List 06 October

8 spectacular tours with the world's best guides

A great guide has the ability to bring a place to life and form a deep connection between traveller and country. Here are 8 spectacular trips with the top guides of the World Guide Awards 2017.

The quality of a guide can make or break a trip. Beforehand, you're never sure how good they're going to be but, luckily, that's not the case if you travel with this year's Wanderlust World Guide Awards winners and the highly commended shortlist of runners-up.

These champs are the true heroes of the travel world, and their expertise has helped countless travellers unlock some of the most remarkable places on the planet. Should you book any of the following trips, though, do confirm which tour dates these guides will be leading, so you can ensure you bag a five-star experience.

1: See the highlights of Morocco

Khalid Lamlih leading a tour group in Morocco (Intrepid Travel)

Join Gold-winning guide Khalid Lamlih on a tour of his home country on Intrepid Travel's Best of Morocco trip. Meander the historic medinas of Marrakech, stroll the imperial city of Meknes and visit the grand Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. Then, head into the sands of the vast Sahara dunes, join the indigenous Berber people on a homestay in the Atlas Mountains and kick back in coastal Essaouira with a beachside barbecue.

Who: Intrepid Travel (0808 274 5111; intrepidtravel.com)

When: 7 Jan 2018

How long: 15 days

How much: From £624 (exc. flights)

2: Cruise the icy landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula

Hayley Shephard in Antarctica (Polar Latitudes)

Soak up the world's last great wild on Polar Latitudes' Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica trip. Silver-winning guide Hayley Shephard brings the Southern Ocean to life, spotting albatrosses in the Falklands before winding the glaciers and penguin colonies of South Georgia. Glide the icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula and spy humpbacks in Wilhelmina Bay before returning via the Drake Passage.

Who: Polar Latitudes (+1 802 698 8479; polar-latitudes.com)

When: 3 Nov 2018

How long: 22 days

How much: From $14,295 (£10,589 excl flights)

3: Hike the Himalaya in Nepal

Dinesh KC in Nepal (Intrepid Travel)

Take on one of the world's greatest treksand reach Everest Base Camp with Intrepid Travel's Bronze-winning guide Dinesh KC. Explore the shrines and squares of Kathmandu, then hike through high passes, glaciers and broad valleys to Base Camp (5,364m). Admire the sawtooth majesty of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse before completing the return trip, learning about the history of the region's sherpas and life in the hills along the way, pit-stopping at villages and monasteries. Simply breathtaking.

Who: Intrepid Travel (0808 274 5111; intrepidtravel.com)

When: 26 May 2018

How long: 15 days

How much: From £868 (excl flights)

4: Explore the land of the Inca in Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru (Dreamstime)

Uncloak Incan wonders on Aracari's Classic Luxury Peru trip. Wander the remains of an empire in the company of guide Fernando Silva, who'll bring to life the lush Sacred Valley, colonial Cusco and the crumbling remains of Ollantaytambo. Then hop on a luxury train to Peru's crown jewel, the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, before reflecting on your journey over a steamy dish of barbecued alpaca.

Who: Aracari (020 7097 1750; aracari.com)

When: Year round

How long: 8 days

How much: From $5,134 (£3,810 excl flights)

5: Myanmar by car, cart and cruise

Bagan, Burma (Dreamstime)

Guide Aye Moh Moh Myint narrates an introduction to her homeland on Kuoni's Burma Encounter tour. Explore octagonal Sule Pagoda in Yangon, glide the winding Irrawaddy River and spy the monasteries of Mandalay before heading to Bagan. Take a horse and cart to see those famous golden temples, then motor through the winelands of Ayetharyar to the stilt villages and floating gardens of Inle Lake.

Who: Kuoni (0800 531 6955; kuoni.co.uk)

When: 22 Jan, 5 Feb, 15 Oct, 12 Nov, 3Dec 2018

How long: 13 nights

How much: From £2,654 (incl flights)

6: Wonderful wildlife in Madagascar

Baobabs, Madagascar (Dreamstime)

Guide Harry Rakotosalama is your key to sighting rare fauna on Rainbow Tours' Madagascar Wildlife Extravaganza trip, joined by Bradt Guides' co-founder Hilary Bradt. See indri lemurs and tropical birds in Andasibe-Mantadia NP, clamber tsingy rocks in Ankarana NP and look for Perrier's black sifakas in Andrafi amena Andavakoera. Finish by camping in a prime lemur site in the forests of Daraina.

Who: Rainbow Tours (020 3811 5759; rainbowtours.co.uk)

When: 30 Sept 2018

How long: 18 days

How much: From £7,950 (incl flights)

7: Get snap happy on a safari in Zambia

Jacob Shawa (David Rogers)

Guide Jacob Shawa joins photographer David Rogers on Robin Pope Safaris' Photographic Safari trip to help capture timeless shots of Zambia's wilds. Camp on the fringes of South Luangwa NP and rise early for the dawn light, to observe giraffes, hippos and elephants relaxing on the banks of the lagoons. Explore by boat and on foot, making sure to pit stop at the vast yellow-billed stork colony.

Who: Robin Pope Safaris (+265 9 9350 4600; robinpopesafaris.net)

When: 17 Feb 2018

How long: 8 nights

How much: From $4,803 (£3,565 excl flights)

8: Explore the classic and hidden sights of China

Great Wall of China (Dreamstime)

Join George Pu on Wendy Wu Tours' Wonders of China trip. Tick to classics like the imperial treasures of Beijing and the Great Wall, then head south to float the gorges of the Yangtze, visit Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors and soak up the bustle of Shanghai. Pair these with lesser-seen treats, walking the paddies of Yangshuo and cruising the lush banks of the Li River.

Who: Wendy Wu Tours (0800 144 5297; wendywutours.co.uk)

When: Selected dates Mar-Nov 2018

How long: 16 days

How much: From £2,990 (incl flights)

For more information about the Wanderlust World Guide Awards visit WorldGuideAwards.com