Rather Packed in Puglia + Iceland + Andes

Greetings from Alberobello, Italy!

Well, I mentioned last week that I hadn’t been here to Puglia in three decades or so, and that I was keen to see how it had changed.

The food is as good and the ambience as charming as I remember it, but it is a far cry busier than I recall, which is both obvious and expected…and yet I must say it’s still considerably busier than I expected.

It is of course another sign of the long tail of post-pandemic travel and that it’s so busy all the way down here in Italy, in a region nowhere near as well known as the rest of the country tells you that it is a very long tail indeed.

The town of Alberobello with its unique conical architecture that dates back to the 16th century is delightful, and while I was initially thinking we’d stay here, the busy-ness of it has made me change my mind. It’s becoming more difficult to escape the ills of overtourism, but we will do our best to find a way.

We’ll be more likely to base ourselves in one of the smaller, less-well known towns that ring the Itria Valley, perhaps in Locorotondo, charming in its own way and probably the most fun of all of them to try to pronounce.

I dislike bringing up these subjects like overtourism and hotel capacity and so on, but they are very much influencing the dynamics of the travel industry at the moment. We get requests every week for more capacity on our Fall 2023 programs, but we have been completely unable to get more space on everything that’s sold out.

The main takeaway for you the traveller is to get your plans arranged early so that you don’t miss out given how fast space is being snapped up, and be aware that things are still very busy.

I may sound like a bit of a broken record on this one too, but our hands are pretty tied when it comes to space at the last minute ( and in some cases not even close to the last minute) these days. Normally we can squeeze in a second departure of a popular program, but more and more it’s a ‘wait til next year’ situation.

Speaking of next year, I’m pleased to release two more programs for 2024 this week, our Crossing the Andes: Argentina & Chile and Iceland Circumnavigation programs that are happening in March & June respectively.

Our group had a wonderful time in South America this March with our fabulous host Todd. Think Buenos Aires, Santiago, breathtaking mountain scenery, and some of the continent’s best wineries for those not so familiar with the region. It also includes a pre-trip to the beautiful Iguazu Falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil.

Iceland is another incredibly popular tourist destination with very real limits on hotel capacity and infrastructure, and the way we’ll be getting around those challenges is go around the country by expedition cruise.

The true essence of Iceland is unquestionably in the ruggedness of the wild interior and along her jagged coastlines, but it’s very difficult and in some cases impossible to get to the best parts on a land program alone.

We’ll do a few nights in Reykjavik to get the vibe of the people and the culture, but the real Iceland will be experienced by leaving civilization behind and venturing beyond.

Both itineraries can be found below, as well as upcoming webinars for Australia and Argentina & Chile. Lots more of both webinars and trips to come…stay tuned 🙂

Cheers!

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