Last week I talked about the life of a tour guide on my Gentry Connects blog. On trend today are specialized tours customized to the unique interest of the client. Interested in stamp collecting? Yes, there are special trips for you. Interested in tracing the war in Vietnam? You can find a number of tours focusing on this subject. Want to design your own customized trip for a passion of yours? Plenty of tour companies can assist you. Many travelers are interested in culinary tours featuring the creative artistry of top chefs as shown in the image above. The list of special tours is truly endless. I'll highlight a few tours which may spark your interest.
Tours of Michelin starred temples of haute cuisine are popular.
Many Vietnam veterans and history buffs are interested in tours tracing the war in Vietnam. Marla is shown with a guide in a temple in Hanoi. The infamous Hoa Lo Prison, or "Hanoi Hilton", is shown below.
Spiritual journeys to beautiful places of worship have always been popular. The Abbey of Saint Remy in Reims is pictured above and the Cathedral of Amalfi below. Ancient churches are truly inspiring!
Tours to ancient worlds have fascinated travelers for centuries. Every second it seems the world is modernizing, so don't wait to book a trip! The monk above is in Laos and the street meat market is in Bago Myanmar.
Book a tour to experience unique cultural events like "Nyepi", the Balinese New Year.
Be adventurous while you can and cast your specialized travel net far and wide! Marla is with a guide at the amazing "Pak Ou Caves" overlooking the banks of the Mekong River in Laos. It is filled with 1000's of Buddha statues. The image below is the incredible "Borobudur" in central Java.
I highly recommend hiring private guides whenever possible. Group tours are fine, but do your research and make sure they limit the size of the group.
Single country immersion tours are a great way to really experience an area. I love to explore alleyways and see how life really is in a city like these images in Rabat Morocco.
Love wine? There are oodles of specialized trips for you in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Tuscany, Alsace, the Rheingau, or Bordeaux.
Love cycling? I've taken unique tours to ride the iconic routes of the Tour de France and watched the race. There are great tours for every level and my favorites are in France and Italy. If cycling is not your thing, try a walking & hiking tour.
Garden and flower tours are immensely popular! Many tours visited our Denver Botanic Garden during the Chihuly exhibit.
I'll plug a unique tour which many in the home furnishings field seldom have an opportunity to visit, a wholesale decorative fabric, artisan custom workroom, and furniture supplier, Wesco Fabrics. We always love taking visitors to see our Denver headquarters. Email me if your are in our area: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Speaking of special tours my friend Deb Barrett hosts small groups of design oriented travelers to interesting locales in France. This fall she has two tours: "Paris Decorating Trip." and "Tour of Provence." Contact her at www.debbarrett.com
Images: All images by Dick Gentry