Our Unique style trip
Our classic trip! Enjoy unique places to stay from Ger Camps in Mongolia to Siberian Chalets, as well as homestays, permanent tents, former palaces, riads, working cattle stations and more! Activities included on these trips range from visiting deserted, far flung and little-known wonders to the occasional bucket list must-sees. Meals which are included are always local and transport provides a good mix of coaches and local trains, buses, boats and pretty much anything else that moves.
Unique style trips are designed as slow travel, they provide more time in the destination with a mix of included sightseeing and free time to enable you to really get to know the place in which you’re traveling. Optional activities are available for purchase prior to departure in some cities where free time is scheduled.
AT A GLANCE:
- Minimum 3-star unique accommodation in twin share (unless otherwise specified). Single room supplement available for an additional fee or can elect to share with a traveler of the same sex
- Mix of local transport where appropriate and coach travel
- Meals included as per itinerary usually most breakfasts (B) some lunches (L) and dinners (D)
- Good mix of free time and included sightseeing and activities
- Optional activities available for purchase during free time
- Minimal time in arrival/departure location to maximise time in destinations along the way. Additional nights before and after the trip available for purchase, along with short optional pre/post trips in some locations.
Tale of a Tear Shaped Island
Explore the ancient cities of Anurdhapura and Polonnaruwa and survey the vast jungles from the top of the Sigiriya rock fortress on this quest to the far reaches of mythical Shangri-La in Sri Lanka. Journey to the far north of the island to Jaffna to witness the sinking church and in the evening join the locals for a traditional ‘Pooja’ ceremony. Meet a local Sri Lankan martial arts master, taste Sri Lankan cuisine in a private spice garden and catch the train from Kandy to Ella, a track which is truly a marvel of engineering.
Stay in traditionally-inspired and heritage-listed hotels, join a local village family for dinner and try seafood on the beach. Get to know the people of this wonderful country by learning the ancient art of Stilt fishing from the local fisherman, trekking through the tea estates of Ella and engaging in a game of cricket with the local kids.
Legionnaires of Roman Africa
Nestled in North Africa, Algeria is a land steeped in mystery and ancient lore. From the towering sand dunes of the Sahara Desert to the verdant valleys of the Atlas Mountains, its landscapes are as diverse as they are captivating. The echoes of a rich and tumultuous history linger in its cities and countryside, inviting the adventurous to explore the secrets and stories woven into the fabric of this fascinating country. Yet, beneath the surface, a powerful and enigmatic force pulsates, waiting to be discovered by those daring enough to unravel its mysteries.
Adventure through the sands to the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire, wander the deserted ancient cities of Timgad, Djemila and Tipaza without so much as another soul to disturb your exploration of these amazing places.
Travel deep into Algeria’s desert to the mirage like oasis of Timimoun and experience a magical sunset over the Sahara. Walk the streets of the remote settlement of Ghardaia and admire it’s unique M’zab architecture, as well as explore Algeria’s Numidian history at the Royal Mausoleum of the Kings in Medracen.
Characterful local hotels and guesthouses abound on this Algeria tour and we have handpicked accommodation that reflects the atmosphere and vibe of each destination to enable you to experience each place from the moment you wake up.
Lost Cities & Bedouin Tents
Discover a land brimming with archaeological treasures and lost cities on this epic adventure through the sandy, barren and beautiful landscapes of Jordan. Marvel at the vastness of the site of Jerash in the country’s north and safari into the east to explore Jordan’s remote desert castles. Spend a day tending a flock of sheep with a local shepherd and another floating in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth. Go on Safari for Oryzx at Azraq, see the intriguing Madaba Map and view the expanse of Jordan from the top of Mt Nebo.
We feel no trip to Jordan would be complete without a trip to the ‘lost city of Petra’ and don’t worry we give you plenty of free time to explore the site on your own. So, don your Indiana Jones hat, jump on a horse and ride down through the Siq and explore for yourself – follow us! We know the way!
Accommodation on this trip is a real stand-out! Stay at some of Jordan’s best eco-lodges, a resort on the Dead Sea, cabins in Ajloun and traditional boutique family run establishments throughout.
The Hippy Trail
Embark on an expedition to India’s spiritual north on this 25-day quest for enlightenment in a region that will inspire and captivate you at every turn. Stroll along the holy river Ganges and try a yoga lesson in Rishikesh, marvel at the splendour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and volunteer in one of the world’s largest kitchens to help feed the hungry. Explore ‘Little Lhasa’, the home of Tibetan Buddhism in India in Dharamshala and visit India’s highest and most boutique tea producing region for a walk through the gardens and a cheeky cuppa. Feast your eyes on the technicolour carpet of the ‘Valley of Flowers’ on an optional 3-day trek and try to spot India’s most majestic inhabitant, the Bengal Tiger, in the deep, dark jungle.
Magic Carpet Ride
All aboard the Trans-Iranian Railway! Beginning in Sari, near the shores of the Caspian Sea, travel all the way to Bandar Imam Khomeni on the Persian Gulf. We start our trip in Mashhad, assisting a local family with the saffron harvest and a visit to the spectacular Imam Reza holy shrine. We will visit the towns of Neyshabur and Damghan, with an opportunity to visit the strange calcium terraces of Badab Soort along the way. Taking a break from the train in the capital Tehran we will visit the so-called ‘Den of Espionage’ and the spectacular Golestan Palace before re-joining the train to the small city of Qom and onto the remote towns of Arak, Ahvaz and IMA, where we will visit an ancient Ziggurat. At the end of our rail journey, we will travel to Shiraz to visit the ‘pink mosque’ and Shapouri Pavilion.
This trip stays in unique accommodation such as eco-lodges and guest houses as well as some locally owned and operated traditional hotels. Marvel at the spectacular scenery out your window as it goes by, with the majority of this trip on the tracks, and savour traditional treats and a slower pace with stops at unique restaurants, coffee shops and for local snacks while sightseeing.
Nesting Tiger, Thunder Dragon
What makes Bhutan special is intangible and undefinable, yet will hit you fully on your eastbound journey across this incredibly diverse, scenic and joyful country.
Temples? It has many, each with architectural detail and spiritual history more intricate than the last. We’ll visit many of them, including of course the iconic Tigers Nest monastery in its lofty eyrie in the mountains outside of Paro. The journey to it is a hike like no other, and an essential pilgrimage for travellers to Bhutan.
Scenery? In droves. Or perhaps, flocks, as this trip affords a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the rare and endangered Black-Necked Crane during its winter migration. You’ll be heralded by quirky wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas; your trek across the country will be wreathed by the snow-capped Himalayas as you travel through mountain passes, lush fields, alpine forests and sweeping valleys. And you won’t be limited to the bus either – you’ll hike, ride and even raft your way through the best landscapes the country has to offer.
Culture? And then some! The last Himalayan kingdom offers a rich tapestry of vibrant art, folklore, steeped traditions and food, glorious food. You’ll marvel at the sheer breadth of Bhutanese culture as you undertake a cooking class; take a lesson in the national sport, archery, from a local expert and spend a day at Trashigang Festival and get caught up in the spirit of celebration.
The Heart of Laos
In the heart of verdant serenity, where whispers of the mystique permeate the air, a land emerges from the embrace of time’s enigmatic currents. Veiled in emerald splendor, Laos, a tapestry of enigmatic tales, unveils its secrets to those who tread its hidden pathways. Enchanted by the languid flow of the Mekong River, ancient spirits dance amidst the ancient temples, their sacred whispers echoing through the its spiritual realm. Legends and rituals intertwine, mirroring the undulating mountains that guard untold wonders. Within the shadowy depths of lush jungles, where secrets whisper and flora pulses with enigmatic energy, Laos unveils itself as a riddle waiting to be deciphered, a mosaic of enigmatic beauty that captivates the soul of the curious wanderer.
On this Laos adventure tour from the capital of Vientiane in the south to Luang Prabang, the soul of Laos in the north get lost in the beauty of Laotian landscapes and culture. Embrace the ethereal charm of Vang Vieng, where limestone cliffs tower above turquoise waters, painting a picture of serenity and adventure intertwined. Wander the many serene temples, explore mysterious caves and learn about the local people and their lives.
Travelling mostly by local train on this adventure tour through Laos will give you a chance to meet and experience the warmth of the people and stay in locally owned and operated traditional hotels for complete immersion in Laos’ amazing culture.
Shamans & Spacemen
Step back into the past of the ancient Silk Road and blast off into the future of space travel on this in-depth adventure of magnificent Kazakhstan, a land of colourful characters, glittering tiled mausoleums and palaces, vast landscapes, scientific endeavours and diverse cities.
Celebrate a country whose legacy spans the days of ancient khans, nomadic pilgrimages and the cold war, and where a fierce spirit of independence and unique national identity is emerging 30 years after declaring independence. Explore remote national parks with limestone formations that rival Monument Valley and unique endemic bird life and sail the Caspian Sea. Spend a day with fishermen in remote villages in the Aral Sea, and spend a night on a honey farm with beekeepers in a fairy-tale forest, where you will be lulled to sleep with honey-steeped tea and bedtime stories.
Explore iconic Dark Tourism sites including an abandoned bomber plane hangar, visit the National Nuclear Research Facility and discover the country’s contribution to the Russian space program with a day at the spaceport of Baikonur.
This is Kazakhstan – a country of contrasts and anachronisms, of storied history, modern innovations and traditional lifestyles that simply defies being categorised. Travel where few have stepped before you and conquer one of Earth’s lost frontiers.
Into the Wild. Kyrgyzstan
In one of the least visited regions on Earth, take a walk in the wild in Kyrgyzstan, land of horse games and eagle hunters. Explore the ancient cities of the Karakhanids, with visits to the sites of Uzgen and Balasagun and gaze in wonder at the ramparts of the mysterious fortress of Koshoy Kurgan. Hike among some of the most impressive works of nature on the planet with stays in the majestic Jeti Oguz gorge and hikes around the southern lakes of Kol-Suu and Son-Kul. Take a journey along the silk road with a stay near the caravanserai lodge at Tash-Rabat and view a twinkling night sky full of millions of stars from the step of your yurt. Although Kyrgyzstan is already off the beaten track, go one step further with visits to the scenic village of Jyrgalan and the remote beautiful lake of Sary-Chelek.
Wake up among the stunning natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan with stays in nomadic yurts and enjoy the warm hospitality of the local people with stays in small guesthouses and homestays in small towns and villages.
Vietnam Off Track
In the veiled embrace of time’s tapestry, where the emerald-ringed dreams of nature intertwine, lies a land veiled in mystery and whispered tales. Journey to the realm of Northern Vietnam, where mist-wreathed mountains cloak ancient secrets, and echoes of a thousand stories linger in the crisp air. Within Sapa’s ethereal realm, where terraced rice fields dance upon the undulating slopes, whispers of distant civilizations harmonize with the footsteps of intrepid wanderers. Venture forth to Hanoi, a labyrinth of hidden treasures, where the chaotic symphony of vibrant streets whispers of empires past, weaving a captivating symphony that resonates through time. Then, seek solace amidst the mystic realm of Halong Bay, where jade-hued waters embrace towering limestone sentinels, creating a poetic tableau that enthralls and enchants.
While this tour is more on the luxurious side, that doesn’t mean the local aspect of this tour is forgotten. Meet the H’mong people of the hill villages, try your hand at fruit and vegetable carving, take a short hike to the Cat Cat village and try out Tai Chi on the deck of our cruise boat surrounded by the epic formations of Halong Bay.
Transport on this tour is varied and includes a coach, the luxury overnight ‘dream train’ and an enchanting 2-night cruise on Halong Bay.
Heart of the Silk Road
*** New departure coming soon ***
Trace the footsteps of legends, heroes and ancient traders on this legendary journey through the heart of the Silk Road. Venture into the unknown in the far west autonomous republic of Karalkalpakstan, a place where few travellers have set foot, to camp on the shores of the Aral Sea, investigate the ship graveyard of Moynaq and view the enigmatic ‘Tower of Silence’ outside Chilpik – integral to the mysterious religion of Zoroastrianism. Visit the fertile Fergana region to learn about silk production, still a trade staple in this part of the world. Explore the legendary cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva and visit the birthplace of the national hero Tamerlane in Shakhrisabz. Journey into the perilous red sands of the Kyzylkum, to explore desert fortresses, visit ancient caravanserais and taste delicious food cooked on a Saksaul tree and eaten around a campfire.
As part of the adventure, stay in yurt camps both on the edge of the Aral Sea and among a population of ethnic Kazakh nomads in the Kyzylkum desert, as well as converted former mansions, and historic and unique hotels throughout.