Why go

self guided walking vacation

The silly t-shirt would read “Hikers do it slowly”. Because that’s their passion. That and being prepared. However, the reality is that most hikers also have full time jobs, families and all the daily distractions of busy 21st century lives. As much as we would all love to have shelves full of OS Maps, guide books to accompany each one so that you can find fine food, comfy bed and copious culture along the way, no one has time to slowly peruse all the hiking options in the world anymore. There is, however, a world of walking experts out there who do all that for you, sending you a superbly detailed information package before setting you on your way. This will include daily itineraries, details of your accommodation for every night of your trip, proposed lunch and dinner spots, background information to places you will hike through, and maps.
Meet and greet
When you arrive in your hiking vacation destination, a representative from the self guided walking vacation company will meet you at the train station or airport, guide you to your first night’s accommodation, and talk through all the details of each day with you. Then when you wake up the next day, it is like your hiking dream has come true. All you have to do is have a hearty breakfast, fill your water bottles, and hit the road.

Your invisible friend
A self guided walking vacation has that perfect recipe of independence and support.
So, you get up in the morning, start your hike all independent and free but with the knowledge that you have a guide nearby. This can be through the copious notes and itineraries they have devised for you, or at the other end of a phone. It’s like having an invisible friend hovering over you as you hike.
Luggage transfer
Some walking vacations centre around one base, giving suggestions of different daily walks, but bringing you back to the same place every night. However, walking to a different hotel, homestay or hostel every night, with your bags transported for you from place to place, is a fantastic way to go. You don't have to stick religiously to the routes, of course, and most walking vacation providers will give you an OS map as well so that you can do your own thing.

Food and fun
An information pack with good tips for lunch spots along the way, local markets to fill up your backpack with snacks or souvenirs, or guiding you to a particularly good secret spot, is all part of the package. And when you get back to base after your day of hiking, and depending on the vacation that you have chosen, your dinner options will be waiting, the sauna steaming, pool glistening and your bed beckoning. Meaning that hikers on a self guided walking vacation can do it slowly, and even just a little bit smugly.
Photo credits: [Top box - map reading: Barney Moss] [Meet & greet/invisible friend: twak] [Luggage transfer/food & fun: Juanedc]
Written by Catherine Mack
Catalonia self guided walking vacations, Spain

Catalonia self guided walking vacations, Spain

Self-guided walking vacations in Catalonia

From 715 8 Days ex flights
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Japan self guided trekking vacation, Nakasendo Trail

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Andalucia self guided walking vacation, Spain

Andalucia self guided walking vacation, Spain

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Croatian coast walking tours, self guided

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Photo credits: [Page banner: Thomas Schweighofer]
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