Intrepid taking Mediterranean travelers off the tourist track

Intrepid Travel, a longtime leader in sustainable travel, is partnering with a Mediterranean parks foundation to offer new itineraries in Europe that take travelers away from tourism hot spots while supporting conservation efforts and local communities.

The global tour operator announced the partnership this month with MEET Network. The parks group was founded by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to work in protected areas in the Mediterranean to create ecotourism products.

Intrepid said it has incorporated MEET experiences within two of its new tours to lesser-visited regions of Croatia and Crete. And the company promises more to come across Europe and the Mediterranean over the next few months.

“These projects will bring visitors to areas away from the usual tourist trail, while protecting their cultural heritage and preserving their ecosystem,” said Zina Bencheikh, Intrepid Travel’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “These are genuinely authentic and unique experiences for our travelers and they demonstrate that tourism really can be a force for good.”

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Intrepid said the partnership is part of its ongoing focus on rebuilding responsibly from the pandemic and helping travelers ensure their trip has a positive impact on local communities.

The first two trips to include MEET experiences are Intrepid’s five-day Croatia: Sibenik & the Kornati Islands tour and its seven-day Highlights of Crete. Both have departures beginning Aug. 14.

On the Croatia itinerary, activities developed with MEET include exploring Sibenik with a local; a day trip to the Kornati Islands, where travelers will hike and have lunch with a local family that produces olive oil; and a bicycle tour of the island of Murter.

In Crete, the itinerary includes a MEET ecotourism experience in Agios Ioannis, a village in the foothills of the White Mountains. Travelers will spend the night in a traditional guesthouse with a local family.

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