Slow walking is the first recommendation to get to the destination of your trip immediately if you rely on Walden Travel's sustainable hiking experts. The Slow walking it is the prerequisite for being able to look around and inside, to enjoy it and to fall in love with the nature that surrounds us. And if you don't, what kind of holiday is it? Alessandro Vergari tells of the many steps taken and still to be taken. With Walden, of course.
1) When was Walden born? What are its peculiarities?
The Walden Travel on foot cooperative was founded in 2011 by a group of environmental excursion guides who had worked for years in the now disappeared association "La Boscaglia", well known for having carried on the walking slow as a travel philosophy. With Walden we continued in walking slow, trying to be even more ethical and transparent. In fact, today we collaborate with Viaggi Solidali, a cooperative specialized in responsible tourism, and we are members of AITR (Italian Association of Responsible Tourism) of which we share principles and aims.
2) What different travel categories do you offer?
We can classify the slow walking we propose by difficulty and by type.
For difficulty we have a classification linked to the symbol of the leaves, from 1 to 4: one indicates a journey within everyone's reach, even beginners, with a few hours of slow walking and little difference in height. By increasing the hours of walking slow and the difficulties, the leaves increase: a trip to 3 or 4 leaves requires a good physical condition, training, even if you walk slowly. Aspects such as accommodation also have an impact, even under the stars or in tents.
By typology, slow walking takes on 8 faces, including Easy Trekking, suitable for everyone, the Montagna mon amour, even on the Alps or the Dolomites, On the steps of travelers and pilgrims, Sea and mountains, where the walking slow it is mainly on the islands of the Mediterranean. Then there are the Selvatic Trekkingi and S-low cost travel. The most significant type of slow walking is that of Soul trekking with paths of high emotional value, especially for the deep encounter with the locals.
3) How are your proposals respectful of the environment and ethical?
Meanwhile, walking tourism, and in particular the walking slow, is the most ecological way to travel with the lowest environmental impact. Furthermore, we prefer to rely on structures that are attentive to zero impact energy choices: farmhouses or places managed by locals. For ethics, we guarantee the utmost professionalism with Qualified Professional Environmental Guides, safe, "package" prices and maximum price transparency.
4) Some examples?
The trek in Maramures where we sleep only in farmhouses where the owners still have their animals: dinner and breakfast are only based on truly zero km products. Or when we go to the Rif mountains there is ours walking slow for the locals it constitutes a valid economic alternative to the cultivation of hemp. In general we try not to have intermediaries between us and the locals, in order to support small local economies, and we choose organic food and sustainable structures
5) Have you ever assessed the environmental impact of a trip?
Not directly but we often bring glasses and crockery so as not to use disposable plastic objects, for example, and we often clean up beaches or paths, which is only possible from walking slow: on the trip to Karpathos in September there is an afternoon of cleaning up a beach. In general, then, we suggest that participants from the same area agree to use a single vehicle to reach the starting points, all of which can always be reached by public transport, also.
6) What are the least impactful and most environmentally friendly trips?
Almost all! Air travel can be a distinction, but ours walking slow it is often a tourism of proximity, in Europe and in the Mediterranean Basin. In the Balkans we also suggest taking the bus and for Albania and Greece we suggest the ferry.
7) Respect for the environment and the ethical aspect of a trip in recent years have become more important as factors for the choice of tourists in your opinion?
Sure! And with "The plus of Walden" for this very reason we indicate who we work with and our ethical and solidarity principles, highlighting how the share paid by each traveler is used. It is no coincidence that last year we were awarded the Green Travel Awards for excellence in sustainable and responsible tourism. The walking slow has been awarded, but also all the precautions we pay.
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