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Tours & Cruises

Pack the Paella Pan and Savor the Coast of Spain


The cuisines of coastal regions of Spain will be explored on an 11-day trip that will visit Barcelona, the Basque region and Galicia. The group will learn to cook paella and other seafood dishes, survey the appetizer-size delicacies known as tapas and visit one of San Sebastian's private cooking clubs.

The tour, operated by International Dining Adventures of Seattle, will take place from Sept. 5 to 15. Ernesto Pino, who studied cooking at the Instituto Culinario de Granada, will be the guide. In Galicia, members will explore the northwestern region of Spain. There will be time for shopping, museums and visiting historic sites.

Cost: $2,990 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations in four-star hotels based on double occupancy, air fare within Spain and most meals and activities. A shorter version of the trip, visiting just Barcelona and the Basque region, runs from Sept. 5 to 12 for $2,490 per person. Contact: International Dining Adventures; telephone (800) 447-6O8O or (206) 281-8880.

Four-Wheeled Route

Rev up your four-wheel drive on a 250-mile guided tour of the 1849 wagon route used by thousands of Gold Rush pioneers. The route goes from Imlay, Nev. (an old mining town), to Alturas, Calif. The three-day tour leaves July 19. Led by experienced guides, participants will see desert and mountain scenery and make stops at historical spots where pioneer names are carved on rocks and wheel tracks from covered wagons can be seen. Members will camp two nights on the site of an historic fort and hot springs. The tour is insured and operated under a Bureau of Land Management recreational permit. It is limited to 25 vehicles.

Cost: $250 per person, including all meals. Participants need to bring a tent and sleeping bag. Contact: Ed Dunkley, 9401 Golden Drive, Orangevale, CA 95662; tel. (916) 988-4690; or Warner Anderson, 3750 Otto Way, Auburn, CA 95602; tel. (916) 878-8833.

Amish Country

The Amish Traditions Tour in Lancaster County, Penn., runs spring through fall. The six-day excursion includes a visit to an Amish home, where the group is invited to have a meal and select from a variety of quilts and crafts for purchase.

The tour also visits the Ephrata Cloister, the 18th century religious society best known for its original art and music. Additional attractions include visits to the Chester County Historical Museum and the Historic Rock Ford, nearby Valley Forge National Historic Park, Brandywine Valley, Independence National Historic Park and the Longwood Gardens.

The group's size is limited to 20. The tour begins and ends in Philadelphia.

Cost: $745 per person, double occupancy, including most meals, accommodations and ground transportation. Air fare to Pennsylvania is additional. Contact: Lang's Great Escapes, 2344 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City, CA 94061; tel. (415) 369-1798.

French Antiques

Antique Expeditions in Provence is offering six- and 11-day trips on several dates this month through October, with a limit of eight adults per tour.

The area in and around Vaucluse, at the foot of the Luberon Mountains, is where the tour is concentrated, traveling as far north as Orange and south to the Mediterranean. Guests will go antique hunting in the hamlet of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgues. They will also visit Arles to see its Roman ruins and its weekly market. Antiquing tours include excursions to regional flea markets and antique shops, while mixing in the local sights of Marseilles, Cassis and the Camargue along the coast, and Aix-en-Provence, Les Baux de Provence, Forqualquier, Aubagne, Aigues-Mortes and Moustiers-Ste.-Marie. Shipping and customs can be arranged for any purchases made.

Cost: $2,695 for the six-day trip and $3,595 for the 11-day trip, per person, double occupancy, including air fare from LAX to Marseilles via Paris, B&B lodging, transportation and most meals and wine. Contact: Aladdin Travel; tel. (818) 843-8411.

Maritime Provinces

Corliss Tours of Monrovia is offering its Canadian Maritime Provinces Tour, with visits to the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. This 13-day escorted tour begins and ends in Maine and departs on Aug. 10.

After arriving in Bangor, Maine, the tour goes by motor coach to Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick. One of the attractions visited here is Kings Landing Historical Settlement, a pre-1870 village. The Northumberland Strait is crossed over on the new nine-mile bridge to Prince Edward Island, the second Maritime province. Guests visit the Anne of Green Gables Home, from the popular book by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and can get tickets to the "Anne of Green Gables" play at the Confederation Center of the Arts in Charlottetown, the provincial capital.

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