Your top tours: The most popular Trip Finder adventures of 2019

1. Trekking the mountain trails of Lebanon

The Cedars of Lebanon (Shutterstock)

Wanderlust readers have always been ahead of the curve, so it’s no surprise that months before everyone else was waking up to the charms of Lebanon, you lot were booking this one-week walk along the Lebanon Mountain Trail with KE Adventure Travel.

The trip cherry-picks the best bits of the 470km trail, linking an intricate web of ancient, interconnected tracks and footpaths. It winds its way through a number of national reserves, (home to jackals, hyenas and wolves), past the early Maronite troglodyte monasteries in the Qadisha Valley and Roman ruins at Baalbek.

The food is excellent, too – a delicious mix of Turkish, Arab and Mediterranean cuisine.

Type: Small group

When: May to Nov

How long: Nine days

How much: From £1,185 (exc. flights)

2. Cycling Lake Constance

Reichenau Island in Lake Constance (Shutterstock)

This classic cycle tour around Lake Constance with BSpoke Tours has been a real hit on Trip finder. Passing through three countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland – it combines breathtaking scenery, fascinating history and just the right amount of short break European cardio.

Surrounded by vineyards, orchards and beaches with views of the stunning alps, Lake Constance is the perfect short break destination for those who want to get active, but indulge in good food and great wine, as well.

Swim in the lake, visit medieval castles. Take a ride a traditional lake steamer. Where else can you enjoy apple strudel in Austria for lunch and tuck into fondue in Switzerland for dinner?

Type: Self-guided

When: Mar to Oct

How long: Six nights

How much: £775 (exc. flights)

3. Touring classic Iran

Persepolis in Iran (Shutterstock)

Wanderlust readers are more open-minded and adventurous than most. That’s probably why this classic tour of Iran with Evaneos is one of the most popular holidays on Trip Finder.

This tour is the perfect introduction to this fascinating and misunderstood country, visiting the most important cities of Iran as well as its most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

From the blue-domed mosques of Isfahan to the ancient ruins of Persepolis, you’ll experience Iran’s incredible history. But more importantly, you also meet the country’s greatest asset: its incredibly hospitable people.

Trip:Iran: Classic Tour

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,690 (exc. flights)

4. Watching bears and birds in Finland

A brown bear in Finland (Shutterstock)

Wanderlusters love their wildlife. And untouched wildernesses. So this bird and bear watching tour in the timeless forests of Finland with Magnetic North is a real hit on Trip Finder.

Meeting brown bears in their natural environment is an unforgettable experience. Guests stay in a purpose built Bear Hide Cabin, waking up to the sound of bears cracking through the undergrowth outside. Floor-to-ceiling windows, stylish Nordic interior and views across lakes, fells, and forests – it doesn’t get any better than this.

There are plenty more activities on offer. Spend your days paddling across crystal clear lakes to hidden away beaches and enjoying gentle hikes through old pine forests. This is nature at its very best.

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Seven days

How much: From £2,300 (exc. flights)

5. Exploring the wide open roads of Patagonia

Highway crossing Patagonia leading towards Mount Fitzroy (Shutterstock)

Patagonia is always one of the most popular destinations on Trip Finder and this self-drive holiday with Journey Latin America the most popular trip.

It showcases three contrasting regions of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile while giving you the independence to stop at any time and simply soak up the jaw dropping scenery – what’s not to love?

It’s a route that takes in Argentina’s glorious lake district and Los Glaciares National Park as well as Torres del Paine National Park in Chile – incredible landscapes to explore at your leisure and preferred speed, but with the security of knowing your accommodation is booked for you at the end of a day on the road.

Trip: Self-Drive Patagonia: The Open Road To Torres Del Paine

Type: Self-guided

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 20 days

How much: From £5,230 (exc. flights)

6. Going wild in Borneo

A baby orangutan in Borneo (Shutterstock)

Every year, Borneo tops the list of most searched for destinations on Trip Finder. It’s wild and remote, with incredible wildlife and a few creature comforts thrown in as well well – just what Wanderlusters are looking for. Like this trip through Sarawak with Intrepid.

It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. You’ll see orangutans swinging through the rainforest treetops in Semenggoh, weave through the vast Mulu cave systems and spend a night in an Iban homestay.

After following the Headhunters’ Trail in Sarawak, and wandering along Kuching’s riverside promenade, you’ll get time to wind down and relax the on golden-sand beaches in Labuan.Perfect.

Type: Small group

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,170 (exc. flights)

7. Discovering Georgia with Dario Ghirlanda

Ushguli village in Georgia (Shutterstock)

One of the first indications we had that Georgia was set to become one of the hot destinations of 2019 was the popularity of this trip through Georgia, with guide Dario Ghirlanda, on Trip Finder.

The combination of an incredible, relatively undiscovered destination, led by a Wanderlust World Guide Award winner, proved irresistible.

It helps, of course, that Georgia delivers. Known as the pearl of the Caucasus, it is a magical mix cultures and religion, history and nature, all served up with extraordinary hospitality and sumptuous food and wine. Book now.

Type: Small group

When: July

How long: 11 days

How much: From £1,895 (exc. flights)

8. Experiencing the voodoo vibes of West Africa

Traditional wooden canoe in Ghana (Shutterstock)

Here’s a trip hardcore Wanderlusters loved: an overland journey through West Africa with Dragoman. You won’t find an awful lot of wildlife or tourist infrastructure, but if it’s African music, culture and chaos you’re after, you’ll get it by the bucket load.

Travelling through Ghana, Togo and Benin, this is Africa at its rawest – and most exhilarating. You’ll enjoy great tribal homestays, cool hill hikes to see butterflies, wonderful palm-fringed beaches and boat trips to stilt villages.

There’s fascinating history, both indigenous tribal and unwanted in the form of the Slave Trade, plus a national park with lions and elephants.

Trip:Voodoo & Vibes Of West Africa

Type: Overland

When: Jan & Dec

How long: 21 days

How much: From £1,280 + $US580 kitty (exc. flights)

9. Riding the Trains Siberian in luxury

Lake Baikal in summer (Shutterstock)

The legendary Trans Siberian rail journey across Russia is on most Wanderlusters’ bucket lists, and it seems the majority of you think that if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it in style.

Regent Holidays’ rail journey abroad the Tsar’s Gold Private Train is by far the most popular Trans Sib option on Trip Finder.

Travelling from Moscow to Beijing, this journey delivers three of the world’s largest countries directly to your stylish compartment. Lean back and enjoy the dramatic changes of scenery and savour some of Europe and Asia’s most dramatic and beautiful landscapes, experiencing Russia, Mongolia and China in pure style.

Go on. Spoil yourself.

Trip:Trans-Siberian Tour On The Tsar’s Gold Private Train Moscow To Beijing

Type: Tailor-made

When: May to Sep

How long: 16 days

How much: From £4,230 (exc. flights)

10. Spotting leopards in Sri Lanka

Leopard in the wild in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Any doubts about Sri Lanka being back on the travel map is quickly dispelled by the popularity of this five-day leopard safari in Yala National Park with Wildlife Trails.

With a bargain beach holiday Bentota package tagged on the end, it remains Trip Finder’s most popular Sir Lankan trip. It includes five half-day jeep safaris and one full day drive inside Yala National Park, so your chances of multiple, breathtaking leopard encounters are truly maximised.

There’s also a substantial elephant population along with spotted deer, sambar, wild buffalo, sloth bear, jackal, mongoose and crocodiles. Birdwatchers are in for a treat as well, with over 120 bird species calling the park home.

Type: Small group

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Five days

How much: From £840 (exc. flights)

11. Discovering the real Japan

Mount Fuji (Shutterstock)

If you’re going to visit Japan, you may as well go with the experts. Well, that’s what Wanderlusters think, judging by the popularity of this classic tour of the country with InsideJapan Tours.

All the big sites are included, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka, as well as a remarkable 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

There’s a real focus on cultural experiences, with plenty of opportunities to ride the famous Shinkansen bullet train, enjoy traditional Japanese hospitality at an authentic ryokan inn, watch a geisha tea ceremony in Kyoto, and wander through Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market.

Type: Tailor-made/self-guided

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 15 days

How much: From £3,160 (exc. flights)

More fabulous trips to consider:

8 trips to take for cultural adventures

1. Mongolia

Travel wild landscapes

Journey across the forgotten lands of Genghis Khan on Intrepid Travel’s Wild Mongolia trip. On this 15-day tour you’ll stay in traditional ger tents, watch monks conducting their daily ceremonies, experience nomadic life at a homestay, and enjoy traditional dance and throat singing.

The tour kicks off in the diverse city of Ulaanbaatar, a fusion of traditional and modern day life. Here, explore palaces and monasteries before heading to Mongolia’s largest river, the Selenge. Next, soak up the beauty of Khovsgol Lake, often described as Mongolia’s most scenic destination, and soothe any sore muscles in the renowned hot springs of Tsenkher. Visit the ancient capital of Karakoram, home to Mongolia’s first Buddhist centre, before heading back to Ulaanbaatar with its contrasting mix of Soviet buildings and ger districts.

Who: Intrepid Travel
When: Selected dates May-August 2014
How long: 15 days
How much: from £1,795 (excl flights)

2. Burma

Get off the beaten track

Duck Burma’s ‘traveller gold-rush’ on Mountain Kingdoms’ Undiscovered Burma tour. Travel south via Golden Rock (a precariously balanced boulder), visit rural villages, fascinating markets and get up close and personal with a 170-metre reclining Buddha. In central Burma visit the 2,478 stupa-filled ‘forest of temples’, relax at Inle Lake and get an insight into the Shan people of Mandalay.

Who: Mountain Kingdoms
When: 31 Oct 2013, 6 Feb 2014
How long: 18 days
How much: From £3,575 (incl flights)

3. Ghana and Togo

Walking west Africa

Immerse yourself in local life on Explore’s Ghana and Togo on Foot walking tour. In Ghana you’ll visit cocoa farming villages and primeval rainforests, and trek on the world’s highest canopy bridge. In Togo wander from village to village discovering the remote Atakora Mountains where people live in fortifi ed mud dwellings reminiscent of medieval castles. While there, browse the colourful markets and enjoy a fire dance.

Who: Explore
When: Various departures: Nov-Dec 2013, Feb 14, Apr 14
How long: 14 days
How much: from £2,475 (incl flights)

4. South Sudan

Explore a new frontier

Score bragging points by being among the first to experience the world’s newest country on Undiscovered Destination’s South Sudan Explorer trip. As you visit this raw country, you can watch the Mundari people test themselves in a wrestling ceremony and visit the cattle-herding Toposa in Boya.

Who: Undiscovered Destinations
When: 12 January 2014
How long: 9 days
How much: from £2,675 (excl flights)

5. Guatemala

Give something back

Have a South American adventure while helping out the local community on Rainbow Tour’s Responsible Travel in Guatemala. See Maya ruins at Tikal, join coffee farmers at work in Antigua and hike to the Pascual Abaj ritual site for the chance to see a Shaman perform.

Who: Rainbow Tours
When: Year round
How long: 8 days
How much: from £2,775 (incl flights)

6. India

Get on the spice trail

Get an authentic taste of Southern India’s relaxed vibe and unique cuisine on Village Way’s Spirit of the South. Cook in spice gardens, explore Mothakkara’s plantations and Kerala’s backwaters, and learn from the locals you’ll meet on the way.

Who: Village Ways
When: Flexible departures from Dec 2013
How long: 15 nights
How much: from £1,157 (excl flights)

7. Japan

Follow a sacred path

Fall back in time and walk the ancient Kumano Kodo route on Inside Japan’s Pilgrim’s Paths. See spiritual Japan at its most atmospheric as you discover hidden shrines and temples, stay in lodgings on sacred Mount Koya and go on a twilight wander through Okunoin Cemetery.

Who: Inside Japan
When: Year round
How long: 14 nights
How much: from £2,120 (excl flights)

8. Vietnam and China

Discover tribal lands

Tribal insights await on Wild Frontiers’ Across The Tribal Heartland’s. First visit Vietnam’s northern and southern tribes, before moving into China to see the rice terraces of the Hani and Yi people as well as Asia’s largest cave.

When: 13 Oct 2013, 12 Oct 2014
How long: 15 days
How much:
from £2,195 (excl flights)