Why choose a self guided walking vacation

It feels a bit like being on very well planned treasure hunt, when you follow the itinerary of a 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. 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.

Our top trip

French Alps self guided walking holiday

French Alps self guided walking vacation

Catered Chalet Based Walking Vacation in the Giffre Valley

From £720 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2024: 8 Jun, 22 Jun, 29 Jun, 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 27 Jul, 3 Aug, 31 Aug
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Self guided walking or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Luggage transfer

Some walking vacations center 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.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Thomas Schweighofer] [Intro: Martyn Smith] [Meet and greet: Barney Moss] [Luggage transfer: Juanedc]