For some reason, the secret of self-guided travel has not yet gotten out.
We at Zephyr Adventures have been running self-guided tours in Italy for about five years. We have found them so appealing, this past summer we spent the time to add two new destinations to our list of self-guided tours:
- Hiking tours on the famous Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in Spain.
- Hiking tours along the route of Hadrian’s Wall in England
In my younger years before starting Zephyr Adventures, I spent a LOT of time traveling around the globe with a backpack, passport, and Let’s Go Handbook. I had few plans, no hotel bookings, and simply a plane ticket home.
Now, however, I am a bit spoiled by our tours. I love having a hotel bed each night, a nice meal after a day of exercise, and a clear schedule for the next day – even when I am guiding! And so when I travel on my own, I still like the sense of adventure from my early years and the comforts of the group tours we at Zephyr Adventures organize. This is where self-guided travel comes in.
Self-guided travel is a combination of independent travel and group touring. You get to pick your own date, your own location (from among our choices), and your own traveling companions – often just one other person. We handle your hotel reservations, move your luggage for you each day, and provide you with written hiking or biking directions. We even meet you when you arrive to the tour location. At that point, you are on your own without local van support or guides – perfect for an adventurous soul who likes comfortable travel.
I undertook this form of travel this past summer when I hiked Hadrian’s Wall, a coast-to-coast hike across England. Two of us completed the hike in six days. We were totally on our own but had the benefits of luggage transfer, a shuttle to the hiking start location, and hotels booked each night. It was simply awesome.
Because of that, we decided to add even more locations to our self-guided travel options. See our separate Zephyr Self-Guided Adventures website for details. In addition to being able to hike, bike, or even drive through Tuscany and Umbria in Italy, you can now walk on the Hadrian’s Wall path or along the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
I personally love this form of travel as it provides me the flexibility I often need given my schedule, the sense of adventure I crave, and the added comforts that make a vacation a relaxing experience. Give it a try. And for a better sense of our self-guided tours in Italy, where we went so far as to create videos you play along your route, check out this video of the tours: