Back-Roads Touring vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Our journey was enjoyable

5.0 October 2018
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My husband & I were part of a small group of 11 who completed the Garden of England tour in August. A great bunch of people and our guide Tony helped make our journey enjoyable, even making a couple of detours to accommodate guests' requests. Fresh fruit & choices were a nice surprise. Thank you Tony & Backroads.
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Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews

Excellent tour!!

5.0 October 2018
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Excellent tour!! Personal experiences from the members of the group and our tour leader. We did the WWI battlefields tour. Great hotels! Would highly recommend this company to anyone who wants small group experience! I will absolutely use them again.
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Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews

Fantastic well organised

5.0 September 2018
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
What a fantastic well organised trip we had. We look forward to another Back-Roads adventure.

Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews

Tours 6 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 386 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
    • 50+
    • Budget
    Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
    Year Established 1986 N/A
    Solo Friendly N/A N/A
    Tour Languages N/A N/A
    Top Trips
      Similar Companies
          Countries
          About Back-Roads Touring

          Back-Roads Touring, rebranded as Blue-Roads in November 2018 for the North American market, offers boutique small group tours around the world.

          What Makes Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring Stand Out?

          They stick to a very small group size, which allows them to offer truly authentic and local experiences. Their guides have extensive local knowledge and connection, and touring with them is like visiting a good friend who can’t wait to show you the best hidden gems and introduce you to their culture and history.

          Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring?

          Travelers who feel adverse to large groups, and maybe aren’t sure if group travel is for them should definitely take a look through the itineraries offered by Back-Roads. Groups are kept very small - with a max of 18.

          The age range often skews a bit older - catering to active and adventurous 50+ travelers eager for a relaxing yet invigorating trip. However travelers anywhere from the mid 30s and above will enjoy traveling with them. Especially if you’re the type of traveler for whom the more party-focused companies that serve the 18-30 range are not appealing.

          Top Destinations

          Back-Roads offers itineraries around the world, though they are especially well known for UK and Europe travel. You can find trips throughout the UK and Ireland, Europe - including the Nordic and Baltic countries. They also provide some Asia tours, primarily in the southeast (Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia).

          Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring Travel Style

          Groups are small, and the activities range from easy walks or hikes to visits to cultural and historical sites. They offer a few broad themes, such as battlefield tours, culinary tours, sailing tours, history tours, and nature tours.

          Accommodations with Back-Roads are generally in local and traditional hotels or guest houses. These usually have stairs, and are sometimes old buildings - you may encounter funky showers and not have the luxury of an elevator. They advise that you should be able to carry your luggage up and down flights of stairs.

          Why Choose Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring?

          The small group tour experience is at its best with companies like Back-Roads. They provide top notch customer service and guides, dedicated to showing you the best of what a country has to offer. For travelers who want a chance to experience a new place through local eyes, as well as learn the history and enjoy good food and company - within a wide age range - Back-Roads is a great choice.

          About Signature Collection by Gate 1

          A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

          What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

          These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

          They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

          The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

          Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

          Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

          Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

          While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

          Top Destinations

          They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

          Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

          Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

          Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

          Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

          If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

          All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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