How we travel
How we travel
WHAT TO EXPECT ON OUR TOURS
WHAT IS THE FEEL
On our tours, guests can expect a fresh experience, something away from mass-market tourism, and different from typical luxury tours. The feel on our tours is an elegant and well-prepared time spent with a good loving friend who is a little bit of quirky, full of knowledge, ideas, stories, inspiration, and wit. With our immersive cultural experiences, special cultural events, and a workshop or two, our guests connect deeper with the histories and the visited culture, they enjoy high culture and art topics, get a lot of inspiration and get a chance to express their creativity. Our guests can expect to get new knowledge, meaningful insights, and also big emotional input and love from us.
Important note: Good preparation is the key to a beautiful experience on a tour. We encourage our guests to investigate the country they would like to visit before they decide on the tour. We offer suggestions, upon request we send out our Tour Brochure with the program and more travel tips for the selected tour and its activities and the destination, and we also send an Information letter to all our guests before the tour in which we describe the visiting culture and what to expect from it and in it. This is a very important document that prepares our guests for the travel, happenings within our program, and the places we will visit. We are also always here to help with any additional questions.
WHERE DO WE TRAVEL?
VIBRANT AND ELEGANT CULTURAL CAPITALS - We spend most of the time on tour in inspiring cultural capitals, and to get away from it all, on our longer Grand tours, for a day or so, we like for our guests to retreat to a remote, quiet place where they can relax and recharge.
ONLY RELEVANT AND BEAUTIFUL PLACES - We only include the most culturally important and beautiful sites, and we avoid the “must-see” visits per se. We prepare our own programs and can always explain to our guests why we added a certain visit.
YES, BUT WHAT COUNTRIES DO WE GO TO?
At the moment we organize and lead our own cultural tours to Morocco, Cuba and a tour from Vienna (via Slovenia) to Venice. We do have much more to offer and share with our guests and will be adding more countries very soon.
HOW OUR TRAVELING DAYS LOOK
An example of a day on an ECT tour:
Everybody starts their day when, and how they wish,
Most of the days we start our group program after breakfast, so at around 9-10 am,
We usually have about a three-hour program,
Lunch is either organized with a group or at leisure,
Some free time (about 1 hour) after lunch to have a siesta
Afternoon activities that last for about 2-3 hrs. more,
The late afternoon program and evening activities differ from day to day and from destination to destination.
An exception to this plan is the days when we transfer between cities. Sometimes the distances demand more daily program, but we relax it with a free day in between the travel to rest and enjoy. During our longer travel days, we enjoy in talks, stories, local music, visits en route and adding charming surprises...
AT AN EASY PACE
Our main objective is easy program and more quality, so we do not prepare our programs with “See everything, experience everything” idea . . . but rather only take our guests to selected places that we love dearly and want to share
We plan free time for our guests in the nicest places where our guests can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee (accompanied with a good cake maybe), taste great food with excellent wine, take pleasure in sitting in front of an unforgettable painting, experience a memorable musical piece, take in a breathtaking panorama, people-watch in the small square, stroll around a charming garden, visit an additional gallery, enjoy an ice cream, explore a museum's collection, a bargain at the local market, all in all- become a local for the time being!
The base of our programs is special cultural experiences. It takes time to enjoy the ride in a gondola and imagine living in the Venice of 300 years ago, to learn a step (or two) of the Viennese Waltz, and then dance the night away (using only those three steps), and other... so we don't push our guests from one place to the other. Instead, our programs offer an easy pace and with it, more quality.
The emotions and experiencing need time to develop and deepen. We love for our guests to be able to take that time!
TWO OF OUR SPECIALITIES
OUR SIGNATURE GUIDING
Our tours are led by the owner of Elegant Cultural Tours, Alja. She is a natural-born tour leader.
- PROFESSIONAL, IN-DEPTH and INFORMATIVE
- A WARM AND HOMEY FEEL on every tour with deep emotions about culture, art, and creativity.
- NEVER IMPERSONAL AND ACADEMICALLY COLD, but rather full-hearted, passionate, and effortlessly in-depth.
In order to really feel and enjoy the places we visit, we believe accommodations are of great importance. The atmosphere of the accommodations can greatly add to the sensing of the place and experiencing it all together.
Our accommodations have been chosen in accordance with their ambiance, atmosphere, milieu, and beauty. We always stay in the very city center, so our guests can dive into the city's life and feel becoming locals for the time being.
However, sometimes we do have to make a compromise when the places we love are not available, or the visited places do not have special accommodations (which happens occasionally). When we do, we always give priority to the accommodation that cherishes the importance of aesthetical pleasure and best quality and is in accordance with the Topics. we adore and the values, we stand for what we stand for. We like to stay at private, small hotels and contribute to the community that revolves around them.
All the accommodations on our tours:
- 4 OR 5-STAR authentic, luxury and elegant hotels
- BED AND BREAKFAST basis
- IN THE CENTER of the cities
- ALL ROOMS HAVE AIR CONDITIONING OR HEATING
At some destinations, we enjoy staying in elegant boutique private houses.
When we travel to Cuba, we usually choose from two options: four or five-star hotels or boutique colonial private houses (called Casa Particulares). We always stay on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
WE KEEP IT REAL
At Elegant Cultural Tours, we believe that people travel to see the world and different cultures, experience new things, and encounter new insights. On our tours, we travel elegantly, but we do not intend to travel in a bubble. We do not avoid the hosting cultures, their traditions, and customs, but rather interpret and accept them all as they are. If the country's standards are lower than those at home, we understand it and appreciate the efforts local people put into trying to meet our expectations.
CREATIVE HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS
Why creative hands-on workshops? Read here…
The hands-on workshops in our Tours as well as Workshop tours themselves, are not meant only as something to set us apart from other tour providers, but have many aspects that we believe are an important and unique part of Elegant Cultural Tours tours. They aim at giving the guest a chance to open up, have time to discover the feelings within, and share the experience with other guests in a group, connect to specific topics and creative inputs, and with a host artist... The workshops are not meant for artists but aim at providing an important added value to our guests who like to try creating while traveling and feel interested in designing something unique and beautiful with their own hands. Read more in a blog: About creative workshops.
WHAT WE STAND FOR
Meaningful and respectful relationships: we cultivate meaningful relationships with our guests. We stand for respect within the group, and for the respect for the people, we meet on our travels.
A passion and deep love for what we do: we work very hard and we feel passionate about the guests we work with and the things we bring to them.
Cultural travel with responsibility toward the visited culture: we observe and think of the impact we have on the visited culture. How much and how we leave our footprints – physically and culturally – is important to us.
Understanding the unpredictability of travel: we know that travel is like life. There are many things that change daily, or hourly. During those times patience, a readiness to understand, and learn brings the deepest insights and precious moments that we all remember for many years to come.
We are sensible to the wrongs of the societies and injustice of the helpless. We also try to do as much as we can to help the beautiful people we work with, to earn an honest living with their good work and their talents.
P.S.: A COURTESY WE ADORE- DOOR TO DOOR LUGGAGE SERVICE
Travel is so beautiful and the moments are too precious to worry about the luggage and carry heavy suitcases around. This is why we take care of them for the guests and enable our guests to careless departures and arrivals. When checking out, our guests leave their luggage in the room and it awaits them in the room of the following hotel upon arrival. This service is, of course not obligatory, but we feel it is so very comfortable for our guests to have a slow morning with a coffee on the terrace of the hotel instead of worrying about transferring heavy suitcases to the coach.