Europe’s active travel leader, Pure Adventures, that designs game plans for adventurous cycling vacations throughout Europe and the UK, reports that cycling vacationers can save on average 50 percent by opting for self-guided rather than guide-led excursions.

“Factor out the costs of a guide who’s normally on duty for 24 hours over a seven-day trip and the savings are substantial – without sacrificing any trip quality,” said Loren Siekman, founder of Pure Adventures. “Another consideration is the fact that lodgings can be arranged according to budget.”

Following are Pure Adventures’ five surprises when it comes to self-guided cycling.

  • Saving money is the first of five surprises. Self-guided vacationers can save on average 50 percent by opting for this mode of travel rather than guide-led excursions.
  • Surprising flexibility is also at the top of the list. Guests can travel on dates of their choice within a given service season, which means the period of time that the company can logistically support an itinerary; and while on a trip guests are in charge of their own time, free to linger at a museum or to bike on to the next dining adventure.
  • A third surprise is privacy; adventures are shared among self-selected companions — not strangers brought into the mix as is the case with most pre-set, guided tours.
  • A fourth surprise has to do with the convenience of having in-country experts plan in advance a personally tailored itinerary complete with lodging reservations and dining and sightseeing recommendations, as well as the convenience of having luggage transported from one accommodation to the next in advance of guest arrival.
  • Surprise number five is the support offered, from a day one orientation and bike fitting in English to precise road maps inclusive of off-the-beaten track and scenic local routes.


Self-guided tours – and surprises – are offered in 2013 in over a dozen countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland.

Image courtesy Widness & Wiggins

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