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Routes

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

New Flights from Boston

If Vienna, Paris, and the Florida Keys are on your wish list, and you fly in and out of Boston’s Logan Airport, you’re in luck. Beginning in February, American Airlines will launch a direct flight from Boston to Key West. Austria Airlines will begin Boston’s first-ever direct flight to Vienna beginning March 29. And bargain European airline Level, which we flew last April to Barcelona, will add flights between Boston and Paris in May, with fares beginning at $140. Love those direct flights! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/03/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Road Trip to The Atlantic Maritimes

For me, Canada’s Atlantic Maritimes are an extension of New England, a place I visit yearly, if not two or three times a year to pen stories on whalewatching and sea kayaking New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, walking the dunes and biking the island-long bike trail of verdant Prince Edward Island, and listening to the live Celtic music of Cape Breton. Far less congested than parts of New England, the region is a joy to drive, the reason why it’s become a requisite road trip for many Northeasterners. For members who come to us with last minute summer requests, we always suggest this road trip. ActiveTravels will design our patented Dream Day Itinerary, which includes our favorite lodging, activities, driving routes, and restaurants. Also remember that the current rate of exchange is very advantageous to Americans, $1 US is currently $1.34 Canadian! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/17/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Best Summer Drives in New England

One doesn’t drive in New England simply to get from Point A to Point B. No, we like to linger, savor the beauty, cherish the history. We’re fortunate to be blessed with a diverse landscape full of majestic sights like the jagged shoreline of Maine, the granite notches of New Hampshire, the verdant farmland of Vermont, and the long stretch of white beach found in Rhode Island. We stop not only to post photos to our Instagram and Facebook accounts, but to dine on lobster rolls and fried clams at renowned seafood shacks, hike on the same shoreline and forest paths that inspired Winslow Homer and Robert Frost, and stop to stay at legendary inns or a new cabin built into the vast Maine wilderness. To read my story for Yankee Magazine on 8 Great Summer Drives, including maps, please click here

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/12/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 03, 2019

Spring Comes to Narragansett Bay

This is supposedly spring in New England, though I can’t really tell from the weather outside. It’s been gray, chilly, and rainy all week. Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking of a story I wrote for Yankee Magazine for their April 2015 issue titled “Spring Comes to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.” The temperate zone along the shores of Narragansett Bay is where spring arrives first in New England. Visit the Blithewold estate in Bristol over the next several weeks and you can’t help but be awed by the colorful spring bloom. Another stop at the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth led me to dinosaurs, unicorns, reindeer, and other animals sculpted from California privet, yew, and English boxwood at the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States. May 11th is their annual plant sale, when a frenzy of local gardeners will be throwing Asiatic lilies, tomato plants, geraniums, and herbs like oregano into cardboard crates. May 11th is also sheep shearing day at Watson Farm in Jamestown. The sheep will be bleating, a group of spinners will work their magic transforming fleece into yarn, kids will be laughing as they try the tree swing, and a band will no doubt be playing foot-stomping bluegrass tunes. Doesn’t get more idyllic than that! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/03/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, April 12, 2019

On the Road to Ronda

We were picked up promptly at 9 am in Granada by Damir, a driver and guide for a company we’ve been working with more and more in Europe, Daytrip. We could have rented our own car and made the 3-hour trek from Granada to Seville, but it’s so much more relaxing to have someone else drive, especially when you want to stop and visit another town along the way. Two hours later, after sitting in the back of a comfortable Mercedes sedan and peering out at the rolling hills and mountains of this bucolic region of Spain, we arrived in Ronda. Damir guided us around the town, walking along the edge of the famous gorge, touring the oldest bullring in Spain, the one Hemingway wrote about when he lived here (it’s also the town where Orson Welles retired and died), and the historic Moorish settlement at the bottom of the hill. After a lunch of tapas, we arrived in Seville around 4 pm. One of the most relaxing days of the trip. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/12/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Royal Air Maroc to Fly Direct from Boston to Casablanca

Morocco has become an increasingly popular destination for our clients at ActiveTravels in the past several years. The only challenge for people leaving from Boston is that there was no direct flight, meaning they usually had to transfer at JFK or Lisbon's Portela Airport. Thankfully, that's about to change on June 22nd. Royal Air Maroc has just announced that they will be flying direct from Boston to Casablanca 3 times weekly. Total flight time on the Boeing 787-8 will be 7 hours, 25 minutes westbound and 6 hours 35 minutes eastbound. Royal Air Maroc will also be joining One Alliance in 2020, so soon you'll be able to use your American Airlines miles to find seats. Once in Morocco, we work with a fantastic ground operator who packages together all lodging, guides, drivers, and restaurants to make your experience as seamless as possible. A typical 10-day itinerary will include Casablanca, Fez, Marrakech, the glorious seaside village of Essaouira, and at least one night at a Bedouin camp in the Sahara Desert. Please let us know how we can help. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/27/19 at 05:00 AM
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

New Direct Flight Routes Across America

I wrote earlier this year about the exciting new direct flight from New York's JFK Airport to Nairobi, Kenya on Kenya Airways, opening up East Africa to safari lovers. As of Monday, you can now fly LAX direct to the African continent and the country of Togo on Ethiopian Airlines. Southwest will soon launch direct flights from the West Coast cities of San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento to Hawaii. Boston's new direct flight to Hawaii on Hawaiian Air will debut April 4, 2019. Boston will also be debuting direct flights to Lisbon and Edinburgh on Delta next May, along with a new Norwegian Air flight to Madrid and direct flight to Seoul on Korean Air. If you're flying out of Chicago's O'Hare Airport, expect new service to Athens, Lisbon, and Quebec City next summer. Out of JFK starting July 27, 2019, the low-cost carrier, LEVEL, will be flying direct to Barcelona. Newark already has a new direct flight to Singapore on Singapore Airlines and will be unveiling flights to Naples and Prague on United, and Nice on La Compagnie next May and June. Wherever you want to fly in 2019, ActiveTravels will find the easiest route possible. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/19/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, October 22, 2018

Strolling Florence’s Oltrarno Neighborhood

To escape the crowds in Florence, all you have to do is cross over the Arno into the far more residential Oltrarno neighborhood. Walking the narrow streets, I spotted a child being picked up at school by her grandfather and scooped onto the front of his bike to ride home. We found a wonderful row of boutique shops just off the Palazzo Pitti on Sdrucciolo dei Pitti and then wandered into a massive church, Santo Spirito, where a crucifix created by Michelangelo at the age of 18 still hangs. The highlight was a stop Lisa vividly remembered from studying abroad in Florence over three decades ago, the Brancacci Chapel. Inside this off-the-beaten-track church is one of Western art's most important works, the fresco by artists Masaccio and Masolino (started in 1383), most importantly Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve. The figures in this work reflect light, giving them a sculptural presence as Masaccio was one of the first artists to use single-point perspective. We ended our day with dinner at Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, a wonderful restaurant suggested by our friend, Nina. The bruschetta was overflowing with ripe tomatoes and garlic and my tender veal scaloppini was covered with eggplants and peppers, all washed down with good Sangiovese wine. Perfecto! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/22/18 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hawaiian Airlines To Start Nonstop Flights From Boston To Honolulu

One of the big stories in the Boston world of travel this past week is the announcement that Hawaiian Airlines will soon be flying out of Logan Airport's Terminal E. Starting April 4, 2019, Hawaiian Airlines will fly five times a week on the longest scheduled domestic route in America, a whopping 5,095 miles. It will take 11 hours and 40 minutes for the Airbus A330 to fly westbound to Hawaii and 10 hours 15 minutes to return to Boston. Book through tomorrow, September 20th, and fly in April 2019 and the round-trip cost starts at $643 per person. Once in Hawaii, let ActiveTravels take over. We know the islands, lodgings, and activities extremely well. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/19/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, September 14, 2018

Height of Fall Foliage in Vermont Could Be a Week Later in 2018

We had a very warm summer in New England, one of the warmest on record. And it's still continuing to be warm this weekend, with highs expected to reach the mid-80s on Sunday. So meteorologists in the region are already starting to predict a later fall foliage, similar to last year. The typical peak in central Vermont, from Stowe to Woodstock, is usually around Columbus Day. But I would expect peak to be closer to the week of October 15th. To view the foliage without the crowds, please check out my story for Yankee Magazine last October. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/14/18 at 06:00 AM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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