Dolomites cross country skiing holiday in Italy

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Date
Price
Basis
27 Jan 2018
£ 1179
including UK flights
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Jan 2018 departure
No snow?
The Dolomites is a wonderful place to explore, whether that be on skis, snowshoes or on foot. If there is not enough snow to ski, we will don our walking boots and head out into this unmistakable mountain environment. Fresh air doesn’t get much fresher! The hotel also has a lovely spa area to while away a few spare hours with a dip in the Jacuzzi or a swim. In past winters there have been poor snow conditions on occasions in early January.
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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: Dolomites cross country skiing holiday in Italy

General
By supporting the local community we are demonstrating how responsible tourism can still make a difference in a ‘developed’ area of Western Europe. The bonus for our clients is that they can see how they are supporting directly the local economy and the warm welcome they receive from the local inhabitants.

During the week, clients are encouraged to stop at mountain huts and restaurants and other local businesses, where our visit makes a valuable contribution to their trade. Lunches are usually taken in local cafes or huts.
On the free day, it is possible visit the nearby towns (and shops) and local museums, all easily accessible by public transport.
This centre, like others in the Dolomites and Austria, makes great use of the local public transport services thus supporting local facilities and employment. For the airport transfers, we use the services of a local family run bus/taxi company based in Villabassa.

Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation for the week is in the family run Hotel Helm in Versciaco, which has been recently renovated but keeping the traditional South Tyrolean style. The chefs endeavour to source all their ingredients locally and when possible from organic producers. As they continue to make improvements to the hotel, the owners have chosen to start using solar energy to heat the swimming pool.

Activity
Our selection of alternative winter activities seeks to make the most of the natural environment in its pristine state, rather than changing it. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dogsledding are best suited to remote wilderness areas and the development of these alternatives is key to the long-term survival of many mountain communities.

Our cross-country skiing holidays in general avoid large alpine ski areas, and are less dependent on snow cannons, graded pistes and ski lifts, creating significantly less environmental impact than alpine skiing holidays. Using skis that are longer and lighter than alpine skis, our cross-country day tours explore the magical scenery and tranquillity of the natural winter environments. Journeys further afield may utilise public transport and the local economy benefits from our groups purchasing supplies and ski hire directly.

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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