Albania 4X4 tour, 7 days

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Date
Price
Basis
17 Sep 2017
£ 790
excluding flights
6 spaces left
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Albania 4X4 tour, 7 days

Environment

Although using four-wheel-drive vehicles is not the most environmentally friendly way to travel, it is the only way to access the more remote areas of Albania within a reasonable time-frame. We stick to mapped roads (which can be disastrously bad and often impassable in Albania) and old military roads, which are not generally mapped but retain much of the stone surface laid by the Albanian "volunteer" parties who created them under the Communist dictatorship. We do not churn up meadowland or create new tracks.

We camp out most nights, and leave nothing behind apart from fruit and vegetable peelings - there are likely to be bears close to our campsites, so we have to take great care with any waste we create. Leaving leftover food out at night is not sensible!

We ask our guests to burn any toilet paper on the campfire, and to avoid the use of wet wipes. We do not leave any trash in the villages we pass through, but instead carry it on to towns and cities, where there is more chance it will be recycled.

Community

The aim of our Explorer tours is to open up new trekking and offroad trails in the wildest and least-visited areas of Albania with a view to bringing visitors back in the future. This inevitably creates great enthusiasm in the villages we pass through, and leads to long conversations about how to develop tourism, and quite often action on the part of local people - we have now inspired three separate guesthouse/homestay projects (in the villages of Orenjë, Shengjergj and Fushë-Bulqize).

We encourage interaction between our guests and the villagers we meet, which is why we stress these tours suit relaxed travellers - we might be obliged to inspect an old house, cows, a field which has some obscure historical connection... Who knows! It might be impossible to move on at all till the following morning, after a feast and improbable amounts of raki. However, we think this is hugely rewarding for both parties - hosting foreign visitors is certainly a point of honour under the traditional laws of Albanian hospitality.

If we are invited in to eat with local families or shepherds we will advise our guests whether it is appropriate to leave money as a thank you (sometimes it is not the correct thing to do and will cause offence!).

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