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What could possibly spoil visiting cultural wonders of the world?

If you get easily irritated by having to view paintings and monument features peeping over the heads of a never-ending crowd, don’t despair. There are ways of beating the crush, and considering what you get, these smaller more exclusive tours are not over priced.

For example, Bales (0845 057 1819, www.balesworldwide.com) arranges Nile cruises for a maximum of 12 people in replica 19th Century boats, or ‘dahabiyyas’, reports the Daily Mail. The cruises are organized to arrive at sites such as the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the best preserved in Egypt, in the late afternoon when few other tourists are there. An eight-day holiday including full-board, return flights, and admission fees with the services of guides, costs from £1,495.

And if you’re a fan of Indian Jones’ profession, The Traveller (020 7269 2770, www.the-traveller.co.uk) organizes Lebanon tours visiting Sidon, near Beirut, which has longstanding archaeological mystique. If you decide to join a Lebanon tour, you will be taken inside the ruins by the British Museum's lead archaeologist working on the excavations. There’s an eight-night ‘Lure Of Lebanon tour’ in April which costs £1,795. The price includes return flights, half-board accommodation and admission fees with guide.

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