Page 1

Small group and tailormade tours India | Turkey | Syria | Lebanon | Jordan Colombia | Mexico | Serbia

Dear Traveller Thank you for requesting our brochure. Our goal is to provide you with life-changing experiences in some of the most off-the-beatentrack places on Earth. With over fifty tours (and counting) to choose from - in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe - we are confident our tours will satisfy your wanderlust and thirst for new experiences.

David McGuinness Rahul Aggarwal Founders & Directors

We have personally travelled extensively in each of our destinations which means that all our tours have been individually crafted with you, the traveller, in mind. Whether you’re interested in culture, festivals, wildlife, food, or something more active, we have just the tour for you. Travel to the hinterlands of North East India to witness the tribal Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, trek through jungle to the ancient Lost City in Colombia, uncover the indigenous treasures of Oaxaca in Mexico, traverse the desert on foot from Dana to Petra in Jordan, discover the rustic wine cellar village of Rajac in Serbia, or be amongst the few to explore the world’s first temple in Eastern Turkey.

Catering for both small group departures as well as private tailor-made travel, we source the best guides available to give you an intimate insight into these fascinating regions. We realise good characterful accommodation is essential to your travel experience, so we offer everything from delightful heritage properties, boutique guesthouses and converted monasteries to luxury desert camps, jungle lodges and homestays.

12 India

76 Mexico

4 Who are Travel the Unknown?

38 Turkey

86 Serbia

48 Syria

96 Follow us online

56 Jordan

97 FAQs

60 Lebanon

98 Financial Protection

64 Colombia

99 Booking Conditions

10 How to Book 11 Trip Styles

Lyn Hughes

Editor and Founder of Wanderlust Magazine

As a financially responsible tour operator, we are ATOL-bonded which means you can travel with the knowledge and peace of mind that your holiday is 100% financially protected. So it’s time to pack your bags, grab your passport, take a deep breath and find out just why we are so passionate about our tours.

2 Dear Traveller

6 Our philosophy

“Travel The Unknown are always at the forefront of authentic and pioneering travel”

Photographs: Front cover: Naga tribesman. This page: Dasara Festival, Mysore, India.


Clockwise from top left: 1. Rahul & David in Dirang; 2. Rahul with Tawang monks; 3. Rahul & David drinking chai. 4. David with kids; P5: Indian sadhu smoking.

Who are Travel The Unknown? Travel The Unknown founders, David and Rahul studied together as exchange students in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1996/97. It was there that they discussed at length their travel plans for when they graduated. Subsequent meetings were always dominated by one topic – travel. The more undiscovered the better. During one such meeting in London in 2006 the idea of Travel The Unknown was born. That idea was to share their passion for the undiscovered with a larger audience – venturing into the remotest corners of the world, places unaffected by mass tourism, | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

where the welcome was genuine and the touts non-existent. And, most importantly, to do it in a way that benefited the communities being visited, leaving them as untouched as possible so they could be enjoyed in the same way by future travellers. More than five years on the dream is very much a reality with over fifty personally designed itineraries across eight countries and more in the pipeline for the near future.

“You tell us what you want and we will take care of it for you” David & Rahul Travel The Unknown founders

Travel The Unknown | 5


This page (from left) 1. Cappadocia, Turkey; 2. Kids in North East India Page 7: Pre-Columbian statue in San Agustin, Colombia Pages 8-9: Left to right from top: 1. Volcano trek, Colombia; 2. Grilled fish; 3. Group in Ladakh; 4: Heritage hotel, Udaipur, India; 5. Cappadocia cave hotel; 6. Mysore hotel Page 11: Left to right from top: 1. Buddha, Tawang; 2. North East India festival; 3. Tiger, India; 4. Colombia rafting; 5. Lebanese desserts; 6. Istanbul

The Travel The Unknown Experience: Our philosophy Offering you more Travel The Unknown offer you unique itineraries, life experiences and real insights into the people, culture, history, wildlife and food of some of the world’s most exciting and least-explored places. Our trip styles include cultural tours, activity tours (including hiking and more high-octane options), festival tours, food tours and wildlife tours. We have spent significant time in each of our destinations to ensure we give you the best our regions have to offer, and that we can help you tailor an itinerary that best suits your needs.

“David and Rahul, what a great company you run! My tailormade trip was just perfect! Your advice and guidance was excellent. And I cannot fault a thing.” Stuart, UK

Great value tours and NO HIDDEN EXTRAS At Travel The Unknown we are proud to offer an acclaimed fully-inclusive service. As well as taking care of your in-country tour arrangements, we can also arrange your visas, flights, additional tours and sightseeing, as well as pre- or post-trip accommodation. Take the hassle and stress out of the travel experience by letting us take care of the details. | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Responsible Travel & The Environment We believe it is imperative to share the benefits of tourism with the people who welcome us so warmly into their communities. As first choice, we use locally owned accommodation, transport and eateries, as well as ensuring that we leave behind as small a footprint as possible, both environmentally and culturally, thus preserving the unique heritage of our destinations for future travellers to enjoy. We also offset all carbon emissions generated on our tours with Climate Care (for both air and ground travel) and we invest in locally-led community development projects in areas our tours visit. See responsible for more details of the projects we support. In order to reduce paper wastage, we send all documentation by email, unless a customer specifically requests a paper copy. We would appreciate it if you can accept documentation by email (or online) where possible.

Private, Tailor-made and Family Trips We understand that many of you prefer travelling in your own group, at your own pace, perhaps taking in other places. So why not let us create a tour just for you? With extensive first-hand knowledge of all our destinations, we are in the perfect position to offer you specialised tailor-made trips that meet your needs. You can choose to have plenty of free time to explore on your own or be led by our expert guides. Stay in grand palaces, authentic homestays or more budget-friendly properties. And you can travel for as long or as short as you like. Another popular option with our clients is to combine our scheduled group tours with private services arranged before or after the primary tour allowing you maximum freedom and flexibility.

This can be anything from an extra night’s rest before the long flight home to an extended private tour. We can also make arrangements for any special occasions, such as honeymoons, birthdays and anniversaries. Simply let us know your group size, what kind of trip you are interested in, how long you want to travel for, your accommodation preferences, any special requirements, and we will do the rest. Call us on 020 7183 6371 to discuss your travel plans with one of our travel experts. Alternatively email us at tailormade@ or fill out your requirements online at: makemytrip.

Scheduled Group Departures We offer scheduled small group departures (maximum 12 people) on an exciting range of over fifty different itineraries that depart on pre-determined dates. We realise that our dates might not suit everyone, so if you cannot make our scheduled trip, let us know which dates work best for you, and we will try our best to put a group together. We typically require a minimum of four clients to make a trip a guaranteed departure, but we can run some tours with fewer numbers than this. If in doubt, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Expert advice for personalised experiences We have spent significant time travelling in each of our destinations, ensuring we have first-hand knowledge of these regions. This enables us to create an optimal travel experience incorporating the best of our selected region’s highlights as well as giving us the knowledge and experience to be able to tailor-make private trips to suit our customers’ requirements. This means you can travel to some of the world’s most exciting and least-explored places, safe in the knowledge that you are in experienced hands.

Local guides

Group sizes



We believe that the best way to experience a place is with a knowledgeable and passionate local guide. We go to considerable lengths to secure the services of the best guides available in each of our destinations and to let them know how much we value their unique skills, insights and experience. In the event of any unforeseen problems during the trip, our guides have shown themselves to be highly capable and efficient in resolving our clients’ problems ensuring their trips continue as planned with a minimum of fuss.

We keep group sizes to a maximum of twelve people to minimise the cultural and ecological footprint in the regions and communities we visit. With a limited group size, interactions with local people happen more frequently but also more naturally, which ensures a more intimate and real travel experience. We have also found that it is easier for travellers to get to know each other better in smaller groups, and gives us extra scope in terms of flexibility to accommodate individual needs and requirements during the trip.

For domestic as well as international flights we use reputable reliable airlines. For regular road travel we use well-maintained and typically air-conditioned vehicles. However, on rougher terrain, we use jeeps. Road conditions and driving styles in some countries can seem somewhat chaotic compared to your own country, which is why we select the most experienced and careful drivers available. Our drivers are constantly reviewed to ensure they adhere to our high standards. Private transport allows more flexibility and is often more comfortable, however some travel experiences can be enhanced by the use of local transport which means some itineraries include local trains, boats, canoes and even camels! In all of our transportation choices your safety is the foremost consideration.

Good quality accommodation is very much an integral part of the holiday experience. We know there’s nothing like returning to a comfortable, clean room after a hectic day of activities. In our selection of accommodation we try to reflect the local environment and ensure that the accommodation itself is a memorable part of the travel experience.

NOTE: On certain special itineraries, where it will be clearly stated, the maximum number may exceed 12 persons.

We use the best 3 and 4 star hotels available in most instances, but we also mix it up where possible by including familyowned guesthouses, intimate lodges, and some more exclusive accommodation on certain itineraries. This can range from heritage properties in Rajasthan, luxurious Bedouin camps in Jordan, Orthodox monasteries in Serbia, to tribal homestays in North East India and wooden cabins in the Colombian Amazon. In some remote areas, the accommodation may be more basic, but at the very least we ensure you have a good clean bed and hot water. For private tailor-made trips, we can arrange accommodation in whatever category you prefer – from comfortable budget options to grand 5 star properties.

Free Time Everyone likes to travel differently. For this reason we have designed our itineraries to incorporate free time where possible. This gives you the opportunity to relax, catch up on your reading, email, or explore further on your own. Our guides will be happy to suggest activities for you to do in your spare time.



Solo Travel

We grade our tours with an activity rating to help you decide if a particular trip is right for you. An activity rating of 5 implies a strenuous trip, for example, a challenging trek. An activity rating of 3 suggests some city walking and perhaps some long drives that most people would have little problem with. If you are unsure if a tour’s activity rating makes it a suitable trip for you, please contact us on 020 7183 6371 to speak with one of our travel experts. Our ratings are explained in more detail on page 10.

Every trip is different so we do not generally include all meals unless necessary. Breakfast is typically included every day. Where there is a wide variety of eateries we prefer to give you the freedom to choose where to eat. After all, part of the fun of visiting new countries is to explore these options on your own and your guide will always be happy to make suggestions. In certain cases - if the restaurant or meal is particularly special or if you are in a remote location with a lack of decent eating options - we also include lunches and dinners. Each itinerary contains a daily meal plan which outlines all of the meals included in the tour price.

We gladly welcome solo travellers on our trips. Joining a group is a great way to meet like-minded people, share experiences and in many cases start long-lasting friendships. We are proud to say we don’t charge exorbitant single supplements. In fact, if you are happy to share and we can pair you with another same-sex traveller, then you don’t pay anything extra at all. While single supplements are available on most of our tours, please note that for certain tours single supplements are not available and on others a single room cannot be guaranteed on every night of the trip. | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Trip Preparation and Documents Our trip dossiers and detailed itineraries will give you a breakdown of everything you need to know about your trip including a daily schedule of your activities, accommodation, regional information and practical information including a packing list, health advice, visa requirements, travel insurance, safety information, electricity, communication, money and more. We also include some recommended reading and a language cheat sheet to ensure you get the most out of your travel experience. It is advisable to read our trip dossiers in detail before booking any of our trips. All of your travel documents will be available from your own password-protected downloads section on our website.

Rebookings and Referrals (Loyalty Rewarded) We appreciate your lo yalty and your recommendations . And to prove it, all repeat cust omers automatically qualify for a 5% discount off the land-o nly tour price (i.e. this does no t include the international fligh t portion). All new customer refe rrals will receive a £50 discount for the new customer and a £50 No mad Travel or Amazon voucher fo r the existing customer who refers them to us.


Trip Styles

How to book your Travel The Unknown Experience 1

Choose your adventure

Look through this brochure or on our website: for ideas. Download the trip dossier and detailed itinerary for any trip you are interested in for more information. Remember we would be happy to customise any trip to suit your needs if required.


Call us to confirm availability

Call our travel experts on 020 7183 6371 to confirm availability and ask us any outstanding questions.


 ecure your place and complete S your booking

Secure your place by sending a deposit of £100 (a holding deposit) and returning your booking form by email or by post.This will secure your place on the trip of your choice.

The total deposit required will depend on the trip chosen but is typically 25-40% of the ground arrangements price plus the full cost of the international flight if you decide to book this with us. The final balance will fall due 10 weeks before your departure date. To book, now call 020 7183 6371 and speak to one of our travel experts or email us at


Book your flights

We want to give you maximum flexibility with flights so we can arrange your flights from the airport of your choice or if you prefer you can arrange your own flights and our representative will meet you at your arrival airport and take you to your hotel.

Off-the-beaten-track ratings Very much on the tourist trail, such as India’s Golden Triangle

A rating of 2 would represent a reasonably popular destination or region, say a visit to Jordan’s classic sites

A rating of 3 would be a mix of some popular and some remote places, like our Raj, Tigers & Mangroves tour for example

A rating of 4 would represent a tour that sees few visitors but you may see other travellers on some sections of this trip, e.g. our cultural tour of Lebanon

This will typically include some short walking tours, some medium length car/ minibus journeys

This is the standard for most of our cultural tours. It involves city walking, perhaps short walks in rural areas and some medium to long drives

This typically involves some short hikes or equivalent, as well as some longish drives and city walking



With tours stretching from South Asia and the Middle East to Europe and Latin America, we can offer a diverse selection of cultural delights. With expert guides, passionate about their countries, you will get a personal insight into each of these regions and the people who live there. Whether it’s dining with a host family, using hand gestures to communicate with isolated tribes or learning about the history and customs of your chosen destination, our tours will leave you suitably enriched.

Festivals are a great way to experience a region and its culture. From the trumpet festival in Serbia, the Barranquilla Carnival in Colombia and the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico, to the Nagaland Hornbill tribal festival and Durga Puja festivities in India, these tours are a guaranteed once-in-a-lifetime experience. Visit: festivals for more information on our festival tours.

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle and get up close to tigers, lions and unicorn rhinos. Venture down the remotest stretches of the Colombian Amazon and fish for piranhas. If you’re an avid birder, then look no further than North East India and Colombia. Visit: wildlife to see our wildlife tours.



City Breaks

We offer plenty of exhilarating activity options in most of our destinations. Trek through indigenous Zapotecan communities in Oaxaca (Mexico), cycle along the stunning Lycian coast (Turkey) or through the rural landscapes of Serbia, go white-water rafting in the glacial rivers of Ladakh (India) and rappel down a waterfall in Colombia. There is something for every adrenalin-junkie. Visit: www. to see a list of all our activity tours.

What better way to get to know a place than through its food? Our culinary tours combine cooking classes, visits to producers, wine tastings and ingredient shopping in local markets with the usual cultural experiences you expect from any Travel The Unknown tour. For more information on our culinary tours, visit: www. food. For an even greater selection of culinary tours, visit our sister company’s website:

From cosmopolitan Belgrade to exotic Istanbul or ancient Mexico City, our city tours give you an insight into some of the world’s most fascinating cities. In India, our eye-opening rickshaw and walking tours reveal a hidden side to some of the world’s most fascinating cities, which cannot be discovered in any other way. With all our tours, you will see these cities through the eyes of the locals. See city for more details.

This is a remote area or destination that very few tourists have visited, e.g. our Monks, Tribes & Rhinos trip in North East India

Activity ratings Relaxation. There are no activities scheduled


This is typically a hiking or activity itinerary and can be quite strenuous. A good level of fitness is expected

NOTE: Ratings are inherently subjective and are made using our best judgement. Also, different parts of an itinerary may merit different ratings, so the ratings assigned are an assumed average for the whole trip. In all cases, please contact us if you are unsure of the level of fitness required for any given trip.


India A complex tapestry of ancient cultures and traditions fused with the metropolitan buzz of its big cities, few countries match the staggering diversity of India. With snow-capped Himalayan peaks, idyllic backwaters, verdant jungles, vast deserts and incredible wildlife, its terrain is as fascinating as its people. Ride an elephant, stay with a tribe or walk across a living bridge. Alternatively, stroll through tea plantations, trek through mountain valleys and look out for the flaming tail of a tiger. Perhaps you prefer to go spice shopping, barter in bazaars, take a cooking class, or kick-back and relax on secluded beaches – India is an experience like no other. So pack your bags and prepare to be bowled over by the most diverse country on Earth.


Snake boat race, Kerala


Nepal Agra


Tibet Bhutan

laya Megha


am Ass


h lades Bang




Sea bian Ara



North East India


Nagaland & Hornbill Festival


Living Root Bridges


Monsoon Magic


Monks, Tribes & Rhinos


Tribes of North East India


Wildlife of North East India


Monks & Rhinos


North India


Festivals of North India


Camels, Forts & Deserts


Raj, Tigers & Mangroves


Sacred India


Golden Triangle


Himalayas & Mountain Camels


Markha Valley Trek


Delicacies of North India


Taj, Tigers & Ganges


Tigers & Lions of India


South India


Spirit of South India


Beyond The Backwaters


Kerala Snake Boat Race


Keralan Tea & Spice Trail


Taste of South India


Hampi Temple

Rive r Ga nge s Tiger Territory

sh ade r P hal nac u r A

My an ma r

Pak ist an

Ladak h




ayun’s Tom

Delhi - Hum

, Nagaland

Hornbill Festival

an e c O n a i Ind


Rajasthan m

Ladakh - world’s highest road


nka a L i Sr thing in the

Varanasi - ba

Ganges Taj Mahal


P12-13: Ladakhi man with prayer wheel Clockwise from top left: 1. Naga warrior; 2. Khasi lady with child; 3. Apatani shaman; 4. Kathakali dancer P17: Arunachali lady with child.

Interesting facts about India: • India is the world’s largest democracy, with a population of over 1 billion people. • I ndia has 22 official languages, 100s of other spoken languages and 1000s of dialects. •T  he number zero was invented in India.

India Tours City Walking Tours: ,

There s no better way to get under the skin of a city than by exploring it on foot On our unique walking tours, each city’s story is narrated through our expert guides who delve into the history, religion and traditions of its people. In Delhi, you will learn about its struggle for independence, experience the vibe of Chandni Chowk’s bric-a-brac shops and food stalls; in Kolkata you will wander through its flower and spice markets, stop off for chai and learn about its rich colonial

and literary heritage; in Varanasi you will meander its labyrinth of alleyways, learning about the intricacies of Hinduism and what makes this city so spiritual; in Cochin you will see how the quaint Fort Cochin area has been influenced by Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, British and Jews, whilst witnessing locals getting on with daily life.

A word from our guide: “You need to walk Kolkata to understand it. Walk back in time; into small streets where men are making brooms by hand, milling flour for local use, carrying water in goat hides or mending shawls, shoes and umbrellas that never seem to wear out. Cotton is spun in shopfront mills and pedal sewing machines and manual printers still have a life” Martyn | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Future Generations Arunachal Travel The Unknown is proud to support Future Generations Arunachal, an NGO that focuses on community participation. The concept is to provide skills and education to a voluntary section of the community who then act as local specialists. They in turn dispense advice and run workshops themselves in the villages, transferring these skills within their communities. Projects run on this basis include basic medical training, recognition of medicines for the illiterate, basic literacy and numeracy, fuel conservation initiatives and village-run micro-financing.

Further initiatives include environmental awareness and personal development workshops for children and self-sufficiency and conservation training for farmers. With a permanent staff of only 13, they have gained the participation of approximately 1000 volunteers. We will make regular contributions towards their projects and help to raise the profile of the organisation in the UK and beyond. For more information, please visit: futuregenerations


Living Root Bridges Monks & Rhinos Monks, Tribes & Rhinos Nagaland & Hornbill Festival Tribes of North East India Wildlife of North East India

h Arunachal Prades

Tibet Tawang

Nagaland & Hornbill Festival ,

Experience the land of Asia s last headhunters!

Dumporijo Basar Dirang





Bomdila Bhalukpong


Nameri Guwahati


Tezpur Shillong

Region: Nagaland, Assam

Sibsagar Kaziranga

Places visited:


Guwahati • Kaziranga • Majuli • Dimapur • Kohima • Mokokchung • Mon • Dibrugarh

Mokokchung Dimapur


h Banglades



Mya nma r

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Bra hm ap ut

iver ra R


North East India • Witness the incredible Hornbill Festival in Nagaland • Meet the ancient and little seen tribes of North East India • Search for unicorn rhinos on elephant-back • Trek to the remarkable living root bridges of Cherrapunjee • Stay on Majuli Island – one of the world’s largest river islands

Highlights: • Witness the incredible Hornbill Festival of Nagaland

‘“Trave l The Unk nown’s Northea st India tou rs have zon ed in on the abs olut e prim e attractions, visit ing a strin g of cult urally unique, scen ically stun ning places - and ma xim isin g every mom ent spent the re. The y’re also to be com men ded for the ir inte grity, hav ing esta blis hed excelle nt relation s with loca l tou r ope rato rs, sym path etic to the rem ote com mu nitie s the y visit. The ir outstan din g guid es tak e great care to respect and prot ect indigen ous lifestyle s in the se delicate regions.” Van essa Betts

Aut hor, Foot print Guid e to Nort heast India | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Activity Rating:

Naga warriors


Dominated by the mighty Himalayas and bordering onto Tibet, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, North East India is one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of India. It is a region unparalleled in the world in terms of the isolation and diversity of its tribal cultures, and has also been declared one of the world’s bio-diversity hotspots.

Duration: 13 days


Drive through the plains of Assam on the lookout for unicorn rhino in Kaziranga National Park. Cross the Brahmaputra river to Majuli, the world’s largest river island with its own unique culture before finally entering Nagaland, India’s true frontier state. Bordering onto Myanmar, Nagaland is steeped in history and tribal tradition. Soak up the atmosphere at the Hornbill Festival, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where Naga culture is brought to life in colourful song and dance. Learn about Naga customs and their reputation as one of the last head-hunting tribes of Asia.

A word from our guide: “You will hardly see any tourists in Nagaland, it is so remote. The Naga people are proud warriors and celebrate their rich culture at the Hornbill Festival.” Jyoti

•M  eet the Konyak tribe of Mon •V  isit Dibrugarh, India’s biggest tea-producing town •F  erry to Majuli, the world’s largest river island •E  lephant-back safari in Kaziranga National Park

Fact: The Nagas helped defeat the Japanese invasion of India in World War II.

“Th e Ho rnbill Festiva l wa s an experie nce of a lifetim e to see the tra dit ion al da nce s, mu sic an d ga me s the tribes use in the ir ow n vill ag e festiva ls. Th e Na ga people at the festiva l we re so frie ndly. I rea lly thoug ht the tou r wa s except ion al val ue for mo ney.” Ste phe n, UK 19

Living Root Bridges

Monks, Tribes & Rhinos

A world of waterfalls, rolling hills and living bridges



TOP 10

Himalayan mountains, unseen tribes & amazing wildlife


Duration: 6 days

Duration: 21 days

Region: Meghalaya

Region: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam

Places visited:

Places visited:

Guwahati • Shillong • Cherrapunjee • Mawphlang

Guwahati • Nameri • Ziro • Majuli • Kaziranga • Bhalukpong • Dirang • Tawang • Bomdila • Tezpur

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Relax in the charming hill-station of Shillong • Trek to the incredible ‘doubledecker’ living bridge • Learn about Khasi culture • Take a walk in Mawphlang’s Sacred Forest

Fact: During the monsoon in Cherrapunjee, over 30 feet of rain can fall in one day!

Activity Rating: Double-decker living bridge

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

Highlights: Discover the magic of Meghalaya, the ‘Scotland of the East’. Wander the bazaars in the charming hill station town of Shillong, enjoy views of craggy cliffs, rolling hills and waterfalls on your way to Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on the planet. Trek to the incredible Living Root Bridges, and marvel at the ingenuity of the Khasi people who created these feats of living architecture. Finally, visit the Sacred Forest of Mawphlang before returning home.

Kids on bridge

Experience the wettest place on Earth on our MONSOON departure! See mm for details

to “It was the 200-year-old double-de cker root bridg e I had come see. Afte r two hours, as we approached the villag e of Nong kriet, levels, there it was. The roots of a single tree cross ed the river on two of like a mad piece of macra mé cross ed with a tang led beard, bits its, seaweed and a hairy den of tarantulas. It’s a bridg e for hobb not hu man s.” Jini, The Inde pend ent | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

This exciting tour showcases the very best of unseen North East India. Encounter the ancient Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and chill out in bamboo huts on Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island. Learn how tea is grown in Assam’s famous tea estates, spot unicorn rhino and other stunning wildlife on elephantback in Kaziranga National Park. Rise above the Himalayan clouds to stunning Tawang, home to the world’s second largest Buddhist monastery, perched on a mountain edge overlooking Bhutan.

A word from our guide: “Take time to notice the diversity of this region – in the people, the languages, the religions, the landscapes. It is also one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Northeast India is without question one of the most diverse parts of the world”

• Experience Buddhist culture at Tawang Monastery • Stay in a bamboo cabin on Majuli Island • Encounter little-seen tribes • Visit Assam’s famous tea estates • Elephant-back safari in Kaziranga National Park


“T ha nk you so mu ch for org an isin g suc h a brillia nt trip. Really enjoyed the nat ure an d the bea utif ul vie ws. Fro m all the pla ces we visited I mo st liked Ar un ach al Pra des h an d Tawan g. I thi nk the trip would n’t be the sa me wit hout our gui de CK, the best gui de EV ER! I stil l loo k at the a ma zin g pict ure s I too k an d can ’t believe that I have bee n the re” My rka 21

Tribes of North East India ,

Wildlife of North East India

Encounter tribal life in India s forgotten North East

Spot tigers, rhinos, elephants and rare birdlife

Duration: 11 days Region: West Bengal, Assam Places visited: Guwahati • Nameri • Kaziranga • Kolkata • Sunderbans

Duration: 14 days

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Region: Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam

Activity Rating:

Places visited: Sibsagar • Mon • Majuli • Ziro • Dumporijo • Basar • Dibrugarh

Unicorn rhino, Kaziranga

With few tourists in sight, North East India is home to some of the most endangered wildlife in the world. Arriving into Assam, relax at the eco-camp on the fringes of Nameri National Park. Go on a walking safari and raft down the river. Proceed to Kaziranga National Park and jump on to an elephant looking out for unicorn rhinos

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:


Apatani tribal woman

• Temples and ruins of Ahom Dynasty in Sibsagar • Nagaland’s most traditional tribe, the Konyak of Mon • Majuli Island’s unique Vaishnavite culture • The Apatani tribal way of life in Ziro Valley • Tagin and Galo tribes of Arunachal Pradesh

Fact: In 2010, linguists discovered a new language, Koro, spoken by a mere 1000 people in Arunachal Pradesh.

Head into India’s remote North East, and stumble upon a way of life and a diversity of tribal culture few have witnessed. Starting in the former Ahom capital, Sibsagar, you will cross into Nagaland and come face-to-face with the proud Konyak tribe of Mon. Visit the unique Vaishnavite satras of Majuli, one of the world’s largest river islands situated in the mighty Brahmaputra.

Take the ferry and cross the border into the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh where you will meet the Apatani tribe of Ziro, recognisable by their noseplugs and facial tattoos. Finally, pass through tribal villages and stunning scenery to Dumporijo and Basar, home to the Tagin and Galo tribes.

and tigers. Fly across to Kolkata and discover its backstreets on a fascinating walking tour. Finally, cruise the creeks of the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. Wildlife here includes swimming Royal Bengal Tigers, crocodiles, deer and rare birdlife.

Monks &,Rhinos

Discover India s hidden Buddhist kingdom and unique wildlife

Highlights: • Rare wildlife – tigers, unicorn rhinos & more • Walking safari in Nameri • Gentle rafting and lunch by the river • Elephant-back safari in Kaziranga • Boat cruises in the Sunderbans • Fascinating walking tour of Kolkata

Duration: 16 days Region: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam Places visited: Guwahati • Kaziranga • Majuli • Nameri • Dirang • Tawang • Bomdila • Tezpur

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

“I had been studyin g the Apatan i Tribe for quite some time. I’m talking roughly 7 years! Travel The Unknown made my drea ms come entirely true. I have never felt such confide nce in an agency nor worked with one more knowledgeable about their destination.” Christia n, USA | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Activity Rating: Monks polishing

This tour takes you to the Buddhist heartland of North East India. Take the Himalayan high road to picturesque Tawang, the largest Buddhist monastery outside Tibet. On the way, you will pass Buddhist villages and grazing yaks.

In Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, spot unicorn rhino and other stunning wildlife on elephant-back. Chill out in bamboo huts on Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island situated in the Brahmaputra river.

Highlights: • Watch early morning prayers at Tawang Monastery • Stay in traditional bamboo huts on Majuli Island • Rafting and walking safari in Nameri National Park • Stop off at Tipi Orchid Sanctuary • Elephant-back safari in Kaziranga


Camels, Forts & Deserts Delicacies of North India Festivals of North India Golden Triangle Himalayas & Mountain Camels Markha Valley Trek Raj, Tigers & Mangroves Sacred India Taj, Tigers & Ganges Tigers & Lions of India

Festivals of North India

Celebrate the Hindu festivals of Navratri & Durga Puja




Duration: 14 days

tsar Amri

Region: North India

Bikaner Jodhpur




Places visited:



Jaipur Ranthambore



Mumbai • Kolkata • Delhi • Amritsar • Dharamsala

w Luckno Orchha Khajuraho Satpura

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Varanasi Ri Bandhavgarh ver Gan ges

Activity Rating:

Kanha Kolkata


bans Sunder

ai Mumb

North India From the energetic mega-cities of Delhi and Kolkata, and captivating fortress towns of Rajasthan to remote rural villages and the sacred River Ganges, North India is a region of ever-changing contrasts. Whether you choose to roam on camels across the Thar Desert, trek through remote Himalayan passes, or drive by jeep into the heart of tiger territory, North India will leave you spoilt for choice and dying to come back for more.

• Wander the hidden bye-lanes of Delhi and Kolkata on our unique walking tours • Cruise the world’s largest mangrove forests in the Sunderbans • Celebrate the festivals of Navratri and Durga Puja • Feel like royalty in Rajasthan’s finest heritage hotels


Goddess Durga

• Look-out for tigers and lions in India’s finest national parks • Discover Buddhist temples in the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh • Go spice shopping and roll out chapattis on our culinary tour

With over three hundred million gods, it is no surprise that India is unrivalled when it comes to its colourful religious festivals. Learn about Hindu culture, and join millions of devotees as they celebrate the Hindu Festival of Navratri, dedicated to Goddess Shakti in her various forms. North India, in particular Mumbai, comes roaring into life with traditional song, dance and delicious food.

A word from our guide: “Religion is an integral part of life in India. The festival of Navratri is a grand occasion and important to Hindus as we remember Goddess Shakti (energy) before the advent of winter, and ask her to remove all miseries” Manoj

• Join in elaborate Navratri celebrations in Mumbai • Take the boat out to the ancient Elephanta Caves • Meet the idol-makers of Kumartuli in Kolkata • Witness the immersion of Goddess Durga • Admire the Golden Temple in Amritsar • Soak up Buddhist culture in Dharamsala


In Kolkata meet the skilful clay idol-makers of Kumartuli. Witness Durga Puja, where idols of Goddess Durga are carried through the city and immersed in the River Hooghly. This tour also takes in Delhi and India’s other important religious towns - Amritsar, famed for Sikhism’s glittering Golden Temple, and the hill-station of Dharamsala, home to the exiled Dalai Lama and his Buddhist followers.

Hinduism dates back to 5000-10000 BC and has no single founder or one single religious text.

Golden Temple, Amritsar | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Camels, Forts & Deserts

, Discover the rich heritage and colour of India s desert state

Raj, Tigers & Mangroves

Discover colonial Kolkata and the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

Duration: 10 days

Duration: 6 days

Region: Rajasthan

Region: West Bengal

Places visited:

Places visited:

Delhi • Nawalgarh • Bikaner • Jaisalmer • Jodhpur • Rohetgarh • Ranakpur • Udaipur

Kolkata • Sunderbans

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Activity Rating: Activity Rating: Highlights:

Kolkata taxi


• Visit Kolkata’s imperial monuments & bustling markets

The Blue City of Jodhpur

• Nawalgarh’s ornate havelis • The labyrinth of hidden alleyways in Jaisalmer Fort • Jodhpur’s blue buildings and magnificent forts • Luxurious desert camp and visiting the Bisnoi village • Sparkling waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur

Fact: Rajasthan is the centre of Jainism, an Indian religion prescribing nonviolence towards all living beings.

This tour takes you into the heart of Rajasthan. Discover the famous welcome that awaits you in one of India’s friendliest places. Sleep in an ancient fort on the edge of the desert. Visit Rajput palaces and beautiful havelis. Take a camel ride into the sand dunes. Stay in a luxurious desert camp in Rohetgarh and visit the fascinating village of the Bisnoi people. Stop off at the intricate temple town of Ranakpur en-route to Udaipur, Rajasthan’s most picturesque city.

Rajasthani woman

“L et me say that we had the most fanta stic time in Raja sthan quite where we all fell in love with the place s and the peop le. It was a cultu re shock to see the whole of hu man life displ ayed along it’s the roads ides of the villag es and town s we passed throu gh but something that will stay with us for a very long time.” Mel, UK | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Discover the colonial gems of India’s former capital, Kolkata (Calcutta), as well as its hidden streets on an invigorating walking tour. Our expert guide will take you through the ‘big bazaar’ where traditional craftsmen still ply their trade. The flower and spice markets are amongst the biggest and most colourful in India. A few hours drive takes you into the tranquil world of the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, where Royal Bengal Tigers and other wildlife roam free. Take boat cruises through its nooks and crannies, venture into a nearby village and relax in delightful eco-cottages on the banks of the delta.

A word from our guide: “India’s two greatest rivers the Brahmaputra and the Ganges - flow into the Sunderbans creating a unique eco-system, home to amazing flora and fauna.” Niranjan

•D  iscover the real Kolkata on our eye-opening walking tour •C  ruise the world’s largest mangrove forest in search of tigers •S  tay in beautiful eco-cottages on the river delta

Fact: Royal Bengal tigers have adapted to swim in the Sunderbans.

Tiger in water

“K olkata is a real eye-ope ner. The walking tou r was a real highlight and our guid e was great at showing me places I’d never have foun d othe rwis e. The Sun derban s was just bea utif ul. The guid e was very frie ndly and the boat crui ses were rela xing. My cott age was delightf ul and the food at the Tige r Ca mp was deliciou s. A great way to end the trip!“ Jen nife r 27

Duration: 7 days Region: North India Places visited:

Sacred India ,

Experience India s holiest river and erotic temples

Himalayas & Mountain Camels ,

Be awestruck by India s dramatic mountain ranges

Delhi • Varanasi • Khajuraho • Orchha

Ladakhi woman

Duration: 9 days

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Region: Ladakh Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Boat rides on the River Ganges • Intriguing walking tour in Varanasi • Khajuraho’s erotic temples • Sleepy temple town of Orchha

Fact: The Ganges is India’s longest river (1557 miles) originating from an altitude of 14,000 feet in the Himalayas.

Duration: 5 days Region: North India Places visited:

Places visited: Delhi • Leh • Nubra Valley • Lake Pangong

Khajuraho temple

From the holy River Ganges in Varanasi to the erotic temples of Khajuraho, this tour will open your eyes to spiritual India. Visit Sarnath Temple, where Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving enlightenment. Take the boat out on to the Ganges at night and witness the incredible atmosphere of the Aarti ceremony.

At sunrise watch the river come to life as people bathe and offer prayers to the mighty Ganges. Take an intriguing walking tour through Varanasi’s maze of alleys. Next, move on to the intricately carved erotic temples of Khajuraho. Finally, explore the sleepy temple town of Orchha with its magnificently spired temples and ancient palaces.

Golden Triangle ,

Marvel at India s most incredible forts and palaces

Delhi • Agra • Jaipur

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Wander through Tibetan markets & colourful Buddhist monasteries

Set between the world’s two mightiest mountain ranges - the Himalayas and the Karakoram Ladakh will almost literally take your breath away. Visit some of Ladakh’s spectacular Buddhist monasteries. Take the high road to Nubra Valley via Khardung La Pass, the world’s highest motorable road at almost 5300m. Experience a thrilling ride in the silver sand dunes on Himalayan doublehumped camels and go whitewater rafting on the Zanskar River. Finally, camp by Lake Pangong, a stunning blue lake dividing India and China.

•D  rive across the world’s highest motorable road •G  o rafting on the Zanskar River •V  isit shimmering Lake Pangong •R  ide a rare double-humped camel

Fact: Snow leopards live in Ladakh, although they are elusive and sightings are rare.

Riding a yak

Highlights: Taj Mahal

• Take a walking tour and rickshaw in Delhi’s hidden streets • Marvel at the majestic Taj Mahal, a tribute to love • Visit the palaces and forts of the Pink City of Jaipur • Soak in the atmosphere of Fatehpur Sikri • Watch the hordes of monkeys at the Monkey Temple at Galta

One of the most popular short trips in India and no wonder. A short journey from Delhi, the Taj Mahal is a testament to true love and it is sure to take your breath away. Visit Agra Fort and the fortified ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri.

From there, head to the Pink City of Jaipur, famous for its grand forts and stunning palaces. You’ll also ride elephant-back up to the impressive Amber Fort.

A wo nd erf ul trip! Great nat ure, stu nni ng lan dscape s an d very int ere stin g itin era ry. Re com me nd ed to an yon e loo kin g for uni que experie nce s! A big Th an k You to our excelle nt gui de wh o ma de a hug e dif fere nce to our trip. “ An na lisa & Chi ara, Ita ly


Markha Valley Trek ,

Delicacies of North India ,

Set foot in India s hidden Himalayan valleys

Discover the huge diversity of North India s cuisine

Duration: 12 days

Duration: 15 days

Region: Ladakh

Region: North India

Places visited:

Places visited:

Delhi • Leh • Zingchan • Skiu • Markha • Hankar • Martselang

Delhi • Dharamsala • Amritsar • Patan • Jaipur • Agra • Lucknow • Kolkata

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Tibetan markets & colourful Buddhist monasteries • Trek through sublime Himalayan scenery • Stay in remote mountain villages • Mountain horses carry your luggage • Camp in spectacular locations

Fact: Ladakh is almost the same size as Austria, but has a population of only 300,000.

Activity Rating: Chai-walla (tea vendor)


Ladakh valley

Discover Tibetan culture in the remote reaches of India’s Himalayas. Wander around Ladakh’s markets and impressive Buddhist monasteries. After acclimatising, set off on your 8-day trek through Markha Valley, climbing to over 5000m, taking in dramatic mountain scenery. On this trip you will encounter friendly villagers, fluttering Tibetan prayer flags, snow-capped mountains and meandering glacial streams. Enjoy the hospitality of a traditional homestay and let our experienced guides and sturdy mountain horses show you a side of the Himalayas very few have ever seen.

A word from our guide: “It is important to allow sufficient time to acclimatise when you arrive in Ladakh. That way you will manage better on the trek. I have trekked this valley many times and it is still so beautiful” Rinchen

We have been on man y treks aroun d the world, but nothing so far come s close to the beauty of Lad akh. Our guid e alwa ys mad e sure I was doin g ok and the horse s helped carry the lugg age. The fa mily we spent the night with were the warm est I’ve ever met and the expe rience was hu mbli ng. Than k you Trave l The Unk nown for organ ising this for us. Ada m, USA | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Few countries offer as much diversity in food as India. Cook in the foothills of the Himalayas and in majestic forts, dine with families in their homes, go shopping for fruit and vegetables in local markets, and wipe your plate clean in authentic Indian restaurants. In between cooking and eating, you will weave your way through India’s rich cultural tapestry, taking in colonial cities, stunning mountain scenery, and ancient forts and temples. Savour a whole range of cuisines on the way - from Kashmiri and Rajasthani delicacies to mouthwatering Awadhi and Bengali dishes.

So m e fa cts about N ort h In di an

A word from our guide:

• Feast on authentic Indian cuisine • Shop for fresh fruit & vegetables

“India’s street food scene is superb. The sights, sounds and smells of a bustling Indian food market are unlike anything you will ever experience. And it goes without saying the food is delicious!”

• Cook in stunning locations



• Dine with Indian families • Visit the home of the Dalai Lama • Marvel at the Golden Temple and Taj Mahal • Walking tours of Delhi and Kolkata

Vindaloo does not exist in India. The word ‘curry’ in India simply means gravy.


doo ri roti, parant a) Sta ple foods: bread s (na an, tan an d rice turme ric, carda mo m, Typ ica l spices: corian de r, cu mi n, a, chilli powde r cin na mo n, clo ves, ga ra m ma sal r pan eer, birya ni, Pop ula r dis hes: du m aloo, mutta d mu ch mo re! da al ma kha ni, chicke n tik ka an

Butter chicken


Taj, Tigers,and Ganges

Tigers & Lions of India

Experience India s cultural and natural diversity

Experience the thrill of the Indian jungle

Duration: 14 days

Duration: 14 days

Region: North India

Region: Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat

Places visited:

Places visited:

Delhi • Jaipur • Ranthambore • Agra • Chambal • Varanasi

Delhi • Kanha • Bandhavgarh • Satpura • Ahmedabad • Gir

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Heritage walking tour in Delhi

Activity Rating:

Bathing in the Ganges


Majestic tiger

• Spotting tigers in the wild

• Marvel at Jaipur’s forts & palaces • Jeep safaris in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve • Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal • Tranquility of Chambal Sanctuary • Erotic temples of Khajuraho • Soak in the spirituality of Varanasi

Fact: Varanasi is in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, with a population of 200 million people which, were it a country, would make it the 5th most populous on the planet.

This tour delivers a real insight into India. Take a walk through the old streets of Delhi, rich in history, and admire the intricacy of Jaipur’s forts and palaces. Get a taste of the Indian jungle while tracking tigers in Ranthambore. Visit the majestic Taj Mahal as it’s brought to life at sunrise. Ride camels along a ravine to an abandoned fort and visit quaint temples on the river bank in Chambal. Finally, take a boat ride at dawn on India’s holiest of rivers, the Ganges, and witness the evening Aarti ceremony in Varanasi.

Erotic temple carvings

“T his trip provi ded a stimu latin g and imm ersive expe rience of Indi a, nota bly the Hind u aspe cts of Indi an society. Vara nasi n was a wond erful expe rience, the even ing Aart i festival, the daw river trip, and the tour aroun d the alley ways of the old city were outst andi ng.” Malcolm, UK | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Experience the rich and varied wildlife of India in some of its best national parks. The enigmatic tiger may be India’s biggest draw, but the rare Asiatic lion also roams this land. We head down to Central India’s prime tiger territory Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks and then on to Satpura, one of India’s best-kept wildlife secrets. Finally, we head west to Gujarat’s Gir National Park, home to the last of Asia’s lions. Staying in excellent jungle lodges throughout, this is a wildlife adventure like no other.

• Elephant safari in Bandhavgarh

A word from our guide:

• Game drives in Kanha

On walking safaris in Satpura “The feeling of being in the jungle with no separation between wildlife and oneself is truly exhilarating and is an experience any wildlife enthusiast would cherish.”

• Stay in rustic jungle lodges

• Walking safari in Satpura • Gujarat’s rare Asiatic lions

Fact: Like the tiger, the Asiatic lion is also endangered, with less than 400 living in the forests of Gir.


I thoug ht I mis rea d the na me of thi s tou r wh en I wa s loo kin g for wil dlife trip s, lion s in In dia! Not only I wa s lucky to see a tig ress an d her cub s in Ka nha, Sat pura wa s als o ma gical, particu larly the wa lkin g safari. I saw a leopard dra ggi ng its kill away. Gir wa s so dif fere nt, an d yes, I can confirm lion s do live in In dia! Th an k you Tra vel Th e Un known for a very dif fere nt wil dlife trip. Da nny, USA 33

Beyond The Backwaters Keralan Tea & Spice Trail Spirit of South India Taste of South India

ka a t a n r Ka

Andhra Prades h


Spirit of South India

Discover beaches, temples, wildlife and backwaters


Duration: 17 days


Region: Goa, Karnataka, Kerala



Goa • Badami • Hampi • Hassan & Belur • Mysore • Kabini • Wayanad • Alleppey • Cochin

Mysore Kabini




Tamil Nadu

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

d Palakka


hin Coc

a Keral



South India South India is where you come to unwind and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. A heavenly mix of rolling hills, serene backwaters and fragrant spice plantations, South India is a nature lover’s paradise. Whether you’re seeking some quiet time on Goa’s beaches, wanting to cruise along the palmfringed waters of Kerala, or fancy exploring the ancient cave temples of Karnataka, South India is every much as intriguing as its Northern neighbour.

Places visited:


• Uncover Goa’s Portuguese past and relax on its beaches

Activity Rating:


Backwaters of Kerala

Starting in the former Portuguese enclave of Goa, explore the quaint colonial streets of Panjim, Old Goa’s churches and relax on Goa’s sandy beaches. Move on to the undiscovered state of Karnataka, home to India’s most ancient temples. Marvel at the 6th century cave temples in Badami, gravitydefying ancient boulders of Hampi and the regal splendour of Mysore Palace. Track elephants and other wildlife in Nagarhole National Park, then cross into the unseen tropical mountain forests of Wayanad in Kerala, staying in Asia’s largest

‘Earth resort’. Finally head down to the palm-fringed backwaters and drift off to sleep on a Keralan houseboat as you glide along Lake Vembanad.

Highlights: • Uncover Goa’s Portuguese past • Karnataka’s ancient temples • Safari in Nagarhole National Park • Stay in Asia’s largest Earth resort • Watch Kathakali dance by the lake • Houseboat on the backwaters

Fact: Kerala has a literacy rate of almost 100%, and has been governed for many years by a Communist party.

• Explore the medieval boulderstrewn ruins of Hampi • Stay overnight in Asia’s largest earth hotel in Wayanad • Learn all about tea and spices in Kerala’s finest plantations • Cruise along Kerala’s idyllic backwaters on a traditional houseboat • Learn the secrets of Keralan cooking | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

“I arra nged this as a private 6th century carving, Bad ami trip for the fa mily, and we were blown away by the differe nce s bet wee n the states. Ka rnatak a wa s a trea sure trove of rock-cut tem ple s and ancient hist ory. In Kerala, we rea lly liked Wa yan ad and the ear th hot el wa s act ually quit e lux urious! We loved the hom est ay in Alleppey, such a fabulous pla ce to sta y and the own ers were so welcom ing.” Jessica, UK


Duration: 11 days Region: Kerala Places visited:

Beyond the Backwaters ,

Explore Kerala s unseen beaches & mountains

Taste of South India

Savour the flavours and exotic spices of South India

Bekal • Tellicherry • Wayanad • Alleppey • Cochin

Duration: 14 days

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Region: Tamil Nadu, Kerala Activity Rating:

Places visited: Chennai • Chettinad • Palakkad • Tellicherry • Alleppey • Thekkady • Cochin

Kerala houseboat


Make your way through the unseen reaches of northern Kerala to the enchanting backwaters of the •E  xperience Theyyam dancing in south. Kick back on the sun-kissed Tellicherry beaches of Bekal, experience the •S  tay in Asia’s largest Earth resort rich art form of Theyyam dancing in •H  ouseboat on Kerala’s backwaters Tellicherry and explore the tropical •D  iscover Cochin’s colonial past mountain forests of the Wayanad, whilst staying Witness the famous snakeboat race on our August departure. See for details at the largest • Spot Olive Ridley turtles on Bekal’s beaches

Earth resort in Asia. Head on to the blissful backwaters of Alleppey, where you will take a houseboat ride on Lake Vembanad and go lobster fishing at night in dug-out canoes. Finally, discover the rich colonial history of Fort Cochin, and watch the sun set on its harbour.

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:


Keralan cooking class

• Journey along the Spice Route • Savour spicy Chettinad dishes

Duration: 6 days Region: Kerala Places visited:

Keralan, Tea & Spice Trail

Visit India s finest tea and spice plantations

Thekkady • Munnar • Cochin

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:


Munnar tea plantation

Once fought over by colonial powers for its exotic spices, South India still plays a vital role in today’s Spice Route. Blessed by two stunning coastlines, you will travel from east to west, from the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea. Along the way, our expert chefs will have you serving up spicy Chettinad seafood and vegetarian dishes enjoyed in Tamil Nadu, and delicious dosas and idlis, South India’s signature food. With a visit to spice and pepper plantations, ancient temples and forts, and cooking lessons on the banks of Kerala’s shimmering backwaters as well as on the lawns of our idyllic homestays, this is a culinary experience like no other!

• Explore spice & rubber plantations •B  amboo rafting in Periyar •M  unnar’s verdant tea gardens •W  ander the colonial city of Cochin •S  unset cruise in Cochin harbour

Fact: Chillies were introduced to India by the Portuguese.

Head for the lush green hills of Kerala on this invigorating tour of its tea and spice plantations. See how exotic spices like pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger are grown, and how rubber is tapped from trees. Experience Kerala’s wilder side by taking a bamboo raft on Lake Periyar and going on a walking safari.

Head north to Munnar and take a walk through India’s most picturesque tea gardens. Your journey ends with a sunset cruise in the charming colonial city of Cochin.

• Shop for fresh fruit & vegetables • Dine with Indian families • Cook on Kerala’s backwaters • Visit spice plantations in Thekkady

Fact: Rice, coconut and fish are staples of South Indian dishes. Banana stall

A word from our guide: “South Indian cuisine is very different to food in the north. You will eat from a banana leaf, shop in local markets and enjoy wonderful South Indian hospitality” Sandhya


South Indian me


Turkey Where East meets West, Turkey has been at the frontier of disparate and competing civilisations for centuries. This means that Turkey today boasts some of the most fascinating history and culture in the world. Add to this a supremely hospitable people, breath-taking scenery and world class cuisine and it’s easy to see why Turkey appeals to everyone.


Citadel of Uchisar

Hagha Sofia, Istan


Black Sea

Akdamar Island



Kars and Ani

Mount Ararat Ishak Pasa Palace Cappadocia

Gaziantep Kekova



Nemrut Dagi

Hošap Castle


Diyarbakir Hasankeyf

Göbekli Tepe & Urfa



Iran uses, Harran

Girls & beehive ho

Van, Hosap Castle and Akdamar Island

Lycian coast


Göbekli Tepe


Nemrut Dagi


Armenian ruin, An | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Eastern Turkey Explorer


Eastern Turkey Snapshot


Magic of Cappadocia


Turkish Volcano Trek


Cycle the Coast of Lycia


Classic Constantinpole



Clockwise from top left: 1. Lanterns, Istanbul; 2. Stone carving detail, Ishak Paša Palace; 3. Kids, Mardin; 4. Baklava Page 43: Balloon ride over Cappadocia

Interesting facts: • The walls of Diyarbakir are the second largest in the World after China’s great wall •G  öbekli Tepe is the world’s oldest place of worship and turned our archaeological theories on their heads •T  he future of the historical site of Hasankeyf hangs in the balance as a dam project plans to flood the valley it sits in

Turkey Tours Highlights • Discover Göbekli Tepe - the site of the world’s first temple • Take a boat across azure Lake Van to the Armenian church of Akdamar Kilisesi • Absorb the beauty of the pious cities of Mardin and Urfa • Marvel at the remarkable setting of Ishak Paša Palace • Explore the ancient Armenian capital of Ani • Hike Mount Ararat and a volcano in Turkey’s remote East • Discover the markets and backstreets of Istanbul • Stay in a cave hotel set in the unique landscape of Cappadocia • Cycle the stunning coastal regions of Lycia

From our research blog: “All my expectations have been exceeded. There’s just so much to see, huge variety, an unbeatable history and some of the friendliest and most welcoming people anywhere. Tešekurler Turkey!” David | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Eastern Turkey Explorer ,

Eastern Turkey Snapshot ,

Discover Turkey s most hidden secrets

A glimpse of Turkey s hidden charms

Duration: 13 days

Duration: 9 days Places visited: Istanbul • Gaziantep • Rumkale • Zeugma • Urfa • Göbekli Tepe • Harran • Diyarbakir • Hasankeyf • Mardin • Van

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Places visited: Istanbul • Kars • Ani • Dogubeyazit • Lake) Van • Akdamar • Mardin • Urfa

Activity Rating: Gypsy girl mosaic, Gaziantep

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Highlights: • Sunrise at Mount Nemrut

Come discover Turkey’s magical East, a region of incredible natural beauty and a legendary hospitality. Visit Göbekli Tepe, the birthplace of religion, experience the sunrise on the beautiful statues of Mount Nemrut and take a boat on Lake

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Sunset at Nemrut Dagi • The birthplace of religion: Göbekli Tepe

Stone heads, Mount Nemrut

Van to the remarkable Akdamar Armenian church. Little visited Eastern Turkey is truly a traveller’s paradise. This tour is a condensed version of our Eastern Turkey Explorer tour.

•T  he birthplace of religion: Göbekli Tepe •S  piritual Mardin and Urfa •C  limb the walls of Diyarbakir •T  ake a boat to stunning Rumkale •T  aste Gaziantep’s culinary delights

• Spiritual Mardin and Urfa • Boatride on Lake Van to Akdamar • Climb the walls of Diyarbakir • Former Armenian capital of Ani • The incredible Ishak Paša Palace

Fact: Göbekli Tepe is believed to be the oldest man-made place of worship in the world. The site dates back about 12,000 years and pre-dates the practice of agriculture.

Turkey’s Magical East is a region of incredible natural beauty and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people anywhere in the world. With excellent cuisine, a fascinating and ancient history including the birthplace of religion, world class monuments and breathtaking scenery, little visited Eastern Turkey (also known as “the Garden of Eden”) is the stuff of dreams.

The Magic of Cappadocia Fairytale landscapes and hidden underground cities

Duration: 3 days Places visited: Cappadocia

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Friendly locals

Activity Rating: Highlights:

e very ex hil aratin g ex pe rie nce. W “This tri p wa s an a ma zin g an d which we re tot ally fulfilled- it is ha d hig h hope s of Go be kli Tepe, t anticipated som e of th e oth er no d ha we t bu g, zin ma a y erl utt . We we re a sm all group, which ll we as al on pti ce ex so be to ge ms er it wa s a ma rve llou s tri p, eth og Alt . l na rso pe y ver p tri e ma de th an d an ex ce lle nt drive r.” he lped by ha vin g a ca rin g gu ide Joy, UK | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

• Marvel at the world famous ‘fairy chimneys’ •E  xplore the underground city of Kaymakli •V  isit rock-cut churches and natural castles Cappadocia fairy chimneys

Cappadocia is a spectacular, some say miraculous, natural wonder. Its unique historical and cultural heritage make Cappadocia one of the most interesting places on

the planet. Its ‘fairy chimneys’, rock-cut churches, natural castles and underground city make for a fascinating journey into the history and legend of this incredible place.

•L  earn about the unique history and cultural heritage of the area •O  ptional hot air balloon ride can be arranged The minimum group size on this tour may exceed 12 persons.


Turkish Volcano Trek

Stunning eastern peaks including Mount Ararat


TOP 10



IPS OF 201


Cycle the Coast of Lycia

Ride along the stunning coast of Southern Turkey

Duration: 8 days Places visited: Kas • Sarilar • Sutlegen • Belenli • Kekova

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Duration: 10 days Activity Rating:

Places visited: Istanbul • Mount Suphan • Mount Ararat • Nemrut Crater • Van • Akdamar • Dogubeyazit

Highlights: • Experience the stunning countryside of Lycia

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Lycian coast

Discover one of Turkey’s beautiful coastal regions by mountain bike. This is an ideal way to get a true feel for the nature, character and beauty of this special region and its people. Take a boat ride in Kekova Bay, visit Roman, Ottoman and Lycian ruins, relax by your hotel

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • A short cruise on Nemrut Crater Lake

Trekking to Mount Ararat

•V  isit the Armenian church on Akdamar island • Scale Mt. Suphan and Mt. Ararat •E  xperience the sunset at Ishak Paša Palace •S  top for tea at the stunning Murradiye Waterfalls

Fact: Mount Ararat is Turkey’s highest mountain (5,137m). It is referred to as the final resting place of Noah’s Ark in the book of Genesis.

Climb some of the most spectacular peaks of Eastern Turkey - Nemrut Crater Lake, Mt. Suphan and Mt. Ararat. This spectacular trek will give you a feel, not only for the stunning scenery of Eastern Turkey but also an insight into how people live in this part of the world and a chance to experience the warmth and hospitality of the people. Cruise across a lake to visit the spectacular Armenian church on Akdamar island. Visit the stunning waterfall of Murradiye and drink in the sunset at the incredible Ishak Paša Palace.

Classical Constantinople

Discover the exotic charms of this eternal city

Ishak Pasa Palace

•O  ptional scuba diving, hiking, trekking, canyoning and paragliding •M  eet the friendly locals

Fact: The Lycians are one of the most enigmatic of ancient Anatolia’s peoples.

Duration: 4 days Places visited: Constantinople

Activity Rating: Highlights:

A word from our guide:


• Admire the stunning Blue Mosque oup size The minimum gr exceed y ma r tou s on thi 12 persons

•L  earn about life in Ottoman times in Topkapi Palace Istanbul skyline

“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.” Alphonse de Lamartine Writer & poet | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

•V  isit ancient Lycian, Roman & Ottoman settlements

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

“Mount Ararat has a certain spiritualism that you can feel. People have been climbing it for over 175 years now and that same feeling of reverence is one all who climb it feel”


pool in the evenings or go for a dip in the sea. Experience the friendly welcome of the locals and their delicious local cuisine as well as standard Turkish delicacies. Brand new bikes, experienced guides, full back-up vehicle support included as standard.

•V  isit the ‘sunken city’ in Kekova Bay by boat

Call it Constantinople, call it Byzantium or call it Istanbul. Either way, come discover the ancient history and traditions of this proud city that for millennia has straddled

the East-West divide. Marvel at the stunning Blue Mosque and the incredible Hagha Sophia. Take time to learn about life under the Ottoman sultans in Topkapi Palace, take a boat ride on the Bosphorus and join in the bustle in the world’s ultimate market, the Grand Bazaar. And don’t forget to reward your palate with wonderful kebabs, hummus, olives and much more.

•A  ppreciate the genius in the design of Hagha Sophia •B  arter in the Grand Bazaar, the most colourful of markets •E  njoy world class cuisine in this foodie heaven •T  ake a boat ride on the Bosphorus

Fact: Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents, separated by the Bosphorus. Most of its historical sites are on the European side.


Syria,Jordan & Lebanon The remarkable history of these ancient lands has been touched by many of the great civilisations including the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Arab Caliphates and the Crusaders. Explore UNESCO heritage sites like Palmyra and Petra, experience first-hand the warmth of the Bedouin culture, and marvel at the natural beauty of Qadisha Valley, the vast desert of Wadi Rum’s and the mighty Euphrates. Come discover the Middle East with Travel The Unknown.


Turkey Bread vendor, Beirut

a Monastery

Deir Marmus


Th e Euphra

Krak des Chevaliers

Mediterranean Byblos

Lebanon Israel

Apamea, Syria

Wadi Rum, Jordan



De ad Se a

Syria Palmyra

Deir ez−Zur



t p y Eg

te s

Dead Cities





Blue Lizard, Wadi




s, Da Chess Player


ia b a r A i Saud

ere Dana Biospsherve Nature Re

eets Backstr

of Sidon


Wadi Rum



Syrian Odyssey


Syria Snapshot




Land of the Bedouins


Classical Jordan


Along Bedouin Trails




Crusaders & Caves


Hiking the Holy Valleys


Taste of Rural Lebanon


Gourmet Lebanon


Walls of Aleppo’s Citadel | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

The Treasury, Petra


P48: Bel Temple, Palmyra (Syria) This page (clockwise from left to right): Krak des Chevaliers, Spices in Damascus market, Camel in desert by Palmyra, Child near Bosra Opposite: Hiking into Petra P59: Trekking through the Jordanian desert

Interesting facts: • Both Byblos in Lebanon and Ugarit in Syria lay reasonable claim to having invented the alphabet. •A  bout one tenth of Syria’s population is Christian. They are made up mainly of Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Syriac Orthodox and live mostly in and around Aleppo. •T  he classic 1962 British film, Lawrence of Arabia, was filmed amongst the sand dunes of Wadi Rum.

Syria,Jordan & Lebanon Tours Hiking Trails: This region is one that offers unique and unexplored hiking options. The verdant Qadisha Valley in Lebanon offers beautiful trails to an area steeped in tradition and history with living hermits, ancient monasteries and Cedar forests. Qadisha means “Holy” in Aramaic and it’s easy to see why this earthly valley attracted such divine appellations.

In Jordan, the Dana Biosphere Reserve and the unique walking trails to the spectacular UNESCO heritage site of Petra make for some of the most varied walking trails on the planet. The Middle East may not be synonymous with hiking, but that just means you are more likely to have these remarkable trails to yourself. | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Syrian Odyssey Syria Snapshot

y Turke Aleppo

Dead Cities


Krak des Chevaliers

Leb ano n



Duration: 14 days

Th e Euphra

Places visited: Damascus • Aleppo • St. Simeon’s • Dead Cities • Deir Ez-Zur • Palmyra • Marmusa • Maalula • Bosra

−Zur z e r Dei

Off-the-beaten-track rating:


Activity Rating:



an d r o J

Syria Tours Highlights • Visit the Middle East’s most enchanting market in Aleppo

Roman ruins, Palmyra

Highlights: • Damascus - the world’s oldest city

ra Bos


Discover the true jewel of the Middle East

te s

ean n a r iter d e M

Syrian Odyssey

Near the border wit h Jord an, the cita del in the sm all town of Bo sra boa sts one of the best pre served Ro ma n theatres any wh ere in the world. Thi s 2nd century bla ck bas alt stru ctu re lay bu ried und er the san d for centuries kee pin g it in rem ark able con dition an d only in the 20th century has it bee n revealed in its tru e glo ry.

Ahlan wa sahlan” (‘welcome’ in Arabic) is the most common expression you will hear in this most hospitable of countries. Situated in the heart of the Middle East, Syria’s fascinating history has been touched by many of the great civilisations. The Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Arab Caliphates and Crusaders have all left their indelible mark on this intriguing country. And with both Damascus and Aleppo vying for the title of the world’s oldest continually inhabited city (at around 8,000 years each), there is plenty of history to absorb. This rich heritage has blessed Syria with some of the best monuments in the Middle East and its excellent and diverse cuisine cannot fail to impress.

A word from our guide: “Take Syria at your own pace. Its history can overwhelm but its welcome is always true” Hussein

• Aleppo’s citadel and colourful souk • Imposing medieval castle of Krak des Chevaliers • Boat ride on the Euphrates at sunset • Bedouin culture in Palmyra • The finest Middle Eastern cuisine

tour, A 9-day version of this available, o als is ot, Syria Snapsh wn. no nk eu lth ve see www.tra ls. tai com/ss for de

• Take a boat trip on the Euphrates at sunset • Ride a camel through historic Palmyra • Overnight in a luxurious Bedouin camp in the desert • Discover Crusader castles and Roman amphitheatres • Visit one of the last strongholds of Aramaic, the language of Jesus | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

“A n out sta nding tou r. An int ere stin g, com pre hen sive an d all- too -sh ort int rod uct ion to a fas cin ati ng an d frie ndly cou ntry. Would happily have don e it ag ain im mediately . We ll don e Tra vel the Un known.” Joh n, UK


Land of the Bedouins Along Bedouin Trails Classical Jordan

Land of the Bedouins

Med iter ran ean

Welcome to Jordan, the gateway to the Middle East

Ajlo Reseurn ve


ia r y S

Duration: 11 days Places visited: Amman • Gadara • Jerash • Ajloun • Madaba • Petra • Karak • Shobak • Wadi Musa • Wadi Rum • Dana • Dead Sea


Sea Dead

Madaba Karak

el Isra

pt Egy

ere Dana Biospsherve Nature Re

Saudi Arabia

Activity Rating:



The Monastery, Petra

Wadi Rum

The Red Sea

Jordan Tours Highlights • Float in the salt water of the Dead Sea • Discover the magic and splendour of Petra • Explore the breath-taking desert of Wadi Rum • Hike through some of the remotest and most beautiful corners of Jordan | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Dana Biosph ere Reserve is Jordan’ s largest nature reserve, coverin g some 320 square kilomet res of rugged and beautif ul landscape along the face of the Great Rift Valley. It sweeps down in a series of mounta in ridges, from the 1500m high plateau near Quade siy ya to the desert plains of Wadi Araba. It is the only reserve in Jordan that include s the four different bio-geographical zones of the country; Medite rranean, Irano-Turanian, Saharo Arabia n and Sudan ian penetration.

A perennial favourite, Jordan is a country loaded with everything a traveller could wish for. This tour takes in the main highlights of Jordan and a few hidden gems too. Petra with its jaw-dropping rock carvings and landscapes often steals the show, but Jordan offers much more and is crammed with ancient and geographical treasures - from the Roman amphitheatres and temples of Jerash, and the mosaics of Madaba to the unreal sand dunes of Wadi Rum. Float effortlessly on the Dead Sea looking across to Israel and spend a night in eco-friendly Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve.

• Petra - remarkable carvings and landscape • Float in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea • The ancient ruins of Jerash • A night under the desert sky in Wadi Rum • Madaba’s famous mosaics Roman Columns, Jerash

• Dana Biosphere Reserve - amazing natural beauty

Fact: A 6-day version of this tour, Classical Jordan, is also available, see cj for details.

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth with the surface about 300m below sea level and the bottom of the Sea at around 600m below sea level.

th e m ud at th e Dea d Sea, “Jera sh is fa scin at in g, loved ere sti ng. Petra by nig ht... int ry ve an rd Jo e th nd yo Beth an y be ury, lit all th e wa y to th e treas a m m m m az zzin g! Ca ndle, e city wa s tru ly m es m erisi ng th nd ou ar g in ho ec d un so th e e. Fa nt astic gu id e too. nc rie pe ex al tic ys m y ull erf a wo nd Th an ks fo r all your he lp.” Da vid, UK 57

“I have been hiking all over the world for more than 25 years and this is possibly the best one I’ve ever done. I’m simply gobsm acked!” Peter, UK (Along Bedou in Trails)

Along Bedouin Trails

Trek through ancient Bedouin desert trails

Duration: 11 days Places visited: Dana • Amman • Ajloun • Madaba • Pella • Karak • Feynan • Petra

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Walk undiscovered trails • Visit the imposing Ajloun Castle

The vast desert of Wadi Rum

• Discover true hospitality in a comfortable homestay • Explore Dana’s vast wilderness • Walk among Byzantine, Christian and Roman ruins • Taste the flavours of desert cuisine

Fact: The Treasury in Petra is known to many people as the backdrop to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as this is where the movie was filmed.

Explore the magical Land of the Bedouins through some of its most remote and rugged trails. Wander through the stunning Ajloun Reserve and its spectacular castle. Discover the incredible mosaics of Madaba, the beautiful Mount Nebo, where Moses was exiled, and Karak’s imposing Crusader castle. Finally hike from the incredible Dana Biosphere Reserve, a unique eco-project, to the world famous UNESCO site of Petra.

A word from our guide: “Make sure you see Petra by night. Seeing the Treasury by candlelight is an experience you will never forget” Salem

“W hat a great trip this was. Jorda n is a mag ical country, the peop le frien dly, the weat her marvellou s, the sight s, soun ds and smells uniqu e. The sma ll group got on well and I will defin itely be back on one of your trips agai n soon.” Marie, France | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Crusaders & Caves Hiking the Holy Valleys Taste of Rural Lebanon Gourmet Lebanon

Crusaders & Caves

an e n a r er t i d Me Beirut

Stunning caves and ancient monuments of Lebanon

Tripoli Douma

Qadisha Valley


Ksara Beiteddine Sidon

Duration: 6 days Places visited:


Beirut • Sidon • Tyre • Jeita’s Grotto • Byblos • Baalbek • Ksara Winery • Aanjar

Zahle Aanjar

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

ia r y S

Highlights: • Baalbek’s incredible temple complex

Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek

• Visually spectacular Jeita’s Grotto


• Byblos - birthplace of the alphabet


Lebanon Highlights

“L eban on is an id ea l country to hik e. St un ni ng m ou nt ai ns an d va lle ys dott ed with histo rical bu ildin gs, m on aste rie s, he rm it dwellin gs, breathta ki ng scen ery an d sm ilin g fa ce s.” Pa uli ne

A turbulent recent history means this beautiful and welcoming country sees few visitors. However since peace returned, a trip to Lebanon has become a deeply rewarding experience. Its ancient history, friendly and forwardlooking people and wealth of natural beauty, ensures that this small country packs a lot of punch. Come see for yourself.

A word from our guide: “Visitors to Lebanon should come with an open mind. Our culture is rich, our people are hospitable and we are proud to show you our country. In Lebanon everyone you meet is your guide.”

• Discover the ancient sites of Baalbek and Byblos • Taste wines at Ksara winery and caves

Barbara, USA

• Hike through the stunning and historic Qadisha valley • Explore the remarkable caves of Jeita’s Grotto | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

•S  ample the finest wines at Ksara winery • The historic towns of Sidon & Tyre


“L eban on is uniqu e in the Mid dle East in that it has an incredible histo ry, gorge ous scen ery and welco ming peop le, but also is a country where it is not difficult to comm unicate with the locals. Than k you, Trave l The Unk nown, for an exce llent tour.”

• Live it up in Beirut’s lively bars and restaurants

• The beautiful Qadisha Valley


A Taste of Rural Lebanon

Hiking the Holy Valleys

Discover the flavours and hospitality of pastoral Lebanon

Hike through the verdant and historic Qadisha valley

Duration: 6 days

Duration: 8 days Places visited: Beirut • Deir El Ahmar • Baalbek • Ksara • Mymoune • Ehden • Maasser Esh Chouf • Sidon • Tyre

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Places visited: Beirut • Jeita’s Grotto • Laqlouq • Houb • Hadath • Qadisha Valley

Activity Rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Highlights: Delicious fresh hummus

• Experience real Lebanese food • Visit the Roman site of Baalbek

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Overnight in an 18th century Maronite monastery • Visit a living hermitage • See the dramatic Baatara sinkhole • Experience Lebanese hospitality in a homestay • Explore the remarkable Jeita’s Grotto • Delicious Lebanese food - treat yourself!

From the sophisticated capital city of Beirut with its top restaurants and excellent nightlife you will venture out and discover the legendary hospitality and culinary secrets of rural Lebanon. Prepare a traditional mezze in the village of Ehden, visit an organic farm in

Hiking through Qadisha Valley

Hike through the beautiful Qadisha valley, discovering the spectacular nature and fascinating history of this little-visited region. Overnight in an 18th century Maronite monastery, visit a hermit and experience a true Lebanese welcome by staying with a local family. Hike through a stunning Cedar forest, experience the dramatic Baatara sinkhole and explore the unique Jeita’s Grotto cave complex. And finally, indulge yourself by feasting on the region’s delicious food!

Deir El Ahmar, prepare fish the traditional way in Sidon and cook with tumbleweed in Maasser Ech Chouf. Finally, visit the stunning temples, mosques, courtyards and statues of the Roman site of Baalbek before sampling the delicious wines of the Bekaa Valley.

• Prepare your own Lebanese mezze • Cook fresh fish on the coast • Taste the wines of Bekaa Valley • Visit an organic farm •D  iscover Lebanese hospitality and humour

A word from our guide: “The Qadisha Valley is a region of special importance in Lebanon and hiking through it is a privilege that few are lucky enough to ever experience. Be prepared to journey through time.” Michel

Gourmet Lebanon

Discover the flavours of the Orient in beautiful Lebanon

Duration: 8 days Places visited: Beirut • Byblos • Tripoli • Beiteddine • Baalbek • Ksara

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:


“The Qadisha Valley is a bea utif ul and fascinat ing place. The night in the mon aste ry was a highlight for me alth oug h bot h the othe r hom esta y nights were equ ally enjo yable in the ir own way. Dan ielle ma de me feel part icul arly welcom e and my guid es look ed afte r me very well thro ugh out.” Ma ry, UK | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

• Cooking class in Le Bristol Hotel Lebanese mezze

• Learn the art of sweet-making • Sample Ksara’s best wines

Discover the taste of the Levant from mouthwatering mezze and heavenly hummus to delicious felafel and scrumptious shawarma. Take a cooking class in the famous kitchens of Le Bristol Hotel, learn the art of sweet-making from the experts, Abdul Rahman Hallab & Sons in Tripoli and sample wine in the natural caves of Ksara winery, one of the best wineries

in the verdant Bekaa Valley. Visit the iconic archaeological sites of Byblos - birthplace of the alphabet and once the centre of the world’s shipping - and Baalbek - one of the most impressive Roman sites in the world. Revel in the warm welcome and easy charm of the Lebanese people themselves.

• Visit the unique Jeita’s Grotto • Explore the Roman site of Baalbek •V  isit Byblos, birthplace of the alphabet •E  njoy Beirut’s restaurants, bars & clubs


Colombia With its violent history barely more than a memory, now is the time to visit Colombia. This South American gem is blessed with diversity - with both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, dense Amazon jungle, beautiful colonial towns, ancient civilisations, stunning deserts and the friendliest people in South America - Colombia is a country ripe for discovery.


bean b i r a C ea S

Providencia is lands

Lost City

Gold museum

Parque Tayrona Barranquilla

San Andres

gena a t r a C Pan ama

Villa de Leyva

Venezue la

Parque Tayrona

Santander Coffee le Triang

Pacific Ocean



Villa D e Ley va


Tatacoa De sert

San Agustin

Tribe, Lost


San Agustin Providencia

Brazi l

Ecuad or

Peru Amazon




Southern Colombia Explorer


Lost City Trek


Amazon Adventure


Cartagena & The Caribbean


Cartagena & The Carnival


Caribbean Chillout


Colombia Adrenalin Rush


Toucan, Amazon


Clockwise from top left: 1. Jeep in coffee region; 2. Pre-Columbian statue, San Agustin; 3. Tayrona people; 4. Monkeys, Amazon. P69: Boat in Providencia

Interesting facts:

“W hen I sta rted exp lori ng Colom bia I cou ldn ’t believe oth ers had n’t dis covered this incredibly variou s, hos pita ble and exhilaratin g cou ntry. But Travel The Un known had picking ma ny of the pla ces that mo st a ma zed and imp ress ed us. Hu rry before the world fin ds out!” Matth ew Parris

Colombia has 1,025 unique folkloric rhythms. Colombia has more emeralds than any other country, with 60% of the world’s supply. Colombia has 1,865 bird species and 734 species of amphibians, more than any other country in the world for each.

Colombia Tours Highlights • Trek to the Lost City, a city lost for hundreds of years • Chill out on the Caribbean islands of San Andrés and Providencia • Stay in a colonial finca (farmhouse) in the verdant Coffee Triangle • Explore an undiscovered region of the Amazonian jungle • Soak up the colonial charms of Cartagena, Colombia’s grandest city • Discover the incredible scenery and mysterious history of San Agustin • Walk and swim in the stunning Parque Tayrona • Drive through the spectacular and bizarre Tatacoa Desert • Go hiking, rafting, horse-riding or paragliding in beautiful Santander • Party the day (and night) away at the Barranquilla Carnival | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Southern Colombia Explorer ,


The best of Southern Colombia, a traveller s delight

Lost City Trek

The most intrepid trek of all

Duration: 14 days

Duration: 7 days

Region: Southern Colombia

Region: Caribbean

Places visited:

Places visited:

Bogota • Villa de Leyva • Coffee Triangle • Popayan • San Agustin • Tatacoa Desert

Santa Marta • Machete Pelao • Mamo Kogui farm • Mutanyi • Lost City

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Bogota’s architecture & museums

The Lost City


Tatacoa Desert

• Meet remote tribal groups

• The colossal Salt Cathedral • Rustic beauty of Villa de Leyva • Colonial villages in the Coffee Triangle • The ‘White City’ of Popayan • The mysterious statues of historic San Agustin • The stunning Tatacoa Desert

Fact: Per square metre Colombia is more biodiverse than any other country in the world.

• Hike through lush thick jungle

Southern Colombia is a region of great diversity in landscape, people and culture. Few outsiders have visited this beautiful area. Discover the verdant coffee region and climb an active volcano in Los Nevados National Park. Visit beautiful colonial towns, an incredible underground cathedral in a salt mine, mysterious pre-Columbian statues and perhaps the world’s most unusual desert.

A word from our guide: “To be able to take visitors to the secret and special locations of this amazing part of my country and show them such incredible sites and see their faces light up always brings a smile to my face too!” Milton

“Gett in g un de r th e skin of th e rea l C olo m bi a an d di sc overin g ne w, ex cit in g not- to -be- m iss ed attra ction s is so m et hin g I kn ow th at Tra ve l Th e Un kn own is tru ly pa ssion at e ab out.” Sa rah Woods, A ut ho r of Bradt Gu id e to Co lom bi a

The unique Lost City trek is the highlight of many people’s Colombian adventure. Five days of trekking through jungle, wading through rivers and finally climbing the thousand steps to the magical Lost City or “Ciudad Perdida” makes for an incredible experience. Learn about the history of the Tayrona people who in the 11th to 14th century built this city, which vanished off all maps for hundreds of years before being rediscovered by treasure hunters in 1975. This is an adventure for the truly intrepid.

• Marvel at the beauty and ingenuity of the Lost City site • Bathe in natural pools • Fall asleep to the “jungle chorus”


Tayrona huts

Tayrona men and women lived separately. They had a special field for familial relations and the only time a man entered his wife’s home was to cut the umbilical cord of his child.

The minimum group size on this trip may exceed 12

an d so successfu l in Th an ks for ma kin g my trip possible second an d the tre k to such a sho rt tim e. I loved eve ry sin gle it ag ain at thi s pre cise the Lo st City is a ma zin g. Would do s a pleasa nt surpris e; the mo me nt. An d Colom bia in gen era l wa contra diction to com mo n cou ntry is incredible an d rea lly safe in ste reotypes.” Lis a, Ita ly | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


Amazon Adventure

Cartagena & the Caribbean

Venture into the heart of the Colombian Amazon

Stunning colonial architecture and a Caribbean coastline

Duration: 7 days

Duration: 7 days

Region: Amazon

Region: Caribbean

Places visited:

Places visited:

Bogota • Leticia • The Amazon • Butterfly Canyon

Cartagena • Rosario Islands • Totumo mud volcano • Santa Marta • Parque Tayrona

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Venture into uninhabited Amazonian rainforest •L  ook out for alligators, pink dolphins, jaguars, monkeys and more •M  eet and spend the night with remote Amazonian tribes •F  all asleep to the jungle’s natural symphony •S  hower in waterfalls •F  ish for piranha

Fact: More than half of the world’s estimated ten million species of plants, animals and insects live in the Amazon rainforest.

Activity Rating: Colourful Cartagena



Venture into the heart of the Amazon, away from the regular tourist route. Trek through an uninhabited region of Amazonian jungle, and take a boat to discover remote Amazonian tribes. Look out for monkeys, alligators, turtles, jaguars, eagles, parrots, anacondas and pink Amazonian dolphins. Shower in waterfalls and sleep out in hammocks. This is one off-thebeaten-track tour that will certainly take your breath away.


Rowing down the Amazo

A word from our guide: “Many people don’t even know that within Colombia there is a huge chunk of Amazon rain forest. For me this is one of the most magical parts of the country. Every time it’s different. The jungle changes and evolves every day like one giant living organism” Abelardo Waterfall shower | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Cartagena, a fairy-tale city of legends, is the poster-boy of Colombian tourism. And it’s easy to see why. This UNESCO heritage site boasts stunning colonial architecture, leafy balconies, cobbled alleys, giant churches and open-air cafes in mellow plazas. This is a city to wander endlessly and randomly. There’s something around every corner. Take a dip in a mud volcano - and discover its magical healing powers before taking a canoe out through a mangrove forest! Finally head to Santa Marta to discover the stunning Tayrona National Park which combines beautiful beaches with the wildlife of a national park (watch out for monkeys!).

A word from our guide: “This tour embraces the best of Caribbean Colombia – the colonial masterpiece of Cartagena, the delicious fruit and seafood of the Rosario islands, a unique volcano mud bath experience and the stunning nature, beaches and wildlife of Parque Tayrona”

• The charming Rosario islands •A  dmire Cartagena’s beautiful architecture • Have a coffee in a stunning plaza • Bathe in a mud volcano • Canoe through a mangrove forest • Buy authentic gold jewellery •R  elax on the lovely beaches of Parque Tayrona

José Villa Jr

“T ha nk s so mu ch for a wo nd erf ul tri p. Ou r gu ide s th rou gh out we re kn ow led geable, ent hu sia stic an d fri en dly. We wil l de fin ite ly tra vel wit h Tra vel th e Un kn own ag ain.” Sh au n


Cartagena &, the Carnival

Caribbean Chillout

Revel in Colombia s carnival atmosphere!

Idyllic beaches, water sports and great seafood

Duration: 6 days Places visited: Bogota • San Andrés • Providencia

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Duration: 7 days Activity Rating:

Region: Caribbean Places visited:


Bogota • Cartagena • Barranquilla • Totumo Mud Volcano •

• Enjoy true Caribbean tranquility San Andrés bay

Discover another side to Colombia on the beautiful islands of San Andrés and Providencia. The slow pace of life and the welcome of the friendly natives on these islands will soon soothe all travel weariness.

Activity Rating:

A great opportunity to take a boat trip, go snorkelling or diving, horse riding, hiking, or simply relax on the beach. These idyllic islands will make you wonder why it took you so long to visit. The seafood is out of this world too!

Barranquilla dancer

• Live it up in cosmopolitan Bogota • Marvel at Cartagena’s stunning architecture • Take part in Colombia’s largest & liveliest carnival - Carnaval de Barranquilla • Relax in a mud volcano and feel its healing powers

Fact: Carnaval de Barranquilla is the second largest carnival in Latin America after Rio de Janeiro’s but with a fraction of the tourists. Its origins date back to the 19th century.

• Relax on stunning beaches • Snorkel, dive, hike, go horse riding or just chill out

Off-the-beaten-track rating:


• Meet super-friendly locals

Discover the hip city of Bogota and its world-famous Gold Museum, before heading on to Colombia’s crown jewel - Cartagena. Admire spectacular colonial architecture, cobbled alleys and mellow plazas. But the highlight of this tour is Colombia’s biggest and brightest carnival - Carnaval de Barranquilla. This carnival celebrates everything great about this country. Take part in the festivities, the elaborate processions, swing your hips to Colombian rhythms, and get blown away by the vibrancy of this dazzling extravaganza! Spend the next day relaxing in the magical Mud Volcano!

Colombia Adrenalin Rush

Rafting, rappelling and paragliding in Santander

Fact: The infamous pirate Henry Morgan used Providencia as a base for raiding the Spanish empire, and rumours abound that much treasure remains hidden on the island.

Duration: 8 days Places visited: Bogota • Barichara • San Gil • Giron

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Child dancing

Activity Rating:

A word from our guide:


“The Barranquilla carnival is an experience of a lifetime. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the energy, the excitement and the bounding rhythms of one of the world’s great parties”

• Rappel down a waterfall

Alex | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

• Savour delicious fresh seafood

• Raft the rapids of the River Fonce • Ride mules in rugged countryside Waterfall rappelling

Get your adrenalin rush in Colombia’s adventure sports capital - Santander. Whether you fancy taking on the rapids, rappelling down waterfalls, riding on mules through rugged country or want to get a bird’s eye view

whilst paragliding, Santander has it all. Later meander the cobbled streets of Colombia’s colonial gem, Barichara, a town set back in time. Take in the colonial charm and rustic beauty of this gorgeous place.

• Get a bird’s eye view of Santander while paragliding • Discover Barichara, Colombia’s colonial gem

A word from our guide: “San Gil is Latin America’s adventure sports capital – it has something for every adrenalin junkie. But the region has plenty more - with lovely walking trails and beautiful colonial villages.” Juan


Mexico For a taste of the real Mexico, come to Oaxaca. This gorgeous state boasts beautiful colonial architecture, a primordial eco-system that draws botanists from all over the planet, fascinating ancient historical sites and it is also acknowledged as the gastronomy hotspot of Mexico. Furthermore, Oaxaca is the indigenous capital of Mexico with a vast array of languages and customs enhancing the intricate cultural landscape. Finally take time out to explore Mexico’s capital city and the venerable Mayan site of Teotihuacan.


bla e u P

Veracruz Landscape, Sierra Norte Mountains

oala Santiago Ap

Sierra Norte

Cathedral Metropolitana, Mexico


Hike break, Sierra No


Gu err ero

Monte Alban


Oaxaca City

Mitla Hierve El Agu a

Mexico City Mexico City

Oaxaca City

Street Vendors chattin

g, Oaxaca


Ladies shoppin

g, Tlacolula

Oaxaca City e Tour an Microfinanc

Weaver, Teotitl

an e c O c i f i Pac


ull, Oax

d Sk Adorne | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Hierve El Agua


Treasures of Oaxaca


Zapotecan Village Trek


Day of the Dead


Flavours of Oaxaca


Mexico City & Teotihuacan



P76-77: Monte Alban

“H avi ng travelled to Mexico on variou s trip s ove r the yea rs I wa s surpris ed to fin d Oax aca wa s so differe nt. Ma ny traditio ns that have died out else wh ere are still alive and kicking in Oax aca . An d the food is sublim e.” Bill, US

This page (clockwise from left to right): statue at Monte Alban, wedding in Oaxaca, petrified waterfall at Hierve El Agua, Santo Domingo church of Oaxaca Opposite: bridge in Sierra Norte mountains

Interesting facts: • About 20% of indigenous people in Oaxaca do not speak Spanish or any nonindigenous language. • I ndigenous communities in Oaxaca continue to consider the land as something integral (the “mother earth”), sacred and collective, that cannot be sold. •O  axaca boasts 264 species and subspecies of mammals (50%) and 701 species of birds (63% of the national total).

Mexico Tours Highlights • Visit the ancient ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla • Trek through indigenous Zapotec communities in the Sierra Norte mountains • Learn to cook Oaxacan food from top chefs and local enthusiasts • Participate in the colourful Day of the Dead celebrations • Marvel at the world’s widest tree • Take in the colonial charm of Oaxaca City • Visit traditional handicrafts and local food markets • Discover Mexico City, the city of Palaces straddled by the twin volcanoes • Admire the colossal pyramids of Teotihuacan | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

In Oaxaca, Travel The Unknown works with Fundación En Via (see in developing a responsible tourism project that uses micro-finance as a means to help local people help themselves by harnessing the positive effects of tourism. By providing interest-free micro-loans to help women in Oaxaca start or expand their small businesses, Fundación En Via facilitates social change, generating real impacts on people’s lives and authentic cultural experiences for travellers.


Treasures of Oaxaca

Zapotecan Village Trek

The last bastion of indigenous Mexico


TOP 50

Indigenous village trek in a world of biodiversity



Duration: 10 days

Duration: 8 days

Places visited:

Places visited:

Oaxaca • Mitla • Monte Alban • Hierve El Agua • Santiago Apoala

Oaxaca • Llano Grande • Cuajimoloyas • Lutavi • Amatlan • Capulalpam

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Activity Rating:

Activity Rating:



• The stunning ruins of Monte Alban • The unique site of Hierve El Agua • Learn to cook tasty Oaxacan food

• Experience the warm welcome of the Zapotec people

Waterfall in the Sierra Norte

The ruins of Monte Alban

• Take a high altitude zip-wire ride

• Discover the stunning Sierra Norte mountains • Marvel at the world’s widest tree • The colonial charm of Oaxaca city • Visit colourful traditional handicrafts markets

Fact: While there are officially sixteen indigenous groups in Oaxaca, every group actually has hundreds of subgroups, each distinguished by unique linguistic and social traditions


Discover the final refuge of indigenous Mexico, a place where pre-Hispanic traditions, customs and languages still survive; where ancient treasures abound and a warm welcome greets every visitor; welcome to Oaxaca (pronounced “Waw-haka”). Take time to discover the ancient history and phenomenal architecture of Monte Alban and Mitla, discover the stunning natural landscapes of Hierve El Agua and Santiago Apoala and wander the colourful craft markets throughout the state before taking a walk in a cloud forest. Finally, learn some traditional Oaxacan cooking or take a tour of Oaxaca’s legendary biodiversity in the botanical gardens.

Traditional wedding, Oaxaca

A word from our guide: “Oaxaca is the most diverse state in Mexico in terms of language, culture and food. As well as that, it is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Come explore for yourself” Don Rufino | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Venture into a hidden corner of Mexico that the indigenous Zapotec people call home - the Sierra Norte mountains of Oaxaca. This stunning region is home to around nine thousand plant species, many of them endemic to this region. These beautiful mountains, pine forests, rivers and valleys lend themselves to legends and the Zapotecs have many, which they are only too happy to share with the adventurous souls who visit their native lands. The benefits of this eco-tourism project are shared amongst the people and villages that make this area so special. Come discover this little slice of paradise.

• Witness an incredible array of biodiversity • Relive the day’s adventures around your own lodge’s fire • Do your bit for the environment and economy of this region

Fact: The eco-system of the Sierra Norte mountains is one of the oldest in the world, at a staggering 20 million years old


One of many cac

“T he hiking wa s a ma zin g wit h spe cta cu lar sce ne ry an d kn ow ledgeable gu ide s. Th e lux uriou s but rustic wood en ca bin s we re rea lly we lco mi ng aft er a lon g da y of hiking” Ca roli ne, Ca na da 83

Day of the Dead ,

Flavours of Oaxaca ,

Witness Mexico s most colourful festival

A culinary tour of Mexico s gastronomy capital

Places visited:

A selection of chillies

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Discover the people, the sights and the flavours of Mexico’s culinary capital - the indigenous state of Oaxaca. This beautiful state in southern Mexico is a melting pot of cultures, traditions and peoples, a fact reflected in its rich, varied and delicious cuisine. Discover the ancient heritage of sites like Monte Alban and Mitla, the stunning

Highlights: Day of the Dead masks

•T  he impressive history of Monte Alban and Mitla

• Discover the stunning Sierra Norte •B  e amazed by the world’s widest tree • The colonial charm of Oaxaca city

Fact: Though the origins of the Day of the Dead go back several millennia, in its current form it is a blend of pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and Spanish Catholic traditions.

Highlights: • Experience real Oaxacan food

Activity Rating:

• Learn to cook tasty Oaxacan food

Oaxaca • Tlacolula • Santiago Apoala • Mitla • Monte Alban • Hierve El Agua

Activity Rating:

Mexico City • Oaxaca • Monte Alban • Mitla • Santiago Apoala • Hierve El Agua

• The unique site of Hierve El Agua

Places visited:

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Duration: 10 days

• Experience Mexico’s most colourful festival

Duration: 9 days

Discover the famous celebrations of the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, the indigenous capital of Mexico, and the best place to experience this special day. The Day of the Dead in Mexico is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colourful celebration where death takes a lively, friendly expression. After the festival take time to appreciate the ancient history and phenomenal architecture of Monte Alban and Mitla, discover the stunning natural landscapes of Hierve El Agua and Santiago Apoala and wander the colourful craft markets throughout the state before taking a walk in a cloud forest.

Mexico City & Teotihuacan Ancient history meets modern metropolis | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

• Visit unique site of Hierve El Agua • The ancient site of Monte Alban • Discover the lovely Mixteca region • Prepare your own Oaxacan dishes • The colonial charm of Oaxaca city • The colourful food market at Tlacolula • Learn from top Oaxacan chefs

Duration: 5 days Places visited: Mexico City • Teotihuacan • Tepoztlán

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Day of the Dead doll

Activity Rating:

A word from our guide: “In Mexico the Day of the Dead is a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed. It is a joyous occasion and we are happy to share it with anyone as its messages are universal.” Don Mauricio

World’s widest tree

beauty and unique biodiversity of the Sierra Norte mountains. Experience the best food and drink of the region as well as learning the region’s culinary secrets from some of Oaxaca’s best chefs and some who still use the traditional recipes of rural Oaxaca. Buen Provecho!

Highlights: • Stroll the beautiful historic centre of Mexico City The vast ruins of Teotihuacan

Once known as the City of Palaces and straddled by the twin volcanoes of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, Mexico City is one of the world’s greatest cities. Visit its historic centre and discover its ancient heritage before visiting two of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites - firstly

Teotihuacan with its pyramids, the Avenue of the Dead and a hotly disputed ancestry. Secondly, take in El Topozteco, a monument to the Aztec God of pulque, an ancient alcoholic drink made from agave and still consumed today. Finally stop in Tepoztlán to sample some of its famous ice-cream.

• Marvel at the vast sprawl of ancient Teotihuacan • Drink a glass of pulque at El Topezteco • Sample the famous ice-cream of Tepoztlán

Fact: Mexico City is believed to have more museums than any other city in the world.


Serbia Once in the news for the wrong reasons, Serbia sees little in the way of tourists despite a plethora of exciting places to visit – from cosmopolitan, easy-going Belgrade to its spectacular Orthodox monasteries, from the beautiful landscapes of Devil’s Town to the rustic wine cellar village at Rajac. Its stunning hiking trails, delicious cuisine and quirky festivals make Serbia an ideal place for a unique trip.


ry a g n u H Danube



Ro ma nia

VOJVODINA Sremski Karlovici

Novi Sad

Golubac Fortress

Silver Lake

Belgrade Smederevo

nd Bosnia aovina Herzeg


Donji Milanovac Rajac



ade Orthodox Lady and Graffiti, Belgr


Street Scene, Nis



Man in doorway, Rajac








Sunflower La


o r g e n Monte


a Albani

nia o d e c a M

ia r a g Bul

t crossing

Belgrade stree


rk, Belg

gdan Pa



Devil’s Town & Danube


Serbia’s Secret North


Festivals of Serbia


Serbia’s Remoter Trails


Taste of Serbia


Belgrade City Tour


Street View, Novi Sad


P86: Sampling some plum brandy at Rajac This page (clockwise from left to right): Enjoying a drink in Rajac’s wine cellar; Studenica monastery; Monk at Sopocani monastery; Skull tower of Niš Opposite: flute player at Rajac

Interesting facts about Serbia: •The beautiful wine cellar village of Rajacka Pimnice consists of buildings built between 1750 and 1930 only. •Serbian is written using either the Roman and the Cyrillic alphabet and both are found throughout Serbia. •Every Orthodox family in Serbia has its own patron saint. Each family celebrates the feast day of their saint with a unique Serbian Orthodox religious tradition, on the day when their ancestors were baptised.

Serbia Tours Highlights • Live it up in Belgrade, Serbia’s dynamic capital city • Visit and overnight in one of Serbia’s stunning Orthodox monasteries • Take a boat ride on the mighty Danube • Marvel at the incredible landscapes of Devil’s Town • Learn the history of the grisly Skull Tower in Niš • Feast on local dishes and wines in the wine cellars of Rajac • Discover the unique character of Vojvodina • Take in the Guca trumpet festival and Belgrade Beerfest • Explore the verdant countryside by hiking the Niš region | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

A word from our guide: “Serbia is a beautiful and welcoming country whose past keeps visitors away. It’s a real shame. But those who ignore the image come away with a sense of the passion and hospitality of the Serbian people and of the unique history of the country.” Sasa

“Serbia’s Rem oter Trails cycling tou r in sout hea st Serbia was exhilarating and vari ed and the loca l guid es, Mis a and Sas a, were professiona l and knowledgea ble. The food was great too.” Lau rence Mit che ll, Aut hor of Bra dt guid e to Serbia 91

, Devil s Town & The Danube ,

Uncover the hidden gems of Europe s best-kept secret

, Serbia s Secret North

Flatlands, historic villages & Hungarian influences

Duration: 4 days Places visited: Belgrade • Sremski Karlovici • Novi Sad • Subotica

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Duration: 7 days Activity Rating:

Places visited: Belgrade • Topola • Borac • Studenica • Devil’s Town • Niš • Rajac • Tekija • Srebrno Jezero

Highlights: • Cosmopolitan but historic Belgrade Liberty Square, Novi Sad

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

• Picture postcard villages

Visit the picturesque and historic village of Sremski Karlovici, climb the impressive Petravaradin fortress in Novi Sad and wander the lovely streets of Subotica.

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Cosmopolitan but historic Belgrade • Dining on a boat on the Danube

Vastly different from the Southern regions of Serbia, the history and culture of the semi-autonomous province of Vojvodina is more

Sopocani Monastery

• Serbia’s ancient yet active Orthodox monasteries and churches • Bizarre landscapes of Devil’s Town • Ghoulish Skull Tower of Niš • Drinking with locals in the rustic wine cellars of Rajac

• Vojvodina’s vast flatlands and plains

From the cosmopolitan capital to ancient but active churches and monasteries, discover a land of warm welcomes and abundant nature. Take a boat on the Danube, overnight in a monastery and in a local home to discover the best of Serbian hospitality before exploring the spectacular landscapes of Devil’s Town and the ghoulish Skull Tower of Niš.

influenced by the Austro-Hungarian Empire than the Ottomans who ruled the more Southerly parts. The beautiful towns of Novi Sad and even more so Subotica have a casual Central European look and feel than other parts of Serbia.

• Novi Sad – Vojvodina’s crown jewel • Hungarian influences in Subotica •H  ave lunch on a traditional farm (salas)

Fact: Petrovaradin Fortress contains 16km of underground tunnels. The site has been inhabited for over 15,000 years.

A word from our guide: “Let us introduce you to a less exposed, less travelled part of Europe. We will show you the sights, but also, let us add some local flavour and go beyond the main tourist routes to bring you into contact with rural life, villages, ancient ruins, warmhearted locals and typical food, drink and music”

Festivals of Serbia

, Eat, drink and be merry in Europe s forgotten gem


Duration: 8 days Places visited: Belgrade • Guca • Zlatibor • Studenica • Prolom Banja • Niš • Devil’s Town • Topola

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Activity Rating: Highlights: • Experience the Guca trumpet festival • Overnight in Studenica monastery

Guca trumpet festival

Devil’s Town

“I have been extre mely well looked after and a m grate ful to Deja n for showing me his wond erful country” Adri an, UK | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

Discover Serbia’s premier festivals – the world famous Trumpet Festival of Guca, and Belgrade’s Beer Fest, as well as the cultural delights of Central Serbia stunning orthodox monasteries,

ancient and bizarre landscapes and the eerie Skull Tower of Niš. Experience the warm welcome of the Serbian people and live it up in Europe’s best-kept secret!

•M  arvel at the bizarre terrain of Devil’s Town •D  iscover the ghoulish Skull Tower of Niš • Live it up at Belgrade’s Beer Fest • Explore Kopaonik National Park

Fact: The Guca trumpet festival attracts 600,000 visitors to Guca. Its population is normally only 2,000!


, Serbia s Remoter Trails

A Taste of Serbia ,

Hiking and cycling in remote Southeast Serbia

Discover Europe s most exotic cuisine

Duration: 9 days Places visited: Belgrade • Valjevo • Paracin • Niš • Rajac • Kladavo • Smederevo

Off-the-beaten-track rating: Duration: 8 days Activity Rating:

Places visited: Belgrade • Sokobanja • Reskin • Niška Banja • Niš • Sicevo Gorge


Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Cutting a cabbage, rural Serbia

Experience the rich and flavourful culture and heritage of Serbia Europe’s forgotten culinary giant. Make cheese on a farm, sample excellent wines and brandies and visit the honey museum. Go fishing on the banks of the Danube and learn to make traditional soup with your catch.

Activity Rating:

Highlights: • Cosmopolitan and historic Belgrade • Cycle through stunning rural landscapes

The cycling team

Bake classic corn bread and learn the use of rare herbs in cooking with a real life druid. This is a true hands-on food tour that you won’t forget.

• Discover traditional Serbian food • Learn from top chefs and a druid! • Savour delicious Serbian brandies •G  o fishing and prepare soup with your catch • Make your own cheese on a farm • Sample excellent local wines • Dine on the Danube

Fact: Serbia is the world’s biggest raspberry exporter, exporting 63,000 tons every year. Its raspberries are considered to be the best in the world.

• Hike in a remote region of Serbia, explored by few • Marvel at the ghoulish skull tower of Niš

Belgrade City Tour

• Sample local wines, brandies, breads, meats and cheeses

Fact: Niš is most famous as the birthplace of the renowned Roman emperor, Constantine the Great.

Discover this historic city on the rivers

Traditional crafts

Duration: 4 days Places visited: Belgrade • Topola

Off-the-beaten-track rating:

Beautiful Serbian landscape

Activity Rating: Experience the warm welcome and the slow pace of rural life in Southeastern Serbia by hiking and cycling through its stunning valleys and gorges. Stop off at the grisly skull tower of Niš, visit a 200 year old water mill and take a break to rejuvenate your muscles in a Turkish bath. Overnight in small lodges and discover true hospitality in a traditional rural homestay. | Book Now on 020 7183 6371


A word from our guide: “Visit the countryside of Serbia. It is where you will find real food, beautiful nature and genuine hospitality” Danielle

• Walking tour of Belgrade city centre •D  iscover Kalemegdan fortress overlooking the Danube and Sava rivers St. Sava’s Orthodox Cathedral, Belgr ade

Belgrade is a fascinating and dynamic city that at times belies its ancient heritage. Sat at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade also straddles the

East-West divide and its ancient heritage sits comfortably with the urban charm of its parks, cafés and nightclubs. Come discover Europe’s coolest capital city.

•V  isit Oplenac and Topola to learn about Serbia’s Orthodox heritage •L  ive it up in Skardalia, Belgrade’s bohemian quarter

Fact: Belgrade (“Beograd” in Serbian) means “White City”. The name is believed to have Celtic origins.


Follow us online!

Frequently Asked Questions

C heck out our website: It is packed with detailed tour and destination information and innovative features. • Trip Finder - find the perfect trip at a click of a button • Special Offers – keep checking for the latest deals • Download all trip documentation online • Press coverage - flick through news stories about us • Read our latest news and travel blogs for each tour • Trace your route using interactive maps for each tour • Tour Galleries – browse our stunning collection of images • Newsletter – sign up for latest news and offers

Before your trip

General Questions

How do I book and pay for my trip?

Can I arrange a private tailor-made trip?

Refer to page10 of this brochure for the booking procedure, and page 99 for our booking conditions.

Yes. We have excellent in-depth knowledge of our destinations and will gladly put together your ideal trip. Refer to page 7 for more information.

What happens after I’ve paid for my trip? We will send you an ATOL receipt confirming payment. Your trip dossier will be uploaded to your secure online account and emailed to you.

How do I get my visa? For some countries, you get your visa on arrival. Otherwise, for UK clients, we recommend using our partner company, Travcour, who will organise your visa for you. A visa application form will be sent to you where appropriate.

J oin our Facebook Page: Keep an eye out for our exclusive Facebook offers, take part in competitions and find out what’s happening at Travel The Unknown. If you want to share details of any tours from our website with your friends, click on the Facebook ‘share’ icon next to each tour.

Can you organise my international flight?

We encourage people to share their travel experiences and photos on our page. It’s a great way to meet co-travellers before your holiday and remain friends long after your trip.

Yes. We can organise this for you from the airport of your choice. All of our tours are also priced without international flight, allowing you to book this yourself should you wish.

 Follow us on Twitter: We regularly tweet links to interesting travel articles, latest news on our tours and destinations, and special offers. Happy tweeting!

 atch us on YouTube: W Watch videos of your destination. There’s no better way of getting a feel for your destination than through video. Our growing selection of videos shows you what each of our destinations has to offer. Look out for the video link next to each tour or destination on our website.

Top Travel Tips • Passport must have minimum validity of 6 months

•A  dequate travel insura nce for trip • Make sure you have valid visas (where applicabl e)

• Check with doctor fo r vaccinations and take enough medication •N  otify bank of travel pl ans so bank cards are not bloc ked

• Unlock mobile phon e and enable international ro aming

•C  arry extra cash £/ /$ as contingency for emerge ncies

Do I need vaccinations? We recommend you check with your doctor a minimum of 6 weeks prior to travel. The travel medicine website: www.fitfortravel.nhs. uk is a good source of up-to-date information.

How much luggage can I take? We advise you to travel as light as possible, as you will probably pick up souvenirs on your travels. Most domestic airlines only allow 20kg of checked baggage and 5kg of hand luggage.

What is the standard of accommodation? We use a mixture of comfortable hotels, guesthouses, lodges and homestays. In remote locations, there are sometimes only limited basic options available. Refer to page 9 for more details on accommodation.

Can children come on your tours? We welcome children on private tailor-made trips, as we can be sure their needs can be catered for. For scheduled group tours, we don’t allow children.

As a single traveller, will I have to pay a single supplement? If you are happy to share a room, and we can pair you up with another same-sex traveller, there is no charge for a single supplement. However, if you would like your own room, a single supplement will be required. The amount is indicated on each tour’s webpage or on your printed itinerary.

How much should I tip? Tipping can be an important source of income for our hosts and guides, and is appreciated where offered. You will be given trip notes prior to travelling, which explain recommended tipping. Of course, the tip should reflect the level of service you feel you’ve been given.

How fit do I have to be on your tours? All of our tours have an activity rating, an explanation of which is given on page 10. It is important to assess yourself honestly, and let us know in advance of any potential health issues and any medication you are taking.

What are the minimum and maximum group sizes? A scheduled group tour is typically guaranteed with a minimum of 4 people, but we can run some trips with fewer numbers. The maximum group size is 12 people.

What is the average age of people on your tours? The typical age range of our clients is 40-65. Many younger and older clients also travel with us.

Do you take people from outside the UK? Although most of our clients come from the UK, we do get many clients from other parts of the world too, usually enhancing the overall travel experience.

Are meals included?

Is my payment protected?

All of our tours typically include breakfast each day. Each itinerary has a daily meal plan. Your guide will be happy to suggest places to eat where meals are not included. Note, drinks and tips are not included. Let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements.

We are fully bonded by ATOL issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number: 9854). This means that your trip is 100% financially guaranteed. We are also protected under our TOPP policy, underwritten by Travel and General. Refer to page 98 for more information.

Can I drink the tap water? We advise you to drink bottled water only.


Financial Protection

Booking Conditions

You can book with us confident in the knowledge that we are fully bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority and hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL). In addition, we have a Total Payment Protection Policy (TOPP) in place, underwritten by Travel and General plc. We also hold Professional Indemnity and Public Liability cover.

For latest booking conditions see:

e ver: In complianc n (TOPP) Policy co tio e ec ot ag Pr ck t Pa en d ym an s Total Pa age Holiday age Travel, Pack avel with the UK Pack vil Aviation (Air Tr Ci e 1992 and th ns e policy has tio la nc ra gu su Re in s ur an To tions 1995 la gu Re g) in ns ce nce Company plc, Organiser’s Li & General Insura el av Tr ity, th wi ed l Services Author been arrang d by the Financia te la our gu of t re d en an ev y d e unlikel authorise prepayments in th s’ er om st cu t ec to prot of: d paid in respect financial failure an and returning es commencing ag ck pa ive us cl • non-flight in to the UK rning to the UK mencing and retu m co es ag ck pa • flight inclusive e customer ckages where th pa of s ct pe as g lin ion offered in • the ground hand vel to the destinat tra g in ng ra ar r rance policy), for: is responsible fo terms of the insu e th to ct je ub (s this brochure s have not yet ents if customer m ay ep pr ch su • a refund of travelled, or ntinue the holiday to co ements to enable ng ra ar g in ak m  • or already travelled, if customers have UK customers to the • repatriation of TOPP policy. In e protected by a ar ts en m aims ay ep pr se contact the cl Customers’ ancial failure plea fin on of e t bl en la ai ev y av el the unlik e policy is 965. A copy of th 37 01 70 08 on e helplin request.

Please read carefully - Travel The Unknown Ltd (‘the Company’) accepts bookings subject to the following conditions. 1. Your Holiday Contract The contract is between the Company and the Client, being any person travelling or intending to travel on a tour operated by the Company. The contract, including all matters arising from it, is subject to English law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

If you book flights with us as part of your holiday packag e, your holiday will be ATOL pro tected by the Civil Aviation Autho rity. If flights are booked separately , then ATOL protection does not ap ply to all holiday and travel servi ces. Our ATOL number is ATOL 9854. Please see our booking condit ions for more information. NOTE: Where separate flights have been booked your trip will still be covered by our TOPP po licy (see opposite).

If you are booking 10 weeks or more before departure we will ask for a 50% deposit of the land tour price plus the full cost of any international flight. If you are booking within this 10 week period, full payment will be required. Any balance will also be due 10 weeks before your tour begins. 3. Tour Prices 3.1 Prices are per person and are based on two persons sharing a twin room. Solo travellers are accepted for travel on the basis that they agree to share all accommodation with another traveller of the same sex. On some tours solo travellers may request sole-occupancy accommodation at the time of booking. A supplement will be payable as advised and added to the cost of your holiday. 3.2 Kindly note that double bedrooms cannot be guaranteed, although requests will be noted at the time of booking. Furthermore, some hotels have several different room types. We regret that we are unable to pre-allocate a particular room type and in order that we accommodate the entire group, some clients may be given a superior room type without additional charge. In such cases this will always be done in the fairest way possible. We thank you in advance for your understanding. 3.3 Note: all tour prices are subject to change due to changes in domestic and international flight prices, as well as currency fluctuations. At the same time we will offer you the opportunity to pay in full for your international flights. By doing so we can guarantee that you will be protected from any fare increases later imposed by the airlines. It should be noted that airlines frequently change their prices and apply fuel surcharges, which are beyond our control. Unless otherwise advised payments for flights are non-refundable and dates of travel will be fixed and non-changeable. It is essential that travel insurance is taken at the time of booking to cover possible cancellation.

Where do you want to go? We are always looking to expand our range of destinations and tours, and bringing you the best in unique travel experiences. So if there’s somewhere off-the-beaten-track you’re yearning to visit but no one else seems to go there or runs trips quite the way you would like, we would love to hear from you.

We will even throw in a free £100 travel voucher for your efforts!

A published itinerary constitutes only an indication of what the tour is planned to accomplish and is not to constitute a contractual obligation on part of the Company. 9. Cancellation By You Should you wish to cancel your holiday, you must notify us as soon as possible. Please advise the reason for cancellation as you may be covered by your insurance policy. In the event of cancellation, all flight costs will be forfeited. In certain instances, some flight costs may be recoverable by you. The following cancellation charges apply: Over 70 days 31 – 40 days 11 – 30 days 0 – 10 days

- Deposit - 50% of total tour price - 90% of total tour price - 100% of total tour price

10. Cancellation By Us We will not cancel your holiday other than for the reasons shown in these conditions under ‘Group Size’ and for force majeure or the client’s failure to pay the final invoice. We will return promptly all monies paid as shown on the account. 11. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice 11.1 The Client acknowledges that they are responsible to make themselves aware through Foreign Office advice, State Department warnings and other sources available to them on regard to the safety of the countries and areas in which they will be travelling and to make their decisions accordingly. 11.2 Whilst we will do our best to inform clients of relevant changes to FCO Travel Advice (, it is up to the Client and not the Company to know what the FCO travel advice to a certain country, or region of a country, is and to be adequately insured to travel there. The company accepts no liability if the Client a) chooses to cancel a booking because of FCO advice or b) is not adequately insured to travel. The Company will not normally cancel a trip simply because the FCO advise against travel. 12. Our Responsibility for your Holiday 12.1 Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realise the potential risks and hazards that can be involved in adventure travel of this kind, including injury, loss or damage to property, discomfort and inconvenience. We will only accept your booking on the understanding that you realise the safety facilities in the developing world - in the vehicles, on the roads and at the tourist sights - often do not match ours in the west.

4. Group Size Unless otherwise stated our tours are based on a minimum of 4 clients and a maximum of 12. In the event that we are unable to operate the tour on this basis, you will be advised at the earliest opportunity and always no less than 1 month before departure. At that time you will be offered the following options:

12.2 Where the client does not suffer personal injury, the Company accepts liability should any part of the tour arrangements booked with the Company not be supplied as described in the itinerary. However, we do not accept liability for compensation should there be no fault on the part of the Company or its suppliers and the reason for the failure in the tour arrangements was the client’s fault, the actions of someone unconnected with the tour arrangements or could not have been foreseen or avoided by the Company or its suppliers even if due care had been exercised.

4.1 Travel as planned, but at an additional supplement, payable per person. The cost of this supplement will vary depending on the itinerary and number of confirmed clients.

12.3 Where the client does suffer personal injury or death as a result of an activity forming part of the tour arrangements booked with the Company, the same rules shall apply.

4.2 The same tour but for a different date.

12.4 Our responsibility does not start until you meet the group at the designated start point overseas; usually the airport in the city at the start of the trip. We are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you in getting to the meeting point.

Please check website for most up-to-date prices.

Simply join our Facebook page: traveltheunknown - and post your suggestion. | Book Now on 020 7183 6371

2. Booking Procedure You can call our office on +44 (0)845 053 0352 between 9.00am and 6.00pm Monday to Saturday (except public holidays). You can make your reservation by calling us at +44 (0)845 053 0352 or instructions sent out via email.

No compensation will be paid at anytime under circumstances caused by war or threat of war, civil strife, industrial dispute, strikes, terrorist activity, accident, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, airline failure, closure of airports, adverse weather conditions, or any other force majeure.

4.3 Alternatively a different tour, for another destination and date. 4.4 A full refund of all monies paid to the Company. 5. Price Information The prices displayed on our websites and in our marketing information, are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change. 6. Passports, Visas and Health Matters Medical vaccinations, passports and visas are entirely your responsibility and must be arranged prior to departure. We can take no responsibility for cancellation of your trip in the event that you are not allowed to fly, or continue your tour. If you are unable to travel due to not being able to obtain (or not having) the appropriate visa we reserve the right to retain the cost of the trip. If we are arranging your visa for an administration fee and this is refused, the administration fee will be non-refundable. 7. Alterations by You Once we have agreed a tour and itinerary with you and issued a confirmation, should you wish to change your arrangements we reserve the right to impose an amendment fee of £75.00 per booking. For alterations within 10 weeks of departure Cancellation Charges may apply. 8. Alteration By Us From time to time it may be necessary or advisable to alter the arrangements for your holiday. We reserve the right to make such alterations to any of the arrangements, as we consider necessary or advisable. Where such alterations are material we will inform you as soon as possible and give you the choice of accepting the revised arrangements or a full and prompt refund of all monies paid without interest payment.

13. Claims and Complaints If a Client has a complaint against the Company the Client must first inform the tour guide or company representative whilst on the tour in order that the guide/representative can attempt to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is still not reached through these means then any further complaint must be put in writing to the Company within 30 days of the end of the tour. The Company will not accept any liability for claims received after the period. 14. Insurance Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for all of our tours. We strongly recommend that you take out your own insurance once you have paid your deposit. Adequate insurance must be in place before participating in a tour, which must include cover for medical expenses and repatriation costs should you become too ill to continue your trip. Proof of relevant travel insurance must be shown before departure. 15. Financial Protection 15.1 In order to provide consumer protection for our UK and EU clients, in accordance with UK and EU regulations our Company operates a Total Payment Protection Policy (TOPP). 15.2 We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and hold an ATOL (9854). This ensures that in the event of our failure your money will be protected; if you are on holiday at the time, arrangements will be made for you to complete your holiday and return home. The flights we provide are supplied by the scheduled airlines and protected by their bonds. For further information, visit ATOL website at 16. Payment for your Flight The payments you make for your flight are held by us on behalf of the scheduled airline who is supplying your flight, until the date we pass the money to that airline.

We may consider payment of a maximum of £75.00 per person compensation when such material alterations are necessary within 6 weeks of departure.


Recommended by Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Bradt Guide, Footprint & Wanderlust Magazine. Reasons to book with Travel The Unknown • Extensive experience of off-the-beaten-track destinations • Passionate guides with local knowledge and expertise • Wide range of fascinating group and private tours • Flexible range of flight options and tour extensions available • Intimate personal knowledge of our destinations • Excellent network of contacts on the ground • Excellent customer satisfaction • Fully ATOL bonded and financially insured “I n your te st im on ia • 100% carbon-neutral tours ls I re cogn is e all th e thin gs th at ga ve • No hidden charges m e su ch plea su re on m y own. H ere was In di a d ust an d • Hassle-free visa service available with its ch ar

m, its ridiculou sn es all, s, its co lour, se ns e of un ex pe ct ed d elig ht hu m ou r, s an d a bo ve all its sm ili ng, frie ndly pe So th e he rit ag e fo rt op le. s & pa la ce s are st un ni ng, but th ey are an im pressive re m in on ly d er of w he re th e co untry ha s co m e from It’s everyd ay life th . at lets you kn ow w hat th e country is T ha nk s to your co tod ay. m pa ny I was a ble to ex pe rie nce all of ju st what I wanted. this; I sh all be ba ck; w hy go an ywhe re else with a ny on e else?“ , C hrist in e, U K

020 7183 6371

Hyde Park House I 5 Manfred Road I Putney I SW15 2RS I United Kingdom Registered in England and Wales: 06347869 | ATOL 9854

Travel The Unknown Brochure  
Travel The Unknown Brochure  

Travel brochure outlining trips to some of the world's most exciting, off-the-beaten-track destinations from India to Ethiopia...