Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012
Carthage to Rome
Trip code: XMSN
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2012
Take the road less travelled on a 15-day adventure through Tunisia and Italy. From the ancient forts and mosques of Africa's north, to the piazzas and cathedrals of Europe's south, this journey takes in the very best of what this region has to offer. Sleepy seaside villages, hilltop Berber communities, energetic metropolises and a city frozen in time all await on this once-in-lifetime experience.
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
Table of Contents
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Day 1 Tunis
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Tunisia.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, 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.
The modern but fascinating capital of Tunisia, Tunis is a delight to explore. If you arrive early you may wish to visit all the main sights of the medina district and the extraordinary Bardo Museum - the finest collection of Tunisian artefacts in the world and a must for anyone with an interest in the ancient world.
- Catacombs, Tunis - TND8.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Sfax
Visit the ruins of the ancient capital of Carthage. Home of the famous Hannibal, Carthage was one of the finest cities in the ancient world. Although it may involve a little imagination, the evocative ruins do give you some idea of what this city may have been like at the height of its power.
We travel south (approx 3 hours) to reach the ancient Roman colosseum of El Jem. El Jem is one of Tunisia's most dramatic sites built in 1 century AD and once part of the ancient trading town of Thysdrus. There is time to view the nearby Roman villa ruins.
Travelling 1 hour further south we reach Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia and our stop for tonight.
- El Jem and Roman villas
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Tozeur
Many feel the Sfax medina is one of the best in Tunisia, and this morning we explore the narrow thoroughfares on foot keeping watch for the many artisan goods available.
Travelling south for aprpox 3 hours we reach Matmata, famous as the site of Luke Skywalker's home in Star Wars!. The barren, eroded landscape surrounding Matmata and the harsh climate led to its inhabitants creating their houses underneath the ground in 'Troglodyte' homes. The main courtyard living area is essentially a circular pit in the middle with rooms cut into the earth from this central point.
Later we travel to Tozeur via Douz (approx 4 hours) crossing the salt lake Chott El Jerid.
There is the chance to stop in Douz for an optional camel ride.
- Troglodyte visit
- Sfax Medina walk
- Camel Ride, Douz - TND20.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Kairouan
Visit the second largest Palmeraie (or oasis) in Tunisia. 200 springs water the tiered oasis containing at least 200,000 palm trees.
Jump on board 4x4 for trip to the deserted ancient berber villages of Chebika and Tamerza. Month long freak rains during 1969 saw the earthen houses turn into mud and the villages were abandoned. Set against the backdrop of the Jebel en-Negeb ranges, the mountain oases are easily spotted as a welcome green wedge in the dry landscape.
Our 4 hour journey in the afternoon brings us to Kairouan, one of the seven holy cities of Islam.
With its charming blue and whitewashed medina, which is home to the oldest mosque in North Africa, Kairouan has a wealth of religious monuments and elegant old merchant houses it is a city made for exploring. Kairouan is famous for the quality of its carpets and the skills of its salesmen. See if you can escape without making a purchase!
- 4x4 trip to Mountain Oases
- Tozeur Palmeraie
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Sidi Bou Said
Visit Kairouan's Great Mosque, north Africa's holiest Islamic site. There is more time to explore Kairouan's impressive Medina, take the chance to try the local speciality, makhroud (honey soaked, date filled semolina cake) at a local bakery.
After a journey of around 3 hours we reach Sidi bou Said, with its cobbled streets and soaring views, the picture perfect whitewashed seaside village is the perfect place to relax.
- Mosque and Medina vist Kairouan
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Tunis/Overnight Ferry
Stroll the narrow lanes of Sidi Bou Said, admire the Andalusian inspired architecture or pull up a cafe chair in the square.
From Port La Goulette, catch an overnight ferry to Sicily (approx. 10hours).
We will stay in 4 berth cabins with ensuite bathrooms (western style) Bedding is provided and there is a restaurant and bar available on board.
- Dar el Annabi, Sidi Bou Said - TND6.00
- Bardo Museum, Tunis - TND10.00
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Palermo
The capital of Sicily, Palermo is a bustling and chaotic city with an interesting, multicultural past. The Byzantines, Arabs and Normans all had a hand in its history, and their influence can still be seen in the architecture today. Sicily was also an important strategic conquest for the Allies in World War II, and as a result, Palermo was heavily bombed. Today Sicily is known for its Mafia, who still control much of the city.
A stroll around the old part of town and its the churches, piazzas, fountains and palace is well worthwhile. You may also liked to visit the colourful street markets.
We take a day trip out to Monreale, approx 8 km south west of Palermo. Monreale is
- Orto Botanico di Palermo, Palermo - EUR5.00
- Monreale Cathedral, Palermo - Free
- Catacombs of the Capuchins, Palermo - EUR2.00
- Cappella Palatina, Palermo - EUR6.00
- Cooking Class, Palermo - EUR150.00
- Museum, Palermo - Free
- Entrance, Palermo - EUR1.00
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 9 Agrigento
Today we travel to Agrigento, home to the Valley of the Temples.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Valley of the Temples is a complex of Greek temple ruins from the ancient city of Akragas. The temples date from the 6th century BC. Agrigento itself is a cute little town full of winding streets and Norman churches.
- Archaeological Museum, Agrigento - EUR8.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 10-11 Taormina
Today we travel on to Taormina, a stunning medieval town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Etna.
There is plenty of time to explore the boulevard and its antique shops and boutiques, or stop for a drink in a cafe. Alternatively, visit the Teatro Greco, a 3rd century BC Greek amphitheatre suspended on a cliff-top overlooking the sea. We will also take the cable car down to the beach, taking in the spectacular views along the way.
- Legendary Sicily City tour, Taormina - EUR69.00
- Boat Excursion at Mazzaro Bay, Taormina - EUR25.00
Hotel (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Days 12-13 Naples
Your leader will take you on an orientation walk through this diverse city. The historical old centre of Naples is a UNESCO listed area and the famous Spanish Quarter is still one of the most densely populated residential areas in Europe. We visit the Archaeological Museum; one of the best in Europe, which houses all the original artefacts rescued from the Pompeii Site.
Naples is the birthplace of the pizza, and with that in mind it is only appropriate to head to one of the many pizzerias and taste what is truly the some of the best that Italy has to offer; yum!
- Chapel of San Severo, Naples - EUR6.00
- Archaeological Museum, Naples - EUR8.00
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 14-15 Rome
We continue to Rome - a city crowded with ancient ruins and religious significance, yet pulsing to the beat of a modern political capital and packed with designer shops, restaurants, cafes and exciting nightlife.
In the afternoon of day 14 your leader will take you on a short optional orientation walk of Rome. There is time for you to head off and explore some of the sights including the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, Via Condotti and Piazza Venezia.
Day 15 is departure day. There are no activities planned for today and you are able to depart at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 10:00am. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel reception. There may be a small service fee.
- Galleria Borghese, Rome - EUR11.00
- St Peter's dome climb, Rome - EUR6.00
- St Peter's dome elevator, Rome - EUR7.00
- Vatican museums, Rome - EUR15.00
- Pantheon, Rome - Free
- Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome - EUR8.50
- Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Rome - EUR12.00
- Venezia Palace, Rome - EUR4.00
- Imperial Fora, Rome - EUR9.00
- Christian catacombs, Rome - EUR8.00
- Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Rome - EUR4.50
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.
- XMSN Single Supplement (XMSN)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Barcelona to Rome (ZMSC)
- Rome to Amalfi (ZMSS)
- 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.
Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
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 official currency in Tunisia is the Tunisian Dinar (TND).
ATMs are by far the easiest way to access cash and can be found in all major towns.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, 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.
PRICES IN TUNISIA:
Tunisia is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Tunisia to be a budget destination.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2012:
In 2012 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 20 July through till 19 August, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
Eid ul Adha occurs approximately 2 months after Edi ul- Fitr, in late October 2012.
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.
The price of the Single supplement does not include the following nights where single rooms may not be available. If a single room becomes available at check in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
Day 6 Overnight ferry
Day 11 Overnight train
Hotel (12 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
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.
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.
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.
Train, Bus, Minibus, Ferry, Cable car, Overnight sleeper train, Metro
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.
Hotel le Pacha
2-4 avenue Kheireddine Pacha 1002 Tunis Bélvédere
Phone: +216 71908211
Fax: +216 71909 418
Joining point description
Centrally located in Tunis city centre, Hotel La Pacha is just 15 minutes from Tunis Carthage Airport. There are 96 rooms with en-suite bathrooms, A/C, heating, TV and telephones. Hotel facilities include wifi and 2 restaurants.
Joining point instructions
Tunis Carthage Airport is 8km from the city centre. Taxis are readily available from the airport, the fare should be around 5 TND plus extra for baggage and trips after 9PM. Avoid drivers who approach in the arrivals hall as travellers are often overcharged.
Check-in time at our joining point hotel is 2pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, however if you arrive early, luggage storage can be arranged. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Please note that luggage storage in our hotels is at your own risk and generally these areas are not locked or completely secure. Bring your own luggage lock
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 Castelfidardo 31
Finish point description
Hotel Castelfidardo is a small, family run hotel that has recently been refurbished. It is only a five minute walk from Termini train station, and is close to both metro and bus stations for getting around the city. The Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and also Piazza della Republica are all within walking distance.
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
Australia: Yes - before travel
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany: No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
At the time of writing, many nationalities can get a 3 month tourist visa on arrival. New Zealanders and nationalities where this is no Tunisian embassy in their home country will be issued with a visa on arrival for the exact duration of stay (either at the airport or land border at Ras Jedir). The fee is 10 Tunisian Dinars. To speed up process upon arrival, these nationalities must provide a scanned copy of passport to Intrepid or their travel agent at least 30 days prior to travel.
Australians are required to apply for visa before travel and will need to provide the Tunisian embassy in Canberra with a copy of flight tickets and Intrepid itinerary (trip notes)
Please note that it won't be possible to enter Tunisia with Israeli stamps in your passport.
All passengers must also provide Intrepid or their travel agent arrival flight date, flight number and flight time into Tunisia at least 30 days prior to travel.
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
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.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
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 be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
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.
Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
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:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf is fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
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:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Morocco include:
* Project Handicapped Horizon has assisted with the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of more than 3,000 disabled people. With two major departments, one is dedicated to the design, building and fitting of prosthetic limbs and other orthotics, footwear and mobility aids. While the other focuses on training local artisans and selling their products.
Intrepid Travel also supports the following non-profit organisations:
* Kasbah Myriam is a carpet and embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and healthcare to local Berber women.
* The SPANA animal hospital in Marrakech cares for the health and welfare of donkeys, dogs and cats.
Carbon Offset C02-e 501.00 kgs per pax.
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