As a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
We travel in small groups – on this trip the maximum group size is 12 passengers – which means we can stay in small, locally-owned or family-run hotels, and we also spend one night experiencing local hospitality when we stay in a traditional chateaux south of Dijon. Wherever possible we use public transport, to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. As you journey from Paris to Nice you will travel by train, bus and metro and make some short journeys by minibus and taxi. There’s no greener mode of transport than bicycle, and in Avignon there’s an opportunity to hire bikes to explore nearby Provencal towns and villages.
Simple breakfasts are provided at each of the hotels, but most other meals are not included in the tour so that you have maximum flexibility over where you eat. Your tour leader will encourage you to make the most of each region’s local produce, by recommending authentic local bistros, markets and other eating places. For example, weather permitting we may enjoy a picnic by visiting a fromagerie for cheese, boulangerie for bread, charcuterie for cold meats, and so on – which means we can enjoy some local interaction with shopkeepers, shop in the way that locals do, and support a number of small businesses. We also enjoy a local wine-tasting in Beaune, which is famed for its vineyards and in Nice we visit the flower and evening markets on Place Saleya to support local traders.
After a three-year process, we were proud to become a carbon neutral company in 2010 and we operate this tour on a carbon neutral basis. We offset 300kg of CO2 emissions per passenger, by making contributions to a range of internationally accredited renewable energy projects in destinations where we travel. As well as an ongoing programme to measure, reduce and offset the carbon emissions from our offices, stores and trips, we also offer passengers who book their flight through us the option to offset those emissions. To date, we have offset more than 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
We have a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct which we adhere to as a company, and we expect our staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel too. We provide a number of responsible travel tips to facilitate this, for example advice on what clothing is appropriate and respectful. While there are few dress restrictions in Europe we request that our passengers dress modestly and cover their shoulders when visiting churches or religious sites.
As a tour company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. In 2002, we established a charitable foundation so that our passengers and staff could support grassroots community projects around the world. To date, it has raised over £2million for over 75 projects involved with health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, and environmental and wildlife protection. We match every donation made by passengers and pay the administration costs, so every penny that is donated goes to a good cause.
Experience real French culture and get off the beaten track
From €510 - €780 5 days excluding flights