Winter Tatra Adventure
from $1278
Duration: 8 Days
Wandering through the Tatra Mountains feels like an excursion through a pallid snow-touched dream – the only thing greater in beauty than the endless trees and rolling landscapes are the sharp peaks that define the area, not to mention the townships that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the land. On your adventures to the highest range of the Carpathian Mountains, have something more than a mere journey – have an experience. Feel history breathe off the painted buildings of Zalipie. Understand how snow has affected local history as you travel on the back of a traditional horse-drawn sled. Replenish your energy with hearty meals, stocked to the brim with fine Polish meats and breads. Survey the lands from up high as you glide down ski-slopes. This is how the Tatras need to be experienced – through the kaleidoscopic facets that the locals have come to know and understand. Through enjoyment, tradition and exploration.
  • Discover Krakow, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Central Europe.
  • Get off the beaten track and visit Zalipie, a small but pretty village in Poland where every house is painted with folklore motives.
  • Discover Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland. Strap on some snowshoes and explore like a mountain goat in the Polish Tatras.
  • Join a Kulig, a traditional horse and sleigh ride dating back to the times of polish nobility. Enjoy traditional polish treats along the way; grilled sausages, lard with cracklings, pickled cucumbers and bread.
  • Clip in to some cross country skiis and glide around the Slovakian side of Tatra mountains
  • Learn to make authentic Polish food, such as pierogi (filled dumplings) and placki (potato pancakes), with a local cook.
  • Snowshoe walk in Tatra mountains
  • ‘Kulig’ - traditional sleigh ride in Zakopane
  • Cross country ski trip in the Slovakian Tatras
  • Traditional polish food cooking class - Krakow
  • Day 1 Location: Krakow
    Welcome to Krakow, Poland. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Your leader will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these ready. If you’ve arrived early, consider wandering through one of Poland’s largest and oldest cities to spot some of its numerous architectural monuments or maybe hunt down some pierogi to snack on before the meeting.
    Day 2 Location: Krakow
    Located a mere 1.5 hours out of Krakow, the first stop on your tour will be the ‘Painted Village’ of Zalipie. This famous art covered town is a fascinating location - every structure you pass; be it homes, bridges, churches and even the beehives are all covered in brightly coloured painted flowers. This tradition has stuck around for more than a century, beginning when every female resident in the town began and yearly repeated the task of painting their homes with floral motifs to cover up external faults on the structures. Enjoy a free afternoon wandering around the ancient village, marvelling in at the details and variety of the art as you stroll on by.
    Day 3 Location: Zakopane
    In the morning, travel by bus (2.5 hours) or train (3.5 hours) to Zakopane, located in the rolling foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Despite being a beautiful landscape of rolling green hillsides in the warmer months, the region around Tatra is just as stunning when coated with pure white snow. Zakopane itself is known as the winter capital of Poland, and the Tatras are well known to be a great spot for mountaineering and skiing thanks to the well marked hiking tracks and numerous cross country ski runs nestled in the surrounding hillsides. You’ll get to explore these in part during your stay, starting with an orientation walk of Zakopane when you arrive, followed by a snowshoeing adventure through the Tatra National Park with a knowledgeable local guide.
    Day 4 Location: Zakopane / Koscielsko / Polana Szymoszkowa
    The origins of the old Polish winter tradition of the Kulig (the sleigh ride) dates back to the days of the szlachta (nobility) – and today you’ll get to experience this historical practice from the back of a wooden, horse-drawn sled as you wander along the snow-swept trail to Koscielsko. Before looping back to Polana Szymoszkowa, you’ll stop at a mountain hut and fill up with a traditional feast. Fill up with a hot meal of delicious grilled polish sausages, lard with crisp cracklings, pickled cucumbers and bread – then wash it all down with a nice cup of tea. Once you arrive back at Zakopane, you’ll have a free day to explore the popular tourist town. If you’re still feeling the need to explore the surrounding countryside, hunt down one of the local nature trails through the Tatra National Park – or maybe explore the popular local market for clothing or even some varieties of sheep cheese.
    Day 5 Location: Tatra Mountains
    Situated in the Low Tatras, the next part of your journey sends you across the border into the Slovakian town of Jasna. Jasna is home to one of the best ski resorts in Central Europe, boasting close to 35kms of ski trails for multiple skill levels. You’ll begin your adventure in Jasna’s town, taking a small orientation tour through its unique structures of stone and wood before filling up with an optional lunch. Later in the afternoon, you’ll get a chance to witness Jasna’s famed slopes on a guided cross-country ski expedition through this jewel of the Tatras.
    Day 6 Location: Tatra Mountains
    Today grants you free time to explore the Low Tatras to your heart’s content. If you like, head back up the slopes and gaze across the rolling landscapes below as you glide along on your skis. Otherwise, you might want to take one of the many walks or cycling trails through the idyllic mountainsides.
    Day 7 Location: Krakow
    Transfer back to Krakow and prepare yourself for some home cooked delights. Although Polish food might not be as well known as other European cuisine, dishes such as pierogi (Polish dumplings), oscypek (traditional smoked cheese) and polish kielbasa (sausages) all serve as great examples of heartier flavours the Polish have to offer. You’ll get an insight into the broad spectrum of Polish cuisine on a food tour, held in the comfort of a local cook’s house. Enjoy a final night with your group as you feast on this sumptuous meal.
    Day 8 Location: Krakow
    Today marks the end of your Winter Tatra adventures.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    23NOV2019
    Return Date:
    30NOV2019
    1705NZD
    not available
    Departure Date:
    14DEC2019
    Return Date:
    21DEC2019
    1705NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    17 Nov 2019

    Trip title

    Winter Tatra Adventure

    Trip code

    AMCW

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2021

    Introduction

    Wandering through the Tatra Mountains feels like an excursion through a pallid snow-touched dream – the only thing greater in beauty than the endless trees and rolling landscapes are the sharp peaks that define the area, not to mention the townships that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the land. On your adventures to the highest range of the Carpathian Mountains, have something more than a mere journey – have an experience. Feel history breathe off the painted buildings of Zalipie. Understand how snow has affected local history as you travel on the back of a traditional horse-drawn sled. Replenish your energy with hearty meals, stocked to the brim with fine Polish meats and breads. Survey the lands from up high as you glide down ski-slopes. This is how the Tatras need to be experienced – through the kaleidoscopic facets that the locals have come to know and understand. Through enjoyment, tradition and exploration.

    Style

    Original

    Transport

    Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

    Joining point

    Basztowa Guest rooms

    Bastowa 24.31-156 Krakow

    Krakow

    POLAND

    Joining point description

    Hotel Basztowa is convininetly located in a short walking distance from Krakow main train station and from the Rynek Glowny, the Main Square. Hotel is situated in an old historic building with beautiful view of the Planty, Słowacki Theatre and st. Mary's Church. Spacious bright rooms are an example of the bourgeois splendour of the XIX century Krakow. All featuring en-suite bathrooms, Wi-F available throughout, flat screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities.

    Joining point instructions

    If you’re arriving to Krakow by air, the easiest way to reach the hotel by public transport is by train. There are regular connections between Krakow airport and Krakow Glowny, the main train station. Hotel Basztowa is located 5 min walk from the station. Leave the station towards the main square, cross the road and turn left. Continue for 5 min until you reach Hotel Polonia and Basztowa. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer, your driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid logo or your name at the arrivals hall.

    Finish point

    Basztowa Guest rooms

    Bastowa 24.31-156 Krakow

    Krakow

    POLAND

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent. WINTER TRIP This is winter trip, please make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

    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. All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. 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 takes care of logistics, 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 also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure 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: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety SCAMS Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money. FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and British citizens currently do not require a visa to enter countries visited on this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy or consulate in their home country for up to date visa information. Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.

    Why we love it

    Discover Krakow, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Central Europe.

    Get off the beaten track and visit Zalipie, a small but pretty village in Poland where every house is painted with folklore motives.

    Discover Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland. Strap on some snowshoes and explore like a mountain goat in the Polish Tatras.

    Join a Kulig, a traditional horse and sleigh ride dating back to the times of polish nobility. Enjoy traditional polish treats along the way; grilled sausages, lard with cracklings, pickled cucumbers and bread.

    Clip in to some cross country skiis and glide around the Slovakian side of Tatra mountains

    Learn to make authentic Polish food, such as pierogi (filled dumplings) and placki (potato pancakes), with a local cook.

    Is this trip right for you

    This trip runs over winter, the weather is unpredictable at that time of the year in Central Europe. Please expect low, sub-zero temperatures and possibly lot of snow (not guaranteed). Be prepared with adequate clothing.  In the event that unseasonably warm weather prevents us from operating the snow-based activities on this trip, reasonable alternatives will be offered in replacement.   There are some snow based activities included in this itinerary. You don’t have to be an athlete to take part but basic level of fitness will allow you to enjoy these fully. Please be aware you’ll require adequate clothing for these activites; warm and waterproof jacket and trousers. There will be few long rides on winding roads in the mountains. Meals in this part of Europe are often meat-based. While vegans and vegetarians will be catered for, meal options may be less varied than you might find at home. 

    Health

    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel 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 before departure. Pharmacies are well equipped in Europe and widely available, however, 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 in some of the rural 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.

    Food and dietary requirements

    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. 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. Food in Europe is varied and differs significantly between countries and regions. Expect to sample delicious local meals in almost every location you’ll visit on this trip. However, if you do not feel like having a local delicacy, world type food is also widely available, especially in bigger cities. European diet is mostly meat based; vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. European breakfasts are often basic and may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)

    Money matters

    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, and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe 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. The safest option is to bring cash in either Euro or US dollars. 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%. Taking all that in to account, we do not advise bringing traveller’s cheques to Europe. For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes. The local currency in Poland is the Polish Zloty (PLN). SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. 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. You may also 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. 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 €4-€5 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. EMERGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved. BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 350.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

    What to take

    PACKING 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. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list WINTER DEPARTURES On trips operating over winter months in Central Europe, it is important to be prepared for sub-zero temperatures as well as possible heavy snow falls. Weather in that part of Europe is very temperamental; please expect low temperatures, heavy snow and icy surfaces as well as possibly mild temperatures with fairly strong sun. It is not impossible to experience heavy rain too! Essential items would be: - Warm jacket - Fleece of warm jumper - Set of thermal base layers - Pair of gloves (or two, one heavy and one medium pair of gloves) - Hat - Waterproofs, including over trousers that will come useful when playing in the snow. - Sun-cream and sunglasses - Comfortable walking boots/lightweight boots with good grip - Comfortable walking trainers with good grip TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). 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 inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light. LUGGAGE STORAGE Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during 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. WATER BOTTLE 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. On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.

    Climate and seasonal

    The winter months in Europe are usually quite cold and possibly snowy. Temperatures can drop to freezing or below, and snowfalls are common, especially at higher altitudes. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures and snow. Extra layers, a warm jacket, hat, gloves and good footwear are a must.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    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. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 867 791 866 57

    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. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

    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: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Europe may be different to the standards you are used to. Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges and in particular destinations, rooms may be rather small. 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 (even when you book single room supplement). You will always be shared with the person of the same sex. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

    Transport notes

    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

    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. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

    Your fellow travellers

    GROUP TRAVEL 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.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES 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. 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. 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. BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.

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