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Travel News

Windmills and tulips

Mexico Travel News

Mexico’s longest beach

Novillero, Mexico’s longest beach, is located in the township of Tecuala to the north of Nayarit. It’s slightly more than 90 kilometers in length and the second-longest in Latin America, just after Brazil’s Praia do Cassino, which is over 240 kilometers long. Novillero is the fifth longest beach in the world.

Apart from its impressive length, Novillero is also very wide. You can walk toward the sea for about 100 meters without going underwater, thanks to its very shallow incline and flat, level beach area.

If you’re headed to Novillero, don’t forget to stop at a local snack shop, known as a botanero, in Tecuala or Acaponeta. These unique little storefronts require payment only for your drinks, and the food is served free of charge. A must on the list of foods to try is the puerco echado, little oven-baked pork tacos.

International News

Europe’s autumn food festivals

Autumn brings a good excuse for gourmet travelers to pack their bags and explore local flavors with a wave of festivals celebrating the season’s bounty throughout the UK and across Europe.

Over in Ireland, the International Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival, September 24-27, is one of the world’s longest-running oyster celebrations, now in its 61st year. Sample native oysters from Galway Bay and see who takes home the coveted World Oyster Opening Championship trophy.

Truffles are some of autumn’s most highly prized bounty. The Alba Truffle Festival, October 10-November 15, in the northern Italian province of Piedmont, is one of the most prestigious places to sample the highly prized white variety. Chefs and restaurateurs from all over the world spend thousands to secure prime examples at the daily truffle market here.

No matter where you find yourself in France between September 25 and 27, you’ll be able to take part in one of more than 9,300 events celebrating France’s formidable culinary heritage as part of the Fête de la Gastronomie. Expect picnics, gourmet extravaganzas, markets, fairs, and cooking demonstrations from St Malo to St Tropez.

Shrimp are the stars of the show during Honfleur’s annual La Fête de la Crevette, October 3-4 on the Normandy coast.

Some of Spain’s best seafood comes from Galicia, and much of it is landed in O Grove, near Pontevedra, where you can join the celebrations at its annual Seafood Festival, October 1-12.

Cruise News

Repositioning cruises

Many transatlantic cruises between Europe and North America occur in spring and fall as ships make repositioning voyages. From September through November, ships move west from their summer season European itineraries to warmer winter climes in the Caribbean. Next spring, many will head back east, most of them to the Mediterranean region.

These transatlantic repositioning cruises seldom are fully booked. They tend to draw passengers with plenty of time on their hands who are lured by bargain rates as low as US$70-US$100 a night and as many as seven or eight lazy sea days.

If you are looking for a bargain repositioning cruise, here are a few from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale in October: Emerald Princess, 14 nights on October 3, starting at US$1,199; Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, 12 nights on October 25, starting at US$992; and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox, 13 nights on October 27, starting at US$929.

Prices on repositioning cruises may vary by a few hundred dollars depending on what is included, but all offer rates that start at less than US$100 a night per person.

Words of the wise and well traveled

“Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.” — Dalai Lama

Deal of the Week

Springtime cruises in Europe with free airfare

There’s no better way to discover the beauty, romance, and history of Europe than on an AmaWaterways river cruise. And experiencing all of this during the full bloom of springtime is that much more enchanting.

When you book one of the March, April, and May 2016 departures listed below, you’ll receive free round-trip airfare from the 38 gateways in the USA and Canada. Rates are per person, based on double occupancy. The free airfare offer is valid on new reservations booked and deposited by September 30, 2015, and based on round-trip, trans-Atlantic economy-class airfare.

Tulip Time Cruise: 7-night cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam on Dutch and Belgian waterways;  March 27, 28; April 3, 7; May 2, 5; rates starting from US$2,499.

Paris and Normandy: 7-night cruise from roundtrip from Paris on the Seine; March 25; rates starting from US$2,899.

Provence and Spain: 7-night cruise from Arles to Lyon on the Rhone; March 25; rates starting from US$2,899.

Taste of Bordeaux: 7-night cruise roundtrip from Bordeaux on the Garonne; March 25; April 1, 29; rates starting from US$2,899.

The Legendary Danube: 7-night cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest; March 31; rates starting from US$2,599.

Blue Danube Discovery: 7-night cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg; March 24; rates starting from US$2,499.

Melodies of the Danube: 7-night cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen; April 11; rates starting from US$2,799

The Enchanting Rhine: 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam; April 22; rates starting from US$3,099.


Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in crafting personalized cruise and land itineraries for couples, singles, families, and small groups. She designs trips that are carefully tailored to suit the client’s interests, ability, and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email or view the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.

Sources: Riviera Nayarit CVB, The Independent (London), Miami Herald, AmaWaterways


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