Reviews from our travellers
Many of our travellers have had the journey of a lifetime with CultureRoad. On this page we list a variety of reviews.
Have you become enthusiastic after reading these reviews and would you like to book a trip with us? Feel free to request more information.
What our travellers think
Ryan Burnett, United States
Iraq – individual tour, August 2022
The tour was absolutely fantastic! I enjoyed visiting all of the different sights very much. The guide was incredible! He really made this tour unique and special. He went out of his way to make sure that I could get the most out of every day. He was very generous, helpful, and funny. He always made sure we had fresh, cold water (especially on these very hot days); he found amazing places for each of the meals and made sure to let me try a variety of Iraqi food. The sights were great, but it was having him as the guide that made the tour truly special.
I have done a decent amount of guided tours over the years and he may be the very best guide I have ever had. His passion for the job is commendable.
Thanks for all of your pre-departure support as well! I really appreciate everything.
Steve White, United States
Syria – individual tour, April 2022
It was truly a great trip to an interesting country that has been through lots of hardship in recent years but the people were so friendly and welcoming. As far as safety goes I felt completely safe there – even walking around the old souq at night. I don’t think personal safety is an issue there at all. Great job, thanks so much.
Henk Hamminga, Netherlands
Saudi Arabia – individual tour, January 2022
One of the few ‘yellow’ countries outside Europe is Saudi Arabia. It is actually an undiscovered tourist destination and I love it. I researched travel agencies that organise trips to this country and soon I came across CultureRoad.
I was able to adjust the 13-day tour on their website to see just a little bit more of Saudi Arabia and these wishes were included in a new itinerary. After that, we made some adjustments in the choice of hotels, which was no problem at all, and in the end we had a ‘completely according to my wishes’ itinerary.
Then the country itself. I visited five regions and in each region I had a different guide/driver. The advantage is that they know their own backyard very well and can also show you something extra, something that is not directly described in the day programme. Saudi Arabia is a very versatile, but also a surprising country. People back home expected stories about only desert sand, but nothing is less true. In the east there is the largest oasis in the world, in the north there are historical places where pilgrims used to rest and refuel on their way to Mecca. Plus Saudi Arabia’s own Petra, Hegra, also in the north, a mountain range that runs from south to north in the west. So it was all very diverse.
And then the people. Super friendly, everyone welcomes you to the country and regularly you are offered coffee or tea in the strangest places. I never felt unsafe. What was also special was the train journey from Jeddah to Medina. This holy city has only recently been open to tourists and I was the only foreigner there. It was very special to be able to see the holy mosque. As a tourist, you are not allowed to go inside, but it is still very special.
CultureRoad and the local agent worked out the entire trip and it turned out to be a well-balanced one. I was able to visit many of the country’s highlights, the choice of hotels turned out to be excellent and the local agent kept in touch and asked regularly if everything was still according to plan. He also planned the necessary PCR test for the return trip for me.
If you are looking for a destination that is not overrun by tourists, Saudi Arabia is certainly a nice destination. Rik Brinks from CultureRoad can support you very well to come to a tailor made travel plan.
Luka Tavčar, Slovenia
Iraq – Kurdistan Autumn Tour, October 2021
Thank you and guys for this amazig Iraqi Kurdistan adventure.
Steve Homrich, United States
Iraq – Grand Iraq Autumn tour, October 2021
Great tour with wonderful memories. Loved it when the head of security at the mosque said “we’ve been watching you on camera and trying to figure out who you are!” That’s when you know you’re off the beaten path of many westerners. It was fantastic to be welcomed in and even served tea!
Michael Holder, Australia
Angola – Carnaval in Angola tour, February/March 2020
CultureRoad’s offering is to take travellers to some of the more logistically challenging and untouristed parts of the world. Rik, the founder of CultureRoad, led my exceptional and varied trip to Angola. The trip was well researched to provide a lot of highlights of the country in a reasonably short space of time; the trip was busy but without seeming rushed. The standard of accommodation was good, sometimes staying in the best hotel in the area. The food was a good mix of trying authentic local food and restaurants as well as the occasional relaxing and comforting meal and drinks in an upscale restaurant. Travelling with a small group of intrepid, likeminded people is a great way to learn not just about another culture but about ourselves. I am looking forward to travelling with Rik and Culture Road again soon.
Alinda Paul, Netherlands
Pakistan – individual tour, November 2019
We were visiting Pakistan and asked CultureRoad to organise a 4-day trip to the north of Pakistan. That was a very good experience. What made it so great?
- the pleasant contact during the preparation
- a very fine, reliable and professional guide
- a good car with a very experienced driver
- good accommodation
- great program
- Due to a landslide, part of our group was unable to return because the road was blocked. Caspar of CultureRoad picked up the contact and helped us well.
I experienced the preparation and the journey itself as very positive. It was a bit exciting when the road was blocked by heavy landslides and the others could not reach me at the hotel. But these were unforeseen circumstances and it all worked out well.
For people like me who are afraid of heights it was sometimes as exciting as the driver just drove along the edge…. but he knows very well what he is doing and drives these stretches every day. That felt familiar.
Occasionally the guide still sends us Whatsapp messages and sends beautiful photos and videos. As I mentioned before: a very great guide!
Madison Tuff, Canada
Saudi Arabia, North Korea – group tours, September 2018, October 2019
Rik is an extremely adaptable and hard working guide. I planned to travel with him to Socotra Yemen in 2019 but due to government restrictions, we were forced to cancel on the day of our flight. Amazingly, Rik was able to plan an entirely new trip to Saudi Arabia last minute and our vacation was saved. Would highly recommend CultureRoad for anyone looking for a memorable trip.
Laetitia de Pelichy, France
Saudi Arabia – group tour, October 2019
I travelled with Rik to Saudi Arabia in October 2019 after we were unable to pursue our trip to Socotra, Yemen. Rik was quick-thinking and resourceful in organizing our new trip and I did not hesitate to join him on this exciting new adventure. Rik organised everything at very short notice – the flights, hotels, airport pickups and all activities. The trip was flawless and I felt safe and in good hands at all times. We had many fun adventures and I very much look forward to traveling with Rik again!
Mike Novak, United States
Saudi Arabia, Iraq – group tours, April 2018, October 2019
CultureRoad takes you to places you cannot visit easily on your own. If you’re interested in places least visited, countries that you have never heard of, or countries were access is limited, CultureRoad is the tour company for you. I’ve traveled with CultureRoad twice with Rik as the tour guide, once to Iraq and the second time to Saudi Arabia. CultureRoad provides quality tours combined with genuine adventures that feel extremely authentic and are engaging. Rik is the guide you want navigating war-torn countries like Iraq where the tourism infrastructure is still a bit tenuous. The highlights of the trip were visiting the city of Babylon, remains of Saddam Hussein’s palace, ruins of Ctesiphon – the last Persian capital, the Great Mosque of Samarra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tree of the Knowledge – where Eve offered the forbidden fruit to Adam, Iman Ali Mosque in Najaf, local tea shops, and returning to Baghdad from Basra on an overnight train. The tour of Saudi Arabia was equally exciting and engaging, albeit was a spur of the moment trip. The group was originally intended to visit Socotra Island, Yemen, but due unforeseen restriction we were unable to board the weekly flight to the Island to Socotra. In the morning, we applied for Saudi Arabia VISA under Rik’s guidance and head to Riyadh that afternoon. Nevertheless, Rik coordinated with local guides and organized an excellent tour of the country. The highlights were a city tour of Riyadh including the Ritz Carlton, Kingdom Tower, and Global Tower, a visit to the Edge of the World, Rijal Almaa “The Gingerbread Village”, day tripping to the Farasan Islands, city tour of Jehad and scuba diving in the Red Sea. I originally thought Saudi Arabia would be a backwards country because it’s lengthy tourism restrictions, but quite the opposite was true. It’s a very wealthy and modern country. You will leave your trip knowing you got the absolute most out of the places you visited and will feel like a friend instead of just a number to a tour company. Rik is always engaged and diligent which keeps the trip on track.
Marc & Tim, Netherlands
Turkmenistan – individual tour, October 2019
We went to Turkmenistan with CultureRoad. A perfectly tailor-made trip. Communication went very well and we always got a quick response. Rik made it an unforgettable journey. He provided a clear travel overview and extra information about the country and what to expect. When we arrived, we were received perfectly on time. Guide and driver were friendly, spoke good English, flexible, were still open to any changes in the itinerary and above all lots of laughs! All this for a competitive price. I can therefore recommend booking a trip via CultureRoad to anyone!
North Korea – Founding of the Party tour, October 2019
It was a super trip and I would very much recommend it!
Tom Lelie, Netherlands
Chernobyl – individual tour, October 2019
The trip was great, something I have never seen and perhaps never will see again. Everything was well arranged and we had a great weekend with local guide Sergey. Thank you very much for this unforgettable trip and the good contact!
Wilco & Gitty, Netherlands
Tajikistan – individual tour, June 2019
We had a fantastic trip to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan! An experience we will never forget. The Pamir Highway is really beautiful, with nature you won’t ever get tired of! Thanks to CultureRoad we were able to arrange this great trip last minute. Even though it was a very short day (wanted to leave within 2 weeks), they arranged everything perfectly on time. The short lines and the proactive capacity of Cultureroad appeal to us very much. So if you want to travel to a special destination we would advise for a 100% CultureRoad. One thing is for sure: it will be a travel experience that will always stay with you in a positive way!
Angèle van Trommelen, Netherlands
Somaliland – Independence Day tour, May 2019
What a special trip to Somaliland! International group, experienced guidance by very incisive types. You have to be flexible and adaptable to participate in such a trip, and fortunately all travel companions were like that.
We took part in the Independence Day celebrations, where we suddenly paraded past the President and his entourage. We were followed by acrobats, a lion, the Construction Workers’ Union, the Ministry of Midwives, and every Somali uniformed authority.
Somalis are not easy to read, many were friendly but sometimes we were pelted with pieces of meat (on the meat market), stones or water. A meeting with local intellectuals was interesting, just like the rock paintings that are between 3000 and 9000 years old. I am glad that I made this trip, and glad that CultureRoad has facilitated this for me.
Pakistan – individual tours, December 2018
Great, unique experience, this trip to Pakistan, made possible thanks to CultureRoad. Islamabad is a very sprawling, green city, with many sights. In addition, there are numerous parks and museums. On the local markets and in modern shopping malls everything is available. I enjoyed the typical dishes, shinwari was my favourite.
In the middle of the winter the temperature was very pleasant; in the evening it got a bit chilly. Lahore, cultural capital, is also worth a visit. Now I have seen the famous, beautifully decorated trucks with my own eyes. The travel organisation, professionally accompanied by a local guide, went very well and completely according to my wishes. It is a country in full development, with modern highways and a lot of activity. There are not many tourists, but there is a lot to discover. Nature is also beautiful.
Nicole Armfield, Australia
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan – group tours, August 2018, September 2019
I’ve had the pleasure of travelling with Rik on multiple occasions over a few years now (pre covid!) and have always had amazing experiences. Rik is friendly, organised and knowledgeable and best of all chill which is necessary given the types of places we have travelled too. We have had multiple adventures together in Central Asia and most recently the Karakoram highway in Pakistan which was the most stunningly place I have seen. Small group sizes and local guides make these trips truly unique experiences and I can’t wait to plan my next trip!
Afghanistan – group tour, June 2018
In June I went to Afghanistan with CultureRoad. Afghanistan is a country that has an enormous amount to offer. Unfortunately, you usually hear the negative aspects of the country in the media. At no time did I feel unsafe and the group of fellow travellers was fantastic.
It was the first time I booked a trip with a tour operator, but I do not regret it for a minute. Rik helped me very well with the preparation. Even when I had a comment afterwards, everything was handled professionally.
The itinerary had been modified due to local circumstances and therefore I did not see Bamiyan. Because of this we flew to Herat. Personally, this was not an ideal replacement for me, as I had seen similar sights in Iran before. Still, I think it was great that the guide arranged an alternative destination so quickly. There are many highlights in Afghanistan: but my personal highlight was the circus school in Kabul! In short, Afghanistan has been a wonderful experience. In the future, I definitely want to travel with CultureRoad again!
Reinout Prakke, Netherlands
Afghanistan – individual tour, March 2018
From Saturday 17 to Monday 19 March 2018 we took a trip to Afghanistan. We visited Kabul and the Panjshir Valley. Despite the fact that the situation in Afghanistan is far from stable at the moment, we have never really felt uncomfortable/insecure. This certainly had to do with our very good guide Gul and his regular driver. The preparation of our trip and the assessment and handling of the security issued by CultureRoad was good, efficient and professional. We would like to advise everyone who wants to visit Afghanistan or one of the other (challenging) destinations of CultureRoad to make use of the expertise and service of Rik and his team!
I was still a rookie when it comes to travelling and then travelling alone to a crazy country is quite exciting. The clarity and helpfulness of CultureRoad has taken most of this away. At the same time, the travel organisation with which they work is of great class. I’ve just returned but I’m already looking for my next trip.
Bruno van Moerkerken, Netherlands
Turkmenistan – Individual tour, October 2017
I travelled through Turkmenistan with a group of friends. CultureRoad knitted together the parts of the programme I wanted to see into a fantastic journey. Turkmenistan is an oasis of peace in Central Asia and there is a lot to see. The great thing is that there is hardly any tourism, so you are “alone” everywhere with your own group. The public space is so clean that you could eat from the ground.
Beverage is easily available and religion is dealt with in a relaxed way. And oh yes, large buildings are all lined with white marble. The country has enormous oil and gas reserves that make all this possible. Centrally located in the country is also the Gates of Hell, a crater where gas flows out that was lit for convenience a few decades ago. And we in the Netherlands are nagging about the pilot light that has to go out. I can advise anyone who thinks they have seen it all to go to Turkmenistan, because it is all completely different from anywhere else. It starts at the huge airport.
Freek-Jan Boomsma, Netherlands
North Korea – Founding of the Party tour, October 2017
It was an unforgettable journey. Despite the fact that it is an insane country, we still have North Korea in our hearts. It is time to move on again, tomorrow we will leave Beijing for Vietnam.
Michiel van Drunen, Netherlands
North Korea – Founding of the Party tour, October 2017
It really was a very impressive journey! Beyond expectations.
Thank you very much for your fantastic organisation! Definitely worth repeating. Next time a new destination!
Anna Klapwijk, Netherlands
North Korea – Founding of the Party tour, October 2017
The trip to Korea was really insanely interesting! The perspective that most have is, logically, formed by the media. And while that is an important source of information, being somewhere yourself gives you very different ideas and impressions. Certainly with a controversial country like (North) Korea it is very valuable to experience this up close.
With 3 local guides, there is plenty of room to ask questions about their lives and perspectives. You come back with a much more nuanced picture. It is a very fascinating culture and beautiful country. In terms of organization it was super arranged, from hotels, transportation to an impressive and full program (+ delicious food, not entirely unimportant!). A very valuable holiday!
Martin Smolder, Netherlands
North Korea – National Day & Northeast Tour, September 2017
Just back from North Korea via CultureRoad. Met a lot of sweet, open people. Great guidance and amazing group. Also, with the local guides we had some informal hours of fun in the evening after the fascinating program. We enjoyed a beautiful ballet, music and singing performances from schools but also unexpected performances by waitresses in beautiful local costumes.
Also fascinating were the various museums, the capital Pyongyang with its quirky architecture and the amazing nature in the North of the country. We also stood in front of a class at a primary school to talk with Korean children in English about life there and in the Netherlands.
Of course, on Sunday afternoon in Moran Hill (park) we participated in the fun dance afternoon for the locals. Here inhabitants of Pyongyang dance together. We have travelled a lot and would not have wanted to miss this fascinating and wonderful experience.
Jos Kolenbrander, Netherlands
Afghanistan – group tour, May 2017
Had a great trip to Afghanistan with CultureRoad! Top work! Be sure to book with them even more often ? ? In a word: great!
Ed Wagemakers, Netherlands
North Korea – Labour Day tour, May 2017
CultureRoad has brought us into contact with society in the People’s Republic of Korea in a pleasant but, above all, loose way. The clock was turned back 40 years. There is a lot of catching up to do there. We wish them all the best.
North Korea – New Year’s Eve tour, January 2017
It was a unique experience and I will certainly not forget it. It was 5 full days which I enjoyed very much. I liked to see what daily life of North Koreans looks like. Especially in Pyongyang it’s actually quite normal, however outside the city you can see that it is not the most prosperous country because of the many cyclists and walkers.
The guides, both Western and North Korean, were really great and really make sure you have a good time. You can ask the local guides anything and they are also very open towards you. Highlight was New Year’s Eve on Kim Il Sung Square, watching the fireworks between the locals and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I have no idea how this New Year’s Eve can be surpassed!
An additional advantage of a country without internet and telephone connections: no one is distracted by a telephone, so you really have a brilliant time with your guides and fellow travellers.
Lei Zhao, United States
Venezuela – group tour, April 2016
Rik and CultureRoad organize fun and well planned excursions. I have fond memories of us in a converted colonial era hacienda in Ciudad Bolivar, with having a cold Polar beer at the bar that must have predated both of us by decades. Or watching the sunset along the banks of the ponderous Orinoco River. Then we pushed literally 6 hours upstream the whole way through the remote jungle of southern Venezuela, punctuated by enormous tepuis, slept under the stars and bathed in the waters below Angel Falls. These are truly unforgettable memories. I put my trust in Rik fully, and you should too, so you can forge some indelible adventures of your own.