What could be more fascinating than following the adventures of a big screen heroine through incredible highland scenery? Much like the popular Disney and Pixar animated movie, Brave, the focus here is on family bonding when over seven nights in Edinburgh, Inverness, Loch Ness, and the Isle of Skye, some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Arrive in Edinburgh for a welcome reception and dinner at your historic hotel, the famous Balmoral, then after a good night’s rest visit the sights including The Palace of Holyroodhouse and a privately guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. Lunch is at the National Museum followed by a tartan-making activity that the whole family will enjoy.
Then off to the lovely Isle of Skye and the Cullin Hills Hotel, traveling across the Scottish West Highlands on the trail of Bonnie Price Charlie. Visit Fort William before stopping at Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most beautiful in all of Scotland. While on the Isle of Skye visit the rugged Sound of Raasay, hike the Quiraing, and learn how to make buttery scones.
In the Inverness area, take a boat (or a canoe if you’re brave—pun intended) out on the loch in search of the infamous Loch Ness monster, then tour the eerie Urquhart Castle back on shore. Check into The Kingsmills Hotel, and that evening dine at a Scottish farm with Ceilidh dancing, whiskey tasting, even Highland-themed games for the Junior Adventurers.
Perhaps everyone’s favorite day is the adventure at Rothiemurchus Estate—one of the greatest tracts of ancient woodland forest in Britain with its beautiful Loch an Eilein and a 13th-century castle sitting on the lake's wee island. Junior Adventures ride through the moors on Highland ponies, just like Merida but hopefully at a slower pace, while the adults visit the Estate. Then everyone tries their hand at archery. The next day explore the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, the actual castle that was the inspiration for the movie then tour historic Glamis Castle, the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. End your vacation with an exclusive evening at Edinburgh Castle for a traditional Scottish dinner, including haggis (again, only for the brave) accompanied by a bagpiper.
For me, one of the most fascinating and romantic areas of Europe is Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Medieval castles and storybook villages all come true with an Adventures By Disney guided family vacation. Begin your adventure in fascinating Prague where your hotel is the Prague Marriott, just steps away from Gothic Old Town Square. Tour famous landmarks such as St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, and the medieval Astronomical Clock followed by dinner at Folklore Gardens with traditional singing and dancing. Stop in quaint Česky Krumlov on your way to Berchtesgaden, Germany, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, where you'll check in at the Intercontinental Hotel.
Private tours of the Eishole Ice Cave with it's ethereal Ice Cathedral and Hohenwerfen Castle where you'll see a special falconry demonstration at the castle's Falconry Centre are trip highlights along with lunch in the mountains. The following day travel to Salzburg through scenic Sound of Music country with lunch at Helibrunn Castle. At dinner that evening you’re entertained by Mozart violinists at St. Peter’s Stiftskeller, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in operation since 803 A.D.
En route to Vienna and a stay at the luxurious Ritz Carlton, visit mysterious Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden Salt Mines where you'll glide on a raft over the glimmering salt lake. Then learn the art of pretzel making later at the village bakery. Next morning enjoy a private visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site: Schonbrunn Palace, followed by a strudel making demonstration and a marionette show. This evening brings a private tour of the Vienna Zoo with dinner in the Emperor's Pavilion there. Your last day of a spectacular vacation is at the renowned Royal Spanish Riding School in Vienna's ornate Hofburg Castle and a guided tour of the Old Quarter. The grand finale of your trip is a private dinner at Piaristenkeller, Austria's oldest restaurant. Definitely a trip of a lifetime!
Some of the most romantic places on earth can be found in Italy. Of course, fabulous food, places steeped in history, fascinating ruins, and lovely beaches simply go without saying. On arrival in Naples you’re whisked off to Sorrento to begin a uniquely charming vacation. The Hotel La Favorita welcomes you with a reception and dinner the first evening. On day two wind your way along Italy’s spectacular coastal region for an exploration of the charming cliff side village of Postino before boarding a private boat to yet another charming place, Amalfi. Back in Sorrento that evening you’ll dine on pizza that you make yourself while enjoying an Italian folkloric dance presentation. The following day take a ferry to the magical isle of Capri and ride a funicular to the heights of Capri town, followed by a private cruise around the island and a chance for a dip in the sapphire blue water.
A visit to ancient Pompeii with a private guided tour of the ruins is truly a highlight before riding a high-speed bullet train to Florence and the Hotel Bernini Palace which is just steps from the main piazza. Next day, walk the streets of Florence on a guided tour, see Michelangelo’s “David” and the Duomo, then embark on a privately guided tour of the Uffizi, one of the most famous art museums in the world. While the adults tour the collection, Junior Adventurers will join the Adventure Guides for a fun art detective game.
The subsequent morning’s excursion to Lucca for a bicycle ride atop the famous walls of the city is followed by a visit to Pisa for views of its leaning tower. The next day brings Sienna where you'll relish the historic medieval square and learn about the famous Palio horse race, lunch at Ristorante La Finestra, then taste wine at a local farm. End your spectacular trip with a farewell dinner perched high above Florence overlooking a nighttime view of the sparkling city.
The Kingdom of Norway, setting of Disney’s animated adventure, Frozen, is revealed in all its magical beauty on this 7-night adventure. Convene in Bergen, a storybook village that was the inspiration for Arendelle where Anna and Elsa live at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, your home for the night. Located in the heart of the 700-year-old Bryggen area it’s an absolutely charming UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner overlooking the waterfront.
Adventure begins in full force the next morning with river rafting in Voss amid stunning mountain vistas. Have lunch in a grass-roofed cabin before departing for Flam. From the historic Fretheim Hotel launch your excursions to dramatic fjords on RIB (rigid inflatable boat), a visit to a 12th century Stave church, and lessons in cheese making.
The next day it’s off to Geiranger and the Hotel Union for some of the most spectacular scenery in Norway. Upon arrival begin to enjoy several days of activities such as rainbow trout fishing, row boating, a Briksdal Glacier safari, hiking to a farm, a ferry tour past the town’s Seven Sisters waterfall, and a stunning viewpoint of the fjord of Geirangerfjord. Continue to Oslo via train and a night at the Grand Hotel Oslo to enjoy Norway’s capital city where a farewell dinner with traditional Norwegian folk dancers and musicians tops off your last evening.
Talk about magic: touring Germany’s castles and quaint villages amid gorgeous scenery! Begin with a private visit to Heidelberg Castle and dinner in a traditional biergarten. Then on to medieval Alsfeld to walk in the footsteps of the brothers Grimm and discover what inspired their charming stories before picnicking in an outdoor courtyard, visited by none other than Little Red Riding Hood.
Spend two nights in a real castle (maybe the trip highlight) at the Hotel Schloss Waldeck with evening dinners overlooking incredible vistas of Lake Edersee from within the hotel’s 800-year-old walls. Next day begins with a privately guided bike tour through the German countryside followed by a relaxing boat ride on Lake Edersee. A cookout lunch precedes archery lessons and beer tasting in a local brewery. Another highlight is Lowenburg Castle and a royal welcome by a real German princess, followed by lunch at a manor house after which you’ll journey to Rothenburg, one of the most picturesque places in Germany. That evening walk with a night watchman through cobblestone streets. The following day princesses dress up in princess costumes at a Medieval Shop, and everyone learns how to pretzel twist (and taste!) and savor authentic German cuisine at the oldest hotel in town.
On the way to Munich stop at the Steiff Bear Museum for a tour and lunch, then travel south along the scenic Romantic Road to the historic Hotel VierJahreszeiten Kempinski Munchen. Enjoy a walking tour of Bavaria’s capital that afternoon. A side visit to the awe-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle, the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, comes complete with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the countryside and lunch with picture perfect views of the palace. This memorable trip ends with a traditional dinner accompanied by oompa music, song, and dance.
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