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Top 10: Adventures With Added Single Space

Posted on 6/23/2020 12:00:00 AM in The Buzz

Traveler Jeanne Macauley refreshes herself in a glacial river near Mostar’s Old Bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina—a highlight of the #1 adventure on this list.

We have 20,000 solo travelers on the books for 2021, either on their own or with a friend—and we expect 40% of all our travelers will join us solo next year. This intrepid group of travelers, 85% of whom are women, are the heart and soul of O.A.T.—so it’s important that we listen to your feedback. What we heard from you, loud and clear, is that limited single space on O.A.T. adventures was keeping you from fulfilling your travel dreams.

To give even more solo travelers the opportunity to join us in their own room—without a single supplement—we’ve added 25,000 single spaces across all of our trips in 2021, an increase of 76% over 2019. Here’s what that means for 10 of our most popular journeys.

10. Back Roads of Iberia: Spanish Paradores & Portuguese Pousadas—16-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 42%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Porto: Northern Portugal’s Romanesque Gem—5 nights; Post-trip: Bilbao & Spain’s Northern Coast—7 nights

We’ll chart our course for discovery in these ancient lands during O.A.T.-exclusive stays for eight nights in intimate Portuguese pousadas and Spanish paradores, restored historic inns—from castles and convents to manor homes and monasteries—that evoke the glory of an earlier era. We’ll also dine with a family in their home and discover the secrets of Portuguese cuisine during a cooking lesson; explore the village of Sintra, situated within a fairytale landscape of lush forests, turreted palaces, and castle ruins, including a visit to the medieval Sintra National Palace; and learn about life on a family-owned olive oil mill during our NEW A Day in the Life near Úbeda, a town situated in the Jaén province which is bordered on all sides by numerous olive groves that produce some of the world's best olive oil.

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9. Northern Greece, Albania & Macedonia: Ancient Lands of Alexander the Great—18-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 69%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Greece: Athens, Crete—6 nights; Post-trip: Serbia: Novi Sad, Belgrade—6 nights

Journey into the past to explore legendary lands once traversed by the Macedonian king Alexander the Great. Visit ancient Thessaloniki, whose historic streets slope down to the Gulf of Thermaikos, witness the soaring clifftop monasteries of Meteora, and explore the wilds of Zagoria, home to ancient stone bridges and traditional Balkan mountain villages. Cross into undiscovered Albania to explore the Ottoman-era town of Gjirokaster, and Tirana, whose Communist-era trappings are fading into memory. Step into the homes of locals, where culture comes to life in intimate discussions. And, discover the Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation rich in Greek, Roman, and Ottoman history, including lakeside Ohrid and the Macedonian capital of Skopje. Discover some of Europe’s most scenic and historic regions while walking in the footsteps of a man who changed the face of the ancient world.

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8. Untamed Iceland—13-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 77%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Iceland’s Westman Islands—3 nights; Post-trip: Greenland: Ammassalik, Kulusuk—4 nights

One of the least-populated nations on Earth—and nowhere near as cold as its name implies—Iceland is a verdant paradise of electric green valleys punctuated by craggy mountains, steaming hot springs, boiling mud pools, and lava fields said to be inhabited by elves. Here, our small group will afford us the opportunity to meet hardy locals who have historically carved a living from both the land and sea in farming communities and fishing villages, as well as discover the history of this isolated nation preserved in a series of medieval tales known as the Sagas. Their customs and traditions are inspired from centuries of folk tales passed down from generation to generation, and are full of magic, ghosts, elves, and huldufolk (hidden people).

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7. Irish Adventure: Dublin, Belfast & the Northwest Counties—16-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 83%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Dublin—4 nights; Post-trip: Ireland: Dingle, Killarney—5 nights

Ireland holds a controversial history that often goes undiscovered, and we'll uncover the good, the bad, and the ugly of Ireland's heritage though conversations with those who've endured these tough times. Upon the Emerald Isle, we'll trace the influence of the infamous Troubles across the country through exclusive experiences and local interactions—first exploring the era's influence on bustling Dublin before traveling to Belfast, where the heart of the period unfolded during the late 20th century. Stay in both quiet country settings and in the heart of Ireland's musical cities. Whether it’s the stunning Cliffs of Moher rising from the Atlantic or the cozy pubs lining cobbled city streets, the rich history and natural splendor witnessed across Ireland is sure to captivate you.

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6. Sicily’s Ancient Landscapes & Timeless Traditions—16-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 83%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Italy: Matera, Lecce—5 nights; Post-trip: Italy: Pizzo, Civita, Salerno—5 nights

On this Sicily travel experience, you'll discover an Italian island with more than 3,000 years of history. Once home to a Greek colony, a Roman province, an Arab emirate, a Norman kingdom, and more, traces of ancient conquerors can still be found in Sicily’s well-preserved ruins, elegant architecture, and gastronomic delights. Zip along Modica’s narrow streets in an iconic, vintage Fiat 500; spend the night in an agriturismo, a traditional Sicilian farmhouse; and even sit down to a home-cooked meal with a farming family in the pastoral Sicilian countryside. The island beckons … so bring an open mind, a spirit of adventure, and a hearty appetite.

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5. Crossroads of the Adriatic: Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia—18-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 86%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Albania: Tirana—4 nights; Post-trip: Serbia: Novi Sad, Belgrade—4 nights

On this adventure, which has an 87% traveler excellence rating, journey to the countries of Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia—southeastern Europe’s multicultural lands of forgotten beauty. Discover the heritage of the Balkans while witnessing stunning coastal scenery, exploring ancient walled cities, and experiencing the pride and resilience of the people of these re-emerging nations. Because we travel in a small group, we'll get to engage with locals in each country we visit and learn about their current lives, thoughts on Tito’s legacy, and wartime experiences—and discover how varied ethnic identities and traditions have often led to differing views about the events of the complicated breakup of Yugoslavia.

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4. Northern Spain & Portugal: Pilgrimage into the Past—17-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 95%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: France: Carcassonne & Bayonne—5 nights; Post-trip: Portugal: Lisbon—4 nights

Follow the path of ancient pilgrimage routes on a journey from the Basque capital of Bilbao and Hemingway’s beloved Pamplona to legendary Santiago de Compostela and find out why 88% of travelers rated this trip excellent. Throughout this Portugal and Spain travel experience, you’ll witness the full breadth of the region’s delights—including the Bretxa Market in San Sebastian and the streets of León—as well as savor local tastes when you sample wine and enjoy a Home-Hosted meal. The discoveries continue as you explore the rich traditions of Galicia, Spain’s northernmost region, and the lush riverside Douro Valley of Portugal. Crown your journey in history-soaked Porto, the coastal city that launched so many explorers.

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3. Enhanced! The Baltic Capitals & St. Petersburg—16-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 144%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Poland: Krakow, Warsaw—5 nights; Post-trip: Russia: St. Petersburg, Moscow—5 nights

Few regions possess a more turbulent history than Russia and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. After countless wars, occupations—even a “singing” revolution—these countries have re-emerged to reveal their splendor to the world. When you travel to the Baltic capitals in a small group with O.A.T., you'll discover the turrets, spires, and winding cobbled streets of Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn—three capitals that preserved the timeless elegance of their Old Towns. And you'll cast your eyes to Mother Russia as you discover the wonders of St. Petersburg, the glorious city on the Neva, founded by Peter the Great early in the 18th century as a showcase for Russia’s imperial might. Take in the rich sweep of history, unique cultures, and natural beauty of one of Europe's long-buried treasures on this adventure, which 92% of our travelers rated excellent.

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2. Jewels of Bohemia: Czech Republic, Slovakia & Hungary—15-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 145%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Germany: Berlin, Dresden—5 nights; Post-trip: Austria: Vienna—5 nights

Journey with O.A.T. into Eastern Europe’s Bohemian heartland to discover the history, culture, and landscapes of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary—and prepare to enter an enchanting world of fairy-tale castles, Gothic cathedrals, and picturesque towns. In the Czech Republic, a region noted for its hearty Bohemian beers, witness the spires of Prague, the medieval splendor of Cesky Krumlov, and traditional ways of life in the Renaissance village of Slavonice. In Slovakia, discover the youthful optimism of Bratislava, the forested country’s historic capital. Then, enjoy an audience with the “Queen of the Danube,” and immerse yourself in the grandeur of Budapest, the lovely Hungarian capital infused with the vibrancy of a fiery paprika.

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1. Tuscany & Umbria: Rustic Beauty in the Italian Heartland—15-day O.A.T. Small Group Adventure

Single space increased by 146%

Optional extensions: Pre-trip: Italy: Bologna, Parma—6 nights; Post-trip: Italy: Rome—4 nights

From the grape-laden vines of Chianti to the thick olive groves blanketing the hills of Trevi, Italy’s Tuscany and Umbria regions are ripe for discovery. Wander through fields of wildflowers to explore an abandoned abbey. Stand atop the walls of an ancient city, and gaze upon the marble churches and tree-lined piazzas below. Travel along the narrow lanes of small towns, marvel at medieval hilltop fortresses, and stroll between proud stands of cypress trees. And by exploring in such a small group with a local Trip Experience Leader by our side, we'll enjoy intimate interactions with the people who live and work in these regions of Italy—everyone from olive oil producers and wine merchants to local truffle hunters.

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