Traveling to the most exotic places in the world can be a very rewarding experience filled with excitement, education and adventure. Guided tours can greatly add to any trip by taking visitors to must-see sites in the area, as knowledgeable tour guides offer fascinating facts about the history and people of the area. There are those intrepid travelers who prefer to venture off the beaten path to rarely explored destinations that lift the spirits and fire the imagination. The following tours are designed with the curiosity seeker in mind.
gates of hell
A fiery crater that has been burning in the Karakum Desert since 1971 and is rumored to close in the near future. This month, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the government of Turkmenistan to start researching how to put out the fire. This once little-known destination is one of the most popular trips offered by Dark Atlas with his first start sold out in less than 24 hours. With Turkmenistan as a whole only receiving a few thousand visitors a year, now is the perfect time to book an adventure to one of the world’s most unusual hidden wonders.
Pyramids and Petroglyphs of Sudan
Travel along the Nile to retrace the history of ancient Egypt and Nubia. Camp in the Sudanese desert on this epic overland journey to uncover Sudan’s ancient history and hidden gems. Rarely visited and largely misunderstood, Sudan is home to some of the most spectacular historical artifacts and archaeological sites, the number of which exceeds those that can be found in all of Egypt. Highlights include meeting Bisharin nomads and Nubian locals, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Meroe and Jebel Barkal, and traveling by 4×4 through incredible landscapes to see remnants of ancient civilizations in Naqa and Musawwarat.
Unlike any place on earth, the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, is a city with a strong French influence in its architecture mixed with Malay and Polynesian notes in its inhabitants. It is truly one of the most fascinating capitals in Africa. Tours in Kensington can take you through the wilderness of Andasibe and then fly to Anjajavy, which is the only Relais & Châteaux property on the island. Here you can relax by the beach and savor the best of Malagasy cuisine. In Anjajavy, you can also discover the Sakalava caves, the ubiquitous baobabs, the rock formation of Tsingy and if you are lucky you may even spot an Aye Aye.
Start in the capital Tbilisi, a bustling and eclectic city full of architectural contrasts and a thriving restaurant scene. According to archaeologists, Georgia is the oldest wine-producing country in the world. Visit various regions and wineries, including the Kakheti region, where you will taste wines produced using the centuries-old Qvevri method. Visit the homes of local families and enjoy homemade lunches of typical Georgian dishes. Travel to Mtskheta, the religious center of Georgia, and visit the 6and Jvari monastery on top of a hill of the century and 11and century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Explore the ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe, dating back to the Iron Age. Drive through the legendary Georgian Military Road, one of the most scenic roads in the South Caucasus.
Salmon Falls ResortKetchikan, Alaska
Excursions abound from Salmon Falls Resort, and the ease of access means guests can spend more time reconnecting with nature and less time at the airport. Located at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s iconic Inside Passage, Ketchikan is beloved for its rich Alaskan culture and pristine wilderness. The Oyster Farm Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Hump Island Oyster Farm while tasting the best oysters in the world. Eco-Kayaking Tours offers paddlers of all skill levels the chance to spend several leisurely hours exploring the waters of Clover Passage by kayak and encounter wildlife including Sitka deer, Pacific porpoises and humpback whales.
Underground Slovenia: caves, cellars and secret tunnels
Descend into the legendary labyrinth of Slovenian karst, where some of the world’s most famous caves meander beneath the ground. Highlights of this exhilarating tour include exploring the world’s second largest mercury mine, viewing prehistoric bear fossils, riding a train that traverses the depths of the Earth, and boarding the a nocturnal dormouse hunt. Emerge in time to visit local vineyards, sample karst prosciutto, visit a medieval castle or two, and cruise around the beautiful glassy waters of Lake Bled, cradled between the Alps.
Royal and ducal castles
The English nobility inhabit an opulent world that is only open to a select few. Join Abercrombie & Kent founder Geoffrey Kent on a tour of British historical dramas, Downton Abbey at The crown. Enjoy the privilege of being a personal guest in large rural estates, choosing from leisure activities such as archery, fly fishing, skeet shooting, a round of golf and a stroll through the beautiful gardens. Enjoy a special visit to Windsor Castle courtesy of Her Majesty The Queen and is led by a member of staff who knows all the ins and outs of the castle.