vineyard tours… they all topped all expectations. I loved the feeling of being a “local”.
Nick from Massachusetts, USA
Everyone in the Slow Travel Tours group works tremendously hard to put together unique Tours and importantly, Tours are led by the group members – right from the start you deal with the person you will be touring with. Kathy and Charley have a time proven track record and many ‘returners’ on their tours, what better recommendation can there be? But again, all the members have excellent track records too – take a look at any of the groups’ websites and you’ll find glowing comments from past visitors.
Visitors’ comments are appreciated and cherished; this is just one example from our Visitors Book that you can see on our website:
“There is an old Van Morrison song called “Enlightenment” – this one word that so well describes my 6 days staying in your lovely home – drinking your Pineau! Eating absolutely splendid meals created both by Judie and also by your friends at local restaurants (beef cheeks? Who knew?!) and of course, being chauffeured and guided by archaeologist extraordinaire – Steve! The caves, the castles – the emotion and enthusiasm you brought with you to each site was truly infectious and will change the way I view our world, our past, as humans. Thank you both so much for enlightening me with this knowledge and your passions. I truly am changed (for the better!) for this adventure. I will be back someday!”
Sandy, Colorado, USA, April 2011
Selection is no lottery! All entries are screened and sifted, checked and rechecked. As Kathy told us “we filled out the extensive questionnaire and made it through to the next round when we were asked to send photos and captions”
That’s a lot of hard work! I once asked Kathy if she ever slept – she is a major contributor to STT as well as organising and running the Tours with Charley – her days seem to have more hours than mine! Her answer was “I fortunately need very little sleep”. I believe it! She is so committed to everything she is involved with.
Kathy, Charley – we all applaud you. You run great Tours and this Award substantiates what your previous visitors and we your fellow group members know: you are truly dedicated to what you do and also work incredibly hard to promote and develop your Tours.
It has been suggested that other members of the Group should try for this prestigious award next year. Having one member of the group recognised in this way is tremendous – if others of us could join you up there, it would be phenomenal!
Watch this space….
In the meantime, again congratulations to you both from all your fellow members of Slow Travel Tours.
Steve and Judie Burman live in the beautiful Vezere Valley in the Dordogne region of South-West France. Together they run Caves and Castles, specialising in prehistoric Cave Art and medieval Castles Tours. Small groups tours (up to six people) are based at their recently converted farmhouse. Alternatively, they offer non-residential tours for a day or longer.
Professional archaeologist, Steve and his wife Judie love to share their passion for the ‘Cradle of Humanity.’ World famous sites such as Lascaux, the ‘Sistine Chapel of Prehistory’ and Font de Gaume are close by. Coupled with gastronomic meals and superb wines, your Caves & Castles Tour is really special
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.