Highlights of Stonehenge and Avebury
Stonehenge and Avebury are outstanding prehistoric monuments, which are thought to date back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The ancient megaliths of these sites provide an insight into the mysterious rituals, beliefs, customs and engineering abilities of prehistoric peoples.
Highlights of Australia: The yellow-footed rock-wallaby
Another of Australia's unique animals. On many of the small group package tours for mature and senior travelers in the Southern states this Wallaby is encountered. The Flinders range, Broken Hill, Eyre & York peninsula as well as the World heritages sites tours include this reclusive wallaby as part of the itinerary.
Highlights of Uzbekistan | Samanid Mausoleum
Highlights of Uzbekistan | Samanid Mausoleum The Samanid Mausoleum, dating from the 10th century, is the oldest Muslim monument in the city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. This final resting place was built for Ismail Samani (or…
Registan Square Uzbekistan
The famous Registan Square and Ulugbek Madrasah is one of the worlds most recognised Mosque, which is the main square in Samarkand .In Uzbekistan this is one of the monumental buildings in the country. For mature and senior travellers on a small group tour this ancient city is located on the Silk Road network and is part of our small group tours programs on the Silk road or as part of the Stans program.
Belvedere Palace Austria
Belvedere Palace (Schloss Belvedere) is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and as much as piece of art as the impressive works housed in its interior. The large complex actually features two palaces (Upper and Lower) and beautiful grounds. Originally built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, the galleries of the Upper Belvedere focus on Austrian art from medieval times to present day, emphasising Austrian culture and history while the Lower Belvedere hosts temporary exhibitions. The grounds also feature the Orangery, Palace Stables which have been converted into a medieval art exhibition and magnificent gardens. The famous historical palace complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a short drive from the centre of Vienna.
Schönbrunn Palace Austria
Schonbrunn Palace, also referred to as Schoenbrunn Palace, is Vienna's most popular attraction and it is not hard to see why. The opulent summer palace of the Habsburgs is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the most important cultural, architectural and historical sites in Austria. The palace complex features 1441 rooms (40 of which are open to the public), magnificent gardens, a maze, a palm house, the oldest zoo in Europe and an outdoor swimming pool.
Grutas Park Lithuania
A communist statue graveyard, Grutas Park is a dark homage to one of the worst periods of Lithuanian history. Eight kilometres east of Druskininkai, a spa town on the Nemunas River in southern Lithuania, Grutas Park is essentially a sculpture garden of over 100 Soviet-era statues and artefacts, providing an unprecedented insight into the Red Terror that was unleashed against Lithuania and the stifling atmosphere of Soviet rule. As well as statues, visitors can see an impressive collection of documents, newspapers, propaganda posters, video footage and audio files from the time.
Ateshgah (Fire Temple) Azerbaijan
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Just outside the northern city of Siauliai lies a small hill in the middle of farmland that has been crowned with around 100,000 crosses in all different sizes. There are tiny crosses, massive wooden crosses and crosses handcrafted from metal. Known as the Hill of Crosses (Kryziu Kalnas), it is both a pilgrimage site and a testament to Lithuanian strength and defiance under Soviet rule. It has come to represent the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian Catholicism in the face of so many threats throughout history.
Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Trakai Island Castle is like something from a fairy tale - there is nothing quite like admiring the view of the coral-coloured brick towers surrounded by moss-green trees as you cross the wooden bridge, with the castle's reflection glimmering in the surrounding waters of Lake Galve. The Gothic style castle is more than 600 years old and houses the impressive Trakai History Museum, which showcases a range of interesting exhibits including medieval weapons, chainmail, 19th-century embroidery and glassware and religious art. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and with just one glimpse of the castle you can feel the majesty and splendour of this place. Less than an hour from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, this beautiful attraction is a favourite day trip from the city among travellers.
Riga Cathedral, Latvia
One of the most recognisable features in the Latvian capital, Riga Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the largest medieval church in the Baltic states. Found in 1211, the cathedral has been updated and renovated over the centuries meaning the architecture is an amalgamation of different styles from the 13th to 18th centuries. The majority of the church is in the Gothic style, built in the 15th century but the oldest portion has Romanesque features and the tower is 18th-century Baroque. While the cathedral is still used for church services, the complex includes the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. This museum features more than 500,000 archival items and tells the story of 800 years of Riga's history.
Turaida Castle, Latvia
The beautiful Turaida Castle looks like it came straight off the pages of a storybook. One might expect to see a princess peering down at them from the castle's tall cylindrical tower, built in 1214. A medieval castle on a strip of land between two ravines at Gauja River, Turaida Castle is the highlight and most visually impressive element of Turaida Museum Reserve. The reserve encompasses the castle and the surrounding area and includes small galleries and exhibits, an art studio and a sculpture garden. Within the castle, there is a museum which offers an insight into the history of Livonia between 1319 and 1561. The name 'Turaida' comes from the Livic language and translates to 'Garden of Gods', which is a fitting name from the largest protected cultural monument and the oldest visible castle in the country. Less than an hour's drive from Riga, Turaida Castle is a must-see.
Rundale Palace, Latvia
80 km south of Riga, the Latvian capital, one will find Rundale Palace, a magnificent Baroque and Rococo-style mansion used as the summer residence for the Dukes of Courland. Often referred to as the 'Versailles of Latvia', the dazzling complex features wonderful formal gardens and the grand residence is a sumptuous monument to aristocratic opulence. The gardens and around 40 of the palace's 138 rooms are open to visitors and feature glimpses into the everyday life of 18th-century aristocrats.
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
The most photographed attraction of Copenhagen is not a royal palace or the world-famous amusement park Tivoli Gardens, but a statue of a mythical figure many may associate with a Disney film: the Little Mermaid. A bronze statue of the princess-cum-fish can be found sitting on a rock at the end of Langelinie Pier on Copenhagen's harbour and draws countless visitors every year. The famous statue weights 175 kg and truly is little, at only 1.25 metres tall. Over 100 years old, it is an unofficial mascot of the city and remains standing despite numerous vandalism attempts over the decades.
Amalienborg Palace, Denmark
In Copenhagen, one will find Amalienborg, the home of the Danish royal family. Consisting of four identical 18th-century palaces with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard, Amalienborg has been home to Danish royals since 1784 and continues to be the queen's winter residence.
Often called the City of Lights, Varanasi is one of the world's oldest inhabited cities. Colourful, intense and mystical, it is the spiritual capital of India and the country's holiest Hindu city, located on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh.
The Red Fort, Delhi
The Red Fort, also called Lal Qalʿah, is a historic fort in the city of Delhi, overlooking the Yamuna River. It served as the main residence for the emperors of the formidable Mughal dynasty for almost 200 years until the British took over in 1857. Like the Taj Mahal, it was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1638 who decided to move the Mughal capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad, in present-day Old Delhi. The construction took ten years and the fort is octagonal in shape, covering an area of 254 acres.
Braga is Portugal's third-largest city and its most important religious centre. With almost four dozen places of worship, Braga is something of an ecclesiastical destination, particularly around Easter. However, a large student population also means that, despite the numerous churches, Braga is not just a historical or religious tourist site but a dynamic and eclectic city with a lot on offer. Braga offers a slice of authentic Portugal, nestled amongst hills beside the spectacular Peneda-Geres National Park and just an hour from Porto. With a moderate climate all year round and unhurried pace of life, Braga offers the perfect environment to explore the city's cultural offerings and culinary scene.
Millennium Coastal Path, Wales
The Millennium Coastal Path was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II at the turn of the new millennium in 2000. It was part of the Millennium Coastal Park, a parkland transformed from around 20 kilometres of industrial wasteland along the Carmarthenshire coastline.
Caernarfon Castle, Wales
Edward I's massive Caernarfon Castle was a display of English might on Welsh territory. Caernarfon Castle was built on the shoreline, consisting of a castle, a walled town, and a quay all built at the same time. Construction of this massive project took 47 years to complete.
St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg is the second largest among the Russian cities, after Moscow, and is famous for its important role in Russian history and its cultural and architectural landmarks. The historic centre of St Petersburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed on the list in 1990.
The term Gothic is often used to refer to a turning point and new era of European architecture that is generally seen as starting in the mid 12th century. Gothic architecture was in stunning contrast to Romanesque architecture which emphasised few windows, massive stonework and heavy walls. In comparison, the Gothic style featured stained glass windows, flying buttresses and more light-filled interiors that made use of cavernous spaces.
Istanbul, Imperial City: The Definitive Guide
Istanbul, Imperial City | Small Group History Tours Turkey For more than a thousand years, Constantinople stood as the capital of the Byzantine Empire, surviving numerous attacks and internal rebellions, until the cannons of the…
History of a City: Florence, Italy
Lushan National Park, China
From steep wintry peaks, rising more than 1.4 kilometers above sea level, to ancient forests and river ways, the range of scenery around Mount Lushan is genuinely breathtaking. A relatively unknown spot for Western tourists, the Lushan National Park is hugely popular for Chinese tourists. The mountainous region is littered with beautiful flora and fauna, and is teeming with wildlife, including the world's largest migratory white crane flock.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is, first and foremost, a remarkable feat of human ingenuity, perseverance and construction. It offers a multi-dimensional insight into ancient Chinese history. From how the wall was constructed, to the ideology and strategic practicalities that necessitated its construction, there is so much to learn from the Great Wall of China.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland since the 15th century but it has been inhabited since the Stone Age. It has been a Roman settlement, who constructed the Antonine Wall as the Empire’s northernmost defence, and also the home of the Celtic tribe Votadini.
Skara Brae, Scotland
The Neolithic village of Skara Brae was discovered in the winter of 1850. Wild storms ripped the grass and earth from a high dune then known as "Skerrabra" beside the Bay of Skaill, and exposed the ruins of ancient stone buildings. The discovery proved to be the best-preserved Neolithic sites in northern Europe.
Photographing the Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide
Photographing the Northern Lights. How to Capture the Beauty of the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis, commonly called the Northern Lights, as well as the Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights, are two the world’s most…
Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan
The Tiger's Nest monastery, known locally as Paro Taktsang, has earned a reputation as one of the most remarkable tourist spots in central Asia. It has become the most iconic cultural landmark in Bhutan, and a trip to the country is incomplete without a visit.
The National Textile Museum of Bhutan
Over the past decade, the Bhutan Textile Museum in Thimphu has steadily established itself as one of the best adverts for local Bhutanese culture. The museum finds the right balance between past and present, highlighting some of the old Bhutanese textile masterpieces, whilst simultaneously promoting the wares of local artisan weavers. In doing so, the Bhutan Textile Museum has succeeded in shining the spotlight back towards an amazing but dying skill. Bhutanese weavers can now continue the practices of their forefathers, without worrying as much about competition in a consumer world governed by mass-production and strict bottom lines.
Modern day Bhutan has a deep affinity with its Buddhist past. Buddhism is the source of religious and cultural identity for the majority of Bhutanese people. The history of Bhutan goes some way to explaining why, in the upper ranges of the Himalayas, nationalism intertwined so tightly with religion.
The Pyramids and the Sphinx
Egypt is home to one of the only remaining wonder of the Ancient World: The Great Pyramids of Egypt. The pyramids are monumental tombs for pharaohs from the 4th dynasty and relics of Egypt's Old Kingdom era, constructed around 4,500 years ago.
Highlights of the Lake District
The Lake District is the glittering crown jewel of England’s countryside and sure to capture any traveller’s heart with its magic. Picture expanses of lush meadows swathed in flowers and shimmering blue lakes against craggy peaks and you’ll have some idea of the kind of beautiful scenery you can expect from exploring the Lake District.
Visiting Greenland as a member of a small group package tour for mature and senior travellers. The group of couples and solo travellers spend time in Qaqortoq and Nuuk, Greenland. Greenland is an extension to the Iceland small group tour. The group often witnesses the Northern light display in this part of the arctic circle.
Bhutan's Nalakhar Tshechu festival
The Nalakhar Tshechu festival runs for three days in the Nalakhar village in Bumthang. The celebration is part of the national Tshechu, one of Tibet's biggest religious festivals, which runs for three days throughout the country.
Loire Valley France
The Loire Valley in France is renowned for its picturesque natural beauty, and the region also combines all the ingredients of what the French consider to be the good life. The Valley is the home of gorgeous architecture, historic monuments, and fabulous French cuisine and wine from the Loire Valley vineyards.
The Shoguns of Japan: An Introduction to Six Centuries of Japanese Cultural Evolution
The Shoguns of Japan: An Introduction to Six Centuries of Japanese Cultural Evolution From 1192 to 1867, Japan was ruled by military dictators called the shogun. The civil government continued under the imperial court in Kyoto,…
Japanese hanami: celebrating the cherry blossom
Japanese hanami: celebrating the cherry blossom The cherry blossoms of Japan are known to admirers the world over. But their brief, beautiful season is not just a draw for international travellers. Japanese people celebrate this…