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Specializing in small group tours throughout Europe that allow travelers to experience extraordinary adventures
Welcome to tlc tours
WHY TRAVEL WITH US?
Are you tired of being a checklist tourist running to see all of the "must see" sites in major cities? We understand.
Don't want another large group tour that whisks you through seven countries in seven days? We understand.
Do you want an adventure away from the major tourist sites where you can experience the local culture, food and people, but don't have the time or desire to research and organize the trip? Let us help you.
Based on our years of travel experience and wanderlust, our tours allow you to experience lesser known (but fabulous!) parts of Europe where you can find "hidden gems" and historic sites, as well as local culture, gastronomy and activities. Each of our tours is limited to a maximum of 6-10 clients, depending on the tour.
We can also organize a custom tour for your small group upon request.
In the current context of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and due to emergency measures instituted by numerous countries, including extreme travel restrictions and the closure of hotels, restaurants, bars and cultural sites, we are not accepting reservations at this time for our tours. We apologize for this inconvenience, but we want to be certain that the vendors we use will be operating on the scheduled dates of our tours before we accept your deposit. We will update our website to start accepting reservations and deposits as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our tours, please contact us. Hopefully, the world will be a healthier place in the near future and we will all be able to let our wanderlust run wild again!
OUR 2020 TOURS
Experience the Wine and Culture of Rioja, Spain
With its beautiful landscapes, medieval villages and internationally acclaimed wines, Rioja is Spain's Tuscany. This remote wine producing area in the north of Spain spreads over 133,000+ acres in the Autonomous Communities of La Rioja, Basque Country and Navarre and boasts over 500 wineries producing 280-300 liters of wine each year.
As well as wineries, Rioja is also known for magnificent pieces of architecture, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites - the monasteries of Suso and Yuso, where the first words of Spanish were written in the 11th century by monks translating Latin texts, and the Royal Palace of Olite (the Palace of the King of Navarre), once said to be one of the most luxurious palaces in Europe, with hanging gardens, running water and even exotic animals such as lions and camels.
Whether you are a connoisseur of tempranillos or a beginner when it comes to wine, the wines of Rioja will capture your attention, leaving you wanting more from this region. For those who are real foodies, we will experience Riojan tapas in the old district of Logrono, where many bars specialize in one specific ingredient, for example, one bar only serves mushrooms, while another specializes in spider crab fish cakes.
We have taken care of all of the details so that you can simply enjoy the adventure!
Seven Day Tour Itinerary:
Our Tour Program Director will pick up the group at the airport in Bilbao in a luxury mini-bus for the beautiful drive over the Cantabrian Mountains to Logrono where we will check into our luxury 4 star hotel in the city's old district. In the late afternoon, we will meet a local guide in the hotel lobby for a walking tour of Logrono with wine tastings and tapas in the old district. Dinner on your own.
Today our local guide will pick us up for a full day of winery hopping covering the various types of wineries and giving us an overall perspective of Rioja winemaking styles. We will visit three wineries in different towns and enjoy fine wine tastings. Our tour will end with a farm-to-table traditional Spanish lunch with 2 fine wines in an underground cellar excavated out of bedrock underneath a 12th century castle in the quaint medieval village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Dinner on your own.
Today we experience the history and culture of the Rioja region on a full day tour of the Royal Palace of Olite (the Palace of the King of Navarre) and the medieval village of Ujue. Dinner on your own.
We are back on the wine trail for a full day tour of 3 boutique family-run wineries with extensive tastings. We will enjoy a 3 course lunch in a local restaurant, followed by a walking tour exploring the history and secrets of the beautiful walled town of Laguardia. Dinner on your own.
A day of wine, history and remarkable architecture is on today's agenda in our full day tour to discover the highlights of Rioja. In the morning, we will enjoy fine wine tastings and tours of 2 wineries of different and contrasting styles. We then move on to Labastida, where we will have a walking tour full of stories and legends followed by lunch. On the way back to Logrono, we will take a scenic route with stops for photos of the avant-garde buildings with cutting edge architectural designs. Dinner on your own.
Our last full day in La Rioja is one of culture and gastronomy. Today we will visit the Monasteries of Suso and Yuso, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, where the first words of Spanish were written. We then travel the La Rioja wine route in the medieval villages of Haro and Laguardia and end our day with a wine tasting and traditional lunch in an emblematic restaurant. In the evening, we come together to enjoy a group dinner at a traditional Riojan restaurant.
We depart Logrono by luxury mini-bus for the return trip to the Bilbao airport and your journey home.
What is included:
6 nights in a first class hotel in Logrono (breakfast included)
Round-trip transportation Bilbao airport-Logrono
Walking tour of Logrono - local English speaking guide, taxes, wine tastings and tapas.
Full day tours - winery admission fees, wine tastings, entrance fees, lunch (where indicated), local English speaking driver guide, transportation and taxes.
Group dinner last night in Logrono.
July 13 - 19, 2020*
August 31 - September 6, 2020*
From $3,226.00 per person double occupancy. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. There is a supplement charge applicable to single travelers not wishing to share a hotel room. Contact us for more details.
* Minimum group size of 6 persons double occupancy required. Maximum group size of 8 persons double occupancy.
A 50% per person deposit via PayPal or bank transfer is required to secure the tour, and the remaining balance must be paid no later than 60 days prior to the tour start date. Once you confirm that you wish to book the tour, we will send you either instructions for a bank transfer or a safe PayPal link where you can pay the 50% deposit and secure the tour.
Experience the 2020 Christmas Markets of France and Germany
The Christmas season is a time of wonder and magic for all ages, from the young to the young at heart. What better way to experience it than in the Christmas markets in the Upper Rhine Valley (Alsace, France and Germany) where you can enjoy their Christmas decorations, their beautiful Christmas trees, and experience the best place to find original Christmas gifts for the whole family in one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe.
On this 5-day tour we are based in Strasbourg, France, the self-titled Capital of Christmas, in the heart of Alsace. The first Christmas markets were held here in 1570, making them one of the oldest in Europe and the very first in France. With its famous Christmas Tree, illuminations, pretty wooden chalets, and the smell of warm bredele cakes and hot mulled wine, there’s always magic in the air at Strasbourg’s Christmas Markets.
We start our first full day of the tour in Strasbourg with a Christmas food tour where we’ll hear old legends, stories and getting insider tips that we wouldn’t find anywhere else! Next, it’s off to shop and explore the multiple Christmas markets that Strasbourg has to offer.
From Strasbourg, we will spend a day traveling part of the Alsace wine route to Christmas markets in the medieval villages of Riquewihr, Eguisheim and then to Colmar, France. Nestled among vineyards, ringed by ancient ramparts, Riquewhir is one of the most beautiful villages in Alsace that knows how to spread the Christmas spirt. Eguisheim is another beautiful medieval village on the Alsace wine route where the Christmas market has a different theme each week. Last, we head to Colmar to visit its Christmas Markets called by many the most quintessentially “French” markets of the advent season. With its Old Town illuminated and decorated like a fairy tale, you will be swept up in the joy of Christmas. Situated right in the heart of the historic town center, Colmar’s six Christmas markets radiate warmth and an inviting atmosphere where you are sure to make some delightful discoveries. Each with its own particular theme, the markets will envelop you in the magic of Christmas, a unique atmosphere guaranteed to delight young and old alike.
Next, we cross the border into Germany to spend a day experiencing the wonder of Christmas at the markets in Freiburg, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Germany, and the medieval city of Gengenbach, home to the world’s largest advent calendar. Each night, the magnificent 200 year old Town Hall façade comes to life as a new window of the advent calendar opens…until the last of the 24 windows is open and the Town Hall shines in all its glory on Christmas night.
On our fourth day, we combine history and Christmas markets with a tour of Mont Sainte Odile, the “Christmas Gastronomy in Alsace” market in the beautiful medieval village of Obernai, and finally the famous castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg. Mont Sainte-Odile is a 764-meter-high peak in the Vosges Mountains in Alsace, France. The mountain is named after Saint Odile. It has a convent at its top called the Hohenburg Abbey, and is notable also for its stone fortifications called "the Pagan Wall."
According to legend, Odile, the daughter of Etichon (or Adalric), Duke of Alsace, was born blind. Rejected by her father, she was hidden in a monastery in Burgundy and regained her sight the day of her baptism. Her brother Hugues came to take her home, but when Etichon wanted to marry her to a young prince, she escaped into the Black Forest. As Etichon pursued Odile, a rock face miraculously opened up in front of her, allowing her to hide. Etichon gave in to his daughter and founded the convent of Hohenburg for her on the mountain; Odile was its first abbess.
As we cross the threshold of Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, we will immerse ourselves in the universe of the Middle Ages. Towering at almost 800 meters, Haut-Koenigsbourg boasts an exceptional panoramic view. From the Grand Bastion, you can see the Alsace plain, the Vosges, the Black Forest and on a clear day, the Alps…Built in the 12th century, the castle bore witness to nine centuries of European conflicts and rivalries between feudal lords, kings and emperors. German Emperor Wilhelm II decided at the turn of the twentieth century to renovate the former castle, that was besieged, destroyed and finally abandoned during the Thirty Years' War. The restoration works, notable for their size and modern approach, took only eight years. It is the only medieval castle in Alsace that has been fully restored.
On our last day, we are back in Strasbourg where we start with a private walking tour to experience the quaintness of this city, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Grande Ile to its impressive Cathedral of Notre Dame to the Palais Rohan, that we may have missed in our mad dash for the Christmas markets. We will walk along cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered homes, see little canals and covered bridges and explore the charming La Petite France neighborhood. Strasbourg’s Christmas markets are too large to cover in one day, so after our walking tour, you can spend the last of your shopping money while enjoying the spirit of Christmas in Alsace!
What is included:
6 nights in a 4 star hotel in Strasbourg, France (breakfast included)
Strasbourg Christmas food tour - local English speaking guide, taxes, food tastings in the shops visited.
Strasbourg private walking tour - local English speaking guide and taxes
Full day tours - entrance fees, local English speaking driver guide, transportation and taxes.
December 6-12, 2020*
From $2,060.00 per person double occupancy. Airfare and travel insurance are not included. There is a supplement charge applicable to single travelers not wishing to share a hotel room. Contact us for more details.
* Minimum group size of 4 persons double occupancy required. Maximum group size of 6 persons double occupancy.
A 30% per person deposit via PayPal or bank transfer is required to secure the tour, and the remaining balance must be paid no later than 60 days prior to the tour start date. Once you confirm that you wish to book the tour, we will send you either instructions for a bank transfer or a safe PayPal link where you can pay the 30% deposit and secure the tour.
MEET OUR TEAM
Our President and Tour Program Director is addicted to travel and lives by the motto, "Dare to live a life less ordinary". Her mother says that she was born with more curiosity than one person should probably have. Based in Madrid, Spain, she scouts new places and activities for our tours and accompanies each tour group, so guests can enjoy the adventure without having to worry about the details.
Our Vice President brings over 40 years of experience in the airline and travel industries to our team. She is based at our headquarters in Texas and specializes in logistics and customer service.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
A cancellation must be notified in writing to TLC Tours, LLC, through the email [email protected] and the following charges apply:
Once payment is received, a 30% cancellation penalty is applicable for any cancellation, in whole or in part. Cancellations within 30 days of arrival are non-refundable. Deposits are non-refundable. Hotel and services indicated as non-refundable are not eligible for any refund once paid and regardless of when cancelled.
Rates include all taxes.
Payment can be made through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Full payment is the preferred method to secure pricing as outlined in the invoice sent to you. However, a non-refundable deposit will secure most services booked, but will not guarantee the pricing of the tour. Deposits received require the final balance due at least 60 days prior to first service. Please see your invoice for additional details if the balance is due sooner than 60 days prior.
In case of currency fluctuations of more than 2.00%, or amendments in local government taxes, we reserve the right to adjust the tour price accordingly prior to receiving the final balance.
In order to guarantee the rate(s)/reservation(s) confirmed on your invoice, payment must be received in our office no later that the invoice due date, otherwise the reservation(s) will be cancelled (unless other arrangements have been made). TLC Tours, LLC, reserves the right to re-invoice/adjust prices or services within the due date period, but prior to prepayment, if necessary. If the final balance due date has been extended past the due date on the invoice, all rates are subject to change based on current exchange rates. Some quoted/confirmed rates may be higher than the posted rate due to, but not limited to, local fairs, local conventions, special events, exchange rate variances/differences, service reimbursements, credit card fees, contractual arrangements, commissions, taxes and breakfast.
Reservations Within 21 Days of Arrival:
Reservations within 21 days of arrival may incur an overnight express charge for the transportation of travel documents. Charges are based on the type of overnight service, destination and carrier used to provide that service. Payment in full must be received as soon as possible for reservations within 21 days of arrival.
Unless otherwise stated, all transfers include driver, taxes and road tolls.
TLC Tours, LLC, and its agents and/or affiliated companies act only as agents for the various contractors providing means of transportation or other services identified and is in no way to be considered the principal of the subject service or as agents for the tour participant. TLC Tours, LLC, shall not be responsible or liable for and expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for any loss, expense, accident, injury or damage to person or property which results directly or indirectly from any act of God or an act, commission, or omission of any person, firm or corporation with this tour, including but not limited to transportation services, lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, sightseeing or luggage handling. The acceptance of any tickets or other services by the tour participant shall be deemed to be consent to such express disclaimer. Any and/or all transportation companies herein mentioned shall incur no responsibility or liability to any traveler aside from such liability as may be incurred while acting as common carriers.
Monday - Friday
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday
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