A word about email communications: We generally respond to all emails within 24 hours. If you don’t hear back from us within 2 days, please write again or call as we may not have received your message or you ours. Aggressive anti spam programs that some email service providers use block legitimate mail. It is most helpful if you can provide us with an alternative email address.
We provide small group regional tours by coach through Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Our tours run from 7 to 13 days, using 28 to 40 seat air-conditioned Mercedes coaches. Using smaller coaches we are able to travel more scenic roads and visit less touristed off-the-beaten-path towns and villages.
Most of our tour participants come from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Others have come from Norway, Singapore, Malaysia and the Bahamas.
Our clients come from English speaking countries the world over, using multiple currencies. Our providers all require payment in euro making that our most convenient and cost-effective currency.
Our original tour was the Tuscany/Umbria which we have been running continuously since 2003.
Since then we’ve added:
2007 Lucca Genova & Cinque Terre
2008 Amalfi Coast to Apulia
2009 Tuscan Hill Towns
2012 Veneto/Alto Adige
2014 Croatia & Bosnia
2014 Central Spain
2016 Milan & Lombardia
2018 Galicia & the Basque Country
For repeat travelers who book directly with us the discounts are:
100 euro off your second tour price
150 euro off your third tour price
200 euro off your fourth tour price
50 euro more is discounted for each subsequent trip beyond your fourth
For each verified referral we offer a 50 euro discount on your next booking.
Last Minute (60-30 days prior to tour start) discounts vary – for details please call our Charleston, SC office 843-579-2828.
Passports for travel to European travel destinations in the Schengen area should be valid 6 months beyond your travel dates to avoid unintended disruptions. Make photocopies of your passports and keep them separately.
If you are coming from South Africa you will need a visa. From most other English speaking countries you will not.
Anyone who is reasonably fit would not have any problem on our tours. You will need to be able to walk up to three miles a day, be able to stay on your feet for hours at a time and manage inclines and steps on our visits to hill towns. The important consideration is that everyone is able to keep up and not slow the group down. Our tours are not suited for anyone with mobility, knee, back or heart problems. For more specific information click the Activity Level button at the top of our itinerary pages.
We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express online. You can also make payments via bank wire, direct deposit and check in US dollars.
The pace of our tours is relaxed, but active. Most of our morning departures are at 8:30, some as late as 9. Breakfast at the hotels begins at 7 or 7:30. There is a balance between group activity and free time for personal explorations. You’ll have some afternoons free. About half of your evenings are on your own.
Gratuities for local guides and meals are included in your tour package. We suggest moderate tipping for your tour manager and driver – this is entirely discretionary.
Absolutely! We often provide pre and post tour Europe travel assistance – the first hour is at no extra charge. Subsequent time is billed at 50 euro per hour. We can help you with train schedules, hotel and restaurant recommendations, and give advice as to where to go and what to do.
Our tours are land-based packages only.
Only if you plan on staying 2 or 3 days visiting Rome.
For our Tuscany tours, most of our tour guests fly directly into and out from Florence – this is the most simple and direct route.
The Amalfi Coast to Apulia tour begins in Naples and ends in Brindisi.
The Sicily tour begins in Palermo and ends in Catania.
The Veneto/Alto Adige tour begins in Verona and ends near Venice.
The Italian Lakes tour begins and ends in Milan
The Friuli/Slovenia tour begins in Trieste and ends in Ljubljana.
The Croatia and Bosnia tour begins in Sarajevo and ends in Poreć (Trieste and Pula airports).
Our Central Spain tour begins and ends in Madrid.
Andalucia begins in Granada and ends in Seville.
The Galicia & Basque Country tour begins in Santiago del Compostela and ends in San Sebastian.
Portugal begins in Tavira (Faro airport) and ends in Porto.
You can book your flights into one Italian airport and out from another by selecting multiple destinations/multi-city on internet search engines. The best that we’ve found for booking are google flights.
Florence – FLR
Rome – FCO
Milan – MXP
Naples – NAP
Brindisi – BDS
Palermo – PMO
Catania – CTA
Verona – VRN
Venice – VCE
Trieste – TRS
Ljubljana – LJU
Sarajevo – SJJ
Madrid – MAD
Granada – GRX
Seville – SVQ
Santiago de Compostela – SCQ
San Sebastian – EAS
Bilbao – BIO
Faro – FAO
Porto – OPO
You are allowed one suitcase and one airline regulation carry-on size bag. We suggest that you pack lightly.
Our itineraries are structured in order to minimize travel time – on average we spend about two hours a day on the coach.
We have exceptional tour managers working with us, all licensed, all charming English-speaking native Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese and Slovenians. We also employ licensed local guides for our city tours and at archaeological sites to enhance your trip with their local knowledge and personality.
Yes. We don’t cancel tours.
Most of our itineraries provide transfers from the airport to the first hotel and from the last hotel to the airport or train station at scheduled times.
Most of our hotels are 4 or 5 star – when we use 3 star they are of superior quality. They are all located within historic districts or in panoramic settings. Many occupy historic residences or buildings from earlier centuries.
Yes, you always have your own private in-room bath.
All of our hotels have air-conditioned rooms. Most hotels use their air-conditioning only during the hot season and almost all shut it off after 11pm. Since our hotels are located in quiet areas and the temperatures at night are cool year round we suggest that you do as the natives do – open your windows and enjoy the Mediterranean air.
We have space for at least three single travelers on most tours. There is an additional single use room charge – check the Single Supplements button on the tour pages for cost.
There are many included meals on all of our itineraries. In order to give you the best dining experience possible, we don’t repeat restaurants. The ones that we do use are among the highest rated in their area. You are on your own for approximately half of your meals. Vegetarians, non-meat eaters, gluten free are easily accommodated.
Everything listed on our tour itineraries is included. Your only extra expenses will be for airfare, non-included meals, mini bar, telephone calls, laundry and personal shopping.
You will have plenty of time on your own if you wish to shop, but we take you on no commission based shopping expeditions.
Laundry service is available through the hotels. It sometimes requires 2 days so if you’d like to make use of it you’ll need to bring your clothes to reception shortly after checking into your room. Laundry bags are provided either in your room or at the reception desk. For small items like socks and underwear you might want to bring a small bottle of detergent and wash them in your room.
Items like electric shavers will not work here unless you have a converter (the current is 220 volts). Re-chargers for digital cameras should have a built-in voltage converter (check your manufacturer’s how-to-use book), but you will need to buy an adapter so that the plug will fit here. These are simple devices that you can find in airport shops. All of the hotels have hair driers.
Smoking is forbidden in restaurants, bars and public buildings in Italy and throughout most of Europe. We have a no smoking policy on all tour buses, at group meals and at all sites visited.
Cell phones and phone cards are the most convenient means – you can use phone cards to call from your hotel room. All of our hotels have Wi-Fi. Regarding cell phones – in order to create a tour atmosphere that is in the best interests of everyone, we ask that you keep them turned off while on the coach, in restaurants or when we are moving around as a group. Another way to be contacted while on tour is through our hotel phone or fax numbers. Shortly before your tour start date we will send you a list of those.
There is a very good website for worldwide weather history, www.wunderground.com
Mature children age 12 and over are welcome.
Amber Road Tours recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to www.travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 40-0072.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20
Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and much more.
There is no reason to travel without it!
The more scenic, secondary roads in Europe are usually designated on maps by the color amber.
“The Amber Road” was an ancient trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Amber is a tree resin, preserved and hardened in the earth’s crust after millions of years. Great quantities washed up on the shores of the Baltic and were transferred south along the Amber Road to the Italian peninsula, then along the Silk Road to Asia. The Romans initiated the Amber Road, their most important northern trade route, around 200 BC. Amber was precious, used in ornamental objects and was thought to have curative properties when worn around the neck.