luxury adventure travel to exotic islands

I'm not a big fan of cruises. I much prefer to stay and sleep on land, to wander and explore the interesting neighborhoods just outside the door of my hotel. But there's an exception to that rule: sometimes luxury adventure travel takes you to exotic destinations that are best explored by sea. Two such cruise expeditions have come across my desk in recent days.

The Azores and Canary Islands. This tour begins in Granada with a guided tour of the incredible Alhambra (a highlight of my recent trip to Spain). Boarding the ship in Malaga, subsequent stops include Gibraltar and Morocco (with an optional two-day excursion to Marrakech) before heading out into the Atlantic to explore the natural and cultural attractions of the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores. The expedition is led by expert naturalists including a marine biologist, a professional birder, and a horticulturalist.

Circum-navigation of Sicily. This tour begins in Malta with an exploration of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boarding your ship there, the cruise traces the coast of Sicily and includes guided visits to varied historic and cultural sites including Greek temples, Roman theaters, and Arab castles. There will be abundant opportunities for wine and olive-oil tasting, visiting local outdoor markets, with free time in the evenings to dine on your own in the picturesque coastal towns of Sicily.

These unique experiences are offered by Zegrahm Expeditions, a select Virtuoso company specializing in luxury adventure travel and eco-tourism. With over three dozen exotic trips planned for 2011, some by sea but many by land, there is bound to be an adventure that will intrigue your imagination. Want to plan something totally different for next year? Get in touch with me to explore the possibilities!

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copyright (c) 2010 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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