Poland & the Baltics Explorer
Uncover the cultural riches and historical intrigues of four fascinating countries on a journey through Poland and the Baltic states. This 18-day highlights tour of Poland and the Baltics will get you in the know with Soviet history, inspired by the variety of architecture and cultural richness of the country, and full of as much pierogi and vodka you can manage. Let Poland please you with a journey through its urban attractions, then cross into Lithuania, before exploring the Baltic capitals of Riga and Tallinn. Encompassing both historical attractions and outings for the active, a bit of Europe both old and new, this is the trip for travellers wanting to check out a side of Europe often overlooked.
Ages: 15 - 99
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel (16 nights), Farm stay (1 night)
Czesc! Welcome to Poland. You will have an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, meeting your group leader and fellow travellers. Krakow is striking with contrasts: a medieval old town with a large youthful influence, renowned fine dining restaurants with food truck and casual riverside eateries, a vibrant Jewish quarter with some elegant speakeasies and hidden bars. You’ll have two full days to explore Krakow at your own pace, but if you would like to spend more time here, why not arrive a little early? After your important meeting, you'll have an option to head out with your group to dinner – your leader will know of some great options.
This morning, begin getting to know Krakow from its relatively new history. Take a guided tour of Nowa Huta – a former communist town turned eastern Quarter of Krakow. Nowa Huta was prime Polish agricultural land but was swallowed up by the Soviet Union in an attempt to create an Orwellian settlement in contrast to the fairytale of central Krakow. An experienced tour guide will explain all the history hidden in its streets and buildings that otherwise would look like another sector of the city. In the afternoon, take a leader-led walk around the Old Town. Rynek (main square) is one of the oldest and most recognisable medieval squares in Europe. With the renaissance Cloth Hall in its centre, now home to the main market, touring the main square is a must. Later on, walk over to Jewish quarter and learn more about that part of town.
Today, enjoy a free day in Krakow to do whatever you choose, and there is so much to see and do here, and beyond! You may wish to visit Wieliczka Salt Mines, magnificent chambers chiselled out in rock salt. There is almost 3 kilometres of meandering corridors, 800 steps to climb of which 350 have to be descended to reach the depth of 135 meters underground. Otherwise, a lot of travellers use today to visit the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, however pre-booking is necessary to secure a place. If you would like to see some different sides to Krakow and the surrounding area, there is also the option to see what Urban Adventures can offer. From cooking classes to tailored shopping adventures, they’ve got you covered! Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Krakow-tours.
Today, travel to Warsaw on a high-speed train, taking approximately 3 hours. Warsaw is a capital of Poland and has a rich history shown in its mix of Gothic, neoclassical and Soviet-era architecture, and also a new, cosmopolitan touch. This afternoon head out on a guided tour all about Polish cuisine. Being one of the lesser known European foods, you’ll learn about Poland’s signature dishes and how to make them. To wash everything down, you’ll even get the chance to test out some local vodka with an included tasting. Na zdrowie!
You’ve got a free day to enjoy the wonders of Warsaw. From many options, one worth considering is a visit to the Uprising Museum. Dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, the museum is a tribute for residents who fought and died for an independent Poland, and a free capital. It was said that Warsaw survived its own death – learn about that part of history of this city in one of the most modern museums in Europe. Otherwise, sit back in one of the many parks, stroll past the Tamka street art, or head to a local eatery for a serving of pierogi (filled dumplings).
Travel onwards to Gdansk aboard a high-speed train (approximately 3 hours). After check-in to your hotel, your group leader will show you around the old town on simple orientation walk. After you’ve got your bearings, enjoy the rest of your day and soak up the atmosphere of this maritime, medieval city. Tonight, if you’re struggling to find somewhere to eat, take a walk down Dulgi Targ – it’s a lot quieter at night than during the day.
Today, head out on a guided tour of Gdansk. This will include a visit to most iconic sites of the city: the Crane (Zuraw), an iconic trading symbol located near the National Maritime Museum. Then, visit Olowianka, an island in the middle of the Motlawa River, to learn more about Gdansk’s maritime history. In the evening, experience a traditional Polish meal at Tawerna Mestwin, serving specialties of Kashubian regional cooking (north Poland cuisine). Interiors of this place look like a traditional farm cottage and the exposed beams and dark-green walls make for a cosy atmosphere.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to explore at your own pace. Aside from boasting some very grand architecture, Gdansk has a wealth of sites worth checking out. Pay a visit to the National Museum for a dose of fine art, follow in the footsteps of visiting royalty with a lap or two of Royal Way, or travel a suburb over to Sopot and take a stroll along Europe's longest wooden pier. In the evening, meet with some new travellers at another welcome meeting at 6 pm to begin the next stage of your Baltics adventure.
Today you'll spend getting to know Gdansk and its history as relayed by your tour leader during leader led orientation walk. After walking through the city and its sights, board an old galleon style ship for a cruise out on the Baltic. Cruising along Westerplatte's peninsula, become versed in the city's shipbuilding heritage with stop-ins at the Gdansk Shipyard, a repair yard, the docks and Wisloujscie Fortress.
Today involves a fair bit of travel with several interesting stop-offs en route to break up the journey. The first stop, only a 30 minute drive out of Gdansk, is Malbork castle. This beautifully preserved fortress is a classic example of medieval architecture and, on its completion in 1406, stood as the world's largest brick castle. Following an audioguide tour of the castle, enjoy lunch before continuing on to Wolf`s Lair, the first military headquarters from which Hitler oversaw the fighting on the Eastern Front. You'll be shown around the site by a local guide, then, following a refreshment stop, continue on to Gizycko – summer capital of Poland. Situated on the shore of Niegocin Lake, Gizycko offers a number of interesting food and drink options, so well deserved after a long day of travelling.
See in the morning with a boat ride on Niegocin Lake, the seventh largest lake in the country. Gently cruising across towards Gizycko, or Love Island, situated towards the other side of the lake and occupied mostly by cormorants. Take a chance to spy other wildlife too, it’s plentiful in this part of Poland. Lake District contains over 2000 lakes and recently was had been elected as one of the 28 finalists of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The afternoon is free for you to spend however you wish, perhaps with a swim in the lake or hike or bike ride to one of the neighbouring villages. If you are in to history and would like to learn more about the region, Boyen Fortress is a place to see. Former Prussian fortress is situated between Niegocin and Kisajno lakes and played its part in both World Wars.
This morning after breakfast we travel east into Lithuania and its capital Vilnius (approximate travel time 2.5 hours). After settling into your hotel, join the group for a city tour led by a local guide Passing through Cathedral Square and the Old Town, learn about the famous Grand Duke Gediminas, the legend of Vilnius' creation and the prestigious history of Vilnius University. See the painting of Our Lady of the Dawn Gate that adorns the Gate of Dawn, then venture out to get to know Vilnius on your own terms or join your group for your first Lithuanian dinner.
Today's set aside for you to explore all that this lively city has to offer. Options include: climbing the Hill of Crosses for magnificent views over the city; heading up to the TV tower that stands as a symbol of Lithuania’s independence; visiting the Cathedral and climbing its tower, and visiting a country within a country – the Republic of Uzupis. Much to the surprise (and amusement) of the outside world, this small Vilnius suburb of artists and eccentrics declared themselves an independent republic on April 1st 1997. You can pore over the peculiar articles of its constitution on one of the city walls. A trip up to Trakai castle is another recommended visit. Located on a small island in the middle of the lake, this castle was the capital of the Grand Dutchy of Lithuania before the establishment of Vilnius. The castle is these days accessible by a bridge, the shoreside walk to which is very pleasant. Your trip leader will be able to give you detailed instructions on how to get there.
Hop aboard a comfortable public bus for the onwards drive to Riga (approximately 4 hours). After arrival, transfer to our hotel, which is located a short walk from the symbolic Freedom Monument – or, as she's affectionately known to the locals, Milda. Head out on an orientation walk with your leader through the small cobbled streets and squares to discover the main sights of the Old Town. During this walk you'll also visit the central market, buzzing with life in old zeppelin hangars. Stop to taste a few local specialities along the way, perhaps finishing the afternoon with a shot of traditional Riga Black Balsam.
Enjoy a free day getting to know Riga at your own pace. Most of the Art Noveau architecture for which the city is famed is located in a part known as 'the quiet centre'. A leisurely stroll along the canal that intersects the town's central park is another popular outing, as is a visit to one of its many museums – the recently renovated Art Museum, located only a few minutes walk from our hotel, is particularly impressive. Take in views of the city with a drink at a rooftop cafe (your leader will be able to make some recommendations) or, if it's summertime, make the trip to the popular beach resort town of Jurmala (only a 30 minute train ride away).
Rise early for the trip to Saaremaa island, the largest island in Estonia. Travelling first by private minivan and then public ferry, you'll arrive in the island's southern part by late afternoon for a night's stay in a local farmhouse (home cooked dinner included, approximate travel time 6 hours).
Transferring to the biggest town on the island, Kuresaare, spend a few spare hours exploring the town before catching a public bus to the Estonian capital of Tallinn (approximate travel time 4.5 hours). Tonight's accommodation is in Tallinn's atmospheric Old Town, which you'll get to know on an orientation walk with your leader. As tonight's your last with your group and trip leader, why not head out for a memorable dinner among friends.
Your trip ends this morning after breakfast. There are no activities planned and you're free to check out of your hotel at any time.
- Saaremaa Island - Home-Cooked Dinner
Ul. Basztowa 25
Phone: +48 12 422 12 33
Rija Old Town Hotel
Phone: +372 6141300
This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
- Day 16 Saaremaa
Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.
All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety SCAMS Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money. FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
BOATS On this trip we will be taking a boat travel around the lake. Please note that life jackets will be provided and must be worn at all times.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and British citizens currently do not require a visa to enter countries visited on this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy or consulate in their home country for up to date visa information.
Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.
Why we love it
Discover the Orwellian neighbourhood of Nowa Huta – an alternative district in Krakow that showcases the communist influence in Poland.
Take a guided tour of maritime Gdansk, walking through the old town and understanding how this main trading port has been important in Poland’s history.
Feast on Kashubian specialities with an included meal at Tawerna Mestwin – you’ll feel like you’re eating in a traditional farm cottage!
Tour the remnants of Wolf’s Lair – an important military headquarters during the battle for the Eastern Front.
Enjoy a farm stay experience and home-cooked meal on Estonia's largest and largely untouched island, Saaremaa.
Is this trip right for you
Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
We travel by train, the most eco-friendly way to move between places. Trains are good, with power points and food and drinks available to purchase. Please note you will have to carry your bag up and down the platforms and on and off the train. Pack light!
On Day 3 you will have a chance to visit the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz (optional). This tour requires pre-booking. Find more information on the Special Information section of Day 3.
There will be a walking tour included in each city. The tours may cover fair amount of ground, so please make sure you are happy to be on your feet for few hours.
This trip stops in at some places with dark histories. Not everyone will necessarily want to visit Westerplatte or Wolf’s Lair, so please let your group leader know if you have any hesitations.
Roads in northern Poland and the Baltic states are generally good, but these in rural areas can get a bit rough. If you suffer from motion sickness, consider bringing along some medication.
While Gizycko and nearby lakes are certainly beautiful, it is a wetland. Mosquitos and midges can sometimes be an annoyance, so consider bringing mosquito spray.
In many cities in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia streets are made of cobblestones. In addition, some of the accommodation we use across this region may not have lifts, so you will be expected to carry your luggage up and down some stairs. It is recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/case at home and bring a backpack instead.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Pharmacies are well equipped in Europe and widely available, however, we recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained in some of the rural locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Food and dietary requirements
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Food in Europe is varied and differs significantly between countries and regions. Expect to sample delicious local meals in almost every location you’ll visit on this trip. However, if you do not feel like having a local delicacy, world type food is also widely available, especially in bigger cities. European diet is mostly meat based; vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.
European breakfasts are often basic and may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. The safest option is to bring cash in either Euro or US dollars. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%. Taking all that in to account, we do not advise bringing traveller’s cheques to Europe.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
Poland uses the Zloty (PLN). 1 Zloty equals 100 groszy. Notes are in denominations of 200PLN, 100PLN, 50PLN, 20PLN and 10PLN. The new coins are in denominations of 5, 2 and 1 Zloty, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 groszy.
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 300.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
What to take
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.
Climate and seasonal
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.
A couple of rules
Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.
Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.
The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.
By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.
If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.
Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:
Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 867 791 866 57
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.
In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.
We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Europe may be different to the standards you are used to. Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges and in particular destinations, rooms may be rather small.
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite (even when you book single room supplement). You will always be shared with the person of the same sex.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.
A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Comfortable hotel (16 nights),Farm stay (1 night)