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The best new cultural adventure travel holidays for 2020

Adventure Travel is about getting out of your comfort zone, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. And while the world may seem to be getting smaller, this year we have an enticing array of cultural adventure holidays across the globe.

Here is our selection of the best new cultural adventure travel holidays for 2020.

Ireland - Iconic Ireland

9 days from CA$3,599

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

A land of ancient legends, epic folktales, and grand traditions, Ireland is a destination that will truly transport you back in time. Uncover Celtic culture and admire medieval architecture across the stunning countryside, and delve into historic Dublin and the "rebel city" of Cork. Eat, dance, and sing with locals—even kiss the Blarney Stone—as you follow the roots of Irish culture to its core and come home with some Irish ballads of your own. Contact us for more information.

Spain Uncovered

21 days from CA$10,770

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Walk in the footsteps of Gaudi and Picasso, taste fine wines and tapas, and witness the white-washed villages that bring Spain to life. This is a comprehensive journey from south to north, through Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, and finishing in picturesque Porto. Crane your neck to see exemplary Gothic architecture contained inside medieval walls, walk through lush fields and rub your hand over the worn pillar touched by millions at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Uncover Spain in all of its natural, cultural and epicurean wonder on a 21-day small group adventure. Contact us for more information.

Splendours of Russia

19 days from CA$6,580

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Peer into Russia's past and present on this comprehensive tour through some of Russia’s less explored cities, towns of the famous Golden Ring as well as the jewels in Russia’s crown – Moscow and St Petersburg. Explore the marvels of this transcontinental nation, travelling east from Moscow to Yekaterinburg, and on to Siberia. Traverse a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway and explore the legends the past with visits to palaces, museums and Moscow’s iconic Red Square. Surround yourself with culture, history and breathtaking architecture and get beneath the surface of Russia on this ultimate 19-day small group adventure through such an endlessly intriguing country. Contact us for more information.

Romania - Highlights of Romania

10 days from CA$2,579

Physical rating: 1 out of 5

This tour starts in the vibrant city of Cluj Napoca 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. Contact us for more information.

Balkans - Eastern Europe Experience

16 days from CA$6,200

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Embrace romance on this 16-day tour through Serbia and Bulgaria that finishes in Istanbul. Explore whimsical villages like Drvengrad, wander glorious Serbian meadows in Tara National Park, and learn about Serbian identity in Nis. In Bulgaria, be charmed by the hearty food and opulent buildings of Sofia, discover a 10th-century monastery in the Rila Mountains, and spend three nights on the Black Sea Coast. With local guides to illuminate the historic sights and cities along the way, this trip is a feast of ancient cultures, untouched wilderness and some of the best food and drink in Europe. Contact us for more information.

Discover Cyprus North & South

13 days from CA$4,100

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Discover the wonders of North and South Cyprus on this 13-day tour of the Mediterranean’s best-kept secret. Travel from Famagusta in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus to Nicosia, a lively city that is Europe’s last divided capital. Explore ancient ruins, cathedrals converted to mosques, untouched coast and rugged mountains on this immersive adventure. Along the way, be humbled by Cypriot hospitality, stunned by charming villages and satisfied by hearty meals of fresh produce and regional delicacies. Contact us for more information.

Turkey - Jewels of Turkey

15 days from CA$2,465

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

This 15-day tour takes you into the heart of historic and beautiful Turkey during the low season, so you can avoid the heat and the crowds. Ramble through famous ruins like Greco-Roman Ephesus and lofty Pergamon, explore the dreamlike rock spires of Cappadocia and the terrace pools of Pamukkale – all with cooler temperatures and fewer people to step around. Fall in love with the mystery, the legacy and the culture of Turkey on this two-week winter odyssey. Contact us for more information.

Middle East - Highlights of Lebanon and Jordan

16 days from CA$4,330

Physical rating: 3 out of 5

Uncover the best of Lebanon and Jordan on this 16 day adventure. Learn about the fascinating ancient histories of these two Middle Eastern countries and visit the highlights including the vast Roman ruins of Baalbek in Lebanon and the treasure of Jordan; Nabatean Petra. Contact us for more information.

Middle East - Best of Jordan, Egypt & Israel

22 days from CA$5,499

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Explore ancient sights and lost cities in a region that has seen centuries of human history. In Egypt, discover what adventures lie along the Nile, like the Great Pyramids of Giza. Head to Jordan to overnight in a Bedouin tent amidst dramatic desert scenery. See ancient Petra and relax in the Dead Sea. Explore the historic towns of Jerusalem and Nazareth, then check out modern and bustling Tel Aviv. Thousands of incredible moments, one comprehensive trip. Contact us for more information.

Northern Sudan Expedition

12 days from CA$4,645

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

‘You’re going where?!’ Expect to hear a lot of this – accompanied by a slack jaw and wide eyes – when you tell people you’re heading to Sudan. Few people know that among vast stretches of sand dunes, Sudan holds some of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites, ancient ruins and resilient cultures. That tucked under palm trees in oases you can meet people who live in Nubian houses painted with colourful murals, who speak unique languages and practice their own kind of Islam. On this truly Intrepid tour, you’ll discover the remnants of great empires, learn powerful recent history in museums and from the locals you travel with, explore ancient cities and necropolises, and encounter modern Sudan in souks, chai houses and nomadic settlements along the way. Contact us for more information.

Experience Ethiopia

14 days from CA$7,615

Physical rating: 3 out of 5

For an incredible look back into the history of the earth and humankind, venture no further than Ethiopia. From 3 million-year-old fossilised hominid remains in Addis Ababa to incredible rock-hewn churches, hidden crypts and grottoes in Lalibela, no other country provides a more perfect combination of history, tradition, culture and nature. Uncover the 500-year-old monastery islands of Bahir Dar, witness the majestic geological formations of the Simien mountains, meet a fascinating range of distinct tribal groups in the Omo Valley and discover the rumoured home of the Ark of the Covenant. Witness expansive views of the Blue Nile, taste the famous coffee and delectable cuisine and be warmed by the genuine and friendly people along the way, as you embark on this all-encompassing experience of Ethiopia – an adventure like no other. Contact us for more information.

SE Asia - Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand Explorer

22 days from CA$4,999

Physical rating: 3 out of 5

Southeast Asia comes alive on this trip from the dynamic streets of Singapore to the lush rainforests of Malaysia and Thailand’s stunning temples. Cross the boundary between the city and the wild in Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur, and explore echoes of extraordinary history in Melaka and the ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Savor local flavors at bustling markets overflowing with exotic fruits and during a Thai cooking class. Contact us for more information.

Sulawesi Expedition: Tana Toraja Trek

11 days from CA$1,495

Physical rating: 3 out of 5

Experience an island that ventures way beyond the imagination. Hike deep into the mountainous core of Sulawesi and witness the compelling combination of art, ritual and death that’s central to the existence of one of Indonesia’s more confronting cultures, on an unforgettable expedition that’s not fit for the faint-hearted. Inhale the fresh mountain air and traverse dense bamboo forests, undulating landscapes and deep fertile valleys on a breathtaking trek that sees you interacting with the locals and resting in remote villages. Leave the terraces of rice paddies behind to discover elaborate wooden effigies on the cliff-face tombs of Lemo, and meet the Taroja people – who, by faithfully following ancient traditions, preserve the belief that death is all a part of life’s journey. Contact us for more information.

Russia Expedition: Permafrost Railway & Ysyakh Festival

15 days from CA$5,175

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Siberia – the very word has become symbolic for all that is remote, rugged and mysterious. This 15-day Expedition is your chance to discover a region that is as enigmatic to outsiders as it is vast. Travel into Russia’s Far East on the historic Baikul-Amur Railway, then board the new Permafrost Railway to Yakutsk, a city built on frozen ground. Learn the secrets of life in the Sakha Republic and immerse yourself in the traditions of the Yakut people. Celebrate the beginning of summer in what is normally one of the coldest cities on earth, revelling in the sun and warmth with locals during the Ysyakh Festival. Admire the wild beauty of the landscapes and tenacity of the people who call rural Russia home. Contact us for more information.

Haida Gwaii Islands Expedition

8 days from CA$3,240

Physical rating: 2 out of 5

Journey to Canada’s most remote and stunning region on this 8-day expedition. At the heart of this trip is Haida Gwaii – an isolated and wildlife-rich archipelago continuously inhabited by the Haida Nation for over 10,000 years. Discover the beauty of the ‘Galapagos of the North’ and search for ancient totem poles and the remnants of colonial life among evergreen rainforest. In addition to the splendid nature of Haida Gwaii, this takes you on a rare voyage into Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, where you will cruise through the waters of a protected area very few people are permitted to enter to spot wild grizzlies, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. This trip is a breath of fresh air for nature lovers. Contact us for more information.

Highlights of El Salvador

11 days from CA$2,110

Physical rating: 3 out of 5

Often overshadowed by its neighbours, El Salvador is a little hidden gem. With turtle nesting on the miles of coastline, volcanoes concealing deep crater lakes and delicious food being prepared in beautiful colonial villages, this country is not to be missed. Contact us for more information.

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