"Political Tours genuinely gives the most stimulating groups of any of the companies I travel with."
AR Iowa, Jan 2020
"My best tour so far! Loved the mix of access to big rallies and rural Iowa. Really loved it!!"
CS Iowa, Jan 2020
"The most interesting tour I have ever taken. I only wish that it had lasted longer. I have even thought of retaking the tour. Seriously"
SS Lebanon 2019
"As a rule, I don’t do group tours. But I make an exception for PT given the value I’ve experienced every time – the Baltics was my 6th Political Tour."
"You could not get the access and insight if you travelled on your own 'DIY' political tour. The tour exceeded my expectations."
PG Iowa 2020
Who We Are
Political Tours is the world’s only independent travel company dedicated to news and current affairs. Our trips are led by correspondents and give you access to people and places throughout the world. They make amazing and thought-provoking journeys. The company was founded in 2011 by former New York Times and BBC reporter Nicholas Wood.
Political Tours provides a unique platform for people to view and understand politics.
All bookings with Political Tours Ltd are insured under the UK Package Tour Regulations by IPP Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.
Tours for 2023
Our Group and Private tours are back up and running. At the end of March we return to Lebanon, a compelling tour that takes you through recent history from the civil war to the present day. Closer to home in May, in London we look at Brexit Britain and the Monarchy (Tues 2 May – Sun 7 May). This tour looks at the UK’s unwritten constitution, the effects of Brexit, the impact of Johnson & Truss, international relations, and the near future. Events in Ukraine have prompted us to look at the Balkans and EU membership and their response to Russia’s actions in June. Later in October we return to Israel and Palestine, a tour that leaves no stone unturned on both sides of the wall. Lastly our epic tour of South Africa takes place in late November – a perennial favourite for PT travellers.
Private tours are also available if you can travel; Colombia, Turkey, the Baltics and Northern Ireland are among the many destinations. Just call or email us for more details.
We are finalising our itineraries for 2023- please contact us if you need more information. Currently not all itineraries are on the website.
Join us online
We run weekly discussion series with top speakers and our own tour experts. You get six talks a month and guaranteed interaction with each guest. Recent guests include Barbera Demick, Simon Kuper, Owen Bennet-Jones, Phillipe Sands, Lt. Col Lawrence Wilkerson, John McCarthy. See our webinars page for more.
Listen to quick summaries from our experts in destinations around the world – from the Baltics to Turkey and from Moscow to Washington we have experts all around the world ready to take you on tour.
5 mins in Scotland: Brian Taylor
Brian Taykor sets the scene for our Scotland and Independence tour.
4 mins in the Baltics: Leonid Ragozin
Leonid Ragozin looks at the 3 Baltic states tremendous economic and political success as well as their lingering fears of their former Soviet neighbour next door. Political Tours runs regular expert led tours in the Baltics that look at relations with Russia and the EU.
3 mins in Colombia: Joe Parkin Daniels
Joe Parkin Daniels gives an overview of Colombia’s politics. Joe reports for the New York Times and Guardian from Colombia. He outlines it’s tentative peace-process and rocky politics. Political Tours runs expert led group and private tours to Colombia.
4 mins in Hungary: Nick Thorpe
Nick Thorpe sets the scene for our Hungary tour.
5 mins in Palestine: Bassam Almohor
With Israel’s continued annexation and expansion in the West Bank many Palestinians say the Two-State to the Middle-East Peace process is dead. Local human rights expert and guide Bassam Almohor shares his view from the wall surrounding Ramallah in the West Bank. Political Tours runs expert led tours in Ramallah, Jerusalem, the West Bank, Palestine and Israel.
4 mins in Lebanon: Nicholas Blandford
Beirut based expert and Atlantic Council Fellow Nicholas Blanford explains the background to the explosion that rocked Beirut in 2020, a symptom he says of Lebanon’s corrupt and deeply sectarian political system. Despite that Lebanon remains one of the most welcoming destinations in the Mediterranean. Political Tours runs expert led tours in Beirut, Baalbek, the Bekaa (Beqaa) Valley and throughout Lebanon.
2 mins in South Africa: Thulani Madondo
How do you cope with Covid in a township? Kliptown, Soweto faces some of the toughest living conditions in South Africa. Local NGO leader Thulani Madondo, co-founder of the Kliptown Youth Program supports young people throughout their education. He describes the conditions his community has been facing this past year. South Africa remains one of Political Tours’s most popular destinations.
11 mins in Israel: Dahlia Scheindlin
Israeli political strategist and analyst Dahlia Scheindlin explains how Israel has been gradually expanding settlements within the West Bank. This forms to the background to Israel’s plans for annexation she says and also undermines the viability of a Palestinian state. Political Tours runs regular study tours in Israel and Palestine.
4 mins in Turkey: Ayla Yackley
What makes modern Turkey tick? Financial Times reporter in Istanbul Ayla Jean Yackley explains. President Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s still dominates the arena; the lingering backlash to the 2016 coup, Islam and democracy, the conflict in Syria, relations with Europe and Turkey’s struggling economy and covid19 are all part of the mix. There’s a lot going on. Political Tours runs expert led tours in Istanbul, Ankara and throughout Turkey.
4 mins in Ukraine: Leonid Ragozin
Political Tours runs regular expert led trips to Ukraine. Leonid Ragozin sums up the challenges this huge country – caught between Russia and the EU, and partially occupied by Russian backed troops – faces.
Webinars launched during the Pandemic
While travel was restricted our aim was to bring some of the best analysis and reporting to you. With our sister company, Beyond The Headlines, we started a series of briefings from our experts around the globe with the aim of giving you access to top expertise from your homes. You get to ask your own questions, speak to the experts and make up your own mind. We have 6 discussions a month, and due to the success of the series and continued demand of our members we are continuing Insight. Email us if you’d like to join us online or dip into our back catalogue of briefings. We also ran our first Virtual Tour- visiting 6 Counties & 3 States for the US Election 2020.
Don’t forget we run tailor-made tours too. Just contact us or call 0843 289 2349 and ask to speak to Nicholas or Karen.
John McCarthy & Living in Isolation
Can Lebanon Be Fixed?
North Korea’s Economy: Prof. Ruediger Frank
Russia, Covid-19 & the Autocrat’s dilemma
What We Do
We take you on incredible journeys, engage with people, meet politicians, and debate with the experts. Ask your own questions and make up your own mind.
We have a series of group tours scheduled for 2023 – including Lebanon, the UK, the Balkans, Israel & Palestine and South Africa. Our main rule is we’ll travel where and when it is safe to do so. Do keep in touch with us for new departures. Just call us on 0843 289 2349 or +44 843 289 2349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All our tours are expert-led and have broad and deep knowledge of the region they cover. Often journalists, broadcasters, ex-diplomats or academics, our tour guides provide copious insight on the political and socio-economic conditions behind the news headlines.
A different kind of travel A Political Tour really gets you under the skin of a country. You meet dozens of speakers, politicians and ordinary people and visit extraordinary places. You get to ask your own questions and make up your own mind with an expert alongside you leading the way. It really is more like experiencing a documentary film than going on a typical group tour.
Our groups really are small with never more than 14 people (most groups average around 9-10). You get to engage face to face with people, as well as the experts, providing for a more intimate travel experience.
Our tour experts accompany groups throughout.
Fellow Travellers We attract a wide range of customers with more than half coming from Australia, New Zealand and the US in addition to travellers from the UK and Europe. Many would not normally join a group tour but find that Political Tours enables them to see the world in a way they never could by themselves.
You don’t need to be an expert in politics or foreign affairs to join us. Most customers are not. Everyone has an enquiring mind. And we provide useful reading lists if you want to know more about a place before you travel.
We plan and execute all our tours Unlike many travel companies we don’t rely on destination management companies to do our work. We explore, research and set up all our own tours.
Value for Money
Most meals are included as well as all local transport and stays in centrally located hotels. And with all of the things we pack into each journey – research, guidance, meetings and different places we visit – regular Political Tours customers say we are great value for money.
Day Tours & Private Group Tours
Political Tours also arranges Day Tours with experts around the world. We can also create a private group tour tailored to your own requirements. This could be for a group of friends, or a business, school, university or institution.