Our top picks of Historical Holiday Destinations
Bring history to life by visiting the places where it happened. Whether you are an expert in ancient history, or just a curious traveller wanting to discover more about the past, travel can unlock history in exciting ways. There are many different historical destinations to choose from, so the travel experts at Jules Verne have created this guide to our favourite historical holiday destinations - perfect for inspiration when planning your next small group tour.
Egypt is often strongly associated with its history, particularly its ancient history. When we think of Egypt, we think of the pyramids, the Sphynx, Pharaohs and even the Bible. Egyptian history has been inspiring travel for centuries, with British colonialists making their mark on the architecture and landscape in ways that can still be seen today. Travelling along the broad sweep of the Nile connects to many different moments of history: geographical, ancient, colonial, and right up until the modern, which can be seen in the city streets that gave birth to the 2011 Egyptian Spring movement.
Despite being one of the fastest growing modern economies in the world, India is built on rich and diverse historic foundations. One of the magical aspects of touring India is that journeys allow a visitor unrivalled insights into past lives: the physical manifestation of the love of a 17th century Mughal emperor, the temples of Varanasi the colonial architecture of the British Raj, the intricate Mysore Palace. For those interested in a mix of personal and political history, this is an unparalleled opportunity to see the depth of both which India provides.
For those who are interested in ancient history, Cyprus is the perfect place to start discovering this fascinating and fabled era. Whether your passion lies in literature, politics or architecture, there is a plethora of historical sites to satisfy your curiosity. Trek around Crusader abbeys, churches and castles or wander Greek ruins. Explore timeless landscapes or watch history continue at local ceramics studios. North Cyprus is a calm oasis where it is possible to both deepen your existing historical knowledge, or nurture a passing historical interest.
Cuba is a unique historical holiday destination because it feels as though you are dipping right into five centuries of history. The past and the present intermingle in the colonial style architecture, the mid-century cars, and the taste of revolution in the air. Visitors to Cuba can see history in action, particularly since Fidel Castro’s death and the recent changes in the USA’s relationship with Cuba. However, even beyond this, you can feel the past in Cuba, whether you are travelling along the revolutionary road, or visiting Hemingway’s old haunts. The visceral mix of culture, nostalgia and change makes sense given this island’s isolated yet central role in history.
China is thought to have the oldest written history on the planet. It has been a major political and cultural force since time immemorial, with a complex ancient history and an even more complicated recent one. However, the vastness of China’s history is less impressive than its tangibility. On a tour of China, you can see where the borders were drawn by the Great Wall, visit the former Imperial Palace at the Forbidden City, and stand in Tian An Men Square, where a slice of modern history was set into motion.