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Cultural tours holidays and tours, 2015 and 2016

We’ve selected 1625 unique cultural tours to offer you the best way to see the highlights of your destination. Cultural tours are about getting a real sense of a place through its history and traditions, whether that’s sailing slowly down the Ganges, cycling around the townships of Cape Town, following the footsteps of history along the Silk Road, or riding elephants and visiting remote hill tribes in Thailand. Immersive and historical, cultural tours help you get under the skin of destinations.
Wildlife holidays in Brazil, tailormade
From Iguazu Falls to giant otters in the Pantanal, from £2875 (14 days) ex flights
Hiking the Inca trail holiday
An unrivalled combination of history and spectacular scenery, from £1849 - £2329 (11 days) inc UK flights
Central India holiday, culture and wildlife
The very best of central India's wildlife and history, from £2350 (16 days) ex flights
Burma holidays, small group tour
The highlights of Burma visiting Rangoon, Bagan, Mandalay & Inle Lake, from £2419 - £2899 (16 days) inc UK flights
Northern Thailand small group tour
Temples, ancient ruins & exotic markets of Northern Thailand, from £485 - £625 (8 days) ex flights
Kerala luxury holiday
Kerala at a relaxed pace, from £2022 (15 days) ex flights
Burma cultural holiday
Discover a side of Burma hidden beyond the tourist trail, from £1499 - £1599 (15 days) ex flights
Laos small group holiday
Experience the very best of Laos on this small group holiday, from £1165 - £1555 (8 days) ex flights
Central America family holiday
Adventure from ancient ruins to Caribbean coast, from £2225 (10 days ) inc UK flights
Active holiday in Turkey
Forge a path through unexplored terrain into the historical heart of Turkey, from £820 - £1000 (12 days) ex flights
Japan golden route holiday
9 night classic Japan trip: Tokyo, Fuji, Kyoto, from £1280 (10 days) ex flights
Iconic India highlights holiday
See India over 17 days on a comfortable small group tour, from £2565 - £3550 (17 days) ex flights
Himalayan cultural tour, Bhutan and Nepal
Discover Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon, from £1943 (13 days) ex flights
Small group holidays to Madagascar
Experience the best of this enigmatic island continent, from £2195 (17 days) ex flights
Jordan holiday, a week in Jordan
A week to explore the spectacular sites and scenery of Jordan, from £1149 - £1419 (9 days) inc UK flights
Morocco holiday, tailor made
An exotic, short & fantastic introduction to Morocco, from £995 (8 days) inc UK flights
Family holiday to Jordan, Journey to the Lost City
Experience the best of Jordan, from £1149 - £1194 (8 days ) inc UK flights
Egypt Nile and Red Sea Tours
Cairo, Giza, Luxor & Aswan Nile Cruise & Red Sea Holiday, from £680 - £760 (12 days) ex flights
Sri Lanka tour & beach holiday
Tropical island paradise and wildlife safari, from £1995 (15 days) inc UK flights
Belize & Guatemala adventure holiday
Combine sand sea wildlife and culture, from £1049 (15 days) ex flights
Tailor made Rajasthan tour, India
Discover the cultural wonders of Rajasthan, from £1650 (14 days) ex flights
Borneo tailor made tour on a shoestring
The Best of Borneo: Wildlife, Adventure, Idyllic Beaches, from £1815 (12 days) inc UK flights
Tibet cultural tours
Experience life styles of Tibetan people, from £895 (14 days) ex flights
Bhutan holidays, cultural tours
Discover Bhutan for a once in a lifetime experience, from £1105 (11 days) ex flights
Vietnam small group holiday, a food adventure
Exotic 2 week culinary and cultural tour of Vietnam, from £1075 - £1305 (12 days) ex flights
Small group holiday to Burma
Highlights of Burma; Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Lake Inle, from £2725 - £3195 (15 days) inc UK flights
Omo Valley cultural holiday in Ethiopia
Travel to the Omo Valley, Africa's cultural heartland, from £1750 - £1845 (14 days) ex flights
Family holiday to India, sightseeing and safari
Taj Mahal in Agra to the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, from £1259 - £1334 (11 days ) inc UK flights
Ethiopia cultural holidays
Discover the historic wonders of Ethiopia, from £2250 (14 days) ex flights
Kerala homestay tour, India
Stay in homestays in various destinations in Kerala, from £1254 (15 days) ex flights

1783 reviews for cultural tours holidays4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent cultural tours holidays reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Canoeing holiday in Ireland
As a family, the sense of teamwork was really noticeable... Occasionally we managed to stop the loud singing from our children and caught sight of kingfishers, herons, cormorants and all manner of wildlife... A fantastic family holiday – so glad we booked. (more)Fiona Penny
We had a fantastic 5 day self propelled Canadian canoe trip through beautiful, verdant Irish countryside. This was a perfect holiday to relax and enjoy the scenery as we paddled at our own pace down the idyllic River Barrow. (more)Clare Warrell
We had the most amazing time. Everything about the trip was incredible - the people we met, the landscape, the adrenalin, the "away from it all" feeling throughout! Will deffo be back for more first chance I get. (more)Sorcha NicCormaic
From £134 - £302 excluding flights
Trinidad and Tobago holidays
Memorable parts? All of it Tips? If you are bird watcher you are in for a treat Local benefits? Yes Overall rating? (more)Julie Newberry
From £2155 - £2650 including UK flights
China tours, Beijing to Hong Kong
Memorable parts? One evening after a show we needed to get a snack, our CEO was going to get noodles an she let us join her we sat in the street with local people and enjoyed a supper of noodles. The local children tried to speak English and the adults were very friendly it was a lovely atmosphere. Tips? If they are travelling in summer they need to understand how exceptionally hot it will be, thy will need enough thin clothing to have two outfits a day and they will need lots of... (more)Laura McKenna
From £892 - £1049 excluding flights
Laos and Vietnam holiday, Luang Prabang to Hanoi
Memorable parts? Visiting a cave which had become a shrine due to a tragedy that happened there during the Vietnam war.....the place was thickly populated by the most incredible butterflies it was a deeply spiritual and moving experience. Our guides were lovely kind thoughtful and patient Tips? Don't bring too many clothes you won't need them and laundry can be done easily and cheaply in Laos and Vietnam Local benefits? Yes we were pretty Eco and ate with locals everywhere... (more)simone plaut
From £2350 - £2450 including UK flights
Amalfi Coast and Bay of Naples holidays
Memorable parts? Most exciting was definitely Walk of the Gods, from Bomerano where we stayed to Positano over 2000' down on the coast. Fantastic views surrounded by wildflowers and herbs, across precipitous slopes and finally descending steps through cacti gardens from Montpertuso. But I also have to say I was surpised by how attractive Naples was, with its very elegant seafront. Tips? The combination of mountains and coast means that you can experience every sort of weather in... (more)Juliet Dunn
From £949 - £1149 including UK flights
Tailor made holiday in Peru
Memorable parts? EVERYTHING - it was just great! Tips? To inform themselves very early (6 month before booking) to get the most out of it. We therefore had the best holidays ever and people we met on our tour were just jealouse, because we could do all the cool stuff (we had organised the permits for Huayna Picchu, the Trek to Huchuy Qosqo etc.) Local benefits? Yes I do Overall rating? Great! (more)Barbara Buchegger
From £3350 including UK flights
Amalfi coast easy walking holiday, Italy
Memorable parts? It is difficult to identify just one part as the whole holiday was wonderful. I think the views from the last two walks were spectacular - Valle delle Ferriere and Sentiero degli Dei. Tips? Be prepared for hundreds of steps but well worth the climb up and down as every view is stunning. Local benefits? Definitely, in the attention to using local restaurants, shops and public transport. Overall rating? It was amazing. June and Aubrey are welcoming,... (more)Hannah Wilson
From £1155 excluding flights
Mongolia adventure holiday, off the beaten track
Memorable, beautiful, with a bit of challenge [especially for a 75 year old, me] (more)Elizabeth Wingate
The most memorable parts were: Travelling 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 £1538 - £2629 excluding flights
Romania adventure holiday
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 £1749 excluding flights
Japan small group holiday, Japan unmasked
The most memorable part is hard to sum up, so much of the trip was truly great, but would have to pick the Maiko session...Fantastic. Still raving about it. (more)Roslyn Fraser
Japan is fascinating, the ultra modern against a background of traditional. I loved their simplistic art, Zen gardens, efficiency and positive attitudes. (more)Ann Walsby
I enjoyed everything that I did. The food and accommodation were as expected and mostly better as it was not an expensive tour. The Japanese people were delightful - very polite, helpful and thoughtful and were a highlight in themselves. (more)Gillian Armstrong
From £1750 excluding flights
Chile tailor made holiday, Atacama Desert
Amazing, really great. So varied, we felt so lucky to be met at every airport or bus station by friendly experienced and interested guides. We were taken to their homes , to meet family and friends , to have coffee, to share in their lives and interests and to be guided into their part of the country. We can't wait to go back.....Simply the Best ! (more)Paul Barczak
Maximum classification: 10/10 The landscape was wonderful and I recommend to all the people that like big spaces, trekking and emotions. (more)Helena Melo
The great awareness of protecting the environment in the Atacama area was very striking. (more)Jenny Maddick
From £1395 - £1695 including domestic flights only
North India cultural tour
Holiday 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
A very good trip. Varanasi, the camaraderie of group members and our group leader and seeing India in action were the best parts of the trip. (more)Michael Adams
I am in my 50s and I found the pace excellent - no more than 3 nights anywhere - arrive - shower/rest - orientation walk then choose your activities and what a great diversity of activities. I found it stimulating and fun. (more)Hazel Durbridge
From £755 - £955 excluding flights
Kerala budget holiday, tailor made
Most memorable - Kayaking through the Keralan backwaters, meeting villagers and experiencing daily life first hand! Extraordinary and an experience to cherish. (more)Ben Swift
I would like to thank the suppliers, who arranged everything, for a first class service. I couldn't fault them. (more)Roy Cope
Flawless....trekking in Munnar, swimming in Varkala and the houseboats on the backwaters. But more than that meeting the locals, having the best food we've ever had and walking around lots of different villages, towns and cities really made this holiday. (more)Mike Waugh
From £1049 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
Madagascar tailor made holiday, Reef and Rainforest
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
Excellent...Seeing lemurs in the wild was the most memorable part. (more)Hilary Wilson
From £2980 - £3650 including UK flights
Small group holidays to Madagascar
The most fantastic holiday we have experienced and totally different from any location we have been to. The tour company was first class in every respect...Be prepared for poverty, humble experiences, lack of electricity but don't let this put anyone off going to this wonderful country. (more)George Bannister
As I expected not 'comfortable' but an amazing experience (more)Jean Maclean
Seeing five out of six possible types of lemur in the first National Park we visited...Excellent. (more)Gill Berry
From £2195 excluding flights
Himalayan cultural tours, Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal
The whole trip was memorable and exciting but one highlight was the hike up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan - quite a grueling walk for a Sunday afternoon but what memories! Also, visiting Lhasa in February when pilgrims from the furthest reaches of Tibet were there was a joy. (more)Carolynn Peace
The most memorable part of the holiday was seeing new places and meeting new people from completely new cultures. (more)Dietrich Yap
Watching the sun go down on Everest on the most perfect evening. Celebrating Diwali with the locals were the most memorable parts of the holiday (more)Rosemary Chinchen
From £2055 excluding flights
Discover Cuba holiday, 15 days
Talking with local people - staying with families who were unfailingly friendly and hospitable. Learning about Cuba, its history and society - absolutely fascinating - the Cubans have so much to be proud about. Of course the music and dance were great! All in all, the best holiday ever. (more)Cherry Shelton-Mills
It was all excellent-there were lots of memorable moments. (more)Jane Fulford
Each part of the tour provided a different experience of Cuba but of course there is even more to find out about. Don't expect a typical tourist trip where everything is to hand but do give your time to wander through the streets, talk to the people, look at the amazing buildings which may not exist anywhere else in the world. (more)Charmian Hobbs
From US $995 excluding flights
Sri Lanka holidays, tailor made
We really got to see the local view of life traveling on our own, very modern vehicle and used local cafes, services and attractions when possible. Safaris fund conservation.The whole tour was superb. From meeting our guide at the airport to our day of departure we enjoyed every new experience. We were helped every step of the way by Upul, our excellent Guide. (more)Derek Putnam
First and foremost, it has to be said that Sri Lanka did not disappoint us in any way! We were always greeted with warmth waves and smiles! It has to be one of the friendliest countries I've visited and it was for the most part very clean. (more)Lori Keating
The holiday overall was amazing, there were so many memorable experiences it is difficult to name only one thing. If we had to choose it would have to be turtle watching on Rekawa beach. (more)Jude Lambert
From £1755 including UK flights
Borneo tailor made tour on a shoestring
There were so many memorable bits! Each section of the holiday was so different and varied so all had different elements to make them special. 10/10! (more)Francesca Bellis-Jones
Experiencing 60+ elephants swim across the river in front of us was pretty special. Seeing the orangutans wild and protected was my husband's lifetime dream. Sitting having breakfast in the rainforest with the cacophony of sound from the insects was deafening. An unique experience from start to finish. (more)susan Fellows
9.5 out of 10 (more)Diane Rowe
From £1815 including UK flights
Japan tailor made tour on a shoestring
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
Japan is an interesting country with some great things to see and do. Maiko makeover was such fun! (more)Georgina Flower
Excellent! (more)Malcolm Andrews
From £700 excluding flights
Archaeology holiday in Greece
The most memorable part of the holiday was our hike along the Lousios gorge that ended with a wonderful picnic among the ruins of Gortys, an ancient healing centre...We would rate the archaeology activity holiday overall as among the best holidays we've had in Europe. (more)Ellen Taylor
The people we interacted with throughout our holiday, including Christos and his father, the drivers, the specialized tour guides, the hotel staff, and restaurant and shopkeepers were extremely warm and friendly. (more)Randi Morrison
The most memorable moments were unexpected. Our driver / guide took us up into the mountains to one of his favourite sites, ancient Orchomenos, where we stood in the lonely excavated theatre, just the five of us, with the majestic hills as the most perfect backdrop. Timeless! (more)Chris Thompson
From €980 excluding flights
Malawi tailor made holiday
The most memorable part was locating and visiting Rita's brother's grave in Blantyre. Huntingdon House and meeting Chip. Safaris at Mvuu Camp...Excellent - the trip of a lifetime for all of us. (more)John Christie
Very good, we went to four very different locations and saw a great deal. (more)ian macbeth
From £2195 - £2245 excluding flights
Kerala luxury holiday
This was definitely a 4-star holiday!...By far the most memorable part for us was the houseboat cruise on the back waters. Two nights on a barge - we loved the leisurely pace as we moved slowly along the rivers, giving plenty of time for watching birds and also watching life as lived alongside the river. (more)Aldyth Rowe
Excellent...The backwaters trip and the stay at Serenity were the most memorable parts. (more)john still
It was a 100% enjoyable experience. We got really far off the beaten track & to the real Southern India (Kerala & Tamil Nadu). Seeing lots of wild fauna & flora, including elephant three times. (more)John Tams-Gray
From £2022 excluding flights
Provence cooking & walking holiday
Book it. The local tours are great with good food. (more)Alison Mott
It was simply the best holiday I have been on in years very special (more)Joanne Hackett
We enjoyed the idea of doing everything locally with local people and contributing to the local economy. Above all, we felt really well taken care of with much attention to detail. (more)Tammy Railton
From €405 - €730 excluding flights
History, culture & wildlife of India holiday
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
Rajasthan tours, India
Don't hesitate to book. Just go! It was amazing. The operator uses local transport, including trains. The hotels were small businesses and not part of large world wide chains. Our group was a mix of ages from 20 year olds to over 60's so it is suitable for all wanting to experience India. (more)Kathryn Heirons
Most memorable - the amazing places we stayed and the wonderful people we met most exciting - being driven through the streets of Delhi, it got the adrenaline pumping anyway! (more)Beki Williams
We had many memorable and exciting experiences from this trip. Some of the local villages we visited were fantastic in terms of getting a glimpse of rural life in Rajasthan. We also stayed at some very interesting accommodation. (more)R and K Mackenzie
From £655 - £950 excluding flights
Tanzania holiday, safari, culture and wildlife 7 days
Very good...I enjoyed both the safari in Serengeti and the diving in Mafia very much (more)Marina Poletto
Fantastic! Amazing! Awe inspiring! The trip of a lifetime! Our most memorable moments were our interactions with the local people. Even though we booked this safari to see the Serengeti, we also wanted to make sure we spent an equal amount of time visiting and getting to know the people of Tanzania. We will forever hold in our hearts how warm and inviting everyone was. (more)Teresa VandenBosch
Fantastic. It was the perfect family holiday with a 12 year old and 14 year old. Always plenty to do, loads of variety, but never rushed. (more)Rebecca Rowland
From US $1860 - US $2480 excluding flights
Garden Route holiday, 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 holiday, 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
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

Holiday Reviews

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday 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

Want to know more about cultural holidays before you go?

Find out more about cultural holidays by reading these articles.

Few of us enjoy the feeling of sticking out like a sore thumb when we are on holiday. We giggle about the strange habits of overseas tourists here in the UK, but maybe it’s them laughing at us when we are away on holiday? However sometimes cultural faux pas are no laughing matter. Although our intentions might be good some of our behaviour can inadvertently cause great offence in destinations. For example, that little pink mini skirt which looks great in Brighton or Miami can, when worn away from the beach in Muslim countries, cause offence. The same types of culture clashes happen in conservative Christian communities in Polynesia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. Beyond causing offence to individual people tourism can impact on the culture in entire destinations. The tourism industry packages up and sanitises religious rituals, dress, ethnic rites and festivals to conform to tourist expectations. Once a destination begins to see itself through the eyes of tourists it begins to lose its sense of itself and its identity (and pretty quickly the reason why tourists came in the first place). Read more about cultural holidays in this cultural holidays article.
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