Walking and yoga vacation in the French Alps

“Relaxing eight day small group vacation based at a family-run hotel with pool in the French Alps. Featuring morning and evening Hatha yoga and meditation classes and daily guided walks in the surrounding countryside.”

Highlights

Twice daily Hatha yoga classes | five easy going walks | Vercors plateau | Autrans Valley views | Geve (1300m) | Col de Clé (1520m) | Pas de Brochier (1454m) | ridge walk passing Charande Peak | Optional free day activities include: visits to nearby Villard de Lans |

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Date
Price
Basis
23 Jun 2018
US $ 2015
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Jun 2018 departure
08 Sep 2018
US $ 2015
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Sep 2018 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: Walking and yoga vacation in the French Alps

Accommodation and Meals:
We base ourselves in the picturesque alpine village of Vercors spending 7 nights in the family-run Hotel Tilleul. The hotel employs local staff helping benefit the community and they work hard to reduce their environmental impact by recycling, composting and implementing energy saving policies throughout the hotel. The hotel food is homemade from locally produced and sourced goods (found in and around the Vercors plateaux) and meals are accompanied by a good selection of local and other regional French wines. The area is famous for a number of gastronomic specialities which are specific to the farming in Vercors itself, including the ‘Bleu de Vercors-Sassenag’, which is produced on 167 local farms. It is well known that food is a large focus in French culture, so where meals are provided, our local hotel staff are enthusiastic about showcasing fresh produce from the area. Your guide will ensure you’re acquainted with local restaurants and cafes, which is a great chance to both support the community and to get an authentic experience.

Activity/Environment:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage you to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Our leaders also ensure nothing is left but footprints, actively encouraging guests not to leave any litter whilst out on walks. This itinerary offers the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and pristine natural environments France has to offer and we wish to ensure they remain in this state. Brimming with wildlife such as wild boar, ibex, chamois and over 140 species of birds, along with a variety of flora including 80 protected species including the ‘Sabot de Venus’, and wild tulips, we are extremely aware of our roles as stewards of this area and are dedicated to the maintenance of the environment.

Water:
Water is an important issue with active 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. Our guides can advise where to fill them and where to recycle any litter.

Community:
We support the community by using local businesses in the region. We use a locally-owned transport company for transfers and we stay in a relatively unknown area of France, providing income to an area that would usually not benefit from tourism. This tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes, use small businesses to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of the region. We have the chance to explore several towns and villages

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, 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.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.


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