Budapest to Venice tour

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07 May 2019
£ 1935
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21 May 2019
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05 May 2020
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19 May 2020
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02 Jun 2020
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09 Jun 2020
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07 Jul 2020
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21 Jul 2020
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04 Aug 2020
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25 Aug 2020
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08 Sep 2020
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22 Sep 2020
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Budapest to Venice tour

Environment

In an attempt to tackle over tourism, we travel in groups of 16 or less on this trip. These small group sizes allow us to explore in such a way that we have the least impact on the nature of our destination. During this tour, we visit Plitvice Lakes National Park which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status 20 years ago. It’s an area spanning 19 hectares of wooded hills, encircling 16 turquoise lakes and connected by a network of waterfalls – it’s a very sensitive ecosystem that needs to be protected. The park is home to deer, bears, wolves, boars and over 120 species of birds, including hawks and eagles. On top of that you’ll also find thick, primeval forests of beech trees, fir spruces and white pines. Everyday lots of tourists walk along the paths to admire the beauty of nature, and in order to maintain this it’s important to follow the park’s rules. For example, you’re not allowed to swim in the lakes especially during summer.

It’s always important to us that nature is treated with care and consideration. So, a series of wooden walkways have been built across the landscape to keep the impact as low as possible and our guides are sure to stick to the signposted tracks. When visiting fragile environments, remote areas and national parks, we operate a ‘take in, take back out’ system. Meaning our travellers gather any rubbish they create whilst hiking and to ensure no litter is left behind.

As a company we are strongly committed to carbon offsetting. The main sources of carbon emission from our trips (transport, accommodation and waste) are assessed and offset into renewable energy projects. We’ve offset over 250,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from our trips and offices worldwide. Part of the cost of your trip is dedicated to carbon offsetting. A way to keep our ecological footprint as low is to travel on public transport as much as possible. During the trip we use 6 different types of public transportation, for instance from Budapest to Belgrade we take the overnight train. From Belgrade to Sarajevo, Kotor to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik to Split and from Ljubljana to Venice we use public buses. Furthermore, we travel by train from Sarajevo to Mostar and from Zagreb to Ljubljana. And on our day trip from Split to Trogir, we use a ferry instead of a small, private cruise ship just for our group. In this way, the burden on the environment would be much greater, since considerably more people can travel on the ferry. Besides having a smaller impact on the environment, public transport gives our travellers a unique opportunity to get in touch with the locals and learn more about the life of a local Eastern European. In that way we travel like a local, with locals.

Community

The running of this trip supports local people and the local economy, by using a wide range of different local accommodations, in particular hotels, hostels, pensions and guesthouses. This is a perfect example of how we counteract over tourism by supporting small, locally-owned businesses.

Eastern Europe is a lesser-visited part of Europe and tourism is still under construction here, meaning that there are structural weaknesses here and there. Understanding local life is another important part of travel and so we source local activities which we believe are sustainable to the economy by allowing the flow of income from visitors to be distributed to a greater audience rather than remaining concentrated with tourism providers. Our company strives to create employment opportunities in the countries that we travel to and our staff is made up of many different people from all over the world. We offer local people good working conditions, a fair wage, and empower them through training opportunities. We work to maximise the benefits generated by tourism for local economies and communities. We want our customers to get into contact with the locals wherever possible. On this journey we travel through seven different countries across Eastern Europe and have made it our goal to give the travellers a deep and authentic insight into the different cultures. This tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in this region. For example, in Sarajevo we recommend that travellers visit the Pivnica HS Brewery and try their local award-winning beer. During summer time, there are many different cultural events in Belgrade and we are going to visit some of them. After that we’ll visit Skadarska Street in Belgrade´s bohemian quarter, where authentic, local food is offered. By visiting the fish market in Split, we support the local fishing community. In Venice we will sample some fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, both specialties of the region.

With our small group 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. Our travellers get an insight into the everyday life of the locals without influencing it in any way at the same time. Our passionate local guides can also tell travellers a lot about the culture, traditions and history of the countries they visit. Our goal is to promote intercultural communication and understanding. By visiting seven different countries on this trip, travellers get a broad overview of the countries of Eastern Europe and understand that each country is unique. During our visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, our guests will get an in depth insight in the dark history and rebuilding of the capital city Sarajevo. The city combines elements of the East with elements of the West. Minarets, mosques and bazaars can be found here. The city is one of the few in the world with an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque (the famous Begova Džamija) in close proximity to each other. This is a sign of cultural understanding and mutual acceptance.

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