Real Food Adventure - Galicia Trip Notes

Explore Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela and Allariz and discover the traditions, culture and culinary prowess of Spain’s delightful northwest corner.

    • 5
    • ZWZG
    • Total price tool tip
    • Food
    • Original
Print Version
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2014
Real Food Adventure - Galicia
Trip code: ZWZG
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Take a bite out of Galicia, an autonomous community in the northwest corner of Spain. With stunning architecture, a fascinating history and a distinct cuisine, Galicia is one of Spain’s most authentic and beautiful areas. Visit artisan food producers and traditional taverns in Santiago de Compostela, taste the freshest of Galician produce in the vibrant Abastos Market, sample the region’s fiery liquor that has been distilled for centuries, feel like you’ve stepped back in time in the Old Town of Allariz, meet local food producers and savour regional dishes that are hard to find elsewhere in Spain. If you’re after a trip to a lesser-known but remarkable part of Spain, this delicious Bite-size Break is for you.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
We also recommendMeals introductionHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsCarbon offset
Spending moneyArrival complicationsFeedback
TippingFinish point
Departure taxFinish point instructions
  • 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.
Real Food Adventure - Galicia
Day 1 Santiago de Compostela
Hola! Welcome to Spain.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7.15pm on Day 1.
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.
Your group leader will take you on an evening walk into the historic centre of Santiago de Compostela. We head for Rúa da Raíña and Rúa Franco, whose streets contain nothing but bars, old taverns and restaurants serving classic Galician food. In many, house wine is still drunk in ceramic bowls rather than wine glasses. Wander from place to place, enjoying small portions of food (tapas) at each stop.
Included Activities
  • Santiago tavern crawl approximate price
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Allariz
Start the day with a short walk to one of the oldest cafes in Santiago de Compostela for breakfast.
Be daring and for your first breakfast in Galicia try a traditional breakfast of hot chocolate and fried donuts – churros y chocolaté!
Embark on a food trail through the historical heart of the city, visiting a cheese shop and sampling traditional cakes and almond biscuits.
We also visit an “ultramarino colonial”, a providore that has hardly changed since the first half of the 20th century. Historically they sold exotic products from “ultramar” (overseas), which were canned for preservation. Today, ultramarinos colonials are a bastion of fine Galician gastronomy.
Next, we check out the famous Santiago Cathedral, the finishing point of the famed Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage.
We finish up at one of Galicia’s best and largest markets – Mercado de Abastos. We investigate the fish, seafood, meat and cheeses. We then head to lunch at Abastos 2 restaurant located in the market. The restaurant is rated as one of the best restaurants in Santiago and only uses fresh ingredients that they have brought from the market around them. The produce they use is so fresh that the meals are based on what is available that day and they don't even have a fridge! The lunch is a selection of top quality, fusion food dishes (around 4 to 5 dishes in a set tasting menu).
Travel by bus to Allariz (approx. 2 hrs 30mins).
Allariz was first populated during Neolithic times. The people were attracted to the area by the fertile hills and its location on the Arnoia River. It was a major Jewish centre in medieval times and in the 1900s a major linen and leather centre. Historic Allariz remains with its Romanesque bridge, monastery, several churches, cobbled streets, traditional houses and country market.
With the village located at the centre of a biosphere reserve, the restaurants in Allariz try to source as much as possible from the local area and, as the coast is just an hour away, it means that seafood is always available. This is also an area abundant in chestnut, oak and apple tree so the pork is sublime and many people raise their own pigs. Eggs and chickens also come from local village houses and traditional shepherds with flocks of sheep and goats roam the local hills and provide a steady supply of meat to the village. Rabbits and frogs are also local specialties.
Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant, where the owners have arranged a set menu that includes a range of typical local Galician dishes and wine.
Included Activities
  • Guided walk and market visit in Santiago de Compostela
  • Traditional Galician dinner
  • Freshly prepared lunch at Mercado de Abastos
  • Churros breakfast
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Allariz
Be daring and for your first breakfast in Galicia try a traditional breakfast of hot chocolate and fried donuts – churros y chocolaté!
Your group leader will take you on an orientation walk of Allariz.
Along the way, take in the ruins of the castello, the historic centre with the monastery and various churches, the old city walls and the leather museum and workshop, where master craftsman Ernesto will show us around.
For lunch we visit a local restaurant where the owner will treat us to a cocido lunch. One of the most traditional of Galician dishes, cocido is made from chickpeas, cabbage and every bit of the pig imaginable.
After lunch, you have the option to take a short walk to Zirall. Just about every farm makes its own liquor or licor as it is spelt locally. Some of it can be a little rough and ready but Zirall is the professional version and is made in a small factory in the heart of the historic centre. José is our host and his shop looks just as it did back in the 1930s when the family business first started. José will take us through a tasting of the coffee, herbs, coffee cream and plain versions of Zirall licor. You will also be able to try a selection of traditional cakes and pastries from Allariz to accompany the drinks.
We have a free afternoon. You have time to take a traditional siesta or go for a gentle walk along the river. From May to October the Festival Gardens that run alongside the river are open and well worth a visit.
Meet in the evening for a Galician cheese and wine tasting. Galicia is famous in Spain for the wide variety of cheeses it produces – from cows, sheep and goats, cured, semi cured and smoked – and they match perfectly with Galician wines such as Albariño from Rias Biaxas, Treixadura from Ribeiro, Godello from Monterei (all white wines) and Mencia from Ribeira Sacra (red wine).
The rest of the evening is free for your own Allariz food adventure. Your tour leader will have plenty of suggestions if you feel like a light meal after the cheese and wine tasting.
Included Activities
  • Orientation walk around Allariz
  • Galician cheese and wine tasting
  • Cocido lunch
Optional Activities
  • Zirall tasting approximate price - EUR8
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Allariz
Step back in time and discover some age-old Galician culinary arts while exploring the hills and valleys of the area. Our first stop is a traditional water mill, where the miller himself demonstrates how the mill grinds the grain. For our next stop we visit Pio and his smoking shed, where chorizos, black puddings and hams hang from the ceiling. Autumn and winter are the main seasons for smoking meat. During summer there is less production, however we will still learn about the process.
Then head into the hills along the back roads to the tiny local village with its still functioning community oven. The local baker and her husband will help us make loaves of bread, which we then bake in this wonderful wood-fired stone oven, big enough to bake the entire village’s bread in one go. Other villagers will join us in what is a very communal activity.
While our bread is baking, we'll be treated to a cooking class of traditional dishes specific to the area.
Take time to visit the award-winning ethnographic museum of Vilar de Santos. The museum explains all aspects of regional rural life both past and present.
On our final night in Allariz, you are free to try any of the restaurants we have encountered around town but your group leader will recommend you head for Vilanova. The setting for this award-winning restaurant is in an old renovated mill at the edge of the park by the river and next to the old bridge. The views are beautiful and the interior is stunning. Renowned chef André Arzúa has a menu that is innovative and, more importantly, seriously delicious. The wine list is extensive and we cannot think of a better place to end your trip to Allariz.
Included Activities
  • Cooking class, Vilar de Santos
  • Ethnographic museum of Vilar de Santos
  • Traditional bread making demonstration
  • Regional day trip through Allariz
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Allariz
Say goodbye to your fellow travellers, the tour ends this morning after breakfast in Allariz.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart our accommodation from midday. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for luggage storage possibilities.
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.
  • ZWZG Single Supplement (ZWZG)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain (ZMZZ)
  • Real Food Adventure - Italy (ZMZB)
  • Real Food Adventure - Morocco (XMZF)
  • Explore Spain and Portugal (ZMSI)
  • The Camino de Santiago Challenge (ZTXC)
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:
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 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.
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it is customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service. You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
Money Exchange
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.
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.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.
One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.
Group size
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:
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.
Hotel (4 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.
Meals introduction
While travelling with us you'll experience a vast array of dishes, beverages, dining experiences, ingredients and produce.
To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, the trip price does not include all meals. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility – whether you wish to partake in budget, mid-range or high-end dining options. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. Generally, our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company, however there's no obligation to do this.
For travellers wanting to eat at a particular high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurant, there will be specified free nights in certain locations where you can make your own restaurant reservations. It is recommended you make reservations for high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurants well in advance of your departure, as there can be long lead times for booking in some instances.
4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
EUR 60.00
Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the ‘trip notes’ itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.
For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
Bus, Private 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. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip.
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
Hotel Windsor
República de El Salvador nº16
Santiago de Compostela
Joining point description
Hotel Windsor is a small hotel located in the central shopping area of Santiago de Compostela but only a short 5 minute walk to the historic centre with its cobbled streets and the Santiago Cathedral.
Hotel Windsor has 24-hour reception and air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel was completely renovated in 2008 and has rooms with twin beds, parquet floors and simple, smart décor. Each one is soundproofed and comes with a private bathroom.
The hotel has a bar where you can get a snack or a drink. Room service is also available.
Check in is after 16.00
Joining point instructions
Buses from Santiago de Compostela Airport leave on the hour and half hour and stop 100 metres from the hotel at the Plaza de Galicia. The bus costs 4€ and takes 45 minutes.
You can walk from the train station (10 minutes walk) or a take a taxi. The taxi costs approximately 8€ .
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
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.
Finish point
Hotel O Portelo Rural
Rua do Portelo
Finish point instructions
For those wishing to travel back to Santiago de Compostela, the best option is a taxi to Ourense train station (25€, approximately 25 minutes) and then a fast train to Santiago de Compostela (17€).
Trains depart at 07:00, 08:00, 09:30, 12:10, 16:00, 18:43 and takes 40 minutes.
Train tickets can be bought in advance at – there is an English part to the website
There are also trains to Madrid from Ourense.
The closest international airport is Santiago de Compostela.
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local representative based in Spain can be reached on Tel: +34 664202336. 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 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
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).
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.
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.
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 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:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 169.00 kgs per pax.
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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.