WHY GO SELF-GUIDED?
My first self-guided cycling holiday was seven years ago now, but I can still clearly remember the little old lady in a small Hungarian village who helped me with my directions, as well as a lucky-dip selection on a menu in a tiny wooden-clad restaurant. A plate full of deep-fried cauliflower was not quite so lucky, however!
The beauty of those experiences was the reality of them. Through a bit of sign-language and using my map and camera as props I was able to communicate with the Hungarian lady and tell her where I had come from and where I was going. I flicked through some of my photos with her and without speaking a word of the same language I was able to share my journey with her. An experience I would never have had if I'd been guided by a leader.
The freedom of self-guided cycling means that you really get to engage in the places you are visiting. You communicate with the local people and instead of being taken to a restaurant or guided round a town you explore it yourself, finding your own hidden treasures. Even those moments of adventure that were not quite to taste provide you with memories and anecdotes that make your experience of that country all the more tangible when you recall them.
Self-guided holidays have provided some of my most treasured travelling memories with moments of true kindness from people I have met along the way, the delight at discovering something myself and feeling like it is my own secret.
From Venice to Porec, the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean, we have a whole range of self-guided trips and I urge you to begin your own two-wheeled journey of discovery.