Guided versus Self Guided Walking Holidays

Walking Holidays from around the world on Awaken Holidays


Walking is perhaps the best preventive medicine known to people, and yet it seems that with our busy lifestyles we rarely can make enough time to enjoy it on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why you might want to consider going on a walking holiday – you’ll be able to enjoy peaceful walks in a beautiful environment, while getting fitter and healthier at the same time. If you are ecologically considerate, you will also appreciate the fact that walking is the most eco-friendly way of transportation. Lastly, going on a walking holiday saves you time, as you don’t need to make any arrangements once you have booked your trip.

There are generally two types of walking holidays you can choose from: guided and self-guided. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the two of them and drawing comparisons between the two to help you pick the right one for you.

The Guide

As the names suggest a guided walking holiday has a professional guiding you through your route and the self-guided doesn’t. Why would you choose a guided walking vacation? It is especially suited for harder terrains and off-the-beaten-track, unmarked routes where you risk getting lost if you go alone. The beauty of these terrains is that you are guaranteed to see some amazing and rarely visited places where most people don’t go too often. You are not a tourist anymore – you’re an adventurer into the wild.

A self-guided walking holiday, on the other hand, teaches you new skills in orientation and finding your way around. While the company organizing the trip will always equip you with a map with the route on it and thorough notes and guidebooks to make sure you don’t get lost, you can absolutely feel like a professional traveler while trying to read the map or understand that compass. You are your own guide!

The Group

We tend to talk about holidays as a great way to meet new people, which is absolutely one of the advantages of guided walking holidays. People come to attend them from all around the world, and as you spend so many days practically living with them, you’ll often come to see that you’ve made some good friends during your trip.

If you feel that you’d prefer traveling with just your friends or partner, though, a self-guided walking holiday is more suited for you. You’ll get to spend some more time together and share some amazing experiences to talk about for months, even years, on end.

The Pace

While meeting with new people is an advantage, having to speed up or slow down your own pace because of them may be somewhat irritating. The fact that you can move with the speed you like is one of the most important advantages of the self-guided walking option – you can enjoy the beautiful environment, stop to take pictures, and choose where to have lunch without having to think about the preferences of a whole group. It is understandable that in a bigger group this is harder to achieve and rarely can you make everybody happy.

Reasons to go on an organised Walking Holiday

Whether you’d prefer one type of walking holiday or the other, you might still wonder why you should book a walking holiday when you might be perfectly capable to arrange a holiday for yourself. Firstly, as pointed out earlier, having someone organize everything for you saves time. Secondly, the organizers are experienced in what they do and know the area well, so your accommodation and routes are anything but a wild card. Lastly, a definite advantage of the an organised walking holiday is that your luggage is taken care of. You don’t need to carry everything with you, as the company organizing the trip will take care of it getting from one hotel to the other whilst you enjoy your day of walking.

Walking Holidays on Awaken Holidays

On Awaken Holidays we have a fine selection of walking holidays, guided and self-guided. The countries where walking holidays are held includes France, Spain and Morocco.


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