Rediscover the World's holidays are primarily tailor-made arrangements for the discerning, independent traveller. We offer a wealth of knowledge and years of experience of our featured destinations which is pretty hard to beat. Combine this with our excellent rates for accommodation, private journeys and small group tours, car hire, local guides and excursions and we should be your first port of call for holidays to Morocco, Greece, Croatia, Madeira, Norway, Lapland and Romania.
Prior to founding Rediscover the World Andy & Dawn gained invaluable experience working in all aspects of the travel industry for tour operators in UK and overseas (island and resort managers, reservations, customer service, personnel training and IT). Quickly becoming disillusioned with customers being treated as just 'one of a number' spurred them on to launch Rediscover the World, with its strong ethos of treating customers as individuals, each with a different set of requirements.
We pride ourselves on being a completely independent family business - you will always speak with someone who knows you and your requirements. Overseas we co-operate primarily with local agents whom we have known for many years and trust implicitly. These wonderful teams of people have, over the years, proved themselves reliable in organising our customers' bookings and for providing exceptional customer service.
Dawn is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland and graduated from Queens University, Belfast with a degree in French and German. After securing a position as Overseas Representative for Lancaster Holidays (part of the International Leisure Group) she was sent to Tangier, Morocco for 7 months and by all accounts it was a summer to remember! "I will never forget my first visit to Morocco" she says, "the sheer hard work of learning a new job, living in a vibrant city such as Tangier, and the incredible friendliness of the Moroccan people" It was 1986, the year that the Bond film 'The Living Daylights' was filmed in Tangier; a few days after filming was complete she found out that Timothy Dalton had been living in the hotel next door!
Dawn worked for ILG until 1989 working in Lido di Jesolo in 1987 and Aegina Island in 1988 and 1989. Winters were spent in Belfast working in reservations and as their sales representative for Northern Ireland. In 1992 Dawn joined Cosmos Holidays, once again to work on Aegina, and this was followed by summer seasons on Crete, Lefkas, Skiathos & Skopelos and three winter seasons in Goa. In early 1995 whilst in London interviewing overseas staff for Cosmos Dawn was suddenly asked if she had brought her passport with her from Belfast, as a temporary manager was needed on Madeira for four months! Not one to turn down the chance of going overseas, two days later she had landed on this exceptionally beautiful island and instantly fell in love with its variety of scenery and quite unique character.
Dawn returned to Morocco in 1996 this time to Agadir where she met Andy who was working for Inspirations (romance blossomed in Agadir Airport arrivals hall and they got engaged in Morocco). That Spring she was asked to go off to Egypt to work for 9 months in the capacity of manager, based in Luxor but also being responsible for Aswan and Cairo as well as all the Nile Cruises. She also visited Sharm El Sheik several times to research the resort prior to Cosmos starting a programme there in 1997.
Dawn and Andy settled in the UK after their marriage and Dawn worked for a Greek specialist in London in their overseas department. In 1998 Dawn and Andy decided to start Rediscover the World, as they had a wealth of experience abroad and in other capacities in the travel industry. Their aim was to provide a personal tailor made holiday service - while Andy was busy developing the company Dawn became a Tour Director working with Insight Travel guiding tours around the UK and Ireland as well as working part time helping Andy develop the business. Over the next few years Dawn did some freelance work guiding day breaks to Lapland for specialist operators as well as day breaks to Marrakech, Iceland, Athens, Venice, Vienna, Salzburg, Nuremberg, Latvia and Bergen.
Dawn now takes charge of the Lapland enquiries as she has been there many times and loves it there. She also supervises our Greek holidays as she has been to many Greek Islands over the years and speaks, reads and writes Greek. In her spare time Dawn enjoys reading, travelling and is kept busy driving their daughter to and from various sporting activities.
Andy (far right in photo above) is originally from Pontypridd in South Wales and qualified with a degree in Geography and Geology at St Paul's and St Mary's College in Cheltenham before going on to do various qualifications in tourism and leisure management. In the late 1980s and particularly in 1990 he travelled extensively in Morocco, across Europe and into China via the Trans Siberian Railway (and back). He returned to Morocco and managed Marrakech as a resort for an independent tour operator in 1996 (which is where he met Dawn).
From 1994 to 1996 Andy worked mainly in the Ionian Islands of Greece, looking after Ithaca and Lefkas, the mainland resorts of Parga and Sivota and has huge knowledge of Corfu's quieter resorts.
Back in 1990, as the football World Cup gripped everyone, Andy and his friend from college were undertaking the latest section of their cycling tour of Europe by travelling the whole coast of Croatia (Yugoslavia, as it was, of course). Much has changed since this time but the intense charm and history of the coastal towns and islands has never diminished. We introduced Croatia to Rediscover in 2005 and have never looked back. Andy has made many visits to Croatia since his college-cycling days and we have recently added cruises around the Adriatic, guided coach tours and hiking in this fascinating country.
Since Rediscover the World began offering a comprehensive tailor-made service all our staff have travelled frequently to Morocco, visiting new properties - particularly during the massive expansion of riads in Marrakech, Essaouira and Fez, the fascinating Sahara and the Atlas Mountains. We have also enjoyed the fabulous hot air balloon ride near Marrakech and Dawn has very much enjoyed sampling the hammams & haggling in the souks. Their daughter Natalya, who plays golf, helps out on overseas trips from time to time and she has been out to Morocco with Andy to have a look at their wonderful golf courses.
Each time someone from our office goes to Morocco they travel to different parts of the country to ensure that they are familiar with the various routes, travelling times, sightseeing and facilities at the hotels along the way for all our customers.
Since the 1990s Rediscover the World has been offering incredible trekking holidays to the High Atlas and beyond. In keeping with our philosophy of personal service based on personal experience Andy and a small group of keen hikers have undertaken a number of weeks' trekking both in the Imlil/Toubkal region and also the unique wilderness area of the Tichka Plateau - many of the photographs on our web site are from these trips. Andy also made it to the summit of Mount Toubkal (and thoroughly recommends it!)
Over the years many tour operators to Morocco have come and gone; we are proud to say that few can offer our vast knowledge and long standing experience of this country and we look forward to passing this enthusiasm and expertise on to you.
Dawn's connection with Greece dates back to the late 1980s when she worked on Aegina (a beautiful island near Athens) as an overseas representative. She fell in love completely with this wonderful country and over the next few years managed overseas operations on Aegina (again), Crete, Lefkas, Skiathos and Skopelos. As well as the islands Dawn also knows Athens very well. Dawn speaks conversational Greek and can read and write it also. Dawn's experience and contacts are invaluable as she spends much time organising completely tailor-made itineraries of the Greek mainland and islands - on fly-drive holidays, island hopping and including guided classical tours (a superb way of seeing Greece and its classical sites).
As with all our destinations we frequently visit new and familiar places to ensure we are up-to-date with developments and new properties. Since we began offering quality tailor-made holidays to Greece in the 1990s we have visited almost every region of Greece including Corfu, Ithaca, Cephalonia, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Parga, Sivota, Lefkas, Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi, Athens, the sights of the mainland (e.g. Delphi, Dodoni, Meteora, etc.), Crete, Mykonos, Syros, Naxos, Santorini and the Peloponnese. We have expanded our trekking programme in Greece which allows you to explore undiscovered Greece, away from the busy resorts.
Over the past decade our staff members have visited Madeira many times to view the excellent Quintas which offer a different holiday experience to the larger hotels. Andy has also taken in a selection of Levada walks and many of our Levada photos were taken by him. Our local staff are experts for walking holidays and twin centre holidays with Porto Santo.
We offer a fabulous choice of individually selected fly-drive itineraries on a tailor-made basis (Andy is an expert on putting together fly drive itineraries!) You can enjoy the Dalmatian coast, the Adriatic islands and the national parks in one holiday and 'rediscover Croatia' as Andy did all those years ago. You may also wish to include Slovenia, Bosnia or Montenegro in your visit. Many of the properties we offer in our programme are small and very friendly, completely in keeping with the Rediscover philosophy. We also offer hiking, coach tours and cruises in this beautiful country.
Day trips and short breaks to visit Santa in Lapland are very popular now but in 1993 when Dawn first escorted a short break to Lapland it was an unusual thing to do! Over the years Dawn has been to Lapland dozens of times, guiding day trips and short breaks, and is happy to discuss the relative merits of the choices available to our customers. We have chosen to only work with specialist Lapland operators in the UK who visit quieter, uncommercialised areas & we are able to offer a full selection, sometimes with a small discount included. In recent years some members of staff have also escorted trips to Lapland. Dawn also visited some new resorts recently to look at winter activity breaks on offer outside of the main Christmas season.
We realise that there is a huge choice out there for Lapland trips and this can be very daunting, especially if it is your first visit. Simply get in touch with Dawn and she'll talk you through the various options, openly and honestly. We have seen a number of so-called specialists appear recently; however, we are very confident that we offer a good range of Lapland trips as well as unrivalled knowledge and experience together with Dawn's really friendly & helpful approach.