Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes
Japan’s iconic Mt Fuji is a must-see for visitors to the Tokyo area, and at 3,776 metres above sea level, you can actually see it from the highest hotels in the city. Located in the Fuji Five Lakes region, the mountain and surrounding area is ideal for adventure enthusiasts who want to climb, swim, snow or water ski. On this 9-hour tour, you’ll have plenty of options including a visit to the 400-year-old Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine, a cruise on Lake Ashi, and a ride on the Hakone Ropeway (gondola ride) for the most epic views of the mountain.
The Shrines and Temples of Nikkō
Forest, Natural Feature
Around two hours north of Tokyo on the Tōbu Nikkō line, lies the ancient forest and town of Nikko, whose 103 religious structures form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this day-trip adventure, you’ll visit the Tōshō-gu shrine, the burial place of Tokugawa Leyasu who founded the Tokugawa Shogunate. From there, you’ll navigate the 48 pinpoint turns of the Iroha Slope as you make your way to the jaw-dropping beauty of the Kegon Waterfall. Other options include a dip in the Nikko hot springs or a leisurely stroll along Lake Chuzenji.
Kusatsu Hot Spring Town
Located in Gunma Prefecture, Kusatsu is Japan’s favourite onsen (hot spring) town. The draw is its strongly-scented emerald waters, which are rich in sulphuric acid, the same compound that gives cooked eggs their (very) unique odour. The hot water spring in the centre of town, Yubatake, is also one of its most popular attractions and is lit up at night. Other than enjoying a good soak, visitors can visit Mount Shirane for hiking in the fall or skiing in the winter.
Buddhist Temple, Historical Landmark
By train, Kamakura is only an hour outside of Tokyo and is a must-visit for lovers of Zen Buddhist shrines and temples. The real highlight is the 13-meter-high Great Buddha Statue at Kotokuin Temple which dates to 1292, but you’ll also tour the city and get a feel for Kamakura cuisine. Getting around Kamakura is a breeze as the city has its own internal rail system which will help zip you to the other majestic temples like Hase with its renowned architecture and abundance of flowers. The final stop is at Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Shrine which dates to 1063 and is dedicated to the God of War.
Natural Feature, Park
Only an hour away from Tokyo, Mount Takao is a nature-lover’s dream with multiple trails leading up to the peak for all levels of climbers. You’ll depart Tokyo in the morning and take a private car (the train isn’t easy from Tokyo) and wend your way through the lush greenery of the mountain. For hikers who want a little assist, there’s a cable car that carries you part of the way up the hill. One of the most impressive sites here is the Yakuo-in Buddhist Temple that was established in 744 and rests on the mountain itself.
Fukushima Van Tour
Memorial, Historical Landmark, Train Station
While this tour won’t be put in the ‘fun’ bucket, it definitely is a must-do to understand history, global issues, climate change, and manmade disasters. The devastation that came about from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Fukushima can still be felt around the world and this trip will take you right into ground zero of the catastrophe. For 12 hours, you’ll be driven through the wreckage, witness the now ghost town of Namie, and learn about the human cost of this immeasurable tragedy.
When it comes to mega theme parks it doesn’t get any bigger or more popular than Tokyo’s Disneyland. Originally opened in 1983, this was the first Disneyland built outside the US. The layout was modelled after its Californian contemporary and features seven sections known as lands, all based around a different theme. The park sits in Chiba, just outside of Tokyo making it an easy day trip destination. It’s one of Disney’s most popular parks in the world, in fact in 2017, 16,600,000 people visited.
Hakone: Amphibian Sightseeing Bus
Natural Feature, Building
Hakone is a majestic town at the base of Mount Fuji known for its tranquillity and glorious onsen spas among natural springs. But you’ll never experience it quite like this. The tour starts when you board a bus that’s driven by a ninja (yes, a ninja) who then takes you through Hakone with stops at the Mangan Shounin Tomb and the Hakone Shrine. Things get taken up a notch when the bus drives right into Lake Ashi and floats atop the water as the tour continues. Keep two things in mind: the driver only speaks Japanese, but they hand out leaflets in English so you can follow along, and you have to get yourself to Hakone, which is easy via high-speed train.
An Izakaya Experience and Glittering Night Views in Yokohama
Building, Shopping Mall, Train Station
Yokohama is a seaside city about an hour south of Tokyo and is known for its Minatomirai entertainment area filled with amusement park rides and shopping boutiques, as well as being the home of the biggest Chinatown in Japan. Going to Yokohama at night is especially great as the city sparkles with endless lights. This unique tour includes a boat ride through Yokohama Bay, an authentic Japanese dinner at a local izakaya, and a tour through the town hitting all the most famous spots.
Nagano Day Trip from Tokyo: Snow Monkeys, Hot Springs and Zenko-ji Temple
Building, Natural Feature, Historical Landmark
On the high-speed train, Nagano is about an hour and a half northwest of Tokyo, and for lovers of both temples and monkeys, it’s worth the wait. Known for its soothing hot springs, Nagano is home to snow monkeys who love to chill in the heated water during winter months. A guide will take you to the bathing macaques and then around the town where you’ll visit the 7th-century Zenko-Ji temple which is one of Japan’s most well-known treasures. From there, you’ll get to slurp some soba noodles, a Nagano specialty, before boarding the train back to Tokyo.
1-Day Kyoto Rail Tour by Bullet Train from Tokyo
Natural Feature, Historical Landmark
Here’s the thing, Tokyo and Kyoto are not close. But, on the high-speed bullet train, it’s still possible to experience the beauty of this historic city in a single day trip. This full-day tour starts early in the morning as it takes about two and a half hours to get to Kyoto. Once you’re there, you’ll visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine with thousands of rows of red torii gates, and you’ll also venture to the 12th century Sanjusangen-do Hall with its awe-inspiring 1001 standing thousand-armed Kannon statues. Finally, you’ll be led to the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was first founded in 778 AD and sits on a hilltop overlooking Kyoto.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.