Responsible Travel Policy


Ramblin'trails

Carefree self-guided walking and geocaching holidays with a  personal touch.





What we can offer:

Self-guided walking, trail running or geocaching  tours with luggage transfers.


Centre based, self-drive self- guided walking holidays.



Tailor-made walking holidays to meet your individual needs.




Our Responsible Travel Policy - Portugal.


THE ENVIRONMENT.


Travel:-


We encourage our clients always to consider their carbon footprint when making their travel arrangements. Flying may be more convenient and less time consuming, but there are good rails connections from most major European cities to Lisbon. For instance, it's easy to reach Portugal by train from London, by early morning Eurostar from London to Paris, a high-speed TGV from Paris to Irun on the Spanish frontier, then the famous Sud Express overnight to Lisbon with sleeping-cars, restaurant & bar, the civilised eco-friendly way to reach Portugal. See https://www.seat61.com/Portugal.htm#Lisbon for more information.


Within Portugal, there is an extensive network of express coaches which connect with all the start and finish points of our programmes. We provide clients with comprehensive information sheets detailing the various public transport options ,so that you can plan your whole journey so that the international segments can connect with in country options. Long distance private minibus or taxi transfers should not be needed.


When flying, try to travel with hand luggage only. If this means that you cannot bring walking poles with you, then we can lend you a pair for the duration of your walking programme.


On our programmes, for any pre-determined transfers as well as luggage transfers our vehicles meet latest EU Cat 6 emissions standards.


Water:-


Water from the public supplies does meet EU standard and as such it is drinkable, however the nature of the distribution system and the warm climate requires the pumping stations and water towers to be shut down for regular scheduled cleaning. This can give rise to a taste of chlorine, which many people find unpalatable. On each walking day, we provide a 1.5l bottle of spring water, whilst several smaller bottles may be more manageable to carry, in an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics we can only offer the larger bottles. If you have your own water bottles or backpack pouches and are happy to use the tap water, please do so to further reduce the usage of single-use plastics.


Generally, when the water supplies are turned off for cleaning, this happens during the day and should not interfere with your bathroom needs in the morning or evening.


The south west region does suffer from prolonged periods of drought, which is further exacerbated by the high demands of intensive agriculture. There are various ways to help to save water: For stays of 2 nights or more please do not request clean linens. Take a shower rather than a bath, even if the thought of a relaxing hot bath after a tiring walk seems appealing. Do not leave the tap running when brushing your teeth. Do not flush the toilet unnecessarily.


Recycling:-


All our office paper is reused when possible and then recycled. All our printer cartridges are recycled.


All holiday information is sent out electronically to keep paper usage to a minimum, if you can avoid printing the information please do so, but for your safety on the routes ensure you have more than one means to read this important information. Rota Vicentina walkers will be given a copy of the official map and guidebook at their welcome briefing.


We do not produce any printed brochures or flyers etc, so if you cannot find the information, that you need, on our websites, please use the contact form to request more information.


Code of conduct in the Natural Parks, through which many of the trails will pass:-


  1. Noise and disturbance of wildlife should be avoided, especially in places of shelter and reproduction;

  2. The observation of the fauna must be done at a distance and preferably with binoculars or other appropriate optical equipment;

  3. Food should not be left in the countryside or supplied to wild animals;

  4. Animals, plants, mushrooms or geological samples should not be collected;

  5. When injured wildlife are found, they shall, where possible, be collected and delivered to ICNB, I. P., or to the Nature and Environment Protection Service of the Republican National Guard (Sepna), or the situation reported to those Organisations, for referral to recovery centres or other appropriate host sites;

  6. Detected environmental accidents or transgressions must be promptly communicated to the SOS Environment and Territory Service, ICNB, I. P., or Sepna;

  7. Litter and any waste produced shall be collected and deposited in the appropriate places;

  8. A fire should only be made in the places authorised for this purpose;*

  9. Whatever the nature of the activity, all the movements inherent to it must use existing paths and trails;

  10. Signage must be respected.


* From 1st June until 15th October each year, special fire prevention rules apply in virtually all rural areas in this region. Bonfires, barbecues, fireworks and even smoking are strictly prohibited. The restriction period is sometimes extended in some areas due to climatic conditions. Walkers are therefore advised to assume that these restrictions apply at all times. In the event of discovering a forest fire, dial 117.


General:-


On inn to inn programmes our individually selected overnight accommodations are within easy walking distance of the trails, ideally 2-300 metres but 1km at most, so that walkers usually will not need vehicular transfers at the start or end of their walks.


Our partner business in Portugal, Ramblin'tejano, Lda. is licensed with Turismo de Portugal (Portugal National Tourist Board) as a touristic activities operator. Under that license they have “Turismo de Natureza” (Nature Tourism) accreditation from the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas - ICNF Nature Conservation Institute and Forestry, which is a legal requirement to offer any touristic outdoor activity in any Portuguese natural park.


SOCIAL & ECONOMIC.


Our individually selected overnight accommodations meets various criteria:

Being locally owned and managed.

Use, wherever possible, local sourced produce for breakfasts and picnic lunches.


Souvenirs of your visit may not be locally produced. In common with most tourist destinations much comes from the far east. Look for a “Made in Portugal” or “Fabricado em Portugal” label. Cork is a major crop of the region, which is now used to produce many different items, such as shoes, hats, handbags which generally command a high price. If you see cork products that seem extremely affordable, it could well be “faux cork”, watch out for the “Made in China” label. Seek out local artisan shops to support the local economy. Details of artisans who are active in the Odemira municipality, our main area of operation, can be found at http://cacoartesanato.pt/artesaos/ .


Buy Portuguese! That goes for any wine you order with a meal, Portuguese wines are one of the country's best kept secrets. Alentejo wines, particularly, come with price tags to suit every pocket. Remember to drink responsibly.


Be polite and friendly towards local people, it is not uncommon for strangers to greet each other with “Bom dia” - “Good day” before lunch and “Boa Tarde” - “Good afternoon” until nightfall. Tell them why you’re there and take the opportunity to share experiences.


We endeavour to keep our clients informed of local gastronomy fairs, traditional events and excursions to local projects, which may take place during their visit to Portugal. Partaking in these events will enhance your experience and often allow you to sample more local produce and interact with local people.


The Rota Vicentina Association, with whom Ramblin'tejano has been partners since 2014, has its own programme of responsible travel, which aims to embrace the local community, protect the environment and support local business. We actively support the Rota Vicentina Associationboth financially and through assistance in maintaining trails.


NaturalPT, through a partnership of Turismo de Portugal and the ICNF recognises our business as meeting the values that are associated with the protected areas.

Website updated: 10th November 2019. Copyright © All Rights Reserved.