Georgia Tbilisi5
Les Chalmettes Queyras Regional Natural Park Alps France
France Marseille

Fly into Europe from more sparsely populated parts of the world and something odd happens on the in-flight map. Suddenly the world feels smaller, more compact, with place names jostling for space. Just hours ago you were flying over the empty vastness of Canada or the Central Asian steppe. Now the map is criss-crossed with national borders and studded with evocatively-named capital cities. This is the cradle of western culture: where empires rose and fell, where turbulent, messy history unfolded to shape the world—often against its will.

But Europe is no museum: for every castle and cathedral there is a modern and diverse city, each with its own cultural scenes and distinct identity. And away from the towns and cities are majestic mountain ranges, remote villages in rural hinterlands, fairytale forests and glorious coastlines. It's a well worn travel writing trope but Europe, truly, has everything.

Geographically speaking, tiny Europe shouldn't really be considered a continent in its own right; more a minor appendage on the great Eurasian landmass. But try telling that to a 21-year-old with an InterRail ticket and a guidebook. When you can cross a dozen national borders in 24 hours and have to cope with languages, cuisines and traditions changing every 20 miles or so, you could spend a lifetime exploring Europe and never come close to seeing and revelling in all its wonderful complexity.

When you think of Europe you might feel like you've "been there and done it". We're willing to bet that you've barely scratched the surface. Take another look. Book your train tickets and hop on board. Europe—the real Europe—is just waiting to be discovered.

17 days

Classic Caucasus

Explore the best of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia
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11 days

Walking Armenia

Take a trip through Armenia’s history
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18 days

Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan hiking

Hike ancient forests, mountain lakes and waterfalls
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11 days

Hike Armenia and Georgia

Explore picture-perfect hiking trails in the mountains
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13 days

Highlights of the Caucasus

Wine, wilderness and welcoming cities
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21 days

Overlanding through the Caucasus

Travel beyond the ordinary in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia
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15 days

Off-the-beaten path in the Balkans

Albania and Kosovo’s hiking trails
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8 days

West Balkans in a week

Croatia, Montenegro and Albania highlights
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8 days

Istria’s coastlines and hilltop villages

Explore Istria’s walking trails for orchids and architecture
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5 days

Albania and Kosovo ~ Walking in Illyria and Epirus

Exploring Albania’s capital and surroundings
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5 days

Sarajevo and surroundings

Bosnia’s historic cities and mountain villages
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11 days

Mountain walks in Montenegro

Exploring Montenegro’s national parks
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8 days

Exploring Montenegro’s coastline

National parks, Cetinje and Kotor Bay
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8 days

Cycling Montenegro’s canyons and coastlines

Active adventures in Montenegro
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7 days

Montenegro loop

Montenegro’s best bits in a week
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8 days

Hiking Montenegro’s national parks

Exploring Montenegro’s hiking trails
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12 days

Via Dinarica way through Bosnia Herzegovina

Walking routes through Bosnia’s national parks
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8 days

West Balkans wine and food

A culinary adventure through the Balkans
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  • Balkans

    Balkans

    Europe’s forgotten wonderland
    Contrary to popular opinion, the Balkans is so much more than just the countries of the former Yugoslavia...
  • Albania

    Albania

    Europe’s best-kept secret
    Once best known as the final European country to throw off the shackles off Communism (outside the USSR), Albania spent much of the 20th century closed to outsiders...
  • Tirana

    Tirana

    Tirana’s small size makes it a perfect place to explore in a day, but to truly get under its skin, try out its cafe culture for coffee, beer and pastries...
  • The Accursed Mountains

    The Accursed Mountains

    The Accursed Mountains (otherwise known as the less-dramatic Albanian Alps) feel a world away from the rest of Europe...
  • Albanian Riviera

    Albanian Riviera

    Head to the Albanian Riviera for uncrowded shorelines, turquoise waters and the beauty of the Greek Islands without the price tag...
  • Berat

    Berat

    Head up through the hills to Berat and you’ll notice the seemingly endless number of windows on the white Ottoman houses lining the way...
  • Durres

    Durres

    The port town of Durres is home to Albania’s liveliest beach, but it is the town’s amphitheatre that is the main attraction...
  • Kruja

    Kruja

    Gjergj Kastrioti, also known as Skanderbeg, was a military commander famous for resisting Turkish invaders in the 1400s...
  • Gjirokastra and the Drino Valley

    Gjirokastra and the Drino Valley

    The Drino Valley in southern Albania is the perfect place to see traditional Albanian villages...
  • Butrint National Park

    Butrint National Park

    Found close to the beaches of the Albanian Riviera, Butrint National Park is one of the Balkans’ largest archaeological sites, with ruins from several different ethnic groups, including Greek, Roman and Venetians...
  • Shkodra

    Shkodra

    Known to Albanians as the ‘city of bicycles’, Shkodra is a pleasant place to spend a couple of days pootling around...
  • Bay of Vlore

    ...
  • Gjirokastra

    Gjirokastra

    ...
  • Valbona Valley

    ...
  • Mount Jezerca

    Mount Jezerca

    ...
  • Apollonia

    Apollonia

    ...
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The lesser-visited, more-beautiful Balkans
    Bosnia and Herzegovina often lags behind Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia when it comes to Balkan breaks, but that makes this under-rated and under-visited country all the more appealing...
  • Sarajevo

    Sarajevo

    Sarajevo has been a city at the centre of conflict for much of the 20th century, whether as the scene of Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassination which sparked World War One or for the brutal siege in the civil war of the 1990s...
  • Sutjeska National Park

    Sutjeska National Park

    The Sutjeska canyon is home to huge grey crags that offer rock-climbing to the adventurous, but it’s the park’s hiking trails that are the biggest draw, including a section of the Via Dinarica trail...
  • Mostar

    Mostar

    Picture-perfect Mostar is best experienced after dark, when the day-tripping hordes head off...
  • Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve

    Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve

    Hutovo Blato Nature Reserve is made up of six interconnected lakes that form one of Europe’s most important bird reserves...
  • Počitelj

    Počitelj

    Beautiful medieval architecture is the draw in the fortress village of Počitelj, where visitors can see the restored Hajji Alijia Mosque and 16m Ottoman clock tower...
  • Blidinje Nature Park

    Blidinje Nature Park

    Just a couple of hours from the Adriatic Sea, vast Blidinje Nature Park is a perfect spot to get active...
  • Lukomir

    Lukomir

    The tiny mountain village of Lukomir is a three-hour trek from Rakitnica River on the southwestern slopes of Bjelašnica Mountain...
  • Trebinje

    Trebinje

    Just 30km from Dubrovnik, Trebinje is a worthwhile alternative to Croatia’s classic destination, with a walled Old Town, mountain views and a river complete with swimming spots...
  • Bjelašnica ski resort

    Bjelašnica ski resort

    Just 25km south of Sarajevo, Bjelašnica ski resort offers decent runs at modest prices between December and February...
  • Croatia

    Croatia

    Dazzling coastlines
    There’s no hiding it — Croatia’s spectacular coastline is one of the best in the world...
  • Dubrovnik

    Dubrovnik

    The jewel in Croatia’s crown, Dubrovnik might just be one of the most picturesque cities in the world...
  • Rovinj

    Rovinj

    Rovinj’s egg-shaped peninsula houses it’s charming old town, where you can wander through cobbled streets, cosy squares and tasty restaurants...
  • Lovran

    Lovran

    Little-known to foreign tourists, Lovran is actually a town with a long history of tourism...
  • Konavle Valley

    Konavle Valley

    Easily accessible from Dubrovnik, Konavle Valley is home to 33 villages and offers hiking, biking and horse-riding trails...
  • Zagreb

    Zagreb

    Croatia’s gritty capital mixes concrete slabs with old town glory, but its cafe culture is the main draw...
  • Motovun

    Motovun

    Many visitors to Istria confine themselves to the coastlines of Pula and Rovinj, but head inland to the greenery of its hilltop villages for a hidden treat...
  • Pula

    Pula

    The busy seaside town of Pula is best-known for its ancient Roman architecture, such as the Arch of the Sergii which dates back to 27BC...
  • Opatija

    ...
  • Fažana

    ...
  • Kosovo

    Kosovo

    A new dawn in the Balkans
    Europe’s newest country is also one of its most talked about...
  • Prizren

    Prizren

    Kosovo’s second city is its cultural heartland, packed with history, handicrafts and Kosovo’s best food...
  • Montenegro

    Montenegro

    Ancient towns cut into majestic mountains
    Tiny Montenegro has long been touted as the hot, new travel destination – and it’s easy to see why...
  • Bay of Kotor

    Bay of Kotor

    Montenegro is a country full of beautiful views, but the Bay of Kotor’s waterfront might just be the best...
  • Lake Skadar National Park

    Lake Skadar National Park

    Skadar is the Balkans largest lake, with two-thirds sitting in Montenegro and the rest in Albania...
  • Lovćen National Park

    Lovćen National Park

    Lovćen is most famous for the towering mausoleum of St Peter at the Jezerski vrh peak, but it’s worth exploring the park adventure activities, from ziplining and quad-biking for thrill-seekers to hiking and cycling for the more sedate...
  • Cetinje

    Cetinje

    Sitting at the foot of the Lovcen mountains, Cetinje is the former royal capital of Montenegro...
  • Stari Bar

    Stari Bar

    High up on the edge of a bluff near Mount Rumija lies the ruins of Stari Bar – the original town of Bar, which is now a port city down by the water...
  • Biogradska Gora National Park

    Biogradska Gora National Park

    Peaceful Biogradska Gora is best-known for its primeval forest, where you can spot ancient beech, maple, elm and juniper trees — some of which are more than 500 years old...
  • Durmitor National Park

    Durmitor National Park

    Home to more than 50 peaks, mountain rivers and underground streams, the dramatic Durmitor National Park is Montenegro’s adventure playground...
  • Lake Piva

    Lake Piva

    Lake Piva was created in 1975 after the Piva River was blocked by the construction of the hydroelectric Mratinje Dam, flooding Piva Canyon...
  • Virpazar

    Virpazar

    Considered the main gateway to Lake Skadar National Park, the tiny village of Virpazar was once an important trading port...
  • Tara Canyon

    Tara Canyon

    Found on the northern edge Durmitor National Park, the Tara Canyon cuts deep into the landscape, with its deepest point being only 200m less than the Grand Canyon...
  • Caucasus

    Caucasus

    Where Asia meets Europe
    Stretching from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east, the Caucasus region takes in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, alongside the Russian republics of Chechnya, North Ossetia and Dagestan...
  • Armenia

    Armenia

    Medieval monasteries and forest hikes
    One of Christianity’s earliest civilisations, Armenia’s historic churches and monasteries date back as far as the 4th century...
  • Yerevan

    Yerevan

    Check out Yerevan’s art scene by climbing The Cascade staircase that connects downtown Yerevan with the museum district...
  • Dilijan National Park

    Dilijan National Park

    Northern Armenia’s Dilijan National Park is home to hiking trails where you can see bears, wolves and several species of eagle...
  • Lake Sevan

    Lake Sevan

    At 1,900m above sea level, the vast Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world...
  • Selim Pass

    Selim Pass

    The Selim Pass road links the provinces of Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor through the Vardenis mountain range, but the main attraction is the Selim Caravanserai, just past the highest point...
  • Mount Aragats

    Mount Aragats

    Aragats is the highest mountain in Armenia, offering adventurous hikers a challenging climb...
  • Lori Province

    Lori Province

    Armenia’s rich religious history means it has a plethora of churches and religious buildings...
  • Southern Armenia

    Southern Armenia

    Southern Armenia is full of rugged beauty, with deep gorges and forested canyons...
  • Tatev Monastery

    Tatev Monastery

    The 9th-century Tatev Monastery was a centre of spiritual enlightenment and home to more than 600 monks at one point...
  • Lastiver

    Lastiver

    In a remote corner of a picturesque gorge, surrounded by waterfalls, lies the Lastiver caves, where locals from the nearby village of Yenokavan sought refuge from Mongol invaders in the 13 century...
  • Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan

    Land of fire
    Travelling to Azerbaijan can be confusing...
  • Baku

    Baku

    Azerbaijan’s capital might be changing fast due to the oil-boom, but its heart still lies in the UNESCO-listed Old City, full of tree-lined boulevards and fascinating mansions...
  • Lahij

    Lahij

    The ancient village of Lahij in the Upper Caucasus was once an important trade and craft centre, with artisans creating copper adorned ornaments and knives, weaved cloth and leatherware before mass-produced factory goods saw the town decline...
  • Sheki

    Sheki

    Once a trading stop on the fabled Silk Road, the town of Sheki is now the perfect place to sample Azerbaijan’s historic architecture (look for Sheki Khan’s Palace), craft workshops and try piti, a national dish of lamb stew cooked in a clay pot...
  • Mount Yanar Dag

    Mount Yanar Dag

    Azerbaijan is known as the Land of Fire and nowhere is that more apt than at Mount Yanar Dag in Mehemmedi village, where an eternal flame burns from the hillside’s underground gas reserves...
  • Georgia

    Georgia

    Rolling hills and centuries-old villages
    Georgia is no longer a backpacker’s secret...
  • Kakheti region

    Kakheti region

    Kakheti in eastern Georgian is the country’s premier wine-producing area, with plenty of wineries where you can sample a glass of qvevri – named for the large, lemon-shaped terracotta pot buried in the ground that the wine ferments in...
  • Tbilisi

    Tbilisi

    Tbilisi’s famous sulphur baths can be found in the Abanotubani district in the old town...
  • Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

    Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

    The forests of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park are home to a dozen hiking trails and activities like horse-riding, biking and camping...
  • Rabati Fortress

    Rabati Fortress

    Located on a mountaintop overlooking the town of Akhaltsikhe, Rabati Fortress attracts tourists for its mix of architecture, churches and mosque...
  • Khevsureti region

    Khevsureti region

    Mountainous Khevsureti is the perfect place to go hiking in Georgia...
  • Kutaisi

    Kutaisi

    Kutaisi was once the capital of Georgia and dates back to the 15th century BC...
  • Germany

    ...
  • Italy

    ...
  • Portugal

    ...
  • Romania

    ...
  • Iceland

    Iceland

    Dramatic landscapes and beautiful glaciers
    A huge island with a tiny population, Iceland is a shifting mass still being shaped by nature — literally...
  • Hekla Volcano

    ...
  • Svartifoss waterfall

    ...
  • Reynisfjara Beach

    ...
  • Fjadrargljufur Canyon

    ...
  • Akurey Island

    ...
  • The United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom

    Four countries, one shared history
    Where can you find four countries in one, each with its own defining characteristics, but with at least one big thing in common?The United Kingdom is that rare beast...
  • Scotland

    Scotland

    Highlands and Islands
    There is a border between England and Scotland, but it’s easy to miss...
  • Caithness

    ...
  • John O'Groats

    ...
  • Thurso

    ...
  • Edinburgh

    ...
  • Dumfries and Galloway

    ...
  • Hebrides

    ...
  • Isle of Mull

    ...
  • Isle of Jura

    ...
  • Isle of Islay

    ...
  • Shuna Island

    ...
  • Isle of Barra

    ...
  • Isle of Lewis

    ...
  • Isle of Skye

    ...
  • St. Kilda

    ...
  • Isle of Rùm

    ...
  • Isle of Eigg

    ...
  • Isle of Arran

    ...
  • Oban

    ...
  • Speyside

    ...
  • Cairngorms National Park

    ...
  • Loch Ness

    ...
  • Caledonian Canal

    ...
  • Inverness

    ...
  • Orkney Islands

    ...
  • Isle of Arran

    ...
  • Glasgow

    ...
  • Fort William

    ...
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

    ...
  • Aberdeen

    ...
  • Balmoral

    ...
  • Morvern Peninsula

    ...
  • Loch Linnhe

    ...
  • Sound of Arisaig

    ...
  • England

    England

    Rolling countryside and special cities
    Compared to its European neighbours, England might seem pretty small and lacking in cultural charm and culinary expertise...
  • Dorset

    ...
  • Cornwall

    ...
  • Cumbria

    ...
  • Easton

    ...
  • Kirkby Stephen

    ...
  • Grange over Sands

    ...
  • Dartmoor National Park

    ...
  • Devon

    ...
  • Exmoor National Park

    ...
  • Herefordshire

    ...
  • Symonds Yat

    ...
  • Hereford

    ...
  • Lake District

    ...
  • Windermere

    ...
  • Keswick

    ...
  • Peak District National Park

    ...
  • North Yorkshire

    ...
  • York

    ...
  • Yorkshire Dales National Park

    ...
  • North York Moors

    ...
  • West Witton

    ...
  • Hawes

    ...
  • Aysgarth

    ...
  • Tyne & Wear

    ...
  • Shropshire

    ...
  • Somerset

    ...
  • Northumberland

    ...
  • South Downs National Park

    ...
  • Wales

    Wales

    History, hills and Hiraeth
    Wild Wales is the perfect place to get away from it all and explore nature...
  • Brecon Beacons National Park

    ...
  • Monmouthshire

    ...
  • Pembrokeshire

    ...
  • Powys

    ...

The Northern Lights In Iceland

How to see nature’s greatest spectacle

There are few more bucket list-worthy experiences than seeing the northern lights: front row seats to the biggest natural phenomenon on earth. The Vikings saw the lights as Bifröst, a glowing bridge that connected the mortal realm on earth with the gods in Asgard. In these less mythical days, and with a little imagination, you can see them as a different type of bridge: a connection to the celestial miracles of the universe, a reminder that there is still so much out there beyond our own horizons that we don’t know or understand.

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Europe Travel Specialists

Arara Tours

Small group and tailor-made trips to the Caucasus
Destinations Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Family, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Culinary, Responsible Travel, Active, Hiking & Trekking

3e Travel

Self-guided hiking and cycling trips to the Western Balkans
Destinations Albania, Montenegro
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Hiking & Trekking, Biking

Kudu Travel

Cultural walking tours in the Balkans
Destinations Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro
Tour Type Group tour
Activity Beach, Family, Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Active, Hiking & Trekking

Encounter Walking Holidays

Self-guided walks in South West England & Wales
Destinations England, Wales
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Hiking & Trekking

Macs Adventure

Active adventures at home and abroad
Destinations The United Kingdom
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Hiking & Trekking

Open Road Open Skies

Cycling and walking adventures
Destinations The United Kingdom
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Active, Biking

Wandering Aengus

Walking holidays in the Lake District & beyond
Destinations England
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Hiking & Trekking

Sherpa Expeditions

Self guided holidays & baggage transfer service
Destinations The United Kingdom
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Hiking & Trekking, Biking

Scot Mountain Holidays

Self-guided & guided activity holidays in Scotland
Destinations Cairngorms National Park
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, Active, Hiking & Trekking, Camping, Biking, Winter Sports, Horseback Riding

Ticket To Ride

Bike rental & transport in the Highlands
Destinations Scotland
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Active, Biking

Wheely Wonderful Cycling

Self-guided biking in England & Wales
Destinations England, Wales
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Biking

South Downs Discovery

South Downs Way walking holidays
Destinations South Downs National Park
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Hiking & Trekking

EasyWays

Specialists in Scotland walking holidays
Destinations Scotland
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Group tour, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Hiking & Trekking

Albion Trails

Walking holidays around Hadrian’s Wall
Destinations England
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Hiking & Trekking

VIP Wales

Guided & self-guided walking holidays in Pembrokeshire
Destinations Pembrokeshire
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Active, Walking Holiday

Midtown Farm B&B

Ideally located for Hadrian's Wall
Destinations Cumbria
Tour Type Custom itinerary, Private tour
Activity Family, Active, Walking Holiday

The Wensleydale Heifer

Family-owned boutique hotel in gorgeous Yorkshire Dales
Destinations North Yorkshire
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

Simonstone Hall

Country house hotel in the Yorkshire Dales
Destinations North Yorkshire
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

Stow House

Bed, breakfast and cocktails in the Yorkshire Dales
Destinations North Yorkshire
Activity Luxury, Family, Active, Walking Holiday

The Samling

Hotel overlooking Lake Windermere
Destinations Lake District
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

Lindeth Fell

Five-star B&B in the Lakes
Destinations Lake District
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

The Cottage in the Wood

Restaurant and boutique B&B
Destinations Lake District
Activity Luxury, Family, Active, Walking Holiday

The Saracens Head

Riverside B&B on the River Wye
Destinations Herefordshire
Activity Family, Active, Walking Holiday

Castle House

Family-owned boutique hotel
Destinations Herefordshire
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

Pilgrim Hotel

Herefordshire country house hotel
Destinations Herefordshire
Activity Family, Active, Walking Holiday

Augill Castle

Boutique castle hotel
Destinations Cumbria
Activity Luxury, Family, Active, Walking Holiday

The Grange Hotel

Luxury gem on the edge of the Lake District
Destinations Cumbria
Activity Luxury, Active, Walking Holiday

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Expert itineraries

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