Back-Roads Tours

Back-Roads Tours
4.6 out of 5
76 Reviews

Choose from 52 Back-Roads tours and read 76 in-depth Back-Roads tour 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!

52
This Month
Small Group Tours
Trip Type
Small Group Tours
Max. Group Size
Max. Group Size
18
Trip Budget
Budget
Premium
Accommodation
Accommodation
Boutique
Age Requirements
Age Requirements
12+ Years
Regions Explored:
Asia, Europe, UK & Ireland, USA

Destinations

Explore the following regions on one of 52 trips with Back-Road Tours

4 Tours
29 Tours & Cruises
12 Tours
USA
7 Tours

Back-Roads Tour Reviews (76)

76 Back-Roads Tour reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

“Paris to Paris, a wonderful circular journey”
- VIC, Australia Jun 2019

Good trip, knowledgable guide and careful driver plus a very sociable group of fellow travellers. Accommodation and included meals were variable and were indicative of the regions.

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“A Taste of Bordeaux”
- VIC, Australia May 2019

We really enjoyed our Back-Roads tour, we thought it was great that the other travellers were Australian and New Zealanders. The first night accommodation was pretty small but everything else was really good. I would've liked to have early notification of where the tour started and finished so that we organised our accommodation there but that is the only criticism- everything was really really good.

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“A taste of Bordeaux”
- Vic, Australia May 2019

We really enjoyed our Back-Roads tour, we thought it was great that the other travellers were Australian and New Zealanders. The first night accommodation was pretty small but everything else was really good. I would've liked to have early notification of where the tour started and finished so that we organised our accommodation there but that is the only criticism- everything was really really good.

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“Ireland in a week”
- NSW, Australia May 2019 1 Helpful Vote

Everything on the tour was well organised. The timing was good but the guide was flexible too so that, for example, when the fog cleared at the Cliffs of Moher, we were still able to take the opportunity to see them. The itinerary covered a lot of territory but didn't feel rushed. I thought the selection of sites was very well chosen with good variety.

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“10days highlights of Britain Back-roads”
- QLD, Australia May 2019

Wonderful way to see England and Scotland, great scenery, lots of photo stops and flexible on places and times. Our driver and guide worked together and were part of the tour, extra walks before dinner. Stopping and looking at some of the family history on the way. Highly recommend Back-Roads.

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“Wonderful Corners of Cornwell tour”
- QLD, Australia May 2019

Wonderful trip, great guide and driver, scenery and little back roads travelled was just like Back-Roads said. Accommodation was excellent. I would use Back-Roads again as our preferred tour company. Tour guide Ian Williams and driver Ken were excellent and have the tours on Youtube.

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“Great tour of Southern Ireland”
- WA, Australia May 2019 1 Helpful Vote

The tour was great. We had a great group of fellow Aussie travellers on the tour and our Irish coach driver and tour leader we great. The tour leader was very knowledgeable being able to talk about his country, history etc. and had a good sense of humour. The accommodation was very good as well and local guides very informative.

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“Wonderful Ireland”
- QLD , Australia Apr 2019 View Photo

Our trip to Southern Ireland was a most memorable one. Our guide Eva was a lovely young woman with a comprehensive knowledge of the history, fables and places of interest of this beautiful country.

As there were only 6 passengers, the atmosphere on the coach was very relaxed and friendly. Our driver Brian handled his first trip with Back-Roads with professionalism and handled the sometimes very narrow back roads with caution. A great trip. Looking forward to seeing more of Ireland.

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Back-Roads Tour Brochures

Recent brochure releases from Back-Roads. Click to view trips.

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View all 52 Back-Roads Tours

Tell me about Back-Road Tours

Why you should choose to travel with Back-Roads on your next adventure

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.

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.

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

Your guide to travelling with Back-Road Tours

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..

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..

11 February, 2019
Experience the Road Less Travelled with Back-Roads Touring

Immerse yourself in the rich history and authentic local culture of the UK, Europe and Asia, exploring rugged coast lines, idyllic countryside estates, picturesque seaside villages and glittering temples with specialist small tour group operator, Back-Roads Touring. Whether you’re a first time..

Back-Roads Tour FAQ's

Frequently asked questions for clients considering travelling with Back-Roads

Before I book
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.

On the road
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.

Arrival & departure details

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!