Until now this blog has focused on companies that provide fully supported cycling tours. But there is another outstanding choice for the more independent and budget-conscious traveler, self-guided cycling tours.
Self-guided tours are carving out a good market for themselves, fitting somewhere in between the fully supported luxury tours and completely do-it-yourself tours. This hybrid option still covers the basics of route planning and baggage transport, but gives you more flexibility in terms of tour start dates and daily schedule. You can often travel independently instead of with a large tour group with a set agenda. The trade-offs will be not having the sag van full of snacks, mechanical support, or guides fluent in the local language.
Just like fully guided and supported cycling tours, there are infinite companies that offer self-guided cycling tours.
Pure Adventures have recently written a great eBook that introduces self-guided tours. They list essential services to look for when choosing a tour and give search tips to help you find your ideal destination and provider online.
An essential part of choosing a self-guided tour is knowing what kind of traveler and cyclist you are. The Pure Adventures eBook asks if you feel comfortable reading maps and itineraries, and if you are familiar with the destination you are traveling to. I would add that you should be comfortable doing minor bike repairs yourself, and definitely not be shy talking to the locals! A great option in cycling holidays, I would personally not hesitate to choose a tour of this nature.
— Pure Adventures (@PureAdvTours) February 21, 2013
If you’ve taken a self-guided cycling tour, what was your experience? Share with the readers in the comments.