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Top cultural trips to take in 2021

Dreaming of your next cultural getaway? Get something to look forward to in the diary, with a small group discovery trip. From the wind-swept beaches of Portugal’s lesser-visited corner of the Algarve to the ultra-modern and ancient sites of Japan - here are some of our top cultural trips for 2021.
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The Best of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

The lesser-visited Caucasus region is set to grow in popularity over the coming years, so get your foot in the door before the crowds start to arrive. Discover ornate synagogues, 18th-century mosques and medieval churches in the Georgian city of Tbilisi, and lose yourself in the UNESCO-listed maze of narrow alleyways in Baku, Azerbaijan. The mighty snow-dusted peaks of Mount Ararat dominate the skyline of Yerevan in Armenia, and the Hellenistic temple of Garni stands strong in the rocky landscape of the Garni Gorge. 
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Jordan Discovery

The ancient ‘Rose City’ of Petra is on many travellers’ bucketlists for 2021. Meander through the narrow blush-pink crevices of the dusty Siq Valley as the sun rises into clear blue skies. As we journey further through the twisting caverns, anticipation builds, and with every blind corner, the excitement heightens. And then, there they are, in all their splendid glory - the towering 1st-century columns of the Treasury stand before us, haloed by the dazzling desert sunlight. 
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The Silk Road of Uzbekistan

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rustic charm of Uzbekistan. Gain first-hand insights into the local culture as you delve into eclectic bazaars, barter with traders and sip traditional kok-chai in a local tea house. The cobalt-blue tiles and ornate aquamarine mosaics of Samarkand’s Registan square glisten in the bright sunlight, and the turreted walls of Khiva’s Old Citadel resemble the backdrop of an ‘Arabian Nights’ film set. 
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Simply Japan

Join our two-week trip from Tokyo to Osaka to discover the contrasting ultramodern cityscapes and ancient temples of Japan. The Tokyo Olympic Games are postponed until 2021, so this is a significant year to visit. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture with an overnight stay in a Buddhist temple, climb onboard a super-speedy bullet train to discover the rejuvenated city of Hiroshima and head to the steaming hot springs of Jigokudani Onsen to come face-to-face with a bathing snow monkey. 
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Cycle Portugal - Lisbon to Algarve

Saddle-up for a journey on two wheels along the west coast of Portugal. Explore wild coastlines, tranquil coves and quaint fishing villages on our Lisbon to Faro Cycling tour in 2021. Cultural highlights include the buttercup-yellow trams and ornate architecture of Lisbon, the wind-swept golden beaches of Vicentine Coast Natural Park and the traditional market town of Aljezur set in a hidden ‘untouched’ region of the Algarve.
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Classical Sicily

Go back in time with a cultural trip to the Valley of the Temples in Sicily, Italy. The well-preserved columns of the Doric Temple of Zeus soar into the sapphire-blue skies against a backdrop of olive trees and the contrasting skyline of Agrigento’s modern highrise buildings. Browse streetside delis overflowing with delicious local produce in the pretty hilltop town of Taormina and enjoy cinematic views of Mount Etna from the cascading tiers of the town’s timeworn Greek theatre.
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Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

Travel far from the madding crowd in 2021, and discover to Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. From the legendary vampire myths of Castle Bran and ornate stained-glass decor of Peles Castle in Bucharest to the riverside ‘white city‘ of Belgrade and the brightly coloured frescoes of Rila Monastery in Sofia, these lesser-visited Balkan countries have plenty of hidden cultural gems to discover. 
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Camino de Santiago

Celebrate the Holy Year of Santiago de Compostela in 2021. Only observed when the day of St Jacob falls on a Sunday, the next Holy Year won’t be until 2027, so take the opportunity to walk this famous Christian pilgrimage as part of this momentous cultural occasion. Starting in Leon, we’ll follow the scallop shell markers along the Camino-Frances trail. Catch your breath at Cruz de Ferro and enjoy panoramic views across the undulating countryside, before arriving at the Puerta del Perdón door (Door of Forgiveness) at the sacred cathedral of Santiago. 
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Self-Guided Walking in Provence

Wander through fields of sweet-smelling lavender and edge your way along steep gorges in the rural hillsides of Provence, France. Enjoy a sense of freedom as you go out alone on this self-guided circular walking tour from Lagnes. Uncover old sandstone villages, medieval castles and a Cistercian abbey as you cover 11 - 15 km of trails a day and indulge in delicious local produce at your stopover each night.
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