GREAT EUROPE ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Europe - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

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; lu­ciana­m­asci@big­pond.com. 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

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