London to Malaga escorted rail holiday
Description of London to Malaga escorted rail holiday
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The classic European tour is one that encourages you be a traveller, not a tourist. See the famous landmarks by all means, but often the best way to d...
“Everyone thinks they’re going to read War and Peace, but they won’t.” Liz Anderson, from our rail trip experts Sundowners Overland, knows better than...
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.
PlanetYou couldn't get a more inherently sustainable way to travel than by train. Not only is it a wonderful way to see landscapes change as you traverse a country, or in this case two, but it has an extremely low carbon footprint compared to flying or using vehicles. On this trip we travel by train all the way through France and Spain to the Costa del Sol, arriving in style to Malaga. At every step of the way we take public transport, and visit all towns and cities on foot.
Malaga has an unfair reputation among British holiday-goers; in fact most people fly in and transfer straight into a villa or resort hotel on the Costa del Sol. As a holiday destination Malaga city mainly attracts Spanish people, and in 2020 it was named the European Capital of Smart Tourism, for combining sustainability, innovation and culture into its tourism actions. Staying in the city is a great way to get an authentic Spanish coastal experience, without staying in an all-inclusive resort hotel.
As part of our Responsible Travel policy, we advise customers to take reusable water bottles with them on tour. Our local leaders do not actively distribute single-use plastic water bottles. Where picnics are necessary on trains, our local tour leaders suggest local cafes or delis where things like sandwich wrapping will be in paper, rather than pre-packaged plastic affairs.
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.
PeopleAs well as visiting the cities of Bordeaux, San Sebastian and Malaga during this tour, we strive to take you to smaller, less touristy destinations that allow you to spend money within local communities, at shops and local restaurants. For example, in San Sebastian we take a walk north along a quiet section of the Camino de Santiago towards the fishing village of Pasaia. This takes us out of the busy city into a really authentic Spanish community where we can take a traditional lunch with freshly caught fish. Not only does that give us an opportunity to experience the traditional cuisine of rural Spain but it also helps support the local economy.
One of the great aspects of a train holiday is that it connects you directly to local communities that you pass through, particularly on slow trains that link village to village (such as the train across the border from Hendaye to San Sebastian). Both French and Spanish people are very welcoming and particularly appreciative when people try to speak their language, so why not learn a few phrases before you go? This is even more prevalent in the Basque Country, where Euskera (the Basque language) is an important part of their identity. Your tour leader will help you practice to ensure a really warm, local welcome.
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.
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