Goa to Mysore cycling holiday in India

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Date
Price
Basis
05 Jan 2019
£ 2899
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Jan 2019 departure
09 Feb 2019
£ 2699
including UK flights
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16 Nov 2019
£ 2799
including UK flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Nov 2019 departure
14 Dec 2019
£ 3199
including UK flights
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

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. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Goa to Mysore cycling holiday in India

Accommodation & Meals:
All accommodation used on this trip employs locally and uses local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. This ensures that our money spent stays within the local community. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies such as asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Many also use energy efficient lighting and solar water heaters for hot water. Where meals are not supplied, our local guides always encourage clients to try local restaurants and street food vendors which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. Lunches are taken at roadside cafes, allowing us to sample typical south Indian dishes such as dosa or poori.

Local Craft & Culture:
We are keen to encourage clients to engage with the culture of India and purchase local crafts and services where possible. Our local guides will be able to recommend the best colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses in the area where through our commerce; tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. Whilst in Mysore and Goa, we will visit local markets where clients can try local specialities or buy snacks. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available at most of the landmarks we visit, as well as in the larger towns in Goa. Our local guides will be able to advise clients on which to buy and which to avoid. Other activities include watching a Bollywood movie at the town’s cinema, which is a must-do and a fantastic local experience.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants, use markets to purchase traditional gifts and crafts and get a real impression of India.

Charity:
For years, we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014, we partnered with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian chairty dedicated to conservation-orientated research to help get the funds to where they are needed. Through this, we completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, provided solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.

On top of that, our local partner supports a school in Cochin where the students, mainly from poorer families, were finding it difficult to get to school and there was the danger of many dropping out. Thus, our local partner supports the school in transporting these children to school and back home. The cost of the van is also met by their contribution.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through providing large water containers on our vehicles, or encouraging our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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