We travel in small groups of around 14-16 people, not only does this minimise our impact on the environment but also makes for a better experience for you. All of our tours are led by an Explore Tour Leader who knows the country they are leading in like the back of their hand. They’ll be able to show you the best parts and get right off-the-beaten-track, allowing you to really get under the skin of the country you’re visiting.
In the 30 plus years that we’ve been operating, we’ve always stuck to the same key principles. These are what make our tours so unique, and what keeps our customers coming back time and time again:
• The Tour Itineraries – We only offer unusual and pioneering itineraries that are meticulously planned, and allow us to get below the skin of the country or area in which we are travelling. They will always have the special ‘Explore Twist’.
• It's all about travel – The travel experience must come first. We still believe that the most important element of any Explore tour is where we visit and what we see and do. Accommodation must be clean, comfortable and well located, and transport suitable for the terrain; however we are not a luxury operator and hotel facilities will not drive where we go or stay. We will probably use a 4WD rather than a luxurious air-conditioned bus.
• Service – We ensure the ‘Customer Experience’ continues to drive everything we do. We are passionate about providing the very best service in the industry prior to travel and on tour.
• Safety – We ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff and suppliers at all times. Safety is the over-riding factor when making any operational decision.
• Responsible Travel – We travel in only a responsible and sustainable way. We ensure the local people we meet and work with along the way are well looked after and that the environment is cared for and not damaged – this includes offsetting all staff and customer flight emissions.
• Tour Leaders – We continue to provide the very best Tour Leaders in the industry. A good, well trained Tour Leader can turn a good adventure holiday into a fantastic and unforgettable one.
Accommodation on your adventure holiday
On Explore tours the places we stay are every bit as important as the sights we visit and the things we do. Think small, local and family-run rather than huge, global-branded and impersonal. It's always nice to sit down with your hosts over a drink or a meal and to be made welcome like old friends.
What's the accommodation like on tour?
For some people comfortable accommodation is a must, for others discarding day-to-day creature comforts is very much part of the adventure.
So how do we decide where to stay?
• On most of our tours you can expect to stay in en-suite, air-conditioned rooms in good quality, comfortable family run hotels. Occasionally, when we want to get off the beaten tourist trail, we may stay in more basic accommodation.
• Quality of service and standards of cleanliness and safety are more important to us than the hotel facilities; to us a friendly welcome and comfortable bed matter more than TVs and mini-bars.
• We prefer smaller, family run hotels, as they usually offer a warmer welcome and the money we spend is re-invested in the local economy.
• We normally choose hotels that don’t insist on half-board or full-board packages: this gives you the flexibility to eat where you want and doesn’t tie you to the (often rather bland) hotel restaurant.
• Accommodation choices are based on what’s available in the places we want to stay: if that mean’s a simple guesthouse, so be it. We choose the accommodation to suit the itinerary, not the other way round.
Variety is the spice of life!
With Explore you’ll get more variety of accommodation than on conventional tours. Our small group sizes make this possible. And on many tours the accommodation gives a great insight into the destination itself, for example…
• A traditional Tuscan villa with gardens and pool
• Converted monastery cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey
• Swiss mountain hut in the shadow of the Matterhorn
• Bedouin-style camp in the heart of Wadi Rum, Jordan
• A Moroccan Kasbah, in the heart of the Atlas Mountains
• Aboard a traditional Egyptian Felucca
• Welcoming village guesthouses in Turkey’s Taurus Mountains
• Authentic ryokans in Japan and haciendas in Cuba
• Raft houses in Thailand; stilt houses in Vietnam
• Classic sleeper trains the world over, including the Trans-Siberian Railway
• And perhaps the most unusual of all - Sweden’s super-cool Icehotel!