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Sri Lanka Stilt Fishing

Your Guide to Cultural Adventures

Make 2022 the year when you step off the tourist trails and leap into a world of cultural adventures. Cultural travel lets you scratch beneath the surface of each destination as you unearth compelling history and traditions that will undoubtedly get under your skin. To whet your appetite, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most inspiring experiences and events for a year of cultural immersion in 2022.

Emperor Penguins, Antarctica

January: Spot Penguin Chicks in Antarctica

Travelling on a small expedition vessel, this trip allows you to cross the Antarctic Circle, and follow in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary voyage towards South Georgia to see Elephant seals and rookeries of Gentoo penguins. One of the best times to visit Antarctica is in January. Thanks to its near 24-hour daylight, you can enjoy ample opportunities to capture amazing wildlife photography. Throughout January, you’ll also be able to catch glimpses of hundreds of fluffy, grey King penguin chicks!

When to travel: January

Book your place:  Epic Antarctica: Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Circle Crossing via Buenos Aires

 Almond blossom

February: Enjoy Almond Blossom Season in the Sierra de Aitana

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not celebrate with your partner on an exhilarating walk in the beautiful Sierra de Aitana Mountain range? Around this time of year, the bursting almond blossom trees dotted around the landscape are at their best, adding a bit of romance to your walk, as pink confetti dots your path. With stunning limestone amphitheatres, natural springs, and ancient castles to see during the day, you can also enjoy authentic rustic cuisine with local wine in the evenings.

When to travel: February

Book your pace: Sierra de Aitana Trek

 Fire Festival, Las Fallas, Valencia

March: Experience Las Fallas (Fire Festival) in Valencia  

On the 15-19th March in Valencia, the city celebrates Las Fallas. If you visit during this time, you can expect to see beautiful firework displays, street parties and elaborate parades all across Valencia. Added to the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity back in 2016, this unique festival employs skilled local artists to produce intricate creations that are set on fire on the final night of the festival! On this new trip, you’ll enjoy exploring this vibrant city while also spending time cycling through Albufera wetlands Natural Park, bathing in the hot springs of Montenejos and riding along the Orange Blossom Coast towards Peniscola.

When to travel: March 

Book your place:  Cycling Valencia and the Orange Blossom Coast

Athens

April: Discover Ancient Orthodox Easter Celebrations in Greece

Booking a trip to Greece around Easter time offers plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in their local culture and ancient Easter traditions. From candle-lit street processions to copious feasts of lamb roasting on a spit and fireworks at midnight, the way the Greeks celebrate Easter, or “Pascha” is an unmissable cultural experience. On this trip, you’ll spend some time visiting the ancient Acropolis and Plaka in Athens, but keep an eye out for festive sweets like koulourakia (biscuits) and (tsoureki) braided brioche and join in the spectacle of midnight mass on Holy Saturday night.

When to travel: April 

Book your place: Highlights of Ancient Greece

May: Party at the Seville Fair in Spain 

At the heart of this Andalusian capital, Seville Fair brings the city to life two weeks following Easter Holy Week. The Real de la Feria is buzzing with excitement from the hustle and bustle of the fairground, where vibrant, Flamenco-clad ladies, uplifting music and traditional dancing draw you into the true customs of Spain.

When to travel: May

Book your place: Self-Guided Cycling in Andalucia: Seville to Cadiz

 

June: Admire the Inti Raymi Festival in Peru 

One of the biggest festivals in Peru is the Inti Raymi Festival. This festival is a traditional religious ceremony that honours the Inca sun god, Inti, the Inca’s most important deity. Taking place every year on the winter solstice in Peru, it celebrates the beginning of the Inca solar new year. In 2022, celebrations start on 22nd June in Cuzco, at Qorikancha, the sun temple, where crowds of actors, dancers and musicians in colourful traditional dress, including the Inca Queen, warriors and sun maidens’ parade through the streets towards Plaza de Armas. So, why not join in the celebrations on our Essential Peru trip that holds a special departure for this event?

When to travel: June 

Book your place: Essential Peru Inti Raymi Festival

 

July: Uncover Mongolian culture at the Naadam Festival 

If you’ve ever had the urge to take part in ankle bone flicking, Naadam Festival is the place to be! As well as this unusual tradition, this Mongolian festival plays host to “the three games of men”, which include wrestling, archery and horse racing. This unique event demonstrates time-honoured nomadic culture that embraces the arts and sports of the country.

When to travel: July

Book your place: Mongolia: Steppes, Deserts and Nomads

August: Visit Sri Lanka for the Kandy Esala Perahera 

Paying homage to the Tooth of Buddha, Kandy Esala Perahera (also known as the Festival of the Tooth) is a traditional Sri Lankan festival consisting of a colourful procession that features cultural dances, firebreathers and musicians. The festival concludes with a water cutting ceremony, Diya Kapeema, at the Mahaweli River in Kandy.

When to travel: August

Book your place: Discover Sri Lanka

September: Take to the water for whale watching season in South Africa 

For many wildlife lovers and culture vultures, whale watching is high up on their bucket list, and it’s no surprise why. Hermanus in South Africa is one of the best spots for whale watching, with regular sightings of this immense mammal. To experience the grace and power of these creatures as they cavort in the water is simply phenomenal.

When to travel: September

Book your place: Johannesburg to Cape Town

 Mongolia Eagle Festival

October: Watch ancient traditions unfold at the Mongolia Golden Eagle Festival

Organised by the Mongolian Eagle Hunters Association, the Golden Eagle Festival is a must-see event in Asia. Held annually in Bayan- Ölgii aimag, the festival showcases the classic Kazakh skills of eagle hunting and horsemanship, while also holding festive games including Tiyn Teru (horse race) and Kokpar (goat grabbing). This invites travellers to see these preserved centuries-old traditions, which gives a fascinating insight into the culture of some of the last nomadic Kazakh people on the planet. On our trip, you get to explore Mongolia’s Singing Dunes, ancient monasteries and the Gobi Desert before attending the spectacular Golden Eagle Festival.

When to travel: October

Book your place: Mongolia Eagle Festival: Steppes, Deserts & Nomads

AIK

 November: Join in the festivities at the Pushkar Camel Fair

Taking place during the Hindu month of Kartika, in the pilgrimage town of Pushkar, the Pushkar Camel Fair is running from 1-9th November in 2022. Attracting a trading fete of livestock, thousands of traders and their camels, horses and cattle arrive in Pushkar, alongside Hindu pilgrims looking to make their journey to Pushkar lake. On we have a special departure on our Colours of Rajasthan trip that takes you to the fair to join in the festivities. With plenty of cultural events taking place, including tug of war, the longest moustache “matka phod” competition and camel dances, you’ll enjoy several musical and dance performances while also browsing local stalls selling colourful bracelets, textiles and fabrics.

When to travel: November

Book your place: Colours of Rajasthan - Pushkar Festival

Finnish Wilderness Week

December: Celebrate Christmas in Lapland

Not exactly a festival, but the advent of Christmas holds a very special place on the calendar for every local in Finnish Lapland. With Saint Nicholas’ village in Rovaniemi, also located in Finnish Lapland, you can’t help but feel festive on our popular Finnish Wilderness Week trip.  

Imagine spending the run-up to Christmas in a cosy wooden cabin in Basecamp Oulanka, where you’ll spend your days snowshoeing through Oulanka National Park along the Kitka River, cross-country skiing near Juumba Lake and dogsledding with local huskies through Riisintunuri National Park. With opportunities to hone your wilderness skills by building a snow shelter (quinzee) your chances of seeing the incredible Northern Lights are also greatly increased when you travel to Finland during the long nights in December.

When to travel: December

Secure a place:  Finnish Wilderness Week

Our life-enriching adventures ensure you delve into the heart of each destination, uncovering their unique cultures. If these trips have inspired you to plan ahead for a cultural adventure of your own, take a look at our cultural holidays here

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