Baltic cycling holiday
Description of Baltic cycling holiday
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Small group tour:
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. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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.
We visit Ventes Ragas Ornithological Station, an important place for the scientific study of bird migration. The scientific station helps to promote the learning, understanding and preservation of birdlife and their habitats. Entrance fees help to sustain their work and it is the same case when we visit Curonian Spit National Park and Lahemaa National Park.
We help to support the Beaver Ben ecological project, where disadvantaged children (orphans and children living in poverty in rural Lithuania) participate in environmental protection - helping to remove waste and clean up the shores of the Baltic Sea to improve the habitat for wildlife. Our local partners dedicate one weekend each year where all staff assist in this clean up.
Cycle tourism helps to reduce the impact on the local environment of the places we visit and reduces the pressure placed on sites that are visited by motorised transport – particularly Trakai and Nida National Parks. Cycling is a quiet and sustainable way to travel that also promotes interaction with local people encountered along the way.
We run a Toubkal litter programme for all our trekking trips in Morroco; we pay for an additional donkey to accompany the group to carry both our litter and also litter picked along the mountain trails to take this away to be properly disposed of.
In addition to the above, 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. As well as this, 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 UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleFriends & neighbours
We encourage visitors to eat in local eateries and to try local dishes, specialities and the local beers and spirits of which there are plenty and of great quality. On our cycle routes wherever possible we stop in local shops to buy drinks and supplies, helping to spread the spending. The hotels we use are locally owned, employ people form the local area and use local produce for the included breakfasts.
A fair deal
We work with a locally-owned Lithuanian partner and all of our Tour Leaders are local to the Baltics. Our client feedback shows the value added by our local Leaders as they share with passion the cultural and historical points of interest. We provide expert training and ongoing feedback through our operations managers. We stay in locally run hotels that employ people from the local region and in more rural and less visited areas this helps provide alternative employment opportunities away from agriculture and industry.
Local crafts and culture
We visit various sites of cultural importance such as Trakai Historical National Park that help to understand the local history, culture and traditions. Amber is an important local product and there are opportunities to buy handcrafted amber goods in small shops that work directly with the makers.
Volunteering and charity
We help to support the Beaver Ben ecological project, where disadvantaged children (orphans and children living in poverty in rural Lithuania) participate in ecological summer camps – giving them a sociable summer break, something they would never normally be able to experience, that that helps with their personal development and raises their awareness of environmental issues.