Balkans cycling holiday
Description of Balkans cycling holiday
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Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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A cycling trip as such has very little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We work with a strict leave no trace policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all waste back to a proper disposal place. As a cycling trip, it allows easier access to the local communities and hence, facilitates interaction with the locals from the visits to local cafes and resturants as well as markets to purchase traditional gifts and craft and get a real impression of the country.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal Craft and Culture:
Under Enver Hoxhas governance, Albania became a self-sustaining country due to its isolation to the world. However due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistence culture and show very little signs of changing. Guests know that most things are produced locally and are encouraged to purchase local craft and produce everywhere they go.
On this trip, we visit the Historic city of Prizren, the cultural capital of Kosovo, filled with rich history and traditions, surrounded by incredible nature. The group will have a city tour there to explore this old town known for its gastronomy and wines, traditional handicraft and wonderful mix of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture.
Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we stay at a variety of locally run hotels and guesthouses that employ local staff and uses local produce wherever possible. This ensures that our money spent remains within the local community. Where meals are not supplied, our local guide will encourage and recommend clients to visit local restaurants and cafes to try local specialties. Food in the Balkans is quite varied due to the various influences on the country, particularly Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes. Meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses and wine.
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