Prepare for all weathers. This is a mountain and maritime trip, with changeable weather on both.
Small group, max. 16 people. Min. age 16
Moderate. 7-13 kms/day.
Small 2* and 3* hotels.
Flights, accommodation, transport, tour leader.
Only breakfasts included. Budget £25-35 per day for others.
Solo travelers welcome for small surcharge for own room.
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?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
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.
“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?”
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.
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: Small group walking vacation in Croatia
Activity: As the itinerary is mainly based on trekking and sightseeing Dalmatian coast, we have a low impact on the environment. The sightseeing aspect of the tour is actually really beneficial to the country and its several historical and cultural gems. The ancient, heavily walled city of Dubrovnik, for instance, benefits from tourist fees which go towards upkeep of the buildings. Clients are free to visit the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan and Dominican Monasteries, the Stradun and the fortified walls themselves. Not only does this help preserve and celebrate Croatian culture history, but the locals benefit from tourists spending on souvenirs and food. Similarly, we visit Krka National Park and Paklenica National Park and by doing this we contribute to the maintenance of these beautiful natural areas.
Water: Water is a really important issue with trekking trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle and provide clean water in large bottles to facilitate this. We recycle our plastic and are sure to dispose of any litter on tour in an appropriate place.
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.
Accommodation & Meals: On this trip you will spend the week in comfortable, locally staffed hotels. We tend to avoid the larger chains and to invest in the smaller businesses, where our money stays local. We also try to use accommodation with an awareness of sustainability e.g. Hotel Vicko in Paklenica has energy reduction and waste recycling policies. All breakfasts and one picnic lunch is included. Croatian cuisine has a mixture of Central European, Italian and Balkan influences, producing a mixture of dishes like grilled lamb, pizza, fine seafood, pasta and salads. Your guide is local and will be able to recommend or arrange for you to eat in some unique, community-central restaurants or markets. For example, in Ston, the group can stop to try oysters or have a coffee.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and 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 their limited sizes.