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Back-Roads Tours

Back-Roads Tours

Choose from 49 Back-Roads tours and read 89 verified Back-Roads reviews from past clients of Global Journeys. When you book your Back-Roads tour with us you'll enjoy exclusive online savings, a dedicated travel consultant to look after your booking and the best price guaranteed!
Small Group Tours
Europe UK & Ireland

Destinations View all Explore the following regions on one of 49 trips with Back-Roads Touring

Back-Roads Europe Tours

32 Tours

Back-Roads UK Tours
UK & Ireland

17 Tours

Featured Tours View all

8 Days London to London

Operator: Back-Roads

From 3,724
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11 Days London to Edinburgh

Operator: Back-Roads

From 4,377
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10 Days Paris to Paris

Operator: Back-Roads

From 4,799
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13 Days Dublin to Dublin

Operator: Back-Roads

From 5,298
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Back-Roads Touring Reviews (89) View all 89 Back-Roads Touring reviews from past clients of Global Journeys

AVG. RATING 4.7 / 5
5 Star
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Worry free battlefield tour     1 , NSW, Australia, Nov 2019
The highlight of the trip for our group was Armistice Day, our tour guide Steve was amazing he organised for us to lay a wreath at the Hooge Crater cemetery, 11am service. That night we attended Menin Gate to watch the Last Post, for me this was one of the most touching experiences I have witnessed, again Steve made sure we were positioned perfectly ...read more to view the ceremony. Steve’s patience and thoughtfulness made this trip a pleasure, we had great accommodation and exceptional food for the whole journey. Steve’s knowledge regarding WWI was extensive.
Great trip through Normandy, Brittany and Loire Valley   1 , ACT, Australia, Sep 2019
Trip certainly covered highlights of the areas (Monet’s Garden, Normandy Beaches, Mont St Michel and chateaus in the Loire Valley) as well as introducing us to local specialties (cider, calvados, galettes and crepes). Local accommodation added to overall feel of the trip. Days were leisurely and could have fitted more in on some days. A couple of lunchtime ...read more picnics coordinated by guide and driver really added to overall experience.
Fabulous Iberian Inspiration!     4 , NSW, Australia, Sep 2019
11 days of driving through Spain and Portugal, visiting World Heritage sites on an almost daily basis. Wonderful organisation, careful driving and a truly professional guide made this a trip to remember.
Back Roads. Back streets, back in history   4 , Auckland, New Zealand, Sep 2019
Loved our week in southern Italy wandering the back streets, driving into the hills and catching local ferries along the coast. Good friendly group of 11 from four different countries. Great guide and mother hen Elda.
Viva España   0 , NSW, Australia, Sep 2019
This is the second Back-Roads trip we have taken. The decision to try them again was very much based on the great experience we had with Back Roads in Ireland. This trip seemed a little chaotic compared to the Irish trip. Something happened to our originally designated tour leader and a replacement was made at short notice who could only be with us ...read more for 8 days then another Tour Leader joined us for the last 2 days. Both tour leaders were very good with the latter one being exceptional. However, despite this bit of chaos, the trip was great. The various towns we visited, wineries we sampled and hotels we stayed in were all first class. Our group consisted of 15 other travellers, a bus driver, a tour leader and a trainee tour leader. All accommodation was centrally located and unique, something we would struggle to organise on our own or would not happen if we were part of a large bus tour group. Overall it was a great trip, we saw a part of Spain that is not that highly over run with tourists and very unique. It was also great fun with a good group of like minded fellow travellers. Back-Roads are still very much on my preferred options list.
Outstanding introduction to Scottish Highlands and Islands   2 , NSW, Australia, Aug 2019
We were looking for a tour that would give us as much exposure to Scotland as possible in a limited time and without having to drive ourselves. This tour gave us all of that and more. We covered considerable ground but at a pace that did not feel rushed and which gave us time to visit and explore the key places of interest. The accommodation was excellent ...read more - comfortable but also with plenty of charm and atmosphere. The tour guide was superb - very mindful of our comfort and sensitive to the varied interests of the group. He also had an extraordinary knowledge of Scottish history and the ability to present it in humorous, interesting and relevant ways (and, really, you can't understand Scotland without understanding the history). The fact that we also had a bus driver meant that our guide was freed up to talk without having to focus on driving. I thoroughly recommend this tour. This was our first experience with Back-Roads and Global Journeys, and I'll certainly look seriously at both organisations for future travel.
Really informative tour   0 , NSW, Australia, Aug 2019
Georgie supplied great service and the tour was really good and informative, a lot to comprehend in a short time. The hotels started out great and in all were pretty good, the guide was good.
Fantastic round trip in Bavaria   2 , New Zealand, Jul 2019
Our tour in Bavaria last July is still a wonderful memory!! We had a great driver and very well qualified Tour Guide to fill our days with information, historical and political (her special subject), as we drove through magnificent scenery or visited the many side trips along the way. Both of us had been to this area before many years ago, but never ...read more experienced it in so much detail that this tour provided. The coaches are comfortable, even for the full compliment of passengers which was 18. I am already looking at booking another Back Roads with Global Journeys, which will be my third!
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The Back-Roads Touring Experience Choose to travel with Back-Roads Touring on your next adventure!

Small Group Touring
Small Group Touring

Back-Roads are experts in small group touring holidays offering a unique range of fascinating and leisurely regional tours throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the gems of Asia including Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand.

With a maximum of 18 passengers, Back-Roads professional tour leaders are able to offer a more personalised experience with more attention to the interests of individuals and flexible touring days. Smaller numbers also mean a less obtrusive style of touring that enables them to especially select more intimate hotels and restaurants where local charm and character abound. In Asia the maximum is only 14!

Scenic Back Roads, Not Freeways

Back-Roads mini-coaches are comfortable. Their size enables them to travel along local roads and across breath-taking mountain passes to find charming villages and picturesque vistas which lie beyond the wellworn tourist trails where large motor coaches cannot go.

For added convenience, they usually drive into the centre of tiny villages and old town centres to park beside charming accommodation and intimate local restaurants.

Scenic Back Roads, Not Freeways
Authentic Local Experiences
Authentic Local Experiences

Back-Roads recognise that authentic local experiences have greater appeal than attractions on the typical tourist trail. They take the time to seek out experiences where their guests can relate to local crafts and culture.

For example, Back-Roads meet local craftsmen in the Cotswolds, visit the Irish National Stud on a private guided tour, learn to speak a few words of notoriouslydifficult Welsh in Wales, and visit one of the few stonemasonry workshops left in Europe in Croatia.

Leisurely Paced Itineraries

Forget about tales of long, tiring touring days that typically start early and finish late. Back-Roads rarely leave their accommodation before 8.30 am – in fact most days begin around 9 am. Each itinerary is thoughtfully planned to avoid cramming too much into a day.

Back-Roads prefer to make their discoveries at a more leisurely pace with time to socialise with the tour leader and appreciate the local settings or delve deeper into attractions on your own. Sometimes you'll have an afternoon – or even a day - at leisure. And, they promise to keep long drives to a minimum.

Leisurely Paced Itineraries
Charming Local Accommodation
Charming Local Accommodation

Back-Roads choose quality local accommodation to reflect the character of the region you visit. From idyllic garden resorts in Asia to elegant European châteaux, every style of accommodation is in keeping with its surrounds. Some are chosen for their tantalising history, others for their location or superb service.

Whether you stay in a Scottish castle, French chateau, Spanish palace, Italian villa, or Turkish cave hotel, you may be sure that each one will bring more authenticity to the itinerary.

Explore More Explore more Your guide to travelling with Back-Roads Touring

Travelling Safely with Back-Roads: A Focus on Your Health and Wellbeing

01 July, 2020

Travelling Safely with Back-Roads: A Focus on Your Health and Wellbeing

Due to COVID-19, Back-Roads and their travellers have been restricted from exploring the world. However, as new beginnings and travel plans dawn on the horizon, Back-Roads want to reassure you that your health and wellbeing is at the forefront of their operations. As a small group touring...

Back-Roads Introduce Fresh Journeys (and a New Destination) to Their Asia Collection

31 October, 2019

Back-Roads Introduce Fresh Journeys (and a New Destination) to Their Asia Collection

Back-Roads has added four new itineraries to their Asia small group tour collection, including two journeys to Japan for the very first time. Lovers of Back-Roads who may have experienced their boutique trips in Europe, the UK or USA can now enjoy the Back-Roads experience in Japan as well as...

Experience North America on a Small Group Tour with Back-Roads

19 June, 2019

Experience North America on a Small Group Tour with Back-Roads

North America is a land of compelling contrasts, from the spectacular beaches and sun drenched vineyards of California in the west to the soulful southern states. It’s America’s head-spinning variety of landscapes, cultures and historical monuments that make it unique. Travelling around North...

Join an Expert-led Battlefields Tour with Back-Roads

13 February, 2019

Join an Expert-led Battlefields Tour with Back-Roads

Present day Northern France may conjure up images of picture perfect vineyards and bright green hills, but history tells a darker story. Countless lives were lost on this land when WWI and WWII raged on the now-picturesque countryside and the narratives of a turbulent past were penned on these...

Back-Roads Touring FAQ's Frequently asked questions for those considering travelling with Back-Roads Touring

Who goes on a Back-Roads tour?

They are mainly English-speaking and in the main come from Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong. We do have other nationalities join occasionally but all tour commentaries are in English. We believe that our tours appeal to individuals who enjoy culture, good food, meeting like-minded people, exploring local regions and want a more relaxing style of travel. We welcome first time travellers, however, also find that many of our passengers have travelled with us before and continue to do so.

Are Back-Roads tours guaranteed?

As a general rule we will run our tours with a minimum of four people, at which point we will usually guarantee it. Guaranteed tours are identified on our website, and your Travel Advisor will be able to advise you of the on-going status. If Back-Roads are forced to cancel a tour, you will be advised at least 6 weeks in advance.

What is the typical age of a Back-Roads client?

There tends to be a fairly wide range of ages, but broadly our clients are in the 40-75 age group. Our tours are designed principally for adults, but we will consider accepting children aged 12 or over on request. The exception to this is ‘A Family Christmas in Lapland' which is suitable for children and adults of all ages. Please note that triple and family rooms are not always available.

What grade of hotel does Back-Roads use?

We generally use a 3-star / 4-star standard of accommodation ranging from country inns to town centre hotels and the occasional castle! Rather than going by the official grading (based solely on facilities rather than the standard), we base our choices on quality. In all properties the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Many of the traditional properties we use are older buildings rather than purpose built hotels. Often the rooms are different shapes and sizes and may be smaller than you might be used to. Often hotels do not have lifts: in many cases this is because they are not allowed to as they are ‘listed' or protected buildings.

What kind of room should I book?

When booking we need to know whether you want a twin room (two single-sized beds in a room) or a double room (one standard-sized bed for two people). Please tell us at the time of booking what your choice is as the room types are not interchangeable.

Do we dine at the hotels?

All breakfasts are taken in the accommodations. We have a minimum of a two-course cooked evening meal at many of them but on occasion, to add variety to your tour experience, we also dine out at local pubs and restaurants. When we dine out it is understandably to a budget but in the rare circumstance of a client wanting something special you are able to contribute to, and supplement, the budget. Wines and other alcoholic drinks are not included but tea/coffee is included.

I am a single traveller. Is it possible to share a room?

We do not ‘match up' single travellers, because we find that in a small group scenario this does not work. There is a common misconception that a single room is ‘more expensive'. In reality a single room is often less expensive than a double room, the difference being that the cost of a double room is shared by two people as opposed to a sole occupant. Often single rooms in European hotels have one single bed, although in some hotels the single traveller will have a double room for their own use.

What sort of vehicle do we travel in?

You'll be travelling in our comfortable 18-seat Mercedes Sprinter mini-coaches, or 7 or 9-seater Mercedes Vitos, depending on the numbers on a tour. All seats have seatbelts and all seats are forward facing. Luggage is stored in a rear compartment. All vehicles are air-conditioned or with forced air vents and PA systems. The coaches may vary in Europe when we have to hire in the coach, however, they will always be comfortable mini-coaches.

How many people will be on my tour?

The maximum number we carry is 18 and the minimum 4. Your guide will usually implement a daily seat rotation exercise on the vehicle so you can get to know your fellow travellers better and see from a different perspective each day.

What meals are included?

Breakfast is included daily. We also include some lunches and dinners, either in the hotel or in a local restaurant. You will have some free evenings to try the local cuisine independently. One thing to remember, dinner times in Europe are likely to be later than you might be used to: 7.30pm at the earliest and often later in France and Italy. We will do our best to satisfy your dietary needs, please ensure that any restrictions are made clear to us at the time of booking so we can pass the information on to our hotels.

How much walking on a tour?

In cities, walking tours are offered by your guide. On European mainland tours there is considerable walking as many historic cities prohibit motorised transport and we have to park some distance out of the centre. On most tours there are opportunities for some extended walking, often from the accommodations we use. Please bear in mind that you will have to negotiate getting on and off the vehicle on a regular basis, walking to attractions, managing stairs in the hotels and showers over the bath. We frequently use traditionalstyle hotels and many will not have lifts or ground-floor rooms. If you are in any doubt as to whether our tours are suitable for you, please check with us.

Am I expected to leave gratuities?

It is common in the UK & Europe to leave a small gratuity in restaurants and cafes if you have received good service (typically 10% on top of the bill). It would also be usual to give your tour guide a tip at the end of the tour if he/she has done a good job. The amount is entirely at your discretion, and is not mandatory, but it is always much appreciated.

Can you explain what a driver/guide companion is?

Our driver/Tour Leaders have all passed a stringent government test allowing them to drive our vehicles and conduct tours. The small nature of our groups means that he/she becomes your travelling companion rather than just a Tour Leader, which makes for a much more rewarding experience. On some tours in mainland Europe (e.g. Italy, Austria and Finland) we will often use a driver in addition to a Tour Leader as this makes for better operation of the tour in these particular areas.

Most tours start at 08:30am on Day 1 of your tour or at 6pm. If departing in the morning, we advise you stay in the hotel the previous night so you are ready to meet your guide in the morning. If your tour commences in the evening, you may not require pre-tour accommodation and instead arrive during the day at your leisure. Please check your itinerary. Most tours complete early evening. We cannot usually drop you off at the airport, so we suggest you book your flights departing the following day of the tour to ensure you do not miss your flights due to unforeseen circumstances.

Terms & Conditions All the boring small print. We recommend you read them, as no one likes surprises!

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