Malta and Gozo & Sicily holiday
Description of Malta and Gozo & Sicily holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetWhilst many visitors to Malta never stray far from the beach nor on Sicily venturing far beyond the resort towns such as Taormina, this varied trip gives a real insight into the scenic and cultural wonders that these diverse islands have to offer.
Though you will need to drink plenty on this trip, we encourage you not to buy bottled water due to the plastic waste this generates. Tap water is perfectly drinkable in this area so bring your own reusable water bottle.
Our tour leaders will make recommendations for you to use locally owned restaurants, bars and shops. When dining in restaurants our tour leaders also offer advice about what to order based on what’s in season and what has been produced locally.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleOur trip benefits a wide range of people in the islands, from the small hotels we stay in, to the transport providers, restaurants and other small businesses. Notable are local crafts such as baking, wine making and olive production that we are more than happy to support!
Our trips operate to a strict responsible tourism policy so that we are sure to minimise our impacts on the places we visit.
On Sicily when we visit the mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale we have chosen to stay in the neighbouring town of Piazza Amerina. Most other operates don’t stay here overnight, but we do so you can experience this charming market town set amid rolling countryside. This isn't a town on the tourist trail and so the money spent here is appreciated by the local community. You have the opportunity to dine in one of the family run restaurants and as you stroll along through the peaceful streets and picturesque squares you can see the local men gathering to discuss the events of the day and to put the world to rights, like they will have done for generations.
Whilst on Sicily we will also visit one of island's best kept secrets, the delightful medieval hilltop walled town of Erice. Whilst here this is the chance to purchase a variety of delightful cakes in the traditional local shop - Maria Grammatic.
On Malta most companies choose to visit the island of Gozo as a day trip and so little money goes to the hotels on the island or to the local staff they employ. We have therefore chosen to spend two nights on Gozo, so that we can explore the sights whilst making sure money is going to the local hotel we use and the local restaurants and attractions that we visit on this smaller and far less touristy sister island.
In the Maltese Archipelago and Sicily we work with a local operators. Our Tour Leaders who escort us will be able to explain all about the history and culture, as well as local life on the islands. This makes our experience that much richer than travelling independently as we’ll be able to uncover all sorts of aspects of the islands not accessible to most visitors. All our Tour Leaders are trained by us in the importance of responsible tourism with guidance given on how they can make a difference.
The majority of accommodation used on this trip is locally owned and in which you experience great food, most of which is sourced locally, and lovely Sicilian and Maltese wine. This not only provides direct employment within the hotel, but also has the effect of percolating money beyond to small businesses that supply the hotel and in this way money is spread throughout the region we visit. Other people too benefit from our visit including drivers and local guides, as well as the staff in our local handling agent's offices, which are based on the islands.
Whilst on Malta we’ll visit a local farm where we’ll spend an afternoon learning how sun dried tomatoes and the local wine is produced and then get to sample these along with a selection of other vegetables farmed in the region as well as Maltese bread and olive oil.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.