The Cinque Terre Explored Trip Notes

The Cinque Terre Explored

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Last Modified: 04 Sep 2015
The Cinque Terre Explored
Trip code: ZGXT
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015
When entering this region of Italy, things can seem a little surreal. The houses are painted in vivid multi-coloured shades, the ocean’s brighter than the sky and the sun rains down so heavily that everything seems a little technicoloured – welcome to Cinque Terre. Describing it as a gem of Italy is totally correct, but to be more specific, it would have to be an opal – a play of colours, mainly reflected by the blue of the sea, dotted with gold, pink and green houses. This is a rare jewel that changes with the light of the day, and is best explored on foot to truly understand the natural beauty of this precious treasure.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesImportant notesEmergency contact
MapGroup sizeEmergency funds
ItineraryYour fellow travellersVisas
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersIssues on your trip
We also recommendAccommodationWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerMeals introductionHealth
Culture shock rating MealsSafety
Physical ratingTransportTravel insurance
Included activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point descriptionFeedback
  • ‘Comfort travel’ means encountering all that the real world has to offer, but with an added degree of, well… comfort. We use more private transport, the travel pace more relaxed, the accommodation a touch nicer. And by paying a little more up front, you’ll be treated to more included meals, more leader-led activities and get a greater immersion in all things local.
The Cinque Terre Explored
Day 1 Levanto
Welcome to Italy!
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Levanto is located in the province of La Spezia in the region of Liguria and is easily accessible by train. For information on all train schedules see the Italian national rail site of Trenitalia ( Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving/ departing by train where possible within Europe due to this method of transports minimal carbon emissions.
There are no activities planned today so you may arrive at any time.
Please make your own way to the joining hotel that is centrally located in Levanto (please see below for further details).
This evening we meet our tour leader and our fellow travelling companions at a Welcome Meeting (usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel) where our leader will give us a briefing on what lies ahead on our tour.
This is followed by a group dinner together in the hotel restaurant, where we dine on local specialties. In the evening we can take a relaxed stroll through the town taking in the atmosphere of this seaside location.
Included Activities
  • Welcome dinner
Hotel Europa or similar (1 nt)
Day 2 Levanto/Punta Mesco/Monterosso
Today we embark on our first walk, which takes us along the coast from Levanto to Monterosso, the first of the five villages of the Cinque Terre.
The first part of the walk leads us through the old town centre of Levanto, we then walk past the stunning cathedral and climb up to its castle.
From here our walk leads us up to Punta Mesco, the most notable promontory in the region. Just short of the point we take a small detour to the ruins of an old 11th Century hermitage and the nearby ruins of the lighthouse, from where we enjoy marvellous views of the rugged coastline and find a nice spot to stop for a short break and a picnic lunch.
Then we follow a fairly steep path down into Monterosso - a colourful village with blue, red and yellow houses that cluster along the beachfront. We have time to explore this interesting little town before taking the local train back to Levanto.
For those who wish to, there is also an option to walk back from Monterosso to Levanto. This evening we enjoy an evening dinner together at a local restaurant. (Approx walking time: 3-4 hours / 10 km or 15 km with return on foot)
Included Activities
  • Levanto to Monterosso Guided Walk
Hotel Europa or similar (1 nt)
Day 3 Riomaggiore/Manarola/Corniglia/Vernazza
A short train ride will take you to Riomaggiore, the most southerly of five villages, where you will start the most famous of all walks in the area - the classical coastal walk which links the five villages.
You will begin by walking to Manarola, an attractive little village with steep multi-coloured houses overlooking a rocky port, along a beautiful, but strenuous trail through the vineyards.
From here you will make your way up through a stunning terraced landscape to the charming village of Volastra and continue your walk along one of the most stunning trails in the area. Through terraced vineyards and the occasional bit of forest you approach Corniglia, perched on a ridge overlooking the sea.
Next is the little hamlet of Prevo, walking through terraced vineyards and the occasional citrus grove. You will enjoy some of the best views in the region as you approach Vernazza, dominated by its old fortress. You will follow the contours of the hillside on a narrow track that leads you up and down, before a fairly steep descent takes you into the village itself.
Having a drink in Vernazza, on the wonderful town square at the harbour, resplendent with its brightly painted boats, is a good way to recover from the days walking.
In the late afternoon you will take the train back to Levanto. (Approx walking time: 4 hours / approx. walking distance: 9 km).
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent landslides in the area we will not be able to walk the full extent of the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. The alternative inland routes described above will be of a higher physical rating. If you would like to opt out it is possible to take the train instead for these sections.
Included Activities
  • 'Sentiero dell’Amore' Guided Walk
Hotel Europa or similar (1 nt)
Day 4 Riomaggiore/Portovenere/Levanto
Our day starts with a short train ride to the village of Riomaggiore, the most southerly of the five villages and certainly one of the prettiest. Here at tiny Riomaggiore, we begin our walk that leads us to Portovenere, at the very end of the peninsula.
Today’s trail is the most challenging of our Ligurian walks but equally, and arguably, our most enormously rewarding!
We first walk up a rather steep flight of stairs and then along a undulating track to reach the sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero (those not keen to do this climb can catch a bus instead).
After stopping here for a short break at the sanctuary and enjoying the spectacular views, we continue our walk to Campiglia. Continuing uphill we follow the contours of the coastal cliffs, passing terraced vineyards and enjoying wonderful views of the coastline, framed by crystal clear blue waters. We then follow the ridge-top traverse that goes from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other. Passing the abandoned village of Lemmen and walking through vineyards and pine forests, we descend to the little village of Campiglia, where we can stop for lunch and some refreshments.
We then continue towards Portovenere and enjoy even more spectacular coastal views. Arriving at the 16th-Century castle above the village we may be able to catch a glimpse of the distant peaks of the Alpi Apuane, before descending on to a long staircase that takes us to St. Peter’s Point and then in into the heart of the village.
After some time to relax and explore in Portovenere, we return by boat to Levanto, a lovely way to see the coast from the water. (Approx walking time: 5-6 hours / approx. walking distance: 12-14km)
Included Activities
  • Riomaggiore to Portovenere Guided Walk
Hotel Europa or similar (1 nt)
Day 5 Levanto/Santa Margherita
From Levanto we walk in a westerly direction today, along the coast and through several charming little villages.
We have the opportunity to enjoy lunch in one of the villages as well as pit stops along the way for a rest or a coffee break. From any of the villages along the way, there is the possibility of catching the train, in case you wish to shorten the walk and just relax on the beach in one of the villages.
The first part of our walk follows the beach, before we take a path leading into the foothills and then down to the charming seaside village of Bonassola, a good place for a morning coffee stop. We then stroll through the seaside hills towards the small village of Framura, a collection of ancient hamlets on a hillside, distinctive due to its red rocks.
From Costa, the largest hamlet, a level path contours around the hills and gives us splendid views out towards the alluring sea. We can opt to either continue our walk to the resort of Deiva Marina, or walk back down to the coast, where we can enjoy a swim, before taking the train.
By train we then travel to the splendid small town of Moneglia, where we have time to wander around and explore or to Sestri Levante, where we can make an optional short walk onto the headland.
Finally we catch a train to Santa Margherita, our base for the next three nights, an attractive town that overlooks the Ligurian Sea.
We will arrive at our hotel in the late afternoon. Approx walking time: 6 hours (3.5 to Framura) / approx. walking distance: 16 km or 9 km to Framura)
Included Activities
  • The Wild West Coast Guided Walk
Hotel Tigullio or similar (1 nt)
Day 6 Santa Margherita/San Fruttuoso/Camogli
Today we take a stunning walk across the hills to some amazing viewpoints and then down to the beautiful Abbey of San Fruttuoso.
Firstly we travel by local bus along a panoramic route to the small hamlet of Ruta. Here we’ll walk along some splendid fin-de-siècle villa's towards the highest point of the Peninsula, Monte Portofino.
We then have several longer & shorter options to reach the Abbey of San Fruttuoso - an 11th century 'jewel' that is set in a secluded cove and reachable only by boat or on foot.
All walks bring you through a verdrant forested landscape, with some amazing views across the Gulf of Tigullio and the Golfo Paradiso. There is time to visit the abbey, one of the main monuments of Liguria and perhaps time for a swim.
We then travel by boat to Camogli, a chance to also admire the beautiful coastline from the sea. In Camogli we take our time to wander around through the colourful historic centre and can enjoy a relaxed drink or grab a gelato on one of its many terraces. From there it’s a 5-minute train ride back to Santa Margherita.
You can make your own choice for tonight’s dinner, either in the medieval centre of Santa Margherita, or perhaps an early dinner in Camogli. (4-5 hrs).
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso
Hotel Tigullio or similar (1 nt)
Day 7 Portofino
Today we’ll see the best of the Portofino Peninsula!
We first take a short walk through the historical centre of Santa Margherita Ligure, where we can also do some shopping for our lunch. We then start our walk into the hills and enjoy beautiful views across the bay.
By late morning we reach Portofino, one of the most typical Ligurian seaside villages and a popular resort for jetsetters. We explore this charming village and take the stunning walk to the church lighthouse, where we can look back on the inlet of Portofino, a name that means 'fine harbour'.
We then head uphill and take a break in the woods, which is a great spot to enjoy whatever picnic lunch that we may have prepared for ourselves. We then have some time free time to relax.
Those who wish can join the leader for a walk back to Santa Margherita, others might opt to relax and return by boat or bus later in the afternoon.
In the evening we all meet again for a farewell dinner in Santa Margherita, to celebrate our wonderful exploration of the Liguria region.
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk to Portofino
  • Farewell Dinner
Hotel Tigullio or similar (1 nt)
Day 8 Santa Margherita
Our trip ends after breakfast this morning in Santa Margherita.
Santa Margherita is well connected by train to other cities in Italy including regular trains to Genoa, Milan, Florence and Pisa.
The Galileo Galilei International Airport is located 2km south of Pisa and is the main airport serving Tuscany and Milan's Malpensa airport is a major international hub for flights to and from North America and Australasia (via Asia).
Those who wanting to extend their stay can book additional nights in Santa Margerita.
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.
  • Cinque Terre Explored (ZGXT) - Single Supplement (ZGXT)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Spirit of Sicily (ZGKS)
  • Walking in the French & Swiss Alps (AHXA)
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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
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

This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Money Exchange
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, 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.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. This will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides (where applicable), restaurant staff for included meals, porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff.
This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline €EUR2-4, or the equivalent in any currency used on the trip, 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 isn't compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
You also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers or when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination, so we suggest that you ask your tour leader to give you guidance on what are appropriate amounts to tip.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
Important notes
This trip is graded as a ‘Moderate Walk' and requires a good level of fitness and be able to walk for a few hours. Please note however that some sections of this walk involve somewhat steep 'ups and 'downs' across varied terrain. The walking paths range from paved man-made tracks to forest, rocky trails and coastal trails. There are also some long staircases so if you are at all unsteady on your feet we highly recommend you also bring a retractable walking pole(s). These are lightweight, easy to pack and can be found in most outdoor equipment shops. Comfortable walking/hiking shoes are essential, along with a small daypack and water bottle.
This trip is operated by Peregrine Adventures and you will be joined by other like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid travellers. Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex.
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.
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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Hotel Europa or similar (4 nts), Hotel Tigullio or similar (3 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.
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.
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.
Your accommodation may not always have air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
Meals introduction
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.
7 Breakfasts, 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.
EUR 525.00
Train, Boat, Public bus
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 description
The Europa Hotel is an Art Nouveau building located in the historical center of Levanto, a hundred meters from the sea and the departure of the main footpaths connecting with the Cinque Terre.
The hotel offers a garden, terrace, safety deposit box, wifi, air conditioning and has a restaurant on site.
Joining point instructions
Levanto is close to Pisa, Genova and Milano airports.
From Pisa airport, you are able to travel by train from Pisa Centrale direct (depart every 4 hours) to Levanto, or via La Spezia (depart hourly). Both cost from €20.
From Genova airport you are able to travel by train from Genova Sestri Ponente station (10 min walk from the airport) direct to Levanto. (Depart hourly). The train costs from €20.
From Milan airport you are able to travel by train. You will need to make a few changes along the way.
From the airport you are able to take the train to Cadorna. (departs every 30 mins) from Cadona, you will need to travel to Milano Centrale station (departs every 5 mins) before travelling by train to Levanto (departs every 2 hrs). This will take around 4 to 5 hours from the airport.
Pre booked 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
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point description
The hotel is located in the centre of Santa Margherita Ligure on a tree-lined avenue a short distance from the sea. The bus and railways stations are five minutes walk away.
In the rooms comforts such as : free wi-fi connection, tv, air conditioning, courtesy-set, fridge, and safety box are available. Most rooms have private balconies.
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. Or advise on trains to Milan or Pisa. Please ask at reception.
Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 2 hours prior to your flight.
Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader.
Emergency contact
In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our Italian partner, Genius Loci:
Tel: 0039 089 79 1896, 0039 393 9375299 or 0039 328 64 81 735
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action 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.
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
On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
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.
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!
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing 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 trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches that modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 140.00 kgs per pax.
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