9 Most Fascinating Historical Trips

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9 Most Fascinating Historical Trips
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Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old, the nine destinations on this list will take you from the seat of the Roman Empire to the top of a fort that overlooks an entirely blue city.

Touring the Ancient Ruins of Sicily
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Touring the Ancient Ruins of Sicily

Located at the neck of the Mediterranean sea, Sicily has been a cultural melting pot since ancient times. The site of not only Greek and Roman ruins, but also of Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano that has been sleeping for thousands of years, the island feels like a gigantic museum to the foundation of Western civilization. Book a 15-day tour for as little as $2,580.

Related: Explore Sicily Tour

Biking Around the Ile de France
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Biking Around the Ile de France

Paris has more history in one block than most other cities have in the entire metro area -- but don't limit yourself to the center. Instead, meander through the entire Ile de France region, where not only Paris, but also cities like Versailles are located. To experience the full breadth of the area, which is a mixture of medieval, baroque and modern historical landmarks, book a bike tour of the city, which costs as little as $40 a day per person.

Related: Fat Tire Bike Tours

Climbing the Battlements of the Mehrangarh Fort
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Climbing the Battlements of the Mehrangarh Fort

Much fuss, no doubt deserved, is made over the Taj Mahal in India. But other ancient monuments such as the Mehrangarh Fort are often overlooked as a result. Located 400 feet above Jodphur, a city composed entirely of blue buildings in the deserts of Rajasthan in northern India, the foundation for the fort was built in the 15th century by a warrior prince. Today, you can still walk through his throne room and hide between the latticed stone works where his concubines sat and watched him arm for battle.

Related: Mehrangarh Fort

Visiting the Holy Land
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Visiting the Holy Land

The birthplace of three major religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- Jerusalem means many things to many people. Cover all bases by visiting the Dome of the Rock, which commemorates Muhammad's "Night Journey into Heaven," the Wailing Wall, which is a remnant of the ancient Jewish Temple; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is thought to have been buried. Splurge one day, and hire a trained local guide for $300 to give you a full sense of the city.

Related: Tours By Locals

Stepping Into Stonehenge
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Stepping Into Stonehenge

Although its origins remain unknown, one thing's for certain -- Stonehenge is the oldest monument in England. Consisting of standing stones located in a dense compound of Paleolithic relics and burial mounds, the ancient site is ripe with legends. Some say it is a place for magic; others claim it is a celestial observatory. A bus trip from the Salisbury train station is roughly $18.

Related: The Stonehenge Tour

Getting Lost in Angkor Wat
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Getting Lost in Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, a Buddhist temple located in Cambodia, is the largest religious monument in the world. Built in the 12th century by a Khmer king, the structure covers 500 acres -- the outer wall alone is 2.2 miles long. Wandering around it today, you'll feel like you've been transported to another dimension. The moss-covered stones and crumbling structures practically burst with otherworldly life. Do yourself a favor, and spend a few days uncovering the temple's secrets. Weeklong packages cost as little as $750.

Related: All Points East

Tangoing in Buenos Aires
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Tangoing in Buenos Aires

The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is often called the most European of all the South American cities. Bursting with history, it was established by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Although it's weathered its fair share of catastrophes -- dictatorships and economic meltdowns among them -- the city today is one of the more cosmopolitan destinations in the world. Go see the historic tango in the bohemian San Telmo neighborhood, or visit with the ghosts at the Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón is buried.

Related: Buenos Aires Tours

Hiking the Great Wall of China
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Hiking the Great Wall of China

Begun as a battlement against invasions by nomadic tribes like the Mongols in the seventh century B.C., the Great Wall of China has weathered many centuries. Over 13,000 miles long, the wall is visible from space. It's also accessible from major Chinese cities like Beijing, which is close enough to make a day trip out of it. Spend an afternoon climbing the battlements or hike down the trail for a week in a group guided tour. Group treks cost roughly $1,000.

Related: Beijing Hikers

Strolling Through Historic Philadelphia
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Strolling Through Historic Philadelphia

The United States was the birthplace of one of history's greatest democratic civilizations, and Philadelphia was at the center of it all from the beginning. Visit the Independence Hall to see where the Constitution was first drafted in the summer of 1776. Walk through the house where Betsy Ross was rumored to have sewn the first American flag -- or the one where Thomas Jefferson stayed while writing the Declaration of Independence. Trust us, it will give you a new appreciation for American history.

Related: Historic Philadelphia

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