Independent travellers Chloe and Richard thought guided holidays were all about ticking off the sights. That was until they hit the road with Trafalgar.

Chloe and Richard in Arles, France

Chloe and Richard in Arles, France

The pair decided to abandon their guidebooks in favour of experts in every destination (our Travel Directors), to show them a different side to France and Ireland. We caught up with them after their journey to find out their thoughts.

“We were taken to places that I would never have looked at or found,” said Richard.

“Most of the tours I’ve seen have gone to the obvious, generic places and sights, whereas Trafalgar took us to the must-see sights as well as little hidden places, which most people have no idea even exist.

“One of my most memorable moments was when one of our Travel Directors, Jill, took us to St. George’s market in Ireland. It’s a big place but you could easily miss it. We got to taste some of the local produce like soda breads, ginger cake and the Belfast Bap. It’s things like that, and the friendly Belfast people, which add colour to your experience.”

Local breads at St. George's market, Belfast, Ireland

Local breads at St. George’s market, Belfast, Northern Ireland

And as a first-timer, Chloe discovered that the things she had on her bucket list – the expected – turned out to be the experiences that almost blurred into the backdrop.

“I was really looking forward to visiting places like the Giant’s Causeway, which was very interesting and everything I’d hoped it would be. But it was the other things the Travel Directors showed us that I wasn’t anticipating which made the trip truly special.

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

“My favourite memory was in France, at Jean-Pierre and Evelyn’s vineyard, where we had beautiful, home-cooked food and were surrounded by such lovely people. It felt like we were guests in their home, and the setting was picturesque and so relaxing. While we were having lunch, we watched locals stopping by to pick up their wine – it was a place we would’ve driven straight past if we were travelling on our own.”

If we’ve given you the taste for a guided holiday, find out how Trafalgar can take you beyond the expected by exploring our trips.

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