Traveler Reviews

Puglia Experience travelers – October 2022

Learn more about us from some of the recent reviews posted online by our European Experiences travelers:

From Google (35 reviews – rating 4.9)

Kelly from Texas:We had a wonderful week in Puglia with European Experiences! The trulli houses, archeology discoveries, olive groves and mill, the beautiful Adriatic coast, and many delicious meals – these were a few of the highlights we enjoyed. Kathy also pointed me to some special photo opps because she knew I loved to take pictures. This is our second trip with European Experiences; attention to detail and consideration for each tour participant were evident in both. We’re booked for another tour in 2023!” (2022)

Dan from Maryland: We recently returned from the Riviera Hillsides Experience, our fourth trip with European Experiences but first with Jennifer Dugdale. The addition of Jennifer to the team has only enhanced the quality of EE’s offerings. As always, each day was carefully curated to introduce us to unique aspects of the region, providing access to people, places, and opportunities that we couldn’t possibly match on our own. When such highly competent guides are combined with a group of like-minded travelers, the result is a memorable trip that is equal parts instructive and fun!” (2022)

Diane from Oregon:  I have had many wonderful experiences in Europe, but my first European Experience in Mediterranean Provence may be the best yet! Friendly, knowledgeable leaders, a comfortable base in Bandol and a variety of interesting activities lead up to a peak visit to a ‘jardin remarquable.’ Looking forward to my next experience!” (2022)

Doug from Washington:Had a wonderful week in Paris! Terrific 4-star hotel in the Latin Quarter; great guides; and interesting places. This is not a tour to see the typical Paris tourist spots (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Bateaux Mouches, etc) We visited neighborhoods with gardens; a “tasteful” morning at the Aligre food market with a food critic; and a guided trip to the giant St Ouen flea market. See the real Paris, not the tourist crowds.” (2022)

Susan from Massachusetts:  “I have just returned from a wonderful visit to Paris. Jennifer Dugdale who led our small group, is an experienced and engaging tour guide with European Experiences. This is my third trip with this tour group and I highly recommend it. Staying in one hotel for the entire tour means more time spent seeing interesting and unusual sites. Each day there was a theme including the history of Paris, gastronomy, a focused tour of the left bank, and gardens. A wonderful woman who actually had been living in the Chateau of Fontainebleau for over 30 years, took us into rooms not normally shown to the public. She was a wealth of knowledge and very engaging. Other highly trained, interesting and enthusiastic locals, took us into hidden gardens and beautiful markets not typically visited. We even were treated to fabulous two meals at the home of locals. We saw and experienced many things that a typical tour would not.

“Our hotel was amazing with a fabulous breakfast included. Our room and bathrooms were modern, lovely and quiet. The concierges there could not have been more accommodating. Jennifer took amazing care of us and met all of our needs graciously and enthusiastically. If you go on a trip with European Experiences, you will not be disappointed.” (2022)

Andy from Florida:  Whether you are planning your first trip to Europe or your twentieth, Kathy and Charley have a new, fresh, exciting itinerary for you. We absolutely fell in love with the little hill town Bonnieux in the Luberon Valley.

“Each day was filled with interesting day trips that showed us France like a local. That experience is only possible when done in small groups- a European Experiences trademark.

From a lovely farmhouse lunch al fresco at a tiny vineyard, to hikes between hill towns in the cool morning, to a never-forget immersive experience inside a quarry turned art exhibit with classical music playing and all your senses firing at once, I have never done Europe the same before or since.” (2017)

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From Facebook (50 reviews – rating 5.0)

Tim from Queensland, Australia: My wife and I have done four trips with European Experiences and they have all been great fun. We’ve learnt a lot and seen/done things we would never have thought of ourselves. Everything is taken care of so guests can focus on the experience.” (2022)

Cindy from Massachusetts: These trips truly are ‘experiences’ and not your usual tours. Kathy and her team do a fabulous job in selecting the locations to visit and provide interesting activities. The typical tourist would not find most of these on his/her own or with an average tour company. Everything is thoughtfully arranged and no detail is left to chance. And the wine and food is incredible! You will meet interesting people, learn about the local culture and have a great time.(2022)

Roy from Delaware: We had a incredibly well organized small group tour of the Luberon region of Provence. Kathy & Charley have selected a stunningly beautiful place to stay in Bonnieux and provide an outstanding tour of the area, including great dining opportunities. We highly recommend this tour!” (2019)

Judy from North Carolina: We love traveling with European Experiences. They provide small group tours which suit me and my husband well. They take care of all the details such as choosing the hotels, doing the driving, taking care of all meals including tips, and providing wonderful excursions. They have local connections which gives you opportunities that would never be available with larger companies. We have been on the Cotswold trip, and more recently the Alsace trip. Even though there was a major heatwave, Kathy and Charley took that into consideration, and made the trip so enjoyable. The group is small enough be very flexible. We saw beautiful small villages, had wine tastings with interesting hosts, made lasting friendships, and were even invited into a hospitable couple’s home for dinner and entertainment which we all loved! I can’t say enough about the welcoming, personal attention that Charley and Kathy provide. Thank you for the wonderful memories!” (2019)

Cathy from Virginia:  “The Cornwall trip was amazing! Adventures on every day! Beautiful rooms and views and fantastic meals – truly amazing for an individual who is gluten intolerant to have wonderful GF breads at every meal! I’m spoiled! Walking across causeways and boating back when the causeway was covered with water, multiple boat trips, the Isles of Scilly – amazing scenery and wildlife, fantastic resort hotel, tin mining underground tour, Mt. St. Micheal, walking options with fantastic scenery along the coast. I really loved the raw beauty of this place. However, my biggest surprise was the food – truly amazing everyday and every meal.” (2018)

Marguerite from California: “After having been to France many times on our own my husband and I wanted to see the Luberon region. I work for an airline so we often travel spontaneously. We have only used tour companies for places like Cuba, Kenya, Morocco, places where a tour is really needed….never Europe. While looking for some info on the area my husband discovered European Experiences. After Kathy Wood, one of the owners, patiently answered many questions and emails, we decided to try this tour as time was getting short. All I can say is that this turned out to be one of the BEST travel decisions we have ever made.

“Long story short, our Luberon trip with Kathy and Charley, aka European Experiences, was one of our best trips ever! After that we immediately signed up for their Chianti trip which was also amazing. And hopefully our Cornwall trip will be a go in September. Puglia is scheduled for next year.

“These trips are perfect for people who love tours, AND also perfect for the more “tour phobic” among us. They are also perfect for couples, a single traveler or a small group of friends. I can attest to all three. Very small groups. No tour buses. Stays in small charming villages in small hotels for a week exploring the surrounding region daily. No unpacking and packing for the duration. Time on your own to experience the village like a local. Amazing daily excursions with Kathy and Charley that often involve things that tourists on their own could never experience due to their special relationships with some of the locals. Great food, wonderful wine, beautiful scenery. Meeting new people. And best of all, NO PLANNING on your part for an amazing week you will not forget!

“Honestly, our only regret is that we did not discover European Experiences earlier. But we are going to try our best to make up for lost time.” (2019)

Eric from Oregon: “Three of us spent a week with Kathy and Charlie in the Luberon in May. I’ve traveled with Smithsonian Journeys, Overseas Adventure Travel and Road Scholar. This trip was as good as any of them, or better. Much more personal, and the small group size was a plus. Food is fabulous. Restaurants were wonderful. Vineyards and the sumptuous lunches were amazing. The sites we visited were fun, educational, historic and fascinating! The hotel in Bonnieux is as good as you could hope for: quiet, clean, with every amenity a small boutique hotel could provide. I liked the short travel times to destinations, the hiking and the picnic lunches with fresh ingredients from that day’s market. Go to the Luberon — you won’t be disappointed. Kathy and Charlie have learned how to make this one of the best vacations you’ll ever have!” (2017)

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From JourneyWoman (11 Five-Star reviews)

Gwen from Ontario, Canada:  “This was my first experience but certainly not my last experience with Kathy Wood an European Experiences. I joined Kathy as a solo traveller on the Chianti Experience. The attention to detail Kathy provides was evident from our first contact. Although I travelled solo with other couples, I felt welcome and included from the outset. The accommodations were second to none. Each day we had at least one immersive experience. Getting to meet Kathy’s connections/friends throughout the week provided experiences and rich memories that I could never have pulled together on my own. Dinner in a castle, lunch in a small winery, meeting local artisans, exploring the beauty of the countryside and historical sites is everything I hoped for. At the end of my Chianti Experience I am still hard pressed to name a favourite activity. The trip was all hits and no misses. Less than a week after returning home I am booked for my second Experience I highly recommend booking with European Experiences. Thank you Journey Woman for helping me find Kathy and European Experiences.” (2022)

Marillee from California: “My first experience, and certainly not my last, with European Experiences was magical, Kathy Coleman Wood’s ‘Inside Paris.’

“For 4 nights, we were 5 women and one incredible guide, Jennifer Dugdale, experiencing the locals’ authentic Paris, visiting the less-discovered sites/experiences most tourists never discover, (with thankfully, no visits to the major tourist sites, I’ve visited on my past trips to Paris). This is the kind of small group, where every detail was well orchestrated. With a small like minded, well traveled group of women, we could easily explore, via the Metro, what Paris had to offer, French gastronomy, art/architecture, fashion, homes and gardens, neighborhoods, and history, often through the perspective of Parisian hosts. The boutique hotel, in the Latin Quarter was exquisite, my room even having a view of Notre Dame! I added a few days at each end of the trip to cafe jaunt with my Semester at Sea Extended Family member, lunch and a museum with a Parisian friend, a visit to Musee D’Orsay, the Bibliotheque nationale de France, and certainly a highlight event, a visit to the House of Dior Galerie Exhibition, with over 1,000 designs from 1947-present, magical! I highly recommend European Experiences and can’t wait to explore her other trips!” (2022)

Sarah from Missouri:  “I started traveling with European Experiences in 2014 as the result of seeing that their Luberon trip had been selected by National Geographic as a trip of a lifetime in 2012. It took a leap of faith to travel solo with them on that first trip, but it was wonderful, and I have traveled with them many times since then. Besides traveling solo, I have also traveled with my husband and most recently with a friend. I have been to the Luberon 3 times, to Alsace, the Cotswolds, on the Christmas Markets trip and most recently to Puglia. Each trip has been wonderful with great food, interesting sites that I would have not seen on my own and fun travel companions. Each trip is special, however, the Christmas Markets trip was extra special. Each city visited was beautiful in December, and we did so many things besides the Christmas markets such as a visit to a salt mine, a visit to Oberammergau to learn how the village prepares for the passion plays, a cooking class, private concert in a musicians’ home etc. etc. And when the trains went on strike during our Christmas Markets trip in 2019, Charley and Kathy lined up coaches to make sure we did not miss Strasbourg or any of our planned outings or cities to which we had originally been scheduled to travel by train. I highly recommend their trips and am looking forward to traveling on multiple trips in 2022.” (2021)

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