Greece cultural holiday, Athens & the Peloponnese

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Greece cultural holiday, Athens & the Peloponnese

Environment

Our tour visits many of the classical sites of Greece. An aspect most guests are understandably unaware of is that the sites we visit were originally developed in antiquity due to their natural beauty and also often times for their ‘magical atmosphere’ which again was a factor of the local climate & geography. Sites such as Delphi, Olympia and Mycinae are set in remote places in the wilderness and retain a great diversity of animal and plant species which can be seen changing through the seasons. Although the main sights are well trodden very short distances from the main tourist pathways are undisturbed forests, hillsides, wild olive groves & other varied ecosystems. We often explore these places as part of our visits & highlight the ecological diversity found in each area. In Mycinae for example we visit a tomb not inside the ticketed sight, but one found 5 minutes away through a small stone path along the hill slope with the opportunity to spot many local reptile species avoiding the noise a short distance away.

Similarly, in Delphi the cliff tops & surroundings are home to over 25 species of bird of prey along with a plethora of wild plants & insects appearing at distinct times of year. Upkeep of the sites is supported by our visit & funds used has in recent times been put into new fire protection systems which have become increasingly necessary in avoiding local environmental disasters.

Road travel is unavoidable in many cases in reaching these destinations but we limit our footprint as far as possible with energy efficient vehicles and all travel at the sites themselves is by foot.

In this tour we decided to use 4-star guesthouses due to the extra need for guest comfort & service at the locations. The hotels chosen are family run and may also be in traditional buildings which form an important part of the local architecture and history such as the Kastalia Hotel in Delphi. All are energy efficient and employ above standard methods of energy use such as full conversion to led lighting, waste recycling, heat pumps and solar powered water heating which form the major footprint of hotels.

Community

As mentioned we employ all local staff & our partners are exclusively local family businesses. Our focus is on the provision of an ‘Authentic experience’ which is rooted in ‘real Greece’. Our small tourism approach enables a more intimate association with the people involved at all stages of this holiday and this is a key factor both in the enjoyment guests will have in visiting & our support of the local community.

We employ a local tour driver for this tour on a yearly basis & not only seasonal enabling him to have stability and on each visit we give the opportunity to take professional local guides for tours inside the sites we visit thereby helping them support themselves, their families & local communities which are currently under severe pressure.

The restraints we suggest will always use local produce which enable small hold farmers to maintain in many cases labour intensive but machinery light practices and in the towns we stay at we also highlight the many local cottage industries to help inform choice on environmentally & community supportive purchases. In Delphi for example we visit the local town of Arachova which has supports a number of local craftsmen & women producing winter clothing, cheese, & local pasta and traditional woodwork.

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