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Special Interest Travel

If your vacations have become routine, try a little special interest travel. Many companies package a whole learning experience into a luxurious, stress-free week in the hills of Italy or the valleys of California.

Culinary Vacations

  • Cocina Castellana - Cooking and Wine Tasting in Spain
    Learn all about Castilla culinary specialties, Spanish culture and wines from Spanish-speaking American guides. Accommodations are in the Infanta Isabel, a first class hotel done in Belle Epoque style. Program highlights include countryside excursions and culinary instruction.

  • Cuisine International
    Vacation packages include destinations throughout Europe. Each package strives to offer superb culinary instruction, as well as experiences in art, history and culture. Travelers can make their own arrangements or have it done by Cuisine International.

  • Culinary Vacations
    If daily cooking classes, shopping and cultural adventures in Normandy, France and Tuscany, Italy sound appetizing, check out this company. After your daily lesson on an 18th-century estate, you'll be rewarded with gourmet picnics and trips to nearby vineyards.

Athletic Adventures

  • Experience Plus
    Experience Plus sends vacationers on cycling and walking adventures in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Switzerland, the United States, Canada and Costa Rica. Participants can join a group tour or assemble friends for a private party. The company provides routes, equipment lodging, meals and event planning, such as stops at wineries.

  • Bicycle Adventures
    This tour company sets up biking and hiking trips in Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, Utah and Hawaii. Adventurers can add activities such as kayaking and rafting to tours featuring volcanoes, waterfalls, mountains and valleys. The company has different levels of tours to accommodate various experience levels.

  • Sun Dog Tours
    This site is a jackpot for the jack-of-all-trades vacationer. In addition to custom tours featuring whatever adventures you can devise, they offer trips for ice fishers, walkers, waders, golfers, hikers, campers and rafters. For those who prefer to watch the world go by, investigate their air sightseeing tours, boat cruises and wildlife tours.

The list of possibilities for athletic adventurers goes on. If these sites haven't piqued your interest, try similar operators, such as Iguana Mama, Sheri Griffith Expeditions or Ultimate Rocky Mountain Adventure Tour.

Golf Vacations

If the word "vacation" tees off mental pictures of little white balls, caddies and lush grass, consider these options. Several tour companies send vacationers to world-renowned golf courses and events.

PGA Travel touts itself as the official travel company of the PGA Tour and arranges excursions in Europe and North America, as well as to professional tournaments and participatory competitions like the Father and Son Tournament in Ireland. If resorts nestled in the Caribbean are more your game, Resort Golf Vacations will line up the accommodations, tee times and carts. SGH Golf Inc. arranges trips to catch the pros in action.

Photography Retreats

Learning Vacations offers an inspirational trip to Greece, where the Aegean Center instructs not only budding photographers but also painters and writers. La Maison Rose offers exotic photo opportunities coupled with experienced instruction in southwest France.

Expeditions for the Outdoor Sportsman

Try a Yellowstone Country Adventure from Montana Guide Service. Hunting, elk bugling, fishing, wildlife photography, wilderness pack trips and cattle driving are all on their agenda. For more hunting and fishing options, take a peek at Pine Portage and Kaby Lodges or Worldwide Fishing Adventures.

   --- J.H.


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