GREAT EUROPE ESCAPES
Fare go: To celebrate its 10th birthday, Etihad Airways is offering good-value return fares from Australian ports via Abu Dhabi to 10 popular European destinations — Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Milan, Munich and Paris. Fares start from $1209 a person (Melbourne to Istanbul) and the sale runs to next Friday for travel from October 1 to November 30. More: 1300 532 215; etihad.com. Insider’s Abruzzo: Author Angela Di Sciascio and specialist tour operator Luciana Masci have teamed to design a tour of Abruzzo in central Italy from October 5-15 next year. Catering to a maximumof 14 participants, the itinerary includes a visit to Di Sciascio’s ancestral village of Capoposta in Chieti province to tie in with a festival and procession, guided mountain walks and seaside villages on the Adriatic Coast; $6050 a person twin-share, with most inclusions. More: 0414749379; firstname.lastname@example.org. Onandoff the rails: You’ll need to act very fast but Railbookers has 15 per cent off its 2014 holidays on the continent if booked by this coming Monday. As a sample, an Essential Europe program covers two nights each in Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich, Venice and Romeandstarts at $1870 a person for rail travel, hotels and breakfasts. More: 1300 938 534; railbookers.com.au. Lisbon by design: The 42-room MemmoAlfamahas joined the Designs Hotels portfolio; the restored 19th-century courtyard property is located within the traditional winding alleys of Alfama, the Portuguese capital’s oldest neighbourhood. Rooms from about $210 a night. More: designhotels.com. Sea and tell: Departing August 30, an 11-day sailing from Dover to Lisbon aboard the 112-passenger boutique cruiser SeaDream I will visit Jersey in the Channel Islands; France’s St Malo, Belle Ile, La Rochelle and Port-Medoc (with the option of a visit to the vineyards of Bordeaux); San Sebastian, Santander and Vigo in Spain; and Cascais in Portugal. From $US6324 ($6722) a person twin-share covering table wines, open bar and most inclusions. More: seadream.com. In a Parisian garden: Abotanically inspired Garden Wing of 11 guestrooms and nine suites over five floors has opened at the elegant Shangri-La
AFP Hotel Paris; next to the 19th-century mansion housing the hotel proper, the new wing features a landscaped garden in its inner courtyard with the Eiffel Tower as backdrop and easy access to the Shangri-la’s Michelin two-star restaurant L’Abeille. More: shangri-la.com. Sojourn in Scotland: Back-Roads Touring is offering 15 per cent off its seven-day Scottish Journey trip, departing October 6. The small group tour, nowpriced at $2112 a person twin- share, starts and ends in Edinburgh and includes six nights’ accommodation, mini-coach driver-guide, daily breakfasts, selected meals, fishing experience and ferries to the scenic isles of Mull and Iona. More: 1300 100 410; backroadstouring.com.au. At your iService: London’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower and boutique Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel have introduced an iPad in each guestroom. Dubbed as ‘‘virtual concierges’’, the devices are loaded with all the hotels’ offers and activities, replacing traditional paper service directories. More: jumeirahcarltontower.com; jumeirahlowndeshotel.com. Europe for a song: Members of Austria’s acclaimed Mozart Boys’ Choir will perform private concerts at the City Palace in Vienna for passengers on APT’s Magnificent Europe river cruise itineraries in 2014. More: 1300 278 278; aptouring.com.au. Weare sailing: MSCCruises is selling a 19-day departure from Genoa to Dubai on November 5 aboard MSC Lirica; the Grand Voyage to the United Arab Emirates includes nine full days at sea and sounds perfect for those who love life on the ocean waves. Ports are Civitavecchia (Rome), Valetta (Malta), Piraeus and Rhodes (Greece), Aqaba (Jordan) and Salalah and Muscat (Oman). From $1599 a person twinshare. More: msccruises.com.au.
Etihad Airways has special fares to 10 European cities, including Paris