Let’s Go / Best Bets
Greek spiritual journeyExplore the legacy of Greek civilization and learn about its gods, goddesses and the ancient sacred sites that housed the great mystery schools. This spiritual pilgrimage is organized by Sacred Journeys for Feb. 17-24.
Highlights of the “Greece: A Spiritual Odyssey, Connect to the Gods and Goddesses Within” include Athens (the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, goddess of wisdom, and the Acropolis Museum); Mycenae (“beehive” tombs of King Agamemnon and Lion Gate), Epidaurus (dedicated to Asclepius, god of healing); Olympia (home of the gods and statue of Zeus), Delphi (sanctuary of Athena and Oracle at the Temple of Apollo) in Temple of Eleusis (ancient mystery school of Demeter, the Earth mother goddess). It will also include meditation and ceremonies at sacred sites.
The cost is $1,595 to $1,699 per person, double occupancy, and includes flights within Greece, including airline taxes; first-class hotels, including taxes, service charges and daily breakfast; meals per the itinerary; English-speaking tour manager in Athens; bus transportation; sightseeing as per the itinerary, including entrance fees, with English- speaking guides; and baggage handling. Details at www.bodymindspiritjourneys.com.
South Africa in summerHead south experience exotic South Africa on a June 15-28 tour organized by Ten&One travel agency in Munich, Germany.
Highlights of the trip, led by Graziella Sefcik, include a tour of Pretoria, the country's capital; travel through the big-game country of Mpumalanga; visit to the gold rush town of Pilgrims Rest; trip along the Blyde River Canyon with visits to Shangaan traditional villages; a stay at the Kapama Game Reserve in the African bush with game drives, a bush walk and stop at the cheetah breeding farm; tour of Cape Town; visit to unique scenery of the Cape Peninsula; tour of the Cape Wineland and the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl; and visit to Robben Island prison, where former South African President Nelson Mandela was held.
The trip costs $4,123 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg and domestic flights with taxes, accommodations, meals per itinerary, wine-tasting, sightseeing per itinerary, entrance fees, motor coach transportation, safari vans, game drives, services of local guide and airport transfers.
For details, contact Ten&One at (+49) (0) 89/2554 190 or Sefcik at (+49) (0) 8231/2134. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The agency Web site is www.graziella-tours.com.
Vienna in DecemberYou can still take advantage of packages offered by the Vienna Tourist Board to visit the Austrian capital before Dec. 29. Thirty-four hotel options are available.
The “Vienna Waits for You” two-night package runs from 260 to 733 euros, double occupancy. It includes accommodation with breakfast, Vienna Card for free transportation and discounts, admission to the Albertina museum, half-day city tour and coffee and cake at the Schwarzenberg Café.
If you like the nightlife, you might want to try “Nightlife,” available through the end of the year. The price ranges from 286 to 725 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes a guidebook to the city’s hot spots, drink in the Skybar, admission to the Volksgarten or Passage nightclubs and day ticket for the Hop On/Hop Off sightseeing bus.
Find more at: http://vienna.nethotels.com/wtv/english/view_package.asp.
Best BetsBELGIUM: Considered one of the more beautiful districts in Brussels, the trade and artistic quarter of Sablon holds its annual Nocturnes du Sablon through the weekend. This year’s theme is “Sculpture in all its forms,” with 10 sculptors working in the streets. Enjoy late-night hours for the shops, many of which offer samples of wine and champagne, and bands that play on adjoining streets. Leave your car at the edge of the district and ride in a horse-drawn carriage to the center. While the stores are open throughout the day, the festival is open 7-11 p.m. The Sablon Web site is www.sablon-bruxelles.com/en/agenda.html.
LUXEMBOURG: Get to know the country’s wines at a fair hosted by the Commission de Promotion des Vins et Crémants de Luxembourg wine academy through the weekend in Knuedler at Place Guillaume II. Various aspects of the wine culture will be presented as well as tastings. The fair is open tonight until 8:30; Friday, noon to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m. Admission is 5 euros. The commission’s Web site is www.vins-cremants.lu/en/home/index.html.
SCOTLAND: The nation’s patron saint, Andrew, is celebrated Friday throughout the country. Andrew was one of Jesus’ followers and later crucified. Several of his bones were said to be brought to St. Andrews for safekeeping and a special chapel, later the Cathedral of St. Andrews, was built to house the relics. Through the weekend, the country celebrates its culture with events such as a Shindig in the Square in Glasgow, Jig in the Gardens in Edinburgh, dancing and food in Dundee, a ceilidh in Stirling and living-history displays on the Culloden Battlefield near Inverness. More details at www.scotland.org/standrewsday.