General Information

These are the key features which make us different from our competitors.
  • The walks are run by a husband and wife team, James and Diana, from their own home. This promotes a private house-party atmosphere.
  • There are unlimited and varied drinks included in the price. Many of the wines coming from James' cellar.
  • Excellent food much of which is home cooked. Both your hosts are very keen cooks.
  • Unusual and comfortable places to stay such as private châteaux and auberges de charme not just hotels.
  • Back-up pack animals and local muleteers accompany most walks in France and Italy carrying day time kit. This is unique and means everyone can walk without carrying any equipment.
  • Remote country walking trails. Exclusive as seldom seen by other tourists
  • Gentle walking and moderate daily distances.
  • Surprises en route not included in the brochure.
  • The feeling of good value for money.
The Grade of Walking

The walks are designed for mixed abilities with pack animals in France and Italy (donkeys and mules) and support vehicle back up for those who find a 15 mile day too long. We have many people who have never been on a walking holiday before who often need reassurance. In this respect pack animals play an important part as they travel at the back of the group at the speed of the slowest walker. You can safely be assured that the nervous walker will not hold the group up! We normally walk as a complete group stopping for rest breaks and to look at birds and wild flowers that are exceptional in France and Spain from March to June. Most botanists like to come about mid April/May when numerous orchids are still in flower.

Age and Non Walkers

We have no upper age limit however we insist that eighty year olds and older come accompanied by a partner to keep an eye on them. Occasionally for one reason or another we find someone cannot manage the walking. In this case they are transported by the support vehicle on each leg joining the group at their next meal.

These walks are not suitable for children unless it is a private family group.

Arrival and Departure

Airports

Toulouse Blagnac is the normal entry airport. It can be reached via Gatwick (BA) and Heathrow (Air France) and Stansted (Easy Jet). If plane times are awkward for the midday pick up from Toulouse Blagnac then we do recommend staying the night in Toulouse. Rome airport for Italy and Biarritz for the Basque-Pyrennes.

Non Group Airport Collection

We can arrange for collection from Bordeaux € 195 or Toulouse € 155 or from rail stations at Agen € 105, Montauban € 105 and Cahors € 57. Taxi fares are per single journey - we need a week's notice for all but Cahors, which can be at two days notice. All prices mentioned are subject to change. For further details please contact us on walks@orange.fr

By Private Car

Arrangements for parking cars will be advised on request but poses little problem. For the Haut Quercy walk this will require a taxi fare (approx.€ 120) to join us from dropping your car off on your arrival day.

By Rental Car

Most major car rental companies are represented in Toulouse and Bordeaux. Some also in Cahors but for this you need to book well in advance.

By Train

It is a practical possibility to arrive by train. Waterloo (Eurostar) - Paris Nord - Paris Austerlitz - Cahors. Good for non-flyers! Leave Waterloo about 8.30 a.m. arrive Cahors about 7.30 p.m. (French time 1 hour later, journey time 10 hours). Journey from Cahors station to first 'auberge' for the DORDOGNE QUERCY walk is about an hour and a half. For the HAUT QUERCY walk you will need a taxi which we can supply at a cost of € 120 (about one and a half hours also).

Insurance

General Information

It is essential that every person coming to us is fully covered by insurance for all eventualities. This must include holiday cancellation, possessions, money, personal liability, death or injury, legal expenses, personal accident and full medical cover.

All UK residents are advised to carry completed E111 forms; details available from the Post Office. There is a reciprocal health service agreement between all EU member countries and experience has proved that in the case of emergency hospitalisation an authorised E111 speeds matters up considerably. Officially, once in possession of this document it remains permanently valid although we understand that some authorities in Spain and France do not accept this document if it is over 1 year old.

Terms and Conditions

The Walking Party Terms and Conditions

Our holidays are operated by James and Diana Tamlyn of The Walking Party, c/o Raynal Voyages, 48 boulevard Gambetta, Cahors, France and are taken subject to the following terms and conditions published December 2015.

Making your booking

Please complete the booking form and forward it to James Tamlyn by email or to Lise at Raynal Voyages, 48 boulevard Gambetta, 46000 Cahors, France together with your deposit for €720 per person payable to Raynal Voyages. Details of bank transfer payment are on the booking form. Credit card bookings are possible according to the booking form. When we receive your booking form and deposit or full payment, we will, if the holiday is available, issue your confirmation of booking and send it with any further information relevant to the holiday booked. It is from then on that a firm contract exists between you and The Walking Party on the basis of this brochure and of the details sent to you. If the holiday is not available, we will return your deposit or full payment – we do suggest that you call first to secure a provisional booking which will be held on your behalf for an agreed period of time. Once we have confirmed your booking your deposit is non-returnable except in the special circumstances mentioned below. We send the final invoice about 8 weeks before departure and this will show any surcharges due. You must pay the amount due within 10 days of the invoice date. We may otherwise treat the booking as cancelled and apply our cancellation charges. We send your tickets about 10 days before you go.

Passports and Health

All clients are personally responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport and conform to the health regulations regarding vaccinations. At the time this brochure was finalised there were no mandatory requirements for Spain, Portugal or France but we recommend you obtain a copy of the DHSS booklet “Health Advice for Travellers” from the Post Office. This will also give you an E111 application form which you should complete, get authorised by the Post Office and take with you.

Surcharges – Our Policy

Our prices are based on tariffs and other costs as at 01 August 2015. The price of your holiday is guaranteed against currency fluctuations but is subject to surcharges on the following items: Governmental actions and fuel for road vehicles. Even in these cases, we absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price, you will be entitled to cancel your holiday with a full refund of all money paid except for any premium paid to us for holiday insurance and amendment charges. Should you decide to cancel because of this, you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the invoice.

If you have to cancel

If you find you cannot take your holiday and have to cancel for whatever reason up to 60 days before departure, your deposit will be forfeited. If you cancel within 42 days of departure, we must impose cancellation charges as follows: between 42 and 29 days 50%; between 28 and 15 days 75%; between 14 days and departure 100%. Percentages are of total holiday cost. Charges are calculated from the date written advice of cancellation is received. Our insurance scheme may cover the cause of cancellation – check with the claims department. If you are obliged to cancel, you may, with reasonable notice, transfer your booking to a third party who satisfies all the conditions required by a person taking that holiday, but you will be obliged to pay for any additional costs resulting from the transfer.

Alterations by ourselves

We will do our utmost to provide the holiday arrangements that have been confirmed, but we must reserve the right to modify or cancel any holiday, flight schedule, accommodation or arrangement if unforeseen circumstances amounting to force majeure arise. In such circumstances; we will inform you as soon as possible and, should the change be such that it alters the nature of your holiday, we shall offer you the choice of an alternative holiday or a full refund of all monies paid. In recognition of the fact that we will absorb all financial loss consequent upon cancellation due to force majeure, we shall not cancel any holiday for reasons of political tension or natural disaster until specifically recommended to do so by the Foreign Office.

Health, Fitness and Safety

Bookings are accepted on the understanding that all persons travelling are normally in good health and able to fulfil the physical demands of their chosen holiday. If this is in doubt, the Booking Form must be accompanied by a doctor’s certificate stating that it is entirely safe for you to go on that particular holiday you have chosen. You must also inform us of any allergies, dietary requirements and medical conditions that The Walking Party may need to know so that we can provide you with the appropriate advice and meal arrangements.

Tour Cancellation or curtailment

We must regretfully reserve the right not to operate any tour on which there are insufficient bookings 8 weeks before departure. Full payment including your deposit will be refunded. We also reserve the right that the tour leader, in conjunction with the appropriate medical advice if applicable, has the right to disqualify a client at any time during the course of the tour if considered necessary for the medical well being or safety of the individual or, in the tour leader’s opinion, the client’s actions materially are affecting the enjoyment of the tour for the remainder of the group. Any decision with regard to any reimbursement for any part of the tour not completed will be decided by the Managing Director of The Walking Party.

Our Liabilities to you

We do not exclude or limit any Liability to our clients which may arise from proven negligence by any person employed directly by us or by our suppliers and subcontractors, servants or agents of the same whilst acting in the course of their employment in respect of death, bodily injury or illness. If our suppliers are able to exclude or limit liability by virtue of any international convention we will claim the benefit of that exclusion or limitation. Such liabilities shall be subject to English law and all proceedings shall be within the exclusive domain of the English courts. We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the holiday are supplied as described, and that all services shall reach a reasonable standard. These obligations and responsibilities shall be limited where international conventions in respect of air or sea carriers apply. Naturally we cannot assume responsibility for loss or expense due to war, riots, strikes, terrorist activities or natural disaster. This brochure is valid from the 1st January to the 31st December 2016.

Complaints

If you have cause for complaint it makes sense to try to sort out the problem on the spot so that you can get on with enjoying the rest of your holiday. If the matter cannot be rectified, please write and tell us as soon as possible after you get back and we will do our best to sort it out promptly. Failure to notify us at the time, providing an opportunity for us to rectify the complaint may result in your loss of any legal rights in respect of the particular matter.