Trekking vacation in the Picos de Europa

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22 May 2021
US $1320
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19 Jun 2021
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14 Aug 2021
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04 Sep 2021
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18 Sep 2021
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02 Oct 2021
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14 May 2022
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21 May 2022
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13 Aug 2022
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03 Sep 2022
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17 Sep 2022
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01 Oct 2022
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Vacation type
Small group vacations
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.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
The walking trip is based in the Picos de Europa National Park. This mountain range is home to a number of protected spices including the Cantabrian brown bear and the Iberian wolf both of which would be rare for the group to see but the designated nature reserves ensure they remain undistributed by development.

We explore the area on foot, from our central base of Sortes in the heart of the mountains reducing the use of vehicles. We also take the Fuente Dé cable car to access the high plateau rather than by road and walk down valley to our hotel. The tap water is both safe to drink and very clean and we encourage clients to take a reusable water bottle to fill up, rather than generating plastic bottle waste – the water taste even better taken straight from the springs which we pass during the walks!

As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

For this trip we are based at Casa Cipriano, a small friendly family-run hotel where the group can enjoy JuanJo and Sonia's welcoming hospitality and hearty homemade food. A dish not to be missed is the traditional and very delicious La Fabada Asturiana, a hearty soup made with beans, chorizo and black pudding. Next door the family also runs a small shop, selling everything from small locally made souvenirs to cheeses and cured hams.

Nature related tourism is the main source of income for the area and JuanJo is also the guide for the week. Growing up in the Picos he is a wealth of knowledge, armed with interesting facts about the landscape, traditions and local industries to relay to the group.

As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

Climate

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