off the beaten track destinations


Welcome to
Against the Compass EXPEDITIONS

We are an alternative travel agency specializing in taking small groups to emerging, barely visited, and often misunderstood countries across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.

Our tours are budget, we only work with local independent guides, and our groups tend to become outstanding travel families.

our Destinations



Federal Iraq

Afghanistan Featured Image



upcoming tours

Why join Against the Compass EXPEDITIONS?

Slow Travel

We are no regular travel agency, but we take time to take photos and have local interactions in each place we visit

Focus on people and culture

From having lunch in a local eatery surrounded by locals to organizing a meal at someone’s house, our expeditions never miss the human touch

Invaluable experiences

We try to organize activities which would otherwise, be very difficult to experience as an independent traveler

Independent, local guides

We only work with teams composed of local people, carefully chosen

We Create Travel Families

The people you share the journey with are important, so we always try to keep our groups fun

Budget Tours

High-quality tours on a budget, the best value-for-money option

check our 5-star Google reviews

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Access to Against the Compass email list, where I regularly share personal updates and trips, and the freshest blog content

Occasional offers & discounts

by Joan Torres

Against the Compass EXPEDITIONS was founded by Joan Torres, creator of Against the Compass travel blog and regular Lonely Planet writer.

Currently based in Barcelona, Joan Torres has been continuously traveling since 2014, with a special focus on unusual countries, revealing the beauty and potential of some of the most misunderstood countries in the world, from Mali to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

After blogging for more than 5 years, writing comprehensive travel guides and tips to those destinations, while creating a loyal readership, Joan Torres decided to open a travel company in an attempt to help other travelers do the same.