Comfy seats, a friendly, reliable driver, room to store some stuff and spread out: These are a few of my favorite things. I love a coach. But like every mode of transportation, coaches have their limits. Due to their size, they can’t get you down some of the world’s roads less traveled. And sometimes the road less traveled isn’t a road at all: maybe it’s a dirt path or a body of water.
On small group Explorations tours, travelers still usually utilize coaches (unless you’re on the Switzerland: Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks tour, which is an active journey by train!), but they also spend time stepping into those special corners of the world that a bus just can’t reach. And when they do, they come home with special stories enriched by trekking across places unknown. Here are some examples of unique perspectives you’ll find beyond the coach on some of our small group tours:
Zodiacs in Iceland
Iceland is an ethereal wonderland. And sure, you can get postcard-perfect images of no matter your vantage point for taking in its landscapes. But there’s something thrilling about stepping off the sidelines and jumping into those landscapes. On the Icelandic Adventure small group tour, you’ll bundle up and get into that thermal gear for a whale watching cruise on Skjálfandi Bay. You literally cannot get any closer than this to whales in northern Iceland. Aboard your specialized rigid inflatable boat, you just might catch a glimpse of the humpback, minke, fin or harbor porpoise, and possibly the orca or giant blue whales that frequent these waters.
Treks by Foot in Ireland
The seemingly endless rolling green hills, the stunning seaside cliffs, and stately castles come together to create the vibe you may think of when someone mentions Ireland, but there’s so much more to experience on the Emerald Isle. And the people who call Ireland home are going to be the ones to show it to you. On The Best of Ireland small group tour, you’ll begin by getting to know Dublin on a walking tour. This tour is a local expert from the group Secret Street Tours, a non-profit that trains citizens formerly affected by homelessness to be guides in their own city. Instead of a panoramic city tour, you’ll hit the pavement and see the city through their eyes. You’ll gain insight into their life story as you discover Dublin’s Liberties district. When you get to Galway, you’ll explore by foot and awaken all of your senses. Link up with a local foodie who will teach you all about the local culinary scene and how Galway’s cuisine breaks the stereotype of traditional Irish food during a walking food tour.
Safari Boats and Tender Boats in South Africa
Going on safari in itself is the definition of journeying beyond the coach, right? You’re spending your days hopping into a 4×4 and journeying across the plains and woodlands searching for lions, leopards, elephants, and the other unique game animals of Africa. But what about hippos? Crocodiles? Aquatic birds? Enter the new Wilderness of Southern Africa: Safari by Land & Water small group tour. After several days of setting out on safari by land, you’ll set off on a cruise for 3 nights on a privately chartered safari boat along the stunning Lake Kariba, which is teeming with birdlife and game species. You’ll have limited access to technology out here, which is a refreshing opportunity to revel in nature: Float along the still waters and search for the wildlife that calls it home. You’ll also have a front row seat to watching stunning sunsets bouncing like a mirror off the water. During your 3-day stint on the lake, you’ll also get a chance to hop into a smaller tender boat, giving you the chance to cruise the upriver channels off of the lake!
Ready to explore beyond the plane, train, and automobile? Find your next small group Exploration.