Sustainable Tourism for Tour Operators
Sustainable Tourism for Tour Operators
Sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important in the travel industry. Outbound tour operators such as Our Local Tour have a key role to play in promoting sustainable tourism practices and supporting local tourism development in the destinations they serve. Here are some ways that we believe we can work towards becoming a beacon for sustainable tourism and support local tourism development.
Promote sustainable tourism practices
One of the most important ways that outbound tour operators can improve sustainable tourism is by promoting sustainable tourism practices among customers. This can include encouraging customers to choose eco-friendly accommodation, reducing waste, supporting local businesses, and respecting local cultures and traditions. Tour operators, such as Our Local Tour should also work with local partners to develop sustainable tourism initiatives, such as community-based tourism projects, that benefit both the local community and the tourists who visit. Of course, we are already doing this and it is an important part of our ethos and fully built in to our tours.
Support local businesses
Another way that tour operators can support sustainable tourism is by working with local businesses. This includes not only accommodation providers, but also restaurants, transportation providers, and activity operators. By working with local businesses, tour operators can help to create a more sustainable tourism economy that benefits the local community. This is also an integral part of our product design and we work closely with our local partners to make sure local businesses are supported by our clients travels. In many of our tours, we do not include meals were there are nearby options to eat out, encouraging travellers to eat in local restaurants and cafes.
Tour operators also need to play an important role in educating their customers about sustainable tourism practices and the importance of supporting local tourism development. This can include providing information about local customs and traditions, promoting responsible travel practices, and encouraging customers to shop locally and support small businesses. Tour operators can also provide customers with information about sustainable tourism certification programs, such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) or the Rainforest Alliance, which can help customers to identify and support sustainable tourism businesses. Our Local Tour is currently in the process of applying to be accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Partner with local organisations
Outbound tour operators should also partner with local organisations, such as community-based tourism initiatives, environmental organisations, or social enterprises, to support sustainable tourism development. By working with local organisations, tour operators can help to promote sustainable tourism practices, support local communities, and protect the environment. You will find that in many of our tours we visit a local community ran program or help to support a social enterprise. We are working hard to embed more of this into our tours.
Measure and report on sustainability
Finally, for tour operators to become a beacon for sustainable tourism it is vital that they are measuring and reporting on their sustainability performance. This can include tracking and reporting on carbon emissions, waste reduction efforts, and community investment. By measuring and reporting on sustainability performance, tour operators can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable tourism and provide customers with transparency and accountability.
It should be obvious to all travellers that their outbound tour operators have a key role to play in promoting sustainable tourism practices and supporting local tourism development in the destinations they serve. By promoting sustainable tourism practices, supporting local businesses, educating customers, partnering with local organisations, and measuring and reporting on sustainability, tour operators can become beacons for sustainable tourism and help to create a more sustainable tourism industry for the future.
- Published in Specialist Travel
Why visit Romania?
Why visit Romania?
Forget any preconceptions about Eastern Europe and Romania in particular. Nestled in the heart of Eastern Europe, Romania is a country that offers a unique blend of ancient history, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From the towering Carpathian Mountains to the shimmering Black Sea coast, Romania has something for every kind of traveller. Here are some reasons why we think that you should consider visiting this hidden gem of Europe.
Romania is full of natural beauty
Romania boasts some of the most breath-taking natural landscapes on the continent. The Carpathian Mountains run through the heart of the country, providing a stunning backdrop to the picturesque towns and villages that dot the countryside. The peaks of the Carpathians offer some of the best hiking and skiing in Europe, with trails that wind through dense forests, past tranquil lakes, and up to snow-capped summits. There is a sense of freedom and remoteness here that is difficult to find elsewhere in Europe.
Romania also contains the Danube Delta, one of the largest wetlands in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The delta is home to over 300 species of birds and numerous other wildlife, including otters, wild boars, and dolphins. The delta is also an important site for conservation, with efforts underway to protect the region’s unique flora and fauna.
The cultural heritage of Romania
Romania has a rich and fascinating history that is reflected in its architecture, museums and in its art. The country’s most famous landmark is the stunning Bran Castle, which is said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The castle is perched on a hilltop overlooking the rolling hills of Transylvania, and its imposing towers and battlements make it a must-see for history buffs and vampire enthusiasts alike. Be prepared for tourist stalls selling all types of tacky Halloween style masks and paraphernalia, but get past this and there is a fascinating history to the castle.
Another popular destination are the painted monasteries of Bucovina, which are decorated with vibrant frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible and Romanian folklore. The monasteries were built in the 15th and 16th centuries and are an important example of Byzantine art and architecture. Here it is important to visit with an expert guide, who can explain the stories behind many of the paintings and bring to life the beautiful artwork.
Romania is also home to a thriving folk art scene, with traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, and wood carving still practiced in many rural communities. Visitors can experience the vibrant colours and intricate designs of these crafts at local markets and festivals. We try and visit a number of them on our Romania tours, depending on your time of travel.
Romanian food and wine
Romanian cuisine is a delightful fusion of influences from its neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey. The country’s diverse landscape and rich history have also played a significant role in shaping its culinary traditions.
One of the most popular dishes in Romania is sarmale, which is made by wrapping minced meat and rice in cabbage or grape leaves. It may not sound the most appetising but it really is a mouth-watering delicacy that leaves you wanting more. Another must-try dish is mici, a type of grilled minced meat that is often served with mustard and bread. You must also experience a traditional Romanian breakfast that consists of mămăligă (a type of polenta) served with cheese and sour cream. It is not that common in hotels now as the European style buffet is much more common.
When it comes to wine, Romania has a long and storied history dating back over 2000 years. The country is home to several wine-growing regions, including Transylvania and Muntenia. Some of the most famous Romanian wines include Fetească Neagră, a red wine with a deep, complex flavour, and Grasă de Cotnari, a sweet white wine that pairs well with desserts.
During your travels in Romania, be sure to try some of the local specialties and sample the delicious wines. Many restaurants and cafes offer traditional Romanian cuisine, and there are also several wine tours and tastings available throughout the country. Whether you’re a foodie or a wine enthusiast, Romania has plenty to offer.
- Published in Specialist Travel
Is a Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trek for you?
Is a Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trek for you?
We have been asked numerous times, so thought we would write a blog post on whether a Uganda Safari and Gorilla Trek is for you?
Uganda is a country of stunning natural beauty, and its many national parks are some of the most spectacular in Africa. Among the most popular activities for visitors to Uganda is the gorilla trek, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
The trek is a challenging but rewarding experience, and it takes you through some of the most beautiful and remote areas of Uganda. You’ll need to be physically fit to take on the trek, but the effort is well worth it. You’ll have the chance to see gorillas in their natural habitat and to learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect these incredible animals.
One of the best places to go on a gorilla trek in Uganda is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This stunning park is home to over 400 mountain gorillas, which represent almost half of the world’s total population. The park is also home to a wide range of other wildlife, including chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and many different species of birds.
To get to Bwindi, you’ll need to fly into Entebbe International Airport, which is located just outside the capital city of Kampala. From there, you can take a domestic flight to the town of Kisoro, which is the closest town to Bwindi. Once you arrive in Kisoro, you’ll need to hire a guide and a porter to help you on your trek.
The trek itself can take anywhere from three to eight hours, depending on where the gorillas are located and how difficult the terrain is. You’ll need to be prepared for a strenuous hike, with steep climbs and rough terrain. However, you’ll also be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including lush rainforests and dramatic mountain landscapes.
When you finally reach the gorillas, you’ll have a chance to spend up to an hour in their presence, observing them as they go about their daily lives. You’ll be able to see them playing, eating, and interacting with each other, and you’ll have a chance to take photographs and videos to document your experience.
It’s important to remember that gorillas are wild animals, and they can be unpredictable. However, your guide will be experienced in dealing with these animals, and will be able to keep you safe while you observe them.
In addition to the gorilla trek, there are many other activities to enjoy in Uganda. The country is known for its incredible wildlife, and there are many other national parks where you can see a wide range of animals. For example, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to elephants, lions, leopards, and many other species, and Murchison Falls National Park is home to hippos, crocodiles, and giraffes.
Uganda is also a great destination for birdwatching, with over 1,000 different species found in the country. Some of the most popular birdwatching spots include the Mabamba Wetlands, where you can see the rare shoebill stork, and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is home to a wide range of bird species, including many that are endemic to the area.
When it comes to accommodation, there are many different options to choose from in Uganda. From luxury lodges to basic campsites, there is something for every budget and preference. Some of the most popular lodges include the Buhoma Lodge and the Mahogany Springs Lodge, both of which are located near Bwindi National Park and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re interested in learning more about the local culture, there are many opportunities to do so in Uganda as the country is home to a wide range of ethnic groups, each with its own customs.
Get in touch with us at Our Local Tour to find out more about our range of safari holidays in Uganda and other great tour options including our Uganda Family Safari Holiday.
- Published in Specialist Travel
10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Maldives for Your Next Holiday
10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Maldives for Your Next Holiday
Spend your holiday in the Maldives and experience a world-class destination for sun-soaked days, luxurious resorts, and breath-taking views. Ease into beautiful seascapes with swimming and snorkelling across vibrant coral reefs, or join excursions to discover hidden wonders. Explore stunning archipelagos of emerald islands surrounded by crystal-clear waters that embrace you with their dreams and mysteries.
Unique Cultural Experiences
The Maldives is home to some of the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures, spanning thousands of years. When you visit the Maldives, you’ll be able to experience some of these unique cultural customs up close. From traditional music and dancing to wonderful island ceremonies, watching an ancient way of life unfold before your eyes will be an unforgettable part of your journey! This is what we do at Our Local Tour, get you under the skin of the destination that you are visiting.
These are our 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Maldives for Your Next Holiday
1.Scenic beauty: The Maldives is renowned for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. The white sand as it crunches beneath your feet and the warm sea lapping at your ankles as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean really is a life affirming experience.
2.Relaxation: The Maldives is an ideal destination for those seeking peace and relaxation, away from the stresses of daily life. Whether staying at one resort or exploring the Maldives off the beaten track, then the laidback lifestyle is all around you. Yoga and meditation are popular and most resort will offer classes of beginners through to experienced yogis.
3.Water activities: With its turquoise waters, the Maldives offers a wealth of water activities, including snorkelling, diving, fishing, and more. The diving is some of the best in the world and even if you are not a qualified diver, what better place to learn! Snorkelling off a local reef is a magical experience and one that swimmers of any level should be able to enjoy. Taking a trip with a qualified guide is a great way to learn about the reefs and their importance to the area.
4.Luxury accommodations: The Maldives is home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, offering a comfortable and stylish holiday experience. There is something for everyone with options from over-water bungalows to beach front shacks. Each island will have its own resort and style so you need to speak to an expert when choosing the right place for you to stay in the Maldives.
5.Wildlife: It may not the first thing that you think of when considering a holiday to the Maldives, however, these Indian Ocean islands are home to a rich variety of marine life. You can expect a multitude of colorful fish, friendly and inquisitive dolphins, manta rays, and even whales and whale sharks. There is a good amount of bird life as well, so don’t be surprised to wake up and look out of your over-water bungalow to find a heron sitting and waiting patiently for its breakfast to swim past.
6.Culture: The culture of the Maldives is a unique blend of South Asian, African, and Arabian influences. It is known for its traditional dances, music, and festivals, which reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Maldives is an Islamic country, and religion plays an important role in daily life, with daily prayers and the observance of religious holidays. Family values are highly emphasized in Maldivian culture, and hospitality is a fundamental aspect of the country’s culture, something you will certainly experience if you visit the Maldives for a family holiday.
7.Climate: With its warm, sunny weather and low rainfall, the Maldives is the perfect destination for a tropical holiday. The Maldives are located in the equatorial region, so there is little seasonal variation in temperature. However, there are two main seasons: the dry season (December to April) and the monsoon season (May to November). During the dry season, the weather is sunny and dry, with low humidity and little rain, making it an ideal time to visit the country. During the monsoon season, there is more rainfall, but temperatures remain warm and the seas are still relatively calm. It really is the perfect all year round destination.
8.Convenience: The Maldives is easily accessible from major international airports and offers a range of transport options for getting around. There are regular international flights from many of the worlds top airlines including Emirates. The package holiday operators also have their own flights with companies such as TUI sometimes having multiple flights every day into the capital, Male. One aspect to consider is your arrival time in to Male. If you arrive to late, you may not be able to take the boat or seaplane transfer that you need to your resort.
9.Nightlife: It may not be what the Maldives are renowned for and don’t come expecting a version of Ibiza. Having said that, many of the resorts in the Maldives offer lively evening entertainment, including bars, restaurants, and live music. Local artists can be found playing at restaurants and creating a uniquely Maldivian You can expect the style of nightlife in the Maldives to be as laidback and relaxed as the rest of the day.
10.Unforgettable experiences: A holiday in the Maldives offers unforgettable experiences, from lounging on serene beaches to exploring the vibrant underwater world. It is not surprising that a honeymoon in the Maldives is the top wished for destination for newlyweds. There is a great range of choice for all though. Whether it is a family holiday to spend quality time together, a watersports and diving experience or just that holiday you have always promised yourself, then the Maldives always delivers.
Whenever you are thinking of booking your Maldives holiday, then make sure that you speak to an expert. Our travel experts can help you create a customised itinerary that meets your specific needs and preferences. They can help you select the best resorts, activities, and experiences for your trip. You want to be sure that you have a stress-free, memorable, and truly personalised Maldives holiday experience.
- Published in Specialist Travel
Heritage Tourism in Ghana
Heritage Tourism in Ghana
Ghana is a beautiful country located in West Africa. It is well known for its rich culture and heritage, which makes Ghana a popular tourist destination for people who want to explore their African roots and ancestry.
This blog post will guide you to Ghana‘s different types of heritage tourism activities. Keep reading!
A Little Bit About Ghana
Ghana is a former British colony in Africa that gained independence in 1957. It is home to more than twenty-five million people, who are mostly of African descent. The country has beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests and savannahs, and historical monuments such as the Asantehene Palace, Elmina Castle, and Kumasi Fort.
Located in West Africa, Ghana is a spectacular African nation that offers captivating tourist sites. Moreover, the country has become notable for its strong commitment to democracy and steady development over the years – making it one of the most progressive countries on the continent!
Ghana is widely known for its tranquillity and enthusiastic citizens, making this beautiful country an ideal destination for tourists looking to explore. From the sun-soaked beaches and vibrant urban settings to the amicable locals and effortless travel options, Ghana presents a beautiful atmosphere that can be enjoyed easily.
Tourism in Ghana
Ghana is a beautiful country full of culture, history, ecology and recreational activities to explore. The Ministry of Tourism in Ghana governs the tourism industry and works diligently to further develop its offerings for visitors. Tourists can indulge in an array of experiences that will create memories they won’t forget!
Ghana has a diverse range of cultural heritage sites, including castles and forts left by the British and Dutch settlers. Tourists can explore these historical places to learn about the country’s history, culture, and people.
In addition to historical monuments, Ghana is home to beautiful natural attractions such as Mole National Park – a sanctuary for African wildlife. Tourists can also participate in traditional cultural activities such as drumming, dancing, and cooking.
For those looking to explore their African ancestry, Ghana has numerous museums dedicated to this purpose. You can visit the National Museum of Slavery or the Centre for African Culture and Research, where you can learn about how people of African descent have been affected by history.
What About The Heritage Tourism?
First of all, let’s understand what heritage tourism is. Simply, it’s visiting a place to explore its culture, history and traditions. It’s an exciting way to get to know more about the local people and their customs – as well as gain an appreciation for the country’s past.
Ghana has a rich cultural heritage that dates back centuries. Tourists can visit traditional villages around the country to experience the local way of life and explore historical sites to learn more about the country’s past.
Heritage tourism in Ghana is a growing industry that is helping to preserve the country’s culture, history and traditions. Tourists can take part in cultural tours and excursions to learn more about the traditional customs of the people here.
The Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST) leads the way for heritage tourism in Ghana, a cultural event that radiates African development and spreads awareness of Pan-Africanism. Taking place predominantly within Elmina and Cape Coast–both formerly holding significantly large slave trading posts—the festival commemorates Emancipation Day with spectacular vibrant celebrations around both cities.
What Activities Can You For Heritage Tourism In Ghana?
Regarding heritage tourism in Ghana, you can do more than visit historical sites and learn about the country’s past. There are a variety of activities available to those who want to explore this beautiful nation.
If you’re looking to experience the vibrant heritage and culture of Ghana, there are numerous first-rate tourism agencies in Ghana that will make your visit unforgettable. With them, you’ll get to participate in breath-taking annual festivals such as Chale Wote – a colourful celebration featuring art performances from local artists. As you embark on this journey with one of these reputable tour operators, be prepared for an immersive adventure into authentic Ghanaian life!
Festivals To Attend
Many heritage festivals in Ghana celebrate the country’s culture and traditions. Let’s see some of the famous festivals:
The Homowo Festival
Homowo is a harvest festival celebrated by the Ga people in the capital city of Accra. This festival honours the ancestors in the Ga language, with traditional drumming and dancing celebrating the past and present.
The Akwasidae Festival
The Akan people and their ancestors are honoured in this annual festival celebrating the powerful kingdom they once held. Otumfuo, their respected king, is given special recognition during this time – one earned due to his revered place among them.
It’s a fitting tribute to those who have been influential throughout the country’s early years. You’ll learn more about the Ashanti people and their customs during this festival.
Chale Wote Art Festival
Uniting creatives from across the continent and beyond, Accra’s annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival is a vibrant celebration of culture that encapsulates its audience in an unforgettable experience.
This festival celebrates urban art from all different parts of Africa. You can expect everything from live music and performances to street art, installations and various activities.
During September and October, the Akwapim towns of Akropong-Akuapim, Aburi, Larteh and Mamfi in the Eastern Region enthusiastically celebrate the festive occasion of the Odwira Festival.
During Odwira, Okuapeman and all participants ceremoniously rejuvenate spiritually and pray for divine guardianship. As an annual tradition profoundly connected to the harvest season of abundant produce, people express their gratitude towards their Ancestors.
As previously discussed, PANAFEST is a festival celebrating Pan-Africanism and its history. It honours those of African descent who have been affected by the past with several events, including talks on slavery, lectures from prominent scholars and even re-enactment performances of slave trading ships.
Heritage tourism in Ghana is an experience that will enrich and educate. Countless activities, festivals and excursions provide visitors insight into the country’s history and culture. Explore this majestic nation and witness for yourself all the beauty it has to offer!
Whether you’re a passionate traveller or just looking for some fun facts about Ghana, this blog post has hopefully given you all the valuable information to make your heritage tourism trip to Ghana successful. Happy travel!
- Published in Specialist Travel
Off the Beaten track Maldives
Getting off the beaten track in the Maldives
Maldives is an archipelago of islands near India and Sri Lanka. It’s Asia’s smallest country, but this tiny island nation packs in big adventure, scenery, and tropical vibes. The country is best known as one of the world’s top tourist destinations for relaxing in luxury. With some of the best hotel brands having resorts in the country, the Maldives offer the ultimate luxurious surroundings for being treated like royalty. The attractions of a holiday vacation in the Maldives are obvious. The Maldives is a real-life desert-island fantasy and it’s a favourite place for honeymooners. Crystal clear lagoons and frosted white-sand beaches come as standard.
It is a heaven for those who love scuba diving and it is often referred to as ‘a treasure trove of marine life.’ Various fish and plant species are found around the coral reefs. More than 700 species of fishes are found, such as Trevally’s, Dogtooth Tuna, Tuna, Jacks, Sweetlips, Butterfly fish, Wahoo and Fusiliers.
What if you want to get off the beaten track in the Maldives?
While most of the population lives in the capital Male, there are small towns and culturally rich villages scattered around the 200 inhabited islands of Maldives.
The Maldives has been inhabited since around the 5th century BC by people coming across from, what is today, Sri Lanka and India. Evidence suggests early inhabitants were Buddhist but by 1153 CE, Islam was adopted across the islands when Arab interest in the region became prominent. Before converting to Islam, the Maldivians were known to practice Buddhism and ancient paganism. Ancient Buddhist ruins are preserved in the country and antique Buddhist artefacts are displayed in the National Museum in Male.
The Sultanate became a Republic in 1953 with Mohamed Ameen Didi (formerly Prime Minister) as President for a few months before the Sultanate was restored. The Maldives became independent in 1965. Three years later the Sultanate was abolished again, and Ibrahim Nassir was elected President.
Steeped in rich culture and tradition, the Maldives culture is heavily shaped by Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysia, Arab, Persian, Indonesian and even African influences. Maldivians are incredibly warm, welcoming, and friendly people who will go above and beyond to make your visit to their home truly unforgettable. Maldivian food is a mixture of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and oriental flavours, so it’s the ideal place to visit if spicy food is your thing. You can try everything from freshly caught seafood, to fragrant curries, and zesty soups that’ll leave flavours lingering in your mouth. Traditional Maldivian cuisine is based on three main ingredients and their derivatives, namely coconut, fish, and starches containing grains and vegetables.
The most common breakfast here is called mas huni. This dish is a combination of smoked tuna, onion, coconut and chilli. It’s usually mashed altogether, and comes with a side of flatbread called roshi, so you can savour every morsel. It’s very tasty and keeps you going until lunchtime.
Local Travel in Maldives
Maldivian people are very much aware of their beautiful surroundings and make the most of living in paradise. The beach is a popular hangout spot where locals of all ages visit throughout the day. You’ll find island residents at the beach playing, swimming, or having a picnic with the family.
When staying on an inhabited island, please remember that all tourists (men, women, and children) must dress conservatively on public beaches. This is all part of getting off the beaten track in the Maldives and it is a great experience to visit the public beaches and interact with the residents.
In the past, when no hotels or guesthouses existed in the Maldives, the locals would lodge at friends’ homes when visiting other islands. However sometimes and often due to inclement weather conditions, people would be forced to anchor at unfamiliar islands. When this happened, the locals would befriend the visitor, offer a place to stay and extend any other needed assistance. In this way, Maldivians were able to befriend strangers and forge new friendships and this same sense of warm hospitality can be experienced on your visit as well.
The language of Maldives
An important way to show respect for any culture is to embrace cultural differences. This can be as simple as taking the time to learn a few key phrases or words of the local language. Even if you are unable to say them perfectly, your efforts will always be appreciated. The language of the Maldives is called Dhivehi (sometimes written as Divehi). Over the years the language has been influenced by several other languages, mainly Arabic, French, Persian, Portuguese and English. In a curious bit of trivia, English words such as ‘atoll’ and ‘doni’ are widely regarded to be anglicized forms of the Dhivehi words ‘Atholhu’ and ‘Dhoni’.
Anyone doing their research in to where to visit in the Maldives will have seen that they must include Male Island, Hulhumale Island, Biyadhoo Island, and Fihalhohi Island. However, islands such as Guraidhoo, Maafushi, and Gulhi are also great for first time visitors. The added bonus here is that you can appreciate the culture, scenery, and people with the opportunity to get involved in local environmental projects. This is getting off the beaten track but with a purpose.
Getting around the Maldives Islands
If you plan to see the Maldives independently and you are on a budget, traveling by the public ferries is the best option. They connect all the local islands (meaning the inhabited public islands) and prices range from $5 to $30. However, remember that this is the Maldives, expect services to be unreliable and the timetables to require a Phd to understand. When planning island hopping and looking at doing this on your one independently, then expect to spend much of your of time waiting around. In many cases you may have to stay overnight on an interim island to get to your destination.
Seaplanes and private boat charters are possible but expensive. If just going to the one resort island then these are a great option and often arranged by the resort. If you are looking at getting around and seeing the real Maldives, then our get in touch with us at Our Local Tour and along with our expert local travel planners, we can put together the ideal Maldives tour.
- Published in Specialist Travel
10 Things to Know Before Travelling to Costa Rica
If you’re considering travelling to Costa Rica, you should know a few things first. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a lot to offer tourists, but it’s important to be prepared. This blog post will discuss ten things you need to know before travelling to Costa Rica!
Why Do People Love Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a small country located in Central America. Nicaragua borders it to the north and Panama to the south. Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination because of its many beaches, rainforests, and volcanoes. The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish, but English is also widely spoken. The climate in Costa Rica is tropical and humid. The average temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius.
Costa Rica is a nation where nature thrives, from its black smokestacks to its silver-sand beaches and cloud forests where the cries of scarlet macaws echo through the trees. Locals, or “Tikis,” have been named the happiest people on earth. Their environmental approach has allowed them and us to cohabit with over 500,000 distinct species. Pura Vida, or “pure life,” is more than just a saying here- it’s a way of living.
What Should I Know Before Travelling to Costa Rica?
There are a few things you should know before travelling to Costa Rica. Here are ten of the most important things:
Costa Rica is relatively safe, but some areas remain to avoid.
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is generally safe. However, there are some areas of the city that you should avoid, especially at night. These include La Carpio, San Sebastian, and El Cortezo. It’s also important to be cautious when travelling to other parts of the country. Avoid travelling alone, and always keep your belongings close to you. Joining Costa Rica group tours can minimise these risks.
Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise.
If you love nature, you’ll love Costa Rica. The country is filled with rainforests, beaches, and volcanoes. There are also many national parks and reserves to explore. Some of the most popular places to visit include Tortuguero National Park, Corcovado National Park, and Arenal Volcano National Park. Another nature lover’s paradise is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You can even go zip-lining through the rainforest! Fun fact: zip-lining is invented in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a great place to surf.
Costa Rica has some of the best surfing spots in the world. The most popular surfing spots are Tamarindo, Jaco, and Puerto Viejo. You can also find great surfing conditions in Nosara, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Grande. Bring your surfboard or rent it when you get there.
You can find some of the best coffee in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is home to some of the best coffee in the world. The country’s rich volcanic soil and ideal climate produce high-quality coffee beans. You can find many great cafes in San Jose and other parts of the country.
The food in Costa Rica is delicious.
If you enjoy trying new foods, you’ll love the food in Costa Rica. The country has a diverse cuisine that includes influences from many different cultures. Some popular dishes include Gallo pinto (a rice and bean dish), tamales, ceviche, and plantains. You can also find many great restaurants in San Jose and other parts of the country. And let’s talk about Soda. Sodas are small, family-run restaurants that serve traditional Costa Rican food. They’re a great place to get a cheap and delicious meal!
You can find some great deals on souvenirs in Costa Rica.
You can find great deals in Costa Rica if you’re looking for souvenirs. You can find many handmade crafts and more. You can also find great deals on coffee, chocolate, and rum.
The currency in Costa Rica is the colon.
Costa Rica’s currency is the colon. The exchange rate is around 550 colones to one US dollar. ATMs in most cities and towns accept credit cards. It’s a good idea to have some cash on hand.
Knowing some basic Spanish before travelling to Costa Rica is important.
While many people in Costa Rica speak English, it’s still important to know some basic Spanish before travelling to the country. This will help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable. Some basic phrases you should know include “Hola” (hello), “Por favour” (please), and “Gracias” (thank you).
Costa Rica is a great place to retire.
Costa Rica is a great option if you’re looking for a retirement place. The country has many benefits for retirees, including a low cost of living, good healthcare, and a great climate. There are also many activities and attractions to enjoy. Many retirement communities in Costa Rica, especially in the Central Valley, offer amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, and tennis courts.
You can take buses or rent a car to get around Costa Rica.
There are many different ways to get around Costa Rica. You can take buses, which are the most popular form of transportation. The bus system is efficient and reasonably priced. You can also rent a car, but remember that driving in Costa Rica can be challenging. The roads are often in poor condition, and traffic can be heavy. If you’re not comfortable driving, it’s best to take the bus.
Even though Costa Rica is relatively small, beware that its inter-city transportation isn’t the most efficient — you’re more likely to see a toucan than a well-made road. If you want to go down the self-drive route, opt for a sturdy set of wheels and book the best insurance you can find. Even better, leave the driving and planning to someone else and choose a group tour of Costa Rica led by a local who knows their way around.
Now that you know more about Costa Rica, it’s time to start planning your trip! The country has something for everyone, so you’re sure to have a great time. Pura Vida!
- Published in Specialist Travel
Escorted Tours in Greece
Greece is a country with a rich history and culture that is full of beautiful places to visit. This blog post will discuss some of Greece’s best places to travel. There is something for everyone in this amazing country.
Greece is a renowned tourist destination for a reason. This beautiful country has something to offer everyone, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an action-packed city break. With its stunning scenery, friendly locals, and rich culture, it’s no wonder that Greece is such a popular travel destination.
Greece has something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach lover, a culture vulture, or an adventurer, Greece is the perfect destination for you. This country has many incredible places to explore, from its bustling cities to its idyllic islands. Greece is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a holiday full of excitement, relaxation, and adventure.
Where To Spend Time in Greece?
There are so many incredible places to visit in Greece that it can be tough to know where to start. However, here are just a few of the must-see destinations in this amazing country:
The Greek Isles: The Greek Isles are a popular tourist destination. It’s a paradise with stunning scenery, azure waters, and sandy beaches. It’s perfect for a relaxing beach holiday. You can take a ferry from Athens to the Greek Isles.
Athens: Athens is the capital city of Greece and is full of history and culture. This vibrant city is home to some of the world’s most famous historical sites, such as the Acropolis. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, Athens is a must-see for anyone visiting the country. Try some of the delicious local cuisines in Athens and explore the city’s vibrant nightlife.
Santorini: Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. You would probably recognise Santorini from its iconic blue and white buildings. This beautiful island is full of stunning scenery, delicious food, and friendly locals. Santorini is the perfect place to relax and soak up the Greek sun.
Meteora: Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the unique places in Greece. Meteora is home to a group of monasteries built on sandstone cliffs. This site is truly breathtaking and worth a visit. If you are looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Meteora is the perfect destination.
How To Enjoy Your Holiday In Greece
There are so many ways to enjoy your holiday in Greece. Whether you’re interested in exploring the country’s ancient history, soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, or enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone in Greece. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
A solo tour of Athens
A solo tour of Athens is a great way to see the city’s many historical sites. You can walk or take a bus to get around the city and see some of the most famous landmarks, such as the Acropolis. There’s a reason why Athens is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and it’s because there’s so much to see and do! Enjoy your solitude as you explore this incredible city.
Island hopping in the Greek Isles
The Greek Isles are a popular tourist destination for a reason. These islands truly are a paradise with their stunning scenery, azure waters, and sandy beaches. Island hopping is a great way to see many different islands and enjoy everything they offer. You can do this by joining small group tours or renting a boat. If you hire a guide, they can show you the best places to go and the things to see on each island.
Santorini wine tours
Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. This beautiful island is full of stunning scenery, delicious food, and friendly locals. Santorini is also home to some of the best vineyards in Greece. You can take many different wine tours to explore these amazing vineyards. You will have the opportunity to learn about the different types of wine made on the island and taste some delicious wines.
Join escorted holidays to Greece
Escorted holidays are a great way to see the country and plan everything for you. An escorted holiday includes transportation, accommodation, meals, and guided tours of the country’s most popular attractions. This is a great option if you’re looking for a hassle-free holiday. There are many small group tours in Greece that you can join. Check the itinerary to see if the tour is right for you.
Rent a car and explore Greece
Renting a car is a great way to see Greece at your own pace. This is a great option if you’re looking for more flexibility and freedom on your holiday, especially if you want to focus your holiday on certain spots, such as Athena or Santorini only. Be sure to research the best rental companies and compare prices.
Take a cruise
Greece is home to some of the most stunning coastlines in the world, and cruises are a great way to see different parts of Greece without worrying about transportation or accommodation. This is a great option if you’re looking for an all-inclusive holiday. Many cruises depart from Athens and visit different Greek islands. Check the itinerary to see if the cruise is right for you.
Visit Greece during the off-season
If you want to avoid crowds and save money on holiday, consider visiting Greece during the off-season. The shoulder season (between April and June and September and October) is a great time to visit Greece. You’ll find that the weather is still pleasant during these months and that accommodation and transportation prices are lower than during the peak season.
As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy your holiday in Greece. Whether you’re interested in exploring the country’s history, soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach, or enjoying the vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Greece. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
- Published in Specialist Travel
Explore Authentic Morocco
A Small Group Tour to Explore Authentic Morocco
A small group tour is the ideal way to explore Morocco. The country lends itself to travelling by train, mini-bus or ferry. A combination of all three is even better. With good road networks, decent rail connections and ferry connections with mainland Europe, Morocco is a great introduction to exploring Northern Africa.
Imagine spending a night in a palace in a charming bustling city, then the next day you go to a breath-taking Kasbah at the heart of the mountains then you get to ride a camel in the desert and spend the night in a tent, with a universe of stars to gaze at. This is what Morocco offers and more.
It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, a rugged mountain interior and a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber, European and African influences.
Morocco has a rich and colourful history. A variety of tours offer authentic experiences that lead you through the historical Imperial cities and beautiful landscapes. On these journeys of discovery, you can sleep in charming Riads, step back in time while sightseeing Roman ruins and explore ancient Kasbahs.
Morocco has a history of several dynasties that have succeeded one another over the years, Names that any traveller to the country will come across include the Idrisside dynasty, the Almoravid dynasty, the Almohad dynasty, the Merinid dynasty, the Saadian dynasty and the Alaouite dynasty. Morocco has gained international consideration as a multicultural country, with much of its heritage recognised as World Heritage by UNESCO. Morocco is one of the go-to destinations for discovery lovers, perfect for any traveller fascinated by nature, history, the art of living. It is hard not to fall in love with Moroccan hospitality.
Food in Morocco
For those with an interest in the culinary, then travelling throughout the country offers the opportunity to learn about Moroccan cuisine. The country itself is consistently ranked among the best travel destinations for food lovers. Jit is not surprising to anyone who has been before, but for a first-time traveller to Morocco, the culinary delights include souk tasting trails in Fes and Marrakech, having the chance to eat at a local family’s home in the Atlas Mountains or for those dedicated to learning a new skill, why not take a cooking class with an expert chef out in the countryside.
At Our Local Tour one of our main aims is to help you connect and get closer to the local communities during our immersive small group tours. Morocco is home of the Berber, and you will uncover the daily life in Berber villages of the High Atlas Mountains. Here the revolve around the necessities of food, hunting, rug making and taking care of the herds and land. Get involved and experience day to day activities such as jam or bread making cooking using the most basic tools and an outdoors clay oven. When travelling as a group, there are opportunities for light treks or desert safaris. If you are lucky, you may be invited to join with a nomadic tribe as they migrate from one region to another!
There are opportunities to support local craft producers and shop for colourful rugs and handicrafts, many of which are still made in the traditional ways. Explore workshops and meet the local skilled artisans. Here you will discover not only the process of making Moroccan handicrafts but also the rich heritage that the country and its people continue to convey through their artisanship. Brass etching, pottery, weaving, leather & jewellery making, and embroidery. On an authentic tour of Morocco, you can avoid the crowds and fully experience the local specialties and give credit, acknowledgment and direct benefits to all of the underrated artists behind those pieces of art.
Morocco has many different types of traditional dances and music styles rooted in Arab, Berber, and African culture. The Moroccan arts reflect the many cultural backgrounds and ethnicity that have found their home in Morocco. For this reason, Moroccan dance is very diverse and varies from region to region. However, no cultural or historical tour of Morocco would be complete without witnessing a belly dance.
Shikhat is the dance commonly known as the Belly dance and Professional shikat wear colourful costumes with tight, midriff-baring sequined tops and long loose skirts or pants. This dance is characterised by sensual hip movements and often, the women wear a hip scarf to bring attention to the movements of the lower body. These exhibitions are often combined with a folk show which focuses on the culture, heritage, architecture, and rich history of Morocco. According to some, the belly dance is extremely old and traces of it can be found up to 6,000 years ago, in some pagan societies who used to worship a feminine deity, to celebrate women’s fertility as something magic.
In the 21st century, Morocco has been able to preserve its traditions and make its cultural heritage prosper through the generations. For example, in Marrakech, the Medina and its magnificent souks envelop you with its traditional side, while Guéliz and Hivernage offer the most modern facilities and infrastructure. Far from being a clash, this combination of modern and traditional Morocco embodies the true essence of the country.
For any traveller wishing to have an authentic group tour in Morocco, then contact Our Local Tour, whose local travel experts can create the perfect itinerary for your journey of discovery.
- Published in Specialist Travel
What is a tailormade holiday?
What is a tailormade holiday?
You may have heard of the term tailormade holiday or tailormade vacation, but then asked yourself, what is a tailormade holiday? When travel agents and tour operators use the term, what exactly is tailormade travel?
Our definition of a tailormade holiday is a trip that is built out of the various elements of flights, hotels, transport, guiding and experiences and is then entirely personalised to you. Of course, this is a simplified breakdown. You will find that many travel companies claim to offer ‘tailormade’ travel experiences, however they are limited to only certain hotels, or package together a range of different ‘modules’ rather than a truly bespoke travel package.
The term ‘Tailormade’ means made to fit the needs or specifications of a particular situation, object, or person—or seeming as though it was made that way. In its most literal sense, tailormade is used to describe a piece of clothing made by a tailor, especially a suit. A tailormade garment like this is made specifically to the measurements of the person that it’s for so that it fits them perfectly. Therefore, a tailormade holiday or vacation should be one that is designed for the person and one that fits them and their needs perfectly.
You may also see the terms bespoke holiday planning or bespoke vacations. This all refers to the same type of travel planning.
So what then are the advantages of a tailormade holiday over an ‘off the peg’ package holiday?
When considering the benefits of bespoke travel arrangements, we have come up with the following list. These are the best reasons to book tailormade travel.
You can use a local travel expert to make suggestions based on their first-hand knowledge of the destination. Our team will listen and ask questions until they’re happy they have what’s needed to make that bespoke, perfect experience you’re after.
The departure date and the exact duration of the holiday can be chosen by you. You can make sure that your trip fits in with your schedule and that you spend your time off wisely and doing something you want.
You can select the style and standard of accommodation and work out the most suitable day to day activities for you. We hand pick our destinations and activities using our first-hand knowledge and our local experts’ experience and then pass this on to you.
Tailormade means complete choice. You choose the airline that you want to fly with and the class of travel you want. We give you the options and you choose what is best for you.
We can arrange a private local guide and car at your destination, allowing complete flexibility of timings and activities. If there is a language barrier or you need specific information on a subject, this is the best way to travel. From researching family trees to bird watching and even learning how to cook a specific local dish, we can help.
How does booking a tailormade holiday work?
To begin with, tell us about your travel ideas and we will use our first hand-hand destination knowledge to work together with to create a holiday itinerary that is unique and works for you.
We will prepare a no-obligation personal holiday proposal for you to consider.
Once we’ve got your feedback about these ideas, we’ll propose one in finer detail. We’ll outline what we suggest you do each day and where to stay but should you not be happy with our suggestions, well we’ll just keep changing and altering things until you are. Or we go back to the drawing board.
The important part is that we work with you to make sure it’s just right, before you book. Although the choice is yours, we are on hand to help with every step of your holiday; from your flights and transfers, accommodation and meals, to your activities and bucket list experiences.
Are Tailormade Holidays more expensive?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. As a rule of thumb, they may be a bit more expensive than a package holidays. However, tailormade offers great value as it can be designed with a specific budget in mind.
Any extra cost is easily outweighed by the benefits. As we mentioned previously, you get the priceless expert advice of travel professionals, private drivers, your choice of accommodation, knowledgeable guides, and hidden ‘insider’ experiences. Add into the mix that the entire trip is organised for you, and any extra costs seem great value for money.
In addition, you are going to be avoiding some of the worst parts about travelling! There should be no getting lost, reduced chances of missing a transport connection, guides who stop you from falling into a tourist trap, no being overcharged by taxis and the end of searching endlessly for ATMS or legitimate currency exchanges.
To summarise, tailormade holidays offer you choice, flexibility and independence. Using local travel experts such as we do at Our Local Tour means that that dream holiday can be attained and in an ethical and sustainable way.
- Published in Specialist Travel