This extraordinary tour takes us to an extremely complex and interesting part of the world. Persians, Khazars, Arabs, Huns, Turko-Mongols, and Russians have invaded and migrated into the Caucasus and have provided the region with its rich ethnic and linguistic complexity as well as its astounding architecture. As if this diversity were not enough, the Caucasus also offers a variety of pristine landscapes and stunning vistas just waiting to be discovered.
The Balkans is a land of great diversity and textures that one gets blown up by the colors, cultures, hospitality, food, landscape and above all the ethnicities. We trace the scene of medieval Europe and the diverse nationalities from ex Yugoslavia comprising of Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania. Albania, however, was never part of Yugoslavia. A visit to the “Republika Srpska” has also been included. Not to forget that all these nationalities inherited considerable influence from the long reign of the Ottomans. Like many things bottled up and let loose, they burst forth with passion and gusto rarely seen. With 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered, our Balkan Mosaic tour has been tailored to offer you the region in three segments – you are free to take the complete three legs tour or a part of the Mosaic.
We travel through history and art, as we explore Persepolis,the 2500 year-old capital of the Persian Empire. We see Islamic architecture at its best in Esfahan, Shiraz, and Yazd with their elegant mosques and labyrinthine like bazaars. Iran is a fascinating country, where you will also be surprised by the warm hospitality of its people. This tour was one of the first from North America to Iran, and has received considerable coverage in the North American press (New York Times, International Travel News, etc.). After over six years, it still remains one of our most popular programs to Persia.
We have tailored this unique 15-day journey to provide you with a rare and fascinating glimpse of the best places in the Gulf to experience the sharp contrast between traditional and ultra-modern Arabia in Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Wander through mudbrick villages with exotic bazaars and gardens, explore quiet stretches of coast lined with palm trees, travel through beautiful desert and mountain landscapes featuring venerable forts and visit numerous World Heritage Sites. Visit all seven of the United Arab Emirates, which over the past few decades have become some one of the world’s most glamorous, spectacular and futuristic urban destinations and are providing the Islamic world with a model of political stability and religious tolerance.
On this tour we will visit 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, exploring Luang Prabang, the Pak Ou Caves and Vientiane in Laos; explore Vietnam’s cultural, the temples, palaces and imperial mausoleums of aristocratic Hue, Hanoi and spectacular Halong Bay, the enticing little town of Hoi An and bustling Saigon. In Cambodia we visit Phnom Penh and conclude with an inIn-depth exploration of the magnificent jungle temple complex of Angkor.
This is a journey to Abyssinia, the Ethiopia of olden times, and a discovery of the Ethiopia of today. In this tour we have the opportunity to explore not only the history of the people who reside here but also experience the current lifestyles of the many different tribes of Ethiopia who still practice paganism in their colorful rites and rituals and visit 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Uzbekistan, historically the richest of the “Stans”, has often been referred to as The Land of A Thousand and One Nights. It is culturally a very rich country with very friendly people. Our Splendors of Uzbekistan offers a wonderful opportunity to see this rich civilization. It is after all, the birthplace of Tamerlane and that also of Babur the founder of the Great Moghuls.
An Indian Ocean island going back to human history – almost to the time when it all began. Rich both in culture and archaeology, in scenic splendour and the very friendly people, Sri Lanka has offered to the world a lot. UNESCO has recognized 7 World Heritage Sites in this tiny island and in our 12-day journey we cover 6 of them. Travel through an island that is an eclectic mix of its colonial history, religious traditions and South Asian influence. Sri Lanka’s unique culture, which is authentic to this island, brings together its pluralistic identity. From the coasts of Colombo to the World Heritage Sites in the Cultural Triangle, this tour takes you on a journey through time, covering ancient civilizations, Buddhist era and imperial rule. It ls carpeted with tea gardens,the entire island is teeming with bird life and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon. Breathtaking landscapes, a calm yet dynamic culture.
An artistically safari designed for both individuals and families. In East Africa we start chasing the Big Five and many other species in world renowned game reserves of Masai Mara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Lake Manyara. The 12days wild game safari culminates with a flight down south of the African continent. Here we are treated with a unique experience witnessing the World Heritage Site of the majestic Victoria Falls. From the VFA we have options of yet another but very different game safari in Botswana and to end the African experience at amongst the most beautiful city in the world – Cape Town.