Stride climate

Small Group - Best Tours & Trips 2019

6,664 trips to Small Group tours from 309 tour companies. 56,704 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
Small group tours have some distinct advantages over larger tours: they can generally move more quickly from one place to the next, eat in more intimate dining spaces, stay in smaller hotels or inns, and travel in smaller vehicles, among other perks.
All Small Group tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

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Cape Town, Kruger & Zimbabwe

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
13 days
$ 180 / day
$ 2,779
From : $ 3,163
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Search for the "big five" in kruger and hwange national parks
  • Walk with rhinos in matobo national park
Visits:
Cape Town, Hwange National Park, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Soweto, Victoria, Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Nelson, Robben Island, South Africa, Zimbabwe
View Trip

Puglia: Discover the Heel of Italy

Exodus Travels
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 162 / day
$ 2,049
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Baroque Lecce and cristal-clear sea in Salento
  • 'Trulli' houses in Alberobello
  • Enjoy a fun cookery class and wine tasting
  • Visit the unique UNESCO town of Matera
Visits:
Matera, Italy
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Eastern Europe Experience

Peregrine Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
16 days
$ 331 / day
$ 5,290
From : $ 7,142
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore cultural and architectural delights of sofia on a tour with a local guide, stopping along the way to indulge in local delicacies like shopska (cucumber salad), ukanka (semi-dried salami) and wine.
  • Step back in time and onto cobbled streets in the open-air ethnographic museums in plovdiv and etar, where vintage machinery and traditional craftspeople contribute to living history.
  • Observe the architectural grand jewels of turkey from the water during a cruise along the narrow bosphorus strait that bisects the city and separates europe and asia.....
  • Nis, rich in a history of serbian rebellion, demands to be explored with a local. let a passionate guide tell you the stories of their city while they show you the sights.
  • Look for waterbirds and turtles on a cruise through the tranquil marshes of the ropotamo nature reserve.
  • Enjoy a serbian gastronomy cooking experience with a local food expert who specialises in western serbian cuisine. 
Visits:
Belgrade, Istanbul, Sofia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey
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Best of Vietnam & Cambodia

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
18 days
$ 102 / day
$ 2,125
From : $ 2,468
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • This is a combination of our most popular trips in Vietnam and Cambodia, making it one of the top trips from the entire Intrepid range!
  • See the very best that Vietnam & Cambodia has to offer in just 18 days with a small group of up to 15 new friends.
  • Travel by boat, train, plane, private bus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!
  • Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, a meal at a buddhist nunnery, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta, and a final dinner at KOTO restaurant.
  • Settle in for the night and experience an overnight train journey, starting from Hanoi and waking up ready to head out and explore Hue.
  • Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you’ll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap so you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
  • Discover Kampong Luong and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries.
  • Get familiar with Khmer cuisine - here’s a sample of what’s in store for your tastebuds: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodian-food-guide/
  • https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodia-eating-spiders/
  • Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in Cambodia & Vietnam, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/
  • Travel from Vietnam to Thailand, experiencing the contrasts between three of the regions most fascinating countries.
Visits:
Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An , Phnom Penh , Saigon, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
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Pandas & Golden Cities

Travel China Guide
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,709
From : $ 4,615
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Must-see sights - Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas

  • Have a once in a life chance to get close to the incredibly cute treasure - Pandas
  • Cruise on the Huangpu River to take in the impressive skylines of Shanghai
  • Enjoy a la carte meals, Kung Fu Show, Tang Dynasty Music and Dance performance
Visits:
Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Xian, China
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Galapagos Unbound

ROW Adventures
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 499 / day
$ 4,990
From : $ 6,138
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Explore Galapagos Islands which is a top nature spot in the world
  • Experiencing camping in the island of Galapagos not the usual of just touring it with cruise
  • Get up close and personal with both the local people and the wildlife
  • Visit sites that are not on the main tourist routes
  • Play in the water with sea lions
  • Get within a few feet of blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and the giant Galapagos tortoises
  • Watch pelicans and boobies dive for fish
  • Snorkel in transparent water rich with sea-life and even swim with sharks, if you dare.
Visits:
Galapagos, Guayaquil, Isabela Island, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador
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Cuba – Building Bridges

Discover Corps
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 324 / day
$ 2,595
From : $ 3,192
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Meet local young people and lend a hand with inspiring art projects
  • Explore Havana’s eclectic mix of architectural styles
  • Learn to salsa with a Cuban dance instructor
  • Roam the colorful alleyways of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stroll along the seaside boulevards of Cienfuegos
Visits:
Havana, Trinidad, Cuba
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Morocco Walking

Butterfield & Robinson
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 1,142 / day
$ 7,995
From : $ 9,834
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Views of the High Atlas Mountains
  • Enjoy Hike along the Plateau du Kik
  • Explore the fragrant Valley of Roses
Visits:
Marrakech, Morocco
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New Zealand Adventure

16 days
$ 368 / day
$ 6,274
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • New Zealand’s unspoiled natural scenery
  • Auckland sightseeing, including distinguished Auckland Museum
  • Auckland Harbour cruise
  • Geothermal Rotorua
  • Art Deco walking tour in Napier
  • Wellington’s acclaimed Te Papa national museum
  • TranzAlpine train excursion
  • Two-night Franz Josef stay, with guided walk through the Glacial Valley
  • Kiwi birds at West Coast Wildlife Center
  • Scenic Doubtful Sound excursion
  • Outdoor mecca of Queenstown
Visits:
Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Everest Base Camp Trek – 14 Days

14 days
$ 93 / day
$ 1,300
From : $ 1,755
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Scenic flight to and from Lukla.
  • Get acquainted with Sherpa culture of the Everest region.
  • Visit Tengboche Monastery.
  • Remarkable views of the Khumbu Icefall.
  • Hike up to Kala Patthar (5,555m) & Nangkartshang Peak(5,083m).
  • Trek to Everest Base Camp and Khumbu Glacier.
  • Get close to the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest(8,848m).
Visits:
Everest Base Camp, Himalayas, Kathmandu, Mount Everest, Nepal
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Sardinia & Corsica Sailing Adventure

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 139 / day
$ 1,744
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and explore the ancient citadel of Bonifacio
  • Hike the wild landscape of Isola Caprera, and cycle around the lively city of La Maddalena
Visits:
Porto, France, Italy
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Japan Express: Osaka to Tokyo

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 312 / day
$ 2,804
From : $ 3,785
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Take in views of mt fuji
  • Stay in temple lodging and a traditional ryokan
  • Gaze at the famous floating torii gate in miyajima
  • Explore kyoto's nijo castle
Visits:
Hakone, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Imperial Palace, Japan
View Trip

Classical Egypt & Nile Cruise - 11 days

11 days
$ 163 / day
$ 1,795
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Cairo - gaze in awe at the ancient Pyramids of Giza, explore the Necropolis of Saqqara and see King Tut's treasures at the new Grand Egyptian Museum
  • Luxor West Bank - discover exquisite tombs in the Valley of the Kings, the towering Colossi of Memnon and the beautiful Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • Luxor - roam around the colossal Temple of Karnak and take an optional tour of the beautifully illuminated Luxor Temple at night
  • Dendera - explore the beautifully preserved Temple of Hathor, with its exquisitely decorated ceiling
  • Nile cruising - cruise the River Nile from Luxor to Aswan on board a 5 star river cruiser
  • Aswan - take leisurely boat trip to Agilika Island to explore the romantic Philae Temple and wander around the colourful souqs
  • Kom Ombo - visit the Nile side Temple of Kom Ombo
Visits:
Egypt
View Trip

South Africa Highlights

Explore!
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
14 days
$ 195 / day
$ 2,730
From : $ 3,686
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Search for the Big 5 in Kruger National Park
  • Soweto Tour, an integral town in the fight against apartheid
  • Tsitsikamma National Park - A marine and forest park in the heart of the famous Garden Route.
  • Cape Town - A beautiful city surrounded by mountain and sea.
  • Stellenbosch - World renowned vineyards overlooked by stunning, rugged mountains.
  • Hermanus - The best place in Southern Africa to admire whales
Visits:
Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Robben Island, Soweto, Table Mountain, Nelson, South Africa
View Trip

Secrets of the Balkans

Peregrine Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
23 days
$ 332 / day
$ 7,635
From : $ 10,307
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Under the guidance of knowledgeable locals, you'll visit some of the region's most beautiful cathedrals, monasteries, palaces, ottoman mosques and unesco-protected townscapes.
  • The smaller, lesser-known destinations on this trip are some of the best. the crystalline beauty of towns like mostar and veliko tarnovo is the stuff of fairy tales.
  • Visit the zivanovic family’s honey museum and winery in sremski karlovci. their old house has been converted into museum full of beekeeping memorabilia and the have had a wine cellar here for 300 years.
  • Explore cultural and architectural delights of sofia on a tour with a local guide, stopping along the way to indulge in local delicacies like shopska (cucumber salad), ukanka (semi-dried salami) and wine.
  • Observe the architectural grand jewels of turkey from the water during a cruise along the narrow bosphorus strait that bisects the city.
Visits:
Belgrade, Croatia, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Montenegro, Sarajevo, Sofia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey
View Trip
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Top Small Group Experiences and Attractions

Top Small Group Experiences

Receiving an invitation to watch a local Vietnamese woman prepare pho in her kitchen

Quickly and easily accessing museums and historical sites in Italy and Greece

Staying ‘under the radar’ while exploring the medinas of Morocco

Connecting on a more personal level with your fellow small group travel companions

Learn the secrets of Scotch whisky on a visit with the owner of a local distillery in Scotland

Getting an intimate, private tour of a local artist’s studio in Cuba

Glide across Ha Long Bay in Vietnam on an exclusive sunset cruise

Unearth the ancient mystique of Petra and take a four-wheel-drive tour of Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert

Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long puppet theatre in Hanoi

Using local transportation options, such as tuk-tuk in Thailand

Cruise the canals of Venice with a private gondolier before a cocktail with your small group of new friends at a bacari (wine bar).

Discover Croatia with a local Dubrovnik tour guide, who will show you the best sights, from Strossmayer’s Garden to the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments.

Stroll around the Jordaan neighborhood in Amsterdam, a local favorite for its tiny boutiques, alfresco dining and cafes

Marvel at the mighty Victoria Falls in Botswana on a privately guided visit.

Be among the first guests of the day to see the Book of Kells on a tour of Dublin’s Old Library at Trinity College.

Toast your new friendships as your small group tour enjoys a Shabushabu dinner in Kyoto with geiko entertainment.

Join like-minded travelers as your small group walks along the less-often-seen Mutianyu section of China’s Great Wall.

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Small Group Trip Reviews

56,704 Small Group Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 42,771
Great 13,350
Average 420
Disappointing 96
Terrible 66
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Amazing, intimate experience of the best of Peru!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

My husband and I wanted to visit Peru, but were nervous about accommodations, getting around, language barriers, and making the most of our trip. We are seasoned travelers, so we thrive on intimate experiences and most importantly local authentic food. We decided to do the Taste of Peru given past experiences with The Table Less Traveled. It did not disappoint. The trip was amazing! Not only did we dine at michelin star restaurants, have private dining experiences hosted by locals, participated in local cooking classes, visited salt mines and learned about the process, we had a private guided tour of Machu Picchu!! It was the experience of a lifetime. Annie also made sure I stayed food save the entire trip given my shellfish allergy (I was shocked to learn how much they use shellfish for cooking and seasoning). The accommodations were also amazing, no US branded hotels but local boutique accommodations with 5-star service and feel. We're looking forward to Japan and Malaysia/Singapore with The Table Less Traveled this and next year!

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Operator The Table Less Traveled

Amazing Tour of Tibet!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Our guide, Luosang, and our driver made our trip amazing. Whether it was singing Buddhist prayers in the car in the morning on our drives, helping us fend off feisty cows, encouraging us to try local foods, helping us to find the best photo to capture the memory, or teaching us about the history and religion of the beautiful places we visited, they ensured that we had the best possible experience of the country and its lovely people at every moment.

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Operator Great Tibet Tour

I just wanted to say what a special trip it turned out to be

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Having just printed and catalogued the photos of my amazing 13 day trip to Nepal I just wanted to say what a special trip it turned out to be! Ace the Himalayas was a top notch company to deal with and the details were all covered from start to finish. From transportation at the airport to the city tour of both Kathmandu and Pokhara and the mountain passes between, we were informed, entertained and looked after always. The local knowledge of our guide Dipesh as well as the city guides made everything extremely interesting. There was a great balance of organized tours,meals and free time to explore and enjoy the wonderful cities countryside and culture. Our trek to PoonHill was amazing and while out of the control of our guides, the morning was clear and the sunrise spectacular! Ace was able to arrange a separate flight for our group over Everest which was not included in our itinerary and provided the transportation and guide to get us there. All our accommodations were central and clean, the tea houses were lovely and friendly, exactly what I expected for this type of trip. The food in Nepal was amazing. Thank you to Prem, Dipesh, Amish, our drivers and our porters for a wonderful 13 days.

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Operator Ace the Himalaya

Memorable Trip to Egypt -- Thank to Travelish Tours!!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Egypt is one of those countries one should visit at least once in their lifetime. I was there in December 2018 and loved every moment of my presence in the land of river Nile, pharaohs, pyramids and much more. Thanks to Travelish Tours and their passionate CEO, Mahmoud Salah for making our trip so enjoyable and seamless. The entire trip was very well organized and we covered pretty much 75-80% of Egypt in 10 days from Cairo, Saqqara, Memphis, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simble, Alexandria and Nile cruise, visiting all the key attractions with the guides who explained the history so coherently that we felt as if we went back in time to thousands of years ago. Thanks to Sam, Khalif and Sara, our guides in Cairo, Nile Cruise, and Alexandria respectively for sharing their passion, knowledge and welcoming us so warm heartedly.

I would highly recommend Travelish Tour to anyone planning to visit Egypt as the service the company provides is top class from airport pick up, best hotel accommodation, perfect Nile cruise, customized tours to knowledgeable guides. Mahmoud Salah, more popularly called as Momo, is a very humble individual who understands your needs and ensures your stay in his loving country becomes the most memorable trip of your life. His passion for his motherland’s rich cultural history and heritage and inherently caring attitude demonstrated through excellent organization of the trip and customized tours is indeed contagious.

We felt very safe in Egypt. If you want to explore it like locals contact Travelish Tour and forget about all other logistics as Travelish Tours will take care of all your needs. It would be the best decision you will make and I can vouch through my personal experience as Travelish Tours will ensure your visit to Egypt leaves an indelible mark in your travel memory.

Thank you Travelish tours and Momo for making our trip memorable and in the bargain we found a good friend in Momo!! :)

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Operator Travelish Tours

BEST INCA TRAIL TREK!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Best tour company hands down!!! We booked this tour not really knowing what to expect but what we received was amazing! This tour company has put time into thinking what will make an even better experience for their customers. I'm a very picky eater and I was always able to find something to fill my tummy up with, with all the meals. The soups were so delicious!!! I can't believe the amount of food and the variety of food they can bring along on this trip. The camp grounds were great! Our tents were great and comfy. I rented a sleeping bag from them and it was clean and perfect for the trek.

Our guide, porters, and chefs were friendly, professional, and did an amazing job. We can't forget Rox in the main office. If I ever return I will defiantly use them and will tell all my friends who are heading that way the same thing. I can't think of anything bad or negative to say about our experience with APT.

I could write a book on this tour company that's how much I enjoyed it. I know I kept thinking , I'm so glad we found them. We had our own private tour, most times we were the only group at the trails and campsites. I saw the second nights camp ground that the other groups take and I had anxiety looking at all the people and praying we weren't going to a place like that. The campgrounds were quaint, clean, and in areas that we could get a nice, quiet nights sleep. I would not hesitate booking them!!! cheers! p.s. they carry their own private toilet around for the whole trek, a bonus in my eyes.

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Operator Action Peru Treks

Italy as you have never experienced it!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

In 10 days we watched and learned how wine is made, visited some of the best restaurants of our lives, tasted a black truffle for the first time, cooked some incredible dishes with expert hands and made some friends in the process! We could not have asked for more. Simply perfect! Thank you, Page and Richard

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Operator The Italian on Tour

Small Group Tours and Travel Guide

Small Group Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Small group tours have some distinct advantages over larger tours: they can generally move more quickly from one place to the next, eat in more intimate dining spaces, stay in smaller hotels or inns, and travel in smaller vehicles, among other perks.

Depending on the tour operator, a "small group" may number anywhere from a few people up to 24, though more traditionally it means a maximum of 12-16 travelers. Biking and hiking tourstrekking expeditions, and other adventurous and exotic tours tend to be small groups, but any type of tour can fall into this ever-more-popular category.

Why Take a Small Group Tour

More Authentic Experiences

In most cases, small group tours tend to offer more in-depth, authentic experiences than traveling on a coach or bus tour. This is mostly a result of the flexibility you have in a small group. For example, you’re walking around a rural area in Brazil and come across a pick-up soccer match (or futbol to the Brazilians).

You and your travel companions stand and watch and are then invited to play! These types of memories are often what turns a good trip into a great one, and are more likely when traveling in a small group.

The smaller a group of people traveling together, the more possible it is for a local guide to get access to behind-the-scenes and off-hours sightseeing (the Acropolis at dawn in Greece - sure!), as well as immersive experiences in local villages, restaurants, family homes and more.

The meticulous staff of your chosen small group tour operator has more leeway and creativity when planning your all-inclusive adventures - that may mean more unique, boutique-style accommodations, hands-on cooking classes that lead directly to a family-style meal and guided sightseeing by luxury vehicle (as opposed to that big tour bus). 

Connecting With Fellow Travelers

You may or may not travel in a group to make friends. However, you are almost sure to come away from your trip with at least one or two new “pen pals.” Traveling in this style affords real connections among the group - whether this be chatting around a campfire while on safari in Tanzania or catching up at happy hour on the deck of your small-ship cruise.

You might not relate to everyone but will find that most small-group travelers are like-minded and are there for the same reasons. This creates a convivial social vibe and you’ll feel much less like a face in the crowd and more like one of a group of friends who have chosen to explore the world together.

Less Hassle 

One of the best perks of small group travel is the fact that most of your vacation is planned for you. Sure, you may love to pore over guidebooks and websites, learning as much as you can about where you’re going. But wouldn’t it be nice to focus on all the amazing things you’re going to see and do instead of worrying about how to cobble it all together in a seamless itinerary? 

That’s where your expert small group tour operator comes in. They know these destinations intimately and have curated trips that highlight not only the major sightseeing attractions that you won’t want to miss, but filled in the gaps with immersive, authentic experiences along the way - the kind of moments you most likely won’t find in any guidebook or website. 

Small group tours are much less hassle than either a large group tour or arranging your travel yourself. Your in country airfare, train and transfer bookings are all taken care of. Your accommodations are thoughtfully chosen and reserved. Your guides will speak the local language, leaving you to speak and learn as little or as much of it as you’re motivated to. Want to eat where the locals eat? Your local small group tour guide can easily suggest dining options. 

They move more quickly from one place to the next - fewer people, easier transport and in likely smaller vehicles. They can dine in more intimate spaces and stay in smaller hotels and inns. It’s easier to hear about where you’re visiting and have one-on-one conversations with your guide. Overall, if it’s a taste of local life and culture you’re seeking, a small group tour is the best choice.

Popular Small Group Tour Destinations

1. Italy 

On a small group tour of Italy, your handcrafted itinerary can be just as you always imagined it. From the hilltown of Cortona in Tuscany to the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, your local Italian guide will usher you to the landscapes, cities, villages, museums, vineyards and more that make Italy one of the world’s top tour destinations. 

Experience la dolce vita as you sip limoncello, cycle through vineyards along the Amalfi Coast, visit the ancient sights of Rome, cruise the canals of romantic Venice or sail to captivating Capri. A small group tour of Italy will unveil all this and more, immersing you in local-level culture and cuisine. 

See all Italy small group tours »

2. Ireland

Toast your amazing Ireland vacation with a pint of local stout, surrounded by new friends as part of your small group tour. With so much to see throughout the Emerald Isle, it’s prudent to choose a local, expert guide to show you Ireland’s off-the-beaten-path sightseeing.

There’s character and magic around every corner, from castles and small-town pubs to ancient cemeteries and the Blarney Stone. Your tour of Ireland unlocks the folklore of Donegal, unmissable views of the Ring of Kerry, the less-often-visited Slieve League Cliffs (almost three times as tall as the Cliffs of Moher) and a hefty share of restaurants and pubs where you’ll feel that irresistible Irish craic. 

See all Ireland small group tours »

3. Scotland

Only on a small group tour of Scotland will you have the opportunity to tour the majestic Royal Yacht Brittania in the early morning hours, before the crowds. These behind-the-scenes moments and privileged access are among the many perks of traveling with a small group in Europe.

Set out through the Scottish countryside with a learned host and gain a deeper understanding of what makes this extraordinary land tick. Visit Edinburgh Castle and the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town in the country’s capital. Venture to Loch Fyne and Inveraray Castle - you may recognize this setting from Downton Abbey!

Take a privately guided cruise on Loch Ness and take a gander at the perfectly picturesque Urquhart Castle, dating back to the 13th century. Your small group tour of Scotland will unlock the rugged beaches and cliffs, verdant countryside, ancient castles and renowned distilleries of this most endearing country, while immersing you in traditional Scottish cities, from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

See all Scotland small group tours »

4. Amsterdam 

Amsterdam and its canals, markets and cultural highlights is a city best experienced on a well-thought-out small group journey. Let your expert Netherlands guide show you the way through this charming, 17th-century city, from the Anne Frank House to the Rijksmuseum, from a private tasting rooms in a 1679 distillery to its nearby windmill-laden countryside (for more on the Netherlands, see our Netherland travel guide).

Only your local Amsterdam guide can take you behind the scenes in the world’s narrowest house or to her favorite “eetcafe” for local beer and delicacies. From Amsterdam, consider extending your tour to nearby Belgium and Germany, other top spots for small group travel.

See all Amersterdam small group tours »

5. Greece

Explore Greece, cradle of Western civilization, on a small group tour and be assured that you won’t have missed a thing. Between the fabled Samaria Gorge, traditional Cretan villages, sunsets on Santorini and the best historical sites of Athens, the best way to see Greece is by going small.

A comprehensive small group tour of Greece can be difficult to plan on one’s own - How to fit it all in? Islands? Athens? Where to start? Thankfully, when you decide on a small group journey to ever-popular Greece, these questions have been answered for you and the logistics taken care of, so you don’t waste one precious moment.

So, sit back and experience the glory of Greece, from a private tour of the Acropolis and Agora to an off-hours visit to Delphi to a pre-arranged exclusive cooking class and meal with a local family.

See all Greece small group tours »

Can You Go Off-the-Beaten-Path on a Small Group Tour?

Of course! And it’s encouraged. Small groups tours are designed to explore and discover new places in a way untouched by traditional large group tours.

Your guide is there to make sure the logistics are taken care of and that everyone gets to where they need to be … that being said, if you want to take it easy one morning and sit back in a cafe in Amsterdam and watch the world go by, they’ll not only agree to it, but suggest their favorite spot - and maybe even their favorite barista. 

If your group has a particular interest that isn’t being fully met, simply look to your small group guide to change things up a bit. They’re generally flexible enough that a day’s itinerary can shift a bit to include that art gallery, farmers’ market or glassblowing studio you were all intrigued by. The flexibility and freedom afforded by a small group tour allows for less touristy sightseeing and more authentic world travel.

Things to Consider When Browsing Small Group Tours

A few things to think about when you are choosing a small group tour:

  • Look for the most all-inclusive small group tour you can find. That way, you can relax and enjoy your trip instead of worrying about additional fees for meals, admission prices, transfers, etc. If you are traveling solo on a small group tour, there are ways to avoid the single supplement. While it is true that some more upscale tour operators will charge a single supplement regardless, many will waive that fee if you are willing to room with another solo traveler. 
  • Look at reviews from past travelers to ensure that you’re the right audience for this tour operator. If you’re hoping for a quieter, more intimate experience with lingering meals in tucked-away wine cellars, then you don’t want a small group tour aimed at families with young children. If you’re less physically capable, make sure to choose one that has plenty of options for activities, from easy to advanced. There are countless small group tour operators out there, so with a bit of advance research, you’re sure to find one right for you, whether it’s for older couples, younger people, photographers, birders, oenophiles or trekkers. 
  • Inquire about your small group guides. When travelers reflect on their tours, particularly in Europe, it’s the operators who employ local, expert, passionate guides who are most favorably reviewed. Instead of acting as a babysitter, these knowledgeable individuals aim to take you where the larger tours don’t go, explain everything along the way in an effort to provide the most immersive experience possible and translate when necessary. 
  • Look for balanced days. No one wants to be running pell-mell from one place to the next all day, being shuffled into vans and herded along like livestock. Good small group tour companies strike a proper balance between sightseeing and physical activity and off-hours, when you may either strike out on your own if you have the desire and energy, or just sit back, have a coffee and a pastry and watch local life go by. Use the "Mixed" Travel Style filter to see the most balanced small group tours »
  • Ask about environmental impact. Ecotourism isn’t just another buzzword - it’s a real and growing trend that will make the world more accessible, for longer, for all of us. Small group tour operators often consider it their duty to thank the local community with a service project of some kind, whether you’re bringing in school supplies for local children or cleaning up the very trails upon which you will trod. 
  • Consider group size. Think about how you picture a small group tour and what you’re comfortable with. Is this five people traveling together? Upwards of twenty? Around 10-12 is typical for a guided tour on the smaller side, a perfectly manageable size for transfers, dining together and accessing sightseeing attractions during off-peak hours.

Small Group Tours in Europe

From Greece to Iceland to Ireland and the Netherlands, Europe is a top destination for small group tours. With a language barrier to overcome, a bucket list of historic attractions as long as your arm and the opportunity to experience several different cultures in one trip, Europe is not only popular but can prove overwhelming. 

There are no longer just two ways to experience Europe - either on a large tour bus with 60 of your (not) closest friends, or on your own, with hours of researching to get you there. Instead, take away the guesswork with a guided European vacation package, leaving the planning to a trusted professional. 

No one has the expert, off-the-beaten path knowledge that your Europe tour guide will have - having been born and raised or at least having lived for years in the country you’re visiting. Perhaps they have a family friend who owns a winery in Tuscany, Italy, and can arrange a private tasting and tour. Or, maybe it means a tour of rarely visited castle ruins in Scotland, followed by a falconry demonstration. 

You’ll see Europe at your pace on a small group tour - choose a guided vacation that encompasses one country or includes a whole region (Scandinavia or the Greek Isles, say).

Everyone’s Europe is different - whether you’re there for the art, the history, the cuisine, the hiking, the skiing, the Northern Lights - so why settle once you’ve made it there? Go with a small group tour operator and the Europe you’ll find can be exactly the one you’ve been seeking.

Top Small Group Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

How Many People Will I Be Traveling With?

Just how many new friends will you be making on your small group tour? That depends on the tour operator. We’ve found that there are group tours with intimate groups of 10 to 12 travelers, while some skew slightly larger with between 20 and 25 guests.

The sweet spot seems to be around 16 travelers and certainly no more than 25 if you want to maintain that small group ambience. The size of your group will depend on the popularity of the destination (hello, Europe tours!) and the time of the year in which you are traveling. 

These low numbers enable you to connect with other travelers, yet never feel like a face without a name in the group. There’s a great social vibe to that magic number of about 12 to 18 people that allows for a just-right level of camaraderie and energy.

It’s easier to delve deeper into your destination and spend more time in the places of interest to you when your tour size is manageable. Plus, smaller group sizes enable the tour operators to arrange for smaller-scale, boutique-style accommodations, meals in cozier, locally owned restaurants and off-hours visits to popular sightseeing attractions.

Are Departures Guaranteed?

Regrettably, not all small group tour departures are guaranteed. Perhaps there isn’t enough interest in a particular date. In some cases, the tour company will have to cancel that departure date.

This varies widely by tour operator, so read the fine print when researching and selecting your small group tour, even if you’re visiting a popular destination like Europe.

In some cases, the tour company won’t cancel the trip, but will instead collect a “small group fee” when the numbers drop significantly, say, to a group of just one couple. This is a helpful option, particularly in you are traveling a long distance to your destination, perhaps Australia or New Zealand, and are wary about putting down a deposit on an unguaranteed tour departure.

Benefits of a Small Group

  • A perfect blend of planned activities and independent exploration time
  • A great value, usually including admissions and fees (possibly discounted) that you would have to pay for individually if you planned your own tour
  • Just the right number of people to ensure a congenial ambience and enable you to stay in boutique hotels and dine in smaller, out-of-the-way restaurants
  • A tour operator specializing in small group tours that will take care of the itinerary, arrange your guides and plan your meals and accommodations
  • More time and independence to gain a deeper understanding of your destination with like-minded travelers
  • Passionate, local, expert guides eager to share the top experiences in their own countries
  • Spontaneous, off-the-beaten-path experiences 

Who Are Small Group Tours Good For?

If you have aspirations of traveling to the world’s top destination - from Europe to Asia to New Zealand - yet feel daunted by the planning and logistics, a small group tour is a great choice.

These thoughtfully curated escorted tours to some of the world’s most intriguing places - Europe, in particular - take the guesswork out of your planning. You’ll benefit from the knowledge and behind-the-scenes access a local guide can provide, while still maintaining a level of flexibility and independence that makes this feel like a trip you planned yourself.

When faced with a new destination, far from home, it can be overwhelming to determine how much you can fit into your schedule, which sights are not to be missed (and which ones can just as easily be skipped) and how to get from point A to points X, Y and Z. Don’t fret - just because you’re hearing the words “group tour,” doesn’t mean you’ll end up just another anonymous face on a giant tour bus.

Small group tour operators, from Egypt to Alaska to Italy, make it their mission to introduce you to real life in your chosen destination, taking you off the beaten path and with like-minded travelers with which to enjoy the journey. 

I’m Traveling Solo. Do I Need to Pay Extra?

If you have a thirst for adventure, what in the world are you waiting for? Get out there and explore on a small group tour. These days, more and more tour companies aren’t requiring a single supplement fee if you’re willing to room with another single traveler.

And, since you’ve chosen the same trip, it’s likely to be a fast friendship with your new roomie. Don’t balk at the opportunity to travel to a bucket list destination just because you might be going solo. Some of the world’s most intriguing destinations (think Iceland, Machu Picchu and Vietnam) are best explored with an esteemed guide leading the way and like-minded travelers at your side.

This way, you won’t fall into typical tourist traps or venture into an unsafe area. Your small group tour guide has your back! This being said, often the most high-end of small group tour operators still require a single supplement, so do your research in advance.

All Small Group tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Small Group trips.

6,664 trips from 309 tour companies with 56,704 reviews

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