We’ve pulled back the curtain so you can peek at how things work behind the scenes here at Macs HQ. Get to know some of our experts, specialists, fellow walking enthusiasts and small business owners who meticulously plan your trips, do all the logistical legwork and provide 24/7 support, so you can have a memorable, stress-free trip.
Spotlight on Sally, our Slower Adventures expert
Today, we chatted to Sally, a Senior Product Manager who designs, and tries and tests new trips and is a huge fan of our Slower Adventures. Sally celebrates 10 years at Macs and has designed over 100 trips during that time. Sally tells us what her favorite destination is, how these trips are designed and gives us a sweet recommendation...
Why do we offer Slower Adventures hiking trips?
Some of our customers don’t want to walk long distances or enjoy challenging hikes every day. They want tours with shorter hikes where you have the time to really explore an area culturally, historically, and gastronomically.
Why do you think Slower Adventures are worth doing?
They’re in beautiful and iconic regions, such as Tuscany, Provence and the Scottish Highlands. So not only can you walk at your leisure viewing incredible landscapes, but you can also stop for lunch in an agriturismo, visit a local museum, go for a wine-tasting experience or chat with the locals and practice your Italian or Spanish. In the evening pop to a local pub to taste a traditional brew and listen to live music. Good examples are Doolin in Western Ireland, Glasgow or Edinburgh!
What do you like about our Slower Adventures trips?
They’re a great alternative to our Classic Routes walks. They’re literally a slowed down trip with hikes that offer more time to digest a place and get a real feel for it. The accommodation is also a notch above the basic but clean and comfy lodgings you get on our Classic Routes trips.
What factors must be included in our Slower Adventures?
We ensure the hikes are generally shorter and less challenging than our Classic Routes, so our customers aren’t rushing, and the itineraries are designed to create opportunities for self-exploration en route. There's time to enjoy leisurely lunches where the food is locally sourced, wander the cobbled streets of a town or village, or discover museums, galleries, wineries and other cultural experiences. When it comes to accommodation, we hand-pick characterful, locally owned places that are comfy with a warm hospitality.
What’s your favorite destination to visit?
One of my favorite destinations is the Catalan Coast. I did the Catalan Coast In Style trip a few years ago with my partner and we LOVED it – there’s also a standard version of the trip. You walk along pretty coastlines, admiring colorful flowers and white-washed villages. Hotels are characterful and charming, the people friendly. We visited a beautiful botanical garden and a fishing museum, both of which were so interesting. We also ate some amazing seafood and drank incredible local wine. All rounded off by sunshine every day. Fantastic!
What are you most passionate about when it comes to our Slower Adventures?
These tours are actually right up my alley. I like the fact that you do still get to exercise during the day, but then you feel like you deserve a lovely meal and wine in the evening. You tend to get back to your accommodation mid-afternoon and so there’s time to relax, play cards and drink a beer. So, a relaxing, yet active vacation. I recommend adding an extra night somewhere too. We did this and it gave us more time to explore and perhaps visit local places which only served to enhance the experience.
How do you look at how sustainability is impacted by the trip?
Most of our trips are point to point walking or cycling, so the impact is low by their very nature. Where transport is needed, we use public transport wherever we can. Our itineraries often visit lesser-known places rather than exclusively well-known tourist destinations. And we use local suppliers on all our trips - from the accommodations to luggage transfers and taxi companies - meaning we support the local communities along our routes. We also make recommendations to encourage our customers to visit local restaurants, cafes and markets for their lunches and dinners.
Do you have any tips for hiking any of our routes?
When you get to the halfway point on the Walking in the Scottish Highlands tour, you must stop at the Highland Chocolatier – an award-winning chocolatier in the village that do incredible hot cocoa. Our team have included loads of these insider tips on our trip pages for you!
How long have you worked at Macs?
It was 10 years in February this year! When I started there were 12 people in an office by Speirs Wharf in Glasgow and that was it, I now have over 150 colleagues globally!
What do you like most about working for Macs?
The people I work with and the fact that it’s also a very dynamic place to work. In the 10 years I‘ve been here, there have been constant innovation and I love that.
Which Macs trips would you recommend?
I'm most proud of our Dordogne trips in France. They were successful immediately and continue to appeal to people.