What is a guided tour and what is a self-guided tour?

A guided tour is when a professional guide (sometimes two) rides the route with you.  They are there to show you the lay of the land, guide you along the route for the day, offer support and any mechanical assistance if needed and . They are all very knowledgeable about their areas and most speak the local language too. So if you need any local tips while you’re tour? Ask your guide!

Guided Cycling Tours

Our operators offer various forms of guided tours.

One of the most evident and prevalent types is to actually have a professional ride guide on the bike with you all the way. It is the guides job to manage the safety of your group, know where you are and ensure you are on the right track.

Another form of a guided tour is to have the guide driving the follow vehicle behind your group. The primary role of the guide remains the same, you just won’t have them pedalling beside you.  Having a follow vehicle also presents the opportunity to have a day bag ready in the vehicle with anything you may want during the ride but would prefer not to carry on the bike with you all the time.

On some tours, you may have a ride guide pedalling beside you as well as a guide driving a vehicle. In this case, the vehicle may follow for a certain period of time and then drive ahead to set up a lovely roadside picnic or lunch for you to enjoy mid ride.

Self Guided Cycling Tours

Some of our operators provide a “self-guided” tour. Well what is that and how does that work?

A self-guided tour means that there is no guide that is physically present with you on the road during your ride. It is your own responsibility to find your way or follow the GPS route provided and support yourself during the day. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are out there alone and clueless! When a tour operator provides a self-guided tour, they ensure that every little detail of your journey is perfectly planned and every logistical detail is thought through for you. From hotel bookings to GPS routes to get you from point to point, it will all be sorted for you so that you can enjoy your tour worry free.

You will always be provided with a clear plan and outline of your routes for each day. You will have detailed instructions about your route which will be supported by map, GPS device with the routes pre-loaded, or even both. It will be stated during the booking phase whether you will be provided with a GPS by the operator or if you need to bring your own.

We ensure that you always have an emergency contact number and a line of communication in the event of any emergency or if you have any questions while out on your tour.

Bottom Line

Which to choose?

Most of the tours we offer are guided tours as these are generally more fun and easier for you to make the most out of the tour with the least amount of effort on your part. The professional guides on a tour are from all walks of like, united by a love for cycling and showing off the wonders of the area they work in. They are great, friendly people and are great at what they do. They not only show you the lay of the land but also will share their local knowledge, tell you stories and share words of encouragement when you need it. Many guides are either ex-professional cyclists or amateur cyclists of a high level. So you might benefit from their performance knowledge as well.

On the other hand, self-guided tours are perfect for those who like to take things at their own pace. Either by leisurely cruising along the route provided or trying to set personal bests up some iconic climbs along the way. Modern GPS devices have made self-guided tours easier to navigate than before and offer a bit of an extra challenge too.  Taking on a self-guided tour, you are expected to be a little more self-sufficient when it comes to knowing the areas and or needing to sort out any mechanical mishaps, such as a flat tyre, you may experience. Self-guided tours are often slightly cheaper than a guided tour. So, if you’re just looking for some of the planning to be taken care of and you do the rest, then choosing a self-guided tour option may be the choice for you.

And if you’re still undecided? Ask epico! We are always on hand to help you out!