Where to next?
8th -26th June
15th Sept - 6th Oct
ITALY - The Sequel
13th Oct - 4th Nov
Travel the World
From Rome to Paris, Barcelona to Casablanca, we offer the most memorable experiences
Do it Your Way
Catering for women of all ages, interests and travel experience
Dedicated Tour Manager
Our marvelous tour manager will travel with the group ensuring support, care & fun
Welcome to a different way of travelling!
Begun in 2005, our company is designed for women who want to be able to travel alone and still feel part of a group if they choose.
As a member of our group of 10 “independent-thinking women”, you will be able to share experiences outside the itineraries of ordinary tours.
We are still there when the piazzas empty and the tour buses go home. Our small group makes it easy to wander around in places “off the beaten track”.
With the extra time our tours provide, the beauties of Italy, France, Spain and Morocco are there to absorb. There are no early starts or one night stays. Each tour is based for 4-5 nights in one place and explores out from there.
All-inclusive: Tours are all-inclusive.
Private guides: We employ local guides, women who have their own small business and know the area inside out.
Private entrances and tours: We never queue! Entrances are private and pre-booked. Those queues at the Vatican are not for us! Some of our visits are arranged only for us, so we are alone in palazzos, wineries and galleries etc.
Private transport: We have our own minibus, boats, water taxis and cars. Long distances are covered in First Class train carriages.
Special Events: Each tour includes specific special events/ experiences. Some of these are: an evening at the opera; learning how to make Puglian pasta; grotto explorations; chocolate tastings; art historian discussion; an evening tour by gondola; Berber desert excursion…..
Our hotels: We choose each of our hotels to be authentic to each region. They are always boutique-style. Many have roof-top gardens. Each is situated close to the ‘centre of town’ so our clients can experience surroundings on their own, should they wish (there is always time to explore).
Where are you going to next?
Slip past the queues to the Vatican museum, to the magnificent Uffizi museum and to the exotic places in Venice…. coffee or prosecco while the orchestra plays in Piazza San Marco, take a gondola to dinner…. Let our private guides introduce you to ancient crafts and their modern artisans, dine under the Tuscan stars and above Florence. Our private boats take us to islands of Venice and of Lake Como…. we walk through countryside scattered with poppies to visit relics of empires long gone. And – we spend time in country markets of both fresh local produce and bric-a-brac; tasting cheeses, meats, wines, oils, biscuits, fruits…. life in Italy…
Cruise Paris’s Canal St Martin, afternoon tea where Chanel took hers, private visit to chateaux and gardens… discover the quiet spots of Provence and taste the wines of Chateau Neuf du Papes…. Come with us to magnificent Mont Saint Michel, witness the skills of a truffle dog and be one of a small group to see Cro Magnan Man’s wall paintings in the Dordogne. We lunch where Renoir painted “ Luncheon of the Boating Party” and on a goat farm and in a chateau’s orangerie
SPAIN + MOROCCO
Experience the unique art and architecture of Barcelona with vibrant tiles, abstract figures and shapes, alongside elegant palaces…. the grandeur of Granada with its magnificent Alhambra Palaces and extensive gardens. Stay in converted palaces, or paradores, to experience a life of Spain’s historic past. Watch a performance of ‘airs above the ground’ from the royal horses at Jerez, then retire for a tasting of the town’s famous wine; travel to the unique desert land of Morocco and learn the traditions of the Berbers, spend time in the famous markets of Marrakesh amid the perfumes from the souks…. drive with our experts out into the desert to experience the red clay towns. Moorish castles and temples with iconic designs and shapes…
* All of our tours are underwritten by our partner; a registered travel agent. They secure your payments and manage the air bookings.
They say variety is the spice of life! “France the Sequel” is just that if you’re after something different away from the well-trodden tourist tracks and well known attractions. It was a very comprehensive tour with very knowledgeable guides, with diverse food and wine flavours and lots of historical and cultural elements. From Bayeux and its amazing tapestry in Normandy to the north to the picturesque seascapes, beaches and delicious and bountiful seafood of the Emerald Coast, to the medieval villages, walled townships, ancient cave paintings, ballooning and truffles in the Dordogne to the perfectly manicured vineyards and “bubbles” of Champagne and its magnificent cathedral, to the fairy tale town of Riquewihr in Alsace with it markets and mélange of French and German cultures and cuisines to end in Paris with the sparkle of The Avenue des Champs-Élysées ablaze with its Christmas lights! A tour and journey to remember!
I have recently returned from my fourth trip with Penny and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one.
They are extremely well organised and it is obvious that a lot of research has gone into each one. Penny employs local guides who are very passionate about the area in which they live and are very knowledgeable about the area and we have been to many unique places that probably wouldn’t be included in a ‘standard tour’.
The small size of the groups and the fact that I can enjoy the privacy of my own room are very important to me.
I would definitely recommend these tours to others.
I traveled with Penny in 2015 France the Sequel. It was truly a fabulous trip that ticked all boxes.
We travel to numerous small villages which would be hard to do solo. The local knowledgeable quides just added so much to the experience - bringing each village to life with their passion. Definitely NOT boring disinterested guides!! Penny was also a wealth of knowledge and she didn't know something she would find out and report back to you.
Everything was well organized. Great variety of accommodation, transport and restaurants.
A small group is the way to go.
I would recommend Penny's tours and would be happy to answer any queries.
Don't hesitate just go for it - life is to ENJOY embrace it.
I had previously travelled fairly extensively in Europe, but on this tour Penny showed me many new and exciting places. She researches her tours carefully ...uncovers the hidden treasures. She uses local guides with an intimate knowledge of their own areas... hotels were all excellent and I felt thoroughly pampered and cared for. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in travel.
I have been on 3 of the most wonderful trips with Penny King on her Tours for Independent Women’s Tours, two to Italy and one to France. I am a lover of art, beautiful old architecture and gardens and on Penny’s tours you get to enjoy bucket loads of each on nearly every day. I have also visited so many World UNESCO sites I have lost count. Her tours are very personalised with expert female guides which when you are in a small group feels like you are just enjoying the day out wandering with a group of friends. All the meals are delicious whether it is breakfast in a grand hotel or a sweet little rustic villa.
The dinners are all very special because they are chosen by Penny for their reputation, charm and location. Highlights for me have been of course Paris and then staying in the beautiful Chateau De Reignac in the Loire Valley and in Italy exploring the Italian Lakes and the stunning gardens on the Borromeo Islands in Lake Maggiore. I love Florence for its history, art galleries and wonderful markets, and then of course who hasn’t had their heart stolen by Venice which I have visited twice with Penny.
I have been on four of Penny’s Tours for Women since 2007. They have all been excellent. Penny has thought of everything, she is there to greet us on day one and wave us goodbye on our final day as we head off in various directions. My first trip to France was in 2010 and it was the beginning of my love of France, and the first time that I had stayed in a chateau in the Loire. It is great to have double room accommodation (with single occupancy), which was a haven to retreat to after a busy day. It is also good travelling with a small group. The galleries and museums are there to be explored as per Penny’s itinerary or to wander at will if not with the group.
...Penny’s tours provide many experiences solo travellers may never have the opportunity to experience by themselves. Penny has gathered a group of local guides in the major cities that prove to be the perfect ambassadors, providing interesting commentary on all the obvious things you must do when visiting places like Rome, Venice, Florence or Paris... you get to eat at those little out of the way places the locals call their own, visit beautiful shops and businesses that have been operating for generations, and have plenty of time to explore and discover your own secret places and memories.
As a single widowed person there are a number of fabulous reasons to travel with, Penny King's Tours for Independent Women.
Well organised, small group number, own bedroom & bathroom, brilliant guides plus stays of 3-5 days in one place so you feel part of the area you are in. Great food experiences & of course wonderful wine. All this makes for a trouble free and very relaxing holiday.
Touring with Penny King was a really great introduction to travelling as an individual, safely and with the confidence of being in a group. You don’t miss out on “must see” things (unless you want to) and also have the opportunity to incorporate your personal interests into the tour. Penny stays in locations that have an ambiance to enhance your experience and she also knows a lot of magic restaurants that are not touristy. I particularly found that using public transport (trains, taxi’s, even a local bus) in foreign countries with different languages in small groups not only gave me insight into the real nature of the local people but also provided me with the confidence to be able to come back another time totally independently - I have done that recently with 2 really lovely ladies I met touring with Penny.
We all had our own special moments in the trip - riding in our own private water taxi down the Grand Canal in Venice on the way to our hotel, mastering the art of ordering a coffee like a true Roman, making our own pasta in a historic Tuscan villa or tasting the first pressing of olive oil so fresh it was still warm, walking down a long corridor with eyes downcast only to look up and see the magnificent statue of David.
But more importantly for me, Penny truly brings together like minded people and as a result I have been lucky enough to form life long friendships with a number of the “gals” I met on Penny’s 2008 Italy trip. Three of us returned to Italy together in 2010 and went on to join Penny in Paris for her French tour. Thanks Penny!
Frequently Asked Questions
By contacting Penny King who will introduce you to the Travel Agent.
Because our tours are arranged to be out of the high tourist seasons, the weather will never be HOT. We travel in Spring and in Autumn, so expect similar weather to that of Australia for those seasons.
Very occasionally, it can be humid in Florence. To counter that sticky feeling, we usually pack a couple of cotton/natural fibre tops – fabric that breathes!
We may be joined by women from all over Australia – each requiring different connections.
Your travel, before and after our tour, does not have to be included in our pricing structure. This allows you to choose the most appropriate options to suit your plans.
A group will fly from Australia to rendezvous at our hotel for the start of the tour. You may choose to fly with this group or to meet us there.
Varied dining experiences are a highlight of the tour. Because of this, the itinerary provides for four-star restaurant as well as local, popular trattorias and even picnics of regional specialties.
Expect to eat meals prepared from seasonal, fresh produce. We will cater to any allergies and to vegetarians – please let us know when you register..
Breakfast is provided each day in the dining room of our hotels. This is generally a mixture of breads and cereals, cold meats and cheeses, as well as fruits, yoghurts and pastries.
On a few occasions you will have the chance to choose a meal on your own. During these times your guide will also be dining at a favourite place and of course you will be welcome to join her too. (These few meals are at your own cost)
Most meals are included in the tour price –it does not include drinks.
The places we will visit are best seen by walking. Many of our walks will take us over old, cobbled and uneven walkways.
You will need to be able to walk at a leisurely pace, for tours of about 2 hours’ duration.
(Of course we will stop along the way)
To prepare yourself, we suggest that you embark on some preparatory walking daily – preferably in your traveling shoes.
Should you not be able to participate in some of the walks, we will organize for you to meet us at the site by taxi. The cost of this taxi will be borne by you.
Your luggage will be moved by porters at each stage, however, there will be a few brief occasions when you will need to carry it. With this in mind, we recommend packing as lightly as possible. A suitcase with wheels is always helpful too.
We recommend a suitcase no bigger than 64cm.
The best clothing for the trip has proven to be the layered approach. This means that no matter what the weather, you can always add or subtract a layer! A light coat will also be useful, as sometimes the evenings can be cool. (Wonderful silk scarves can be purchased once you arrive!)
Whatever we do will generally require casual clothing with comfortable footwear. Should our tour occur during the opera season and we have a night at the opera, then you will need to wear something better – no sequins & furs though!
Visits to the Vatican and other churches will require you to cover your shoulders.
To help you with your packing, we have arranged a “packing with colours and fabrics” workshop for everyone held six weeks before departure.
Deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for full details of cancellation charges. Terms and Conditions are sent to you on payment of deposit.
We strongly recommend that you take out private travel insurance as soon as you pay your deposit. Our travel agent will assist you with that.