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What is Self-Guided Travel?

Booking self-guided travel with Macs Adventure offers you flexibility, ease, and adventure.


We might be biased, but self-guided travel is one of the best ways to experience the world. It’s active travel, led by you. It’s all the best bits of adventuring on your own plus support from a professional team that handles all of your logistics and knows all the local secrets. 

If you’ve never tried a self-guided hiking or self-guided biking trip, here’s what you need to know about how it works, and who it’s best for.

Two women walking on the Tour Du Mont Blanc

How Does Self-Guided Travel Work?

On a guided trip, you’d join a group for a set itinerary, led by someone else who sets your departure times, detours, lunch breaks, and pace. On a self-guided hiking or biking tour, however, we’ll plan your adventure and then you’ll take the lead for a self-paced journey. 

We handle all the logistics, from booking unique, hand-picked accommodations at inns, bed & breakfasts, or hotels to transferring your luggage between them, so you only need a daypack for hiking or biking. Our app has maps with detailed information about points of interest between your start and end points each day, so you won’t miss any of the scenic or historic detours that elevate your experience. 

All you have to do is select which trip you’d like to go on, and we’ll handle the rest.

Why Choose Self-Guided?

The biggest benefits of booking self-directed adventure are: 

  • A unique, tried-and-tested journey that’s completely your own
  • Choice and flexibility to travel at your own pace
  • Expert recommendations 

We’ve been planning self-guided hiking and biking tours for decades, and we’ve developed hand-crafted adventures in places we know well. Our app offers local insights and accurate, easy navigation for each route, and our network of partners is tried and true. We know many of the best places to stay along every trail we serve, and most of these places are small, family-owned businesses. That means we can save you hours—if not days—of research by booking all your accommodations for you, which gives you more time to train for your trip.

We’re also doing our best to help you travel more responsibly. We prioritize working with local businesses that operate with the environment in mind. You can check out our inaugural impact report as we pursue B Corp certification. 

Many of our partners have been hosting Macs adventurers for years, which helps us ensure you have a quality stay with hosts who understand the small details of what an active traveler needs. You’ll generally find it easy to arrange a packed lunch, for example, and we make sure your stay comes with a hearty breakfast to fuel your day on the trail. 

If something doesn’t quite go to plan, you’ve got someone looking out for you on the ground. Our partners know to call us if you haven’t checked in by a certain time, so we’ll be proactively looking out for you — great peace of mind. And if you ever need us, we’re just a phone call away. 

Person holding phone looking at a map of Sicily Biking Tour

Who Should Do Self-Guided Travel?

Self-guided travel is great for almost everyone. At Macs, we serve walkers, hikers, and bikers who are active and independent travelers. Here are a few types of people especially well-suited to our trips:

  • Couples: Traveling in a pair with a partner or friend is the most economical way to book. You can book a room with one bed, a room with two beds, or separate rooms entirely. Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, or take a self-led road trip, we’ll handle all the logistics for both of you so you can focus on prepping for the adventure.
  • Small groups: If you’re traveling with a few friends or family members, having help with booking and planning can go a long way. With a self-guided tour booked by Macs, you can outsource all the decision-making to us, and each individual or couple can book and pay separately so that one person doesn’t have to carry all the deposits for hotels.  
  • Solo travelers: Whether you’re a seasoned pro or traveling alone for the first time, booking through Macs gives you peace of mind that you’ll be staying in comfortable, safe places, and that someone is looking out for you. If you don’t arrive at your accommodation by the expected time, our partners will contact us so we can make sure you’re en route.

Older woman standing with hands cupped under a waterfall

What Type of Self-Guided Trips Can I Do?

At Macs, we focus on walking, hiking, and biking from town to town, self-drive road trips to hike in gorgeous places, and rail and hike trips so you can cover more ground on public transportation. 

Our trip types include:

Classic Routes: From Ireland’s Dingle Way to the Mountains & Lakes of Slovenia’s Julian Alps, our classic routes highlight some of the world’s most beloved journeys.

Slower Adventures: Our Slower Adventures maximize your time to explore. You’ll enjoy shorter distances each day, so you have more free time to visit museums, vineyards, cafes, or even learn how to make cheese in a Swiss Alpine village.

Pilgrimages: Across the world, pilgrimages are often rooted in ancient tradition, and offer incredible opportunities for growth, relaxation, and meeting other travelers. These trips are some of our longest, ranging from a few days to nearly two months. Our routes include the ever-popular Camino de Santiago in Spain and the lesser-known (and underrated) Via Francigena, from the Swiss Alps to Rome. 

In-Style: If you’re looking for something truly special, In-Style trips are built to impress. We’ve scouted the most stylish boutique hotels and other unique accommodations across the world. These trips may include extras such as dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant. 

Discovery: Our Discovery trips give you freedom to cover more ground with easy to moderate walking, such as taking two weeks to drive the entire coast of Iceland. You can choose between Drive & Hike, Rail & Hike tours, or Self Drive road trips, all of which come with suggestions for gorgeous trails, scenic detours, and personal recommendations for how to spend your days. And of course, we’ll handle all your accommodations. 

Start Your Self-Guided Journey Today

Self-guided adventure combines all the best elements of solo exploration and DIY travel. Get started by exploring our destinations to find your perfect adventure—booked by us, led by you.

Most Popular Tours

Why Macs

Reasons to believe in Macs Adventure:
The Biggest Choice

The Biggest Choice

Self-guided hiking & biking is all we do - we have hundreds of tried & tested trips.
Our Heritage

Founded in 2003

We’re still founder led & the world’s number one self-guided operator with mountains of experience.

21,000+ Customer Reviews

Plus, with a Feefo Platinum Service Award & British Travel Awards, you know you're in good hands.
Positive Impact

Positive Impact

We use independent suppliers to support communities along our routes, as well as work with organizations to help maintain & restore paths.
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