Frequently Asked Questions & Answers WHAT DO WE OFFER? Awol Travel has joined forces with a fantastic family run hotel in the French Pyrenees, and established insured activity companies with professional guides to provide a first class package of activities, exquisite cuisine, stunning scenery, and top quality hospitality. WHERE DO YOU STAY? We use a traditional Pyrenean mountain Chalet/Hotel that specialise in family and group activity holidays based in the heart of the Bareges Village in the high Pyrenees. The owners are based in Bareges all year round and have over 17 years experience of the area. There are nine bedrooms furnished in pine, each with en-suite (some of the family rooms have a bath). At the end of a day in the mountains you can relax in the comfortable lounge with a drink from the bar. WHAT DO YOU EAT? Your hosts feature in a number of food guides, both in France and around the world!! Believing that the essence of good hospitality starts with good organic food; in the dining room you will be served delicious French cuisine (with vegetarian options) made from the best fresh local produce, and reasonably priced local wines. Vegetarian options are offered daily and other dietary requirements are not a problem. Local dishes are often on the menu…serving fresh produce means having to work with the seasons and with what is available. Garbure is one of those hearty vegetable soups made with Tarbais beans and fortified with ham hock. Toulousian cassoulet with pork, sausage and goose a very rich meaty stew. The Bareges-Gavarnie lamb which has its own AOC and is the toast of several top London restaurants. Desserts include egg batter, open fire, and spit cooked gateau Brioche rum, orange sponge, and four different types of cheeses: Ossau, Iraty, Val D'Aran & Bigorre. YUM!!! Local wines include Madiran, St Mont, Jurancon and Pacherenc. Your hosts will do their utmost to make sure your needs are met. HOW DO YOU GET TO BAREGES? From the UK there are low-cost flights into Pau and Lourdes airport and your package includes the services of a return transfer by minibus. Flights into Toulouse are also possible (a transfer from here would not be included but can be arranged at an extra cost). As we are a tour operator we do not book flights. However we can book flights for you through an ATOL Bonded charter flight company or with ATOL Bonded airlines such as Ryanair that provide flights to Pau and Lourdes. Summer gets extremely busy in France and flights can become booked very quickly, therefore we recommend that you book reasonably early to guarantee seats and a competitive price. France is also easily accessible by car and train and should you choose this option we are happy to help you with up-to-date information on roads and train times. AIRPORT TRANSFERS : You will be met at Pau or Lourdes Airport by your host and taken to the hotel. If you book your flights independently we need you to let us know your arrival time so that we can meet you at the airport. You will also receive a return transfer on the final day of the tour back to Pau or Lourdes. WHAT TO EXPECT : Your hosts have over 17 years experience of this region in France and have a true passion for the area…how could you not!! Originally living in England their dream of a better life and their love of outdoor pursuits brought them and their children here. They provide a service that only they themselves would expect making your stay comfortable and fun. We use insured companies with qualified experienced guides for all activities giving you peace of mind and allowing you to participate in these Action Activities safely. WHAT ABOUT VISAS? All passengers will need to carry a valid passport. France is part of the EC and British and other EC passport holders do not require a visa. No visa is needed for American, Australian, or New Zealand visitors staying less than 90 days, unless you are a student planning to study in France, under the Schengen Zone policy. For longer stays, you must apply for a temporary-stay visa, long-term visa or residence card. South African and other non EC passport holders should check with their embassies before travelling to France. Visas are your responsibility. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING? Please make sure you have your passport. You will need to bring a sleeping bag for Day 6 of the trip when we spend the night on the mountain in our basic accommodation. Summers in France can be extremely hot…make sure you have your sun lotion, a hat, sun glasses, and swim wear. DO I NEED TO CHANGE MONEY? HOW MUCH WILL I SPEND? France uses the Euro, with the exchange rate at the moment around 1.14 €uro for £1. We suggest taking €uro with you as it may be difficult to exchange in the village, although there is an ATM. Credit Cards are accepted in the local restaurants. How much you need to bring depends on how much you want to buy or drink! You will need to pay for a meal on the Wednesday evening…typical cost for a meal and bottle of wine for 2 would be €… There is a local pub and some bars should you wish to drink in the evening, and the hotel also sells wine with your meals, as well as having a bar in the comfy lounge….approx costs are beer € , spirit € , vino by the bottle € . A day to cool off in the village pool is € and…. A trip on the local bus to Lourdes will only set you back € …….but the temptation of spending on souvenirs here, or enjoying a Leffe in the Café may be too hard to resist ;) DO I NEED INSURANCE? You must have adequate travel insurance on our tours. Medical costs can be extremely expensive should anything happen to you whilst overseas through accident or illness, and it is always a good idea to be covered against cancellation and curtailment for insurable reasons. You should also check that you are covered to partake in any optional extreme adventure sports, please ensure that your travel insurance also covers this. It is your responsibility to obtain travel insurance but we are able to assist you in obtaining a suitable policy. The companies we use for activities are insured, but this will not cover you should you require medical treatment or curtailment claims. HOW DO YOU BOOK? To make a booking, fill in our Enquiry/Booking Form on-line, or call our office and reserve your package. We can hold a booking for you until a specified date, by when we require a £25 deposit per person. If we do not receive payment from you by that date, your booking will no longer be held. You can pay cash, post a cheque or pay with a credit card via our PayPal account. All deposits are non-refundable, and bookings are not transferable. Payment by credit card will be subject to a 2.5% (American Express 3.5%) service charge. The balance payment will be due 8 weeks before the tour start date. Copies of our full booking conditions are on the reverse of each invoice issued to you, please read these carefully. WHAT IF I CANCEL? Please note that all deposits are non-refundable and that names are not transferable. If you have paid in full, any refunds due will depend upon when we receive your cancellation notification in writing. Our full booking conditions are printed on the rear of each booking confirmation.