Margaret, you first travelled with TIKI TOURS in 2002 and have recently returned from the TIKI TOURS Classic Italy Coast to Coast tour. Has the concept of travel changed over the last 14 years or did you have a similar travel experience?
The changes in technology over the last 14 years have made some aspects of travelling easier and more streamlined. In regard to TIKI TOURS, their high standard of touring has not changed.
What made you decide to travel with TIKI once again?
My previous tours were wonderful experiences in every regard - the people in the groups, the marvellous and intriguing places we visited, the quality of hotels, the overall organisation and atmosphere of the tour.
What is it that makes Italy such a special destination for you personally?
For me, Italy is magic!! The Italian lifestyle, the friendliness of the people, the beautiful cities, the gorgeous little villages that TIKI tour directors manage to find, the amazing history and scenery and of course the food and vino!!!
What was the highlight of your 2016 'Classic Italy Coast to Coast' trip?
Difficult to answer -- so many highlights! Our 4 night stay at the Bologna hotel was very special - such a truly beautiful setting. Visits to little places like Borghetto and Spilamberto with the Balsamic Vinegar Museum. The relaxed and happy atmosphere created by the tour director.
How would you describe the type of Italian hotels you stayed in during your recent Classic Italy tour?
All 5 hotels were of a very high standard and provided wonderful relaxing stays with attentive staff.
Did any particular hotel stand out for you and why?
Due Torri in Verona was absolutely stunning. Its position facing a beautiful piazza provided easy access to the city, the staff were delightful and the rooms gorgeous. It is rightly listed as one of the best hotels in the world.
As a single lady traveller, did you find like-minded company on tour?
Travelling as a single person can pose difficulties. However on all my TIKI tours, there has been a mix of couples and singles and I have always felt extremely comfortable. I think there is something about the quality of the people that TIKI attracts!
What did you think of the group size?
Our group on this tour was 12 people, 3 couples and six singles. Perfect!!
How would you rate the level of fitness needed to participate on the day to day TIKI TOURS trips?
For TIKI, an average level of fitness is all that is required. City tours and daily excursions involve
some walking and some stairs but nothing too strenuous.
In your opinion, what are the most important ingredients for a successful fully escorted small group tour?
A tour director who has the ability to create a happy, relaxed atmosphere and who is aware of each member of the group. A reasonable balance between activities and free time. Group members who mix and interact with one another and great hotels and wonderful food.
What sets TIKI TOURS and their many suppliers apart from other tour companies? In other words, what is the point of difference?
I think there are 2 points of difference: (a) The quality of their Tour Directors. (b) TIKI pays an extremely high level of attention to the organisational details of each tour. In this, I think TIKI is impeccable so that everything runs so smoothly throughout their tours.
Where would you like to go next? (apart from Italy)?
"Apart from Italy" - well, that's a hard choice!!! However, Germany and Switzerland have great appeal. And I have a yen for the Scandinavian countries.
Who would you recommend the TIKI TOURS 'Classic Italy Coast to Coast' tour to?
People who enjoy a high standard of touring. If you enjoy magnificent scenery, lovely people, sight-seeing at a relaxed pace, delicious food, marvellous hotels, mixed with a good dose of culture and history, Classic Italy Coast to Coast is for you.