What better way to explore Europe than by unearthing its secret spots – trust us, there are thousands. So, look beyond the likes of London, Rome and Paris and head to places such as Portugal, Norway and even Spain to explore these enchanting places for yourself. Your Instafeed is about to get a tonne of likes.
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The people of Ronda used to throw women they suspected were witches from the top of its famous bridge, Puente Nuevo. Now it serves as a pedestrian crossing over the river, thank goodness. A city of dizzying heights and home to the first bullring in Spain, Ronda has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest area. Several peoples settled here, including the likes of the Celts, Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs.
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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.
Hvar effortlessly combines a unique fusion of absolutely luxurious Mediterranean nature, culture and rich historical heritage. The city rose to power during the Middle Ages and was an extremely important port within the Venetian Empire. Now most people visit for its infectious atmosphere, and it’s a favourite destination for tourists heading to the Dalmatian riviera.
If you ever need to escape Venice (how dare you even think this?), then head to this colour-crazy hideaway. Those who visit Burano may leave with a sense of bewilderment. Why? Simple – the houses. From the mammoth bell tower to the deep green canals, everywhere you look you’ll see something amazing to post on Instagram.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
One word: otherworldly. Skye is one of the few places in the United Kingdom that has been left relatively untouched by us humans. Most visitors come to snap the Old Man of Storr, a giant black basalt pinnacle that towers over the island, but don’t miss the fairy rock pools. They are straight out of the pages of a fantasy novel.
Kravice, Bosnia and Herzegovina
There’s so much to do in this amazing part of the globe, but these mini-Niagaras, consisting of 25m-high (82ft) cascades, should be at the top of your to-do list when you’re in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Come in the summer and you can swim in the pools.
Luckily for you, very few people have heard of Dinant. Great to visit at any time of the year, the lovely little town was the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the jovial inventor of the saxophone. Musical history aside, the area is great for those seeking a spot of solitude or a hiking holiday – there’s more than 2,000km (1,243mi) of signposted trails.
Kylemore Abbey, Ireland
Fancy a spot of visual luxury? Well, here you have it. Kylemore Abbey is a 1920s Benedictine monastery in the grounds of Kylemore Castle estate, in Connemara. It’s often voted one of the top attractions in Ireland, so come here to experience mystical woodland and lakeshore walks, magnificent architecture and one of the best walled gardens in the country.
Known in English as “the blue island”, Faial is part of the Azores, a network of incredible volcanic landmasses in the Atlantic Ocean. Home to 15,000 people, it’s famous for its epic landscapes and cute blue houses. If you want a spot of beach fun, then this is the perfect place for you. You can cycle around crater lakes, abseil down waterfalls and soak in hot springs on our epic six-day trip to the Azores.
Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
Civita di Bagnoregio is a charming medieval city, left almost untouched by the masters of the Italian Renaissance. It’s home to around 10 people, which has earned the place the nickname the Dying City. Despite its grim moniker, thousands of tourists descend on the hilltop palace every year.
Unique, beautiful and charming in every way imaginable, Bohinj is a wonderfully mysterious and eccentric region of Slovenia. Located in the heart of the Julian Alps, Bohinj encompasses the lush Nomenj valley, the Pokljuka and Jelovica plateaus and the Upper and Lower Bohinj valleys. It’s also home to the largest lake in Slovenia – Lake Bohinj.
If you’re a budding photographer on the search for your next travel snapshots, look no further than Piran. Arguably one of the most photogenic spots in the whole of the Med, it’s one of the few European cities that has managed to preserve its charm. Expect rich history and culture, and very, very friendly locals.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Alberobello is known far and wide for its characteristic cone-roofed houses, or trulli. The name of the town derives from the Greek word for dome (τρούλος; in Italian, cupola). They are made from limestone rock derived from the plateau of Apulia’s Murge zone. Bet you didn’t know that. Explore Alberobello on our 10-day adventure across Southern Italy.
There’s a saying that goes: “It feels like you’re walking in the clouds.” Well, Greece took that very literally. The Meteora – translated into English as “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” – is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The six architectural marvels are perched high on top of natural sandstone rock pillars. And yes, it’s a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Lugano is fabulous: a town of parks, flowers, villas, unusual buildings and, of course, a vast lake, there’s much to see and do here. Rent a boat on the lake for incredible views. It really is the epitome of pure relaxation.
Ohrid, North Macedonia
Lake Ohrid is the jewel in the already sparkling crown of North Macedonia. Once you’ve snapped the beguiling lake to death, traipse through countless frescoed medieval churches and uncover ancient Roman amphitheatres. Ohrid really does demand a spot on this year’s bucket list.
Sintra exudes a romantic aura unlike any other city in Europe. In fact, it’s so lovable that it inspired the works of countless romantic poets and novelists. You could even go so far as to say that it’s the capital of Romanticism – although some may protest. Set between rocky mountains and the glittering sea, get lost in a city that prides itself on history, architecture and extravagant gastronomy.
Lofoten is quite simply an archipelago of sheer grandiosity. Located in the picturesque tundras of Norway, you’ll never forget your first approach to the islands. From top to bottom, the craggy topography of the islands thrust out of the sea as though they were mighty, spiky sea dragons. Dramatic, we know, but the beauty of this landscape is immense.
If you manage to survive the walk up the Lovćen (it’s a rather steep mountain), you’ll discover a little place called Kotor – a marvellous oasis of rich culture, fine food, uber-nice people and views for days. Go now.
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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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.