Our top 10 overland tour routes

An overland holiday is an exciting, sociable and often cost effective way to see a large part of a continent over an extended length of time. There is potential for a phenomenal variation of landscapes, but also an enthralling mix of cultures and experiences. You could be wine tasting in the vineyards of Cape Town on Monday, and by Wednesday hiking and canoeing the stark Fish River Canyon over the border in Namibia. This kind of trip is all about recognising that a continent is no greater than the sum of its parts, and letting loose your adventurous spirit. Be that in trekking to the top of an Andean mountain peak, whitewater rafting at Victoria Falls, or accepting a first glass of vodka on the Trans Siberian. Here are our top 10 overland tours.

The Baltics

Because Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are so compact, it's easy to see a great deal of each within a couple of weeks on a fast moving itinerary. A typical route might take in the historic capitals Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, stretches of wild Baltic coastline, and picturesque scenery such as that of the UNESCO-rated Curonian Spit National Park. More active travellers can see the Baltics from the saddle with a small group cycling trip.

When to depart: April to September
Our top selling trip: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania holiday
See all our trips: Baltics overland holidays
Read more: Baltics travel guide

Cairo to Cape Town

The Cairo to Cape Town overland route is an undisputed epic, taking you from top to tail of the African continent, or vice versa, in around 20 weeks. Tick off big names such as the Pyramids and the Sahara, the Nile and the Rift Valley, gorilla tracking and the Okavango Delta. You also have the option of beginning or ending the trip in Nairobi, which is about halfway, if you don’t want to commit to the full journey.

When to depart: April, October – December
Our top selling trip: Cairo to Cape Town overland tour
See all our trips: Africa overland tours
Read more: Africa overland travel guide

Cape Town to Victoria Falls

This trip blends truly jaw dropping scenery, ancient and recent history, four countries (South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana) and the immense Okavango Delta – as well as some of the continent's best wildlife watching opportunities. It's definitely a route suited to the hardy traveller; you cover around 5,000km over around three weeks. A hugely satisfying African odyssey.

When to depart: All year-round
Our top selling trip: Cape Town to Victoria Falls holiday
See all our trips: Cape Town to Victoria Falls
Read more: Cape Town to Vic Falls travel guide

Central America overland

The great joy of overlanding isn’t simply being able to see several countries in one go, but the eclectic mix of culture, nature and history that you’ll discover as you go. In Central America you can expect spectacular Mayan archaeological sites, swathes of paradise coast, and colourful wildlife. You can potentially travel all the way from Mexico to Panama, but there are many trips that cover shorter segments of this route.

When to depart: August to April
Our top selling trip: Central America small group tour
See all our trips: Central America overland tours
Read more: Central America overland travel guide

India

Given how mind blowingly massive India is, and how richly diverse its different states, from the mountainous north to the tropical south, a longer overland tour is the best way to really appreciate the contrasts. A typical route might involve a round trip from Delhi to Jodphur, Jaipur and Varanasi, then a flight south to explore the Kerala coast, Mysore and Goa. Another fab aspect is the way cuisine varies from state to state.

When to depart: All year round
Our top selling trip: India adventure tour
See all our trips: India overland tours
Read more: India travel guide

Our top Overland Holiday

Indochina holiday, Hanoi to Bangkok via Angkor

Indochina holiday, Hanoi to Bangkok via Angkor

Awesome adventure through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand

From £1012 to £1265 22 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 28 Nov, 5 Dec, 18 Dec, 19 Dec
2019: 9 Jan, 23 Jan, 13 Feb, 27 Feb, 13 Mar, 20 Mar, 10 Apr, 17 Apr, 24 Apr, 1 May, 29 May, 5 Jun, 19 Jun, 26 Jun, 3 Jul, 10 Jul, 17 Jul, 31 Jul, 7 Aug, 14 Aug, 21 Aug, 28 Aug, 4 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 6 Nov, 13 Nov, 20 Nov, 27 Nov, 4 Dec, 11 Dec, 17 Dec, 18 Dec, 21 Dec, 25 Dec
2020: 8 Jan, 15 Jan, 22 Jan, 12 Feb, 26 Feb, 11 Mar, 18 Mar ...
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Hello. If you'd like to chat about Overland or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Indochina

Chaotic and crumbling, modern and ancient – an overland tour in Indochina fulfils childhood fantasies of what travel should be. Thailand is an exceptionally hospitable land of hidden beaches, sacred temples and hill tribes; its neighbour Laos is enchanting and unspoiled. Vietnam’s cities are mesmerising sprawls; and then there’s Cambodia, home to the vast complex of Angkor Wat and the welcoming Khmer people.

When to depart: All year-round
Our top selling trip: Indochina overland holiday
See all our trips: Indochina (Southeast Asia) holidays
Read more: Indochina travel guide

Patagonia

A bucket list destination for hiking aficionados, Patagonia spans Argentina and Chile, and boasts some of the most magnificently brooding scenery in South America, especially around the Torres del Paine National Park with its famous ‘W’ Trail. From glaciers to penguins, pristine lakes to gaucho culture, and incongruous Welsh communities, there’s a lot to see and do down here at the end of the world.

When to depart: October to April
Our top selling trip: Patagonia overland truck tour
See all our trips: Patagonia holidays
Read more: Patagonia travel guide

Silk Road

The Silk Road’s spidering tributaries, for centuries used by traders to peddle their wares between East and West, can lead intrepid travellers to some of the most fascinating sites across Asia. This route can easily be broken down into manageable chunks, such as traversing the ‘Stans. Ancient archaeological sites, dazzling floodlit cities, heavily-scented bustling bazaars, and evocative swathes of desert – tempting, no?

When to depart: August to December
Our top selling trip: Silk Road holidays, Central Asia
See all our trips: Silk Road holidays
Read more: Silk Road overland travel guide

South America coast-to-coast

It’s easy to think of South America as one immense, Spanish-and-Portuguese-speaking mass, but an overland tour will quickly dispel that illusion. Chile’s modern, European-style cities contrast with its inhospitable Atacama Desert. Bolivia’s harsh highlands are the realm of the Aymara – but heat and wildlife await in the Amazon. Argentina and Brazil share the mighty Iguazu Falls, and then there’s Machu Picchu, and Patagonia…

When to depart: August to December
Our top selling trip: South America tour, coast to coast
See all our trips: South America overland holidays
Read more: South America overland travel guide

Trans Siberian Railway

The jump on/jump off nature of an overland holiday on the Trans Siberian or the Trans Mongolian Railway allows you to experience constantly moving scenery with overnight stays in Mongolian ger camps and guesthouses. Lake Baikal is a highlight but for many travellers the most memorable moments occur while playing play cards and drinking vodka with fellow passengers – even those that don’t speak a word of English!

When to depart: April to October
Our top selling trip: Trans Siberian and Mongolia tour, westbound
See all our trips: Trans Siberian Railway holidays
Read more: Trans Siberian Express travel guide
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Phil Whitehouse] [Intro: Ken Treloar] [Baltics: Richard] [Cairo to Cape Town: Amstrong White] [Cape Town to Victoria Falls: Mario Micklisch] [Central America overland: Prayitno] [India: Juan Antonio Segal] [Indochina: xiquinhosilva] [Patagonia: Dirk Spijkers] [Silk Road: Francisco Anzola] [South America coast-to-coast: Sahitya Kakarla] [Trans Siberian Railway: Boccaccio1]
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