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Travel is a beautiful thing. Travel enhanced by history is even better. But travel combined with historical context, acclaimed art, wine and cuisine? That is an unforgettable combination. Learning about a country’s history through culinary exploration and local arts are some of the best ways to truly understand a culture. In May 2014, TravelQuest will be welcoming travelers to just that.

In an effort to better explore the renowned European countries of France and Spain, our Expressions of the Past tour will go well beyond the Eiffel Tower, Temple of Sagrada Familia and other touristy hot spots. Instead, we’ll venture deep into history, exploring ancient cave art, visiting wineries rooted in generations of tradition and tasting our way through great restaurants, all under the guidance of local experts.

The ancient natural caves of France and Spain showcase the country’s earliest history through wall art created more than 25,000 years ago. Travelers will venture deep into the past at the caves of Lascaux II, Peche Merle, Niaux, Font de Gaume and Combarelles to view miraculously preserved illustrations as explained by area experts. Explorers will find pictures of wildlife encounters and spiritual obsessions lining the maintained walls.

Between witnessing yesteryear by way of primitive drawings, tour guests will also get a taste of the region’s rich history through wine and cuisine as they visit the area’s most renowned vineyards. Vintners will lead the group through the finest wineries of La Rioja and Bordeaux, including Bodega Marqués de Arviza the estates of St. Émilion. Guides will share the roots of winemaking techniques while guests sip on distinct flavors of the region.

The tour also will include time to experience and explore modern culture in medieval settings throughout the towns. Guests will spend at least two nights in each city, including Santillana del Mar and Barcelona in Spain as well as Les Eyzies and Sarlat in France.

The Expressions of the Past tour is priced from $7,450. The cost includes travel insurance, accommodations, ground transportation, tour admissions as noted in itinerary, some meals and airport transfers. For more information on the 2014 trip to France and Spain, visit the trip’s page.

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