Responsible Travel Policy

Policy aims :
Our holidays are mostly within Crete, where there are several Natura 2000 sites, aimed at protecting their rich natural heritage and biodiversity, about which we inform our guests from the beginning. Interest and information about environmental, cultural and local social issues are exchanged, encouraged and promoted and indeed are the basis of our guided walks. We are a Greek/English partnership aiming to give guests an immersive Cretan experience that goes far beyond the usual sun/sea holiday. We share our love and intimate knowledge of the area, introducing clients to the traditional Cretan way of life, based on living off the land and trading produce and skills. We use family-run accommodation, tavernas, shops selling organic and/or homemade products and support local businesses such as the local Wineries and Olive oil pressing factories.

Economic responsibility :
-We work with local people, many of whom we have known for many years.
- We use family-run accommodation and tavernas, and local transportation (bus or taxis) only where necessary.
-We introduce clients to family-run stores selling local produce, such as food, wine, honey or gifts made in Crete.
- For marine transportation, we use the regular itineraries of a small local ferry company.
- Our holidays run in Spring and Autumn,so we are benefiting local businesses by extending the holiday season. Out of the high season the beaches and roads are quiet, which is a more pleasant atmosphere for our guests that allows them to feel part of the place and to relax into it. This is also conducive to supporting a tranquil and enriching experience; it is why our guests are returning, some for the third time.

Environmental responsibility :

We work as a web agency in our homes. We do not use any stationary or energy consuming office
equipment; we rarely use print. We do not use extra energy for heating, cooling, lighting etc.
- The nature of our tours and activities are environmentally friendly. Our groups consist of not more than 20 people and are often smaller than that. We use water-based acrylic paint or watercolour in our painting workshops, which are conducted in the open with the minimum of equipment (paper, brushes, colour, pencils, chalks and stools to sit on).
-We discuss with participants the nature of local ecosystems and indigenous flora and fauna. We encourage them to take photos of rare and endemic species but we do not allow them to collect anything. After any break in an activity, we always make sure the place is left rubbish free. We encourage people to refill their water bottle from the tap (safe), to avoid single use plastic.
- Some of our activities involve no transport, but to get further afield we often use the public bus system.
- Before the holidays take place, we go on the walks and activity places, picking up rubbish and putting it into the large roadside rubbish containers. We also clean up the beaches, which are full of plastic after winter storms. This is part of a local village initiative to clean the beaches and to monitor the cleanness of the sea. A small campaign to this effect is being initiated and supported by us, involving ringing local agencies, like the Chania newspaper, to report on bad practice.
The local government has installed a bio drain and sewage system along the length of the long beach of Kissamos Bay. Participation is voluntary but requires large cash expenditure to get connected. In these depressed economic times, this is not popularly supported, but we hope by helping the local economy and building awareness of the value of an uncompromised environment, that more and more local people will see it in their interests to conserve the quality of the area.

Social responsibility :
We work with local people, as described above. In our dealings with them and with our clients, we are always fair, honest and polite. We often teach our guests Greek phrases, so that they can return greetings.
The helpfulness and hospitality of many local people contributes to an atmosphere of mutual interest but is not allowed to be exploited, for example, we make sure the correct amount has been paid and an adequate
tip is left in a café stop. We believe that a ‘win/win’ situation is the best for everyone.