About Great Explorations

Great Explorations is a boutique tour operator specializing in providing guided active vacations in North America, Europe and around the world. We are a private company with a simple philosophy: to create and deliver exceptional, one-of-a-kind trips for spirited individuals and groups who prefer active travel as a way to see the world and to do it in the company of fun, interesting people. Bicycling and walking/hiking are our preferred means of travel as we believe these to be the most rewarding ways to explore a place and to interact with its people.

We love to be innovative – we want every trip to be one-of-a-kind and to create experiences that people couldn’t easily encounter on their own. Our optional unique events and activities allow travelers to explore at the pace and style that best suits them.”  says Robbin McKinney, Great Explorations president and owner.

Compare our trips with others and you’ll note the Great Explorations differences:


Robbin McKinney, founder of Great Explorations has been designing and guiding trips throughout the world since 1985. In fact, there probably isn’t a guide in the active travel world who has led more trips in more places for longer. With over 35 years’ leading trips, and an international staff who ‘have been there’, this experience will ensure your trip is the best possible.


We design our trips with maximum flexibility in mind, so you can experience a region at a pace that best suits you. Our cycling days average 25-40 miles (walking routes 4-8 miles), with optional routes for those who prefer longer distances and more challenge. For those who enjoy additional time to try other activities, or relax by the pool, we plan layover days to allow you this option.

Smaller Group Sizes

Our trips average 8-16 travelers, a number that gives us access to the best in service, hotels and restaurants. We attract spirited individuals of all ages, with a congenial mix of singles, couples and occasionally families.

Memorable Lodging

We believe in pampering ourselves while on vacation and choose hotels that are one-of-a-kind finds, combining the authentic charm and modern comforts that make for memorable lodging. Whether in a country inn on the Canadian Gulf Islands or a luxurious parador in Spain, you will enjoy the comforts, service and hospitality of hotels that reflect the nuances of the area you’re visiting.

More choices with Dining

We always include dinners where you can order off the menu. Whether in a Michelin-starred restaurant in France, or at a local trattoria in Tuscany, the food on our trips reflects the specialties of the region we’re traveling, with fresh ingredients and imaginative cooking.

Guides who Care

Simply put, our guides are extraordinary people; they speak the local language, understand the customs and culture and know how to ensure that you have the ‘vacation of a lifetime’.

Great Explorations 101

Learn more about Great Explorations and download our Great Explorations 101 guide.