Lisbon to Algarve cycling holiday in Portugal
Description of Lisbon to Algarve cycling holiday in Portugal
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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.
PlanetCycling holidays are a relatively sustainable way to travel as they have less negative impact on the local infrastructure, environment and people while encouraging positive interaction with local people. We cycle on routes that are removed from mass tourism, creating less pollution, noise and traffic. When using motorised transport we work with small, locally owned transport companies.
Much of the trip is spent in the Costa Vicentina - Europe's largest coastal natural park. On our route through this unspoilt and wild corner of Portugal it is possible to spot wildlife that benefits from the protection, not least the magnificent marine storks that are the only colony found in Europe and wildflowers that flourish in spring. Our presence and money spent indirectly helps to support the conservation and continuity of the park.
Our tour leaders do not use single use plastic bottles and encourage our customers to use their reusable water bottles advising the places where tap water is safe to drink or where they can refill their bottles from. For our optional picnic lunches on we avoid single-use plastics by providing reusable plates, cutlery, etc.
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.
PeopleWe use local tour leaders, who know the country very well and who will help to give us a unique insight into its history, customs and culture and get us that bit closer to the local people. Although English is widely spoken, guests are encouraged to learn a little Portuguese and practice it, thus helping to encourage a warm welcome. They also ensure that our customers are aware of the cultural norms that should be observed, dress code, gestures, etc. Our tour leaders are trained in the importance of responsible tourism with guidance given on how they can make a difference.
Our tour leaders will make recommendations to clients 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, what’s the catch of the day and what has been produced locally. Guests will also be encouraged to try local wines, superb in the region, as well as other locally produced drinks.
Lunches are either taken in small cafes in villages we pass along the route, or we'll visit the market and shops in the morning to buy local breads, cheeses and meats as well as other local specialties for a picnic. We visit historic towns off the main tourism paths which helps to boost the economies in areas that aren't frequently visited. We will always visit local markets, and support local businesses where possible.
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.