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Small group holidays and tours, 2014 and 2015

Small group holidays

What is a small group holiday?

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper – and more sociable – than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

Water multi sport holiday in Croatia
Kayak, canoe, rafting and hike, plus nature and culture, from €620 - €790 (8 days) ex flights
Family sea kayaking holiday in Croatia
Relaxing & fun family kayaking holiday on Croatian islands, from €615 (7 days) ex flights
Finnish Lapland activity holiday
Enjoy some of the most popular Nordic activities, from £1618 (7 days) inc UK flights
Oman small group tour
Ancient spice trails, Wahiba Sands, superb coastal scenery, from £1375 (7 days) ex flights
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh holiday in Vietnam
Capture the spirit of Vietnam on this compact adventure, from £665 - £805 (10 days) ex flights
Malaysia Tour
Ethnically and culturally rich, scenic Malaysia awaits, from £1155 - £1255 (14 days) ex flights
Sabah holiday, land beneath the wind
Wildlife & culture in Malaysia, from £1395 - £1605 (12 days) ex flights
Japan small group holiday
Japan's must-see cities and beautiful, rural countryside, from £2600 (14 days) ex flights
Great Wall of China walking holiday
Trek along various contrasting sections of the wall, from £1379 - £1669 (10 days) inc UK flights
Small group tours to Japan
Explore the backroads of Japan, from £2390 (15 days) ex flights
Maldives holidays, Dhoni cruise
Cruise the Atolls unspoilt tropical islands, from £1489 - £1911 (8 days) inc UK flights
Namibia and Botswana safari holiday
Caprivi, Etosha, Sossusvlei, Kalahari Bushman, Delta, Vic Falls, from €2595 (21 days) ex flights
China tours, Beijing to Hong Kong
A fantastic journey into the Middle Kingdom, from £1049 (18 days) ex flights
Bangladesh holiday
Bangladesh is waiting to be discovered, from £1699 - £1755 (14 days) ex flights
Finland hiking holiday
A hut-to-hut hiking journey along Finland's eastern border, from €864 (8 days) ex flights
Gran Canaria walking tours, Canary Islands
This unique volcanic island reveals unexpected variety, from £737 - £860 (8 days) inc UK flights
Galapagos & Amazon wildlife holiday, Ecuador
The ultimate wildlife trip to the Amazon and Galapagos, from US $5795 (16 days) ex flights
Elaphite Islands & Dubrovnik walking tours in Croatia
A blend of great nature, culture and friendly local people, from €715 (7 days) ex flights
Delhi to Goa overland tour
Indian curries temples harems & Himalayas, from £729 - £749 (15 days) ex flights
Japan small group holiday, Japan unmasked
Whistlestop Japan highlights with an expert tour leader, from £1750 (14 days) ex flights
Northern lights short break, Finland
Leisurely stay in Finnish Lapland & an Aurora Alert system, from £1162 - £1248 (5 days) inc UK flights
Costa Rica wildlife holiday
An amazing variety of Costa Rican wildlife, from £2299 - £2999 (16 days) inc UK flights
South Africa Safari holiday, 14 days
Upgraded for 2015 ! Small group safaris, 2 to 6 persons max, from £2495 - £2725 (14 days) ex flights
Lemosho Route Kilimanjaro Climb
Eight days of trekking on Africa's highest mountain, from £2599 - £3299 (12 days) inc UK flights
Turkey small group tour
Discover the wonders of Turkey on this 10 day tour, from £639 - £719 (10 days) ex flights
Patagonia overland tour, Villarica
Overland adventure Chile to Argentina, from £1062 (21 days) ex flights
Bolivia small group holiday
13 day Bolivian Odyssey, from £2100 (13 days) ex flights
Northern Lights, glaciers and ice photography holiday Iceland
Capture Iceland's Glacier, Northern Lights, Ice & Waterfalls, from £1950 (8 days) ex flights
Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon holiday
See the Grand Canyon & Monument Valley, from £969 - £1149 (7 days) ex flights
Highlights of Morocco holiday
Explore the diversity of romantic Morocco, from £929 - £1129 (15 days) inc UK flights

2422 reviews for small group holidays4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent small group holidays reviews are from travellers 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 travellers below.

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
Algonquin Park tours in Canada, canoeing & moose
Memorable parts? Gentle paddling during the day enjoying incredibly vast skies, calm blue water and forests of white pines. And lying back on sun-warmed rocks in the evening watching the Milky Way emerge and listening to the loons calling across the lakes. Learning how to track animals, brew pine needle tea, make rope out of bark, start a fire in the rain and read weather patterns. Tips? The camp sites are simply a natural clearing in the forest near the water, with some rocks for... (more)Jane Lucken
From CA $550 excluding flights
Great Wall of China walking holiday
Five stars: Themost memorable parts were walking on the Great Wall, interacting with ordinary Chinese people in theTemple of Heaven Park and seeing Red & Giant Pandas. (more)Sally Payne
I LOVED every minute of my stay in China, and the tour was very efficiently run. Our tour guide, Jerry was really great. (more)Phyllis Ryan
Great organisation, exactly what I was looking for and far exceeded my expectations. (more)Lynne Oakerbee
From £1379 - £1669 including UK flights
Family holiday in Vietnam
Our guide Hai was fantastic, he had lots of knowledge, had a great sence of humour and looked after us well. He really helped make the holiday as fantastic as it was. (more)Elizabeth Morgan
We were immersed in this really poor country, with the hint of past traumatic occupation and wars, and received the most generous opening of hearts from this 80% buddhist country. (more)Victoria Macdonald
From £1834 - £2179 including UK flights
Family cycling holiday in Kenya & Tanzania
Wonderful guides, incredible access to the remotest regions and real people... Wonderful - genuinely the holiday of a lifetime and a never to be forgotten special experience. (more)Dan Cobley
Every day brought new experiences. The animals just kept coming out on cue! Brilliant - I don’t know how we will top it. (more)Monica Szolin-Jones
Most memorable were waking to the sound of a lion killing a wildebeast behind our tent in Amboseli National Park campsite. Singing and dancing with 500 children from a local primary school in Tanzania. (more)Gaenor Morris
From NZ $3690 - NZ $4490 excluding 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 £1049 excluding flights
Self guided 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
Northern Lights photography holiday in Iceland, coast & ice
What was the most memorable part of the holiday? - Everything!...Excellent! (more)Chada Ruangtoowagoon
Fabulous, never to be forgotten...the excitement of 'getting' the Northern Lights was really great. (more)Doreen Kelly
I think everyone who went on this trip would return in the future given the chance. I will certainly be back next year. Overall a great holiday and learning experience. (more)Malcolm Park
From £2350 excluding 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 £929 - £1149 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 - £1181 excluding flights
Discover Cuba holiday, 15 days
It was fantastic! Cuba - See you again (more)olga schmidtberger
This holiday was great and I was still smiling weeks after I got back home. To date it has been the best holiday I have ever been on. I came home really relaxed and incredibly happy. I would challenge anyone to go to Cuba, spend sometime with the people and not be effected by their wonderful nature. (more)Shireen Alsalti
Absolutely brilliant....We thought our tour was excellent - a comprehensive itinerary and good value. It was really packed with activities so we did enjoy a beach break at the end. (more)Karin Barrett
From US $1195 excluding flights
Luxury camping safari in Botswana
Memorable parts? The wildlife, the stunning location of our accommodation was truly memorable. Tips? Go to the bushcamps! Its fab. Local benefits? During our stay, we learnt a lot about the different local projects the provider of this holiday is involved with - we thought it was quite extensive. Environmentally, the solar-powered bushcamp was definitely the most ecological of the 3 camps we stayed at. Overall rating? A truly unique experience. Great service pre-booking.... (more)Judith Frehner
From £1685 - £2975 excluding flights
Sweden walking holiday, self guided
Memorable parts? Canoeing on Marviken lakes. Walking in Swedish forests and on coastal paths when there was barely a sound to be heard Taking boats to Islands in the southern archipelago Paddle oat journey to beautiful Mariefred - especially stepping on board to find our bikes already there with all equipment and a welcoming note from the operator Tips? Don't hesitate - you will not be disappointed. The organisation and support from the operator is excellent - Carmen does a superb... (more)Andrew and Sharon Venables
From SKr8700 - SKr8995 excluding flights
Umbria cooking holiday, Italy
They were the perfect hosts! They always catered for our every need and went out of their way to make sure that our stay was an enjoyable one. We would not hesitate to book this holiday again! (more)Joanne Anagnostu
The location is stunning, Marina and Gianluca make you feel welcome, and they work exceedingly hard to ensure that you have an enjoyable stay. We came to learn cookery, but Marina ensures you know about so much more. I can't wait to try some of the recipes we have been taught. (more)Joanne Wilkins
It was amazing. One of the best holidays I have ever had (& I am old...so have had a few!) I can honestly not praise this trip enough. It was FABULOUS. (more)Hilary Brett
From €1000 - €1200 excluding flights
Namibia and Botswana safari holiday
I am a frequent traveller and have done many overland and organize trip in the past, by far these were the best I have used. The countries visited were more than I could have ever imagined and the people I met along the way will always stay with me. It's a 10 out of 10. (more)Cathal Murphy
Excellent trip with a huge amount packed into the 21 days and good value for money (more)Jennifer Rousseau
Really very good - about 9.5/10. Namib desert and Chobe National Park, as well as the excellent tour staff were the best parts about this holiday. (more)Joe Seydel
From €2595 excluding flights
South East China photography holiday
It was a fantastic trip, well balanced and well organised. (more)Garron Hilton
Highly recommended photographic trip. (more)Robert Hoorn
Oktay gave me a wonderful introduction to China from all his (and his assistant Sandy's) experience. He knew just the right places to go for photography and the right people to meet. Oktay is a great professional and I had an excellent and instructive time with him. (more)John Stork
From €2200 - €2350 excluding flights
Spanish course & walking holiday, Picos de Europa, Spain
Fantastic - just what I needed! If you want to learn Spanish, go on some great hikes and be truly immersed in Spanish all week (both in school and in the local community) - then book it without hesitation! (more)Hazel Tyror
Everything was local. Used small family run hotel, a local taxi service and a local (and very knowledgeable) mountain guide. Recycling and environmental awareness was encouraged. (more)Linda Mead
A challenging and rewarding week spent learning new skills and meeting warm, friendly people. (more)Cathryn Priestley
From €810 excluding flights
Yoga holiday in Portugal
When a week feels like a month ( in the best possible way), you know you have struck holiday gold! I'm a bit reluctant to tell anyone about them, as I loved it so much I kind of want to keep it for myself! ;) (more)Deirdre O
This holiday was very special and nourished body, mind and spirit. This is what holidays should be like and I would recommend this holiday to anyone looking for something nourishing, peaceful and uplifting. (more)Domini Stone
Very happy...made new international friends. (more)Catherine Haynes
From €700 - €850 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
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 £1554 - £2345 excluding flights
Nepal extreme activity holiday
Brilliant!! The most memorable part has to have been rafting the G4 rapids on the Bhote Koshi with thunder and lightning, rain bouncing off the water and 1.5cm hailstones falling from the sky, still all in 27 degrees heat, wow amazing! (more)Neil Whittemore
I had a brilliant time on this holiday and it fulfilled most of what I wanted to get out of the trip. (more)Murray Hendriksen
From £1690 including domestic flights only
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 £1775 excluding flights
Archaeology holiday in Greece
This was a wonderful holiday: friendly staff; excellent accommodation; knowledgeable and friendly tour guides; and an excellent, extremely interesting itinerary. (more)Genevieve Morris
We will have lasting memories of the wonderful ancient sites, beautiful villages and towns, fantastic food and the friendly people of this diverse and attractive region (more)Andrew Douglas
We enjoyed all of it! Exciting to see the original running track at Olympia, Mystras was spectacular, and the Acropolis Museum is amazing - both the building and the contents. (more)Paul Beckett
From €980 excluding flights
Kayaking holiday in Montenegro, Lake Skadar
The kayaking was amazing, the lake is so quiet and often ( nearly always) you are the only people out there! The scenery is stunning, it's quite amazing. (more)Kay Audoire
The whole trip was amazing, stunning scenery and lovely villa. We loved the hikes, out in the countryside seeing the local landscapes and the amazing insects.... Ben and Emma have immersed themselves in the local community, employing local people and the lunch at Tanya's (a local villager, where we stopped off on a hike) was amazing. (more)Liz Cush
Swimming in mountain pools and lakes, from the breathtakingly cold to the sublimely warm. Kayaking across an almost deserted lake and feeling special and privileged to be able to share in such a spectacular landscape...This has been an incredible holiday, we didn't stop saying how wonderful it was all the time we were there. (more)Jane Barnes
From £520 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
Bhutan holidays, cultural tours
This was an excellent holiday with huge contrasts between the mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Both countries are steeped in their unique cultures and histories - it was a joy to learn so much. (more)Ray Priest
Everything about Bhutan and Mt.Everest in Tibet was memorable. (more)Selina Brandl
My holiday was amazing the guides were so helpful and made my experience wonderful. The most memorable part of my holiday was the beautiful scenery on the treks in Bhutan and Nepal and the 51 metre Buddha high on a mountain in Thimpu is impressive and inspiring. (more)michele allix
From £1105 excluding flights
Orangutan photography in Borneo
This is a great holiday. Whether you are a first time photographer or experienced photographer you will love this holiday and will come back with great photos and memories, as well as having learned a lot. (more)Mark Edwards
The first sighting of the great male orang-utan swinging through the trees and then the look in his eyes as he eyeballed anyone who looked at him, his hands and the strength in his arms -- completely awesome (more)Celia Allen
Totally brilliant, great food, great organisation and most of all a great wildlife experience that felt unique and very privileged...Great tuition from Ian really helped me to learn to use my camera to maximise the results. (more)suzanne lamb
From £1820 excluding flights
Wildlife sailing holiday in Scotland
Brilliant holiday...both Michael and Colette were passionate about conservation matters and the threat to the marine environment which couldn't help but rub off on everyone on board. (more)Roy Owen
10/10, relaxing and rewarding....Great hosts and fellow travellers, stunning scenery and wonderful food, on and off the boat (more)Michele Stewart
My family and I enjoyed it very much. The wonderful scenery and the good food on and off the boat, (more)Alistair Macmillan
From £690 - £944 excluding flights
South Africa Safari holiday, 14 days
10/10 it was amazing. We were so well looked after and treated as part of the family at our main resort. it was very hectic as we stayed at 6 locations so it involved a lot of travelling. but now we are back, we realise how much we packed in and how much we saw. it was a trip of a lifetime for us, so we really appreciate all the things we gained from our trip and are now saving hard to go again!! (more)SUE NEWMAN
For a first safari for my daughter and I, this was a terrific experience. Good weather, delicious and varied cooking, confortable accommodations and experienced, diplomatic and knowledgeable guides made our safari something to remember and talk about (more)Lucille Daze
This was a fantastic, very well organized holiday. There was always a lot going on but we saw a lot and learned a lot. All the guides and hosts at the lodges were very knowledgable and passionate about the wildlife and very open to sharing their knowledge and experiences with all of us. (more)Amanda Hathway
From £2495 - £2725 excluding flights
Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon holiday
Excellent, great bunch of fellow travellers (tour was full at 13). Our tour guide, Dan, was great and made the holiday work really. He was always available to us and coped well with our different needs/wants and the unpredictable weather. (more)Wendy Pountain
The most memorable parts were my first view of Bryce Canyon; trekking down to Cedar Ridge in the Grand Canyon. (more)DC Gibson
Hiking through Bryce Canyon with snow capping the rocks. One group member said as we hiked down amongst the structures "We need to invent new superlatives". It was stunning...Fantastic, recommended. Great tour guide from this tour operator. (more)Melanie Atkins
From £969 - £1149 excluding flights

Holiday Reviews

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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
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