Join other like-minded travellers for a journey of a lifetime and allow someone else to do all the hard work for you.
With minimal planning stress and one upfront payment, it’s time to challenge any misconceptions about group touring and seek insight into how to get the best from them.
We work closely with a fantastic team at Prestige Holidays and asked them for an introduction to escorted tours and how you can create unforgettable memories and friendships along the way.
Lee Hamilton, Escorted Tours Manager:
“Who are the people who choose to travel as part of an escorted group? Are their lives so busy that they have no time to plan their own trips, are they too nervous to travel alone, or maybe it is something more than that?
I had always been intrigued about why people would choose to travel this way with a party of strangers, to a new destination.
Last year, I found myself acting as a Tour Manager for the first time on an Isles of Scilly escorted group tour and in an idyllic moment, as the sun illuminated the golden sands of one of the islands many beaches and the waves lapped against the sides of moored fishing boats, I pondered that question once more.
This time the answer became more obvious; over the previous six days, I had witnessed this group of strangers build up a bond that could not have been dampened by any amount of wind, rain or delayed flights that could have been thrown in their direction. These were not people who were worried about travelling alone, in fact, quite the opposite, these were seasoned and experienced travellers, who had done their research, and boy did I know it with the questions being fired at me.
It was the ability to share their knowledge of a common interest whilst being able to experience and compliment this with a new adventure. They arrived as clients but on that final day, they left as friends.
This is a rapidly growing market. There is an overwhelming amount of escorted tours being offered to worldwide destinations. At first glance they may seem almost identical but all with very different price tags. It pays to look closer.
Group sizes and the number of inclusions are often the most obvious, but look even deeper—are flights included? Are meals included, and do they come with drinks? Is there enough free time or even too much? Does the tour go at the right time of year to avoid crowds and travel in the best weather?
Our carefully researched itineraries are not copied but created, from scratch, by experts who not only know the destinations but are passionate about them.
Many of our tours also boast the inclusion of a special guest or an academic guide lecturer who will bring the destination to life and share their knowledge. Whether this be travelling to the former Yugoslav states with renowned former BBC correspondent Martin Bell OBE, re-living the memoirs of Gerald Durrell in Corfu in the company of his wife, Lee Durrell, or exploring the baroque architecture of Sicily in the company of Alex Polizzi.”
We have handpicked three delicious escorted tours which are sure to whet your appetite…
There’s always been something magical about Jordan, often seen as a haven in a region known for its conflict. Visiting the monumental remains of Petra, the Nabatean city carved from stone, is at the top of most travellers’ bucket lists.
Walking through the meandering siq, which culminates in the very first sighting of Petra’s dramatic Treasury, will leave you breathless.
As well as visiting the touristic highlights of Jordan, this tour includes a visit to the lesser-known desert castles of the east, including Azraq, TE Lawrence’s base during his time there.
The majority of meals are taken in local eateries to allow a truly authentic taste of the region with a wine-tasting experience in Amman, and a farewell meal at Beit Sitti restaurant recently featured on the Christmas special of Travel Man. This fabulous restaurant has the group cooking their own authentic, delicious Jordanian cuisine.
Aside from the culinary aspect, the group’s one night in the desert of Wadi Rum is spent in luxury ‘Martian Domes’ with all the amenities of a hotel—the perfect way to lie back and enjoy the stars.
Georgia and Armenia Explorer
Lands fabled in stories of Jason and the Argonauts, the countries of the Caucasus lay on the cusp of the expansive empires of Alexander the Great and later on, The Romans.
Some of the oldest Christian lands in the world; they boast dramatic alpine landscapes which hide equally dramatic stories, from ancient times all the way through to the last days of the USSR.
The arguable highlight of this journey is the 12th-century cave settlement of Vardzia. Constructed by the national hero of Georgia, Queen Tamar, this warren of seemingly unfathomable cave settlements, corridors, steps and alleyways was originally intended as an impregnable fortress to keep the Mongols at bay. Now, a UNESCO wonder it later became a monastery and still has an active (if small) community of monks.
Wonders of Sicily
With cultural feasts from the ancient Etruscans and Romans to the stunning Renaissance architecture and art, Italy offers an enviable variety of attractions which ensure each area retains its own unique gem.
Itineraries and experiences are often described as ‘authentic’, and nothing could be a more appropriate word to describe the Wonders of Sicily tour. Avoiding the main tourist resorts on the island, the trip covers the west and south/south-east areas, staying in places that are bustling year-round with local inhabitants rather than just tourists.
As well as a plethora of ancient and cultural attractions — Greek, Roman and Norman alike — the true highlight is the food.
Olive oil and chocolate tastings are on the menu, as well as some truly extraordinary dining experiences.
Meals are taken in a variety of local eateries, from modest family-run trattorie to seafood extravaganzas at Da Vittorio’s, as seen on TV shows such as Sicily Unpacked and Rick Stein’s Great Mediterranean Escapes, and a special farewell dinner in an ex-Norman fortress.
For further information on any of these tours, please get in touch and we can help you plan the perfect itinerary.