ActiveTravels | get up & go!  
 subscribe to ActiveTravels
 Subscribe by RSS By RSS Feed or Email
Follow ActiveTravels on Twitter Like ActiveTravels on Facebook View the ActiveTravels YouTube channel
ActiveTravels - Travel Agents You Can Trust


Friday, April 20, 2018

Dreaming of the Tbilisi/Baku/Samarkand Combo

I had the good fortune to sit next to Natalia Odinochkina, General Manager of Abercrombie & Kent's Russian office, at dinner in Boston Tuesday night. She was a wealth of information. First of all, contrary to what you might think, the numbers of Americans traveling to Russia are way up. Not only are they visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but they're taking the 4-hour bullet train to Moscow to see the Red Square. Many want to stay at the Metropol, due to the popularity of the best-selling novel, A Gentleman in Moscow. Then we got to talking about the nearby countries of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan, which she says is a must for any travel lover. Start in Tbilisi to hike in the 16,000-foot Caucasus Mountains and drink the exceptional local wine, then then take an hour flight or 7-hour drive to Baku to see the spectacular Zaha Hadid building and other architectural gems. From Baku, it's about a 2 ½-hour flight to Tashkent and another 2-hour train ride to the ancient Silk Road gem of Samarkand, the entire city a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another 2-hour train ride and you're in the exemplary Medieval city of Bukhara. Give me two weeks of your time and ActiveTravels will be happy to design the entire trip. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/20/18 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 12, 2018

WOW, Who Knew?

Guest Post by Amy Perry Basseches
It’s hard to believe I’m writing a blog praising an airline. Usually flights are the worst part of my travel adventures. They cost a lot, take a long time, are often delayed and connections missed, offer bad food and service, have cramped seating, and (insert your own complaint here). But WOW Air is an Icelandic company you should check out when next flying from the US or Canada to Europe. My family has used them at least twice, due to cost reasons (they were much cheaper!): once from Boston to Paris, and once from Toronto to Berlin. Both times, all flights went without a hitch. WOW’s base is in Reykjavik, which has got to be one of the easiest and nicest airports to navigate and make connections from. Nearly all of the flights land and depart on time. Sure, WOW is “no frills” (you pay for everything as an add-on), but we purchased extra legroom seats on our Berlin trip and were perfectly comfortable. Tip: pre-buy your meal online; it then comes with wine/beer and a bottle of water (versus paying for the water on board). Currently, WOW operates to a total of 38 destinations in Europe, the US, Canada, and the Middle East. They also offer a “stopover” option if you want to stay in Iceland for a few days before returning home. Let ActiveTravels know if you are interested in visiting Iceland, or anywhere WOW flies. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/12/18 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Time to Cruise Vermont’s Route 100

All it takes is one drive on Vermont’s Route 100 from Killington to Stowe to understand the fall foliage hype. Traveling along the ridgeline of the 4,000-foot Green Mountains as it radiates with its majestic robe of multi-hued maples in October and you can’t help but sing its praises. Be sure to stop in the farming community of Rochester for the requisite “cows and meadow” photo and the historic village of Stowe to find one of the numerous freshly painted white steeples. Along the route, you’ll want to visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for your jug of cider, out-of-the-oven doughnuts, and genuine maple syrup. Nearby is the Ben & Jerry’s factory where you can take a tour, sample the wares, and find out how the duo started their celebrated business. We’ve been putting clients up lately at Trapp Family Lodge to savor the vistas from atop the hillside and to sample the new beer hall

 We're off to Chicago for the week, back October 11th. Have a great Columbus Day Weekend and keep active! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/03/17 at 05:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Friday, September 01, 2017

Experts Forecast Spectacular Fall Foliage in New England

I’ve been busy this week designing itineraries for all of our clients headed to New England in the next month or two. Early reports indicate that this is going to be a banner year for fall colors. While we now comfortably send ActiveTravels members all over the world thanks to the guidance of trusted local experts, there’s no region we know better than our own backyard of New England. I’ve practically driven every backcountry road of these six states writing books for Outside Magazine, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, articles on the top beach towns and winter towns for Yankee Magazine, and more than 300 stories for the Boston Globe. ActiveTravels was also asked to design a route for Conde Nast Traveler readers and we were chosen the agent of choice for NewEnglandTravelPlanner. If you want to visit New England, rest assured that we’ll find the best lodging, activities, restaurants, and routes that suit your budget and passion.

Off to Lime Rock Race Course in Connecticut, and visits with family in New Jersey, Philly, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania next week. Have a great Labor Day Weekend! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/01/17 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Taking the Golden Pass from Montreux

After a necessary stop on the French side of Switzerland to dine on patisserie in Montreux at Confiserie Zurcher, visit that glorious castle on the waters of Lake Geneva, Chateau de Chillon, and peer out at the awe-inspiring Mont Blanc from the balcony of my hotel, Eurotel Montreux, we took one of the classic Switzerland train rides on the Golden Pass. Throughout our entire trip, the Swiss Rail system was a breeze to use. All trains were on time (of course, this is the home of Rolex), comfortable, and easy to use thanks to an 8-day Swiss Travel Pass that allows you to jump on and off the rail system at your leisure. Complimentary admission to museums and sights like the Chillon Castle was an added perk for getting the pass. Along with the Chocolate Train and the Glacier Express, the Golden Pass is one of the signature train rides in Switzerland. We boarded the classic train in Montreux in the morning and soon were riding far above the shores of Lake Geneva, making stops in small mountain villages as hikers and bikers wandered off into the hillside. We stopped in the glamorous skiing resort town of Gstaad, before switching trains in Zweisimmen and taking the far more modern train to Bern. Trying one of these historic trains is a must when visiting the country. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/10/17 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Guided Tour To New England’s Islands

If you want to visit New England this summer but prefer to leave the driving to someone else, consider the latest offering from Northeast Unlimited Tours, a highly recommended tour operator in the region. The weeklong tour starts Saturday, August 26 from Boston before making stops in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and Newport. Don’t worry. This is not one of those bus tours where each night is at a different lodging. You’ll spend three nights at the Red Jacket Beach Resort on the Cape, taking ferries daily to the Vineyard and Nantucket. In Rhode Island, you’ll stay in Newport at the Newport Harbor Hotel, taking the ferry over to Block Island for the day. Cost is $1,999 per person, double occupancy, including all lodging, transport, guides, ferries, dinners, and breakfasts. If interested, please contact ActiveTravels

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/12/17 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Driving to Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches

With expert local advice, we set our GPS for Vista House in Corbett for long vista views along the river. Then we followed the Old Historic Columbia River Hwy to Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls, and, eventually, to Cascade Locks for brunch. We met friends at the very local Bridgeside Restaurant and had a yummy salmon chowder. The Bridge of the Gods is right there, but we didn't go over it. We also missed the Bonneville Dam with apparently very interesting salmon and sturgeon viewing. Instead, off to Hood River we went, then up to Mt. Hood and the historic Timberline Lodge for drinks and handcrafted ales while watching the skiers, in mid-May. Life is rough! Rising 11,239 feet (3,426 meters), Mt. Hood is the highest peak in Oregon, and the second most climbed mountain in the world. At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the mountain was an active volcano and is now considered “sleeping.” I had been to Portland before, but to truly appreciate Oregon, you have to leave the city limits. 




Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/08/17 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Best Summer Drives in New England

One doesn’t drive in New England simply to get from Point A to Point B at the fastest possible time. 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 latest story for Yankee Magazine on 8 great summer drives, including maps, please click here

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/19/17 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Friday, August 26, 2016

Insider Tips on Napa Valley

Guest Post by Kelli Hollingsworth
Your romantic getaway to wine country isn’t complete without a comfortable place to stay, top-tier cuisine, and laid-back entertainment. Stay at the property I recommend to family and friends, Solage Calistoga, which offers guests spacious suites, a sybaritic spa, geothermal bathhouse, and two complimentary bikes per room. With a Michelin-starred restaurant and bar on site, a trailhead nearby, and fabulous wineries just down the road, this resort is perfectly situated to savor the region. Nearby is Castello di Amorosa Winery where you can sample exclusive reserve wines paired with tasty appetizers and local cheeses. Unfortunately, you missed the last Calistoga Concerts in the Park, which is held from the end of June to the end of August. But if you visit next summer, be sure to spend your Thursday evenings at these free concerts, enjoying a boxed meal from a local restaurant, while sipping on wine from the featured winery of the week. When the hustle and bustle of everyday life leaves you feeling run down, there’s nowhere better to replenish the well than a getaway to gorgeous Napa Valley. Hope to see you soon!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/26/16 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Take a Last-Minute Summer Trip to the Catskills

Less than a 2-hour drive from New York City is Sullivan County, the western region of the Catskills. Once the heart of the Borscht Belt, where resorts like Grossinger’s and Kutsher’s thrived in the 50s and the 60s, only to be abandoned in the 80s and 90s not long after the mega-hit movie, Dirty Dancing, hit the screens. Derelict buildings on properties the size of college campuses dotted Sullivan County and the region felt like the Pompeii of the Catskills. Today, the county is experiencing a comeback, with stylish new inns and resorts, as well as farm fresh restaurants popping up left and right. This resurgence, coupled with outdoor adventures and genuine affordability means there’s no better time to experience what’s in Manhattan’s backyard (without having to get on an overcrowded train to the Hamptons). 

New inns and hotels are popping up all over the region, providing plenty of options to get away. Inns like The Arnold House, The North Branch Inn, and the Stickett Inn, provide a more intimate experience, while Ecce Bed & Breakfast and The Inn at Lake Joseph are ideal for a resort-style experience and families. Restaurants around the area take the phrase “Farm-to-Table” very seriously. Why wouldn’t they with all of the amazing farms within close proximity? When you’re not eating at restaurants like The Heron, The Bar Room at The North Branch Inn, or Northern Farmhouse Pasta, be sure to check out the farms where the ingredients are coming from at Apple Pond Farm, Root N’ Roost Farm, and more. Wash it all down at one of the many local breweries and vineyards in the area, like Roscoe Beer Co., Catskills Brewery, and Bashakill Vineyards.
Outdoor lovers want to start off by exploring the Delaware River. Work with the pros at Lander’s River Trips to coordinate a trip that suits you best via canoe, kayak, or raft. You can also stay on land and explore the miles upon miles of hiking trails in the county. Morgan Outdoors can get you geared up and on your way, advising on the best trails to hit, as well as offering weekly yoga classes. 
I’m taking a break the next few days, back on Monday live from Maine aboard the windjammer, Schooner Mary Day. Please follow along next week as I blog, tweet @ActiveTravels, share photos on Facebook and Instagram, and videos on YouTube. Have a great weekend! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/27/16 at 06:00 AM
Routes • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share

Page 2 of 6 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »



about us
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. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association