We offer expert-led cultural tours, tailor-made holidays for individuals and bespoke group travel. Here are some of the things which make us special:

We are small and perfectly formed

Temple World is a boutique tour operator offering affordable luxury with exceptional personal service. Our staff are committed to providing holidays and journeys which go ‘beyond the brochure’ to create enriching experiences. We don’t have shareholders pushing for higher margins and big profits like our larger rivals, which means we can offer top-end service on the ground for less.

We are absolute experts in our field

With over 30 years in business, at our core is our team’s vast destination expertise. We don’t sell destinations we don’t know. We’ve been there – often many times! In many cases we’ve lived there too, and this is how we know the many small local details which make holiday run smoothly and include special insights to help you to see a side to a destination that others may miss.

Everything we do is tailored around you

Every tailor-made itinerary or bespoke group itinerary that we prepare is hand-crafted from scratch, with hotels, guiding or excursions carefully chosen to meet your requirements and preferences.  Humans, not computers, design your holiday. Our bespoke service costs nothing, but makes the world of difference.

We know culture, but we also know beaches

We know that not everyone wants a cultural holiday every time. We’ve got beach holidays covered too, and you can relax in the knowledge that we’ve applied the same personal attention and destination expertise to those that we do to our other holidays. From Bora Bora to the Maldives, we’ve been there too and we’d love to share them with you!

We started off as a cultural tour specialist and providing enriching cultural experiences is still at the heart of what we do. Temple World was founded by Dr David Price Williams and his wife Sue in 1985. David, then a lecturer in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, had been running tours for students to see overseas fieldwork in Africa, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean since the 1970’s. David was lucky enough to meet his wife on one such tour!

Realising that expert-led educational travel had a far wider appeal, they set up Temple World to give the unique opportunity to the general public to explore the history, archaeology, history and earth and life sciences of a destination and its sites with an expert.

Temple World has grown hugely since those early days, and now offers private explorations and set-departure tours to all seven continents as well as working with the alumni associations of Oxford and Cambridge Universities to create and operate exciting scholar led tour for their travel programmes.

David Price Williams

David is an archaeologist by training, and has worked on classical sites all over the Middle East, in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. He also lived and worked in Swaziland for ten years, leading an archaeological research project examining the impact of climate change on populations, and in Turkey, excavating the ancient site of Knidos on the Datca peninsula.

Since starting Temple World, David has led tours all over Southern Africa, with his favourites being Namibia and Botswana. He is a keen amateur photographer and knows the local and latin names of virtually every Southern African bird and plant. His own travels have taken him to India, Japan, Micronesia and the USA and Canada including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Ottawa and Montreal. He speaks SiSwati and Turkish, and with his enviable archaeological expertise he is our ‘cultural consultant’ for those who would like their holidays with and educational element.

Sue Price Williams

Sue was born in cosmopolitan Alexandria, Egypt, then moved to Swaziland, Southern Africa, where she grew up on a remote farm. As an adult she has travelled extensively all over the African continent: North (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt) East (Kenya and Tanzania) and South (Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique,Zambia and of course South Africa), with her most recent and so far favourite destination being Madagascar.

She has driven overland from London to Istanbul via Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia and Serbia) and Bulgaria, and her independent travels in Europe include Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Croatia and Malta, with dozens of visits to explore Turkey. Sue also knows and loves the Middle East, and even spent her honeymoon in Syria & Jordan. Her latest passion is for South America, with Ecuador and Argentina being favourites, but finds Antarctica the most outstanding.

Alice Burns

Alice grew up on her parents’ archaeological dig in Swaziland, and has a passion for Africa which keeps luring her back. She has spent years travelling the globe, including living and working in Australia, and on both the East and West coasts of the USA. Alice has travelled overland through the whole of Southern Africa, most of South East Asia, right across America and into Mexico and throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Her love of the underwater world has taken her to some of the world’s top dive destinations such as the Maldives, French Polynesia and the Galapagos. She has trekked in Nepal, photographed Orangutans in Borneo, sampled tea in Sri Lanka, snorkelled with Whale sharks in Mozambique, and her children go wherever she goes; her oldest went on his first African safari when he was just five months old.

Alice earned her travel industry spurs in Trailfinders and then Abercrombie & Kent before joining the family travel business five years ago.

Jane Smith

Jane, the daughter of an airline pilot, has travel in her blood. Born in Beirut, she spent her formative years in Kenya. Jane lived in Australia for 10 years and has travelled extensively in the region, with a love for the beautiful Barrier Reef islands. She joined Temple World 19 years ago from Air Namibia, where she had the opportunity to travel throughout Southern Africa and fall in love with Namibia itself.

Travel is Jane’s hobby as well as her career, and her independent travels have also taken her to Canada, Alaska and the Panama Canal. Recent highlights have been several trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, with a visit to Madagascar planned and eagerly looked forward to this year.

Jane Banks

Jane has worked part-time for Temple World for almost 20 years. Her travels have taken her all over Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, France, Bulgaria and communist Russia, as well as further afield, to the USA, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa and India. Jane and her husband have two intrepid young children, and her experiences on the road with them are invaluable in helping us to choose exciting and practical destinations and hotels for our ‘family holiday’ portfolio.

How our Tailor-made service works

Have a look at the sample itineraries on our website for inspiration, then get in touch by phone or email to have a chat to one of our experts for advice. When you’re ready we will start going into the details of planning your trip.

1. Create a bespoke itinerary
We’ll work on a draft itinerary for you to look at which matches your budget. We’ll keep refining it for you until it’s perfect, then you can confirm it with a deposit.

2. Receive a full briefing
Before you travel, we’ll send you a full set of documents, including a detailed itinerary, country notes and even suggested reading if you’d like some.

3. Help whilst you’re abroad
While you’re away you’ll be in the hands of our long-standing local partners but we’re always available in case you need us, with a 24 hour phone number.