Small-Group Cultural Tours by Adventures Abroad
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  • North Korea added to the destination roster

    Posted on June 22nd, 2012 admin No comments

    We are delighted to announce a brand new series of tours to North Korea, a landmark ‘first’ for the company, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. The new North Korea itineraries provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit one of the most secretive and intriguing countries in the world; an organized tour is the only way to visit the DPRK—there is no alternative.

    North Korea is the second atypical destination to be added to Adventures Abroad’s tour schedule in 2012; Iraqi Kurdistan has been offered since January and has since seen two successful tours conclude to rave reviews.

    “How is it we can regularly put together ‘off-the-beaten-track’ tours that other operators can’t? Because to us, it’s familiar territory; Adventures Abroad has a quarter-century of experience creating and running tours to far-flung lands,” said Product Manager Rick Unrau, who went on a reconnaissance trip to Iraqi Kurdistan before spearheading the project to create the itineraries. “We were among the first North American operators to run tours to Yemen the 1990s, then Libya, Iran and Syria when they were accessible, and our current schedule includes less-visited destinations like Indonesia, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, the Caucasus and West Africa. We are meticulous in our research and uncompromising when it comes to client safety. We know what we’re doing.”

  • Egypt Small Group Tours

    Posted on September 1st, 2009 admin No comments

    Egypt

    Traveller Testimonial:
    The quality of the Tour Leader, wonderful sites–especially Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings, Coptic Cairo and Abu Simbel–antiquities, art, architecture history, religion, fascinating cultures, beautiful land and flora and fauna made the trip. We learned, we grew, we loved it!
    -Ron and Sandi Mielitz   Tour EG3: Egypt (In Search of Pharaohs)

    The splendours of the ancient Egyptian civilization have been a source of inspiration down through the ages. Since the Greek historian Herodotus first wrote about his travels through Egypt in the fifth century BC, people have speculated about how the Egyptians built their massive monuments, and marvelled at the beauty of their art and architecture. From time immemorial, humanity has searched for the meaning of life, trying to reconcile its mortality with a profound desire to attain immortality. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in ancient Egypt. The pharaohs’ journey to eternity has been preserved in Egyptian art, architecture and writings.

    Live the adventure on our Egypt Tours!

    The fact that Egypt is home to the sole surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the World–the breathtaking Pyramids of Giza–seems appropriate; few other cultures have had so much influence on and bequeathed so much to the development and evolution of man, than has that of the Egyptians. From their hieroglyphic art as a basis for contemporary written language, to their remarkable feats in architectural and engineering spheres, and not to mention their impact on modern-day systems of governance, the ancient civilization’s deeds of yore yet permeate every aspect of modern life. Just as other civilizations have risen and fallen without managing to leave as indelible a mark on the world, their structures crumbling into decay and their influence coming to an end, Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza have remained standing tall through the test of time and can now be seen as a symbol of the enduring nature of a great and ancient nation and of its people. A tour to Egypt is to experience a mysterious and fascinating ancient society in an evolved and contemporary setting.

    The second most populous country in Africa, second only to Nigeria, and bordered by Libya, Sudan, Israel and the Gaza Strip, Egypt is a country dominated by desert and its habituated regions are for the most part centred on the banks of the longest river on earth: the mighty Nile. Perhaps no other country lends itself to a more ideal tour destination in this respect, as travellers can follow the snaking route of the Nile through Egypt, making various stops to take in the splendorous landscape and sights along the way. Tours on Feluccas-wooden sail boats of ancient design-are available for just this purpose, either to cast off for a short trip under the red and setting sun, or for longer, more comprehensive cruises.

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    In response to the current popularity of all of our Egypt trips, we have just developed a new addition to our Family Fieldtrip Series-Egypt ‘In Search of Pharaohs’, featuring a four-night Nile cruise on a luxury vessel (code 02X). This tour complements our original family Egypt that travels the Nile via a traditional felucca sailing vessel. Both trips also feature fun and exciting excursions via camel, donkey, and horse-drawn carriage, and, of course, all the astounding ancient monuments that make each day more amazing than the last.

    Aside from the Giza Pyramids, the most popular sites in Egypt include the two majestic temples at Abu Simbel-which were reconstructed close to the original site in the 1960s and were rebuilt brick-by-brick in exactly the same relation to each other and to the sun-the Valley of the Kings-the ancient Pharaoh burial ground which is home to, among others, the tomb of the famous King Tutankhamun– and the regal Great Sphinx of Giza, whose imposing 66 foot stature silently guards over the tombs of the exalted kings of old. A tour to explore the ancient face of Egypt would not be complete without a visit to the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo, where more than 120,000 artifacts are on display.

    But a tour to Egypt is not solely for those curious about ancient civilizations. The country’s man-made magnificence and beauty is only equalled by the natural environment, with white, glittering sand cascading over the dunes, stunning purple mountain landscapes and the turquoise waters that are unique to the Red Sea. Adventurous travellers can participate in camel tours, scuba diving on the world-renowned reefs, trekking in the desert or even golfing or fishing.

    Join the adventure on our Egypt Tours!

    Even if you’ve been to Egypt before, don’t think you’ve seen it all! The amazing landscape of the Western Deserts and the picturesque mountains and canyons of Sinai will be a completely different, breathtaking experience. With our modern air-conditioned Toyota Landcruisers (4WD) you have the opportunity to explore the unspoilt beauty of the Western Desert and the mountains of Sinai. We organize jeep safari (5-14days) or walking tours (4-7days), as well as camel caravans (4-10days) through the colourful canyons and high mountain ranges of Sinai or the oases of the Western Desert with their characteristic culture. Visit Siwa, Baharija, Farafra, Kharga and Dakhla, and cross the Great Sand Sea or the White Desert. Our programs are designed as independent modules that can be combined with each other or one or two days in Cairo to see the Pyramids and the treasures of the Egyptian Museum. There is also the possibility of attaching some days in Luxor to see Karnak temple and the Valley of the Kings, or have a relaxing time on the beach in Sinai or Hurghada. We will help you to find the program best suited to your clients’ needs and your flight schedule.

  • Iran Travel Guide

    Posted on May 26th, 2009 admin No comments

    The country the highest population of all Persian countries (with about 65 million inhabitants), Iran is also a land of incredible cultural diversity, with dozens of languages, several recognised religions and a broad spectrum of ethnicity in its people. Religion, the dominant faith being Islam, pervades every aspect of Iranian life, an aspect that the majority of visitors find one of the most fascinating features of the country and its people—for Westerners, few other destinations can provide a cultural experience that lies so many leagues away from the familiar. Although Iran does display some similarity to the West in that its governance incorporates a degree of democratic process, the fact that this ideology is balanced against, and often outweighed by, a theocratic authoritarian rule means that trying to draw parallels between the two is sometimes hard to reconcile. Regardless, as a traveller in the country, Iran’s similarity to the West in any sphere seems unimaginable.

    Iran lays claim to the largest population of nomads in the world, the vast majority of whom continue to dress in traditional attire, live in traditional housing and follow customs handed down through countless generations of their ancestors. It is a country wherein a unique tribal culture has survived over millennia, leaving a legacy that allows travellers an intriguing sneak-peek into ancient Persian life, and a land that brings the past to life in a contemporary setting. In a similar vein, the remnants of eras gone by dot the Iranian landscape and even the most modern cities, like the capital Tehran, make concerted efforts to preserve the beautiful monuments, art and architecture from the country’s long and fascinating past. Ancient ruins, a plethora of colourful, exquisite mosques and magnificent palaces dating from a multitude of different dynasties lie in wait for the traveller who chooses Iran as a tour destination, sights that only add to the irrepressible impression that Iran is a land of great historic importance.

    The enigma that is the Arabian Gulf will cause you to ponder societal directions and intentions. The rapidly modernizing Middle East is in a constant tug-of-war between the traditional past and the pressures of our times. Oil is big business, but trade is much bigger, leading to an awful appropriation of resources and workforce into stunningly ambitious projects. Some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are oases of excess, founded on under-appreciated foreign labour. The surprises continue along the gulf until we reach Oman; jaw-dropping scenery, exciting remoteness, and unspoiled beaches seemingly presented solely for you.

    This is a unique opportunity to explore a corner of the world previously misunderstood and almost ignored.
    Our Middle East Tours journey to where it all began; to the Cradle of Civilisation and to the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions. Often misunderstood and seldom given the credit it deserves, the Middle East’s recurrent troubles in recent history have seen it relegated to one of the last alternatives when it comes to opting for a tour destination. What lies in wait for travellers on tours to the Middle East, however, is an ancient land of richness and plenty and one whose bounties yield incredible rewards.

  • Iranian Tours – Iran Trip Report

    Posted on April 8th, 2009 admin No comments

    Iran By Lindsay Mackenzie

    Perhaps more than anywhere else I’ve led tours, Iran has a tendency to exceed expectations. From experiencing the grandeur of the sites we visit, to witnessing first-hand the dramatic pace of change in this young and politically significant country, to constantly encountering the unbelievable kindness of the locals, almost everything is surprising to travelers new to Iran, who have heard so much and yet know so little about the country.

    Iran saturates the senses, from gardens drenched in the fragrance of orange blossoms in Shiraz, to the bright colors of the tiny village of Abayenah (population 300), to the taste of tamarind tea enjoyed with impossibly sweet dates on an afternoon break in Esfahan.

    Many sites leave profound impressions: the immensity of the third largest public square in the world in Esfahan; the simple ingenuity of the ubiquitous wind towers in Yazd; the solemnity inside the tomb of Ayatollah Khomenini in Tehran; the power and historical significance of Persepolis.

    It is the warmth of the locals, however, that leaves the most lasting impressions. Wherever we stopped during our two week tour a giggling group of local schoolgirls would creep closer to us as we listened to our guide’s explanations. Knowing that his voice was no match for a group of shrieking teenage girls, our guide would usually stop for a moment to allow the girls to ask their questions.

    Generally, after being prodded by her friends, the bravest of the group of girls would shyly greeted us with a reluctant “Hello, how are you?” before hiding behind her headscarf. She would stay hidden for a moment, then her curiosity would get the better of her and she’d reemerge to observe our reaction.

    “Well hello! How are you?” one of the members of my group would reply, their response always met by an eruption of shrieking and laughter from the girls. They would move closer to us and, emboldened by their first success, begin to debate among themselves how to construct the next English phrase. After a few more questions, any semblance of order and restraint would break down and they’d gleefully shout whatever came to mind between fits of giggles: “How are you! I love you! Where are you from!”

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    Then someone would ask for permission to take photos and after a moment of hesitation, the girls would smile, agree, and pulled their cell-phone cameras out from within their black chadors. A shoot-out would ensue, with both ‘sides’ pointing cameras at each other to document the encounter in a delightful chaos of camera clicks and broken-English, the small mob of kids just as eager to ask questions and take photos of us as we were of them.

    My group of American and Canadian men and women were consistently greeted by locals with curiosity and kindness. One day in Yazd, for example, a man talking to his friends in the hotel lobby overhead a member of my group mention he needed to find replacement hearing aid batteries. The young man, who was not a staff member at the hotel, picked us up in his own car early the next morning and took us to a store he knew would have them. He expected nothing in return. Later in the afternoon on the same day, another member of my group and I climbed to the top of the Amir Chakhmagh complex during our free time, where we had a brief conversation with a group of local men who were serving in the Iranian army. After climbing down, one of the men asked us if we’d like to see the practice of a traditional sport called Zurkhaneh. We said we would, and followed him around the corner to a gym where a ceremony was underway. Without our knowing it, he paid both of our entrance fees. When we realized what had happened and attempted to pay him back, he told us to enjoy the ceremony and disappeared out of the building.

    In perhaps no other place in the world is there such a wide chasm between outsider’s perceptions and the in-country reality than in Iran. I hope many more travelers have the opportunity to bring home new impressions of a truly spectacular country.

  • Arabian Gulf and Middle East

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 admin No comments

    The enigma that is the Arabian Gulf will cause you to ponder societal directions and intentions. The rapidly modernizing Middle East is in a constant tug-of-war between the traditional past and the pressures of our times. Oil is big business, but trade is much bigger, leading to an awful appropriation of resources and workforce into stunningly ambitious projects. Some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are oases of excess, founded on under-appreciated foreign labour. The surprises continue along the gulf until we reach Oman; jaw-dropping scenery, exciting remoteness, and unspoiled beaches seemingly presented solely for you.

    This is a unique opportunity to explore a corner of the world previously misunderstood and almost ignored.

    Browse our Middle East Tours