Whether you’re going for full on culture shock in Ethiopia or China, or simply looking for the best place to watch a sensual and seductive tango, local operators open up a whole world of cultural possibilities. In Ethiopia, you’ll discover which days of the week are for fasting, and which gifts to bring for your community host. In Kerala, you’ll experience an authentic ayurvedic massage, and learn how to tip appropriately. And in Tibet, you’ll be shown how to drink yak butter tea – or how to politely turn it down!
But an authentic cultural encounter doesn’t have to mean travelling somewhere exotic. You might just be doing your shopping at the mercado
in an Andalucian village, or taking a language lesson in Asturias. You could be paddling round a Croatian cove, while your guide tells you what it looked like when he was growing up there 20 years ago – when these waters were Yugoslavian. Or you could discover the right way to enjoy a sauna after a hard day snowshoeing in Finland – with an optional roll in the snow afterwards!