Travelling on an educational student tour is already a life-changing opportunity—but what if you could enhance that experience even more?
Every city has so much to offer, and by adding these activities to your tour, you’ll get to see as much of these destinations as possible. We asked Mary E., a member of our customized tours team, to share her favourite optional excursions with us. With so many to choose from, it wasn’t an easy task! Here are her top picks:
The Flamenco Evening excursion will differ slightly depending on where you are in Spain, but rest assured it will involve you seeing an unforgettable performance. Born of Indian, Moorish, Arabian and gypsy influences, the Flamenco dance is performed using intricate rhythms created by the performers’ steps, castanets and clapping. Depending on where you’re going that evening, you may even have a chance to try all the dance moves out yourself after learning about its history and significance. Then, get ready to enjoy the fiery flamenco dance as you watch the intense, rhythmic moves of experts in a demonstration you won’t soon forget. Learn more about student tours to Spain.
2) Opa! Cook authentic Greek food
Greek food is so delicious that it’s not enough to simply want to eat it on tour—you’ll want to learn how to make it yourself too! By adding a cooking class to your student tour of Greece, you’ll get hands-on experience with local cuisine as you are trained in the art by a local chef. You and your group will learn to make traditional recipes such as tzatziki sauce (made with yogurt, cucumbers and herbs) and souvlaki (grilled meat or vegetables traditionally served on a skewer or in pita). After tasting your own creations, you’ll want to bring these recipes home to share with everyone you know. Learn more about student tours to Greece.
Adding an excursion to Morocco (usually from a Spain tour) will make your life-changing educational tour even more amazing. You’ll start this full-day outing by ferrying across the Strait of Gibraltar (snap a selfie in front of the famous Rock of Gibraltar on the ferry) before entering a world of mosques, camels, winding alleys and bustling markets. Your group will travel to Tétouan and see the Andalusian and Islamic-influenced architecture, and a local guide will lead you through the Medina and Hassan II Square. You can try out your bargaining skills at a carpet bazaar and check out a traditional Berber pharmacy before enjoying a delicious Moroccan lunch.
Having personally visited a cheese and clog farm just outside of Amsterdam, I can say from experience that this half-day optional excursion around the Dutch countryside is a must-do. As part of the journey, you’ll visit the scenic fishing village of Volendam, as well as the living and working neighbourhood of Zaanse Schans—one that’s been re-created to resemble an old Dutch village. Imagine yourself walking along the winding cobblestone village streets, taking in all the charming little shops, the leaning houses, and the iconic Dutch village windmill. My favourite part was the cheese and clog-making demonstration! Learn more about student tours to the Netherlands.
5) The road less travelled (but no less beautiful): Siena, Italy
For something a little different than the standard excursion to the city of Pisa, try visiting Siena, a longtime rival of nearby Florence. Here, you’ll see some of Italy’s finest art and architecture. The city’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and buildings such as the picturesque Duomo and the Piccolomini Library are guaranteed to awe. You’ll also walk along the medieval streets to St. Dominique’s Church and the Piazza del Campo. If you visit in July or August, you might catch Palio, a horse race held only twice a year where the jockeys ride horses bareback as they circle the Piazza three times. Learn more about student tours to Italy.