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Responsible Adventures – Nepal


Himalaya Mountains

Responsible Adventures is an ecological trekking organization designed to improve, protect and preserve the environment of the Himalayan mountain ranges. An organization for the 21st century, we are leaders in the organisation of ecological mountain treks.

Responsible Adventures was created and developed by a group of young environmentally and culturally conscious former Trek leaders with more than 18 years of experience each in leading treks throughout the Himalaya, The Alps, Australia and The Rockies. All of the founding worked for some of the biggest and reputed adventure travel companies throughout their professional careers.

All employees of Responsible Adventures have many years of trekking and mountaineering experience and actively promote the protection and ecological use of the fragile environment of the Himalaya. The Himalaya is home to most of our team and they wish to share its natural beauty and culture with trekkers and other guests. We are striving to instill respect to these sacred mountain ranges, while helping to preserve their historic surroundings, people and culture. We aim to make a difference.

Nepal Luxury Trekking Packages

Responsible Adventures offers trekking in the comfort of luxury lodges in the Everest region. The luxury lodge treks are perfect for those who do not wish to do without the comforts of city hotel while enjoying some of the most beautiful mountain scenes, culture and expert guidance by our very experienced trek leaders. Make your vacation to the Himalaya an experience of lifetime with an Ethical Adventure Travel Company.

Grassroots Adventure

These packages are designed with the very basics included e.g. Accommodation on room only basis, Trek Leader, Guides, Porters and transportation. No meals, entry fees are included. These packages are designed for people on extended travel, students and people who have never travelled on organised tours/treks and are not sure if they want to spend a small fortune and perhaps not enjoy the tour/trek. We give you more for your money than anyone in the same field as our ethics is to cut out most of the unnecessary middlemen. Where most companies offering these kind of tours provide you with the services, Budget hotels/ guest houses or local busses, we will provide, 3 star accommodation in cities, tourist class transportation and if the group size is bigger than 6 then we will even splurge on private transport. We also provide you with a complimentary welcome dinner on your joining date with cultural entertainment where available.

Here’s what other travellers had to say about Responsible Adventures

I first met Raj Tamang during the Royal Navy Everest 2003 Expedition during which he worked as our liaison officer. He was hand picked for the position on our team and proved a considerable asset. I am very happy to give the following report on his performance and character.

A highly intelligent and well educated man, Mr Tamang has considerable experience in the field of trekking and tour operations throughout Nepal, India and Tibet. He put this knowledge to very good use during our expedition, regularly briefing the team on the local culture and history of the different areas as we moved through them. He has a ‘presence’ that equips him particularly well in his dealings with everyone from clients to authorities. He is a prescient judge of character and communicates well in a number of different languages both verbally and on paper.

Having done outstanding work with our main climbing team he then moved on to assist the trekking groups and to act as a personal guide to Mr Gerard Baker, the BBC Radio 4 presenter.

I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Raj Tamang to anyone, from prospective employer, through trekker to potential business partner, as a proactive and highly capable man.

Nick UK

The Facts: Getting the Right Travel Insurance


A lot of preparation can go into making sure you’re not one of those travellers that comes home with a woeful story of being ripped off or injured overseas. You can spend hours researching local scams, the best accommodation available and the locks you’ll get to protect the camera and phone tucked in your luggage. But there is one part of pre-travelling preparation which many travellers get wrong: travel insurance.

Fast Cover, a travel insurance company providing cover to Australians of any age, found through an independent survey of over 1000 Australians that 30.8% of travellers didn’t buy travel insurance. Of those people 17.2% of travellers don’t understand exactly what they have cover for. “Getting the wrong policy can in some cases be similar to having no policy,” said Fast Cover’s CEO Dean Van Es. If you get a policy that excludes a medical condition, activity or situation that applies to you, you might find yourself in a difficult situation or with one very large bill.

Trawling through travel insurance policies to find the right one doesn’t have to be an ordeal. When you know what you’re looking for, finding the right policy is simple.

The right destination coverage

It sounds like something you can’t possibly get wrong, right? But if you’re rushing to buy a policy online it is possible to get a travel insurance policy for the wrong region. Many travel insurers create policies that provide cover for a whole geographic region. But some countries are classified under a different region due to the high cost of medical cover in that country. For example, Japan and Dubai are often not classified in the Asia region.

You also need to consider all your stops. If you stay in Hawaii for three days before heading to Europe for the remainder of your trip, you’ll need cover for your time in America.

A lot of medical cover

Some of the worst travel stories are those of travellers who need emergency medical treatment overseas and who don’t have travel insurance that provides cover for the medical costs. Medical emergencies can be unexpected and hugely expensive. Traveller reported the case of one woman who suffered a brain aneurysm while in the United States and had bills exceeding $1 million. Some insurers such as Fast Cover provide unlimited medical cover, while other insurers will cap the amount, so consider whether an insurer will cover the costs should the worst happen.

Pre-existing conditions

Fast Cover provides cover for a range of pre-existing conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. Other insurers will also provide cover for various medical conditions. It is important to find out if your insurer will provide cover for your condition so you know whether or not you can make a successful claim for medical expenses or unexpected cancellations resulting from the condition.

Cancellation cover

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of travel planning and forget that something could happen to you or a relative which means you have to cancel your trip. Without travel insurance that provides cover for cancellations you may lose the deposits you’ve made towards your tour, cruise, flight or accommodation. The earlier you get travel insurance, may be better option for you!

Valuable items

Many people don’t realise that the cover provided for valuable electronic items including phones and laptops is capped. If you have expensive camera gear or are taking highly valuable electronics be sure to check they are completely covered.

Cover for activities

Not all activities are automatically covered by your travel insurer. If you are going to scuba dive, go horse riding or hire a motorcycle it is worth checking with your insurer if they provide cover for those activities. If they don’t and you are injured doing the activity, you’ll be responsible for paying any medical bills.

Being reckless is not covered

If you break your leg in an alcohol-fueled quad bike race, it’s safe to assume you’re insurer won’t approve your claim for medical expenses or any expenses for that matter. Generally, travel insurers won’t provide you with cover if you’ve been drinking excessively. They will also not provide cover for while you’re doing something illegal, such as taking illicit drugs or driving a motorbike without the correct license.

Making sense of travel insurance policies doesn’t have to feel like you’re being forced to do rocket science. Now you know what to look for to get the right travel insurance for you for your next trip!

Villa in Sicily


infinity pool

Renting a luxury villa in Sicily can open up a world of opportunities and experiences that you would not normally get from staying in a large hotel. If you want to find a villa that is right for you and your family, you need the right agent who not only understands the area but also the needs of the customer.

Villas offer the unrivalled experience of living like a local, so that you can enjoy the luxurious surroundings of a character property in a relaxing pool, surrounded by lush landscapes and breathtaking sea views.

Finding the right villa in Sicily for your holiday can be a daunting task, particularly when there is a language barrier. There are plenty of websites for renting villas, but sometimes it is just easier to give the difficult task of finding a villa to an agent.

The best agents will have personal knowledge of Sicily and will be able to offer advice about location, customs and even excursions. They should also be able to answer any questions about the finer details of renting the property before you choose to go ahead.

When dealing with a rental property, especially a luxury villa with a pool, it is always best to prepare for the unexpected. Like any other holiday property, you will probably find something that you didn’t expect, whether it is the situation of the villa, the decorative features or the proximity to neighbours, but it is important to keep an open mind. Your own personal idea of what luxury villas should look like may be very different to the opinions and tastes of a local, so it is essential to keep this in perspective. No matter what property you choose, your villa will always offer more space and freedom than a large luxury hotel.

Benefits of renting a villa

The best part of renting a villa is the freedom it can bring to you and your family. If you love to see all of the local attractions, then you certainly have the opportunity to see them at your own pace. Sometimes the best moments are spent enjoying all the facilities that the villa has to offer. This is especially true for children, who will love to run around freely or splash about in the pool. It’s also the perfect opportunity to explore the local area, get to know the owners or the neighbours and really immerse yourself in authentic Sicilian culture. Sicily has a long and fascinating history that has been shaped by its ancient Phoenician, Greek and Roman influences. To explore all the wonderful historic sites of this fascinating island, like Syracuse and Catania, there’s no better choice than spending your holiday in a luxury Sicilian villa.

Top 5 attractions of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh


Castle in Armenia

The tours to Armenia and the beautiful old region Nagorno-Karabakh are becoming popular day by day. This area amazes by its old and difficult history, colorful traditions, exotic national dishes and, of course, a huge number of attractions. In this article you’ll be able to have a closer touch with this amazing country. You will learn about most famous attractions of Armenia and the region Nagorno- Karabakh located to the east of the country.

iVisa.com

Geghard Monastery

Gaghard Monastery is one of the most famous in Armenia. It is included in almost all tour packages. The uniqueness of the temple is that it has rock architecture and its part is carved in the rock. The exact date of its construction is not known yet however, it is supposed that the monastery was built in the 4th century and first was called Ayrivank translated as Cave Monastery.

Later it was renamed into Geghard or Geghardavank (a monastery of spear). This name was given because of the spear of Loginus that for a long time had been kept in the monastery. Geghard Monastery impresses by its rough simplicity and majesty seemingly borrowed by surrounding landscapes – equally severe and amazing.

Tatev Monastery

This amazing architectural creation is an absolutely must for all those who wants to travel to Armenia. It is a masterpiece of medieval architecture of the 9th century. You can get to the monastery by the world famous rope way which is included into the Guinness Book of Records because of its length (5,7 km). You will fly over the amazing gorge for 15 minutes. At the end of the way you will see Tatev Monastery – impressive and majestic as though soaring over the surrounding mountains.

Ghazanchetsots Cathedral

The town of Shoushi is one of the most famous in Nagorno-Karabakh region. It is famous for its tragic 200-year history. It is a real symbol of the tireless struggle of Armenians and their belief in a brighter future. One of the most popular and exciting attractions of the town is the majestic Church Ghazanchetsots (Church of Holy Savior). It is one of the largest Armenian churches in the world.

The temple was built in 1888 from white limestone and decorated with the finest exquisite carvings. While visiting the temple, you will be impressed by its graceful design and spirituality. The temple is also known for its unique acoustic hall located under the altar, in which man’s voice changes unrecognizably and sounds like a stranger’s. Ghazanchetsots Church is the perfect embodiment of the architectural talent of Armenian people.

Gandzasar Monastery

In Nagorno-Karabakh near the river Khachen, there is another great architectural monument. It symbolizes wisdom and centuries-old Christian traditions. We are speaking about the Gandzasar Monastery (Church of St. John the Baptist).

The construction  began in 1216 and was completed in 1238. People differently call this beautiful creation. “The greatest miracle of Armenian architecture”. Also”the church similar to the Heaven’s dome temple”, “a perfect creation”. The church is also famous around the world because it keeps the head of John the Baptist buried under the altar. So once in Nagorno-Karabakh try not to miss this majestic site. It would be a great omission!

Hunot Canyon

Hunot Canyon is a natural miracle of Nagorno-Karabakh. This canyon is a State Natural-Historical Reserve which by its stunning beauty leaves the visitors in awe. The tourists who choose to travel around the canyon will be able to discover amazing waterfalls, forests, caves, ruins of ancient settlements, and numerous historical and architectural wonders. An excellent place for hiking lovers! There you can choose among the three trials marked with signs.

For example, Routе 1 will lead you to the popular picturesque waterfall called Mamrot Qar or Umbrella. It got this name not by chance: the water here falls from a cave that resembles a big umbrella covered with moss. This impressive natural monument surprises visitors of all ages, and is a highlight of the canyon. Route 2 will lead you to the ruins of Hunot village which was founded in the 18th century and was abandoned in the 20th century. During the hike the tourists can explore interesting remains of old buildings and cemeteries. Hunot Canyon has lots of other unique surprises for its visitors, so if you decide to have a Holiday in Nagorno-Karabakh try to necessarily visit this attraction.

If you’d like more information on Armenia go to the official tourism website of Armenia 

Weekend in Vienna – win a trip to Vienna


Schönbrunn Palace

It’s been many years since I’ve been to Vienna now but it holds many fond memories for me. I visited the city 3 times on my first trip to Europe, a 9 month trip of eating, drinking and having a good crack at womanising.

Being a lover of great food I remember well going to this small restaurant on the Berggasse with an old couple running it.

I had the best schnitzel and salad ever and being a backpacker the price needed to be good as well.

So while I have my ancient memories of times gone by, its another recollection of just how majestic the city of Vienna is, that stays with me to this day.

Like most of Europe Vienna’s architecture suffered greatly during WW2 but a number of significant buildings were either were not affected or were rebuild.

Today you are able to see great palaces, opera houses and museums

Schönbrunn Palace is a former imperial summer residence of the Habsburg emporers. The 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Austria.

Hofburg Palace is the former imperial palace in the centre of Vienna. Part of the palace forms the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It was the principal imperial winter residence, while Schönbrunn Palace was their summer residence.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum “Museum of Art History”, also often referred to as the “Museum of Fine Arts” is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome.

This is only scratching the surface of what Vienna has to offer but there was one thing I loved and if you want to release you inner James Bond is to go to the Prater (ferris wheel) and walk in his shoes from The Living Daylights movie. Even better if you can find a girl to play the Maryam d’Abo role.

ImperialTalk have a competition that is open and the first prize is a trip to Vienna and is simple to enter

The first prize is a weekend for two people with 2 nights in a 4-star hotel in Vienna including breakfast (double room). Other conveniences include: Return flight to Vienna (direct flights only in Economy class), transfer from/to the airport in Vienna, a welcome package, two Vienna Cards with more than 210 discounts as well as free travel on the subway, buses and trams for 72 hours, to be redeemed by 31.10.2016.

Go to ViennaTouristBoard for more tourist information on Vienna a grand and imperial city to visit. As Ultravox said Ohhhhhh Viennnnna.

Ecotour – Kyrgyzstan Horse Riding Tours


Ecotour organizes travel for individuals, small groups and families (with children). We have prepared for our guests thematic cultural programs – meeting the nomads, felt making and active adventurous tours

– trekking, horse riding, mountain bike trips and cycling tours and tours for bird watching, nature photography, and a tour exclusively for women. We also offer programs at a discount during spring and autumn.

All of our programs are very interesting and unique. You can join a group or make the trip individually. When travelling individually you can create your own itinerary with departure date of your choosing.

In cooperation with local people we have organized a small net of 5 yurt camps (4-7 yurts per camp). You will stay in these yurt camps, sometimes in guesthouses or with local people in the villages. We offer a great variety of tours, some strenuous, some very relaxed

Our guests can pick a yurt camp of their liking and we can inform them about the activities that are organized from this particular camp. By combining several places to stay in a time span of 2 or 3 weeks, guests can thus enjoy the different sceneries and different activities. We will gladly assist each guest in composing a tour to her/his liking.

Also it is possible to combine one special tour (for example horse riding or textile) with an individual program in one or two yurt camps you like. Most of our guests have a three weeks` holiday since the places are surrounded by different landscapes and offer different activities.

Ecotours website has details and itinerary of all the tours offered.

Here is what other travellers have to say about Ecotours

We can give our warm recommendations to anyone considering going to Kyrgyzstan in general, and with Ecotour in particular! In June 2008 we spent two weeks in some of Ecotour’s yurt camps, and it was a highly memorable experience. Ecotour was very flexible and had arranged a programme that suited our wishes perfectly. We got horse riding, camel riding, hot springs, hiking in the mountains, varied landscapes (from semidesert to green, lush vallies and high, dramatic mountains) and delicious and very varied food. Our guide/interpreter was also excellent and felt more like a friend than a guide.

Tom & Karin

Sweden

I enjoyed the trekking a lot. The views on Son Kul lake changed every hour and were breath-taking, the silence in the mountains was delicious and soothing and the valley of Temir Kanat was one of the most beautiful I have seen.

When you manage to route the first part of the trekking a bit more in the direct neighborhood of the Tien Shan mountains (the views on these huge white peaks I liked the most), then you have the perfect trip, I think.

The guides did take very good care of us.

Sietse

Netherlands