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The Best Overland Trips to Take Around the World

From the rocky deserts of Jordan to the wilds of Sri Lanka, book one of these Culture Trip adventures and get inspired to hit the road.
Gethin Morgan
19 May 2023
Overlanding – an adventurous road trip where the joy is in the journey – is a great way to explore a new place. From Japan to Brazil and much more, these are the overland trips you should add to your travel plans in the coming year.
1 . Discover Jordan

Traversing the dusty expanses of Jordan is an experience in and of itself – the cinematic spectacle of Wadi Rum is Hollywood’s favourite playground for a reason – and our eight-day trip epic gives you the ultimate taste of this Middle Eastern gem. We’ll start in Amman, where history is served with a delicious selection of street food delights, and washed down with a wine tasting. Then we hit the road to the ancient city of Petra, a truly iconic sight worth seeing, and we’ll show you its lesser-known back-door entrance on foot. You’ll continue by 4×4 to Wadi Rum, imagining you’re in a galaxy far, far away before hitting the hay under the stars at a luxury desert camp. Our overland adventure ends with two seas – swimming and snorkelling in the Red Sea off Aqaba, and floating in the otherworldly Dead Sea, before spending our last night at a chalet in the world’s lowest nature reserve.

From£1852
Next available from9 Sep 2023
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2 . Japan by Train: The Grand Tour

There’s so much to see in Japan, it’s hard to know where to start, but with the help of our Travel Experts and the country’s incredible rail network, you can have the ultimate Japanese experience in just 12 days. We start in Osaka, before hopping on the Bullet Train to Hiroshima, exploring Miyajima Island and Arashiyama bamboo forest. Then it’s back onboard to Kyoto, to see Torii gates and geishas, before heading up to the Japanese Alps for sake tasting and onsen-soaking. After cruising Lake Ashi with views of Mount Fuji, our final destination is Tokyo – watch sumo wrestlers train, try taiko drumming and hit the neon-lit streets at night for a spot of karaoke.

From£2969
Next available from7 Sep 2023
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3 . Dazzling Brazil

Join us on a road trip between two of Brazil’s most famous cities – Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We’ll start in the former, as our Local Insider shows you the trendy cafes and street art spots of Brazil’s most populous city. You’ll snap pics of the incredible array of architecture and get lost in Ibirapuera Park – Sao Paulo’s answer to Central Park. Then we hit the road for a rural retreat in the old cobbled town of Paraty. You’ll be charmed by the colourful streets and the crystalline waters of Paraty Bay, which you’ll have a chance to snorkel in on a boat barbecue day out. Finally, it’s on to Rio for four days of golden beaches, sunset views and an authentic samba experience.

From£2192
Next available from20 Oct 2023
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4 . Splendid South Africa

Our 11-day odyssey along South Africa’s splendid Garden Route is a joy to behold. After getting cultural in Cape Town and hitting the heights of Table Mountain, we’ll journey to the Cape Winelands for a wino retreat, before continuing overland to Oudtshoorn. Explore mystical limestone caves, a gorgeous seaside town and the luscious bounties of Tsitsikamma National Park en route to our final destination – Gondwana Kwena Game Lodge. This truly stunning luxury safari lodge is what dreams are made of. You’ll be nestled amid the mountainous wilderness, sharing an infinity pool with watering elephants and picnicking among rare flora. You’ll get to go on up to four game drives across two nights in search of the Big Five, before making the journey back to Cape Town for one last night.

From£2222
Next available from12 Aug 2023
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5 . Secrets of Sri Lanka

For wildlife enthusiasts, Sri Lanka is paradise. This tropical getaway involves not one but two game drives through the Minneriya and Yala National Parks, where you’ll get the chance to spot wild elephants, crocodiles and leopards. Beyond, there are opportunities to go whitewater rafting and abseiling, plus explore ancient fortresses and journey on a train through rice paddies and tea plantations. Your adventure ends at the pristine white shores of the Indian Ocean.

From£1358
Next available from17 Jul 2023
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This is an updated version of an article originally written by Lorna Turnbull.

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: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

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.