Climbs of the Alps biking vacation, France

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Date
Price
Basis
29 Jul 2017
US $ 1525
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Jul 2017 departure
12 Aug 2017
US $ 1525
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Aug 2017 departure
02 Sep 2017
US $ 1525
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 02 Sep 2017 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Climbs of the Alps biking vacation, France

Accommodation & meals: Hotel on this trip are family-owned with local staff, providing valuable employment in the tourism industry on which the region depends. Fresh produce is sourced locally as much as possible. Food for picnic lunches is sourced locally, in the towns and villages along the itinerary that provide a choice of local products, both fresh and prepared. Evening meals are taken either at the hotel or in family-run restaurants, with in each case a typically regional cuisine made with locally-sourced products.

Community: The hotel used on this trip is family-run and locally-owned ; bikes are hired from a local shop and lunches are bought locally. In addition to purchasing supplies locally, clients are always encouraged to visit local commerce’s & craft stores, many of whom are dependent on tourism for their livelihood. Cycling is a slow form of travel which allows a maximum of contact with the localities visited, with minimal negative environmental impact. The local economy benefits from the trips, with little negative effect. As this is a cycling trip, clients will interact with locals on scheduled stops, but also on the roads while cycling. Local drivers are generally very respectful and tolerant towards cyclists, and it is pointed out to clients that this goes both ways – while clients are on vacation, it is important to respect the fact that local drivers may be working or just going about their everyday lives, and to impact this as little as possible : for example letting cars pass on the sometimes narrow roads, giving way to pedestrians and even, at times, livestock ; rather than being simple observers and consumers, we are all responsible for promoting a climate of tolerance and mutual respect.

Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.

Activity: Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. This cycling tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in the French Alps.

UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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