Simoon Travel, having operated independently since 2004, is now part of the Original Travel family. We continue to be a leading specialist in cultural and desert travel, creating bespoke holidays and group tours to some of the more unusual and little-visited countries on the planet. Original Travel's ethos retains that of Simoon Travel - to provide tours that reflect the culture and nature of the destination, whilst combining adventure and quality service. A journey with Original Travel is about experience, reflection, exploration and adventure.

For more information on Original Travel's Small Group Tours, please click here.

Mosque in Iran

Iran

Yes, seriously. Set aside your misconceptions and consider visiting one of the most fascinating countries on the planet.

Pots on a Wall

Uzbekistan

Explore captivating Uzbekistan, home to several of the fabled Silk Road cities.

Mountain Goat in the Ethiopian Highlands

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country of contrasting landscapes and an absorbing cultural heritage. The north is a treasure trove of historical capitals where religious customs from the Middle Ages continue to thrive - the Queen of Sheba's Axum, Lalibela with its 13th century rock-hewn churches, and Gondar, capital in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here too is Lake Tana, home for hundreds of years to several island monasteries and also the source of the Blue Nile, which makes its way over the nearby Tissisat Falls and all the way to the White Nile at Khartoum.

Sudan

Sudan

We are now offering trips to Egypt's southerly neighbour, where history and culture are the order of the day.

Historic church David Gareji monastery

Georgia

Georgia is like New Zealand meets the Pyrenees with a smattering of Pembrokeshire thrown in for good measure.

Haghartsin Monastery Armenia

Armenia

The miniscule, mountainous and land-locked country of Armenia punches well above its weight.

The Treasury at Petra

Jordan

For a small country, Jordan packs an impressive punch in terms of history, culture and scenery, and the proximity of its key sights makes a holiday to Jordan ideal for the time-pressed traveller.

Mosque in Istanbul at Sunrise

Turkey

Istanbul is one of the most magical cities on the planet, but Cappadocia and the beautiful Aegean coastline are both well worth exploration as well.

A horse wandering through the Gobi desert

Mongolia

At 603,908 square miles, Mongolia is one big country, and one that's mostly empty. Even more startling than the country's size is the population - or lack of it. Mongolia is home to a mere three million people, making this the sovereign state with the lowest population density in the world. The stats keep coming - 30% of the population are nomadic and 8% of Mongolian men are direct descendants of Genghis Khan, now immortalised in a 120ft tall equine statue just outside of the capital Ulaanbaatar from where the great Mongol warrior glares down on his people.

View over Cairo

Egypt

Egypt is rightly famous for its extraordinary ancient world heritage: the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza and the temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel are among the world’s great cultural attractions.

Lebanon

Lebanon

Back with a vengeance, Beirut is the ultimate party town, and there's plenty more to do besides in Lebanon from skiing to cultural sites.

Palm Trees Amidst Rocky Outcrops at Wadi Shab

Oman

A wonderful destination combining beautiful beachfront properties and dramatic mountain and desert landscapes to explore.

Tunisia

Tunisia

Underestimate Tunisia at your peril - this is perfect short haul sun territory, with the fascinating Carthage and Sahara to explore as well.

Small Group Tours Itineraries

Highlights of Persia

Highlights of Persia

Something of a must for culture vultures, Iran – or Persia, as it was once known – is an eclectic feast for the senses, and this is the time to explore a country which is very much on the rise. Soak up the compelling history as you travel from one city of rare beauty to another across the striking landscapes, meeting locals eager to share their rich heritage.

Blue Dome

Small Group Tour: Cities of the Silk Road

Join our Uzbekistan Silk Road tour to visit one of the most historically rich and culturally fascinating countries on earth.

The Treasury at Petra

Highlights of Jordan

My client said 'I want to ride with my friends through the desert of Wadi Rum a la Lawrence of Arabia' and I think I was more excited than them. I actually ended up taking them myself! We were a party of 10 and only had a week in Jordan, but it was perfect for a hefty dose of adventure. A week also fits neatly into a half term in either Spring or Autumn, when the days are warm and the nights cool and clear.

A Harmer Hut in South Ethiopia

Lakes & Forests of South Ethiopia

Southern Ethiopia is a mecca of wonderful and diverse scenery, with lush greenery and vast lakes shimmering under the bright sun. Local tribes and intriguing traditions will entice visitors into learning more about the fascinating history of this scenic region.

Night View of Cappadocia

Urban, Rural and Coastal Turkey

From the contemporary and buzzing Istanbul, to rural and remote Cappadocian caves, or the volcanic landscape of the stunning Aegean Coast, there is a little something for everyone in Turkey.

Small Group Tour: Timkat, History and Heritage in Northern Ethiopia

Small Group Tour: Timkat, History and Heritage in Northern Ethiopia

Guided by our own Amelia Stewart from Simoon Travel, partnered with a guest lecturer, discover the spectacular northern region of Ethiopia, once home to some of the greatest ancient civilisations such as Gondar, with its medieval castles and palaces, and Lalibela with its extraordinary rock hewn churches. This trip also takes in Timkat, the most joyous occasion in the Ethiopian calendar.

White Desert at Sunset

Western Desert Trek Tour

Welcome to the mysterious, magical and remote (sorry, we ran out of m's) White Desert, a sub-desert of the Western Desert. This eight day whirlwind of an itinerary allows you to explore the delights of Cairo, trek through the desert and bathe in fresh hot springs.

Highlights of Oman

Highlights of Oman

One week beginning in Oman’s capital, Muscat, soaking up the city whilst lounging in luxury at The Chedi, before decamping to the desert for a combination of isolation and adventure. Finally, stay 2,000 metres above sea-level in the Al Hajar mountains, exploring Oman’s stunning landscape on foot, clambering over canyons and rocky outcrops, or visiting hidden cultural gems.

Pyramids in the Desert

Small Group Tour: The Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs

Join our Sudan tour to feel like a ‘first footer’ in one of the most archaeologically rich countries on earth.

An Aerial View of Ethiopia's Rift Valley

Highlights of Ethiopia

Whilst both the north and south of Ethiopia are stunning in their own right, an itinerary combining both highlights the incredible diversity of this rich country, whose intriguing culture and mesmerising scenery are just waiting to be explored.

Small Group Tours

Every Small Group Tour is an opportunity to experience a place, a people or a natural phenomenon in the company of someone who can bring it even more vividly to life. Small groups, big experiences, basically.

Small Group Tours

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