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Premium Sicily and Puglia Itinerary

Starting in
Palermo, Italy
Physical Difficulty
2 / 5
Breakfasts included
15
Lunches included
5
Dinners included
6
Ending in
Naples, Italy
Accommodation
Comfortable Hotel (12 nights), Feature Stay (4 nights)
Transport
Private vehicle
Explore Sicily and unearth the natural and historical wonders of this intriguing island, placed perfectly in the heart of the Mediterranean. Then cross over to the heel of Italy's boot to find dreamy beaches, inspiring architecture and ancient wonders. This premium adventure will take you on a deep dive through southern Italy with one of our most experienced locally based leaders to help uncover all of the best best sights to see and bites to eat (this is Italy, after all).

17 days

Palermo
Marsala
Agrigento
Siracusa
Siracusa
Catania
Polignano a Mare
Nardo
Matera
Naples

Day 1: Palermo

Welcome to Sicily, we’re kicking things off in the region's capital – Palermo. Upon arrival, a complimentary airport transfer will take you into the city. This evening we have our first dinner together and a welcome meeting with your local guide and fellow travellers. But until then, the city is yours to explore. If you have time, you might like to get acquainted with the sights and sounds of the old heart of Palermo, and gaze upon some of the main monuments such as the uniquely styled cathedral. Or maybe you’ll choose to café-hop and try the best of Sicily’s sweets. Whatever your fancy, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Palermo.

Day 2: Palermo

Sicily's unique cuisine sees Spanish, Greek and Arab influences and combined with a gentle climate and fertile soil, it is known all over the world. Delve deeper into this all important part of culture during a hands on cooking class. Not only will get to know the recipes, you will be learning how to create Sicilian dishes with the help of a local chef. As locally sourced products are used in the preparation of dishes, the menu may differ depending on seasonality and market availability, but your resulting lunch will be a treat.

This afternoon, join a walking tour with your local guide and uncover symbolic places of rebellion and anti-mafia racketeering. Places such as the Teatro Massimo, Cape Market, Piazza della Memoria, Beati Paoli Square and more, all have a rich history in civil mobilisation. Plus, these areas serve up some mouth-watering street food. You’ll personally meet local shop owners who have had the courage to denounce their extortionists and follow the ethical consumer campaign ‘Pago chi non paga’, a campaign promoted to support those that rebel against the Mafia.

Day 3: Marsala

Today it is time to say goodbye to beautiful Palermo as we head toward the small town of Erice. Located more than 750 meters above sea level, this beautifully preserved medieval town hosts, despite being handed from one ruling army to the next, many beautiful buildings showcasing architectural styles from its varied history. One thing that cannot be missed during your visit is Genovesi – traditional Sicilian pastries filled with custard or ricotta cream. Luckily for you, we’ve organised a special Genovesi tasting. After our visit to Erice we continue south towards Marsala, a lovely coastal town where we’ll stay tonight. Famous for its sweet dessert wines, you might choose to go out and enjoy a sip, or two, of Marsala’s delicious drinks with newfound friends or simply stroll the marble paved streets and explore at your leisure.

Day 4: Agrigento

This morning head east as you stop in the old port of Mazara del Vallo. It is here that some of the Arab influences in Sicily are most clearly visible. As you stroll through the kasbah (Arab Quarter) you will witness the artistic and cultural enrichment brought on by the arrival of Tunisian families in the 70's. Wander the winding lanes and alleyways swept with colourful murals. Then, we’ll continue to Agrigento with one final stop in our journey at Scala dei Turchi (Stair of the Turks) along the way. Scala dei Turchi is a truly spectacular coastline with white marble cliffs that offered protection from severe winds for the pirates that roamed these waters. Finally, we make our way to Agrigento where we’ll stay in a magical boutique hotel built in the 13th century. Tonight you will share a meal with your fellow travellers at your here.

Day 5: Agrigento

This morning, after breakfast, travel to the nearby Valley of the Temples. One of the largest archaeological sites in the world, it is situated where the ancient city of Akragas once stood. Your local guide will bring this classical Greek site to life as you visit the temples of Hera, Herakles, Zeus and Castor and Pollux. Along the way, enjoy magnificent views of the landscape and Mediterranean Sea. Return to Agrigento and enjoy the afternoon in any way you wish. Perhaps, head to Agrigento's old town to wander the narrow alleyways and courtyards or find a local café, grab a panino, sit and watch the world go by.

Day 6: Siracusa

Today, we kiss Agrigento goodbye and hit the road en route to Siracusa – but not without a few important stops along the way. The first stop today in Ragusa will not disappoint – it’s one of the most scenic towns in all of Sicily. Explore the town and then continue to architecturally fascinating Modica, particularly famous for its chocolate, it is a must-stop for any serious foodie. After tasting some of the local produce we continue to Noto and get acquainted with the city on a guided walking tour. Lesser-known Noto has recently gained a reputation as an architectural jewel, its limestone structures dazzle on a sunlit afternoon. Finally, we make our last stop of the day in Siracusa, where we will stay for the next two nights.

Day 7: Siracusa

This morning, enjoy an orientation walk through Ortigia – a small island just adjacent to the main town of Siracusa. Wandering the narrow streets and laneways will reveal ancient ruins, stunning fountains and authentic trattorias, all situated on the medieval island. In the afternoon head to the Neapolis Archaeological Site – known as one of the world’s finest – with your local guide by your side. Uncover the crumbling ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman town; from the Greek theatre to the Roman amphitheatre and ancient stone quarries. Covering an area of 35 hectares, there’s plenty of land to explore and plenty of history to learn about on this guided tour.

Day 8: Catania

Today, come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano on a daytrip up Mt Etna. At an altitude of approximately 2,000 metres, walk into the centre of an extinct crater and visit a lava cave that can be explored with helmets and torches. Walk among the cold lava streams of Piano Provenzana, a former ski resort that has been destroyed during the last big eruption of 2002. After exploring the fiery natural wonder, continue to the atmospheric city of Catania. The city has a unique energy to it, an interesting blend of young and old. On one hand, there’s a gritty, attractive bar culture that fuels an exuberant nightlife, full of flavour and laughter. On the other hand, the very core of the city boasts one of the fabled “Late Baroque” towns – the UNESCO World Heritage site, Val di Noto. This afternoon, you’ll get the opportunity to explore both sides of this curious city by wandering through its grand piazzas and wide roads.

Day 9: Catania

After breakfast today, take a day trip to the charming city of Taormina. Start things off with a guided walk, where you’ll notice Greek influence in the architecture. Walk through the back streets, gardens, and visit the world-famous Greek theatre and the cathedral. The afternoon will be at your leisure, so there's plenty of time to explore at your own pace. Have a drink in the Mediterranean sun or dig into some traditional Sicilian pasta before heading back for our final night in Catania. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant with your newfound travel friends and group leader.

Day 10: Polignano a Mare

After breakfast, depart Sicily on an unescorted flight to Bari, via Rome. The Puglia portion of your adventure kicks off in the coastal town of Polignano a Mare, where you’ll be collected from the Bari airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. A welcome meeting will take place here at 6pm for you to meet your local leader and the fellow travellers joining you on your adventure. If you arrive with time to spare, Polignano a Mare is blessed with beautiful beaches, coves and caves to explore. Feeling peckish? Why not pop into a local cornetteria for a decadent Italian croissant. After your welcome meeting, get to know your group over an included dinner, where your local leader will introduce you to Puglia’s cuisine.

Day 11: Polignano a Mare

Leave the coastline behind as you travel inland by private vehicle to the little town of Alberobello. Set among a tranquil landscape of olive groves, the town is famed for its unique beehive-shaped trulli; dwellings built from limestone in the 14th century. While the origins of the buildings are unclear, one theory suggests the houses were created to be easily dismantled in a feudal tax-evasion scheme. Whatever their purpose, the buildings truly are a sight to behold and make the Apulia region unlike anywhere else in the world. Join a local guide for an insider’s look at the town, wandering through the old town quarter of Rione Monti, dotted with thousands of trulli, and Rione Aia Piccola, where trulli still serve as family homes. Your guide will point out the different shapes of spires and the religious and mystic symbols adorning the roofs. Finally, stand in awe of the Church de Sant’Antonio, a huge cathedral built in the trulli style. Return to Polignano a Mare for the afternoon at leisure – your leader will have tips on the best places to grab dinner tonight.

Day 12: Nardo

This morning, travel to the small city of Ostuni and explore its whitewashed streets flanked with Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine buildings. Then, continue to a local olive oil producer on a farm that has been active since Roman times, with some trees thought to be close to 3000 years old. Here you’ll learn how production techniques have changed over the centuries, taste some of the olive oil for yourself, and enjoy an included lunch of regional favourites. From here, travel out to the quiet town of Nardo. Here you’ll settle into your Feature Stay accommodation, a 13th century Baronial Palace converted into a spectacular hotel by a local architect. Spend the evening exploring the hotel and grounds, featuring artwork and sculptures by local artists, as well as a citrus grove and excellent onsite restaurant.
This afternoon join an expert local guide for a walking tour through Nardo’s charming old town where there are more than a dozen grand palazzos, many of which were once home to the region’s nobility. Your guide will also point out the town’s many fine museums which you may like to visit this afternoon. And of course, you will stop at Piazza Salandra. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful baroque squares in the whole of southern Italy, you may like to return here this evening to join the locals for passeggiata, an early evening stroll that’s a tradition throughout Italy.

Day 13: Nardo

Before breakfast, you may like to take a walk through your Feature Stay’s historic ‘secret garden’ where it seems as if figures from days gone by could walk around the corner at any minute. Today head to the beautiful city of Lecce. With its ornate baroque buildings, lively university and ancient Roman ruins, Lecce’s narrow streets are a delight to explore. Let a local guide show you hidden corners and share the city’s history with you this morning, You will also have some free time to explore this historic city on your own before heading back to Nardo. Later this afternoon, perhaps head to the beach, which is only 15 minutes away, or join a pasta making or wine tasting class at your hotel.

Day 14: Matera

Enjoy a final morning at your Feature Stay hotel, sitting back with a coffee and soaking up the scenery. Then it’s time to say goodbye and travel on to Matera, an ancient city perched on a rocky outcrop. Along the way stop at a local winery for some wine tasting and lunch before continuing onto Matera. Matera is believed to be the third-longest continuously inhabited human settlement in the world. You’ll be exploring the city’s famous sassi houses in depth tomorrow, so this evening why not take a walk around Matera to discover its churches, traditional restaurants and thousands of years of human history.

Day 15: Matera

Today you will dive into Matera’s incredible old town, made famous by sassi; more than 3000 stone houses formed from natural grottoes and tufo cliffs, some dating back as far as the 8th century. Join a local guide who will lead you through a labyrinth of staircases and alleyways that cut their way through limestone ravines, dipping in and out of ancient sassi houses as you go. Up until the late 1950s, the sassi were considered the ‘Shame of Italy’ due to the gruelling living conditions and poverty suffered by those who lived here – a result of the city’s rapid population growth. The Italian government intervened, and 15,000 inhabitants were forcibly relocated. Today, the sassi are undergoing extensive restoration, with some dwellings featuring exhibits that recreate inhabited caves. You’ll also pay a visit to an ancient underground neighbourhood, made up of houses, streets. cisterns, and churches.

Day 16: Naples

Begin the day by driving to the storied town of Pompeii, home to one of Europe’s most well-known archaeological sites – the ruins of Pompeii, caused by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. Today you will join a local guide to discover the remains of this once thriving Roman trading centre. After the eruption, the city was covered in a layer of ash and remained undisturbed until the 18th century, when the ruins were rediscovered. Walk among well-preserved villas, temples, theatres, markets and chariot-marked streets, and visit the magnificent amphitheatre and the ‘Villa of Mysteries’ as your expert guide helps you to imagine what life here once looked like. You can also visit the Roman Forum and basilica, temples, public baths, and the tiny Odeon created for music recitals. Later in the day, travel to the buzzing city of Naples where you will join your group for a final dinner and a chance to look back on all you’ve seen on your journey.

Day 17: Naples

Your Italian adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend more time discovering Naples, just get in touch ahead of time and we’d be happy to arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability).

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Included Activities

Palermo -Complimentary Arrival Transfer

Palermo - Welcome Meeting

Palermo - Welcome Dinner

Palermo - Anti-Mafia Tour

Palermo - Sicilian Cooking Class

Erice - Town Visit

Erice - Genovesi Tasting

Mazara del Vallo - Kasbah Visit

Scala dei Turchi - Visit

Agrigento - Guided visit Valley of the Temples

Modica - Visit and Chocolate Tasting

Noto - Guided Walk

Siracusa - Ortigia Orientation Walk

Siracusa - Archaeological Park Guided Visit

Catania - Mount Etna Visit

Taormina - Guided Walk

Taormina - Greek Theatre Admission

Polignano a Mare - Welcome Dinner

Alberobello - Half Day Trip

Ostuni - Olive Oil Tasting

Lecce - Walking Tour

Nardo - Walking Tour

Matera - Ipogeo Underground Cistern

Matera - Guided Walking Tour

Pompeii - Walking Tour with Local Guide

Pompeii - Archaeological Site

Tour Operator

Club Adventures partners with a variety of operators worldwide to bring adventure to AAA Members. Your departure will be operated by Intrepid Travel.

Highlights

Come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, as you walk into the centre of an extinct crater and visit a lava cave.

Stay in spectacular places including a Feature Stay historic property in Nardo, that was once a Baronial Palace, as well as a Sicilian countryside estate built within a medieval watch tower.

Dig in to some of southern Italy’s best eats with a genovesi tasting in Erice, mouth-watering cheese and chocolate tastings on your way to Siracusa, a cooking class in Palermo and an olive oil tasting on a farm that’s been active since Roman times.

Step back in time and uncover magnificent ancient monuments and ruins on a guided tour through the Valley of the Temples and Siracusa Archaeological Park, plus join an expert local guide to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Join a group of like-minded travellers on a tour takes a deep dive into the history, culture and natural beauty of southern Italy with one of our most experienced locally based leaders (legends) guiding the way.

Essential Trip Information

Joining point

Hotel Principe di Lampedusa, Piazza Cassa di Risparmio n° 17 90133 Palermo (PA), Palermo, ITALY, Phone: +39 0918601322

Finish point

Palazzo Salgar Hotel, Via Nuova Marina, 120 , Naples, ITALY, Phone: +39 08119370780

Important information

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room? on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip? and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

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 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 or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative 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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:





Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8024 4679 540

Is this trip right for you

Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Additionally, please be aware that July, August and the first half of September is high season along the Southern Italian coast, which means that the local infrastructure is under a lot of pressure with a lot of people in the towns we visit. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

Why we love it

Come face-to-face with Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, as you walk into the centre of an extinct crater and visit a lava cave., Stay in spectacular places including a Feature Stay historic property in Nardo, that was once a Baronial Palace, as well as a Sicilian countryside estate built within a medieval watch tower., Dig in to some of southern Italy’s best eats with a genovesi tasting in Erice, mouth-watering cheese and chocolate tastings on your way to Siracusa, a cooking class in Palermo and an olive oil tasting on a farm that’s been active since Roman times., Step back in time and uncover magnificent ancient monuments and ruins on a guided tour through the Valley of the Temples and Siracusa Archaeological Park, plus join an expert local guide to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii, destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD., Join a group of like-minded travellers on a tour takes a deep dive into the history, culture and natural beauty of southern Italy with one of our most experienced locally based leaders (legends) guiding the way.

Group leader

All 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. Premium leaders are Intrepid’s most experienced, with in-depth knowledge and extensive local networks to make it a trip of a lifetime.

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. When not already included in your trip, your leader will be able to recommend a local guide service who can share more detailed or specialised information at specific sites should you be interested in delving deeper.

Safety

Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice 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 destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your 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 group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines, 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., 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 a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing., SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts., 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.

Visas

PASSPORT
You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date.

We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements

Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Italy as a tourist. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.

Last modified (date)

21 May 2024

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2024 to 31 Dec 2024

Additional Information

Health

GENERAL HEALTH
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements.

When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local representative a traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve 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. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements. 

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative 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. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may 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 any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

Money matters

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 an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

CASH
You can use your credit/debit card in ATMs, which are common throughout Europe. Before leaving home, check if your bank will charge fees for using your card internationally. Card payments are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash for these purposes.

YOUR GROUP LEADER OR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE
You may consider tipping your group leader or local representative for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference however as a guideline 8-10 USD or EUR per person (in a currency relevant to your destination), 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 and involvement of your group leader or local representative on your trip.

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations.

A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you.

Climate and seasonal

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C/104°F), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

A couple of rules

Intrepid won't tolerate any kind of violence, harassment (whether physical, verbal or sexual), or disrespect toward fellow travellers, our teams or local communities.

To ensure the wellbeing of everyone on the trip, decisions made by your group leader are final.

Romantic relationships between travellers and group leader or local representative are not permitted while on trip.

Any behaviour that prevents your leader from continuing the itinerary as planned, breaks local laws or opposes any of these guidelines may result in Intrepid denying your booking or removing you from the trip.

If something concerns you during your travels, please speak to your group leader immediately. Alternatively, you can contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact Information section of this Essential Trip Information.

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties 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 or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.



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 BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

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.

FACILITIES
European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

Information not available.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise.

For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:


https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SOLO TRAVELLERS
The beauty of our style of travel is that it caters to travellers who are travelling solo and who want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.

On our trips rooming is organised on a twin-share basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports.

As a responsible tour operator, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. In the case that your gender identity differs from what is indicated on your passport, please contact us so that we can discuss rooming options with you.

We also have an optional single supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will be on a single room basis.

On a small selection of itineraries some accommodations are booked on an open gender, multi-share basis (for example on a felucca in Egypt or an overnight train in Vietnam). In those instances it will clearly be stated in our Essential Trip Information prior to booking and travelling.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES
A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

MUSEUM VISITS & OPENING TIMES
Many sites, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays (and sometimes Tuesdays). We recommend checking the opening times of anywhere you're interested to visit and making reservations where required/possible.