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Cultural Tours

Our cultural tours offer something different. The destinations are often unusual, and our itineraries show you facets of that country rarely experienced by other visitors. Learn about the culture and history and gain real insight into contemporary life in each destination, with rewarding detours from the well-trodden tourist trail. You will travel with other open-minded, intelligent and questioning people. We also make sure that you have a lot of fun on what we hope will be the best holiday you have ever had.

Picture from the Travelling Surgical Society Tour to Ghent tour.

Ghent is a city whose vibrant contemporary life plays out against the backdrop of a long history and culture. Its location allowed Ghent to become a rich and powerful port and university city in the late Middle Ages. Its rich past has been preserved in the stunning medieval buildings that make up its centre. Ghent is the perfect place to explore the history and culture of Flanders, as well as enjoying its famous beer and fine Belgian cuisine.

Picture from the History, Medicine & Culture in Spain: ISTM tour.

Following the ISTM Congress in Barcelona, this specially designed tour visits some of Spain’s medical and cultural highlights.

History, medicine and culture intertwine on this fascinating journey through Spain. Travel from Barcelona to Madrid and onto Al-Andalus – Andalucia - where echoes of the Moors are still strong in the beautiful architecture of Granada, Cordoba and Seville. Learn about the many developments in medicine in Spain under the Moors, through the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment and beyond. Visit exquisite palaces, gardens and cathedrals, world-famous museums and cities at a lovely time of year. 

The professional programme is balanced with a full cultural itinerary, with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the cultural riches, the landscapes and magnificent food and wine of the area.

Picture from the Midwifery in Iceland - ONE SPACE FREE! tour.

** This tour has been designed so that it can be joined after the ICM 2017 Midwives Congress in Toronto ** Iceland is a magical island humming with energy and natural phenomena that turn everyday experiences - a walk, a drive, a dip in a pool - into something that will take your breath away. Its beauty comes from a vast volcanic landscape where mighty forces shape the earth: geysers and glooping mudflats, rumbling volcanoes swathed in ice and glaciers grinding their way through mountains. A rich cultural life, which celebrates a literary legacy that stretches from medieval sagas to contemporary thrillers by way of Nobel Prize winners, also encompasses live music and Nordic style.

As well its wonderful culture and landscapes, the local people are welcoming and creative and have a progressive, egalitarian sensibility. Here, midwives are known as ljosmodir, or 'Mothers of Light', which reflects the status that midwives have always held in Iceland, where formal midwifery training first began back in 1761. Although medicalisation has increased since the years when homebirths were around 70% (in the 1950s-60s), it is now steadily increasing again, and breastfeeding rates are among the highest in the world.

Experience the beauty and culture of this remarkable island while gaining insight into its midwifery and maternal services through a wide ranging professional programme, led by Professor Nicky Leap. 

Picture from the Yunnan, South West China and Tibet tour.

Take a journey from remote south west China, an area of incredible diversity in both landscapes and ethnic groups, each with their own dress, cuisine, beliefs and languages. Visit spectacular Lugu Lake in the remote northwest plateau of Yunnan, home of the extraordinary matrilineal Mosuo people. The Mosuo community were largely sequestered from the outside world until recently and their ancient, unique traditions and culture are still intact. Cross the mountains into Tibet, a land that is, above all, uplifting – both spiritually and physically. It is a land where the devotional dominates art, culture, architecture and politics on every level, and where Buddhism has settled more firmly than in any other country. Located on the “Roof of the World”, encompassing the highest points on the earth, it offers extraordinary landscapes and an almost otherworldly sense of tranquillity. Little travelled, wild and sparsely populated, this tour to the remote, fascinating province of Yunnan and extraordinary Tibet is for the culturally curious.

Picture from the The Golden Road to Samarkand tour.

Uzbekistan is the heart of Central Asia’s evocative Silk Road. The stunning architecture of its ancient cities links the empires of China and Persia and reflects layers of history that take in the pinnacles of civilisation and culture and the depths of oppression. Travel in the footsteps of those early traders through Uzbekistan and make a visit to Tajikistan to visit its mountain lakes and archaeological site overlooking the Zarafshan Valley. Travel through vast isolated landscapes containing magnificent sites and cultures little changed over time and hear a variety of talks which will shed light on this most fascinating of journeys. This tour provides a series of visits and talks exploring both the region’s history and aspects of contemporary society.