On this tour we visit the citadel of Berat, the ruins of Butrint and the beautiful town of Gjirokaster which are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our visits to these sites help to support local projects to conserve the area's cultural and geographical heritage.
Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when visiting areas of natural beauty such as national parks and surrounding seaside villages we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist attractions.
To minimise our carbon footprint, all vehicles used on the tour have low carbon emissions. Also, all city tours are done by walking to reduce our environmental impact, and we encourage walking instead of using vehicles. We work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.
On this tour we visit Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania's national hero, as well as his hometown of Kruja, Shkodra, Durres and the coastal city of Vlore, which all have important historical significance to the Albanian people. Visiting these sites and cities allows our clients to learn about the strong culture of this once closed-off city.
Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced.
We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an on going relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved. Our team including Ndrec are all locally based in Albania and take great pride in showing people their country.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit. If meals are included, we use small, locally owned restaurants so the local community will benefit.