1999 tours include cave drawings, last solar eclipse of the millennium

PRAGUE -- On walking tours available this year in the Czech Republic region, visitors can hike mountain trails, study prehistoric cave drawings or catch a glimpse of the last solar eclipse of the millennium. Some of the packages are outlined below.

  • The Bohemia & High Tatras Trek is a 14-night journey. It visits Bohemia and the High and Low Tatras, a mountain region in northern Slovakia.
  • The tour starts and ends in Prague with guided city tours before traveling by train to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The hiking excursions traverse landscapes that have underground caverns, vineyards and glacier lakes.

    The walking level is described as moderate, and the program has walks of four to six hours on some days. Other recreational options such as mountain biking and river rafting are available.

    Departures are scheduled from May 24 through Sept. 20. The land-only cost is $895 for departures from July 5 through Sept. 6. All other departures are $815. Some meals and sightseeing are included.

    Adventure Center, Phone: (800) 227-8747, Fax: (510) 654-4200, E-mail: [email protected]

  • The 10-night Treasures of Prague and Cesky Krumlov: The Art and Culture of Bohemia is an arts-focused package whose tour guides claim to uncover "the deeper meanings behind the physical art."
  • Aesthetic food for thought ranges from Baroque architecture to prehistoric cave drawings. Sightseeing in Prague includes the Gallery of Modern Art, Prague Castle and the Loreto Shrine. Visitors can participate in art-making activities on the banks of the Vltava River.

    After six days in Prague, the tour travels to the Cesky Krumlov castle.

    The group size is 12 to 18 participants. Graduate academic credit is available from Portland State University.

    The land-only cost is $2,425 per person, including sightseeing, some meals and accommodations with private baths. The single supplement is $400. Agent commission is 12% to 15%. Walking Softly Adventures, Phone: (888) 743-0723, Fax: (503) 788-0463, E-mail: [email protected]

  • The seven-night Gems of Bohemia and Austria itinerary follows old trade routes between the imperial cities of Prague and Vienna, Austria.
  • The journey starts in Prague and ventures to the nearby Cesky Raj, known as "the Bohemian paradise." The tour goes on to Austria for a Danube River cruise, wine-country hiking and Roman-ruin sightseeing. The itinerary ends with guided tours in Vienna.

    The walking level is described as easy to moderate on good trails with up to four hours of walking each day. Van support is available. Departure dates are June 13, Aug. 5 and Sept. 26. The Aug. 5 tour ends in Salzburg in order to witness the solar eclipse on Aug. 11.

    The land-only cost is $2,095 and includes accommodations, sightseeing and some meals. Incentive offers are available. Classic Journeys, Phone: (800) 200-3887, Fax: (619) 454-5770, Web: www.classicjourneys.com, E-mail: [email protected]

    JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI