Travelers’ Top Picks: 6 Top Land Tours to Embark on This Year

These trips speak for themselves.

Whether it’s a rural town or bustling metro area, sometimes traveling to a new place is easier—and better—with a guide. And when you’ve got AAA travel partner Tauck leading the way, the experience is not only seamlessly orchestrated but also includes exclusive access, insider tips, premium hotels, local cuisines and more.

But where to go and what to see? Take the lead from Tauck travelers themselves. Here are their six favorite land tours to embark on this year:

1. Japan

From sunrise to sunset, this 13-day tour immerses travelers in the inspirational, innovative and intriguing culture and history of the island of Japan.

What you’ll experience:

  • The history, live music, food markets and museums of Tokyo.
  • A cruise on Lake Ashi beneath Mount Fuji.
  • Relaxation at a spa resort in Hakone with world-class tastings and tours.
  • The Japanese Alps, hot springs and castles in Matsumoto, and the history of the kimono.
  • Stunning sights, ancient culture and local customs of Kyoto with a visit to Hiroshima.

Best time to embark: March–June, August–November

2. Australia and New Zealand

This 20-day comprehensive trip gives a whole new meaning to “down under,” as you’ll explore it all—the desert, rainforest, coral reefs, glacier-capped mountains and more—during an in-depth excursion through Australia and New Zealand.

What you’ll experience:

  • Melbourne’s charm, coffee, gardens and distinct laneways filled with shops and art.
  • Swimming, snorkeling and cruising to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Crocodiles and wildlife in Sydney—plus a foodie tour, private cruise and opera. 
  • A Tauck-exclusive dinner, and a tour of a private collection of World War I and II planes.
  • Fiordland National Park, followed by a cruise along the Milford Sound.
  • High-speed jet boat and helicopter adventures in Queenstown.

Best time to embark: January–May, August–December

3. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

Only this eight-day trip to the American West can do such spectacular views justice. From national treasures at Yellowstone to the peaks of the Tetons, this excursion is legendary and wondrous.

What you’ll experience:

  • Rafting along the Snake River with wildlife and mountainous views.
  • The preserved Mormon Row Historic District, and an afternoon in Jackson.
  • The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, plus geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and rivers.
  • The immersive Buffalo Bill Center of the West in the western Wyoming town of Cody.
  • Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Best time to embark: May–September

4. California’s Coast

Get lost along the coast of the Golden State on this 12-day adventure as you explore one-of-a-kind architecture, lush farmlands, renowned getaways and more.

What you’ll experience:

  • Downtown Los Angeles’ historic car museum, diverse cuisines and must-see landmarks.
  • The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Simi Valley and guided museum tours in Beverly Hills.
  • The Hearst Castle and rocky beaches along Pacific Coast Highway 1.
  • Cliffs, waterfalls, rivers and meadows at Yosemite National Park.
  • A catamaran cruise in San Francisco, paired with a Tauck-exclusive winemaker reception and wine-paired dinner at Chateau Montelena.

Best time to embark: April–June, September–October

5. Italy

Spend 14 days exploring one of Tauck’s most popular land tours with rich architecture, ageless masterpieces, sunny villages, centuries-old cities, delizioso wines and cuisine … the list really goes on.

What you’ll experience:

  • A drive along the Amalfi Coast, exploring piazzas, medieval dwellings and old streets.
  • Ancient and excavated ruins in the city of Pompeii.
  • A Tauck-exclusive after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
  • Three nights in Florence, discovering the art of Michelangelo, Botticelli and more.
  • A quintessential Venetian experience aboard a high-speed train ride.

Best time to embark: April–October

6. Spain and Portugal

14 days on the Iberian Peninsula? After this excursion, you may never want to leave. From the capital of Madrid to the coastal city of Sintra, you’ll have the chance to go deep into the cultural and scenic contrasts of these two neighboring countries that are even more breathtaking than you’d imagine.

What you’ll experience:

  • A visit to the 14th-century Royal Palace of Sintra.
  • Évora’s Roman ruins, Moorish arcades, and a score of churches and monasteries.
  • A gothic cathedral, a carriage ride and Barrio de Santa Cruz in Seville.
  • The Museo del Prado in Madrid, plus leisured and guided sightseeing.
  • Monuments galore in Toledo, including the Synagogue Santa Maria La Blanca.

Best time to embark: April–October

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