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Exhibitors in Focus: InnTravel

How did your company start out?
Inntravel was established in 1984 by Richard and Linda Hearn from their kitchen table in picturesque Hovingham, North Yorkshire. They set out to offer holidays to independent travellers eager to get off the beaten track.  Still based in rural North Yorkshire, Inntravel has grown since the early years as a family-run firm with just a handful of staff, but remain a comparatively small team, and is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading specialist tour operators.

What tours do you offer?
Inntravel  offers a tempting collection of Slow holidays in the most beautiful and unspoilt corners of Europe and beyond. Whether leisurely discovering the landscape on foot, by bicycle or on skis, or by taking an inspiring journey by train, boat or car, all holidays are self-guided allowing guests the freedom to explore at their own pace. Expect to take the less-trodden path, uncover little-known gems, slip into the rhythms of local life, pause over a gorgeous view, and savour the food, culture and hospitality.

Among the 200 or so tempting holidays on offer are: an island-hopping adventure in the Canary Islands, a leisurely stroll along the Catalan Coast, hiking the iconic peaks of Switzerland and a gentle pootle on two wheels along Denmark’s Riviera.

What makes your company unique?
Inntravel has spent the last 30+ years acquiring extensive knowledge of the places they offer holidays to, and built strong relationships with the hoteliers, meaning that guests benefit from expert advice prior to their holiday, learn a lot about the chosen region from Inntravel’s detailed cultural notes and enjoy particularly attentive service while on holiday. Guests can relax in the knowledge that each holiday is accompanied by Inntravel’s comprehensive notes, either guiding them from one charming hotel to the next while luggage is transferred on ahead, or directing them to the best sites and activities in the local area.

What new countries and itineraries will you be offering in 2016?
This winter 2015/16 Inntravel introduces a new destination Hindsæter, in Norway’s remote Highlands, which is home to just one hotel, a handful of summer farms and a semi-nomadic reindeer herd. With a special serenity and gobsmacking views stretching towards the mighty peaks of the Jotunheimen National Park, this is about as remote as skiing holidays get. Refreshingly removed from everyday life, guests staying here will be introduced to a range of Nordic pastimes with a cross-country skiing lesson, a guided snowshoe walk, sled races and a dawn safari in search of wild elk (there’s a 99% chance of spotting them in season) all included.

Other new additions this winter include:  a Vintage Norway journey by rail linking original capital, Trondheim, with the UNESCO-listed former copper-mining town of Røros;  a Lofotens Northern Lights short break staying in a traditional rorbu set on a tiny island across the water from the capital Svolvær;  Taster Weekends in the alpine villages of Pertisau in Austria and Blitzingen in Switzerland; and a Cross-country Experience in Finnish Lapland at Ylläs.

Recommend an incredible place to stay?
The Posada del Valle on Inntravel’s single-centre self-guided walking break exploring the Rugged Hills & Coast of Asturias, in the heart of Green Spain.

Explore the rugged hills and coast of Asturias on foot with the limestone peaks of the Picos de Europa providing a striking backdrop. From the lakes of Covadonga and the beech forests of Spain’s newest protected area, the wild and remote Ponga Natural Park, a broad range of walking routes are available.

Stay at the welcoming Posada del Valle, a charming country hotel with its own organic farm and fine restaurant.  The host is the enthusiastic Nigel Burch, an Englishman whose knowledge of his adopted region is unrivalled. With his wife, Joann, Nigel has created a charming small hotel from this hundred-year-old farmhouse and built up a loyal Spanish clientele for the restaurant too, which uses mainly local, organic ingredients. Now with solar panels for hot water and heating, the Posada del Valle is situated at the heart of its own 18 acre organic farm that is managed to develop rich wildlife habitats and, in particular, wildflower meadows. Low intensity farming practices produce commercial crops of lamb, breeding sheep and cider apples, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for the hotel’s restaurant.

Meet the team at InnTravel on their stand AA94 at Destinations Show at Olympia London. Book your tickets to the show today here.