Cultural vacations. Tours & vacations in 2016 & 2017

Unearthing the history, the language and, ultimately, the people of a destination can be one of travel’s most rewarding aspects. Cultural tours vacations let you dip your toe into a country and keep going until you’re out of your depth with an eclectic blend of experiences to help you piece together what it means to be a local. Indonesia, Jordan, Tibet or Belize, cultural experiences last much longer than suntans.
India vacations, The Golden Triangle, tailormade
An ideal trip for the first-time visitor to India, from £1465 (8 days) ex flights
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh vacation in Vietnam
Capture the spirit of Vietnam on this compact adventure, from US $1075 - US $1380 (10 days) ex flights
South Africa wildlife & culture holiday
Unique responsible South African round trip, from £967 (16 days) ex flights
Ecuador cultural vacation
Enjoy a unique adventure in the avenue of volcanoes, from US $1199 (6 days) ex flights
Family holiday in Burma
A fabulous family vacation including the best of Burma, from £1025 - £1450 (12 days) ex flights
Amalfi Coast and Bay of Naples vacations
One of Europe's most dramatic stretches of coastline, from US $1405 - US $1465 (8 days) ex flights
Small group tours to China
A popular small group journey through the best of China, from US $3790 - US $5875 (15 days) ex flights
Romania vacation, the Beauty of Yesterday
Small group tour to rediscover enchanting rural Romania, from £995 - £1075 (10 days) ex flights
Ethiopia cultural vacations
Discover the historic wonders of Ethiopia, from £2299 (14 days) ex flights
China highlights tour, tailor made
Walk along the Great Wall and relax in the stunning LiRiver, from US $2202 - US $2294 (11 days) ex flights
Central Asia overland vacation
Incredible scenery, shamanic traditions and eagle hunters, from £2599 (23 days) ex flights
Active holiday in Turkey
Forge a path through unexplored terrain into the historical heart of Turkey, from US $1155 - US $1555 (12 days) ex flights
Cuba tours
Tailormade vacations in the pearl of the Carribean, from €970 (15 days) ex flights
Northern Thailand small group tour
Temples, ancient ruins & exotic markets of Northern Thailand, from US $846 - US $1085 (8 days) ex flights
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan vacation
Explore the ancient Silk Road mountains and communities, from £1995 (16 days) ex flights
Turkey small group tour
Discover the wonders of Turkey on this 10 day tour, from £580 - £929 (10 days) ex flights
Japan cultural immersion vacation
Cultural activites and traditional experiences galore, from US $4320 (15 days) ex flights
Bangladesh vacation
Bangladesh is waiting to be discovered, from £1999 (14 days) ex flights
Highlights of Vietnam vacation
Incredible small group tour through Vietnam's highlights, from US $1985 (10 days) ex flights
Guyana vacation, wildlife & culture
Discover the incredible wildlife of Guyana and Suriname, from £3499 (15 days) ex flights
Borneo tailor made tour on a shoestring
The Best of Borneo: Wildlife, Adventure, Idyllic Beaches, from US $2195 (10 days) ex flights
Highlights of Morocco vacation
Explore the diversity of romantic Morocco, from US $1185 - US $1515 (15 days) ex flights
Mekong Adventure in Laos & Cambodia
The Mekong, one of the world’s greatest rivers, from US $3000 (21 days) ex flights
Lima to Santiago overland vacation
Travel through Peru Bolivia & Chile, from US $3280 - US $4199 (21 days) ex flights
Vienna to Budapest tour
Travel five countries for memories to last a lifetime, from US $1940 - US $2445 (15 days) ex flights
Buenos Aires to Rio small group vacation
Amazing discovery tour from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, from US $2422 - US $2990 (17 days) ex flights
Ethiopia holidays, tailor made
Discover the natural beauty and culture of Ethiopia, from £1456 (14 days) ex flights
Small group vacations to Madagascar
Experience the best of this enigmatic island continent, from £2195 (17 days) ex flights
Tibet cultural tours
Experience life styles of Tibetan people, from £895 (14 days) ex flights
Dubrovnik to Athens tour
Join us on a whirlwind adventure through the Balkans, from US $2474 - US $2935 (15 days) ex flights

1685 reviews for cultural vacations4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent cultural vacations reviews are from travelers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travelers below.

Mekong Adventure in Laos & Cambodia
Memorable parts? Every day was something different, we walked through jungle; rode elephants; explored caves and sailed in wooden boats, sometimes we used a wooden plank, sometimes we were knee deep in the river! We saw amazing temples and wooden huts that the locals lived in, we saw how people lived and how they dried peppers in their satellite dishes! There were sad parts too, understanding the legacy of the Vietnam war, unexploded bombs everywhere and maimed people. However, the people... (more)Colin Smith
From US $3000 excluding flights
Rajasthan luxury tours
Excellent. We had wonderful hosts, good guides and great value. We will no doubt use them again for other trips and endeavours. (more)Scott and San
Our trip had an incredibly personal and intimate feel throughout-an experience that could never be matched by a packaged tour. (more)Leigh Anne
Be prepared to be 'blown away'. The owners are fully involved in conservation - they have their own reserve which has been highly successful in increasing the numbers of an endangered cat species. If you want to see a fascinating part of India and stay in some fascinating places, this is the trip for you. My friend and I absolutely loved it. (more)(Edwina) Jayne Rudge
From £900 excluding flights
Garden Route vacation, tailor made, South Africa
Most memorable was being so close to wild animals on the game drives at Elephant Plains...Fantastic! (more)Yvonne Chapman
The Drakensberg mountains and Didima camp at Cathedral Peak provided a magical start to the vacation, with stunning scenery, fantastic hiking and lovely accommodation; we could easily have stayed much longer there. (more)Barbara Sykes
Some of the best highlights were - the penguins on Boulder Beach, Cape Point on a glorious day, staying with Hazel of Hazel's Homestays, the Real City tour in PE, Amakhala Lodge. (more)David Catherall
From £1630 excluding flights
Romania adventure vacation
Excellent...there were too many highlights for us to single out any one experience as the most memorable. Every day was memorable and for all the right reasons. (more)Gerald Sherry
Successful (more)Marcia Westreich
One of the most memorable things was the beautiful Carpathian countryside and the people working in the fields as of yesteryear. The haymaking and haystacks were fascinating and we all fell in love with rural Romania. (more)Joan Houston
From £1699 excluding flights
North India cultural tour
Book it! A fantastic taster of a small section of Northern India. (more)Sara Kirkham
Challenging, life affirming, and I now have the desire to go on more. (more)Alan Zenthon
Vacation was a great to help me see my own culture with completely new eyes and become more aware of things that I have taken for granted in the past. (more)Judith Brockmann
From US $1215 - US $1310 excluding flights
Sri Lanka vacations, tailor made
I'd go back tomorrow ! Loved it. (more)Stan Deboehmler
Great trip, great guide and solid tour company - the vacation provider was top notch and I would not hesitate to use them again. (more)Bill Dinner
Aside from the wonderful wildlife that we saw with the help of our driver/guide, we'll have good memories of the friendliness and warmth of the Sri Lankans we met. (more)Janet Halliday
From £1755 including UK flights
Sri Lanka birding & cultural tour
This was the most fantastic vacation. I was not that keen on going, but my husband is a very keen birder and he really wanted to go. I am now so glad he persuaded me, and will definitely visit Sri Lanka again... (more)John Diley
This was a really excellent vacation. We had fun, we were stimulated, we were educated and we made good friends with our locals who showed us their country. We also feel that we had excellent value for money with two locals, a new vehicle, most meals, all entrance fees and other extras included for a very inexpensive daily rate. (more)Keith Pigdon
It was great and our guide, Jith, was an incredible birder, funny, and generous. The most memorable was the smiles of all the people in Sri Lanka whom we passed in our bird walks and the children who got all excited and waved and called to us (more)Gisela Meyn
From £1350 excluding flights
History, culture & wildlife of India vacation
The most exciting part was not on the original programme. We asked Rajat to give us somewhat more nature and less culture. He arranged for us to spend a day and two nights in a resort on the Kabini Lake, across from the Nagarhole National Park. On a boat safari at dusk, amidst myriad birds and beasts, we saw a male tiger emerging muddily from the river, slinking into the jungle. (more)Robin Fox
Excellent, we enjoyed it all. The two home stays were an amazing part of our trip. Take the plunge and travel on an overnight train with shared accommodation. It's a great experience. (more)Caroline Powell
The most memorable parts were staying at the home of the Kumars, visiting Golden Temple at Amritsar and WildFlower Hall...Outstanding. (more)Andrew Hollas
From £1336 excluding flights
Tibet cultural tours
Outstanding guides. Excellent (more)frank ingram
A real adventure. The whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable. The highlights for us were Lhasa Old Town, the Potala Palace and Mount Everest. (more)Christopher Ashley-Jones
It was my dream to travel to Tibet and I wasn’t disappointed... (more)izabela spero
From £895 excluding flights
Ethiopia holidays, tailor made
Fantastic. Ethiopia is beautiful, ancient and dramatic. A sight to see around every corner. The vacation provider crafted our itinerary, provided some superb guides and ensured we experienced the country as more of a traveler than a tourist. (more)Alison Newman
Extremely good. Well thought out and very good value for money. (more)Sally-Ann Shouler
The three days we spent in Lalibela over Timket were extraordinary - but so was watching our guide in Harar negotiate for a can of camel milk in a local village. (more)katie gray
From £1456 excluding flights
Bhutan vacations, cultural tours
I absolutely loved it and even now a few weeks later, the wonderful sights and sounds are still with me. (more)Linda Marlow
The whole journey on the roads in Bhutan was something special, but of course the most momentous was the hike up to the Tiger's Nest. It was really something special. (more)Eszter Bernath
The best bits: People and countryside. (more)Margaret Phelan
From £1105 excluding flights
Vietnam culture and beach holiday
It was excellent. I would definitely recommend this sort of tour for a first visit. We had never had a guide or arranged tour before so it really made the difference knowing that tours had been prepaid and pick ups and cars had been pre arranged. (more)Val Bodington
Both the visit to the Cu Chi tunnels and the day on the Mekong Delta was the most memorable. (more)Emma Miller
From US $1038 excluding flights
Thailand and Laos adventure holiday, Bangkok to Vang Vieng
5*++++++++ It was absolutely superb! The operator may be a small company but it's dedication to providing the best service and most rounded and authentic personal experience of the country meant that I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. (more)Alice Ross
This trip was an amazing introduction to southeast Asia for me. I felt that my experience of Thailand and Laos was enhanced by this trip...Trekking throughout the north of Laos was amazing. We had a wonderful guide that was proud to show of his country, people, food, history and culture's. (more)Amy Worthington
From £2250 excluding flights
Archaeology vacation in Greece
Loved traveling with the guides--they treated us like family. (more)Brynnen Ford
Most memorable for me, I would probably just go for the trip to Mycenae, as it had been a long-held wish to go there, and it didn't disappoint! (more)Neil Holt
This was about the best vacation I have ever been on; with excellent licensed guides informing us of the archaeology in the historical Peloponnese and in Athens. (more)Alan Wallis
From €990 excluding flights
Mongolia adventure vacation, off the beaten track
Excellent. Very well organised. Guides knew their stuff and were always helpful and cheerful. It was a tremendous experience and I would love to go again - maybe to a different part of this huge and empty country. (more)Theresa Partington
Memorable, beautiful, with a bit of challenge [especially for a 75 year old, me] (more)Elizabeth Wingate
The most memorable parts were: Traveling across vast plains in the Gobi, with no roads no buildings no artificial light, and stopping to listen to the silence. The immense blue sky. The generosity and kindness of Mongolians... (more)Alison Cathles
From £1237 - £1365 excluding flights
Amalfi coast easy walking holiday, Italy
Walking in the hills above Amalfi was very special, and it was lovely seeing some of the little villages tourists generally don't visit. (more)Helen Rankin
It was amazing. June and Aubrey are welcoming, knowledgeable and experienced. They made the vacation a truly memorable experience. Nothing was too much trouble. (more)Hannah Wilson
From £1070 - £1099 excluding flights
Madagascar tailor made vacation, Reef and Rainforest
A lovely time. second visit. (more)John Dreyfuss
Brilliant, eye opening, once in a lifetime experience...Seeing and hearing the Indri in Andasibe was breathtaking and our guide was brilliant. (more)Anita Chapman
This was an absolutely superb adventure, great people, amazing wildlife, stunning scenery. (more)Claudia Biedert
From £3095 - £3650 including UK flights
Japan small group vacation, Japan unmasked
The vacation fully lived up to expectations! (more)Rebecca Goulding
Amazing vacation would definitely recommend. (more)Jean Heap
My vacation was wonderful, William our tour leader, with his unique style made our vacation really special! (more)Lara Pallard
From US $2800 excluding flights
Japan small group vacation by bullet train
A ten plus. The whole trip was fantastic, from the neon lights of Tokyo to the countryside around Takayama. (more)Catherine Atkinson
It was fabulous and everything and more than we expected! (more)Michelle Rademeyer
Excellent thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. The whole vacation was memorable as we went from the busy metropolis of Tokyo to the quiet of the Japanese Alps. (more)Amanda Johnson
From US $4160 excluding flights
Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
Best bit: The food! (more)Louise Larsen
Experiencing Japan- a fascinating, different and wonderful country to visit. We loved Tokyo and Kyoto and all the sights there. (more)Fay Berry
I absolutely adored Hakone...That entire leg of the journey was my favourite. I wish we'd had more time there. It was so relaxing, but at the same time there was mountain to explore! ...Our tour operators were fantastic, they couldn't do enough for us. (more)Jennifer Whiteside
From US $1515 excluding flights
Scotland, luxury rail vacation
Excellent! The train rides through the highlands - such scenery, and having the train stop at so many lovely, tiny places. (more)Marianna Mather
The whole experience was memorable. The Jacobite steam train, the Culodin battlefield, and the warm and friendly people. (more)Lisa Shaffer
Excellent....Time on Skye, and the rail journeys on the West Highland line and from Kyle of Lochalsh to Dingwall (more)Andrew and Hilary Walker
From £1935 - £2050 excluding flights
Borneo family tour
Go for it. It was a great family adventure that we all loved. (more)Martha Rutherford
Don't be put off by having a guide, we thought we would feel less intrepid but we learnt and laughed so much. Be prepared for the unexpected! Amazing fun. (more)Nikki Shack
Fantastic! We constantly remember different things and look at the photos. Staying with a local family - our daughters got so much out of it. (more)Sarah Madeley
From US $2345 - US $2830 excluding flights
Romania vacation, the Beauty of Yesterday
EXCELLENT, our guide Alexandra was first class....Hard to say as so many wonderful bits. Maybe visiting the fortified church in the village where Prince Charles has bought a house, and then going by horse and cart to visit the brick maker. (more)Peter Hartnall
It is difficult to pick out the 'most' memorable as the whole vacation was absolutely wonderful. The guide made it possible to visit small museums and 'cottage industries' such as a rural tile maker, which involved a pony cart ride, none of which would have been possible without her local knowledge. (more)Julie. Stokes
It's difficult to pick one thing. For me the Carpathian Forest Steam Train trip and the visit to Viscri Weisskirch are the two most memorable items. (more)Martin Sutton
From £995 - £1075 excluding flights
Turkey small group tour
Local people definitely benefited from the tourism both on our trip and from the many others, obviously on the same circuit as us. Our guide, Perihan Asan, was very informative and lively and made the vacation so enjoyable. (more)Lesley McManus
I loved the balloon ride over Capodocchia, and found Galipoli very moving. I thought it ticked all the boxes as they say. (more)Gillian Willcocks
Cappadocia and balloon flight were the most memorable parts of the vacation (more)Judith and Alan Hepburn
From £580 - £929 excluding flights
Japan golden route vacation
Excellent and good value for money (more)Allison Krill
Excellent. We enjoyed it all. The travel arrangements all worked perfectly. Hotels were fine. Amy at the tour operator was terrific. (more)Howard Rosenthal
From US $2340 excluding flights
Mexico small group vacation, a food adventure
Memorable parts? This was a food trip, and the food was fantastic. Our great guide, Fernando, took us to street food, markets, and restaurants--more than I expected. The cities of Puebla and Oaxaca are beautiful. For me high points were the markets and Monte Alban. Tips? 1) Check the exact date you are going. We happened to be on the one trip that started at a different hotel, and there was confusion. 2) Now there is an overnight bus from Oaxaca to Zipolite (apparently soon... (more)Nancy McCormick
From US $1452 - US $1975 excluding flights
Exciting family vacation in China
Memorable parts? The itinerary planned by our operator worked out beautifully for my family of 8. A couple of the guides, especially Johnnie in Beijing and Susan in chengdu engaged with the children and helped make our time in those cities very enjoyable. we loved that logistics were taken care of by our guides n drivers. The children loved the ice skating, the time at the Great Wall, learning to cook their own dishes, spending Christmas day at the panda research center, biking in town... (more)Kristin Baker
From US $2135 - US $2255 excluding flights
Vietnam family vacation
Memorable parts? Walking in the hills in North Vetnam, really connected with the people off the tourist trails. Stunning. Tips? Be prepared for simple accommodation and reasonably hard walking. Although not very long walks, about 15km in a day it can get quite hot and hilly. Wish I was fitter. Local benefits? Yes, staying with families and local businesses is very important to the development of the tourist industry. Always ate in small restaurants. Overall rating? Very... (more)Angela Reid
From £1075 - £1095 excluding flights
Burma photography tour
The most memorable moment of the trip was the balloon flight over Bagan! (more)David Tiley
Excellent small group led by an experienced photographer who showed us many different ways of using light and lenses and who was also relaxed and fun to be with. Our experiences felt real. (more)elizabeth McCormick
Having Nathan Horton on the trip gave a very interesting slant to an already enjoyable vacation. Nathan had a flair for taking the group to places which were not on the tourist trail and this was very much appreciated. (more)John Martin
From £3450 including UK flights
Japan cultural small group holiday
Memorable parts? Really enjoyed the variety of visiting different regions of Japan e.g busy Tokyo, tranquil Hakone, beautiful Kyoto and Nara and Kamakura. I particularly enjoyed staying in the traditional Ryokan accommodation and having an open air onsen (hot springs ) at night. Tips? Embrace all elements of the trip and try some new experiences. Local benefits? The trip uses public transport throughout such as trains, buses and metro. Local restaurants are used. Overall... (more)Eva Jolly
From US $2000 excluding flights

Vacation Reviews

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Unedited reviews from other travelers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really
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