If you’re travelling halfway across the world to hike through some of Europe’s most diverse scenery, it’s important to choose the right trip for you.
One of the biggest decisions to make is whether to book a self-guided walking tour, a guided hiking vacation or one which encompasses a little of both.
Which one you choose depends on the type of traveller you are. Let’s have a look at both kinds of trip for your next big break.
The pros of a guided walking tour
A real-time knowledge bank
A big benefit of having a guide shows you around the area is her/his extensive local knowledge. If there’s something that catches your eye that you’d like to know more about, you can ask your guide then and there, in real time. If you’re not a fan of doing your own research but you like to ask questions, you’re likely to find a guide useful.
Meeting new people
If you join a guided tour, it’s likely that you and/or your family will be enjoying the hike with others who have signed up for it. Depending on your viewpoint, this could be a pleasure or a challenge! If you’re open to meeting new people, it could be an opportunity to get to know new friends who have a shared love of travelling. Who knows – they could give you some tips about your next destination. The flipside is that it might be difficult to get rid of them if they’re not your cup of tea!
There’s always someone around to help
Booking a professional guide means that there’s very little chance of getting lost, making it a smart idea on very challenging or remote routes. Plus, in the event that an emergency does happen, you have a local expert with you to take you where you need to go. Of course, a good self-guided tour operator (like Geotours Catalonia!) will ensure they’re on call 24/7 in case you need them and will provide you with all the local contacts you need during your vacation.
The pros of a self-guided walking tour
Following a self-guided route means that you aren’t beholden to anyone. Can you see yourself lingering for an hour to meditate on the sheer scale of the cliffs in the Aiguamolls natural park? Can you think of nothing better than to have all the time in the world to capture photographs of the shimmering lakes in Aigüestortes? Are you looking forward to skipping amongst the beech forests in La Garrotxa, singing at the top of your voice? A self-guided tour gives you this freedom – there’s no one around to hurry you up, slow you down or laugh at your singing!
If you’re planning a vacation to celebrate your anniversary, privacy may be particularly important for your trip. Of course, it’s always fun to meet a few fellow travellers but you may want to spend most of your time on your own romantic hiking break for two. Likewise, if you’re travelling as a family and looking to spend some quality time together while taking things at your own pace. Going on an overseas adventure together is perfect to build and develop family bonds as well as your kids’ natural curiosity. After all, adventure is nothing less than curiosity in action.time on your own romantic hiking break for two. Likewise, if you’re travelling as a family and looking to spend some quality time together while taking things at your own pace. Going on an overseas adventure together is perfect to build and develop family bonds as well as your kids’ natural curiosity. After all, adventure is nothing less than curiosity in action.