Back-Roads Reviews

66 verified Back-Roads tour reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

ACT, Australia
Oct 2018
6 Helpful Votes
“A trip that didn’t quite live up to expectations”
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This was my second trip with Back-Roads - and, while good, it didn’t match the highlights of the Highlights of Britain tour. Group size of about 15, visits to key places on itinerary were good, though impacted by poor weather (no visit to St Michael’s Mount). The highlights were the visit to Tregothnan Estate and Polperro and lunch in Padstow.

Lots of references to TV series locations - Doc Martin, Poldark, Broadchurch and if you’re really into these, this tour would have extra interest. Also worth noting that the nature of a number of the villages visited (Port Isaac, St Ives and Polperro) means that the coach drops you at the top of a hill and you need to make your way back either walking (Port Isaac) or shuttle bus if available - anyone with mobility issues may need to consider this.
ACT, Australia
Sep 2018
4 Helpful Votes
“Amazing tour - some great highlights including some I hadn’t expected”
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My first tour with Back-Roads and I was very impressed - group of 15 with a great guide and driver. We visited the highlights as outlined in the tour description but it was some of the additional things suggested by the guide which really elevated the tour - additional stops in small villages in the Cotswolds, a suggestion to walk up the hill above the accommodation in Wales (which was amazing in itself), or to attend a church service at York Minster on a free day. Lots of back roads (single lane country roads), great boutique accommodation that reflected the location (not large chains) and a tour guide and driver who you felt loved this part of the country and wanted to share it with you.
VIC, Australia
Sep 2018
5 Helpful Votes
“Iberian Inspiration”
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The trip was perfect in every way. Our tour guide Justin was friendly and approachable, very knowledgeable about the places we visited. Nothing was too much trouble and he often went out of his way to make our holiday memorable. Experienced some authentic centuries-old buildings, like palaces and convents etc. and that's just the hotels! They were great, some were in fact amazing as were the hand-picked locations. We found the middle of September was the perfect time to travel, not too hot, very comfortable to walk around and the nights were still warm. All the travellers on the coach got on exceptionally well and we made some great friends who we will keep in touch with. We would definitely recommend Back-Roads tours to our friends and family.
NSW , Australia
Sep 2018
5 Helpful Votes
2 Trips
“Corners of Cornwall”
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We did enjoy the tour. The group of travellers were all Aussies. This made for good interaction. However, it could have been pleasant with one or two Kiwis to taunt or North Americans to confuse. We were the only couple to comply with the operator's baggage limit. Our smaller bags were on occasion squeezed in, causing some concern when one of our bags was turned upside down. We were pleased with the operator's coach leader and our very competent driver. Eighteen travellers we thought was two too many. Accommodation and meals were both generally very good. However, the final night hotel was disappointing. Some of the stops on tour were rushed, leaving us disappointed with lack of sufficient time to appreciate them.
QLD, Australia
Aug 2018
2 Helpful Votes
3 Trips
“Worth Doing but a bit monotonous”
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The tour was good. Small numbers on Back-Roads tours. The guide (Mark Banning) was excellent, he organised things really well and his extensive knowledge of the subject was amazing. I found the tour a bit monotonous as each day seemed to merge into all the others. The message was similar each day with only the location varying. The accommodation was varied... really excellent on day 1 (L'Hermitage) but not as good on other days. The tour does give excellent coverage of the Australian involvement in France and Belgium in WW1 so if that's your passion, you will enjoy it.
NSW, Australia
Aug 2018
3 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Stress Free Travel”
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Would definitely travel with Back-Roads again. Liked the number of passengers and the pace of the tour. Thank you for your help in organising our wonderful holiday.
QLD, Australia
Jul 2018
2 Trips
“Wonderful small group canal cruise in the beautiful Loire Valley”
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Service from Global Journeys was excellent and Yvonne was happy to help with any query. Back Roads once again provided a series of great experiences around the cruise provided by Croisi Europe on the MS Deborah. The activities were organised in conjunction with local guides, who would meet us at the boat in the mornings. A short bus trip to local attractions and then back on board for a sumptuous lunch. Afternoons were spent relaxing on board as we cruised the Loire Canal Laterale.

Rachel our guide and made the trip a pleasure. The crew of the Deborah were wonderful. Friendly, helpful and always ready to be of service. Cabins were cosy but very comfortable. Food and drink were of a high standard. Only downside to the trip was the local guides often had minimal English and didn't quite grasp the need to inject a bit of 'colour' into their commentaries. Luckily Rachel was on hand to fill in the gaps.
VIC, Australia
Jul 2018
5 Helpful Votes
“A wonderful journey from Paris to Nice!”
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The itinerary for this tour was stunning. The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte was our first highlight. The beautiful views from the cupola were breathtaking. The extensive gardens in the traditional French style complemented this magnificent castle not too far from Paris. The story of its owner was intriguing. To be able to stand where Joan of Arc watched the dauphin being crowned Charles VII in the massive cathedral of Reims is a treat for every lover of history.

The vineyards surrounding Épernay were beautiful and we were able to sample champagne from a wide variety of Champagne houses. The dry white wines of Chablis and the wines from Burgundy were also delightful. Beaune was such an interesting city and in particular the Hospices of Beaune, created in 1443, were truly inspirational, demonstrating how one kind man could devote his life to providing the poor with medical care so long ago.

Lyon is a city full of wonderful surprises and there is something to interest everyone. We were able to share in the celebrations on the night France won the World Cup and the city was truly “jumping”. The scenery is spectacular in the Alpine valleys and we had to time to enjoy the views. The Sisteron Citadel was so impressive as it towered over the town. The story behind Chartreuse, the liqueur created by the monks from the Grande Chartreuse monastery, was fascinating.

Our entry to Provence was everything that we wanted it to be. The sight of lavender fields in bloom as far as the eye could see and the scent of the perfume filling our lungs were unforgettable. The fact that so much of our travel was through quiet villages away from the usual hordes of tourists, and the fact that we had many opportunities to mix with the locals, made this trip even more special.

Our guide was brilliant and she did everything in her power to ensure that we all had the best experience possible. The accommodation was always of a very high standard. I am looking forward to my next Back-Roads tour.
QLD, Australia
Jul 2018
3 Helpful Votes
2 Trips
“La Belle France”
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Wonderful service from Global Journeys. Back Roads provided a great tour with like minded people in a small group. Our tour guide Rachel was great fun and tweaked the itinerary to maximise the experience for everybody. Marek, our driver was cheerful and uncomplaining. He drove well and made our trip a pleasure. Unusually hot weather in Northern Europe meant some of our boutique accommodation was at times uncomfortable but the rooms were always clean and the hotels located centrally. Meals provided were always very good.

A few minor gripes. Most of our group dutifully downloaded the Back Roads App and filled in our information. It was a bit disconcerting on the first morning to find that Rachel had none of our details and we had to fill in a paper form. Back Roads paperwork was late in arriving before our departure date.

Rachel was a fun guide but due to the nature of Back Roads staff allocation her knowledge of some of the finer points of the tour was sometimes a little lacking. I think if allocated to this tour regularly that would improve. The activities on our last day went on a little too long. Possibly the hot weather contributing to the group feeling we perhaps crammed a little too much into the day. Apart from that the tour was excellent and we would heartily recommend Back Roads to anyone contemplating a small group tour.
VIC, Australia
Jul 2018
1 Helpful Vote
“La Belle France was truly Belle”
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The northern coast of France provided so many highlights. The sea-side resort of Trouville-sur-Mer, with its hundred year old villas, was a charming setting for wandering along the beautiful beach at sunset and then indulging in the delicious local dish of mussels, "Les Moules Marinières". The local cider was delightful and the apple brandy, "Calvados" finished the meal perfectly.

We were able to pay tribute to the fallen in World War II as we visited the Normandy Landing beaches and associated cemeteries. We walked the first streets that were liberated by the brave allied soldiers. We pondered their sacrifice and appreciated the freedom that they ensured. At the artificial harbour at Arromanches we were able to imagine the scene of thousands of troops and their vessels approaching the shore.

Visiting the beautiful town of Bayeux and seeing the Bayeux Tapestry was a truly special experience. The story of William the Conqueror’s preparations, and the subsequent conquest of England in 1066, is seen in carefully embroidered scenes that are vivid and memorable.

Mont-Saint-Michel is a true wonder of the world and we were privileged to see such a spectacular monastery perched on the island off the coast of France. The views from the Abbey were breathtaking. The preserved old wooden-framed medieval houses and the narrow cobbled streets in Dinan enabled us to feel, once again, that we had travelled back in time.

The Châteaux of the Loire, Angers, Saumur, Amboise, Chinon, Chenonceau and Villandry, were truly remarkable. Each châteaux overwhelmed us with its beauty and fascinating history. The opportunity to stay at the Château Bourdaisière was a rare treat. Seeing the magnificent cathedral of Chartres was a spectacular way to finish our tour of some of France’s most significant sites.

The quality of the service, our talented and professional guide and the wonderful accommodation, all contributed to the pleasure of being a part of this Back-Roads tour. We look forward to our next Back-Roads tour.
VIC, Australia
Jul 2018
1 Helpful Vote
2 Trips
“La Belle France”
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A very good tour and would recommend it. Tour guide was excellent and went out of her way to help everyone. It was very hot and hotels did not have air conditioning.
QLD, Australia
Jun 2018
3 Helpful Votes
5 Trips
“Back Roads Tour of Ireland”
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Excellent Tour director and driver. Hotels were good to excellent. They need thicker black out curtains with day being so long. Enjoyed the tour.
QLD, Australia
Jun 2018
4 Helpful Votes
“Excellent tour hitting all the highlights of Ireland”
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The tour was amazing taking us right around Ireland mostly via backroads - the scenery was breathtaking. The coach was great and there were 18 passengers in total. The driver and tour director were the best and went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. The accommodation was of a high standard and we had a number of 2 night stays which is always a bonus. I have no hesitation recommending this tour, it gives you a good sample of the Irish scenery, history and culture. This is the fourth trip I have booked through Yvonne at Global Journeys who is extremely helpful and thorough and as usually everything went perfectly to plan! Thank you Yvonne another great holiday!
TAS, Australia
Jun 2018
2 Helpful Votes
3 Trips
“Viva La France”
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Thank you again Hannah from Global Journeys for taking the stress out of bookings, and always being there. Had a great time on this tour. Driver Attila, was superb, driving around France is no easy mean feat and we all felt we were in great hands with him. Jenny our guide went out of her way to assist in any queries, and was a fabulous narrator of French History. Monets Garden was a highlight, as was Normandy, and the War Memorial Sites.
NSW, Australia
May 2018
4 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
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I was really impressed with this tour. There were only 11 of us, with a driver/guide and a trainee driver. Charlie, our driver, was full of fascinating stories about the history, food and wine and way of life of each area we passed through and nothing was too much trouble for Zoe, our trainee guide. The hotels were all very comfortable with great breakfasts and, with the exception of one, very friendly and helpful staff. The pre-arranged dinners were also very good.

This was my first bus tour and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I found it was great to have everything organised, nice fellow travellers to eat with at night, and the activities arranged for every day were all very interesting with lots of wine tastings and plenty of stops for coffee and pastries along the way. Highly recommended, for a solo traveller particularly.
TAS, Australia
May 2018
3 Helpful Votes
3 Trips
“Enchanting Journey”
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Perfect time of year for this journey, hard to believe, but we had only one late afternoon shower on this journey. Having a guide, Mike who was a wealth of knowledge on the history, was a highlight in itself, an John our Driver, jovial an helpful. Well spaced travel stops, great company our fellow travellers. Highly recommend this tour.
NSW, Australia
May 2018
1 Helpful Vote
3 Trips
“A Week in Provence”
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A great trip through the beautiful countryside of Provence with lots of picturesque hilltop villages. Max, our French guide and driver was fabulous. We can't speak highly enough of him. He has lived and worked in Australia and had a great understanding of our 'culture' and sense of humour. At every town he would take us on a walking tour describing the local points of interest and history and putting it in context with what we had seen before. He could recommend restaurants everywhere we went and he had in depth knowledge of the area.

We were a group of 14, made up of 5 couples (seniors), 1 couple in their late 30s and 2 ladies travelling on their own. It was a 16 seater bus so thankfully we had a bit of space. There were no personality clashes and importantly, everyone was on time for departures etc. The pace of the tour was perfect. Most days we didn't travel too far and we always had free time. There were a couple of excursions like the visit to the pottery that I found less interesting, but others in the group enjoyed them.

My only criticism would be of the Back Roads Tours Office. A couple of days before we left we emailed them re concerns about the impact of the French train strikes on our arrival in Nice to start the tour and we still haven't had a response. Luckily, our train did run the day before the tour started and we arrived in Nice in time to start the tour. We probably should have contacted Yvonne from Global Journeys with our concerns and she would have sorted it out for us!
QLD, Australia
May 2018
3 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Fabulous trip!!”
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Loved the entire trip, it actually exceeded my expectations. I loved the fact that it was a small group. Great group and we all blended so well. Our tour guide, Margo, was fantastic. Her personality set the standard for our trip - she was infectious with her love for Italy. She made the history of Italy so interesting and I really learnt a lot.

Our driver was such a lovely young man, always a smile and even suggested a few things that turned out to be so wonderful, he knows his roads! The accommodation and food were of a great standard. I really think the "back roads" are so much more exciting, we really saw amazing country side instead of highways.

Thank you Back Roads, Hannah from Global Journeys for getting us organised in booking our trip and especially Margo and Francesco for treating us like family.
SA, Australia
Apr 2018
“An extremely interesting trip with a great tour guide ”
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The tour guide was the most knowledgeable guide we have ever experienced from the pre-Roman kings to history of modern England. The tour met all our expectations. Not to forget the coach driver who negotiated the narrow country roads with ease especially when confronted by trucks coming from the opposite direction.
NSW, Australia
Oct 2017
2 Helpful Votes
5 Trips
“Wonderful small group tour”
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Our Guide David was excellent! He provided excellent information on the historical background of the sites we visited. He was also an excellent driver and considerate. Surprised one of the couples on tour by taking them to the grave site of her relative - we were all very impressed that he had researched where he was! Van was excellent and had plenty of stops throughout the day. Hotel was quaint and very comfortable. We learnt so much about the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers in WW1. Highly recommend Back Roads. Thanks Global Journeys for another great booking!

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