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Prices per person
are usually less than $5000
Surcharge for private accommodations vary, depending on pricing from our featured hotels
Package prices typically include:
Accommodation in well-located,
four or five star hotels
Breakfast each day
Lunch or dinner most days
Airport transfers on
arrival and departure
Most ground transport
by private coach
Any other transportation internal
to the tour, whether by
rail, boat or air
Three or more
concerts, opera, ballet
and/or festival performances
(except Southeast Asia program)
Tours with expert lecturer/guides
♦ ♦ ♦
ICONIC OPERA HOUSES OF NORTHERN ITALY
between April 10 and May 20
Virtually every town and city in Italy boasts an opera house and we will attend performances in at least 3 on this tour of Northern Italy. Of course, Milan's fabled La Scala will be one of them. Beyond Milan, Florence, Turin, and Genoa have fairly active seasons of opera, ballet, and concerts, while Bologna, Parma, Modena, Venice, Trieste, Cremona, and even tiny Busseto make use of their classic opera houses several times each season. Just where we go and our exact dates will be dictated by the opera schedules. Whatever the itinerary, our daytime hours will be rich in sightseeing and our meals always an adventure! An optional extension to Rome will probably be offered, before or after the basic tour.
MUSIC FESTIVALS OF SOUTHERN GERMANY
between June 15 and July 20
Würtzburg, Bad Kissingen, Ludwigsburg, and Heidenheim are not familiar tourist destinations, but each hosts an important summer music festival that we have never attended before and within a hundred miles of one another. Two of the four take place in historic palaces: the Würtzburg Mozart Festival is set amid the lavish interiors and lovely courtyards of the Residenz Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) while Europe's oldest preserved palace theater, recently restored, is the site for opera productions at the Ludwigsburg Schloss Festival. Meanwhile, the Knights' Hall of a Medieval castle, high atop a 250-foot bluff, makes a stunning setting for the Heidenheim Opera Festival, and Bad Kissingen's luxurious Casino, where royalty "took the cure" in centuries gone by, attracts many of today's A-list musicians for that spa-town's annual Sommer Fest. In addition to at least four major performances, our program will provide a variety of sightseeing opportunities as well as ample time for you to soak up the festival atmosphere, relax, and take advantage of spa and fitness facilities. We expect to offer an optional extension for several days at the Munich Opera Festival.
photos by A. Bestle, courtesy of Congress-Tourismus-Würzburg ©
VIETNAM and CAMBODIA, plus THAILAND
ending before Thanksgiving
“Southeast Asia” evokes a whole range of images, especially for Americans, from traditional village life amid stunning natural landscapes to a land ravaged by war, from the ruins of ancient empires to vestiges of the centuries-long European colonial era, to bustling modern cities. We plan to share the very best of it with you on a 14-to-18-day tour, early in the dry season.
The presence of Vietnam’s revolutionary hero and founding president, Ho Chi Minh, is felt throughout Hanoi, but we will also experience the old city and visit the 11th-century Imperial Citadel, Thang Long. A two-day cruise on Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides a strong contrast! Next on the agenda is Hue, the Imperial Citadel of the Nguyen dynasty, including the mausoleum of Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. Our journey to another UNESCO site, Hoi An, takes us along some of Vietnam’s most scenic seacoast. A major international trading port from the 17th through the 19th centuries, much of old Hoi An is beautifully preserved, retaining the feel of times long past. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is redolent with history, from the French colonial period through the war to its current renaissance. From there, we will visit the Cu Chi tunnels and cruise the Mekong Delta, experiencing traditional cooking, floating markets, fishing villages, a bird sanctuary, and a host of other adventures before crossing into Cambodia.
In Phnom Penh we’ll visit the stunning Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a monument of Khmer-inspired western architecture from the colonial era. We then continue to Siem Reap where will visit not only Angkor Wat but several other temple complexes nearby.
You may choose to return home from Siem Reap or continue to Thailand, where we will spend several days before flying out of Bangkok.
photos courtesy of TITC ©, vietnamtourism.com
FRANCE - "the provinces"
Dordogne, Bordeaux, and Loire Valley plus optional Paris
Late May into early June
For late spring 2019, we are planning to reprise a fascinating journey across the very best of France that was such a success in 2015 : from the Dordogne region, one of France’s best-kept secrets often characterized as “a cross between a fairy tale and a movie set,” through the wine country of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley with its legendary chateaux, to Chartres, we explore historic, artistic, culinary, and musical delights true to the essence of Dean Dalton Tours. You can read more and see photos in the Travel Logs from the 2015 tour.
Following a very full two-week program (four days each in the Dordogne, Bordeaux, and the Loire Valley) packed with visits, wine-tastings, fabulous dining, opera and concerts, you will have the option of returning to Houston or continuing with us to Paris for a relatively unstructured 5-day extension to enjoy a variety of exciting musical offerings and to follow your own lead. Whether you know Paris well or this is your first visit, we are happy to facilitate your adventures.
AUSTRIAN MUSIC FESTIVALS
between late-July and mid-August
It's been more than a decade since we took a group to Salzburg for Europe's highest profile and most glamorous summer music festival; it is high time for us to feature it again! Austria also boasts a number of other festivals, each in a stunning setting and each with its own personality. Performance schedules will determine whether we include the Schubertiade (click here to see photos from our visit in 2012), Carinthian Summer on a picturesque lake high in the Alps, Bruckner Tage in Linz, Insbruck Festival of Early Music, the Bregenz Opera Festival, or perhaps the Lucerne Festival in nearby Switzerland, which attracts many of the world's finest symphony orchestras.
THE BALKANS - Bulgaria and Romania
with possible extension to Greece
between October 10 and 30
Bulgaria and Romania are blessed with glorious scenery, a hospitable and lively people, hearty cuisine and excellent wines, offering you the opportunity to experience Europe as it was in years gone by. From the Thracian tombs and Ottoman palaces of Bulgaria to Romania’s fabled painted monasteries and “Saxon” citadels that seem to have been magically transported from medieval Germany, the region offers unparalleled historic and artistic treasures, many of them World Heritage Sites. We intend to offer an extension to Greece.
between April 20 and May 19
Andalucia, the southern region of Spain that was held by the Moors from early in the 7th century until it was conquered by the forces of Castile and Aragon late in the 15th century, will be the prime destination of our Spring 2020 tour. It is the most picturesque and romantic part of the Iberian Peninsula – Hemmingway suggested Ronda, perched high atop a cliff, as the perfect place for a honeymoon or elopement. In addition to the “big name” destinations – Granada, Malaga, Cordoba, and Seville – our itinerary will include more intimate places as well, such as Ubeda, Zahara de la Sierra, Canena, Baeza, and Cuenca as well as Ronda.
Our plan is to start a bit farther up Spain's eastern coastline, Valencia (founded by the Romans, ruled by the Moors from the 7th century, and captured by James of Aragon in 1238), where Calatrava’s stunning Palao des Arts Reina Sofia has become the country’s highest-profile performing arts center. We plan to time our visit to coincide with the most interesting musical offerings there, filling out the schedule musically in Seville and Malaga both of which offer opera, ballet, and symphony seasons; aditionally, Cordoba has a symphony, and there’s a chamber music festival in Malaga each May.
As always, our sightseeing will feature expert lecturer/guides and you can count on us for some truly memorable dining experiences.
MUSIC FESTIVALS ON ITALY'S ADRIATIC COAST
You think you’ve already “done” Italy: Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, perhaps even Naples and Sicily; nothing of interest left to see? Think again! Take a look at Puglia's trulli houses, cave city, and ornate buildings in the Lecce Baroque style, the stunning landscape of the Marche (pronounced MAR-kay) region, where the lush Sibillini Mountains descend to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic sea, and the region of Pesaro/Urbino where the cultures of ancient and Reneaissance Rome meet and mingle with those of Venice and Byzantium.
This tour will include extensive sightseeing, fabulous gastronomy, and performances in three unique settings:
- Martina Franca in the far southeast province of Puglia where performances take place in the courtyard of the ducal palace
- Macerata in The Marche; opera performances are set in a massive outdoor arena
- Pesaro, a tiny, walled city dating back to Roman times, renowned today for its fine beaches and to us for its annual Rossini Festival, with most performances taking place in the intimate, historic Teatro Rossini.
POLAND with the Chopin Piano Competition
between October 1 and 30
Poland might be a huge surprise for first-time visitors, since our imaginations have been so permeated with images of World War II destruction and the grim reality of the Gdansk shipyards during the waning years of the Communist era. In fact, not far from Gdansk (which, by the way, includes an Old Town of quaint passageways and stately gabled merchants houses from the 16th and 17th centuries), you’ll discover miles of white sandy beaches. Between that Baltic coast and the snow-capped mountains of the country’s south lie a belt of freshwater lakes, picturesque hills, primeval forests, and lowland plains. We’ll encounter reminders of Poland’s tumultuous history all along the way, from medieval cities and castles to grand baroque castles and churches, to mementos of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust.
This will be our first-ever tour dedicated entirely to Poland, so we'll cover most of the country, from Krakow and the nearby Tatra Mountains in the south; via Wrocław (yet another “Venice of the North”) and Poznan, the birthplace of the Polish Nation in the west; to Torun and Gdansk in the north before concluding in Warsaw. We are planning to schedule the tour to be in Warsaw for the International Chopin Competition, which only comes up every fifth year.