Wild Atlantic Way walking vaction in Ireland

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26 May 2018
US $ 2635
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07 Jul 2018
US $ 2635
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11 Aug 2018
US $ 2635
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08 Sep 2018
US $ 2635
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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: Wild Atlantic Way walking vaction in Ireland

Accommodation and meals
On our one week walking vacation to the West Coast of Ireland we stay in three locally run hotels (or guesthouses)in the Connemara, InisMor and the Burren. Local accommodation is carefully chosen in order to benefit the community and economy by keeping investment within the area. All Irish accommodation providers have a recycling programme that includes separating compostable, dry recycling and glass from general waste.
All breakfasts are included on this trip and clients can expect a Full Irish Breakfast each morning prepared using local produce. A picnic lunch is provided daily on all of the trekking days and these will be made up locally too. Dinners will either be taken at the accommodation or in local restaurants, by eating at both we can spread our economic benefit by supporting the wider community. There is one free evening in Roundstonewhere clients can choose where they wish to dine, the guide will be able to offer suggestions and recommend the best for traditional Irish cuisine.

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking and trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and have a strict policy with proper disposal of litter. Our staff are trained with environmental stewardship in mind and protective guidelines are then passed on to our clients through briefings in order to keep our impact neutral. Our local partner is a member of Leave No Trace Ireland, which supports outdoor recreation in a responsible way through education, research and partnerships.

Environment and water
During this tour we visit National Parks and protected land including The Burren and Cliffs of Moher and Connemara National Park. The guides will educate the clients about the flora and fauna and its importance to the area. Whilst visiting these areas there is the chance to further your knowledge at the interpretive centres.
Water is another really important issue associated with trekking trips, 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 encourage clients to bring their own water bottles instead of repeatedly buying bottled water. Tap water in Ireland is drinkable and clients are prompted to refill their bottles each morning before setting out for the day.

Group size and community:
This is a small group active vacation led by local guides. By traveling in groups no larger than 16 we are able to have very little negative impact on a destination by never overcrowding or damaging walking trails. Having a small group also allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants which would be unsuitable for large tour groups; this means we can visit genuine local restaurants and cafes which have not been built just to cater for mass tourism. Working closely with local land owners and farmers ensures we have permission to walk on their land. We work with local farmers who wish to do so and provide farm visits for our guests which give the farmer an alternative revenue source. All of the money generated by our vacations stays within the local community. All of our guides do their best to facilitate interaction between our guests and the locals as we know this is what our guests want to experience.

We only use local guides and drivers on our trips. All of our guides are offered training opportunities each year from First Aid to navigational training and soft skills like group management. This year we are offering a training day in conjunction with our National Tourism Board to train our staff and guides on increasing their awareness of the entire West Coast of Ireland and what is available for our guests when they visit Ireland. The aim is to ensure our guests return to Ireland to discover another wonderful region in the future.

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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