FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs: 1. How do you classify your tours?
We all walk at different speeds; some find descents more difficult than ascents; short hikes can be very challenging; and the terrain underfoot can make all the difference, especially when compounded with adverse weather conditions or intense heat – and your batteries have run out on your GPS!
That said, we have chosen to classify our programmes into three categories of challenge as follows and you can click on each colour to go direct to more comprehensive details:
• Light or Easy – hikes designed to last half a day, normally the morning, leaving plenty of time for a later start, early arrival, bird watching, plant admiring, photo taking, wine tasting, castle visiting and, of course [well this is France!] that all important lunch-break.
• Moderate – hikes that last most or the best part of the day and comprise moderate ascents, descents and distances.
• Harder – meaning they are quite challenging or challenging, full-day walking tours that feature significant ascents, descents or distances.
Whilst a week-long light walking programme may offer one or two ‘moderate’ hiking opportunities, it would not comprise any ‘harder’ walks. On the other hand, a harder programme might feature a couple of moderate days, or even a light walking opportunity or a ‘rest day’.
All three challenge levels may be either inn-to-inn tours or multi-centre walks in France.
FAQs: 2. What’s included in your tours?
- Bed and breakfast in a single or double/twin-bedded room – 99% have en-suite bathroom and WCs: Tout du Mont Blanc refuges excluded.
- Evening meals may or may not be included, so please check on the particular tour page or flyer. Where there are convenient options in the over-night location, we prefer not to tie you to a certain hotel and prefer you to have the choice according to budget, diet or preference.
- All hotel taxes
- Luggage transfers – one case per person up to 15 or 20 kgs according to the tour in question – please consult relevant tour details. Travelling along with your luggage must normally be booked the evening before and involves a modest extra cost which you pay direct to the luggage handler/taxi firm.
- People transfers where appropriate – see individual tour schedules.
- Excellent quality maps and industry-leading walking notes that make orientation easy.
- Comprehensive holiday dossier that provides all the essential tour information, plus themed background details designed to whet your appetite and place your holiday in its unique context.
- Emergency phone help-line open seven days a week from 8 till late.
FAQs: 3. What’s NOT included in your tours?
- Lunches – except on the RLS EXTRA TOUR and our Tarn Gorge EXTRA trip – and all drinks and extras.
- Travel to the start and from the finish of the tour. Our customers recommend Rome to Rio for researching travel options and schedules. You may also find the French SNCF site useful
- Personal expenses and entrances into any optional cultural visits and venues.
- Hiking, personal and travel insurances.
- Single rooms – unless booked at the single-person rate.
FAQs: 4. Can you provide independent testimonials of your tours?
Privacy laws mean that all companies are prevented from passing over the names and contact details of customers. Independent testimonials can be read here:
- Please visit each individual tour page. Scroll down to below the tour itinerary to find independent customer reviews and feedback on the tour in question.
- See The Times recommends The Enlightened Traveller.
- See The Sydney Morning Herald’s endorsement of The Enlightened Traveller.
- See the Forbes Traveler endorsement of The Enlightened Traveller.
- See a Top Contributor to Tripadvisor’s endorsement of The Enlightened Traveller.
- See a range of Customer Feedback to The Enlightened Traveller.
FAQs: 5. Are you ATOL protected?
A very good question indeed! And the answer is NO. Why? Because it only applies to tour operators that sell you international travel tickets – which we do not.
Basically, tour operators fall into two types: those that package-in international travel arrangements and those that do not. The latter are sometimes called ‘in-coming’ tour operators and we fall into this second category. We are an in-coming tour operator, responsible for you from your arrival at the first hotel to your departure from the last one.
Our customers make, and are responsible for, their own travel arrangements to and from our tours.
The more you package, the greater the financial risk you take as a company; and, as they say, the larger they come, the harder they fall if such companies go bankrupt. Companies that sell you international travel need a special type of bonding for the higher risk, which is afforded by ATOL. Their scheme covers operators that include flights but is NOT applicable to ‘in-coming’ tour operators. So it is very risky to purchase from a non-ATOL-protected operator that packages up your travel arrangements. Buyer beware!
‘In-coming’ tour operators have their own bonding systems and you can learn about ours by clicking this link here: Our Financial Guarantee.
Note that our bonding is in fact superior to that afforded by many ATOL-protected operators. This is because whichever way you pay us, by bank transfer/wire or Paypal, your money is completely safe were we to go bust. Many ATOL-protected operators only cover customers when they pay via credit card, which is not the case with us.
The protection of our customers personal details is a priority with The Enlightened Traveller. We have chosen NOT to take credit card payments from customers direct on our site because, when we did, our site was constantly hacked by criminals looking for customers’ card details. You can use your credit card to pay us via Paypal, TransferWise, Revolut, Wells Fargo and similar payment platforms.