Mont Blanc Circuit Trip Notes

Embark on a guided trek along the Mont Blanc Circuit, savouring the region's crisp mountain air, staggering glacial scenery and quaint Alpine village ambience.

    • 15
    • AZXM
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $2,100
      CAD $2,100
      AUD $2,100
      EUR €1,580
      GBP £1,199
      NZD $2,635
      ZAR R17,050
      CHF FR1,920
      *
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    • Walking
    • Basix
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Print Version
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2014
Mont Blanc Circuit
Trip code: AZXM
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2015
Years of trekking in the Mont Blanc region has taught us that 15 days is the ideal duration in which to truly appreciate this iconic circuit trek. The itinerary includes 10 trekking days and 3 rest days, permitting not only adequate time to complete the circuit but also to enjoy optional activities and further exploration en route. Linking the seven valleys that surround western Europe's highest mountain, the Tour du Mont Blanc offers an unusual variety of spectacular scenery and varied walks. The route crosses three borders (from France into Switzerland, then into Italy and back to France), climbs over six passes, traverses beneath huge glaciers and meanders through beautiful alpine meadows and picture-book villages. Led by our qualified International Mountain Leader (IML), you'll be rewarded with dramatic views across some of the most beautiful peaks in the Alps, such as Mont Blanc (4810m), Aiguille Verte (4122m), Les Drus and Grand Jorasses. And because our baggage is transported between each hotel by support vehicle, you'll be able to enjoy the inspiring scenery totally unhindered.
Table of Contents
StyleTippingEmergency contact
ThemesDeparture taxEmergency funds
MapImportant notesVisas
ItineraryGroup sizeIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationHealth
Culture shock rating MealsSafety
Physical ratingTransportTravel insurance
Included activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Walking
Map
Mont Blanc Circuit
Itinerary
Day 1 Les Bossons
Bonjour! Welcome to France.
Our trip begins at the campsite in the evening of day 1. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the final joining instructions - sent approximately two weeks before departure. These instructions will also include information about where and what time to meet the group.
With wonderful views of the Glacier des Bossons and towering Mont Blanc, the alpine village of Les Bossons is a breath of fresh air.
This evening our guide will talk through the next few days and introduce the trek crew.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 2 Lac Blanc/Les Frasserands
From Les Bossons (1,012m) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we walk to Les Praz and take the téléférique to La Flégère (1,900 m). The trail today is named the 'Grand Balcon' and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to our south. Initially we contour and then climb to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2,352 m). The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before dropping steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands (1,371m). In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 3 Col de Balme to Trient
We begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2,201m), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m) where we walk across the border from France to Switzerland. We have excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentiere and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we descend to the small hamlet of
Trient (1,296m) from where we can see some good views of the Trient Glacier. We spend the night in a rough camp near Trient.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 4 Champex
Today is a longer walking day. We climb first to the Col de Forclaz (1,525 m) from where we can look directly down into the Rhone Valley and the Swiss town of Martigny. Then, following the 'Bovine Route' (2,049 m), we walk through high alpine pastures to the charming town of Champex (1,486 m), set beside a picturesque alpine lake.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 5 To La Fouly
Now on the east side of the main Mont Blanc massif, we walk south, descending through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1,055m) and other small, pretty alpine farming villages. This is also quite a good day for flowers earlier in the season, including orchids. We continue up the valley to La Fouly (1,593m). This lies at the foot of Mt. Dolent, whose summit marks the meeting point of France, Switzerland and Italy.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 6-7 Climb to Grand Col Ferret
Still following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we pass the hamlet of Ferret and then climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2,536m), the highest pass on the trek. We have stunning views from the pass of the south side of the Mont Blanc massif particularly of the Grandes Jorasses. Now in Italy, the valley is also called 'Val Ferret', and we continue down to Planpincieux (1,600m).
Planpincieux is a sweet little village nestled in the valley of Val Ferret, close to the border of Italy and Switzerland.
Still following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we pass the hamlet of Ferret and then climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2,536m), the highest pass on the trek. We have stunning views from the pass of the south side of the Mont Blanc massif particularly of the Grandes Jorasses. Now in Italy, the valley is also called 'Val Ferret', and we continue down to Planpincieux (1,600m).
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Day 8 Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur
We climb steeply from the valley to Mont de la Saxe (2,346m). The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional as are those of the towering and rocky peak 'Grandes Jorasses' and the glaciers which crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret. Look for reflections of the mountains in small ponds along the ridge on early season treks. This is also a particularly good day for wild flowers. We make a longish steep descent initially on an old mule track to Courmayeur (1,230m) from where we take a short bus ride into the spectacular Val Veny.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Day 9 Along Col de la Seigne
The trail climbs gently along the Val Veny beneath the moraine of the massive glacier du Miage and passes Lac Combal before the gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road across today's pass, the 'Col de la Seigne' (2,516m), marking our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through La Ville des Glaciers (1,789m) and finally to Les Chapieux (1,553m), a small hamlet which is only inhabited in the summer months. This is one of the longer walking days.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Days 10-11 To Val Montjoie
We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. First we make a steep climb to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2,478m) and then contour around to the Col du Bonhomme (2,328m). We then descend (again on a Roman road) into the Val Montjoie.
The following day is free. There are short and long optional walks in the area. Time can be spent visiting the half-day market in Les Contamines, or you may wish to simply relax around the town.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nts)
Days 12-15 To Chamonix Valley; Les Bossons
We walk through Les Contamines, ascend to Chalets du Truc (1,720m) and then descend to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m). From here we take the trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2,119m) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay. Along the way we can expect good views of the north of Mont Blanc massif. Eventually we make another short ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1,652m) where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and descend to the village of Les Houches before reaching our camp in Les Bossons (1,012m).
The following day we cross to the north side of the Chamonix valley and climb through pine forest. The high point of the day is Brevent (2,525m) from where there are panoramic views of the Mont Blanc Massif and the Chamonix valley. We descend to Plan Praz and then descend by téléférique to Chamonix and then on to Les Bossons and to our original campsite (1,012m). This is a long walking day but probably affords the best views of Mont Blanc and its neighbours of the whole trek.
Our second last day is free in Les Bossons. There are several good walks around Chamonix, and some spectacular optional excursions by telepherique or mountain railway. Other optional activities in the area include tandem paragliding, canyoning and mountain biking.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Mont Blanc Circuit (AZXM) Single Supplement (AZXM)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    Money Exchange
    The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money 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. ATMs are available at Ajaccio and Corte but it is best to bring some Euros in cash with you
    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 becoming more and more 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%.
    For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
    Swiss Francs are not essential on this trip but can be useful.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    Tipping
    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:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
    Local guides: 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.
    Drivers: You may 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.
    Your Tour Leader: 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 €2-€4 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.
    Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
    AGE RESTRICTIONS:
    The minimum age of clients on this trip is 16 years. Please note that teenagers aged 16 or 17 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
    LATE SEASON DEPARTURES:
    Please note that on late season treks (September) the days are shorter and we will need to make early starts to make the most of the available daylight hours.
    IS THIS TRIP FOR YOU?
    Most of the days are long, quite often involving an ascent of 900-1200m (or 3000 - 4000 feet), equivalent to 3 to 4 hours walking uphill, followed by a similar descent. Although the paths are well maintained there are sections that are rough underfoot. This trek is graded as a B/C as it has 3 easier B graded days and 7 challenging C graded days.
    We recommend that you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Single travellers
    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.
    Accommodation
    Camping (with basic facilities) (13 nts), Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
    We use roomy, easy to erect, two person tents, staying wherever possible (which is almost everywhere) at comfortable campsites with modern facilities, hot showers, electricity to recharge batteries etc. To make the route sensible it is necessary to camp rough on two occasions. Facilities at these rough camps are minimal with public toilets and cold running water only. There are no showers at the rough camps.
    Whilst camping you are expected to erect and dismantle your own tent (these are modern pop up style tents that are very easy and quick to erect and dismantle) and the whole group generally helps to load the support vehicle on the days when we move camp. On half of the nights we eat in camp, you should expect to help with the washing up.
    Single tents are available on this trip for a supplement, if requested at time of booking. Your sales consultant will be able to advise the cost for this.
    Meals
    14 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 13 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    TYPICAL MEALS:
    Breakfast: Will usually consist of coffee, tea, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruit, bread, and conserves.
    Lunch: Picnic style lunches will normally include bread, cold meat, cheese, sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish, fresh salad vegetables and fresh fruit.
    Evening meal: Whether in camp or in a nearby restaurant will consist of, a first course of soup, salad or charcuterie, a main course of meat with one or two vegetables or rice or pasta and a dessert course. Beer, wine, bottled water, coffee, tea or other drinks are not included in the price of evening meals taken in restaurants. Coffee and tea are included with the evening meal when we eat in camp and beer and wine are also available for purchase at a modest cost. Please be aware that, as this is a camping trek, cooking facilities are necessarily limited.
    Restaurant meals are usually arranged as a 'menu' for the whole group and as they are based on special negotiations made by us represent better value than eating independently.
    VEGETARIANS:
    We do make an effort to cater for vegetarian diets but you should not expect the variety of food that you may have at home. In Europe most hotels and restaurants are not geared up to provide separate vegetarian menus, especially smaller establishments in the mountains. Vegetarians will usually find that there is little difficulty, as long as they are prepared to be reasonably flexible.
    Transport
    Cable car
    Group leader
    There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed. We provide a qualified International Mountain Leader to escort the group on each walking day. Our walking leaders are true mountain professionals as well as being skilled group leaders. This not only helps to assure safety on the mountain but also that your leader has experience and knowledge in wider mountain environment such as flora and fauna, geology, weather and local customs. Our support leaders will transfer your main luggage from hotel to hotel each time you move on. Please note that your baggage is not carried to your room.
    Joining point
    Camping Les Marmottes
    140, Chemin des Doux
    Les Bossons
    FRANCE
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    Please also make sure have a copy of the local operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
    Finish point
    Camping Les Marmottes
    140, Chemin des Doux
    Les Bossons
    FRANCE
    Emergency contact
    In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner EXODUS on their 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1582 644 100.
    For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
    Australia: No - Not required
    Belgium: No - Not required
    Canada: No - Not required
    Germany: No - Not required
    Ireland: No - Not required
    Netherlands: No - Not required
    New Zealand: No - Not required
    South Africa: Yes - in advance
    Switzerland: No - Not required
    UK: No - Not required
    USA: No - Not required
    Issues on your trip
    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.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we 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. 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.
    This Trek is based on the 'supported camping concept', with a vehicle doing all the hard work of transporting luggage, equipment and supplies.
    WALKING EQUIPMENT:
    - Walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole
    - A good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and waterproof trousers
    - Hat and gloves (even for August)
    - A warm 2/3 season fleece jacket
    - Day pack with 30-40 litres capacity
    - Sun cream
    - Sun hat
    - Sun glasses
    - 2 litre water bottle
    - Walking poles - Optional
    All luggage is transported between the hotels by a support vehicle (but not to your room). Please note that we must limit you to one item of luggage, weighing a maximum of 15kg per person to be carried in the support vehicle. . Excess baggage can be left in the hotel store in Chamonix. You should pack your belongings in a sturdy kitbag or holdall; suitcases should not be used, as they cannot be packed easily in our support vehicle.
    Optional Items
    - Umbrella
    - Swimming costume
    CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
    All camping equipment is provided except for your own sleeping bag and mat. We suggest you bring a 3 (preferably 4) season sleeping bag - some camps are as high as 1600 metres (over 5000 feet) surrounded by snowy peaks and glaciers so it can be cold at night. You should also bring a sleeping mat or Thermorest. These can be bought locally in Chamonix.
    CLIMATE:
    From late June to early October fair weather is to be expected, but all mountain ranges create their own weather patterns and the Alps are no exception. It can and does rain and especially on the high passes it can be surprisingly cold at times. Expected daytime temperatures are in the range of 15 to 25ºC in the valleys (although it can sometimes reach 30ºC in July/August), 5 to 15ºC on the passes (though it will feel colder if wet and windy) and 5 to 15ºC in the valleys at night; possibly a little lower early and late in the season. There is always the possibility of snow, even in August, and in September trips may find snow on the passes.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Please bring 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
    Health
    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 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 and anti-malarial requirements before departure. 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 at the 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.
    Safety
    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. 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 group 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 group 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:
    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 and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
    Travel insurance
    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 group 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.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    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 that modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
    Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.