Accommodation & meals: During this trip we stay in typically Sicilian accommodation that is locally run (sometimes family run) and staffed with people from the surrounding areas, which has a positive effect on employment levels and economy in the region.
Tourism is particularly important for businesses on the very small islands we visit. The majority of lunches and dinners are included on this trip, and these are taken in small Sicilian restaurants that use local and organic ingredients when possible. By supporting these restaurants we indirectly support the local producers as well and therefore have a greater positive impact on the economy. There will be a range of Mediterranean food on offer- pizza and pasta with rich tomato sauce, arancini, olives, fresh seafood, gelato and granita. Your local guide can suggest restaurants to suit your needs where meals are not supplied. Picnic lunches will be prepared using regional produce bought from local shops and stalls as much as possible.
Community & Culture: A large amount of this tour is focused on nature, visiting volcanoes and exploring the coast by kayak (on day three); however we encourage clients to engage with locals wherever possible. By using local services like hydrofoil transfers and authentic restaurants we encounter real people and can forge connections between clients and locals. In Catania we visit a food market; we buy fresh local produce here to make our picnic lunch. On day six, we stop and visit a Pasticceria, a typical Sicilian bakery to taste delicious local delicacies.
There are local crafts for sale throughout the tour and buying these generally has a positive effect on small businesses. However, mineral stones are often sold on the islands that supposedly come from the nearby volcanoes which are UNESCO listed sites; therefore it is forbidden to take them, we advise clients not to buy these.
Social responsibility: Our local partner is an active member of Addiopizzo; a grassroots organisation established by local businesses and private citizens who refuse to pay the ‘pizzo’ – mafia extortion money.
Environment: The food provided on this trip is produced and processed locally; very little is imported from abroad therefore having a positive impact on the environment.
Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
Activity: We try to operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of waste and being sure to leave any flora, fauna and historical sites undamaged. By using local drivers for transfers, local restaurants and small shops and renting all equipment locally we make daily contributions to the economy and the community.
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.