Gone With The Quilt – Short

"Autumn in the South"

Day 1
Hammond LA – New Orleans LA

French Quarter New Orleans
New Orleans

Afternoon check-in to the historic “Maison Dupuy” hotel located just blocks from Jackson Square and Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. (B)

**For an evening of fun with genuine Cajun food and live Cajun music and dancing dinner at Mulate’s is the place to go. Mulate’s
serves as the ideal introduction to Cajun Country.

Day 2
New Orleans LA

Steamboat
Natchez Steamboat Cruise

Breakfast at “Vacherie” located close to the hotel and then depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Lunch aboard the “Natchez” for a steamboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi with a live jazz band. Afternoon at leisure. New Orleans, the home of the Francophone Creole and the Anglophone American has over 85 square blocks designated as a National Historic District. Much to see, Jackson Square to Bourbon Street world famous restaurants such as Paul Prudhomme’s, Emeril LaGasse or Arnaud’s..take your pick! Exploring the French Quarter by night is a must, visit a jazz or blues club for the best local music or listen to a street musician who plays for tips . (B, L)

Day 3
New Orleans LA – White Castle LA

White Castle Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

This is your last morning in New Orleans, breakfast at Vacherie then checkout. Depart from New Orleans then drive along the banks of the “Ole Miss” passing the “Great River Road Plantation Parade”. Today’s visit is the “Oak Alley Plantation” – “The Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” Imagine Scarlet O’Hara having barbecue at Twelve Oaks Plantation and charming the red headed Tarleton boys – Oak Alley fulfills that visual image. What a beautiful way to spend a fall day than at one of the most spectacular settings in the old south. Tour the mansion, the slave quarters and the civil war encampment. Enjoy a luncheon buffet and then explore on your own. Depart in the afternoon for Nottaway Plantation located in White Castle for your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 4
White Castle LA – Lafayette LA

Evangeline Oak
The Evangeline Oak

Enjoy a plantation style breakfast then depart for the heart of Cajun Country. Travel the back-road’s of Louisiana through swamp lands and tall cypresses trailing Spanish moss, vast expanses of sugarcane and small communities with old cajun style cabins. Arrive in Lafayette and meet your “Cajun” guide, Danny Bonaventure, who will fill you in on the history of Lafayette, St. Martinville and the history of the Cajuns. Visit the Evangeline Oak, the St. Martin de Tours Church and the Acadian Quilt. Lunch on your own in St. Martinville then proceed to downtown Lafayette to see the Robert Dafford Murals and the St. John Oak Tree. Your last stop today is to J & B Quilting & Fabric located in Sunset a few miles north of Lafayette. Overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites. “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!” (Let the Good Times Roll!). (B)

Day 5
Lafayette LA

Atchafalaya River
The Beautiful Atchafalaya Wilderness

Today explore Cajun Country. Early morning 2 hour tour by boat into the Atchafalaya Wilderness, with a naturalist expert to see birds, alligators and other animals in this unique environment with its beautiful nature.

Continue to Vermilionville where history comes alive. Lunch at La Cuisine Maman prior to start of tour. Your guided tour of the heritage park brings to life the early days of Cajun and Creole settlers in South Louisiana from the mid 1700s to late 1800s. Costumed crafts people and artisans conduct demonstrations and exhibitions of their talents. After your tour depart in the mid-afternoon by the shortest route to Houston. Check in to your hotel The Best Western Inn & Suites Galleria your home for the last three nights of your tour. This evening you will attend preview night at the “International Quilt Festival”. You have been per-registered and will have your tickets in hand.

Return to hotel and overnight. (B)

Day 6
Lafayette LA – Houston TX

FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
Enjoy breakfast then depart by the shortest route to Houston for your early afternoon arrival at the “International Quilt Festival”.
Spend the entire day at the show then depart for your farewell dinner at “Christies Seafood and Steak Restaurant.” Return to (B, D)

Houston International Quilt Festival
Houston International Quilt Festival

Credit: Texas Tripper

Day 7
Houston TX - International Quilt Festival

LAST DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
The International Quilt Festival Houston is one of the premier quilting trade events in America with over 60,000 visitors each year.Talented quilt artists are present in huge numbers at this convention.There are over 500 varieties of quilts represented not to mention quilting machines, sewing tools, fabrics and over 22 special exhibits. Enjoy a full day at the show. (B)

Day 8
Houston TX – Home

Full American Breakfast at the hotel. If time allows take a cab from the hotel to The Galleria for shopping or relax at the hotel. Group transfer provided to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for your return flight home. (B)

We offer additional days at both the beginning of tour and at end for clients that wish more time at quilt show. Also can arrange your arrival transfer in Atlanta. Ask for details.

Gone With The Quilt

"Autumn in the South"

Day 1
Atlanta GA

State Capitol Building in Atlanta
State Capitol Building in Atlanta

Your Tour starts at the Wingate by Wyndham at Atlanta Galleria your home for the next three nights. Arrival transfer is on your own by taxi or shuttle. We can arrange a private transfer for you if requested.

Relax in your room after check-in or explore your surroundings before meeting your tour escort and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby to provide a opportunity for tour members to get acquainted with each other.

Dinner is suggested at “Folks Southern Kitchen”…located near hotel in Windy Hill.

Day 2
Atlanta GA

Historic Ebenezer Church
Historic Ebenezer Church

Credit: Historic Ebenezer Church

Breakfast Buffet at the hotel. Today’s excursion is a Sunday service at the “Ebenezer Baptist Church” where Martin Luther King once was the Pastor.

After church return to your hotel or drop off at Marietta Square to spend a few leisurely hours and have lunch. (B)

Dinner suggested at the “Marietta Diner”

Day 3
Atlanta GA

Amish Quilt
Amish Quilt

Credit: Amish Country Quilts

Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to “Shades Textile Studios” in Marietta (Shades Textiles is a exhibitor at major international quilt shows in both Tokyo and Houston. Stacey Michell, the pioneer developing the “Hawaiian Quilt” will conduct a 3 hour private workshop – “2 for 1 Hula Lesson”. Learn how to trace, cut and fuse a Hawaiian design quilt. After lunch have a” fabric dying class” that produces designs perfect for a Hawaiian style applique quilt. All working kits and materials will be furnished.

Marti Michell, Stacey’s mother, is one one the best known quilt experts in the U.S. will arrive in the studio for a showing of some of her beautiful quilts and also introduce her products and discuss the latest in the world of quilting.

Freshen up at your hotel then transfer to “Shillings on the Square” located in old town Marietta for your welcome dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Atlanta GA - Carrollton GA

Quilt Shop
A Scarlett Thread

Credit: All People Quilt

This morning enjoy a “Atlanta Area Quilt Shop Hop” where you will visit “Tiny Stitches” a unique quilt shop where quilters come to find the best selection and highest quality fabric in the Southeast. Next visit “A Scarlett Thread” the largest sewing and quilt shop in Georgia. Lunch across the street at “Asian Gardens”.

Depart for a Carrollton, Georgia, home of the “Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum.” The museum is the only museum in Georgia singularly dedicated to quilting and textiles. The museum is hosting a private showing for our group. The Cherokee Rose Quilt Guild will present a “Trunk Show” of their quilts. Overnight at the Holiday Inn Express. (B)

Day 5
Carrollton GA – Selma AL

African American Quilt
African American Quilts

Meet with local quilters in Carrollton and have a luncheon.

Depart Carrollton for Montgomery, Alabama (140 miles) for a visit to the “Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.” Have lunch in the Museum Cafe on the terrace overlooking the lake. After lunch meet your docent for a private showing of African American Quilts. Proceed to Selma and check in at the Hampton Inn Selma for your overnight stay. (B)

Day 6
Selma AL – Camden AL – Monroeville AL

Gee's Bend Quilters
Gee’s Bend Quilters

US Embassy Canadavia Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Full breakfast in the hotel. Travel today to Camden and Gee’s Bend just 40 miles south of Selma. Cross the Alabama River o to the Boykin side of the river for a visit with the famous “Gee’s Bend Quilters”. Gees Bend is a isolated African American hamlet where the quilting tradition goes back to the 19th century when it was a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gees. In the post-bellum years and into the 20th century the Gees Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in the unheated shacks where they lived. View their quilts, listen to their stories. Cross the Alabama River on the 12 p.m. Gees Bend Ferry to Camden. Proceed to the Gaines Ridge Dinner Club for a lunch full of southern hospitality – a la “Gone With the Wind.” After your meal the owner/manager, Betty Kennedy, an avid quilter invites you for a view of her magnificent and unique collection of quilts.

Next is a visit to the Old Shoe Shop Museum where Betty Anderson will show you her daddy’s old shop and tell stories about Camden’s past. Proceed to “Black Belt Treasures.” Enjoy a hands-on print-making workshop with quilting designs. by using a simple print-making technique to take home for a memory quilt, all supplies are provided. After workshop browse the beautiful arts center.

Depart for Monroeville where you will overnight at the Country Inn & Suites. (B)

Day 7
Monroeville AL – Hammond LA

Quilt Design
Collinswood Museum Quilts

After breakfast and checkout visit the “Old Monroe County Courthouse” the backdrop for the famous trial scene from the book and movie “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Members of the local quilt guild have come to greet you bringing heirlooms – a precious selection of beautiful quilts, which will be draped over the pews in the courthouse.

Depart Monroeville and have a lunch stop at the Stage Coach Cafe, a quaint and rural eatery featuring southern favorites like fried chicken, gravy and rice and fried okra. Continue to Ponchatoula home to the “Louisiana Quilt Trail”. Visit the antique stores, the arts and crafts in the Country Market or the quilts on display at the Collinswood Museum.

Overnight in Hammond at the Holiday Inn Northshore. (B)

Day 8
Hammond LA – New Orleans LA

French Quarter New Orleans
New Orleans

Checkout and depart for the Art Station in Ponchatoula. Meet Kim Zabbia who will be your guide for the tour of the Louisiana Quilt Trail. Lunch at Mittendorfs Seafood Restaurant then drive south towards New Orleans. Afternoon check-in to the historic “Maison Dupuy” hotel located just blocks from Jackson Square and Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. (B)

**For an evening of fun with genuine Cajun food and live Cajun music and dancing dinner at Mulate’s is the place to go. Mulate’s serves as the ideal introduction to Cajun Country.

Day 9
New Orleans LA

Steamboat
Natchez Steamboat Cruise

Breakfast at “Vacherie” located close to the hotel and then depart on a walking tour of the French Quarter with your guide. Lunch aboard the “Natchez” for a steamboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi with a live jazz band. Afternoon at leisure. New Orleans, the home of the Francophone Creole and the Anglophone American has over 85 square blocks designated as a National Historic District. Much to see, Jackson Square to Bourbon Street world famous restaurants such as Paul Prudhomme’s, Emeril LaGasse or Arnaud’s..take your pick! Exploring the French Quarter by night is a must, visit a jazz or blues club for the best local music or listen to a street musician who plays for tips . (B, L)

Day 10
New Orleans LA – White Castle LA

White Castle, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

This is your last morning in New Orleans, breakfast at Vacherie then checkout. Depart from New Orleans then drive along the banks of the “Ole Miss” passing the “Great River Road Plantation Parade”. Today’s visit is the “Oak Alley Plantation” – “The Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” Imagine Scarlet O’Hara having barbecue at Twelve Oaks Plantation and charming the red headed Tarleton boys – Oak Alley fulfills that visual image. What a beautiful way to spend a fall day than at one of the most spectacular settings in the old south. Tour the mansion, the slave quarters and the civil war encampment. Enjoy a luncheon buffet and then explore on your own. Depart in the afternoon for Nottaway Plantation located in White Castle for your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 11
White Castle LA – Lafayette LA

Evangeline Oak
The Evangeline Oak

Enjoy a plantation style breakfast then depart for the heart of Cajun Country. Travel the back-road’s of Louisiana through swamp lands and tall cypresses trailing Spanish moss, vast expanses of sugarcane and small communities with old cajun style cabins.

Arrive in Lafayette and meet your “Cajun” guide, Danny Bonaventure, who will fill you in on the history of Lafayette, St. Martinville and the history of the Cajuns. Visit the Evangeline Oak, the St. Martin de Tours Church and the Acadian Quilt.

Lunch on your own in St. Martinville then proceed to downtown Lafayette to see the Robert Dafford Murals and the St. John Oak Tree.

Your last stop today is to J & B Quilting & Fabric located in Sunset a few miles north of Lafayette. Overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites. “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!” (Let the Good Times Roll!) (B)

Day 12
Lafayette LA

Atchafalaya River
The Beautiful Atchafalaya Wilderness

Today explore Cajun Country. Early morning 2 hour tour by boat into the Atchafalaya Wilderness, with a naturalist expert to see birds, alligators and other animals in this unique environment with its beautiful nature.

Continue to Vermilionville where history comes alive. Lunch at La Cuisine Maman prior to start of tour. Your guided tour of the heritage park brings to life the early days of Cajun and Creole settlers in South Louisiana from the mid 1700s to late 1800s. Costumed crafts people and artisans conduct demonstrations and exhibitions of their talents.

After your tour depart in the mid-afternoon by the shortest route to Houston. Check in to your hotel The Best Western Inn & Suites Galleria, your home for the last three nights of your tour. This evening you will attend preview night at the “International Quilt Festival”. You have been pre-registered and will have your tickets in hand. Return to hotel and overnight. (B)

Day 13
Lafayette LA – Houston TX

FULL DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
Enjoy breakfast then depart by the shortest route to Houston for your early afternoon arrival at the “International Quilt Festival”.
Spend the entire day at the show then depart for your farewell dinner at Christies Seafood and Steak Restaurant”. (B, D)

Houston International Quilt Festival
Houston International Quilt Festival

Credit: Texas Tripper

Day 14
Houston TX - International Quilt Festival

LAST DAY AT THE QUILT FESTIVAL
The International Quilt Festival Houston is one of the premier quilting trade events in America with over 60,000 visitors each year.
Talented quilt artists are present in huge numbers at this convention. There are over 500 varieties of quilts.

Day 15
Houston TX – Home

Full American Breakfast at the hotel. If time allows take a cab from the hotel to The Galleria for shopping or relax at the hotel. Group transfer provided to George Bush Intercontinental Airport for your return flight home. (B)

We offer additional days at both the beginning of tour and at end for clients that wish more time at quilt show. Also can arrange your arrival transfer in Atlanta. Ask for details.

New England Quilt Tour

"Indian Summer for Quilters"

Day 1
Boston MA

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Credit: New York Times

Tour members arrive at Boston Logan Int’l Airport in the early afternoon. Take a short taxi ride to your downtown hotel, The Boxer Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located within a 5-minute walk of the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and the waterfront.

Meet your tour escort at “Finch” located in the hotel this evening for a get acquainted drink and to meet your travel companions.

Dinner is suggested at McCormick & Schmick’s (Faneuil Hall Market Place) – a 5 minute walk from your hotel.

Day 2
Boston MA - Hampton NH

Boott Cotton Mill Museum
Boott Cotton Mill Museum

Jlpapple (Own work)/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Your local tour guide will join you in the lobby for a 3 hour walking tour through historic Boston along the “Freedom Trail”. You will see 16 historically significant sites such as Boston Common and Paul Revere House. Check out of hotel and depart for the short trip to Lowell, Ma. known for its heritage connected to the textile industry. Proceed to the “New England Quilt Museum.” Enjoy a guided tour of the museum by a docent, followed by a quilting workshop with a professional quilter.

Next is a tour through Lowell National Historical Park, commemorating Lowell’s role in the American Industrial Revolution. Visit the Boott Cotton Mill Museum, including a 1920s weave room containing 88 looms operating with the help of belts, shafts and pulleys – self guided. Depart for the charming village of Hampton, New Hampshire. Your accommodations for the next two nights will be at Lamie’s Inn, a traditional New England Inn known for its cozy atmosphere and warm hospitality.

Meet for drinks at “The Old Salt” followed by a festive Welcome Dinner. (B, D)

Day 3
Hampton NH - Portsmouth NH - Cape Neddick ME

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse
The Cape Neddick Lighthouse

Breakfast buffet from 7:30-8:30 in the “Old Salt”. Depart for Portsmouth, NH a delightful city on the ocean, driving along the scenic ocean Route 1A. Arrive in the Portsmouth downtown harbor area a busy and colorful area perfect for browsing and shopping. Visit Portsmouth Fabric Company, one of the largest and most unique fabric and quilt stores in New England. Next we meet your knowledgeable local guide in the heart of downtown Portsmouth for a 60 minute walking tour, exploring the streets and architecture of his enchanting New England town. Lunch is suggested at The Oar House Restaurant.

Next take the short drive to Cape Neddick, Maine to view The Cape Neddick Lighthouse that stands on Nubble Island about 100 yards (91 m) off Cape Neddick Point. Continue for the short ride to Knight’s Quilt Shop. Owner Michele Knight is waiting to welcome the group. Knight’s Quilt Shop has a large inventory of fabrics, quilts and accessories! Depart Cape Neddick for your last stop today – the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge for a refreshing walk along the saltwater marshlands, a wonderful experience during the fall foliage season. Return to Lamies Inn for the 2nd night. (B)

Day 4
Hampton NH-Center Harbor NH-North Conway NH

Keepsake Quilting
Keepsake Quilting

Credit: Google Maps

Depart after breakfast heading north on the back roads of New Hampshire towards the beautiful Lake District. Arrive at Center Harbor located on Lake Winnipesaukee for a visit to Keepsake Quilting – ” a quilters paradise”.

Next take the short drive to Weirs Beach and board the MS Mount Washington for a scenic cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. After your cruise continue north through the foothills of the White Mountains and arrive in North Conway for a shopping trip at Settlers Green Outlet Village with over 60 major stores. Overnight at the Golden Gables Inn. Evening at leisure. (B)

Day 5
N. Conway-Mt. Washington-Littleton, NH-Stowe VT

The Mount Washington Cog Railway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway

Credit: TripAdvisor

Travel through the spectacular White Mountains along the Kancamagus, one of the most scenic highways in America. Make a stop for a easy 1/2 mile hike to Sabbaday Falls. Continue through Franconia Notch, the most spectacular mountain gap in the east and on to Mount Washington where you will board the famous Cog Railway train to the top . Lunch break on top! On to Littleton a picturesque New England Village with covered bridges and white steepled churches a great spot for photos. Have a quilting workshop today with Beth Anderson, the owner of the “One Stitch, Two Stitch Quilt Store.” Continue on to the picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont – home of the Von Trapp family. Your accommodation tonight will be at The Stowehof known for its cozy and rustic atmosphere with its many Austrian touches throughout. Have dinner in the Fritz Bar where the food is fantastic! (B)

Day 6
Stowe VT - Burlington VT

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

Credit: The Morse Farm (Facebook)

Breakfast then check out and take the short drive to Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works just outside Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. See how maple syrup is processed and enjoy the free samples. Continue via I-89 to Burlington and arrive at the Shelburne Museum, a large complex of galleries and 25 historic structures spread over 45 acres. The museum’s quilt collection is considered the largest & finest in the U.S., known internationally for its exceptional artistic quality.This visit is one of the major highlights of your tour. Spend the remainder of the day at the museum including a guided tour of the quilt collection. After visiting the quilt galleries continue on to explore the many other collections the museum has to offer; a textile gallery; hooked rugs, fabrics; embroidery and American Folk Art. Lunch at the cafe where you can order sandwiches, soups and snacks. The Quality Inn Shelburne will be your overnight accommodation. (B)

Day 7
Burlington VT - Weston, VT- Canterbury, NH - Ogunquit ME

Canterbury, Vermont
Canterbury

SayCheeeeeese (Own work)/Wikimedia Commons

After breakfast depart early (7:30am) for the hours drive to Weston (VT)for a visit to The Vermont Country Store. The store offers a journey into the “general store of yesteryear” offering brands from the past…such a fun place to shop! Continue to Canterbury Shaker Village (NH). A guided tour will explain how the Shakers lived a nearly monastic lifestyle that stressed pacifism, communal ownership, celibacy, gender equality, industriousness and plain, simple living. You will see 25 restored, original buildings and learn how the Shakers lived, worked and worshiped. You will have time for lunch and shopping in the museum store.

Your next stop is the village of Henniker for a visit to Quilted Threads, called a “Quilter’s Dream.” Within the walls of a converted farm house and barn – shoppers find the most carefully selected materials for all their quilting needs. After your visit its a must to see the beautiful covered bridge in Henniker for photos. Enjoy! The final phase of today’s journey takes us east through some more New England back roads, through Portsmouth and to the Atlantic Ocean. Arrive in Ogunquit and check in for your last two nights at the Admirals Inn. The inn is just steps from the shops, restaurants the rocky coastline and “the beach” which have made the area a famous vacation destination. (B)

Day 8
Ogunquit ME

Perkins Cove
Perkins Cove

Any tour should be well balanced to include ample leisure time for shopping or a walk on the beach. Today you’ll want to explore this cozy, turn-of-the-century village whose streets are lined with white clapboard cottages and picket fences. Shore Road leads to Perkins Cove, a quaint working harbor with a footbridge spanning its entrance. Perkins Cove offers specialty shops, waterfront restaurants and art galleries. (B)

Day 9
Ogunquit - Boston MA - Home

Today our journey ends enjoy a leisurely breakfast then depart beautiful Ogunquit for the Boston International Airport and your flight home. We offer hotel accommodations for guests wanting to extend their stay in Boston. (B)

European Patchwork Quilter’s Tour

Tour Lead By Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
U.S.A. to Iceland

Begin in Iceland
Begin in Iceland

Departures from various airports in the U.S.A. including:

Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair or WOW Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with quilt designer Gudrun Erla Gisladottir to her homeland – Iceland, featuring many of the major natural attractions of this unique country – the majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, mountains and glaciers.

After Iceland visit continue tour to Heidelberg, Germany // St. Marie aux Mines (Alsace-Lorraine, France) // & European Patchwork Meeting // Paris, France

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Early morning arrival at Keflavik. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You get a great view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains from the church.

After tour check-in at the Center Hotel Plaza, located on the main square in the heart of the old city, The hotel is perfectly situated to enjoy all that the Reykjavik city center has to offer. Enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Geysir Bistro.

Day 3
Reykjavik, Iceland

Downtown Reykjavik
Downtown Reykjavik

Today is free to enjoy on your own without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Many options are available to you such as:

*The Whale Museum and a Whale Watching Tour
*Visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Harpa Concert Hall
*The Saga Museum
*The National Gallery + many other art museums to choose from

Day 4
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - The "Golden Circle"

Gulfoss
Gulfoss

Depart Reykjavik after breakfast for todays tour of the “Golden Circle” which includes:

* Thingvellir National Park – this national shrine of Iceland has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is the location of the oldest Parliament in the world, first assembled here in 930 AD.
*Geysir Geothermal Area – the hot springs area famous for the first geyser ever mentioned in text: the one for which all geysers are named. Geyser erupts every 4 to 8 minutes.
*Gulfoss – the roaring and magnificent waterfall “Gullfoss”, a major highlight on the tour

Check in at Country Hotel Laekfur for dinner and overnight stay. Time to hit the outside hot tub to round off a busy day.

Day 5
Gardar, Iceland

Heydalur Activities”
Heydalur Activities

Depart Laekur to the horse farm “Hestheimar” (horse world) located nearby. This is a family operated horse farm with over 100 Icelandic horses. This is definitely the way to go if you want to experience the Icelandic countryside and admire the horses. You can lunch at the farm. For the more ambitious we offer you the choice between 2 optional tours:

Option 1) Visiting with and riding Icelandic horses
Option 2) A Jeep Adventure into the Wilds.

Continue to Selfoss & spend time with Gudrun’s family & friends. Overnight at the Lighthouse Inn, in Gardar near Keflavik Airport.

Day 6
Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg, Germany

Early morning flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Clear customs and meet your guide, Angela, who lives in Heidelberg. You will head for the historic town of Oppenheim on the Rhine River. Angela will tell you about the Rhine Valley, the mighty river, the Lorelei and the wine industry in Germany. Arrive in Oppenheim a town from the middle ages known for its wines and festivals. Lunch at “Weingut Dr. Dahlem”, followed by a wine tasting. Continue on your journey passing through Worms, a town with a legendary past. Arrive in Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany and proceed to the Parkhotel Atlantik which overlooks historic Heidelberg. Dinner in the Alstadt at the Red Ox Inn, built in 1703 and still owned/operated by the same family for 170 years. Enjoy good German food and music…visitors who have raised a glass here includes Mark Twain, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe…an eclectic mix!

Day 7
Kaysersberg, France

Kaysersberg, France
Kaysersberg, France

After breakfast at the hotel depart for a 2 hour walking tour through Heidelberg with Angela. Visit the Church of the Holy Spirit as well as Germany’s oldest university. Say goodbye to Heidelberg and drive south on the “German Wine Route” passing through the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz).

Cross the border into France in the direction of Strasbourg, the capital and seat of the European Parliament. Continue west to the “Gateway to Alsace’s Wine Route”…lunch in the picture postcard town of Obernai. Afternoon arrival in St. Marie aux Mines, the venue of the Patchwork Meet (Quilt Show), the largest event in Europe that is devoted to quilting. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at the show. Transfer to the small village of Kaysersberg located on the Alsace wine route and check-in to the charming Le Chambard Hotel & Spa a traditional French manor house located in the heart of the Alsatian wine growing area, your home for the next two nights.

Day 8
St. Marie aux Mines, France

Marie aux Mines, France
St. Marie aux Mines, France

After breakfast at your hotel transfer to the show in St. Marie aux Mines. The entire day is devoted to the Patchwork Meet. Spend a full day at the Quilt Show and then transfer to your hotel in Kaysersberg. Dinner own your own in town.

24th EUROPEAN PATCHWORK MEETING
This important quilting event was launched 24 years ago to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Jacob Amman’s founding of the Amish community in St. Marie aux Mines. Quilting has played an important role in Amish life ever since, making St. Marie the perfect location to celebrate the best that contemporary patchwork quilting has to offer. The event has developed to become the largest festival in Europe attracting over 22,000 visitors.

Day 9
Paris, France

Alsace Countryside Paris, France
Alsace Countryside Paris, France

Breakfast at hotel then take a walking tour of Kaysersberg followed by a visit to the castle ruins that tower above. Depart Kaysersberg and visit the historic villages of Equilheim, Riquewihr and Colmar – Colmar is the largest and most popular of France’s storybook towns. Enjoy lunch and a tour of Colmar then proceed to Strasbourg where you will board the French TGV to Paris – enjoy rail travel French style.

Arrival in Paris and transfer from the train station to the Monsieur Cadet Hotel****. This elegant boutique hotel is well located in the 9th district, close to shopping and entertainment. Dinner at the Petit Cadet Restaurant – superb service and food. They speak English!

HOTEL MONSIEUR CADET
Your hotel is located in a tiny, quiet street in the theater district of Paris. The hotel has 29 rooms that come with a flat screen TV, minibar, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers and free WiFi.

Day 10
Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

Breakfast then depart for a 4 hour city tour of Paris that includes the old Marais district, the Latin Quarter with the Sorbonne University, the Luxembourg Gardens and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The afternoon is free without a set program. If Paris is new to you just sitting in a sidewalk cafe sipping an aperitif or simple people watching in the splendid atmosphere of this remarkable city is a good choice. For the more ambitious a visit to the famous Louvre would easily fill the afternoon. Beneath the Louvre is a major shopping center.

Afternoon at leisure.

Day 11
Paris, France

Paris, France
The Palace of Versailles

Today is the last day of your tour and is at your leisure to spend as you wish. For those in Paris for the first time and would like to see more of the many wonderful attractions that Paris has to offer – we offer optional tours to “The Palace of Versailles” and the “Moulin Rouge Dinner Show”.

Option 1) The Palace of Versailles – One of the most famous monuments in the world, the residence of the kings of France, Louis XIV, XV and XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. The Palace is over 721,000 square feet – for a comparison the White House is 55,000 square feet. The Coronation Room, the Queen’s bedroom, once occupied by Marie Antoinette, the Hall of Mirrors and the Gardens of Versailles are yours to explore on this tour.

Option 2} Moulin Rouge Dinner Show – A 10 minute drive from your hotel. Experience the most famous cabaret in the world in this atmospheric theater with a dazzling spectacle of drama, dance and music. Enjoy a fine french meal and champagne for a truly indulgent experience.

Day 12
Paris to Home

A leisurely breakfast in your hotel then time to pack and say bye-bye to your new friends. Transfer from the Monsieur Cadet Hotel to Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Late afternoon arrival in the United States and Canada.

Iceland in Summer – A Quilter’s Tour

Tour Lead By Icelandic Master Quilter Gudrun Erla

Day 1
United States – Reykjavik, Iceland

Godafoss “Falls of the Gods”
Godafoss “Falls of the Gods”

Departures from:

Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair or WOW Airlines. Both airlines will be adding more departure cities and we will update this list as they come on board.

A tour with quilt designer Gudrun Erla Gisladottir to her homeland – Iceland, featuring many of the major natural attractions of this unique country – the majestic waterfalls, boiling hot springs, mountains and glaciers.

Day 2
Keflavik – Reykjavik – Borgarnes

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Arrive at Keflavik Airport in the early morning. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. You get a great view of the city, the ocean and the surrounding mountains from the church. A statue of Leif Eiriksson is aligned directly in front of the church, a gift from the U.S. commemorating the 1,000 anniversary of the Icelandic parliament and a tacit acknowledgement that Leif beat Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 500 years.

Your tour will include the Parliament Building, the National Theater and the main seat of government. Visit the harbor area, where older buildings have been retrofitted as boutiques and restaurants. Depart Reykjavik for a short spectacular drive, passing along the sea shore and taking you through 3.6 mile tunnel under Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) before arriving in Borgarnes, a small town of 2000 people. Check in to the Hotel Borgarnes, the rest of your day is at leisure to rest after your long journey. (B)

Day 3
Borgarne - West Fjords - Breidavik - Latrabjarg Bird Cliffs

The Adored Puffin
The Adored Puffin

Rise and shine-enjoy breakfast then depart Borgarnes & proceed north to Stykkisholmur, on the northside of Snaefelsnes Peninsula. Travel via ferry “Baldur” for a 2-3/4 hours cruise across Breidafjordur Bay – stop at Flatey one of appx. 2700 islands in the bay. Upon arrival in the Westfjords Region continue along the coastline to Patreksfjordur one of many fjords that appear up ahead. Proceed to Breidavik and Latrabjarg, the westernmost point of Europe. The bird cliffs of Latrabjarg – the largest in the North Atlantic – up to a million birds of various species nest here. Weather permitting we will hike to the top of the cliff to visit with the puffins and see more birds in one place than you’ll ever see anywhere. Paradise for bird watchers and photographers.

At the end of the day check-in at Breidavik Guest House. You may feel you have arrived at the end of planet earth – but a comfortable bed and excellent dinner is waiting for you. (B)

Day 4
Breidavik - Isafjordur - Heydalur - "A Tour of the Westfjords"

Beautiful Icelandic Landscapes
Beautiful Icelandic Landscapes

Breakfast at Breidavik Guest House then proceed on a tour of the fjords: each more spectacular than the next. Arrive at Dynjandi Waterfall (The Thunderer) one of the most spectacular sites in the West Fjords. Locals claim this awesome waterfall is the most majestic in Iceland. Dynjandi is a combo of seven cascades resembling a tiered wedding cake…each tier has its own name. Take the hiking trail to the top of the falls; a 20 minute walk. Next is the short drive to Thingeyri a fishing village where you will lunch at Simbahollin – a small, cozy historic building where your group will fill every chair.

Drive on passing a few more fjords and arrive at Isafjordur, the largest town in the Westfjords where you will be met by a local tour guide for a short walk of the town. Next meet a group of Icelandic quilters at the Edinborg Community Center for a meet & greet session accompanied by coffee and Icelandic pancakes. The final phase of today’s tour of the fjords is Heydalur – check in at Heydalur Guest House for a 2 night stay. Here you will enjoy the Icelandic horses, 2 dogs and their friend, a small Icelandic Artic Fox. Relax in a thermal hot pot in the middle of nowhere. (B)

Day 5
Heydalur

Heydalur Activities”
Heydalur Activities

Breakfast at Heydalur Guest House and a day of leisure and outdoor activities. The best way to describe what is in store for you is to quote one of the reports published by TripAdvisor ’17.

The country hotel is a real gem for those looking to get off the beaten track and stay somewhere different and original. I dont think i have ever stayed at another hotel with a tame fox, a talking parrot and such a kind and caring staff. The rooms are cleverly designed allowing guests to come into a “shed” with wet or dirty outwear without tracking it into their room. Meals – excellent (some of the best lamb I have ever had) and the service was, if not super speedy, very thorough… Stella was a gem! The young staff from all over Europe seem to love their work. The hot pot was glorious with an exceptional view – the fox and the horses were amazing! (B)

Day 6
Heydalur - Blonduos - Gauksmyri - Reykjavik

Icelandic Horses
Icelandic Horses

Breakfast at Heydalur then depart for the West Fjords. Travel east to Holmavik; then south along Hrutafjordur, one of Iceland’s longest fjords until we reach the Ring Road. Continue north to Gauksmyri, a country lodge and equestrian center. Enjoy a horse show, where the various qualities of the Icelandic horse are shown and explained. Besides the traditional walk, trot and canter, the Icelandic horse performs two additional gaits, the tolt and the flying pace. You can visit the horses in their stalls and lunch is available at the Guaksmyri Lodge.

Proceed north to Blonduos located at the mouth of the glacial river Blanda. Here we visit the Textile Museum, a real gem. The modern museum celebrates the artistry of women’s handcraft and displays a unique collection of beautiful Icelandic costumes, local handcrafts, intricate embroideries and exhibits from contemporary Icelandic textile designers. Proceed south for the last phase of today’s journey. Check in at the splendid Icelandair Hotel Hamar, located a couple of miles outside Borgarnes – Hamar is a popular modern hotel. Guests love the outside hot pots and the restaurant is lauded for Icelandic cuisine, lamb and fish specialties. (B)

Day 7
Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - Reykjavik

Geysir Geothermal Eruptions
Geysir Geothermal Eruptions

Your visit to the western fjords region is now complete. We continue after breakfast to southern Iceland by the shortest route to enjoy a different part of the country and its many attractions.

The 8 hour “Golden Circle” tour covers three of Iceland’s major attractions all a absolute must for any visitor to Iceland. First visit Thingvellir, a meeting point of the continental plates and site of the ancient Icelandic parliament; second is a tour of the Geysir geothermal area and experience the thrill of an erupting geyser; and third arrive at the mighty waterfall Gulfoss, one of the world’s most beautiful. Like this you will explore a cross section of Iceland’s history and its natural wonders in a relaxed manner on a one day loop. You will be accompanied by a professional, local tour guide who will explain it all in detail. Depart Selfoss for Reykjavik and on arrival check in at the splendid 4 star Grand Hotel your home for the next three nights.. Leisure time in Reykjavik. (B)

Day 8
Reykjavik - Free Day

Reykjavik
Reykjavik

You will cherish a full day in Reykjavik without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you . busy. Here is a couple of ideas:

Visit the Whale Museum – Followed by a 3 Hour Whale Watching Tour. Largest whale museum in Europe. Exhibit of 23 life size whales.

Visit the National Museum of Iceland – Excellent museum located in University area giving a comprehensive history of Iceland.

Visit Harpa Concert Hall – The cultural and social center located in the heart of the city.

Reykjavik Hot Dogs – You absolutely must try one! A unique secret recipe that contains pork, beef and lamb.

Reykjavik features many ore museums and attractions, such as the National Gallery of Iceland, the Saga Museum and the Settlement Exhibition. (B)

Day 9
Reykjavik - Quilting Workshop

Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla
Renowned Icelandic Quilting Master Gudrun Erla

Credit: GE Quilt Designs

Breakfast at the hotel – morning at leisure without a program. This afternoon will be a Quilting Workshop in the Hyammur conference room where our Gudrun Erla Gisladottir will teach the class. The class will include both the American group as well as Icelandic quilters who will all mingle and learn together as Gudrun gives her instructions in both languages, English and Icelandic. Sewing machines will be provided and shared. Gudrun will bring her latest creations of designs and quilts that have not been seen before.

After the workshop then attend a Quilt Show & Tell in the hotel. Show will feature quilts made by Icelandic quilters, quilts brought by tour members and quilts designed and made by Gudrun Erla. After the show attend the “Farewell To Icelandic” dinner served buffet style at Grand Hotel for the tour members and Icelandic quilters – about 60 guests are expected.

After dinner a Fashion Show featuring several Icelandic companies who specialize in the making of “Icelandic Woolen Products”. (B, D)

Day 10
Reykjavik - Blue Lagoon - Return to United States

Blue Lagoon Hot Springs
Blue Lagoon Hot Springs

Have a leisurely breakfast then depart the Grand Hotel to Reykjanes peninsula where both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik airport are located. Spend two hours at the lagoon. You can have lunch and drinks if you like before departing for the airport and your return flight home to the U.S. (B)