Hiking in the Caucasus holiday
Description of Hiking in the Caucasus 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.
PlanetOur leaders are trained in responsible tourism matters and work to our detailed Responsible Tourism Policy. In Georgia, an increasingly popular area for hikers, they brief groups carefully to ensure that we have a minimal impact on the wilderness areas we hike through.
To reduce plastic waste, we encourage the use of refillable water bottles with a built-in filter which is especially handy while hiking so we can make use of any refill points we come across.
Georgian food and wine is also legendary and we support local producers, eating seasonally and locally produced food wherever possible which helps to cut down on food miles.
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.
PeopleThe area which this trip visits, Svaneti, is a remote part of Georgia with its own language and cultural traditions. Aside from agriculture, much of which is subsistence farming, tourism is one of the few opportunities for young Svans to make a living. Our visit helps to support the Georgian government's initiatives to encourage responsible tourism into the region, improve the region's infrastructure and reverse the previous depopulation trend.
Throughout our time in Svaneti we stay in family-run guesthouses that are both part of and built alongside family homes.
We employ local guides to accompany our hikes and Svan drivers are used to reach the isolated village of Ushguli. As well as allowing a genuine insight into the lives of local people our visit is thus helping generate much needed income for the community.
In Georgia we are also working with the German government organisation ‘GIZ’ to help our partners train locals further down the supply train – from guides and drivers to hoteliers and restaurant owners. This helps to professionalise the industry in Georgia at a local level and benefits all businesses that we interact with.
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.