Celtic Villages & Islands Trip Notes

Experience the cultural charm of Edinburgh, look for the Loch Ness Monster, visit Galway Cathedral, explore Wicklow National Park and savour the delights of Dublin in comfortable style.

    • 15
    • BMKC
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $7,165
      CAD $7,265
      AUD $7,545
      EUR €5,250
      GBP £4,515
      NZD $8,945
      ZAR R68,675
      CHF FR6,470
      *
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    • Comfort
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Print Version
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2014
Celtic Villages & Islands
Trip code: BMKC
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
The traditions of Celtic culture run deep. From mythological fairies and banshees to ceremonies, festivals and rituals – passing through the villages of Scotland and Ireland will leave you with a lingering sense of enchantment. Travel from Edinburgh and through the Scottish Highlands passing through the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and Glasgow. Then cross over to Ireland and discover the magic of Belfast, the Aran Islands, Ring of Kerry and Dublin.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeAlternate Finish point instructions
MapYour fellow travellersEmergency contact
ItinerarySingle travellersEmergency funds
Also available to purchaseAccommodationVisas
We also recommendMealsIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerTransportWhat to take
Culture shock rating Group leaderHealth
Physical ratingJoining point Safety
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsTravel insurance
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsResponsible Travel
Money ExchangeFinish point A couple of rules
TippingFinish point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Departure taxAlternate Finish point Feedback
Style
Comfort
  • 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!
Map
Celtic Villages & Islands
Itinerary
Day 1 Edinburgh
Welcome to Scotland!
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on 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.
Built around two hills, this historic capital city has so much to offer. Great museums and art galleries. The tangled walkways lead you to pubs and restaurants.
The castle is a must! This historic fortress is built on top of Castle Hill, stands out over the city. See the different architectures styles from over the centuries.
Then walk the royal mile to the new Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyrood House.
For those wanting great views, it is well worth a walk up Calton Hill for a great view over the city and the Firth of Forth.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Oban
This morning we leave Edinburgh behind and head west towards Oben.
En-route we stop off at Stirling Caste, the Wallace Mounument commemorating Sir William Wallace's victory at Stirling Bridge and Bannaockburn battlefield site. This is where in June 1314 King Robert the Bruce routed the forces of King Edward II to win freedom for the Scots from the English domination.
We drive through Trossachs National Park and the picturesque village of Crianlarich to Oban.
We check into the hotel and relax but for the the more energetic, take a short but steep hike up the hill to visit McCaig's Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town. It provides great views over the town, bay and islands.
Included Activities
  • Stirling Castle entrance
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Tobermory
Today we travel by ferry up The Sound of Mull to Tobermory. The colourful houses that line the harbour welcome you to the island.
We then jump onto another boat for a coastal tour around Mull, Iona and Staffa.
These islands are a haven for wildlife. Whales, dolphins, seals, sea otters have all been spotted.
Iona is known as the burial place of Kings, including Macbeth. Staffa is the smallest of the 3 islands and is formed from basalt columns. Home to a puffin colony and the famous Fingal's Cave.
The boat returns back to Tobermory where we will spend the night.
Included Activities
  • Staffa Island boat tour
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Fort William
We leave the Inner Hebrides behind and return to the mainland by ferry.
The scenic drive takes us to Glen Nevis. A valley that nestles in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland.
We have some time here to enjoy the stunning scenery and take part in walks of various lengths and gradients.
We then travel to onto Fort William via the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Isle of Skye
We travel by Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig. Known as one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. The train will cross the Glenfinnan viaduct that was used as a location in 3 Harry Potter films.
On arrival in Mallaig, we swap the train for the ferry for a short crossing to Skye.
We then take a tour of the Isle before visiting the Tallisker Distillery for some Whiskey tasting.
Included Activities
  • Talsiker Whisky Distillery tour and taster
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Loch Ness
We visit Dunvegan Castle, built on rock in an idyllic loch side setting, it is home to the chiefs of Clan Macleod for the last 800 years.
We then cross the bridge over Loch Alsh to the mainland and continue on to Loch Ness.
We an option to visit the Urquhart Castle in its magnificent setting on the banks of Loch Ness for heading to our hotel in Drumnadrochit.
Included Activities
  • Dunvegan Castle Entrance
Optional Activities
  • Urquhart Castle - GBP8
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Glasgow
This morning we head South to Glasgow. We start the journey by travelling down the length of Lock Ness, then into Trossachs National Park, taking in the beauitful Highland Scenery. Then pass the banks of Loch Lomond.
We stop off at the coastal town of Helensburgh for a visit to Hill House, designed by Charles Rennie Macintosh before continuing onto Glasgow.
Once in Glasgow you are free to relax or say goodbye to some members of the group on an optional final night dinner.
Included Activities
  • Loch Ness leader led walk
  • Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park leader led walk
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Belfast
This morning we take a private bus from Glasgow to Troon where we catch a ferry to Larne. Then we travel by private bus to Belfast.
Birth place of the Titianic, Belfast is a compact city, there are many things to see and do. Wander the streets of the bohemian Catherdral Quarter, walk to the leafy suburbs of South Belfast full with restaurants and bars. Or visit City Hall in Donegall Square.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 9 Belfast to Galway
This morning we get an opportunity to explore of Belfast on a city tour of the local neighborhoods to get more of a feel of this regenerated city.
We then travel to Enniskillen Castle for an optional visit. Built in the 16th Century and is now home to the Fermanagh Country Museum. Built by Gaelic Maguires, the castle stands beside the River Erne.
We then visit Knock Shine, a Marian Shrine. A very peaceful and beautiful place to before travelling onto Galway for the next two nights.
Included Activities
  • Belfast guided walking tour
  • Knock Shrine - Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Enniskillen Castle - GBP4
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Aran Islands
We travel by ferry to the Isle of Aran for a tour of the island. We travel by foot to see the flora and fauna. Take in the scenic cliffs, visit the ruins of seven churches and maybe even spot a seal.
Included Activities
  • Aran Island Day trip
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 11 Cliffs of Moher
This morning we drive to Doolin for a boat tour along the spectacular Cliffs of Moher (weather dependant) The sheer rocky cliffs rise from the deep blue ocean and are topped with rolling green fields.
After the tour, we visit St John's Castle in Limerick. This medieval castle has just undergone a major refurbishment to help bring history to life.
We continue onto Ring of Kerry, taking in the scenic drive past Dingle Peninsula.
Included Activities
  • Cliffs of Moher - Boat Tour
  • St John's Castle
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 12 Ring of Kerry
Today we travel along the Iveragh Peninsula or as it is famously known the Ring of Kerry. The mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland. We we see some of Europe's finest beaches, beautiful lakes and rivers as well as some scenic villages.
We stop half way to experience an Irish pub a must for any Irish Adventure. This is a great opportunity to experience Guinness or a real ale.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 13 Blarney Castle
Today we have the opportunity to take in some history at Blarney Castle, built in 1446, and Jerpoint Abbey.
The ruined Cistercian abbey that dates back to the second half of the 12th century, Jerpoint Abbey is especially noteworthy due to its stone carvings.
We then carry onto Wicklow for the night.
Included Activities
  • Blarney Castle
  • Jerpoint Abbey
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 14 Wicklow National Park
Today we put our walking boots on and head out into Wicklow National Park. Made up of a mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow on the East Coast of Ireland. From winding streams to deep lakes.
After our walk we head to the Monastic City of Glandalough before heading to Dublin for our farewell dinner.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 15 Dublin
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.
Dublin is a great city to explore, we would recommend you add a few nights on here in Dublin to make the most of this busy city. Have a few drinks in the Temple Bar area, visit the Guinness Storehouse or Trinity College.
Optional Activities
  • Guinness Storehouse - EUR16
  • Trinity College tour - EUR10
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.
  • Celtic Villages & Islands - Single Supplements (BMKC)
We also recommend
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    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

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    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 Pound (GBP) is the official currency of the United Kingdom. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). 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%.
    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.
    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 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 10% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest GBP1-2 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 GBP2-3 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.
    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.
    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 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: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    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
    Hotel (14 nts)
    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 and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
    CHECK-IN TIME
    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.
    Meals
    14 Breakfasts, 4 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.
    Transport
    Private minibus, Ferry, Train
    Group leader
    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.
    Joining point
    Edinburgh Capital Hotel
    187 Clermiston Road,
    Edinburgh
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Phone: 0044 0131 535 9988
    Joining point instructions
    Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is located 12kms from the city centre. Options for arrival transport include:
    By TAXI
    Metered taxis are available in taxi ranks on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park outside the terminal. Journey time is 20-25 mins.
    By BUS:
    From the airport you can take the Airlink 100 or the N22 night bus to Waverley Bridge. Journey time is approx 30 minutes and tickets are £4 for a one way journey available from ticket machines.
    Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport:
    If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, the driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, holding a board with your name on.
    Arrival complications
    EUROPE:
    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) please follow the instructions under the "Joining point instructions" in order to find our driver. Should you have any problems locating your driver, please call the number for our transfer company which can be found below. Should you continue to experience any difficulties, please call the emergency number for our local operations team which is available on the 'Emergency Contact' section of these trip notes.
    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.
    Edinburgh
    If you have any issues locating your driver please contact +44 7733 448 902 or hotel beds on +34 660 409 789
    Finish point
    Albany House Hotel
    84 Harcourt Street
    Dublin
    IRELAND
    Phone: +353 14751092
    Finish point instructions
    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.
    Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
    If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be contact the transfer operator 24hrs before your flight to arrange pick up time. Please call +44 7733 448 902. Your tour leader will be able to assist you with confirming your transfer.
    If you have any issues contacting the transfer supplier, please contact Hotelbeds on +34.660.409.789
    Alternate Finish point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
    13 Jul 2014 (BMKC140713)
    Hotel Maldron Parnell Square
    Parnell Square West
    Dublin
    IRELAND
    Phone: +353 18716800
    Alternate Finish point instructions
    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.
    Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
    If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be contact the transfer operator 24hrs before your flight to arrange pick up time. Please call +44 7733 448 902. Your tour leader will be able to assist you with confirming your transfer.
    If you have any issues contacting the transfer supplier, please contact Hotelbeds on +34.660.409.789
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57. 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.
    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:
    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 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:
    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.