Step into the history and culture of old Europe with a guided tour.

Guest Contributer November 08, 2019

Nowadays most of us are looking for more from our travels than to merely visit destinations, we want to truly experience them. That is the magic of an Insights Vacation tour. You have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and culture of some of the world's most iconic spots – and receive insights and advice from local experts and insiders. 

Taking a trip with Insight Vacations allows you to travel in comfort and style with all of your accommodations, transportation, and even some meals prearranged, so you can focus on the sights, sounds, and stories of your destination.

Here are some great European tours that allow you to step into the footsteps of history and experience how other cultures have evolved. Stroll along cobbled streets, visit legendary sites, and enjoy expert guidance to the best arts, architecture, and cuisine the Old World has to offer. It's like time travel - in comfort and style.

France.

Most travellers with an interest in history will have Paris on their bucket list of destinations. It's a great place to start, with its famous museums, fine dining, and historic sites from The French Revolution to both World Wars. But don't stop there. 

Just imagined a luxurious coach ride through the French countryside, with stops at wineries and castles, beaches and battlefields, and much more. France has it all.

No history lover should leave the region without a visit to the famed Pont Du Gard in the south of France. This ancient Roman aqueduct bridge was built nearly two thousand years ago in the first century AD. It is the largest and best-preserved structure of this type in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While you're there, take part in a lesson in the French sport of pétanque – similar to bocce or lawn bowling. Steady your hand and get ready to test your new-found skills against locals and fellow travellers alike.

Ireland.

Ireland may be a small island, but it has had a dramatic impact on the history and culture of the wider world for centuries. Bring the charm and flavour of this storied country to life with a guided tour along dramatic rocky coastlines, through quaint villages, and into the heart of historic cities. Hoist a pint in a pub that is centuries old, sample a bowl of authentic Irish stew, and savour the genuine hospitality of this welcoming culture.

In Dublin, an example of the Insight Vacations difference is that guests can enjoy a guided walk through Trinity College, before skipping the line up for VIP access to see the iconic Book of Kells.

For an authentic Irish cultural experience, consider attending a hurling match. This fast-paced sport has been played in the region for roughly four thousand years, and is like a cross between field hockey and lacrosse, but with tackling.

Spain.

Spain is renowned for its warm weather all year round and for being home to some of Europe's most beautiful beaches. While these are not to be missed, history lovers will also find a great deal more to enjoy in this country - along with the sun and sand.

Spain has countless historic sites to explore, from ancient cave paintings at the famous Altamira, to medieval castles, military forts, and towering cathedrals. The Gothic cathedral in Seville is the tallest in the world, and that is just one of the architectural marvels in Spain. Barcelona is full of masterpieces by Antoni Gaudi that simply must be seen.  Many experts consider Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to be one of the most important pieces of architecture from the last century.

Top off a day of exploring in San Sebastien by joining with the locals for a dinner of pintxos – shared platters of finger food - in true Basque tradition. Be sure to also try some of the local Txakoli wine.

Croatia.

In recent years, Croatia has risen from being the savvy traveller's favourite off-the-beaten-path destination to one of the world's most popular hot spots. With its terracotta roof tiles decorating fortified towns, its sun-drenched coast and menus of fresh seafood, it is not difficult to see why.

Croatia and the famed Dalmatian Coast are targets for lovers of history both real and fantastical. The latter is because the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik and its surrounding coastlines were the setting for King's Landing and Blackwater Bay in the Game of Thrones TV series. This draws fans from the world over to walk in the footsteps of their favourite characters.

For a more authentic taste of the local history and culture, consider a visit to the village of Ston, just up the coast from Dubrovnik. You can meet a local oyster farmer and learn about the cultivation of oysters, before enjoying a delicious Farm-to-Table shellfish tasting.

A tour along the dramatic seaside landscapes makes for a delightful getaway for travellers looking for a genuine experience of southeastern Europe, sweeping views and a little tranquillity.

Insight Vacations has been creating magical travel experiences like these for over 40 years. CAA Members enjoy an exclusive benefit of a $150 CAD discount per person.1 Pay in full by December 18, 2019, and you can save an extra 10%.

With over 50 years of experience, CAA is here to help. To start planning your European vacation, call: 1-855-660-2295 or stop into your local CAA Store to see us.