Europe & Britain | People & Stories

8 locals you'll connect with on a European tour

One of the best parts of travel is meeting the locals and making new friends. When you travel Europe with Trafalgar, you’ll meet the locals while exploring the most unique and wonderful places. From learning how to forage for food in Ireland or how to perform folklore dances in Croatia, to meeting local farmers owners from Scotland to Portugal to Italy and Turkey, here are 8 incredible locals you’ll meet in Europe with Trafalgar.

1. Meet Tiago and Vera at their stud farm in Portugal

Vera with horses on stud farm in Portugal

You’ll enjoy an unforgettable day when you meet Tiago and Vera on their stud farm in Portugal’s rural Alentejo region. First, you’ll explore the farm which rears cattle, sheep and horses and grows olive, cereals and cork. You’ll see the old riding school and hear the tragic story of unrequited love of their ancestor, who fell in love with the Queen of Portugal when she visited the farm in the 18th century. 

RELATED CONTENT: Make it at home – Be My Guest host Vera’s pumpkin and carrot soup

You’ll also get to see a performance from the farm’s stunning white Lusitanian horses at the Picadero (riding school). Next up, you’ll tuck into a home-cooked lunch of traditional Alentejano cuisine, while chatting to Tiago and Vera about their daily life. Your visit will help continue the family’s efforts to maintain the historic property, and you’ll leave with an incredible insight into what life is like as a stud farmer in Portugal.

GET INSPIRED BY: Highlights of Spain and Portugal

2. Share a traditional Tuscan dinner with Giadi in Florence

Giada and her family on her Chianti estate Italy

You’ll discover nine generations of fascinating history when you meet the locals while travelling Europe with Trafalgar. Join Giadi Landi and her family at their gorgeous home, a 19th-century villa in the Chianti region near Florence, Italy. You’ll wander among the stunning oak trees, olive groves and Tuscan vineyards, while learning about how Giadi established Villa Il Leccio, a successful agriturismo in the Chianti region. 

RELATED CONTENT: Make it at home – Be My Guest host Giada’s Pollo al Chianti

Giadi talks about her daily life as a wine and olive oil producer and a skilled cook, and also shares her beloved family traditions that have been passed down for centuries. There are plenty of amazing stories to tell as you enjoy a delicious Italian feast made from produce grown on the farm… And of course, wash it all down with locally-produced Chianti wine.

GET INSPIRED BY: Italian Holiday

3. Forage for wild food with Oonagh in Ireland

Oonagh foraging for food in Liscannor Bay Ireland

We love learning from the locals when we travel to Europe. One of our favourite experiences is foraging with Oonagh along the famous Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Oonagh will share all the secrets on how to find the best wild produce. Then you’ll head back to the Barrtra Seafood restaurant where you’ll enjoy the fruits of your foraging. 

RELATED CONTENT: Wild Food Foraging at Liscannor Bay

The family-run restaurant overlooks Liscannor Bay and you’ll have stunning views while you enjoy your meal. The restaurant also supports the ‘Leave No Trace’ movement, and it’s a wonderful place to connect with the Irish locals.

GET INSPIRED BY: Irish Experience

4. Enjoy lunch with the Muhoberac Family at their home in Croatia

The Muhoberac family teaching folklore dances to Trafalgar guests Croatia

We’ll take you to meet the locals in Osojnik, a rural Croatian village near Dubrovnik. You’ll meet the Muhoberac family in their traditional Upper Primorje home, with its stunning arches and vaulted ceilings. The family has lived in this home for five generations, and their ancestors have lived in Osojnik for 500 years. They’ve retained many family traditions over the centuries, and you’ll get to know some of them over an exclusive Be My Guest dinner with the family. 

RELATED CONTENT: Meet the Muhoberac Family of Osojnik

Tuck into local dishes like zelena menestra and peka (meat roasted under an iron bell), and wash it down with local wine and homemade liqueurs. You’ll even learn how to grill ham and potato over the fire, while Tony plays traditional music on his mandolin. After dinner, you’ll continue the festivities, and learn some local folklore dances. It’s an amazing evening and your visit will support the family and their home, which was largely destroyed during the civil war. It has since been restored with the help of Trafalgar’s contributions. 

GET INSPIRED BY: Balkan Delight

5. Meet the liberated women of Demircidere in Turkey

the liberated women of Demircidere Turkey

When you travel Europe with Trafalgar, you’ll journey to the small mountain village of Demircidere in Turkey, home to the country’s most empowered and liberated women. After electing the first female muhtar in Turkey in 1933, the people of Demircidere broke down barriers and encouraged the power of women. Today, both men and women take care of the village work, and you’ll meet the locals and learn how the community fosters equal rights for Turkish women. 

RELATED CONTENT: Meet the Liberated Local Women of Demircidere, Turkey

Your visit will support the community’s local farming businesses, including growing olives and raisins and producing wine and jam. You’ll even get the chance to learn their traditional technique for bread-making. As you share a glass of the local wine and a traditional meal with the locals, you’ll get a real insight into how this incredible community celebrates gender equality. 

GET INSPIRED BY: Highlights of Turkey

6. Join Remy and Lydia at their 17th-century mansion in France

Remy outside his 17th-century mansion in France

You’ll feel like you’re meeting old friends when the lovely Remy and Lydia de Scitvaux welcome you at their 17th-century mansion in the Sarthe region in north-west France. The couple are owners of the grand Chateau d’Eporce and they’re passionate about sharing its beauty with everyone. 

RELATED CONTENT: 9 People Whose Lives You Change Just by Travelling with Trafalgar

You’ll get a private tour of their exquisite mansion and the surrounding park blooming with wild hyacinth, cyclamen and shady trees. Then, you’ll sit down to a lavish lunch made by Lydia. You’ll get to chat with Remy and Lydia over lunch and learn about what life is like in a historic château. Best of all, your visit will help support their efforts to preserve this beautiful property. 

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7. Share lunch with Sister Monika at her monastery in Austria

Sister Monika and her fellow sister at Wernberg Monastery Austria

Sista Monika and her fellow sisters are on a mission to make the world a better place. You’ll get to meet these wonderful ladies at their castle-turning monastery and working farm in Wernberg, Austria. Once a 16th-century castle abandoned in the 18th century, the nuns worked to restore it to its former glory. 

RELATED CONTENT: The Enchanting Kloster Wernberg Monastery

Today, it’s the Kloster Wernberg monastery and over 60 nuns live here. You’ll join the Sisters for a traditional Corinthian meal, and hear stories about life at the convent. You’ll also learn about their incredible charitable work improving the lives of women and children in Europe, Africa, North America, Papua New Guinea and South Korea.

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8. Visit the Wood family at their historic farm in Scotland

Wood family on Ledard Farm in Scotland

Journey through the beautiful countryside to the lush Trossachs National Park, the first designated national park in Scotland. Here you’ll meet the Wood family on Ledard Farm, set along the shores of Loch Ard and a 20,000-acre forest. The farm dates back to the 15th century and you’ll learn all about its fascinating history over a home-cooked dinner. 

RELATED CONTENT: Ledard Hill Farm in the Highlands of Scotland

On arrival, you’ll enjoy a traditional bagpipe welcome, before exploring the sheep farm. Don’t forget to meet the 14 sheepdogs, before sitting down to dinner in the 17th-century McGregor’s Barn. The Wood family will entertain you with tales about Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish outlaw turned folk hero, who grew up in that same barn. You’ll also hear a Robert Burns poetry recital and traditional Ceilidh tunes. You’re in for a treat here as the Wood brothers are part of the Kinlochard Ceilidh Band, one of the best traditional folk bands in Scotland. 

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Scotland

Did you meet the locals when travelling Europe with Trafalgar? Share your stories in the comments below…

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