Dolomites winter activity vacation in Italy

“A small group guided vacation, cycling from Amalfi to Sorrento in six days. Not quite the Giro d’Italia, but very darn gorgeous Italia.”

Highlights

Polignano | Matera | Salerno | Castelmezzano | National Park of the Basilicata Apennines | Cilento National Park | Paestum | Salerno | Cycling on Amalfi Coast | Sorrento

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Date
Price
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12 May 2018
US $ 2445
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09 Jun 2018
US $ 2475
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01 Sep 2018
US $ 2475
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15 Sep 2018
US $ 2475
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11 May 2019
US $ 2475
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08 Jun 2019
US $ 2525
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22 Jun 2019
US $ 2525
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07 Sep 2019
US $ 2525
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21 Sep 2019
US $ 2525
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28 Sep 2019
US $ 2475
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Vouchers
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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: Dolomites winter activity vacation in Italy

Accommodation & meals:
On this trip we spend the week in a variety of hotels, most of which are locally owned and employ local staff. The group eats dinners and lunches in independents restaurants and cafes in each town visited thus providing income to a variety of small local communities. When picnics are organised, the food is purchased at small shops and supermarkets. The majority of local cafes and restaurants are family run business and use ingredients which are all sourced locally. The itinerary covers a few remote rural locations of Southern Italy which are normally not on the tourism map. This allows us to bring some income to small communities which don't normally benefit from the same tourism influxes as other more popular destinations like Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast. On day 5 of the itinerary we spend a night in a traditional agriturismo (converted farmhouse) which is known for their delicious homemade dishes, all prepared using locally-grown organic produce.

Community& Culture:
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 that part of Italy. The itinerary crosses some parts of Southern Italy which are off the classic tourist trail and a lot of refreshment stops will be planned in the lesser known towns thus allowing a high degree of economic benefit to these local communities. This tour is also packed with culture and a lot of valuable heritage sights and UNESCO towns are visited during the trip including Matera, Padula’s monastery and Paestum.

Social responsibility:
Our local partner actively promotes sustainable tourism practices by incorporating social or environmental projects in their itineraries.

Environment:
Buying bottled water has detrimental impacts on the environment; we can make a conscience effort to reduce plastic waste by not buying water. On this trip, water in all the accommodation we stopover in is drinkable. Clients who bring their own water bottles will be able to refill them daily, when out and about the local guide will be able to point out places where they can top up their water bottles, for example, this is possible in a lot of the main squares. Regional cooking in Italy has strong links to the land and sea; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.

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. We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. Most rides will be point to point which means transport is barely needed during the week thus reducing carbon footprints even further.

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.

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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