Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and eleven 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 full-time; others are there 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 interesting and helpful articles by our members.
Small Group Tours in France
Caves & Castles – Steve and Judie Burman
Steve and Judie Burman live and work in the Vezere Valley and with professional archaeologist, Steve, you will get a real understanding of the area and its peoples over the ages. Don’t worry if you don’t speak French as he will interpret for you too.
The Vezere Valley is known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ – you can get really close to your ancestors here visiting sites such as the world famous ‘Sistine Chapel of Prehistory’ (Lascaux II) and Font de Gaume, the last polychrome cave in the world open to the public – to name just two. Plus there are over 1000 chateaux in this picturesque region of the Dordogne, France. You really are spoilt for choice!
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 live here part-time, and we love sharing the special places we’ve discovered with others. Our local friends look forward to meeting you too. Our groups are small, never more than 14 people. We host groups every May and September. 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.)
Edge Charter – Tim Harrold
Enjoy a private French barge tour on the picturesque Burgundy Canal du Nivernais and river Yonne. Your luxury stay includes gourmet cuisine, fine wine, and guided tours by private car.
Burgundy is a fascinating region with cathedrals, castles, grand chateaux, pretty villages, markets and vineyards to visit, all set in a beautiful landscape. All our cruises are tailored to meet your exact requirements, from charming auberges to Michelin dining, wine tasting, cycling, walking, or simply relaxing aboard. Whether you are a couple, family or friends, a private barge holiday on your is the perfect way to enjoy rural France.
Small Group Tours in Italy
Sapori e Saperi Adventures – Erica 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 harvest, make your own olive oil, bread, sausages, cheese and gelato, hunt for truffles and chestnuts alongside the locals. Visit weavers, blacksmiths and millers. Eat in private homes and at family restaurants.
Friendly food guru Erica 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, your small group tour will be an unforgettable gourmet adventure.
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 and Barbara 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.
Bluone Food and Wine Tours in Italy – Marcello and Raffaella Tori
Our company specializes in unforgettable experiences of authentic Italian life in Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto (Prosecco), Friuli Venezia Giulia, Marche, Puglia, and Piedmont. Marcello and Raffaella offer a passion for gastronomic richness and cultural heritage of Italy. Taste Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and great wines. Guests create unforgettable memories of traveling through the countryside, pasta lessons in a farmhouses, joining a winemaker for a barrel tasting, or walking in the woods with a truffle hunter. These unique experiences are enduring in their simplicity and authenticity.
Join us for a day trip or a 4-7 day tour and see amazing Italy through the eyes of your hosts.
Specialized Small Group Tours in other European countries
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.
GrapeHops Tours – 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 2016 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? The opportunity to get to know local people? 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. Each week includes a variety of activities and special experiences, including memorable meals featuring local specialties.
Our schedule varies each year. In addition to our Luberon Experience trips to Provence, we offer trips in Tuscany, the Dordogne, Alsace, the Cotswolds, and Cornwall, as well as a special 12-day “European Christmas Experience” trip.
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.
Poland Culinary Vacations – Malgorzata “Sarna” Rose
Your Polish experience with us will be culturally rich, casually elegant and truly unique. We travel to specially selected regions of Poland to learn about the roots of regional fare and explore how modern chefs are transitioning traditional dishes to contemporary cuisine. Our world-class vacations offer hands-on cooking lessons and demonstrations, as well as trips to local markets, farms and festivals. We also visit with Polish bakers, farmers, shop owners and chefs to learn the secrets of this outstanding culinary culture.
Between food pursuits you’ll take in art, architecture and even sights on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To relax and rejuvenate each evening, you’ll stay in comfortable, chic accommodations ranging from charming boutique hotels to genuine castles and palaces.