Stay On-Trend This Year and Keep Tours ‘Small and Traditional’
According to recent data, some 54% of travellers are keen to help reduce over-tourism, (Booking.com) which means that these eco-conscious travellers are increasingly seeking out tours which cover lesser-trodden destinations.
Rail tour operator Ffestiniog Travel is no stranger to this terrain, having run a wide selection of ‘Eco-Friendly’, ‘Sustainable’, and ‘Authentic’ tours for over a decade. Ever since their very first Small and Traditional tour visited rural Romania in 2009, Ffestiniog Travel has prided itself on guiding its guests along the path less travelled, showing them the hidden side of these remote destinations, whether passing through rural regions, wildlife areas or historic cities.
The popularity of this itinerary soon prompted expansion into other destinations, including Moldova, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Albania, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
Maria Cook, general manager of Ffestiniog Travel said of these holidays “Ffestiniog Travel has always been eco and carbon friendly, using rail as the predominant form of transport, however this unique range of tours really demonstrates our responsible travel credentials. We try to subscribe to the ethos of ‘take only pictures, leave only footprints’, particularly in the way our tours and profits benefit local communities.”
Small & Traditional
Ffestiniog Travel’s portfolio of Small and Traditional Tours typically visit destinations largely untouched by mass tourism, often reaching remote areas ripe with rugged nature, rich culture and history, on escorted rail tours all hosted by friendly, knowledgeable tour leaders, with local, experienced guides on the ground.
All tours are kept to a maximum of 20 people, with many groups considerably smaller, giving guests maximum personal attention and flexibility.
Here’s our pick of some of the best tours in this diverse programme.
NEW FOR 2020: Armenia, a Cradle of Civilisation
Armenia’s fascinating history covers a period from early Biblical times, to the Soviet era and beyond. Add to that some stunning mountain scenery, good food and a warm and friendly welcome and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable 10-day holiday.
Departs Tuesday 8 September to Thursday 17 September 2020. From £1950pp, the price includes return flights, all stated rail travel, excursions to the Khndzoresk cave dwellings and the Tatev aerial cableway, 9 nights hotel accommodation with daily breakfast, and the services of a tour leader throughout.
Romania's Danube Delta
This 12-day tour of the Danube Delta and the Carpathians, takes in some of the last true wilderness areas in Europe. This region is teeming with wildlife, taking guests on the trail of rare wading birds in the Delta and bears in the mountains.
Departs Friday 15 May to Tuesday 26 May 2020. From £2,495pp, the price includes return flights, all stated rail travel, excursions to remote villages, 11 nights hotel or ‘homestay’ accommodation with daily breakfast, and the services of a tour leader throughout.
Uzbekistan and the Silk Road
Travel along the Silk Road on a journey of silks, spices and stories of Tamerlane’s conquests, combined with some of Central Asia’s most beautiful cities. This unique tour takes an in-depth peek into the history and culture that lies behind one of the smallest of the former USSR republics.
Departs Friday 17 April to Tuesday 28 April 2020. From £2,650pp, the price includes return flights, all stated first class rail travel, time in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, 11 nights hotel accommodation with daily breakfast, and the services of a tour leader throughout.
As one of the UK’s leading specialist operator to Romania, Ffestiniog Travel are proud to share that "accommodation, restaurants, local transport and so on are owned and operated locally to the benefit of the local economy."
The 12-day tour has a maximum capacity of 12 guests, and includes visits to remote Saxon villages including lunch with a local family, overnights in family run ‘homestays, an excursion to UNESCO Sighisoara – birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (better known as Dracula), journeys on three steam narrow gauge railways including the last forestry railway in Europe, experiences of local domestic industry, and visits to the famous Merry Cemetery and the Painted Monasteries.
Departs Sunday 27 September to Thursday 8 October 2020. From £2,250pp, the price includes return flights, 11 nights en-suite accommodation with daily breakfast, internal transport, meals and excursions as per the itineraries, the services of a tour leader throughout and a local professional Romanian tour guide.
Springtime in the Caucasus
This 12-day tour features stunning snow-clad mountains, meadows teeming with wildflowers and Georgia’s rich and interesting history, a fascinating and friendly country at the edge of Eastern Europe.
Departs Friday 15 May to Tuesday 26 May 2020. From £2,195pp, the price includes return flights, 11 nights en-suite accommodation with daily breakfast, internal transport, meals and excursions to Ushguli, the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe, and Stalin’s Railway Carriage, a ride on a narrow gauge electric train from Borjomi to Bakuriani, the services of a tour leader throughout and a local professional tour guide.