Oysseys Unlimited

❮ Back To Message Board
<p>I have never traveled with Odysseys Unlimited before, but I saw a couple of tours in their brochure that intrigued me. I'd like to know if anyone has taken their "European Tapestry" tour , "Southern Italy &amp; Sicily", "Northern Italy" or "Enchanting Ireland". If you have taken any or some of these trips, I'd like to know what you thought of the experience, based on the itinerary, hotels, pace of the tour, tour leader, included meals, fellow travelers and any other important pertinent information.<br /> In essence, do you recommend this company? </p>

We took their Paradors and Posada trip and it was excellent. The guide could not have been better, the itinerary had the proper mix of activities and leisure and the accommodations were first class. I recommend them very highly and my sister and brotherinlaw are going on the same tour in the spring

I travelled with Odysseys Unlimited to Iceland in 2007 and their Blue Voyage to Turkey in April 2008. Although I considered the gulet cruise to be an unproductive waste of time (which would have been better spent seeing more of Classic Turkey, which I subsequently rectified in Spring 2010 on Umit Dogan's Treasures of Travel tour of Western Turkey), I liked Odysseys Unlimited very much and would travel with them again.
I seriously considered Odysseys Unlimited's Enchanting Ireland tour for July 2011, but instead opted for Journey Through Ireland (an ITN advertiser), even though it is considerably more expensive than Odysseys Unlimited. However, if by some chance the Journey Through Ireland departure date that I selected is cancelled due to insufficient number of participants willing to shell out the $$$$$, I will rebook with Odysseys Unlimited for the same time period.
I also like Odysseys Unlimited's tour of Southern Italy and Sicily, mainly because it goes to the off-the-beaten track Apulia region and spends three nights at the legendary Patria Palace Hotel in the wonderful town of Lecce (TravelCenturian on this forum can attest to the specialness of Lecce). However, contrary to what Odysseys Unlimited's brochure index says, this tour is not new and I have mentioned it in one or more prior posts on this forum. I was supposed to have taken it in April 2008 and it was cancelled due to low enrollment. Odysseys Unlimited's Southern Italy and Sicily tour was not offered in 2009 and 2010 and now is being rebranded as "new" in their brochure index. Frankly, I don't see anything new about it other than that it's being brought back to life after a 2-year hiatus; only for those with short memories is it new. Nonetheless it is a fine-looking tour with a great itinerary and first class or better hotels.
In any event, since Apulia was at the top of my travel list and I couldn't wait forever for it to be offered again, I subsequently went there in October 2009 with Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) and am booked to go there again from Sept. 29-Oct. 7, 2011 with TCI (Travel Concepts International, Inc./the Serious Traveler) on their "Precious Stones of Puglia" tour, which was my first choice tour company for Apulia all along. TCI's "Precious Stones of Puglia" tour has not received enough interest to operate in the past five years, but hopefully it will in Fall 2011 now that the travel market seems to be picking up a little bit. That tour will complement my 2009 Road Scholar trip very nicely because it goes to several different towns in Apulia that Road Scholar did not. Plus TCI stays at the upscale Patria Palace in Lecce, as opposed to the less centrally-located hotel in Lecce that Road Scholar used. TCI also offers a separate tour of Sicily immediately prior to their Puglia tour, so one can choose to take the two tours back-to-back with each other. TCI's website is www.SeriousTraveler.com.
I have no financial interest in or occupational connection with TCI, but I'm trying to plug their "Precious Stones of Puglia" tour for Fall 2011 because I'm tired of it getting cancelled or worse yet, not offered at all.

Thanks for your responses. I'm happy to hear that you've all had positive experiences with Odysseys Unlimited. I called the company to inquire about the age range of their group, and they told me it's between 65-80 years old. I usually prefer to travel with a slightly younger group (55-70) since that's my age group.
What was the average age of the people in your group? If they were on the older side, were they able to keep up with the activities without any problems? I ask this question because I just returned from a trip in which the average age was mid 70's, and many of them had considerable difficulty walking and standing for more than an hour a day. This impacted on the tour as a whole since the tour leader tended to cater to the most feeble in the group.

I have not previously responded to this query since although I have travelled with Odysseys -- and like them and will travel with them again -- I had not been to your planned locations with them. I took a tour to Patagonia, both Chile and Argentina including the Torres del Paine and the Cruce de Lagos with them in 2006 and it was a marvelous experience with no downsides at all -- well, actually there is one, the tour I took is now offered as two separate tours. But to the point of your last msg, I suspect the destination chosen may have something to do with the age of the group. My tour was a little more strenuous than a Europe visit and the average age of the group was about 50 and ranged from the high 40's to maybe 72. Hope this is helpful.