Gallicia walking holiday in Spain

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Date
Price
Basis
23 Sep 2017
£ 1149
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Sep 2017 departure
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled 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. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gallicia walking holiday in Spain

Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend the week in three small, locally run hotels throughout the trip. By spreading our business to several different hotels that employ locally, we are providing more financial benefit to the local community along the Galician coast. The local hotels used are also conscious of their environmental impact and do a number of things to minimise their impact by having recycling and energy saving policies throughout the hotels. Food is a large focus in Spanish culture, so where meals are provided (all breakfasts), our local hotel staff are enthusiastic about showcasing fresh produce from the area. Your guide will ensure you’re acquainted with local restaurants and cafes, which is a great chance to both support the community and to get an authentic experience. Our itinerary throughout the week takes us through several traditional fishing villages of Galicia, where tourism is not as common as other parts of Spain and there will be several opportunities to try regional specialty dishes featuring fish and shellfish, beef, small green peppers and vegetable soups. Barnacles, cockles and mussels are also found along the coast and feature prominently in dishes and meals can be accompanied by the delicious local Albariño and Riveiro white wines from the region.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. 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 do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes, use small businesses to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of the region. We have the chance to explore several towns and villages and rural locations where our commerce has a really positive impact. On one morning your leader will also take you to see where fish comes in from the local fishing boats and will explain the legal and ecological implications of fishing in the area.

Local Craft and Culture:
There will be opportunities on the trip to buy local crafts and experience the Galician culture. The towns of Laxe and Muxia have craft shops which sell local products and in Santiago de Compostela we can visit the Mercado de Abastos de Santiagowhich is a typical Galician market selling local produce such as vegetables, fruit, regional delicacies and seafood that has been caught that very same day. There is a strong emphasis on Galician culture throughout the trip and this can be experienced in the gastronomy and restaurants visited as well as having the chance to visit the important cultural sights such as the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and the Museum of the German Man in the village of Camelle which is run by volunteers and set up as a local initiative to promote tourism. Other sights visited of historic and cultural importance is Cabo de Fisterra; which was believed to be the end of the known world during Roman times and throughout the week emphasis will be placed on discovering the Celtic influences and mystical legends that are richly entwined along this coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with active trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Our guides can advise where to fill them and where to recycle any litter.

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.

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. The small number also allows us to stay in a unique, family-run hotel that cannot benefit from big coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.

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