based: London, UK
Self-guided walking holidays in Bulgaria, based at a choice of two centres (Bankso or Borovets) that give access to two imposing mountain ranges, each with excellent trekking routes, accessible summits, lift access, alluring lakes and magnificent limestone landscapes.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | Bulgaria |
Bath & West Country Walks
based: Somerset, UK
Guided and self-guided walking holidays in South West England from April to October. Enjoy the Cotswolds, explore Exmoor, discover the Mendip hills and Bath. Visit Avebury, Bourton on the Water, or Stonehenge & Glastonbury. Also walking holidays in Austria in June and Cyprus in November. Hotel and inn accommodation with private facilities.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | seniors/silver surfers | weekends/short breaks | England | Wales | Austria | Cyprus |
Bootlace Walking Holidays
based: Granada, Spain
Spectacular mountain walks with experienced guides following ancient waterways and caminos, once silk routes of the Moors and drovers' paths. Vegetarian/vegan friendly, all-inclusive, bespoke plus self-guided holidays. Also accompanied treks with local guides in Morocco and special activity holidays such as herbalism, photography, yoga and walking.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | vegetarian/vegan | yoga | herb | photographic | Spain |
Explore Featured Site
Self-guided walking holidays in Europe: France, Italy, Spain, Mallorca, Greece, Switzerland and Portugal. These independent walking trips are for all abilities and fitness levels and allow guests to walk at their own pace, they can depart on any day of the week making cheap flights and option too.
| walk/trek/hike | trekking peaks | unguided walking | winter walking | Europe |
Eurocamp – Walking Holidays Featured Site
Selected Eurocamp parcs in areas of outstanding natural beauty in France, Austria and Switzerland, ideal bases for guided and unguided walking and hiking. Some offer their own bespoke graded walking routes for self-led walks, others offer guided walking tours.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | France | Switzerland | Austria |
Great Little Breaks
based: Worcestershire, UK
Independent rambling and self-led walking breaks from a range of hotels in England and Wales. Special short-stay packages targeted at hikers and offering walking maps, route guides and packed lunches for self-guided walkers.
| unguided walking | England | Wales |
Headwater Featured Site
Hotel-to-hotel and single-centre self-guided walking holidays in the UK, France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Malta, Portugal,Switzerland, Italy, central Europe and the Caribbean. Treks for all levels from easy country rambles to challenging mountain hikes, some tours combining other activities such as gastronomy, wine or canoeing.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | winter walking | wintersports multi-activity | Europe | Caribbean |
Pension Hoffelner – Self Guided Walking Holidays
based: Dachstein, Austria
Trails are at three levels: on the Ramsau plateau (1,200 m), alpine pasture (1,700 m) and the Dachstein Glacier (2,700 m). Higher areas are easily accessible through gondolas and cable cars. Luxury accommodation, stunning scenery and walks suitable for all abilities. Offering flexible dates and durations from June to October.
| unguided walking | winter walking | tailor made | groups | Austria |
S-Cape Countryside Travels s.r.l.
based: Florence, Italy
S-Cape Travel is a travel operator providing walking, cycling, driving and family tours in France, Italy, Spain and other European countries. The tours include gourmet food, deluxe lodging and destinations of great beauty as well as cultural interest.
| unguided walking | cycle touring | gastronomic | self drive | family | groups | women | France | Spain | Italy | Greece | Croatia |
based: Sussex, UK
Active holidays worldwide – tailor made scuba diving, surfing, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, trekking, kayaking, skydiving and multi-activity holidays for all levels. Locations include: Egypt, Canary Islands, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, Mexico, Maldives, Malta, Oman and more. Regular special offers and late deals as well as tailor made luxury holiday deals.
| diving/snorkelling | surfing | ski/snowboard | walk/trek/hike | cycle touring | multi-activity | parachuting/skydiving/parascending | canoeing/kayaking | Worldwide |
based: Hampshire, UK
Worldwide trekking and walking holidays. Options include small group guided treks, self-guided walking holidays, or tailor-made privately guided trekking. All grades are catered for with 'Easy' to 'Strenuous' walks on offer. These holidays are great for solo travellers, no single supplement charged provided they are happy to share.
| walk/trek/hike | tailor made | unguided walking | trekking peaks | singles | Worldwide |
BULGARIA: Self-guided hiking in the mountains
If you're looking for some economic self-led walking in beautiful mountain landscapes the then Bulgaria is certainly worth a look! Borovets, known as Bulgaria's premier walking resort, makes a good choice.
For the walker Borovets offers a huge choice from among miles of marked trails amidst beautiful mountain scenery. One of the most popular routes in the Rila mountains is the hike to Chernata Skala (Black Rock), passing through evergreen forest and crossing mountain streams, before reaching the dramatic sheer face of the rock. A gondola ascent will take you from the valley, onto Mousala, Bulgaria's highest mountain, from where a hiking trail follows the ridge to the summit at nearly 3,000 m.
UK: Hotel based self-led walking breaks
Increasingly UK hotels are creating their own packages for self-guided walking and rambling breaks, ideal if you're looking for a new area to discover and, because they are hotel based, there is often a bit of luxury built in! These short breaks offer a variety of deals, generally all providing route guides, maps and packed lunches for walkers. Some packages will go the extra mile and include dinner(s), or room upgrades or spa facilities too.
These breaks are in prime walking areas such as the Derbyshire and Yorkshire Dales, Pembrokeshire for coastal walking and Gloucestershire and Wiltshire for fine English countryside.
Walker friendly accommodation:
Also take a look at our walker friendly accommodation section. This is accommodation for independent walkers, including hotels, B&B's and self-catering. The places listed provide services and facilities for self-guided walkers (e.g. drying rooms, packed lunches, pick-ups/drop-offs, walking maps, luggage transfer) and are located in or close to popular walking areas, hiking trails and long distance footpaths.
This section is for self-guided walking holidays and lists trips where a tour operator sets up walk itineraries and routes, organises accommodation, and provides maps and written walking guides or guidebooks for clients to follow – but does not provide any guiding service. Hikers walk independently at their own pace, they will follow the routes supplied but, within that, they are free to stop and start along the route as it suits – this is great if you want to spend time composing photos, studying the local wildlife, visiting tourist spots on the route, or if you just fancy taking a long lazy lunch or lots of coffee stops!
Point-to-point or centre based?
These tours may be point-to-point (hotel-to hotel, hut-to-hut), in which case additional services provided might include luggage transfer and a pick-up and/or drop-off service taking walkers to and from their accommodation on various stages of the walk. Alternatively it may be a centre based trip (be that hotel, B&B, hostel or self-catering) offering walkers the flexibility to choose routes day-by-day depending on how strenuous or otherwise they want it to be.
Graded self-guided walks
Most operators will grade their independent walks in some way, although there is no universal grading system for self-guided walking trips. Easier trips may be suitable for children, details should be on the tour itineraries.