Head Over Heels in Dordogne Valley

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A tour to France for yoga lovers runs June 15-21 to visit the Dordogne Valley, which is the Western base for the Dalai Lama. Participants will take a meditation class at the Tibetan Center near the Black Perigord region and a special meal will be prepared by an organic farmer and chef.

Also on the itinerary is a guided tour through the caves at Les Eyzies by Christine Desdemaine-Hugon, a prehistoric art historian/tour guide. Yoga instructor Susan Galbraith will lead the group in yoga and meditation sessions with scenic backdrops, such as the cliffs overlooking the Dordogne River.

Other stops include the Cha^teau Puymartin with furniture and tapestries of the 15th and 16th centuries, and Sarlat for a city tour. Cost: $1,195 per person, double occupancy, including six nights' lodging, most meals, sightseeing, entrance fees and yoga instruction. Not included: air fare to France. Contact: The Educated Traveler, 3262 White Barn Court, Hemdon, VA 22071 or Susan Galbraith; telephone (703) 318-1971 or (703) 758-1476.

Footsteps of Beatles

RPM Travel's own Magical Mystery Tour will follow in the footsteps of the Beatles in London and Liverpool April 15 to April 23.

In London, participants take a full-day tour on a double-decker bus; tour places filmed in "Hard Day's Night," "Help" and "Magical Mystery Tour," and go on an evening pub crawl in London, where the Fab Four did their drinking. In Liverpool, guests visit Aunt Mim's house, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and the New Cavern Club.

They'll also visit the Beatles Story exhibit, which includes replicas of a street in Hamburg and the Cavern, and a walk through the Yellow Submarine.

Cost: $1,999 per person, double occupancy, including airport transfers in London, four nights' hotel accommodations in London and two nights in Liverpool, most meals, taxes and services and Beatle expert tour conductor. Contact: RPM Travel, 24013 Ventura Blvd., Calabasas, CA 91302; tel. (818) 222-7762.

Sioux Chiefs

A native of the Sioux nation, Lakota Treaty Chief Richard Grass, will lead small group tours from Rapid City, S.D., through the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota to visit the sites where treaties with the U.S. government were signed by the great chiefs of the Sioux nation.

The Historic Chiefs Tour introduces visitors to a Native American perspective of Western history and its impact on Lakota culture and life today. Stops include Ft. Laramie National Monument, where Chiefs Red Cloud and John Grass signed the treaty of 1868 to establish the Great Sioux Reservation; Standing Rock Reservation, where Sitting Bull was killed and buried; Pine Ridge Reservation, where 250 of Chief Big Foot's people were killed at Wounded Knee, and Little Big Horn Battlefield Monument, site of Gen. George Armstrong Custer's last stand.

The first tour, June 17-25, will include the Little Big Horn Reenactment. The second, July 5-13, will include a Northern Cheyenne field study of plants used by Native Americans for medicine, dyes and food. An optional beading workshop is offered in conjunction with this tour. Mona Grass-Brown will teach the history of Lakota beadwork as well as beading techniques.

Cost: from $1,300 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals, entrance fees and guides. Contact: Anna Vincens at Vinland Travel Service; tel. (303) 766-1704 or (800) 729-5046.

Russian Greats

History professor Bob Feldman will lead two historical and cultural tours of Russia. One group is a combined couples and singles tour from June 3 to 15. A tour just for singles is from July 29 to Aug. 10. Some of the sites to be visited are the Hermitage, Catherine's Palace at Pushkin and the Choreography School in St. Petersburg and the Kremlin Armory and Tretyakov Art Gallery in Moscow.

Home visits are arranged, as are meetings with political and cultural leaders. Guests hear a series of lecture discussions on Russian history and contemporary events. Cost: $3,495 per person, double occupancy, including all transportation, hotels, all meals, sightseeing, ballet and folk dance performances and the Moscow Circus. Contact: East-West International Tours, 1248 Montevideo Ave., Placentia, CA 92670; tel. (800) 359-6719.

Go Fish in Baja

Fish the waters of San Quintin, San Martin Island and Ben's Rock, about 200 miles south of Tijuana on Baja's California Pacific Coast. Travel to and from San Quintin in a deluxe 46-passenger bus (with restroom) from the Los Angeles area. Guests depart the morning of April 18 and return the evening of April 21. The group will fish the 19th and 20th from either three-passenger/fishermen pangas (open skiffs) or four-passenger/fishermen cruisers.

Cost: $325 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip transportation, three nights' motel, two days' fishing, refreshments on bus, fishing tackle and fishing licenses. Group size is limited to 25. Contact: Steve Barstow (800) 894-7239 or (909) 873-9010.

Russian Cruise

Cruise the rivers, canals and lakes of the heartland of Old Russia on a cultural voyage between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the M/V Krasin, May 17-June 1. The tour is sponsored by the Langley Center of Monterey Park and escorted by Beth Ryan.

Tour Moscow's landmarks, including Red Square, the Kremlin and the Armory Palace. Attend an evening performance of the Moscow Circus, then cruise past medieval cities, quaint villages and scenery.

Shipboard lectures prepare you for daily cultural and historic tours in Uglich, Kostroma, Yaroslav, Irma and Goritsy. In Kostroma, the former home of the noble families Gudunov and Romanov, a popular folklore ensemble will perform on board.

In St. Petersburg; a guided tour of the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace; plus a tour of the Palace Square, the historic heart of St. Petersburg; Nevsky Prospect; St. Issac's Cathedral; Admiralty Tower; Kazan Cathedral and the Peter & Paul Fortress. In addition, an excursion to Catherine the Great's Palace in Pushkin. Attend a ballet performance while in St. Petersburg and enjoy a concert of classical music.

Cost: $2,799 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare from Los Angeles, outside cabins with window and private bath, all meals, all shore excursions, tours in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Moscow Circus, ballet in St. Petersburg, port taxes, and all transfers and baggage handling while overseas.

Contact: Beth Ryan at the Langley Center of Monterey Park; tel. (818) 307-1395.

Golf and Cruise

A 10-day cruise-tour package that includes a five-night transatlantic crossing on the QE2, with private golf lessons on board by Gleneagles head pro Greg Schofield departs New York on Aug. 19.

After arriving in Scotland, the package includes two nights at the Turnberry Hotel and play on the Alisa or Arran courses.

The next stop is the Gleneagles Hotel. Guests can play a round there and at the legendary St. Andrew's.

Cost: From $7,850 per person, double occupancy, including the QE2 cruise, accommodations and most meals, transfers, guides, baggage handling and return air from England to New York. Not included: caddy and green fees ($585 per person) and air fare between England and Scotland. Contact: Abercrombie & Kent; tel. (800) 323-7308.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with travel agents or tour operators.

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