These days, it’s not enough to just climb the Eiffel Tower, walk through the Colosseum, or explore the canals of Amsterdam. With travel becoming easier and more accessible than ever before, people want something more unique, something tailored to their interests. Enter themed vacations.

Whether you want to visit the places you’ve seen on screen, learn more about food and wine, or just relax at a spa, now you can find or create the perfect vacation for you. It’s the perfect way to explore a new place and culture, while also taking your hobbies to the next level. What’s not to love?

So what are themed vacations?

The famous Mirabell Gardens were featured in the Sound of Music

Themed vacations are built around a particular theme (obviously) or interest. There are different levels to this; for example, you could go on a short themed tour that lasts for an afternoon or a whole day based around a particular event or era (such as the D-Day Battle tours in Normandy or the Sound of Music Tours in Salzburg). You can also go on a themed cruise which has events based around a particular interest, be it music, pirates, wine, or Disney.

Or, you could go all out and plan an entire vacation around a theme or experience, exploring places related to it across a region or country. This has the most potential for experimentation, as you can visit multiple locations and build your own unique itinerary.

What types of themes are there?

There are loads of different types of themed vacations, as each one tends to be unique to each traveller. But broadly speaking there are some popular genres:

Films and Television
themes vacations New Zealand
The real Middle-Earth at Matamata, a small town in New Zealand.

Do you ever watch something and feel the overwhelming urge to go there? Movies and TV shows are often filmed in stunning locations you can actually visit. Salzburg has its Sound of Music Tours, and Prince Edward Island in Canada has Anne of Green Gables. New York has many as well, everything from Sopranos to superheroes and Sex and the City. Even if it’s a fictional place, like Middle Earth or Westeros, you can still check out their sets and locations. While there may not be hobbits or dragons, they’re sure to be truly exciting.

Also Read: 22 Fictional Places You Can Actually Visit!


Chinese FoodAnother wildly popular theme to base your trip around is food. Food is a great way to explore a new culture. You can either cook or eat your way around the world, trying the pasta in Italy, the paella in Spain, tacos in Mexico, and the dosas in India. Learning how to make these dishes is a unique souvenir itself, as you get to take home authentic recipes

Vineyard, Croatia Wine
Vineyard, Croatia

Of course, with food, comes wine. Wine tours are fast becoming a favourite with travellers. You can visit some of the most famous wine regions in the world, and explore both their stunning scenery and their unique wines. See how it’s made, its history, and what delicious food goes with it.

Also Read: 10 Lesser-known Wine Destinations for Wine-Lovers


Masseur putting hot stones on the back of a visitorSometimes we go on vacation only to return more tired than when we left. Wellness retreats allow travellers to take a break from their busy lives while rejuvenating their health and truly relaxing. They are some of the most popular vacations, and are fast becoming a major travel trend. Spa treatments, yoga retreats, and ayurvedic massages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these retreats.

Also Read: The 6 Travel Trends You Should Try This Year


Get transported back to ancient Rome with a special screening of Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator', rome on a budgetAnother popular theme to follow is history, whether it is a particular era or empire. For example, you could visit all the sites associated with the Roman Empire, or on a (much) smaller scale, the places and events of the Wars of the Roses. You can explore a particular time period, event, or person and may even be able to meet experts who provide insight into the events, places and people.


Hiking in Turkey. Lycian Way. Backpacker by the sea. The track is completedLots of people go trekking or hiking, but why not take it to the next level. Go rock climbing at all the national parks in your country, or visit a series of indigenous animals around the world. You can tailor your holiday to your own pace and interests. The best part is that you can discover untouched parts of the world, volcanoes, mountain peaks and gorgeous scenery you’d never usually get to see.

There’s something exciting about themed vacations. Whether you’re visiting the fairytale-esque castles of Germany or going on a pirate-y cruise. You get to discover all kinds of interesting things that the average traveller misses out on. Even better, this kind of trip is more likely to connect with you (being tailored specifically to your interests) and you’ll get to meet lots of like-minded people.

However, such focused trips can often result in missing out on many great sights. So if you’re planning to go on themed vacations, be sure to give yourself some extra time to check out stuff that’s not necessarily on the agenda.


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