DSCF0996Welcome to Authentic Travel and Tours! Our small group tours offer travelers a variety of places and activities to go off the beaten track, make connections from the past to the present, spend time with local people,and learn from local guides. On some of our tours we offer hands-on art immersion in addition to cultural adventures to the southwestern USA, Ireland, Scotland, and France. Our goal is to create a perfect balance of fun and adventure, and to mix in some history, archaeology, and contemporary culture. Meeting and working with local people, artists and performers is always a highlight, as is walking in and absorbing the landscape. Follow our blog to receive updates on new tours, which will be announced soon! You can also like our Facebook page and will see announcements there as new trips are added. PLEASE NOTE!! Our e-mail address in now joanslack33@gmail.com (it is no longer joanslack@wildblue.net)

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 September 18-26  2016

Join us on a tour of the Dordogne and the Lot regions, where we will explore the cave paintings of people living eons ago, and see their art in its original setting. We will probe deeply into the meaning of the art, and learn about the geology and archaeology of the caves. Our days will be filled with visits to these stunning prehistoric sites, along with tours of picturesque castles that bring medieval history alive. Every day will bring culinary delights as we sample the unique and delicious foods and wines of the Perigord region.


Your tour leader, Joan Slack   joanslack33@gmail.com  715-550-0858 or 715-277-4224



Artist and tour leader Joan Molloy Slack

Your tour will be led by scholar, artist and teacher Joan Molloy Slack, who will guide the activities and interpret the range of fascinating things we will see and experience, from rock art to culture and contemporary art. She
has been organizing and leading tours for 15 years to Ireland, Scotland, France, and Mexico as well as within the United States, and has specialized in Irish Art History, prehistoric ceramics and textiles, and visual art as it relates to culture. She is a teacher at Riverrun Center for the Arts, college instructor, a ceramic and fiber artist, (www.riverrunarts.com), and holds a Master’s Degree in Prehistoric Ceramics and Visual Art. Joan will bring her knowledge of art history, experience as a museum curator, and her passion for art and culture to our daily excursions.


Cloon Lough (12)

The stunning Irish coast

 Fiber Arts in Ireland: A Wooly Trail Along the Wild Atlantic Coast Fiber Arts Workshop and Tour      June 1-13, 2016  THIS TRIP IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A FUTURE TOUR TO IRELAND!


click here for details: Fiber art tour to Ireland 2016 


Tapestry in progress by Margaret Cunningham


The Irish landscape beckons to be interpreted in art: from the lush green fields to the rugged coastlines, the inspiration is endless. Join us for this fiber art tour along the western coast known as the Wild Atlantic Way, as we explore the landscape, craft traditions in wool, and our creativity. We will be creating tapestry weavings and learning to make “pictorial” felt landscapes, and will learn about sheep and wool processes, and watch demonstrations of spinning, sheepherding, dyeing and knitting. We will watch tweed weavers work magic at their looms, and Irish artists create with hand-dyed fleece. Interspersed will be visits to craft villages, galleries and ancient prehistoric and Celtic sites, and days of immersion creating our own art with the luscious Irish yarns and fleeces.

JOM StoneAge002The tour and workshop will include the exploration of out-of-the-way glens and coves, walks along stunning seascapes, and majestic mountain vistas, where we’ll gather photographs and sketches which will inspire our hands-on workshop days in felt-making and tapestry weaving.

Our Vision: We call our business “Authentic Travel and Tours” because it is just that-the “real deal”. We believe in connection to people and places, which can only be accomplished in small groups and  personalized

experiDSCF5514ences. We value variety, and guarantee to pique your interest, but zooming from place to place will never happen on our tours- we would rather take the time to allow our travelers to get to know a region, its people and its qualities. If you enjoy traveling with a small group, getting off the beaten track and being a traveler rather than a tourist, learning as you enjoy new places and people, and participating in interesting, fun and varied activities, this is the trip for you! We make every effort to assure your comfort and safety, and pay special attention to those important details that make a trip extraordinary. Join us for a creative adventure you will always remember!

Comments from past tour participants:

“My travel experience with Joan leading the group was above and beyond my expectation. Joan’s research into so many areas of interest about the sites and folklore made the trip stimulating and insightful without being overloaded. She is a seasoned guide with great “in country” connections and a sincere love of the land she travels. I highly recommend Joan Slack as a tour guide. You will have a wonderful, memorable time. I did.”      J.H.

 “Joan organizes her trips like she creates her art: beautiful, practical, and full of meaning. I’d never been on a group trip before.  Joan’s voyage to Orkney in Scotland was a joy, every day. It’s one of the very best adventures of my life.”   C. P.

“If you want dependability combined with unique experiences, attention to details and wonderful connections, this is a great tour to take. Each day has been planned for a balance of activities, a good pace and plenty of enjoyment. Joan’s background and knowledge really makes for a deeper understanding of everything we see.” K.M.W.

“If you have never been on a small group tour, go with Joan. If you have been with someone else, go again with Joan. Her planning, arrangements, and site selections are perfect! You will meet warm, friendly and local people from all walks of life with talents to share. I still have a Bridget’s Cross, made by Joe from our trip, hanging by my door. Happy travels!” A.H.

Authentic Travel and Tours is owned by art history scholar, artist, teacher and writer Joan Molloy Slack, and tours are created and led by Joan. Assistant leaders, co-leaders and local guides enhance the guiding of each tour. Joan believes that including local people and guides on day trips is essential in creating unique experiences and authentic travel. Her background in research and experiences in the tour locations has enabled her to meet and study with many local guides who are now friends and colleagues, and she shares these very special relationships with you on her tours. She has posted many of her essays and written about her experiences on this site, and we hope you enjoy them.

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