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10 top cultural tours in Europe

Europe brings together a varied mix of cultures, customs and traditions. From the ancient Greek relics of Sicily and the exclusion zones of Ukraine to the sumptuous wines of Portugal and the myths of Romanian folklore, these are our top European tours for culture.
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Classical Sicily Tour

Gaze up at the timeworn columns of the Doric Temple of Zeus on a cultural trip into the Valley of the Temples in Sicily, Italy. Set in a forest clearing on an isolated hilltop, these mighty ruins are a striking juxtaposition against the modern skyline of Agrigento. Take a seat in the ancient stalls of Taormina's crumbling open-air Greek theatre to admire cinematic views of Mount Etna, Europe's highest volcano, before browsing boutique shops and street-side delis in the narrow alleyways of Taormina.
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Discover Chernobyl Tour

For a cultural holiday like no other, immerse yourself in the eerie and chilling history of Chernobyl in Ukraine. On this short weekend break, you'll get the opportunity to visit the abandoned ghost town of Pripyat. Wander amongst time-forgotten fairground rides, deserted factories and empty houses in the Number 4 nuclear reactor exclusion zone. Look out for trip dates that include a tour inside the nuclear power station too. 

Available as a small group tour or private tour.

Highlights of Albania Tour

From the quiet White Mountain rural villages and the peaceful shores of Lake Ohrid to the colourful buildings and eclectic bazaars of Tirana, there are plenty of cultural sights to discover in the European country of Albania. The Roman city of Butrint is a treasure trove of fascinating historical sights including ancient thermal baths, a crumbling amphitheatre and ornate mosaic floors. Uncover colourful frescoes in the domed ceilings of 16th-century churches and admire panoramic views from the 12th-century hilltop castle of Gjirokastra.

Available as a small group tour or private tour.

Highlights of Portugal Tour

Indulge in Portugal's gastronomic heritage with wine tasting in the fertile vineyards of the Douro Valley and a history lesson about the production of fortified wines in the bustling city streets of Porto. Walk up Alfama Hill in Lisbon to try ginjinha, a local liquor made from sour cherries, or watch the world go by from an alfresco cafe as you snack on delicious Pastéis de Nata - vanilla-infused custard tarts. Dine on a mouth-watering dish of Cataplana de Marisco - a Mediterranean seafood stew - for dinner, and end the day listening to a live performance of traditional Fado music.

Available as a small group tour or private tour.

Baltic Capitals Tour

The lesser-visited eastern European Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia boast endless cultural delights and fascinating traditions. From the ornate spires of Gothic churches in Vilnius and the gloomy Medieval underground tunnels of Tallinn to jars of sauerkraut and pickled garlic in Riga's lively Central Market, you'll get a great introduction to the primary Baltic cities on our Baltic Republic Tour. 

Available as a small group tour or private tour.

Northumberland Coast and Castles Tour

Discover rich history, unspoiled nature and 16th-century architecture. The ancient fortifications of Lindisfarne Castle guard the windswept coastline of Northumberland, a quiet corner of northeast England, and a plethora of wildlife inhabit the deserted beaches. Head inland to explore old Roman sites along with the remnants of Hadrian's Wall and uncover the former hunting grounds of Hulne Park in the market town of Alnwick.
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Highlights of Romania Tour

A European country steeped in tradition, you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time on a cultural tour of Romania. Horses tow carts of local produce and fortified towns are shrouded in tales of myth and legend. Go in search of Dracula's Castle in Transylvania and uncover the lavish neo-renaissance Peles palace. Wander through winding alleyways lined with pastel-coloured houses in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sighisoara, before sampling some traditional beef goulash washed down with locally-brewed beer. 

Available as a small group tour or private tour.

Highlights of Andalucia Tour

The southern, sun-drenched region of Andalucia in Spain may be renowned for its busy seaside resorts, but head inland and you'll find peaceful rural landscapes, soaring mountains and grand architecture. Discover Moorish buildings from the golden era of Al-Andalus in the Roman city of Cordoba, head to the white village of Alajar to see the classical 17th-century shrine of Arias Montano, and explore the opulent courtyards of the UNESCO-listed Alcazar Palace in the vibrant city of Seville. 
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Highlights of Croatia Tour

From the medieval buildings and cobbled streets of the UNESCO-restored town of Dubrovnik to the ancient courtyards of Diocletian's Palace in Split, the southeast European country of Croatia has many cultural highlights to uncover. Head to the seaside town of Zadar, the ancient capital of Dalmatia, to hear the dulcet tones of the Sea Organ and discover the Church of Saint Donatus, a Byzantine stone-walled shrine. Or, if you're a Games of Thrones fan, you may recognise the mighty Klis Fortress, set on a rocky cliff 360-metres above the sea, that played host to scenes set in the fictional city of Meereen. 
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Turkey in Depth Tour

Turkey isn't just about its pristine beaches and turquoise seas; it also boasts fascinating historical and cultural sites. Join your expert local tour leader for a tour of Istanbul including the famous minarets of the Blue Mosque and the opulent tiled halls of Topkapi Palace. Head east to explore the Bronze Age cave dwellings of Cappadocia and uncover ancient graffiti in the vast stadium ruins of the Greco-Roman city of Aphrodisias. 
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