Pure Adventures has evolved from self guided to superior, private, independent, custom travel:

self guided bicycle tour pure adventuresPure Adventures and our founder, are among the early pioneers offering self-guided travel; we have been doing this for a long time! Similar to the age old European concept of “non-guided travel,” our formula has been to upgrade the European, low service, budgetary style and create something exceptional for our clients. To achieve this, we provide significant support, increased customer service, more in-destination experiences, higher quality lodging and excellent caliber equipment. All of our trips are designed with our customers in mind and we are happy to adapt to your needs. We offer flexibility and customization to tailor make Your Trip, Your Way!

Self guided travel has grown in popularity and many other offers now exist.  In fact, it is easier than ever to book a self guided trip with a foreign agent or outfitter, directly. However, all self guided offers are not created equal! It is tempting to be attracted to a low price but a great self-guided vacation is more than just some hotel reservations and luggage transfer.

Pure Adventures retains the highest level of support, expertise and service, all included in our base price. As active travelers ourselves, we understand and appreciate that your vacation time is hard-earned and precious. You absolutely should not come home wishing you had spent just a little bit more for a better, more pleasurable vacation experience. With exactly that in mind, our trips are built with both higher quality lodging and support requirements. We are focused on high quality and responsive pre-trip support, pre and post trip planning services and more, making your tour with Pure Adventures a complete vacation experience.

Private, Independent, Custom Departures – The Pure Adventures model of Self Guided is meant to be hassle free, inclusive, and still about half the price of most guided vacations. Self guided works extremely well in Europe and if you have been to Europe already, you may be comfortable enough to not need a fully guided trip, yet you may want some things taken care of for you. That’s where we come in: local expertise, extra support and service, full details, all essentials included, high quality lodging with upgrade options, unique experiences such as tastings and private tours available, and more! All you have to do is show up and go your speed.

The information below explains more about self guided bike tours and self guided hiking tours.  We recommend really digging in to make accurate comparisons when looking at the offers, going beyond just the price.  Ask questions and look at the service you get.  [Tips for Choosing a Self Guided Bike Tour] | [How to Choose the Perfect Cycling Vacation]

Still not sure how Self Guided Compares to other forms of travel? 

Imagine…

  • You travel on the dates that work best for you and your group.
  • You travel with your own small group, typically 2 to 10 travelers.
  • Your route is meticulously planned by our experienced staff.
  • All of your lodging is taken care of and you have a choice of hotel options to fit your budget.
  • All of your luggage transfers are included.
  • You have access to local support and emergency services, 24 hours a day.

ireland self guided cycling

Our self-guided tours offer the same quality, style, service and comforts of our guided trips. The only difference is that with self-guided, you are the guide! Sophisticated and discerning foreign travelers are now discovering what Europeans have long known, that self guided travel offers tremendous freedom, flexibility, support and independence. And perhaps best of all, you don’t have to do any work to put it together! It is important to note that a self-guided vacation is not the same as ‘do-it-yourself’ or what is also known as “self-contained.” With a self-contained trip, you are responsible for everything from planning the routes, arranging hotels, luggage transfers, carrying your gear, etc. That does not sound like a fun vacation to us!

 

 

More on why self-guided is the smart choice: 

Our self guided biking, hiking, and multisport tours are truly the best of both worlds! You travel on your terms, with all the help and support you need, so you can focus on what matters most.

Flexible – While most of our travelers opt for one of our pre-planned, self-guided itineraries, we can modify any of our tours to suit your particular needs. We typically offer a variety of hotels to fit your budget. Unlike guided trips with set departure dates, and where there is the possibility of the operator canceling a tour due to low participation, your tour can only be cancelled by you guessed it, you!

Affordable – The all-important question for many people is ‘how much is this going to cost?’ Prices will vary based upon your level of accommodations and duration of trip. In general, self-guided travel with Pure Adventures averages approximately $1,500 per person for a 7-night trip. Compare this to the approximate cost of a guided Pure Adventures trip of $2200-$2900, while the competition is well over $4,000 or more. Of course, you can travel for a lot less if you make all your own arrangements.

hotels

Supported – On your first morning, you will be met by a local Pure Adventures representative, who will get your trip off to a great start by ensuring you are comfortable with the routes and your trip materials. Included in your trip materials are up-to-date recommendations for dining, cultural attractions and other on-tour highlights. We arrange all of your luggage transfers, so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. And, should any urgent issues arise, you have telephone access to a local Pure Adventures person through our local self-guided support hotline.

Off the beaten path – Many of our tours are created with a specific theme in mind; for example, riding along routes of great historical significance. All of our routes are thoroughly researched and ridden annually by our staff to ensure you will have the best possible experience. We also plan our routes so you will have plenty of time to savor small towns and villages along the way and enjoy interacting with the locals. All routes are designed by local experts!

Family friendly – Children are welcome at many of our hotels but kids under the age of 10 may require special equipment (such as trailers or child tandems.) If so, we recommend parents have some prior experience at home with trailers or tandems. Keep in mind, some of the routes and tour activities may not be very interesting for children. We recommend discussing the proposed routes with us to determine whether the route is suitable for kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Am I fit enough for the trip I am thinking of?

Ask yourself if you are fit enough to do the trip you are contemplating, yet still enjoy yourself along the way. Our cycling and multisport tours require a minimum level of fitness, so please call us and we will help you decide which of our self-guided tours are best suited to you and your companions. While on tour, please remember you will have access to our local support contacts by phone only, but if you are unable to finish the day’s ride, there is no sag vehicle. A taxi is then the only alternative to get to the next destination. We are available to call for such a ride, but it is better to be fit and prepared, or just take your time and rest before continuing. For more details concerning trip levels, please visit our rating page.

Can you get by in a language that is not your primary language? wine tasting spain

This does not mean you have to speak a second language, of course, just enough to be understood. For example, if a local villager or shopkeeper does not speak your language, can you get by with what might be awkward phrasebook pronunciations, charades and a smile? If this scenario causes you to panic, self-guided may not be the best option for you. For many, these heartwarming and humorous experiences are often looked back upon fondly, serving as some of the unexpected highlights of your trip!

self guided cycling tours with pure adventures
Can you read a map and follow road signs, or are you technologically capable to manage a GPS?

This normally is very easy, but if you are not comfortable or you do not enjoy reading a map, self-guided may not be right for you. GPS is now a common tool, as well. You can bring your own and load the GPX files we supply or in some tours, we provide a GPS for you to use. You need to be comfortable with this technology because there is no further tech support in device usage, after the orientation. To really enjoy a self-guided trip, you need to be flexible and have a sense of humor. So, if do you miss a turn and have to backtrack or even ask a local for assistance, you will be okay doing so. Just remember that the most memorable trips always have a little unscripted adventure built into them. And, if you should get a flat tire, do not worry! Honestly, fixing a flat is nowhere near as challenging as most people think. You can learn at your local bike shop before traveling and we will review the basics at orientation.

 

See this article in Active Times for more info

At a Glance: Advantages vs. Disadvantages

The following table may help you determine if a self-guided tour is the right option for you and your companions and shows you where Pure Adventures is giving you more.

 

  Guided Tours Self-Guided Tours* Self-Contained Tours -DIY
Departure Dates Open
*Pure Adventures goes almost any date you request.
Other companies may limit days/dates.

N

Y

Y

Full time guide
*Pure Adventures can add support to almost any trip.

Y

N

N

Guide/Local Contact Support
*Pure Adventures includes ‘personalized’ orientations
at the start of your trip.

Y

Y

N

Personalized Groups
*Pure Adventures – every group is private, your way!

N

Y

N

Professionally Planned Routes
*Pure Adventures can customize with local experts
to match your group’s riding needs.

Y

Y

N
(individual work)
Baggage Transfer
*Pure Adventures always includes this; it is not extra.

Y

Y

N

Meals Included
*Pure Adventures offers flexibility and unique
dining experiences.
Y
(varies)
Y
(varies)

N

Transfers Included
*Pure Adventures considers logistics and includes
or arranges transfers to help you keep it simple.
Y
(varies)
Y
(varies)

N

Any group size allowed
*Pure Adventures will work with any size group
we have the skill to manage; solo travel, too.
N/Y

Y

Guaranteed departure
*Pure Adventures never cancels a private tour
for lack of participation or min numbers.
N
(varies)

Y

Y

Emergency Help
*Pure Adventures’ local support speaks English and
is there to help with any need.

Y

Y

N

Professional Travel Services available for add-ons, etc.
*Pure Adventures is full service; we can help you plan
every aspect of your vacation but we do not book air.
Y
(varies)
Y
(varies)

N

Typical prices: $-$$$$
*Pure Adventures is not the cheapest but we include
more so you get more and also have great value.
$$-$$$$ $-$$$ $-$$

Still have questions? Call us toll-free at 1-800-960-2221 and we will be happy to help you plan the perfect vacation.