Let me guess: in 2020 you are not getting the travel experiences you were hoping for. I'll let you guess: we aren't either.
Rather than lamenting what we are missing this year, let's consider what we can do in 2021. Lately, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the uniquely memorable experiences we, Peter Sommer Travels' expert guides, share with our guests. What are the most memorable? There's certainly not one answer to that question, and each of our guides and former guests might have different views on what's unique, so this post is just a start: a very short list of unique experiences on Peter Sommer Travels' trips, based on the tours I regularly lead and the ones I have helped prepare over the years. I can think of more myself and so can my colleagues!
Waking up early on one of our gulets off one or other of Greece's Dodecanese islands to see the unique sunrise of the day and to await whatever theatre it chooses to bring: flaming horizon, memorable clouds, moody lighting, all depending on the elements. Watching the sun's ever-new display, the birth of a new day, and then turning to see how it illuminates the islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those who get up early enough, and it's one you can only enjoy from a smallish boat. 'Only' is a hard word - you can try to see this or something like it from all our Aegean cruises: Cruising to the Cyclades, Cruising the Dodecanese, Cruising the Aegean - from Kos to Patmos, Cruising the Southeast Aegean and Walking and Cruising the Dodecanese.
Strolling amidst the well-organised agricultural field system of Stari Grad Plain on the Island of Hvar in Croatia, observing a bucolic agricultural landscape producing grapes, fruit, olives and grains, at a slow and local pace. And then realising that the peaceful day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year rhythm of these bountiful fields was laid out 2,400 years ago and has been setting the scene ever since: a perfect and unique example of well-thought-out sustainability. Walking the Stari Grad Plain and enjoying the calm beauty that has been built there for a hundred generations of daily toil is the only way to understand it - and we do just that with our guests on Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia.
Cruising into the harbour of ancient Knidos on Turkey's Carian Coast after midday, and then exploring the splendid and copious remains of a vast ancient Greek city-state that thrived more than two millennia ago, occupying a headland thrusting into the Aegean Sea, with its walls, streets, temples, and so many stories, in the clear late light of the late afternoon. Then returning to the boat, and spending the evening chatting, discussing, speculating and enjoying the unique setting, surrounded by archaeology known and unknown, stories told and untold. Knidos makes most sense if approached by gulet, because it was built to be reached from the sea. It is part of our Carian cruises.
Walking into the picturesque ruins of Tintern Abbey in Wales, encircled by verdant slopes and set in a place of contented peace, carefully chosen by the monks who founded it nine centuries ago. Hearing the story of this unique and lovely place told by our knowledgeable and entertaining guide, bringing the thoughts and ambitions of those who built this splendid edifice, their labour and their serenity, their faith and their troubles, to the minds of our guests. Feeling, even for a fleeting moment, at one with the place and its history. This is one of many moments on Peter Sommer Travels' Exploring Wales, and an example of what we do on our tours in the United Kingdom.
Sitting down in an easily-overlooked trattoria in a Sicilian town, the kind of place you wouldn't spot unless you knew - hungry after a day's worth of travel and exploration. And then being treated with the best of the island's extraordinary culinary tradition, unique dishes unheard of before being there. So, to enjoy what Sicily grows and tends, its very local ingredients, merged with all those cultural influences that make Sicily what it is, combining the island's spirit with its history into one of the world's most appreciated cuisines - all following a day of admiring cultural marvels on Exploring Sicily.
Having made our way, slowly and constantly stopping for views, to a clifftop shrine dedicated to the country's patron, Saint Patrick, in an extraordinarily exposed and picturesque location in northwest Ireland, between the Atlantic Ocean and a rocky shore of sheer cliffs. Each step, suspended high above the waves, a story about the area's history, and each step a unique setting for more stories. Standing there, between wave, rock and wind, and knowing you're there now and just now. All of that embedded in a landscape that will reveal geological, historical or archaeological wonders everywhere you look, opening up even more stories. That's part of what Peter Sommer Travels does in Ireland.
For all of these moments, and so many more, join Peter Sommer Travels on one of our expert-led tours. We, and our many experts in the countries we travel, long to see you, and to share with you all the interest and all the beauty of the places we travel!