Fate placed Georgia and Armenia at the point where the European and Middle Eastern continental plates collide, with a resulting mix in fortunes. Geography has brought the natural beauty of the Caucasus – majestic mountain ranges, snowy peaks, alpine lakes and forests. History, however, has seen the region suffer at the hands of conquering armies passing through – Roman, Persian, Arab, Ottoman Turk and Russian. These factors define the peoples of the Caucasus. They are nations of artists, merchants, poets and stonemasons, fiercely proud of their languages, cultures and homelands. Azerbaijan is more exotic by the standards of its more European neighbours. This ancient land of Zoroastrianism displays a history and scenery that are equally dramatic – from Albanian churches and Baku’s old walled city to the extraordinary beauty of the High Caucasus Mountains. Somerset Tours & Travel now invite you to join them on a tour to this very unique part of the world.
We don’t hear a lot about travel to the three countries that make up the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania but that may be about to change. Located on the east coast of the Baltic Sea, these former Russian provinces and republics of the former USSR, found their independence a mere 22 years ago. Despite their shared past and geographic grouping, the Baltic States each have a very different character, language and currency. They are sparsely populated countries featuring well-preserved cities, a young population and the main cities offer great cultural opportunities with all the modern amenities. Although they are situated close to Scandinavia and share a similar landscape to Sweden and Finland, they boast a lifestyle that is more reminiscent of Italy or Spain. discovery through this fascinating country.Rich in culture and history, these venerable countries are waiting to be discovered. We now invite you to join us on a fully escorted 18-day tour to explore northern Europe’s hidden secrets.
Punakha, at 1350m, was nothing more than a dzong as recently as 35 years ago. Then a central school was constructed and the village expanded in the mid-1980’s. The small size of the place is surprising considering the primordial role that Punakha has played in the history of Bhutan and the fact that it was the country’s winter capital for 300 years.
Few people in the modern world are not affected in some way by the ideas, culture and economy of Japan, yet this country remains for many an enigma, an unsolved riddle. Closed to the West until 1853 and separated from continental Asia by both oceans and ideologies, this island nation stands uniquely apart from the rest of the world. From the samurai ethos to industrial efficiency, demure geisha to collective responsibility, Japan’s mystique has fascinated the world for centuries. It is to this enchanting culture, that Somerset Tours & Travel invite you to join them on a fully escorted tour in November/December 2013
Travel in Romania is as rewarding as it is challenging. The country’s fantastic mountain scenery and great diversity of wildlife, its cultures and people, and a way of life that at times seems little changed since the Middle Ages, leave few who visit unaffected. Romania has a rich history of Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgars, Saxons, Gypsies, Turks and Tartars and offers an extraordinary kaleidoscope of cultures and sights, including majestic castles, medieval towns, beautiful rural areas, breathtaking scenery and amazing wildlife
Fully Escorted 16 Day Tour
Authentic, friendly and diverse is how most travelers to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, describe one of the least known countries in Asia. The fact that the country has been inaccessible for so long has meant that Myanmar has been relatively untainted by the excesses of modern life and retains an aura of a bygone age. Sleepy and backward as Myanmar may seem, it possesses the most impressive spiritual heritage and archaeological sites in the world. It is to this most fascinating country in South East Asia that Somerset Tours & Travel extend their invitation to you to join them on a fully escorted tour in February 2013.
Winston Churchill famously described Russia as a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” and this remains an apt description of a place most outsiders know very little about. A composite of the extravagant glories of old Russia and the drab legacies of the Soviet era, Russia is a country that befuddles and beguiles but never bores. It is to this extremely fascinating country that Somerset Tours & Travel invite you to join them on an expedition to explore the historical, cultural and architectural wonders of Russia by participating in a cruise that journeys the imperial waterways from Moscow to St Petersburg.
Cloaked in a thousand shades of green, Costa Rica boasts dozens of national parks and wildlife reserves spanning a spectrum of diverse terrains and eco-systems which are home to an astonishing five percent of the world’s identified living species. The sheer ruggedness of the coasts and the mountainous interior is part of the appeal. Active volcanoes stud the mountain spine while mountaintop cloud forests are worlds apart from the tropical dry forest of the Pacific, the mangroves of the lowland rainforests and the watery world of Tortuguero cut through by natural canals tailor-made for wildlife viewing. Somerset Tours & Travel has put together a 17 day tour to Costa Rica in February 2012 and invites you to join them to experience the thrill that is Costa Rica.
Few people in the modern world are not affected in some way by the ideas, culture and economy of Japan, yet this country remains for many an enigma, an unsolved riddle. Closed to the West until 1853 and separated from continental Asia by both oceans and ideologies, this island nation stands uniquely apart from the rest of the world. From the samurai ethos to industrial efficiency, demure geisha to collective responsibility, Japan’s mystique has fascinated the world for centuries. It is to this enchanting culture, that Somerset Tours & Travel invite you to join them on a fully escorted tour in November/December 2011.
Tuscany is a feast for the senses. Sublime art and breathtaking architecture vie for your attention amid vistas of incomparably romantic landscapes. The vineyards that clamber among timeless hilltop towns provide rich red wines; the bountiful earth offers up food long enjoyed by both kings and peasants. The region also boasts two of Italy’s city highlights – Renaissance Florence and Gothic, brick-built Siena – and an array of handsome villages and ochre towns of fortresses and frescoes.