Southern France small group tour

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Date
Price
Basis
28 Apr 2017
US $ 3500
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Apr 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Southern France small group tour

Environment

On this trip, travelers will have the option of taking a cruise on the Thau Lagoon and its diverse wildlife. While there are some water activities and sports offered in this salt water basin, it is a valued marine environment. Thus, these activities are very strictly regulated to maintain the beauty of one of the most incomparable aquatic wildlife reserves in Europe. You can see pink flamingos and majestic herons here. There is also an abundance of oysters and shellfish along with many other saltwater organisms.

We always encourage our travelers to be conscious of the plastic waste epidemic that is plaguing our planet. With this in mind, we encourage you to be mindful of how many small individual-sized water bottles you purchase and suggest that the group chips in to buy larger jugs/containers from which everyone can partake for their own personal water bottles. We also strongly recommend that our travelers bring a day pack in which to carry reasonably-sized purchases rather than spending the extra few cents on plastic bags. It's not much, but we try our best to encourage habits that are respectful of the environment! We think any small thing can have a big impact if enough people do it!

We are big supporters of adaptive reuse. France and Spain have a rich history and many of its buildings have countless stories to tell. This is why we choose to stay uniquely at hotels which are historical buildings and have been refashioned for the purpose of hospitality. This lends to an old world charm and a more authentic feel to the accommodation in which you will stay.

While we do move from place to place in a small bus as a group, we only travel by bus when absolutely necessary or when the destination is too far to be reached by foot. However, once settled in a city or town, almost all of our activities are able to be reached on foot and include walking tours, short hikes, or swims.

To finish, we strive to work with local vendors who have the same principles as us in terms of our impact on the environment. We work closely with locals to ensure that the quality does not suffer for the sake of conscious travel and vice versa.

Community

We prefer to see and do things that are a little "off the beaten path". This means that we work very closely with locals to offer activities that your average tourist may not experience. For example, in St-Paul-de-Vence, you will have the chance to learn how to play pétanque with a local citizen and chat with him regarding local culture, history and get insider tips about the best things to see and do in the area.

We always seek to stay in small, locally-owned and run hotels if possible and try to stay away from the large chain hotels. We believe that staying in these smaller hotels offers a more authentic experience and better supports the local economy as some hotels are family-owned. We also like this type of accommodation because the service is usually more personal and provides a more unique experience during your travels.

All of our guides are well compensated outside of the tips that they receive from our travelers. We consider the cost of living and at least match that. We also encourage our travelers to fairly tip the guides as they always give 110% and go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everyone has a wonderful time.

On this trip, nearly all of the activities directly support the local economy and people as well as promote the culture. We visit places that are historically important to the region as well as the country and encourage cultural exchange between you and the locals. For example, we visit the Oulibo olive farm in Bize-Minervois to give you an idea of how agriculture works in the region. On top of that, you will also get the chance to taste some of the olives and oil produced on the farm. We also visit local farmer's markets, which also offer tastes of local specialties and a chance to speak with locals about their products, home, culture, etc.

We firmly believe that one of the best ways to experience a country is through its people. While language may cause a barrier, our expert guide is there to help facilitate exchange and help you learn more about where you are traveling and what life is like for the people in the location. We realize that not everyone may speak French or Spanish fluently enough to have a profound conversation, but we try to offer some useful vocabulary and expressions in our pre-departure notes to help you to get a dialogue started!

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