I remember the first time I took a tour. To be honest, I thought I was going to hate it. After all, what interest does a teenage girl have in the history and architecture of Savannah, Georgia. There weren’t even any battles fought there. And yet, just one hour later, I had completed one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I had never imagined just how vibrantly an experienced tour guide could bring a city to life. In just minutes, I was hooked, enthralled by the stories, riveted by the sights, and entertained by the clever snippets of humor as we rolled through cobblestone streets in a horse-drawn carriage. By the end, I was completely baffled that something so profoundly beautiful had previously held no appeal in my mind. I began to wonder, “What else am I missing, because I mistakenly think it will not interest me?”
It turns out that my short tour of Savannah is but a frosted breath, a fading wisp in the context of the tours to be experienced on our ravishingly beautiful planet. The routes that can be traveled are mind-blowing, and the tours they become will leave you with far more than a few moments of self-inspection. While a list such as this is most assuredly subjective, here are three of the world’s greatest tours.
#1 El Camino de Santiago (aka The Way of St. James)
If you’ve ever visited a cathedral and thought the builders really outdid themselves, just wait until you visit the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. As the supposed resting place of St. James, this cathedral marks the final destination of The Way of St. James, Europe’s most famous pilgrimage route. No expense was spared building this elaborate wonder of architecture. The 500 mile route to get there is worth the journey all by itself, and El Camino de Santiago tours are among the most popular in the world. Thousands of pilgrims flock to this route every year in order to experience the once in a lifetime journey that The Way of St. James has to offer.
#2 Bedouin Trail To Petra
There are wonders to be seen in this world, and then there is Petra, Jordan. Carved from solid rock into the sides of the mountains, this ancient city served as capital to the Nabatean kingdom as early as the 6th century BC. From monasteries to tombs to temples, there is more here than can be seen in a day. Grab a guide and ride through the desert and into the city on a camel for the most incredible journey of your life.
#3 Balloon Tour of Cappadocia
For something truly magical and entirely out of the ordinary, take the balloon tour of Cappadocia, Turkey. First of all, when was the last time you rode in a hot-air balloon? Exactly. Second of all, the Cappadocia region is quite possibly the most gorgeous exhibit of natural wonder in the world. Think the Grand Canyon meets Petra, Jordan and then hooks up with the Swiss Alps. Wow! The incredible formations of land are supplemented with entire villages built in the rock. It’s an experience unlike anything else on Earth!
Tiffany Olson is a traveler at heart and a blogger by day. She writes to inform the public on a wide array of topics including the wonders of El Camino de Santiago Tours. When she’s not blogging, you’ll usually find her cooking, reading, or on a weekend road trip with good friends.If you like this article, please share it!