The Coolest Fortresses You Can Visit With Culture Trip

| Brian Kyed / Unsplash
Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

From Spain to Scotland and Sri Lanka, these are the most incredible works of manmade fortification that are still standing strong today, so you can visit them with Culture Trip on our small-group adventures.

sri-lanka-sigiriya-dylan-shaw-smUAKwMT8XA-unsplash

Sigiriya rock fortress – Secrets of Sri Lanka by Train

Head deep into the heart of central Sri Lanka and you’ll discover a rather prominent column of 180m-tall (590 ft) granite rock protruding from the surrounding forests. This striking geological phenomenon would be fascinating enough on its own, but King Kashyapa had to go and turn it into a palace-fort complex back in the fifth century. The remains of said fortress remain clear to see today, as you’ll discover on day four of our Sri Lanka Rail Trip. You’ll see the giant lion statue-gate, built around halfway up the rock, as well as the ruins of a palace and ancient gardens. The views, meanwhile, of the surrounding countryside, are utterly mesmerising – maybe old Kashyapa was on to something after all.

From US$1700

Next available from 24th Aug 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Colombo, Sri Lanka

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Colombo, Sri Lanka

DURATION

10

GROUP SIZE

12

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

info icon

STYLE

Discovery

info icon
Spring Sale
Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, United Kingdom

Eilean Donan and Edinburgh Castle – Scotland by Train

Scotland is not short of castles, and on our weeklong Rail Trip to Edinburgh and the Highlands you can choose your favourite fortress. If mystical castles that feel a million miles away from civilisation is what you’re looking for, then you’ll be transfixed by Eilean Donan, a unique tidal island castle set on the confluence of three sea lochs. It was an important stronghold dating back to the 13th century, and remains a fantastically atmospheric vision of ancient Scotland today. You’ll visit the castle on day three, while the trip ends in Edinburgh, where you’ll get a guided tour of the city’s towering castle, which stands tall atop Castle Rock in the centre of town, and remains one of the best-preserved castles you can visit anywhere in the UK.

From US$2407

Next available from 17th Jun 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

London, England

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Edinburgh, Scotland

DURATION

7

GROUP SIZE

18

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

info icon

STYLE

Discovery

info icon
Picturesque scenery in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Korcula, Ston and Dubrovnik – Coastal Croatia

Croatia might conjure up images of dreamy beaches and shimmering blue waters, but this place has been historically fortified to the hilt, as our eight-day adventure along the Dalmatian Coast proves. The trip starts in Split, where you’ll explore the heavily fortified 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace, before exploring a more modern fortress on the island of Vis, which is home to an abandoned Yugoslavian military base. Our next island, Korcula, takes things back a little with its remarkable fort town of the same name, whose medieval walls still stand tall today. Back on the mainland we’ll take you to Ston, famous for salt pans, fresh oysters and the Walls of Ston, a series of defensive stone walls dating back to the 14th century. They were once 7km (4.3mi) long and in many ways look like a European equivalent to the Great Wall of China. The trip ends in Dubrovnik, now a Game of Thrones-inspired tourist favourite, but once a heavily fortified old town – the fortifications are still clear to see today – which will have see it’s fair share of action, albeit with fewer dragons than King’s Landing.

From US$2251

Next available from 18th Aug 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Split, Croatia

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Dubrovnik, Croatia

DURATION

8

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

info icon

STYLE

Discovery

info icon
Spring Sale
Torre de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal, at sunset

Belem Tower – Complete Portugal by Train

Belem Tower quite literally sticks out from the Lisbon riverfront like a sore thumb, pointing up and keeping watch over the waterways of the Tagus River since 1519. Defence systems set up on the mouth of the river were crucial, particularly as a nation whose power largely came from its nautical prowess. Today it’s the city’s most popular tourist attraction, and a beautifully preserved example of Portuguese late gothic, or Manueline, architecture. Heavy nautical and Christian influences paint a vivid picture of the country’s history, while the tower’s bulky structure still feels intimidating to this day. Fortunately, canon-fire has eased, and the only thing you need to watch out for these days is clumsy selfie-stick wielding tourists. Get ready to dodge, weave and take a few selfies yourself on day six of our Portugal trip.

From US$1686

Next available from 15th Jun 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Porto, Portugal

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Lisbon, Portugal

DURATION

8

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

info icon

STYLE

Discovery

info icon

Culture Trips 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. 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 places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article