The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.
On this trip exploring the jewels of the Balkans, you can be confident that your trip will tread lightly, supporting local industry and initiative, assist in the provision of employment opportunities in the communities we encounter and give you, our traveller, a fantastic holiday experience and a deeper personal understanding of the history, culture and grandeur of these stunning countries.
Our trips are ‘small group adventures’ mean that our average group size is just 10 travellers. This enables us to explore areas that larger groups do not have access to, it gives us the flexibility to use public transport as well as private vehicles throughout the trips and it allows us to stay in smaller, locally owned properties rather than larger, chain-style hotels. On this trip it also allows us to enjoy a homestay experience Macedonia. Following the visit to Pelister National Park, the group will head out for a traditional wine tasting experience at the homestead where we’ll be overnight.
Unlike traditional guided tours, we aim to build flexibility into all our trips so travellers can explore and discover destinations in their own time (it’s you holiday after all, not ours!). To this end, very few meals are included on this itinerary. All meals taken as a group will favour smaller, traditional, often family run establishments who source produce locally and through whose patronage we are supporting local industry. Dining in this type of establishment gives us a genuine taste of local delicacies and regional specialities from home cured meats in Macedonia to fresh ‘savoro’ in Levkas, Greece. Your group leader, recruited from within the regions through which we are travelling will be perfectly placed to recommend the best places to eat should you want some guidance.
Your leader will also be on hand to steer your group through any potential cultural differences encountered on tour. Some of the regions we will be visiting are fairly conservative and have certain expectations of visitors. Visitors are welcome in Albania’s Et’hem Bey Mosque for instance, but this is a place of worship and certain rules must be respected. We believe that respecting cultural differences encourages the opening of doors and increases hospitality as well as being a respectful way to travel, and we request all of our groups travel with this in mind. Your leader will be on hand to help, and also give your trip a very special local perspective on the places we go and the people we meet.
Transportation on this trip will be a combination of the metro system, pubic buses and private buses, utilising public transport where ever possible. Travelling as the locals do gives a fantastic insight into day to day life in a country, allows us the opportunity to chat with locals en route and is also the most environmentally sound method of transportation.
As a company as a whole, we operate on a carbon neutral basis, not only offering all passengers the option of offsetting their international flights with us, but we also offset all ‘on the ground’ passenger carbon emissions on every trip. On this trip from Croatia through to Greece, that equates to 179kg of carbon offset per passenger, per trip.
In addition to offsetting our carbon footprint, steps will be taken throughout your trip to further reduce our environmental impact while in country. Small measures can make a big difference to the global picture and you will notice hopefully little actions as we go. For example, in a bid to reduce plastic waste, all travellers in the group will be encouraged to travel with refillable water bottles and purification tablets rather than purchasing water in plastic bottles. You will be encouraged to dispose of rubbish responsibly, recycling where ever possible and assisting in the conservation of natural landscapes such as Lake Ohrid and Pelister.