Many of you have told us you are ready to travel and that Europe will be your first port of call.
Here are our choices for the best cultural adventure holidays in Europe.
1) Italy Uncovered
From the romance of Venice to the laidback charm of the Amalfi Coast, take time to experience the true delights of Italy. Travel through the rolling hills of Umbria, visit medieval towns, soak up culture on a trip to Rome, explore the ruins of Pompeii and fall in love with the beauty of Sorrento. La bella Italia is diverse and fascinating – experience seaside scenery, rustic city streets and delectable cuisine, all infused with that passionate Italian spirit. Need more information? Email us and quote code IZMSZC
2) Sicily Grand Tour
The variety and richness of Sicily's heritage is unparalleled - nowhere else have the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and Italians left such an indelible historical legacy. On this incredible journey we sample the island's best UNESCO heritage sites, impressive archaeological treasures, quaint villages and its diverse landscape. With so much to see and do, a two week itinerary is ideal for those who want to cover the whole of the island at a reasonable pace. With sufficient time on our hands, we can also venture inland into the heart of Sicily, for a visit to the world famous UNESCO mosaics of Piazza Armerina. Need more information? Email us and quote code EADG
3) Classic Spain & Portugal
Tour Spain and Portugal's pin-up attractions on this 22-day western European adventure. Soak up art and history in Madrid, be staggered by the grandeur of Alhambra Palace in Granada and take in the dramatic spectacle of a flamenco performance in Seville. Travel to Portugal to chill out in the Algarve, get loco with Lisbon locals in the Bairro Alto and taste some delectable port wine in Porto. Back in Spain, visit Santiago de Compostela and Salamanca en route to Barcelona – the epitome of all things stylish, cultural and fashionable – before continuing on to Pamplona, Longrono and the glorious beaches of San Sebastian.
Need more information? Email us and quote code IZMSJC
4) Authentic Andalucia
Andalucia is one of the greatest ethnic melting pots of the Mediterranean and the westernmost meeting place of past civilisations including the Greeks, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. It was the sophisticated Moslem kingdom, 'Al Andalus', however, that gave the region its richest and most lasting cultural heritage and distinctive traditions. From the magic cities of Seville and Granada to the secret gem of Antequera and the timeless white villages of Olvera and Setenil, there is a wealth of culture to indulge in. Taking advantage of a comfortable base, Cortijo Rosario, and a private minibus, the journey combines some great cultural highlights with the peace and tranquillity of the Andalusian countryside. Need more information? Email us and quote code EADH
5) Highlights of Portugal
Once a powerful kingdom that dominated the world sea routes, Portugal today is one of the friendliest and most peaceful countries in Europe, though the legacy of its former wealth can still be found in its historic cities. Starting from the colourful Porto, the country's second city and a UNESCO site, our journey follows the verdant valleys and rolling hills of the Douro wine region, before heading to the lesser known interior, where we visit Coimbra, the UNESCO Batalha monastery, mediaeval Obidos and magnificent Sintra before reaching Lisbon, one of the world's most enchanting capital cities.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EADP
6) Paris & Normandy Highlights
History lovers and culture connoisseurs will delight in this exploration of France’s Norman villages and World War II sites. Stroll Claude Monet’s evocative garden and marvel at the medieval cities of Bayeux and Rouen. Cap off the experience in Paris toasting la vie en rose. Need more information? Email us and quote code G-EFWNG
7) Northern & Southern Ireland The northern nooks and the regal Republic – see it all on an eight-day adventure on both sides of the Irish border. Travel past green pastures, stunning lakes, striking cliff faces and, in the evening, head straight to the pub for a Guinness (or two). Visit medieval castles and ancient sites filled with folklore and whimsy, and marvel at the views of Ireland's rugged coastline, including the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. Hitting the cities of Belfast and Dublin, don't forget to gather your travel crew together for some pub grub and live music to cap off a tour that hits all the hotspots of Ireland.
Need more information? Email us and quote code IBMSA
8) Highlights of Central Europe
Few places in the world can rival the sheer diversity of cultural and natural heritage of Central Europe. From the hugely significant sites on the UNESCO list to small fairytale villages, this trip will show you just what makes this region so special, including historic capitals and cities of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Poland. The landscape is equally varied, with the dramatic Tatra Mountains and the beautiful parks and scenery of Moravia. These landscapes provide impressive backdrop to the towns, castles and villages we visit on this absorbing journey.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EAVU
9) Baltic Experience
Experience the diverse delights of the Baltic states on this adventurous journey through Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. From the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius, hidden delights await. Visit colourful markets, be immersed in art and architecture and kayak Lithuanian lakes. Join us and discover the rich history and fascinating customs of this region on our journey from Helsinki to Vilnius. Need more information? Email us and quote code IBMSE
10) Backroads of Russia: St. Petersburg to Moscow
Russia is the world’s largest nation, which means there’s no shortage of things to see or do here. With us, you won’t just stick to the main sights in Moscow and St Petersburg. Head beyond these two cities to see Russia’s quieter side in the villages of Petrozavodska and Kizhi Island, or the cluster of ancient towns known as the Golden Ring. Discover standout landscapes like Ruskeala National Park’s marble canyon. Want a little bit of everything? You’ll find it in Russia. Need more information? Email us and quote code G-ARSM
11) Highlights of Georgia & Armenia
The monasteries, churches and cathedrals of Georgia and Armenia are amongst the oldest in the world. Many are built in stunning locations, surrounded by gardens and forests, perched on top of dramatic gorges or silhouetted before snowcapped mountains. The range of scenery is immense, from Mount Ararat towering majestically over the skyline of Yerevan, to the lush valleys of ancient vineyards across the lowlands of Georgia. Here, wine has been produced for almost 10,000 years and there is the opportunity to visit one of its most famous wine cellars. Need more information? Email us and quote code EAXC
12) Highlights of Turkey
Turkey is one of the most important countries in the development of the western world; over the centuries it has provided a geographical and cultural bridge between Asia and Europe, with ruins and monuments attesting to the rise and fall of many great empires. Starting in Istanbul we travel through the country, visiting ancient cities and UNESCO heritage sites such as Ephesus and Hierapolis, exploring the natural wonders at Pammukale and Cappadocia and taking some time out to relax on the coast. Add to that the memorials of Gallipoli for a journey that showcases the best of this country.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EATH
13) Highlights of Romania, Moldova & Ukraine
Discover the hidden and the unexpected on this 20-day tour of Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. From the breakaway republic of Transnistria – where Soviet values persist – to the eerie wastelands of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, this itinerary showcases some of the least-visited and most rewarding sights in Europe. Go beyond images of stark buildings and stone-faced people and discover whimsical palaces set in picturesque hillside, share songs and stories with welcoming families and feast on borscht, chicken Kiev, pierogis and Moldovan wines. Need more information? Email us and quote code IWMSSC
14) Highlights of Romania
This tour starts in the vibrant city of Cluj Napoca (often referred to as Cluj) in Northen Romania. From here we head north to the Maramures region where century-old traditions are still part of daily life and wooden churches are scattered throughout the landscape. After exploring the north we start our journey down south discovering the fascinating towns and villages in Transylvania, including the UNESCO towns of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Viscri. The tour ends in Romania's capital city, Bucharest. During this trip, you will be immersed in Romanian life, experience traditional food and meet local craftsmen.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EAWB
15) Eastern Europe Explorer
Be mesmerised by the magic of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria on this explorer tour through the best and most beautiful regions of Eastern Europe. Explore the captivating cities of Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia. Sample culinary delights with local folk in Viscri, be inspired by the traditional craft workshops in Plovdiv, hear enthralling myths from Transylvania and visit the quaint town of Bansko, snug at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. This is a journey full of culture and history, of monuments, markets and museums, tantalising towns and charming cities. Need more information? Email us and quote code IWMSEC
16) Highlights of Ancient Greece
Starting in the capital city Athens, we’ll visit some of the most significant archaeological sites in the country, including the Acropolis, Ancient Mycenae and Epidaurus. We’ll also visit the mediaeval castle town of Mystras, Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games took place, Delphi, where heaven and earth met in the ancient world, and the unique 'stone forest' of Meteora, one of the largest Orthodox communities in Greece and the Balkans. At the same time we’ll cover a large part of mainland Greece, including the Peloponnese Peninsula and Central Greece, enjoying both the beautiful coastline and lush forests and mountains! Need more information? Email us and quote code EAGM
17) Bosnia & Beyond
Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro have for centuries been at the crossroads of ancient civilisations, with a magical mixture of European and Near Eastern culture. The diversity is very clear, from the vibrant cities to the tiny traditional villages. Here we find a unique fusion of traditions, religions and architecture. Outside the towns and cities, the raw natural beauty is breathtaking, with ancient forests, rugged peaks and the beautiful Adriatic coastline where we explore the magnificent Bay of Kotor before making our final stop in the wonderful Croatian city of Dubrovnik.
Need more information? Email us and quote code EAVB