We feel strongly that all our vacations should benefit the local communities, protect the environment by minimising pollution, and respect local traditions, religion and heritage. We tread lightly - low volume, low impact touring is the best way of preserving the beautiful and fragile places we visit.
On this Caucasus trip, we use public transport in the form of an overnight train, walking city tours as well as opportunities for trekking. This not only reduces our impact and footprint when traveling through these countries, but also gives us a unique opportunity to interact with locals and discover.
What's more, clients will have the opportunity to visit UNESCO site Geghard Cave Monastery and the UNESCO rock paintings of Gobustan, as well as other national sites (eg. Haghartsin Monastery,fortress of Ananauri and some of the oldest churches in Christiandom) which contributes to their preservation and any repairs, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the wonders of this region.
In the Caucasus – and in particular in Georgia – we have developed unique relationships with many of the mountain peoples of the region and through our form of interactive, socially conscience tourism have helped them by providing an important additional income. With Nunu, a widow from Kazbegi, for example, we have assisted in introducing her family to the homestay market – where they now provide good, clean and interesting accommodation – which in turn allows her to educate her children, improve the family’s standard of living and provide for their elderly. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss Nunu make of us! All our tours employ the services of local guides and drivers, stay in locally owned hotels and guesthouses, which diverts important funds directly into the area.
Additionally, in the Caucasus we support Children of the Caucasus educational trust. Set up and run by the British Georgiaphile, Peter Nysmith, this is a great little charity that helps orphaned children of Georgia and the Caucasus through art, theatre and education. www.childrenofthecaucasus.com