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TOURS & CRUISES

Pub Crawling in Britain With an Educational Bent

August 27, 2000|KARIN ESTERHAMMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Far Horizons of New Mexico is offering a 13-day cultural "pub crawl" through remote areas of Britain that offers a chance to see many out-of-the-way archeological and historic sites. Guests will stay in historic inns and visit local pubs along a route that travels minor roads. The group will visit prehistoric stone circles and chambered tombs, walk along Hadrian's Wall and see medieval castles.

In Scotland, a half-day will be spent touring Edinburgh Castle and the abbeys of Melrose and Jedburgh. Also included are visits to Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England, and the stone circles at Avebury and Stonehenge.

The trip will be led by Clive Warsop, an archeologist and lecturer from the University of Edinburgh. The trip runs Oct. 16 to 28.

Cost: $4,295 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from New York, hotels, daily breakfast, some dinners, entry fees and all ground transportation.

Contact: Far Horizons, P.O. Box 91900, Albuquerque, NM 87199; telephone (800) 552-4575, Internet http://www.farhorizon.com.

Italy: Cooking

Learn old family recipes and healthy vegetarian cooking secrets in a small group setting on a trip to Italy that runs Nov. 1 to 8. Guests will work with chefs in Italian farm-style kitchens and restaurants.

Accommodations include a villa and a converted monastery. Besides cooking demonstrations, participants will take walking tours, visit a hot spring and explore Colle Val d'Elsa, a center for lead crystal in Italy. Also planned is a guided excursion to the medieval city of Siena, San Gimignano and a 7th century abandoned village where an ongoing archeological dig can be seen.

Cost: $2,250 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, most meals, sightseeing and airport transfers. Air fare is not included.

Contact: Stephan at Adventure Health Travel; tel. (800) 443-9216, Internet http://adventurehealthtravel.com.

More Italy: Autumn

A 10-day autumn tour to Italy will explore urban and rural settings in Tuscany and Umbria. Beginning Oct. 24 in Lucca, guest accommodations are at Hotel Universo inside the ancient walls of the old city, where motor scooters and cars are banned.

Daily outings acquaint visitors with the culinary and cultural life of Lucca and the surrounding countryside on visits to private villas, wineries and cafes to feast on seasonal specialties. Tuscan excursions include the seacoast town of Viareggio, the village of Pietrasanta, the Carrara marble quarries, shopping and museum visits in Florence and Pisa's Leaning Tower.

The group then heads south to the Umbrian hill town of Spello. Guests stay in Hotel Palazzo Bocci, a former royal villa. The culinary focus is on the harvest of grapes and olives, with wine tasting in a private cellar; an olive harvest day with midday farmhouse feast and bruschetta tasting of freshly pressed oil at the mill; and a cooking class in a castle, where the chef will teach traditional pasta making, then cook dinner for the group.

Cultural outings include visits to Assisi, to the pottery town of Deruta, to Spoleto for a walk on the Roman aqueduct, and to the autumn festival market in Perugia.

Cost: $3,600 per person, double occupancy, including hotel accommodations with breakfast, some meals, transportation by private motor coach and daily guided excursions. Group size is limited to 12. Transatlantic air fare is not included.

Contact: Anne Block; tel. (323) 737-2200, Internet http://www.takemymotherplease.com.

Philadelphia: Art

Join the Palos Verdes Art Center on an art tour of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley from Oct. 24 to 29. The trip features a private guided tour of "Van Gogh: Face to Face," an exhibition of 50 of the artist's portraits from public and private collections.

Also included are visits to the Rodin Museum; the Faberge Collection at the Riverfront Arts Center in Wilmington, Del.; Winterthur and Longwood near Wilmington, which were private estates of the DuPont family; the Brandywine River Museum, showcasing works by three generations of Wyeths; the Delaware Art Museum with its pre-Raphaelite collection, also in Wilmington; and Philadelphia historic sites.

Cost: $1,492 per person, double occupancy, including five nights at the Warwick Hotel, 10 meals, private motor coach transportation and guides. Air transportation is extra.

Contact: Palos Verdes Art Center, Programs Department; tel. (310) 541-2479.

Ireland: West Side

The color green awaits on a tour of the Emerald Isle, Oct. 16 to 22. Touring by deluxe mini coach, guests will focus on the west coast of Ireland. The highlights are the majestic Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Garinish Island with the spectacular Ilnacullin Gardens, Killarney National Park, Blarney Castle, the limestone plateau of the Burren and Bunratty Folk Park.

Cost: $2,180 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals and ground transportation. Air fare is extra.

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