Archive for Ireland Tours

Walk Where Your Ancestors Walked

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Genealogy is the fastest growing hobby in the world. Millions of people want to see the places where their ancestors lived before emigrating. We have been leaders in this field since 1989, starting the world’s first professional photography service exclusively for family historians. That photography business mushroomed to include photography and tours combined. Now we spend up to eight months each year touring in Europe with our clients, who may or may not have a strong interest in family history. They just want to GO. We make it all possible. Start planning your Trip of a Lifetime today.

Ken and Gloria took a break from ancestral discoveries to enjoy sausages in a kitchen dating back to the late 15th century in Nurnberg, Germany in September of 2013.

Ken and Gloria took a break from ancestral discoveries to enjoy sausages in a kitchen dating back to the late 15th century in Nurnberg, Germany in September of 2013.

Plan Your Perfect Trip to Europe

Friday, December 13th, 2013

With expert help from the seasoned guides of European Focus Private Tours. We work with singles, couples, families and groups of friends who have common interests. Best of all, your tour is led by the designer! No fumbling around, no getting lost, no wondering what hotel to use or where to eat or what to do with your precious vacation time. We take all of the unknowns out of travel and eliminate the thousands of details which go into a fun, stress-free vacation. All you have to do is get onto the airplane and let us take care of the rest. Booking now for 2014 and beyond.

A busy father and his two sons enjoyed a stress-free vacation in Germany and France in July, leaving the planning to us while they carried on busy lives and careers back home in Oklahoma.

A busy father and his two sons enjoyed a stress-free vacation in Germany and France in July, leaving the planning to us while they carried on busy lives and careers back home in Oklahoma.

2014 calendar update

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Updated January 15, 2014

Thinking of a dream trip to Europe?

So are these people. And, they have made their reservations already for travel in 2014. Don’t wait to fulfill your dreams of easy and relaxed travel in Europe.

April 11 to 25: Tour for two, renewal of vows in Italy, first time clients Steve and Debbie with James
April 20 to May 3: Tour for two, second time for our clients Dan and Amanda, who traveled in Germany with us in 2012. This time it is Italy. (Jenean’s tour)
May 1 to 19: Second tour for Peter and Gayle, who toured in Germany with us in 2013. This time it is parts of France and Spain with both James and Jenean leading the way from Paris to Santiago de Compostela

Carol, left and Art, right will join us again this year for a trip, this time, to southern Portugal and southern Spain.

Carol, left and Art, right will join us again this year for a trip, this time, to southern Portugal and southern Spain.

May 22 to June 6: Seventh trip for Art and Carol who toured with us most recently in Spain and Portugal in 2013. This time it will be other areas in Portugal and southern Spain with James and Jenean.
June 17 to 29: Dennis comes back for more family history research, this time in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. His first trip with European Focus was in 2013 and it was concentrated on Germany. Dennis first took our business card in 1998. (James’ tour)
June 18 to 26: Family of four starting in Paris where they will meet Jenean, continuing on to Strasbourg, Lucerne and Munich.
June 28 to July 12: Tour with a family of four starting in London and continuing on to Normandy, Reims and on to Germany where we will retrace some of the steps taken by the parents of two of the members of this group during their time in Germany decades ago. The trip ends in Munich. This will be the first European Focus Private Tour for these Texans. Jenean starts the tour and James meets the group in Normandy.
July 16 to 28: Tour with a family of four from Tucson to Germany and Austria, the Czech Republic. This will be Tim’s third tour with European Focus. James will lead this tour.
August 5-13: A couple come for their first trip with European Focus in Germany, mainly visiting ancestral villages.
August 25 to September 5: John comes on his second tour with us, this time in England on a combination ancestral discovery tour and honeymoon. (James and Jenean)
October 4 to 19: Pat and his wife come from Australia for their first tour with European Focus in Germany. Part of the tour will concentrate on family history and part will be slow travel tourism. Pat will meet with relatives in Berlin, who will travel there from Poland.
(James will lead this tour)
October 20: Mariane C. fulfills a lifelong dream of visiting the village of Appenzell, Switzerland. James will pick her up at her hotel in Lucerne and take her to nearby Appenzell for the day. The timing just works perfectly for this long-awaited journey. She will be ending a river cruise a few days before in Basel.
November 23 to December 3: A family of nine comes over to visit some Christmas Markets (starting on Nov 28) and other places of interest which the patriarch of the family enjoyed during his time in the service in the 1960s. This tour will be led by Jenean and James.

Available dates are in July, August and September plus the last part of October and first part of November for trips led by James or Jenean. For trips in Germany, Austria and Switzerland we can accommodate you through our partners, ask for available dates.

2014 looks to be busiest year ever

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

July 23

Clients of ours in May enjoy a jalopy ride around historic Prague

Clients of ours in May enjoy a jalopy ride around historic Prague

With our 25th year looming ahead, and with 229 custom-designed trips under our belt, 2014 looks to be the year that we will most likely fill our calendar completely by the end of 2013, as our repeat clients book their next tour usually while they are on their current one, or soon after. As of today, the months of April, May and June are completely booked. Our season will conclude at the end of October.

We will be traveling with our clients in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. And, that’s just the beginning of what we have planned already.

If you have desires to travel the European Focus way in 2014, please don’t wait too long. Contact us today to start the process of your own Trip of a Lifetime. And then, come back for another, and another, and…

We get this question often at our retail store “European Focus Village” in the heart of Sarasota, Florida. The answer is, “Yes, all of the time!” In fact, more than half of the 10-15 trips we design and lead each season (March through October) are with repeat clients, couples, who have been completely spoiled by our easy-going style of travel. They may have been cruisers or bus tour fans in the past, but no more. Now they’re completely addicted to the European Focus method of authentic travel and adventure, the comfortable road, and not the “Europe Through the Back Door” experience of some of the hapless people we see being led around by a non-stop talking guide at a racetrack pace through Europe. Ever wonder where the “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium” saying comes from? Bus tours! We have turned the entire concept of escorted travel on its head, and we’ve been doing this successfully since 1995. Is this a cheap way to travel around Europe? Absolutely not. As with any custom-designed service or product, our trips are priced at a level which takes into account the personal service, the planning, the easy pace and the excellent accommodations and food that our clients love.

Images from Ireland’s Beara Peninsula

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

(From a recent trip June 17 to 28 which included parts of Ireland, Edinburgh and London)

We love Ireland. It’s such a fascinating island, full of beautiful sights, history and best of all, wonderful, warm people who truly like conversing with strangers and not just because their job requires it. Here are some images from James’ recent trip with two clients from Virginia.

A farm on the western tip of the Beara Peninsula. We consider the Beara to be equal in beauty to the more famous "Ring of Kerry."

A garden at Adrigole Arts, a craft and art shop we like to take our clients to on the southern Beara not far from Castletownbere

The "Old Forge" near the copper mining town of Ahillies

Hardly a day passes when it does not rain in some part of Ireland. That may be why it's so green! As a result, dark streams run everywhere, creating endless possibilities for Leprechauns to bathe.

One could spend an entire day just watching the play of the light on the landscape from the clouds, rain and sun

Tour Opportunities for October

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Walk along the Italian coastline in the mild month of October

March 5, 2012

European Focus founder and guide James Derheim is available during the beautiful month of October, a perfect time to explore most of central and southern Europe. October is prime season and is usually booked far in advance. The days are mild and the kids are all back in school with no major holidays, therefore, roads are much less crowded and the major sights (especially Germany after Oktoberfest) Contact European Focus today to get started on the planning for your exclusive holiday led by James Derheim.

When Ireland was south of the equator

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Down a steep path and around a bend, amazement

We’ve seen many ancient sites in Ireland; monastic beehive huts from the fourth and fifth century, ruins of monasteries from the 14th and 15th centuries and the even older burial site of Newgrange, dating back to about 2,000 to 3,000 years before Christ. But the other day’s discovery on the windswept shores of Valentia Island, on the Iveragh Peninsula (tour bus prisoners know this as the “Ring of Kerry”) we found something which is much, much older. About 344, 999, 000 years older.

While driving in search of the marker at the place where the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid, we literally stumbled upon a sign showing the way to footprints left behind by a “tetrapod.” What is a tetrapod? This is our ancient ancestor, according to many scientists, biologists and other people belonging to the “ist” family. This three or four foot long beast similar to an alligator slithered out of the oceans all of those millions of years ago, took a breath, and decided to stay on dry land. This was the first large creature to adapt to life on dry land. And, the tetrapod is the ancient ancestor to those creatures who first moved to living on land.

Ripples on an ancient beach are preserved in the stone

A third of a billion years ago, Ireland was located south of the equator. The muddy shore where this tetrapod crawled solidified into rock, and this rock preserves not only the footprints of the tetrapod, but also faint impressions left by the dragging of the long tail, which accounted for almost half of the tetrapod’s length. Over millenia, Ireland drifted north and the muddy shore ended up on the north side of Valentia Island. To look upon those footprints is to be awed by the steady march of time and the fact that we modern humans have only existed for a second or two in the history of the earth.

Footprints from an ancient creature left behind more than 335,000,000 years ago

October 16, 2011

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Categories : Ireland Tours
Guiding tours in European for over 20 years