Annapurna luxury holiday in Nepal

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Date
Price
Basis
10 Oct 2016
£ 3039
including UK flights
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31 Oct 2016
£ 3039
including UK flights
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21 Nov 2016
£ 3039
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13 Mar 2017
£ 3159
including UK flights
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24 Apr 2017
£ 3159
including UK flights
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25 Sep 2017
£ 3259
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09 Oct 2017
£ 3259
including UK flights
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23 Oct 2017
£ 3259
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20 Nov 2017
£ 3259
including UK flights
Available
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

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, travelling 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 holiday, 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 travellers’ 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 holiday 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?
Travellers 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 holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
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 travellers 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 travellers!”
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 travellers 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: Annapurna luxury holiday in Nepal

Environment

Activity:
We spend most of the trip hiking and sightseeing, which are low impact environmentally and benefit the Nepalese community. All the services and activities we use are run by local people. We visit the Chitwan National Park where we have a local naturalist to guide us round the park and we hope to see the one-horned rhinoceros, deer, and crocodiles to name but a few animals. In visiting the park, we hope to promote the conservation of the area and to educate visitors on the rich wildlife within the park. Our entrance fees also directly contribute to conservation initiatives in the area. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to a proper point of disposal. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and showers at lodges use electricity or solar power is for hot water.

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.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip we spend 4 nights in comfortable hotels, 5 nights in comfortable mountain hotels, 2 nights in a jungle lodge and 1 night in a riverside camp. The accommodation we use is locally owned and this is way to ensure that a healthy portion of the trip cost and any money you spend on meals here goes directly back to the community. Where meals aren’t included in Kathmandu and Pokhara, clients can support local businesses by trying some authentic cuisine, rather than imported meals. Try Nepalese dumplings (Momos) or lentils and spicy curry (Dal Bhat).

Local Craft and Culture:
This trip is packed with colourful Nepalese culture and opportunities to immerse yourself in a range of religious, historical and natural sites. Highlights include stopping at several small villages along the way (e.g. Ghadrung and Dhampus). Pokhara’s traditional bazaar, temples and lakes are another cultural favourite, as are the temples in Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, Pokhara, and some of the villages we visit, there will be traditional and handcrafted souvenirs available for purchase. Buying handmade jewellery, painted masks and puppets, prayer wheels, hand woven bags and tapestries all helps to support small vendors and their craft.

Charity:
After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 40 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators and leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. Together with our local leaders we manage all our own projects and over the years we have helped build schools and a children’s home. We have built water tanks and provide water pipe for villages and have helped with hydro electric projects. We have sponsored and installed more than 130 smokeless stoves and 50 solar cookers.

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.

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