Responsible travel: Azores cycling holiday, Portugal
Global adventures start with a local perspective Ė that's our philosophy. Whether abroad, or just as importantly at home, the start point is the same; how to get the most enjoyable holiday for our customers while benefiting the local people, economy and respecting the environment.
We are committed to running small group tours, and operating these tours where possible in conjunction with local communities, maximising the benefit to local areas and minimising the impact on the environment. We are attempting to use as much locally made equipment as possible, designing and modifying equipment using local ideas and materials.
We and our local partners educate clients and locals on how to preserve the fragile environment and endangered species we encounter. This will include on-going guide and porter awareness programs and thorough pre-departure information and in-country briefings for clients. As part of this trip in particular we experience Whale watching in Marina PÍro de Teive - and they have regulations in place to help protect and conserve the Whale population in this area. We encourage our customers to join in and adhere to these guidelines to help protect the Whales. For this trip in particular we locally provide each guest with pamphlets that include information regarding the most common species of cetaceans that are normally sighted, some information about conservation and about the local teamís involvements.
We provide travellers with Travellers Codes that encourage the reduction of water usage, systems for collecting, recycling or safe disposal of litter and relevant suggestions to minimise damage to the environment, wildlife and marine ecosystems. All our holidays have a maximum group size of 12 to 15 people minimising both the social and environmental impact. We will employ as many locally trained guides as possible, using foreign guides only where their overseas expertise is essential.
Our approach looks to: Minimise the impact of our tours on local societies and cultures while enabling our customers to connect with the fantastic local cultures and communities, maximise the benefits to local people economically in the places we visit and manage our footprint to limit our environmental impact.
Cycling is a great way to explore the countryside, traveling at a speed that enables you to take in the surroundings without damaging the environment. In selecting accommodation in small villages, small hotels or Guest Houses, we make sure that the local people benefit, whilst assuring quality for our guests.
Using a great team of local guides, we ensure our customers get a real taste of the area whilst keeping money in the local economy.
All lunches that are provided on this trip are supplied by Aurora Social. This charity was founded in 1994 by a group of parents that have children with special needs. Their main concern was to provide their children with continuing socio-educational and socio-professional integration. Their aim is to promote lifelong education, supporting the processes of personal development, social skills and increasing employability, and to promote social and professional personal development of people with special needs by providing them with performance tasks in accordance with their achievement capacities. Our local team provide free whale watching trips to the kids helped by this charity, which has an amazingly positive affect on the children.
Guardian / Observer Travel Awards 2013 - Voted 3rd in the Best Short Break Operator category - (top three in the last 4 years and winner in 2011) and 5th in the Best Small Tour Operator category - (top 5 for the last 5 years). The awards are voted for by the public and so in our eyes are a great set of awards to be recognised in!