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5 Unforgettable Experiences from Collette Small Group Tours

by Liz Deslauriers

January 10, 2024

5 minute read

There are times when planning a trip on your own makes sense (such as when Travelling with a one-year-old). And then there’s the ideal way to go – with an expertly guided tour.

I once booked my family on a direct flight to Ireland, rented a car, plotted stops between Galway and Killarney, and made the most of seeing a bit of the country. Visiting the Cliffs of Moher and exploring castles and cathedral ruins on our own schedule (or rather, on toddler terms) seemed like the only option. But by going that route, there was simply a lot of Ireland we missed. Whilst I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything, I knew I’d have to go again someday. I remember looking out across Galway Bay and wondering what it would be like to venture out to those islands in the distance. Next time, I told myself, I’d go farther.

That longing to experience more of a place is where Collette’s small group Explorations tours can come in. In fact, Collette has a small group tour in Ireland that reaches those very islands beyond Galway (we’ll get to that). As a travel writer who has become quite familiar with what “going guided” can offer, I’m in awe of the way Collette tours give travellers everything they’d expect in a destination – and more. And it’s the Explorations tours that might just kick one’s wanderlust into overdrive.

Collette small group tours are made up of 14 to 24 travellers (compared to Classic tour groups, which average 37 travellers with a max of 44), and it’s this smaller group size that allows for one-of-a-kind experiences alongside the essential stops. If you’re ready to get closer to the culture on your next trip, you might be ready to explore deeper with a small group Explorations tour.

What is it about small group Explorations tours that makes them so special? For one thing, the tours are designed specifically for the group size, taking full advantage of the opportunities that come up when you travel with a smaller group – including stays in unique hotels and visiting locals’ homes. And between the must-sees, each day on tour weaves in local connections with unique experiences you can’t find in a guidebook. So, ready to go small on your next big adventure? Consider these five unforgettable experiences from small group tours.

Aran Islands

1. Settle in on the Aran Islands

Ferry to the mythic Aran Islands for an overnight stay. You’ll get a rare glimpse and unforgettable feel for life out here, learning about the livelihoods of Inishmore’s 800-some inhabitants. As evening sets in, after the daytime tourists are all gone, get cosy in your chalet and take in the calm of the island beside a rugged coast. And after another engaging day here, take in unrivalled views of the Cliffs of Moher whilst ferrying back to mainland Ireland’s shores.

Experience it on: Countryside of the Emerald Isle

Home in Bosnia

2. Feel at Home in Bosnia

In Bosnia, meet residents in their Sarajevo home and stay awhile as you share a meal together. You’ll experience new flavours as a local musician performs deep melodies of Sevdah music for you and your fellow travellers.

Experience it on: A Taste of the Balkans


3. Lavaux with Locals

Experience a corner of Switzerland seldom frequented by tourists – the UNESCO World Heritage region of Lavaux. After lunching at a family-run restaurant, meet up with your new local friends, Jacques and Aurélia, for a wine tasting nestled among the vineyards of Lavaux.

Experience it on: Switzerland: Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks


4. Make Connections in Morocco

Get a true taste of Moroccan hospitality during an interactive cooking class at the Amal Centre, a women’s cooperative dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through restaurant training. Preparing and sharing this meal together is a chance to have deep and meaningful conversations with these inspiring women. It’s an experience that connects travellers with real people in the community and gives back to support a cause – what’s known as an Impact Moment on Collette tours, a part of every Explorations journey.

Experience it on: Colours of Morocco


5. A Retreat in the Rainforest

In the remote corner of northeast Costa Rica, travel by boat into Tortuguero National Park, where you’ll explore the canals for wildlife by day and stay in your comfortable jungle cabin at night, immersed in nature, the sounds of the rainforest all around you.

Experience it on: Costa Rica: A World of Nature

Experiences like these are what small group touring is all about. Go beyond the beaten path. Get to know new people and truly taste the local flavours when you slow down for a meaningful meal. Stay in accommodation that connect you to history, culture, or natural surroundings. It’s these opportunities to travel farther and deeper all over the world that unlock a sense of wonder and broaden perspectives.

Ready to think small? Learn more about Collette's small group tours.

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