Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012
Paris to Rome
Trip code: AMKR
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Lose yourself in two of Europe's most enchanting countries. Head out to discover the romantic streets of Paris, classic Provencal cuisine and world-class Burgundy wines, then frolic with Europe’s high rollers in the Riviera. Feast on seafood and the breathtaking sights of Cinque Terre's cliff-top villages. Marvel at the architectural elegance of Gothic churches and the gravity-defying Leaning Tower of Pisa. Conclude this European adventure among the ancient wonders of the vibrant city of Rome.
Table of Contents
- Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Day 1 Paris
Bonjour! Welcome to France.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the evening of Day 1.
You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Rich in museums, art galleries, monuments, fashion and fabulous food, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and hidden treasures to discover.
Enjoy a welcome dinner with your group.
As there is limited time for sightseeing in Paris we recommend you make arrangements to arrive a few days early to see the highlights of this beautiful city.
- Musee d'Orsay - EUR9
- Napoleon's tomb - EUR9
- Louvre Museum - EUR10
- Eiffel Tower - EUR14
- Fat Tires bike tour - EUR28
- Notre Dame towers - EUR8
- Picasso Museum - EUR6
- Rodin Museum - EUR9
- Paradis Latin cabaret show - EUR60
- Palace of Versailles - EUR15
- Palace of Versailles gardens - Free
- Da Vinci Code walking tour - EUR20
- Centre Pompidou - EUR13
- Arc de Triomphe - EUR10
- Sainte Chapelle & Conciergerie - EUR8
- Cathedrale St-Gatien - Free
- Hot air balloon - EUR250
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-3 Dijon/Beaune
Travel by comfortable train to Dijon (approx 3 hrs) - our base to explore the Burgundy region.
Burgundy is one of France's richest provinces - historically, culturally, gastronomically and economically. Dijon's delightful city centre boasts numerous medieval and renaissance buildings and a warren of narrow little streets. Despite its long history, Dijon has a youthful feel about it due to its large and well-known university.
Visit one of the world-famous wineries in Burgundy's wine capital, Beaune.
Have lunch at Caveau des Arches, a Michelin-recommended restaurant set in the vaults underneath a 16th-century fortified bridge. Please note that if Caveau des Arches in unavailable your leader will choose an alternative restaurant of similar standard.
Take a short train trip back to Dijon (approx 25 mins).
- Mustard Museum - EUR10
- Owl tour guide - EUR3
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 4-5 Provence
Travel by train from Dijon to Avignon (approx 3 hrs).
An elegant, walled city at the apex of Provence's most picturesque valley, Avignon was the home of French popes for more than a century. Today, its legacy is an impressive collection of art, a grand papal palace and the Pont St-Benezet, immortalised in song as the Pont d'Avignon.
We'll introduce you to Provence's famous hearty cuisine with lunch in a local bistro.
Be stunned by the largest medieval Gothic palace in the world, the Palais des Papes. Built in the 14th century after Avignon became the official residence of Pope Clement V, its sprawling grandeur decimated the papacy's income during construction. The fortified halls are now mostly undecorated, but the cavernous chapels speak volumes about the wealth of the papacy.
See Pont St-Benezet, built during the 12th century and, at the time, the only crossing point along the Rhone River, the natural boundary between the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire. Most of the bridge was swept away by floods in the 17th century, and only four of the original 22 arches remain today.
You have a free day to see some of the Provencial towns such as Orange, Nimes or even the Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard. Your leader will be able to recommend a great local bistro for you to sample some of the world renowned Provencale food and wine.
A popular half-day trip is to take the local train to Arles (approx 30 mins), which is rich in monuments built in Roman times and also in culture, as a result of the town's association with artistic celebrities. You can even enter the ancient Roman amphitheatre.
One of the most interesting things to see in Arles is the ancient necropolis outside the walls of the old town. Les Alyscamps is where some 80 generations have been buried over 2000 years. The road is lined with sarcophagi under tall poplar trees.
- Palais des Papes
- Pont St-Benezet (Bridge of Avignon)
- Bike hire - EUR15
- Museum Calvet - EUR6
- Museum Lapidaire - EUR2
- Museum of the Petit Palace - EUR6
- Museum Requin - Free
- Antiques Museum - EUR6
- Arlaten Ethnographic Museum - EUR6
- Reattu Museum - EUR6
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 6-8 Nice/Monaco
Continue by train to Nice (approx 4 hrs).
The star of the Riviera and a great base from which to explore the rest of the Cote d'Azur, Nice boasts both public and private beaches and many watersports are available. Don't miss the flower and evening markets on Place Saleya.
Take a day trip to Monaco by train (approx 1 hr) to live it up with the high rollers. Your leader will take you on a short orientation walk to show you sights such as the Prince's Palace, the Casino or the Café de Paris where you may want to sip a cocktail and try a little celebrity spotting. Alternatively there are some great private beaches and classy promenades for you to wander, or you can visit the Japanese Gardens.
Monaco is fairly small in size, and you may return to Nice along the coastal rail line at any time you wish. If you still have energy a memorable afternoon can be spent returning to Nice slowly. Stop off at beautiful seaside villages and towns, swim in secluded coves and take the time to discover the real French Riviera.
You have a free day to explore. You could visit the cliff-top village of Eze, known as 'The Eagles Nest'. Just 10 minutes from Nice this medieval town is a true gem. Vaulted, narrow streets are filled with art galleries, workshops and gastronomic restaurants. At the top is a ruined medieval castle commanding one of the most beautiful panoramas on the Cote d'Azur.
Visit Grasse, the capital of perfume. Test out your nose with a tour of the perfumeries and make a visit to the Perfumery Museum.
Those seeking glitz and glamour should take a day trip to the beach at Cannes. A great people-watching destination, it's within easy reach by train, bus or boat.
- Monaco return train transport
- Exotic Garden - EUR7
- Grasse perfume tour - Free
- Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - Free
- St. Nicolas Cathedral - EUR3
- Matisse Museum - Free
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 9-10 Cinque Terre
Travel by train to Cinque Terre (approx 6 hrs).
A medieval port town whose name is derived from its historic importance in the spice trade, La Spezia is our base for exploring the nearby (approx. 30mins by train) stunning stretch of coast known as the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre ('Five Lands') is an area famed for the beauty of its coastline and its picturesque villages. Before the advent of the railway, its ancient systems of hillside footpaths were the villages' only link to the outside world.
A visit to the Ethnographical Museum highlights the ancient history of this fascinating area.
Sample some traditional Ligurian cuisine. The Ligurian people have always traditionally been farmers and fishermen, making excellent use of the limited resources available to them. Due to this, Ligurian cuisine is very simple and very tasty.
Walk along the famous path of the Cinque Terre. Olive groves and vineyards cover the mountains that plunge into the sea - the vistas here are breathtaking.
If you're feeling energetic, walking the entire path (12 km, approx 5 hrs) will give you the best taste of the villages and countryside. However, you can jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to our base whenever you want. Please note that some sections of the Cinque Terre path can be quite difficult with challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. Appropriate footwear (trainers or light hiking shoes) are required for this day.
Cinque Terre path sections:
- Riomaggiore to Manarola is easy and takes 25 minutes on a paved path.
- Manarola to Corniglia is easy and takes about 50 minutes on a partly paved and partly rocky path.
- Corniglia to Vernazza is medium level difficulty and takes about 1.5 hours on a rocky path.
- Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging and takes about 2 hours on a rocky path.
Important note for 2014 departures.
During October 2011 this region was hit by record flooding and serious mudslides, particularly Monterosso and Vernazza which were evacuated and closed for access. In addition, in the summer of 2012 a number of coastal walking paths were closed due to rockslides. Local authorities have since indicated that the restoration and repair work should be complete by summer 2014 and many walking routes will be re-opened, however, please be aware that there may be delays.
- Ethnographic Museum (La Spezia) - EUR4
- Naval Museum (La Spezia) - EUR2
- Pesto class (La Spezia) - EUR15
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 11-13 Pisa/Florence
Board a train bound for Pisa (approx 1.5 hrs).
Store your luggage and head towards the Campo dei Miracoli ('Field of Miracles') where you can see the famous Leaning Tower, Cathedral, Baptistry and graveyard. Please note that entry to the Leaning Tower is not included and is dependent on limited ticket sales.
Return to the station and take the train to Florence (approx 2 hrs).
Florence, the cultural heart of Tuscany, bursts with religious treasures and Renaissance masterpieces. It's been said that during the second millennium, a third of Europe's most important artists lived in Florence. The minds and talents of the Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all flourished here.
During our time in Florence, you'll have the opportunity to discover the principal sights of this beautiful 'outdoor museum': the Pitti palace, the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno Riverfront, the many statues and monuments of the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, the 14th century Duomo, Baptistry and Belltower and the Santa Croce Church. Before sunset on one of our days in Florence, we climb uphill to the Piazza Michelangelo for the most photographed of all views across the rooftops of Florence.
Sample Tuscan hospitality and the local produce on a day trip to the world-famous Chianti region. An hour-long bus journey brings us to the charming small town of Greve-in-Chianti.
Head out into the countryside to a local winery, which produces the renowned Chianti Classico red wine.
After a wine tasting, enjoy a leisurely lunch, being sure to sample the delicious olive oil this region is also famed for.
Please note, to reach the winery in the tiny village of Montefioralle in the heart of the glorious Chianti countryside, it's necessary to walk for about 30 minutes uphill.
There's a vast variety of activities available in Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside and you have a free day to explore. Take in the many fine museums and artistic treasures such as the Medici Chapels and shop in the markets and chic boutiques.
See Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia.
Visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art itself.
Please note that you should book ahead in order to avoid waiting in the long queues for these museums.
Florentine State Museums (Uffizi, Accademia, Pitti Palace, Medici Chapels, Bargello, Archaeological Museum, Davanzati) can all be booked in advance. Reserve tickets by phone on (+39) 055 294883 from Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-12.30pm. You can check opening times and find further information on www.weekendafirenze.com. We suggest that you book at least two months in advance especially for the Uffizi as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. The individual museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website - www.firenzemusei.it has everything you need to know about all of them. Make your reservations for these museums for any time on Day 13.
- Pisa visit
- Montefioralle winery visit
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Accademia - EUR6
- Baptistry - EUR5
- Duomo & Campanile climb - EUR6
- Medici Chapels - EUR6
- Museo dell'Opera di S.Maria del Fiore - EUR6
- Palazzo Vecchio - EUR6
- Pitti Palace - EUR8
- Siena bus ticket - EUR14
- Uffizi Gallery - EUR6
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 14-15 Rome
Travel by train to Rome (approx 2 hrs).
Crowded with ancient ruins and religious monuments, Rome still pulses to the beat of modern life and is packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife.
Take a guided walk to uncover the sites.
A farewell dinner together brings us to the end of our trip.
No visit would be complete without a trip to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica. Entry to the Basilica is free, and there's a small charge to climb the dome for the ultimate breathtaking panorama over bella Roma.
Also make the time to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). Check the Vatican website for these dates: www.vatican.va
Tickets for the Vatican Museum can be booked online at http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do Alternatively, the Galleria Borghese can be booked online at http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
- Walking tour
- Farewell dinner in Rome
- Pantheon - Free
- Galleria Borghese - EUR11
- Venezia Palace - EUR4
- Vatican museums - EUR15
- St Peter's dome climb - EUR6
- St Peter's dome elevator - EUR7
- Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR8
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR12
- Christian catacombs - EUR8
- Imperial Fora - EUR9
- Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR4
Hotel (1 nt)
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.
- Paris to Rome - Single Supplement (AMKR)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Best of France (AMSG)
- Italy Experience (ZMKF)
- Rome to Paris (ZMSP)
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.
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.
Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
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.
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.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
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.
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.
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%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
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.
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. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest EUR1-2 per person per day for local guides.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline EUR3 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.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
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. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
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 room (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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
Hotel (14 nts)
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.
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.
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.
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. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. 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.
14 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 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.
Metro, Taxi, Train, Bus
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. 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 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 aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Best Western Hotel Opera Grands Boulevards
42 Rue Des Petites Ecuries, 75010, Paris, France
Joining point description
Best Western Opera Grands Boulevards has 49 rooms, including a non-smoking floor. Rooms feature air conditioning, satellite television, mini-bar, hair dryer and Wi-Fi access.
Joining point instructions
Directions from Charles de Gaulle Airport:
The taxi fare from Charles de Gaulle to central Paris is around EUR35-45. The journey takes an average of 45 minutes.
Roissybus leaves every 15 minutes, 06:00 to 23:00 daily, the journey takes 45 to 60 minutes. It goes to Opera (the corner of rue Scribe and rue Auber), the one-way fare is EUR8.50. From Opera it is a 20 minute walk to the hotel or you can take the metro - line 8 (direction Creteil Prefecture) from Opera to Strasbourg Saint-Denis. The hotel is a 5-10 minute walk from here.
RER Line B will take you from CDG Terminal 3 to Gard du Nord in 30 minutes. Departures from métro and RER stations are from 06.00 to 23.00 daily. Fare is EUR9.10. From Gard Du Nord take metro line 4 (direction Porte d’Orleans) to Chataeu d' Eau, the hotel is a 5-10 minute walk from here.
Directions from Orly Airport:
Taxi fare from Orly to central Paris is around EUR50.
OrlyBus goes to Place Denfert-Rochereau every 15-20 minutes from 06.00 to 23.30, and costs EUR6. Travel time is 25 minutes. From Denfert-Rochereau take metro line 4 (direction Porte de Clignancourt) to Chateau d'Eau, the hotel is a 5-10 minute walk from here.
Orlyval will take you to Antony Station where you can take RER line B to Chatelet Les Halles. Departures from métro and RER stations are from 06.00 to 23.00 daily. The combined métro/RER/Orlyval fare is EUR8.75. The average trip time from Orly to Chatelet is 30 minutes. From Chatelet Les Halles take metro line 4 (direction Porte de Cligancourt) to Chateau d'Eau., the hotel is a 5-10 minute walk from here.
We recommend you exercise extreme caution while travelling on public transport in Paris due a high incidence of pickpocketing.
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.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Via Volturno 22, 00185 Rome
Phone: 39 06 4819281
Finish point description
Hotel Regio is a small, family run hotel that has recently been refurbished. Located close to Termini Train Station as well as metro and bus stations, making travelling around the city an easy task. Rooms are air conditioned and have private facilities.
During your stay in Rome you may be asked to complete a City of Rome visitor tax exemption form.
Finish point instructions
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
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 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.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. 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. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for 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
Cold tap water is generally safe and good to drink so you can avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap or public water fountains. A “NON POTABLE” caution will be posted In areas where water is not recommended straight from the tap.
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.
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:
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!
Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.
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 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:
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:
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:
Carbon Offset C02-e 500.00 kgs per pax.
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