Terms and Conditions

Who we are and how you can get in touch with us

The website and the domain www.balkantrails.com is owned and operated by S.C. BALKAN TRAILS S.R.L. (referred to in this document as “Balkan Trails,” “we” “our” or “us”), registered in Romania under Tax ID number RO25452664 and EUROPEAN UNIQUE IDENTIFIER NUMBER (EUID) ROONRC J40/5033/2009.

Balkan Trails is a fully licensed Romanian tour operator with license no. 757 issued by the Ministry of Tourism and insurance policy Series I No. 57494 issued on January 1st, 2024, by Omniasig Vienna Insurance Group SA.

REGISTERED OFFICE 

Address: 29 Mihai Sebastian St., building S7, ent. A, apt. 37, sector 5,  050784 Bucharest, Romania

Tel.: +4(0)723 578 452

E-mail address: [email protected]

These Terms and Conditions cover all tours and travel services organized or offered to you by Balkan Trails ("we," "us," or "our"). Whether you're referred to as a "client," "participant," "you," or "your," these terms apply to you and anyone listed on the booking. Please take a moment to review them carefully, as they establish the agreement between us once your deposit (or any further payments) is made. We want to ensure clarity and transparency throughout our journey together.

The deposit payment (or any subsequent payment) represents your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions listed below.

1. How to book a tour 

1.1. To book a tour, you must first contact us to discuss your itinerary and request a quotation.

1.2 While you may contact us via telephone or various messenger services (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.), it is required that all booking requests be made via email to [email protected]

1.3 Following our initial contact, we'll create a tailored itinerary featuring dates or a date range that suits your availability and budget. We're all ears to discuss the finer details of the itinerary and are open to making adjustments based on your feedback. Every version of the itinerary we share will outline the hotels included in your tour, along with comprehensive details about fees and what's included or not. 

1.4 Customisation options include (but are not limited to) a different selection of hotels, certain sights you wish to include or skip, a change in the duration of the tour, and the pursuit of specific interests you might have (certain type of architecture, local performances, etc.).

1.5 There is no charge for creating and customizing your itinerary.

1.6 Most days spent on the tour (except the arrival and departure days) are full days. This means the start of a day on one of our tours is between 8 and 9 in the morning, and the day ends between 4 and 6 in the afternoon once you check in at your next hotel. 

1.7. Once we've finalized the itinerary and to secure your booking, we request a deposit of 10% of the total trip price. The full tour fee is required for bookings made within 15 days of the tour start date. Occasionally, if larger non-refundable supplier amounts are due, the deposit may be higher, but we'll inform you at the time of booking if this applies. Please note that until we receive your deposit payment, all arrangements are subject to availability and/or price change. Once we've received your deposit, we'll book the services associated with your tour, including scheduling your tour for the season, booking accommodations, and assigning a guide.

1.8. Once your deposit is received, we'll send you a written confirmation of the booking. This marks the establishment of a binding contract between us.

2. Itinerary alterations after the deposit is paid

2.1. If you decide to change your confirmed booking, such as altering dates or elements of your itinerary, we'll make every effort to accommodate your revised preferences. If the requested amendments are feasible, we'll provide you with a quote detailing any additional costs incurred by our suppliers, if applicable.

3. Payment of the balance 

3.1. The remaining balance (90% of the total trip price) must be settled 15 days before the trip start date. Should the balance payment not be received by the due date, we reserve the right to release your booking, considering it as canceled by you. In such an event, our standard cancellation fees will be applicable.

4. Payment methods

4.1 Credit card - subject to an additional processing fee of 3.25%. Please note that if we need to refund a payment made by credit card, we cannot refund the processing fees. We cannot accept credit card information over e-mail or telephone.

4.2 Bank transfer. We accept bank transfers in Euros, US, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian dollars, and British pounds. 

5. Tour fees

5.1.All fees are quoted in EURO unless otherwise noted. 

5.2.The trip price is determined by the costs known at the time of booking and relevant rates as of that date. It may only vary to accommodate subsequent increases in transportation costs (including fuel and airfares), dues, taxes (including VAT), service fees, or adverse exchange rate fluctuations.

5.3. Even in the above-mentioned scenarios, Balkan Trails will refrain from adjusting the price if the fluctuations are less than 2%. However, should the required price adjustments exceed this threshold, we may notify you and reserve the right to charge an additional amount, capped at a maximum of 10%. If the increase surpasses 10% of the total cost, you can cancel the trip, and we'll provide a full refund of all funds paid. Please note that cancellation must be communicated in writing to Balkan Trails within 7 days of receiving the updated invoice.

5.4. If transportation costs (including fuel and airfare), dues, taxes (including VAT), and service fees decrease between the booking time and the time when the balance payment is made, the savings will be passed onto the traveler. 

6. Hotels

6.1 Along with the agreed-upon final itinerary, you will receive a list of hotels that will be used for the tour for your review. The hotels listed on the website will be used for most tours unless:

a. you request a different selection of hotels or

b. some of the hotels do not have available rooms for the selected dates (in which case hotels substituted will be equivalent or better than those listed on the website)

6.2 The hotel list sent to you will have the hotel names displayed clearly (with the number of stars listed next to the hotel's name) and web links to the homepage of each hotel.

6.3 You are responsible for reviewing the hotels (homepage of each hotel, online reviews, etc.) before giving us permission to book them. If you need any additional, specific information about any of the hotels or the facilities available, we will promptly offer this information. The hotels will not be booked until permission to do so is received from you.

6.4 In the unlikely event that issues related to the hotels appear during the tour (room facilities not functioning properly, etc.), we will offer a different room in the same hotel or a different hotel altogether at no extra charge. 

6.5 Complaints originating from the fact that you did not review the hotels before giving us permission to book them will not be considered valid (for example, in a situation where the traveler is expecting a 5-star hotel even though a 4-star hotel was offered for review and was approved by you before the tour's start).

7. Tour cancellation by the client

7.1. Cancellation requests by the traveler must be made in writing via email and will be effective the moment we read them. 

7.2. Given that costs are incurred when your booking is confirmed, the following cancellation charges will be enforced. These charges are calculated as a percentage of the total trip price:

- Cancel more than 60 days before the trip start date: Full refund

- Cancel between 60 and 15 days before the trip start date: 10% cancellation charges will be applied (deposit only)

- Cancel less than 14 days before the trip start date: 100% cancellation charges will be applied

7.3.In cases where we've specified that a booking is non-cancellable, unfortunately, no refund will be issued for cancellations. However, if feasible, we’ll make every effort to negotiate a partial refund from the supplier on your behalf.

7.4.If the cancellation fees imposed by the suppliers we collaborate with exceed our own charges, the cancellation terms of the suppliers will take precedence.

7.5.Should one participant cancel from a double occupancy room, the remaining participant may be required to cover the single supplement fee unless stated otherwise.

7.6.We do not offer refunds for any unused meals, accommodations, transportation, or other prepaid services included in the trip price. Additionally, once the trip has commenced, we cannot provide refunds for any portion of the canceled trip.

7.7.In case you need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or a family member’s death, you can transfer your booking to another party. However, this transfer is subject to providing us with reasonable notice to facilitate the arrangements, and both you and the transferee must agree to be jointly liable for any outstanding payments under the contract. Please note that any transfer fees incurred will be the client’s responsibility.

7.8. Certain tours have minimum passenger requirements; if the number of passengers falls below the specified minimum, a surcharge may be applied, or the tour may be canceled.

8. Trip interruption

8.1 If you need to interrupt your trip, we will assist you with any additional services that might be needed (transfer to a different airport, arranging different accommodations, communication with medical staff, etc.). These services will be billed separately. 

8.2. No refund will be issued for the unused portion of your tour. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance that covers trip interruptions due to illness or other unforeseen events. 

9.No Shows

Failure to travel to the tour start destination without prior notification will be considered a no-show, and the entire reservation cost will be non-refundable.

10. Changes and cancellations made by us

10.1. Most changes are minor, and we'll promptly inform you of them. However, in some cases, major changes may be necessary, such as a change in destination, a price increase, or a downgrade in accommodation. If a major change occurs, we'll notify you promptly. You'll then have the option to (a) accept the changes, (b) opt for an alternative trip of a similar standard offered by us, or (c) cancel your trip and receive a full refund of all payments made.

10.2. Accommodations, transportation, and arranged activities may be subject to change at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or events beyond our control. We cannot be held responsible for such changes, and any resulting expenses (e.g., additional accommodation, transportation, guide fees) will be your responsibility. You may be able to recover these costs through your travel insurance provider.

10.3. In extreme circumstances, such as compromising safety or the quality of the trip, we reserve the right to cancel your trip entirely. In such cases, we will refund all payments made to us, but we cannot be held liable for losses incurred with third parties, such as airlines or hotels. We strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance.

10.4. We reserve the right to terminate the holiday arrangements of any individual whose behavior, in our reasonable opinion or that of our tour guide/leader, is likely to cause distress, danger, damage, or annoyance to others. In such instances, full cancellation charges will apply, and we will not be liable for any further costs incurred during the holiday, including return travel expenses.

10.5. We will not be held liable if circumstances beyond our control, such as “force majeure,” require us to change or cancel your trip.

11. Force Majeure

Balkan Trails will not be considered in violation of this agreement or otherwise responsible to you if there is a delay, alteration, or failure to perform any of its obligations under this agreement due to Force Majeure. "Force Majeure" refers to any circumstances beyond our control, including but not limited to acts of God, terrorist activities, insurrection, explosion, flood, tempest, fire, war (declared or undeclared), epidemic, sabotage, civil unrest, labor strikes, technical issues with transportation or equipment, power failure, illness, quarantine, government intervention, adverse weather conditions, and unforeseen events.

12. Insurance

The tour fee does not cover travel or health insurance. We strongly advise purchasing comprehensive travel insurance to ensure coverage for all activities during your trip, safeguarding against unforeseen circumstances that may disrupt your journey. It is essential that your insurance includes medical expenses and repatriation in case of accidents or illness. Additionally, we recommend coverage for personal belongings, overseas legal expenses, cancellation, flight or transportation delays, and personal liability. If you plan to engage in sports or adventurous activities during your trip, ensure your policy also covers these. Please carefully review the policy terms and exclusions.

13. Your Responsibilities

13.1 During the booking phase, you are responsible for sending us relevant information related to customizing your tour (desired trip pace, type of hotels, and special interests). You are also responsible for informing us about any dietary limitations or medical issues we should know about. 

13.1. You are responsible for being prepared to depart from the departure city at the specified time and date. We are not liable for any losses incurred due to canceled or missed flights, changes in flight itineraries, late arrivals, or early departures.

13.2. Your additional responsibilities include but are not limited to, adhering to all local laws, respecting customs and culture, accurately assessing your abilities, respecting the privacy of fellow participants, and following the advice of the guide or tour leader during guided trips.

13.3. You are responsible for obtaining valid documentation, such as passports, visas, permits, and vaccinations, as required. You are also responsible for verifying and meeting all passport, visa, vaccination, and other entry requirements. Failure to comply with documentation requirements may result in adverse consequences, for which you are solely responsible. All travelers, regardless of passport nationality, must verify visa requirements with the consulates of Romania and/or Bulgaria. A copy of your valid passport must be provided to Balkan Trails. Your passport must have a minimum of six (6) months validity from the return date, and ensure at least two (2) pages are available. 

13.4. Balkan Trails may provide information or advice on visas, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc., as a courtesy. We are not liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided.

14. Our responsibilities

14.1. We take responsibility for ensuring that the trip arrangements you book with us are provided as outlined in the itinerary and in accordance with these terms and conditions. We are committed to responding promptly to your inquiries and keeping you informed throughout your tour. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, we encourage you to notify us immediately so we can address them.

14.2. While we strive to keep our website and other media platforms up to date, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. If there is any inconsistency between the information on our website and the details provided in the itinerary, the itinerary details take precedence.

15. Limitation of Liability

15.1. Balkan Trails serves solely as a reservation agent for all suppliers who offer the services listed in the itinerary details. These suppliers, including those providing transportation, accommodations, and other services, operate independently and are not affiliated with Balkan Trails as agents, affiliates, representatives, or employees. We have no ownership stake in any Supplier. Any use of the Balkan Trails name by a Supplier is purely for identification purposes and does not imply ownership, oversight, or control by Balkan Trails. All documentation, receipts, and tickets are issued subject to the terms and conditions specified by the Supplier. By utilizing the services of these Suppliers, you acknowledge that Balkan Trails shall not be held liable for any accidents, losses, injuries, or damages incurred by you or others traveling with you in connection with transportation, accommodations, or other services. This includes incidents arising directly or indirectly from various factors such as negligence, equipment malfunction, strikes, governmental actions, acts of terrorism, weather conditions, or bankruptcy, among others, caused by the actions or omissions of third-party Suppliers.

15.2. While we strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the information on this website. Balkan Trails does not accept any liability for errors or omissions.

16. Photography

By booking a trip with Balkan Trails, you agree to grant us permission to utilize, reuse, and reproduce any photos or videos you provide or that are taken by other travelers or your tour guide, featuring you individually or as part of a group. These images may be used on various media platforms, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or the Internet, for promotional and publicity purposes worldwide relating to our travel products and services. You acknowledge that you will not have the right to inspect or approve these materials before their use. If you prefer that we do not use any images of you taken by us or other participants during the trip, you must inform us before the commencement of your trip.

17. Claims and Complaints

If you encounter any issues or experiences that fall short of your expectations, it's important to promptly inform us or your tour guide so that we can address the problem, if feasible. Should you make any changes independently without adhering to the notification process outlined above, you accept responsibility for any additional costs incurred and forfeit any potential refunds. If a satisfactory resolution isn't achieved through this notification process during the trip, you must submit a formal written complaint to us within 5 days following the tour’s conclusion. Please note that we cannot accept liability for claims received after this specified period.

18. Acceptance of risk

18.1. You acknowledge that the trip may involve activities or circumstances that carry inherent risks, undertaken at your request and with your approval. You agree to assume full responsibility for your safety and well-being, encompassing unforeseen events such as injury, illness, theft, emotional distress, death, natural disasters, cancellation, adverse weather conditions, civil unrest, government actions, fire, floods, insurrection, quarantine, war, terrorism, force majeure, delays, epidemics, strikes, mechanical failures, accidents, government regulations, lack of essential supplies, or itinerary changes. This includes all modes of transportation, such as land vehicles, boats, and aircraft, which may not adhere to standards found in your country.

18.2. You accept all risks associated with altitude, illness, disease, physical injuries, alcohol consumption, physical exertion, and sporting activities, understanding that access to evacuation or suitable medical support may be limited.

18.3. You bear full responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage sustained by you or caused by you. Additionally, you are responsible for your personal baggage, possessions, and effects.

19. Copyright and terms of use

The content displayed on this website is the exclusive property of Balkan Trails. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, modification, republication, or distribution of all or part of the materials found on this website is strictly prohibited unless Balkan Trails has explicitly granted prior written consent. All rights reserved.

18. Privacy

We value your privacy and understand the sensitivity of your personal information. We are committed to keeping it confidential and will not disclose it to third parties unless necessary for hotel, flight, or other reservations related to your trip, and only with your explicit written consent. By submitting your initial deposit, you agree to Balkan Trails collecting and utilizing your personal information as necessary to organize your trip and offer you the best possible services. Our comprehensive Privacy Policy can be accessed through the following link.

19. Governing law

These terms and conditions, along with any disputes arising from them, are subject to Romanian law and fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Romania. The sale of this travel package will adhere to these terms and conditions as well as the provisions outlined in Government Ordinance no. 107/1999 on Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations, as amended and approved by Law no. 631/2001, and Order no. 516/2005 of 12/04/2005 published in the Official Gazette, Part I no. 334 of 20/04/2005, including subsequent amendments.

20. Changes to Terms and Conditions 

We retain the right to revise these terms and conditions periodically. Such revisions will be effective immediately upon being posted on our website.

ABOUT BALKAN TRAILS

We offer fully customizable private tours in Romania and Bulgaria. We build the whole tour around you and your travel companions.

Enjoy the personable service of a knowledgeable private guide and private air conditioned transportation.

Pick the tour's start and end dates, visit only the sights you are interested in, spend as much time as you want to visit them, and enjoy the flexibility only a private tour can offer you.