All across the globe guided tours are pretty consistent – ghost tours, historical site tours, “this is where so and so died…” tours etc. There will be some amongst that love those kinds of experiences, but there are others amongst us who are budding explorers, desperate to see something new. If you’re one of those explorers, here is a guide to some of the most unusual tours that the world has to offer – guaranteed to give you that new experience you so desperately crave:
1. CAMINATA NOCTURNA – El Alberto, Mexico
If someone was to tell you that ‘caminata nocturna’ translates into English as ‘night walk’, you would probably think it was a typical midnight hike in scenic surroundings. If someone was to then carry on and tell you that the caminata nocturna tour is an ‘illegal immigrant experience’, it suddenly becomes more interesting. The inhabitants of the Mexican town of El Alberto have turned the scary experience of crossing the Mexico border, without being caught, into a tourist attraction. For $20 (£13 approx.) guests are dropped off by trucks into the centre of the Mexican wilderness, before making a dash towards the border. Gun-wielding border agents, played by actors, remain close behind through their 4-hour trek as balaclava-wearing tour guides command ‘immigrants’ to run or duck as required. On their journey, the ‘immigrants’ are also required to dodge barbed wire and plant life, giving a truly authentic immigrant experience.
2. TRIKE TOURS – Various locations, Scotland
Trike tours are quite literally what they say on the tin. You and a friend, relative or special someone perch yourselves onto the back of a motorcycle-trike, whilst the driver takes you on a whistle-stop tour of some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenes. The open-air tours are available all across Scotland, from city tours of Edinburgh to tours of Peebles and various Lochs. Trike tours are the closest you will get to Scotland’s incredible settings without actually walking around them. With prices starting at £70, this is the ideal tour for motorcycle enthusiasts.
3. MUSÉE DES ÉGOUTS DE PARIS – Paris, France
Paris is usually regarded the most romantic city in the world, described as a fairytale setting of classic architecture and Parisian chic; but have you ever wondered what is below its picturesque streets? Well now you can find out, by heading into underground Paris in the Musée des Égouts de Paris. Translated, the tour’s name is the Museum of the Sewers of Paris and yes, the tour is based in them. Around 500 metres of French sewage network are open to the public, and host a variety of exhibition areas that show the process of water supply, purification, and evacuation, alongside examples of machines that are used in the sewers. It is definitely a unique way to explore the city, but it is recommended that you bring a nose peg if you choose to go on it.
4. DRACULA TOUR – Bucharest, Romania
Whether you’re a believer or sceptic of the Dracula myth, this Romanian tour will bring you face to face with the variety of evidence that contributed to the story of Dracula. Starting out in Bucharest, the five-day tour passes through Curtea de Arges; the Transylvanian cities of Sibiu and Sighisoara; Bran; Brasov; and Sinaia. On the way you’ll visit various fortresses, churches and the Bran Castle (also known as Dracula Castle), allowing you to make your mind up on the myth of history’s most written about character.
5. EDIBLE WEEDS TOUR – Melbourne, Australia
Stinging nettle soup probably sounds like something a witch would cook up in a kids’ story book, but this meal is actually extremely tasty and healthy. Not only that, but the ingredients can be thrifted from the forest or the roadside. The Edible Weed Walk shows guests what ‘pests’ can be used to create tasty treats, such as a dandelion smoothie of which guests are offered a taste at the beginning of the tour. The two-hour walk runs alongside Merri Creek, Melbourne, and involves talks on all manner of garden nuisance-based recipes.