Wednesday, 27 February 2013

10% off all first orders from Jackson's Art Supplies!

Thank you Jackson's for offering 10% off a first order for all Authentic Adventures customers! Jackson's are a well known, and well loved art supplies company based in London with two shops - Stoke Newington and Fulham. Order on-line: or by phone: 0844 499 8430 or order a catalogue.

Don't forget that we are GIVING AWAY A FREE HOLIDAY TO SPAIN! Go to our Facebook page and 'like' us and 'share' us with your friends and family.

Walking above the clouds in Madeira

Walking in Madeira: February 2013

Linda's been off again - this time to Madeira, on a walking trip with Stefano Spinetti, one of our favourite guides, "It was amazing, the first walking holiday I've ever been on. Stefano took us walking all day, up, up, way above the cloud line. I feel really fit now, really enjoyed it....." gushed Linda on her return. For those who don't know, Linda is our Operations Manager, and travels to many of our destinations, assisting, and making sure the trip runs smoothly, seeing where improvements can be made, forging relationships with clients, hoteliers, tutors and guides. She's a keen photographer, has been on many painting trips.....but never walking!

We hope all the eight walkers felt the same way as Linda! We've had some great reports from our clients; Catherine told us, "I work really hard so that I can go on your holidays - Madeira was great, thank you." Thank YOU Catherine, that's a wonderful testimonial.

Arriving at Hotel Pousada dos Vinhaticos on the first night there's time to explore the area before supper time, and by morning Stefano has them all listening to his introduction about 'levadas' - irrigation channels running across a large proportion of the mountain sides, taking water down into resevoirs at the bottom of the valley. The Rabacal Valley is incredibly lush, green, teeming with wildlife, and water, water everywhere!

The channels provide the perfect walking routes, to some of the remotest parts of the island, high up above the clouds - fabulous three hundred and sixty degree views! From the easternmost point of the island, with views of Islas Desertas (Deserted Islands) a Portugese archipelago floating between Madeira and The Canary Islands, the minibus takes you higher still where you climb the rest of the way up to Pico Ruivo, the tallest peak on the island with breathtaking views.

All the way, Stefano is teaching, talking, encouraging - he's well known as an all-rounder, historian, ecologist, with a keen interest in the wildlife, flora and fauna. Packed lunches are provided for the walks, and on a rest break, Linda delights in the poetry readings from Stefano, "he's just great - he always gives more than we expect.....and we didn't expect poetry!"

Evening meals are dotted with interesting anecdotes and wine tastings. Day trips include cheese and olive oil tastings. Have a free day exploring Funchal, the capital of Madeira for the past five centuries, relax or swim, and visit the tropical gardens.

Other highlights include a spectacular levada on the islands Northeastern point which takes us past a waterfalls and long tunnels, back to Porto Moniz, a natural spa.

Fancy a warm bath in volcanic pools? Why not, you're on holiday!

There will undoubtedly be another trip to Madeira in 2014, but in the meantime take a look at our website for more tempting journeys:

Don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook for your chance to WIN A HOLIDAY TO SPAIN!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The growing popularity of "Creative Holidays"


"Creative Holidays" are the new 'relaxing escape'

When was the last time you learnt something new - for pleasure?

Discerning travellers are demanding more from their holidays than just lying on a beach and relaxing: how passe!

Holidays are increasingly becoming seen as a chance to 'top up' skills that have perhaps been under encouraged, practise a hobby, or even become the catalyst for a life-changing experience. "Time-off" is becoming more "time-on"; at last a chance to really focus on something you love, and finally feel the fulfillment of achieving something new that we lack in other areas of our lives.

Fulfillment can also be found in companionship, and with many of our customers being solo-travellers, holidays organised around activities, with like-minded people, have become our speciality. On a walking holiday, not only are you exercising your body, in an enjoyable and manageable way (no sore joints and uphill struggles here) but you will also be feeding your soul with spectacular scenery, and enjoying lots of laughs along the way. Our singing holidays are a wonderful way to 'free' yourself from the contraints of modern life and come together as a group to harmonise outdoors in wonderful scenery: if the chemistry is right, it can be a really special experience!

Many of our holidays are single supplement free: we don't want to penalise single travellers, we want to encourage anyone with a zest for life to join us, whoever you are.

Equally, your skill set doesn't have to be outstanding: if you are a complete beginner photographer or painter, one of our holidays is a chance to benefit from exceptional tutoring and enjoy the feedback from other guests. You will inspire and feed off each other, and come home feeling as if you've really achieved something, and built up a portfolio of paintings or images. It will uncover a whole new area of your life.

Go to our website to catch up on our latest holidays, and order your brochures on-line today! After fifteen years, we have created some of the best "creative holidays" on the market. Facebook will keep you up to date with what we are up to, exhibitions, competitions and much more.

Click below to read about Authentic Adventures, and this growing trend, in The Independent:

Friday, 15 February 2013

WIN a holiday to Grazalema, Spain!

Authentic Adventures is fifteen years old this year!
….and to celebrate we are launching a competition to win a weeks painting holiday to Grazalema, Andalucia! Are you free on 2nd June? Go onto our Facebook page and enter today!

Our very first trip back in 1997 was a walking holiday in Andalucia, and we’ve been going strong ever since!  We never thought back then that we’d be taking our walkers, photographers, painters and singers to India, Cuba, Morocco and Greece! So this year, we thought we’d have a proper celebration by inviting one lucky Authentic Adventurer on holiday with us to Glorious Grazalema, Andalucia, where it all began, and give them an experience they’ll never forget! In addition to a weeks holiday with a wonderful itinerary, exceptional art tutor, fabulous weather and a cheerful local guide, we will be hosting a party on the final evening of the holiday. Expect delicious food and wines, and a toast from the Director, John Brough. 
John says, “We’ve moved on a bit since 1997 when we were called Andalucian Adventures! We decided to change our name to reflect the fact that we go way beyond Spain, and that our special interest holidays now encompass much more than walking. It’s about giving people a variety of places to go, providing them with an adventure where they meet other like minded people and share that experience. Meeting people was always the memory I took back with me, even more than photographs, and I’m sure that’s what our guests remember too. I feel really proud of our achievement and in giving so many of our loyal customers wonderful holidays and memories.”
Our market research shows that our holidays have been successful for a variety of reasons, namely the extremely well qualified and friendly tutors – guests consistently comment that the standard of tutoring is second to none, as is the care taken by the staff to ensure that every need is met. Above all, the itineraries are absorbing, interesting and dotted with ‘authentic’ moments – places, people and experiences that you could never find on your own. Over the years Authentic Adventures have joined in festivals, attended christenings, weddings and even entered local watercolour contests! Thanks to our wonderful local guides, our adventurers are privy to the 'real' life and culture of a region.
As one of our recent clients told us,
"I had a wonderful time, I work so that I can go on holidays, and I loved my trip to Madeira: thank you." Catherine, Walking in Madeira, January 2013.
Order our brochure today and delight in the holidays on offer – you will find it very hard to choose!
Telephone us and chat to our friendly team: 01453 832238