Self-Guided & Independent Tours & Trips 2020
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Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Take a privately guided superjeep tour to Þjórsárdalur in Iceland’s southern highlands, exploring its verdant valleys and dramatic waterfalls.
- Climb a volcano and catch views of the south coast’s glaciers from the Westman Islands.
- Explore the verdant, craggy landscape of Eldhraun: the world’s largest lava field.
- See one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies and learn more about Icelandic folklore in the Eastfjords.
- Explore the Golden Circle from the Hvítá river on a guided rafting tour, close to Gullfoss waterfall.
- Mountain bike through Eldhraun, the world’s largest lava field, with a local Icelandic guide.
- Paddle through floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on a small-group kayaking tour.
- Don crampons and take a guided hike through Sólheimajökull glacier’s curious icy formations
- Enjoy the freedom of driving your own car. Audley can arrange a rental vehicle for you if required.
- Hike through Glencoe's untamed landscapes with your private local guide.
- Enjoy an evening of Scottish storytelling in a classic hikers' pub.
- Go sea kayaking to explore hidden coves and secluded beaches.
- Take a foraging walk and try your hand at gin distilling on the Isle of Skye.
- Soak in the geothermal waters of the Secret Lagoon, in the heart of the Golden Circle.
- Marvel at intricate frozen formations on a guided visit to an ice cave.
- Spot clownish puffins nesting along the coast.
- Cruise among sculptural icebergs on a boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
- See the world’s largest lava field, formed by an eruption hundreds of years ago.
- Eat your way around Reykjavík on a private food-focused walking tour.
- Snorkel between the tectonic plates in Þingvellir National Park.
- Wander through icy tunnels carved in the depths of Langjökull glacier.
- Watch icebergs calve from glaciers and float across Jökulsárlón lagoon.
- Enjoy the freedom of your own car on this self-drive trip. Audley can arrange a rental vehicle for you if required.
- Take a distillery tour and tasting at one of Islay's world-renowned distilleries.
- Explore the islands in Oban Bay on foot and by bicycle, spotting wildlife with a private guide.
- Kayak on Loch Lomond, surrounded by mountains.
- Take a wildlife cruise along Islay's shoreline to spy seals and porpoises.
- CITY TOUR in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, Cusco
- SCENIC DRIVE through the Sacred Valley
- SEE the Teatro Colon, Copacabana Beach, the Casa Rosada
- ICONIC TRAIN journey aboard the Vistadome train
- VISIT Sugarloaf Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer statue, Iguassu Falls, Pisac, Ollantaytambo ruins, Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman, the Larco Museum
- CONNECT WITH LOCALS
- DIVE INTO CULTURE
- LOCAL SPECIALIST
- MAKE A DIFFERENCE
- Experience excellent hotel accommodation in the heart of stone town and along a pristine beach on the east coast, both with private swimming pools and air conditioning.
- Savour the fragrance and flavours of the ‘spice island’ with an exploration of a local spice plantation. sample the local fruits and seasonings, and see exotic plant varieties like the henna bush and lipstick tree.
- Take time to soak up the sun and lie back in the shade of a coconut palm, along with the chance to enjoy activities like snorkelling and windsurfing.
- Discover six types of lemur including the ring-tailed and verraux sifaka.
- Stroll the paths of berenty reserve on your own and delight in the discovery of the fascinating wildlife.
- Enjoy a two-night stay in the berenty lodge in comfortable, authentic accommodation.
- Spend a night overlooking the indian ocean in the former french colony of fort dauphin in your feature stay property
- Enjoy independent, fuss-free travel with all the details taken care of.
- Sip sundowner drinks, dip in the infinity pool and dine under endless starry skies at this luxury lodge situated on the banks of the zambezi river.
- Spot elephants and hippos on the private verandah of your luxurious permanent tent – each with ensuites and a plunge pool overlooking the zambezi river.
- Go in search of africa’s iconic species and more on a morning or afternoon game drive or the elusive leopard on a night game drive – all with your personal guide.
- Get up close and personal to the area on a bush walk. learn about the native flora and fauna, spot the pearl spotted owlet from its distinctive call or track down a snake.
- With the zambezi river flowing through this east part of africa, it is no surprise that some of the best wildlife viewing on your zambia-safari will take place along the river itself on a canoeing trip or a boat cruise.
- Explore the colourful areas of san telmo and palermo with a local guide – all of which tell their own stories of romance – and discover the eerie and star-studded recoleta cemetery.
- Saunter your way to a local milonga and dance the night away as you learn from the professionals in a beginners tango experience.
- Source homegrown ingredients and prepare local dishes at a community cooperative in the lesser-known barracas neighbourhood, dedicated to promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
- Witness some of the most breathtaking scenery in africa, from table mountain to the rugged world’s end of the cape peninsula
- Retrace 350 years of cape town’s dramatic history on a three-hour walking tour with a specialist local guide
- Discover why cape town is one of south africa's culinary hot-spots, sampling its fine restaurants, wines and cheeses
- Traverse the south african landscape as the scenery changes from dry savannas to the great escarpment and winelands, all in the comfort of the plush blue train
- Embark on the ultimate south african wildlife adventure, exploring the country’s biggest reserve in a 4x4 with an expert local guide
- Make one of the greatest road trips on the entire continent, past incredible landscapes of mountains and valleys, waterfalls and canyons, on the spectacular panorama route
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Top Self-Guided & Independent Experiences
Sampling culinary delicacies in Tuscany
Ascending the terraced hillsides to reach upper Ghandruk that offers a fine view of Annapurna mountain range
Strolling through the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and enjoying the sight of colorful houses
Enjoying a self guided walking tour at your own pace
Enjoying the hospitality of a local host
Having a local guide that shows you around town
Volunteering at a rehabilitation and conservation center of wild animals
Exploring the Amazon jungles with local guides
Hitching a lift on a cargo boat to Timbuktu
Taking a train journey through Europe with suggested stops planned out by a travel expert
Learning some of the local language when staying with a family in Nepal
Self-Guided & Independent Trip Reviews
2,345 Self-Guided & Independent Tour Reviews - Summary 97% Recommend
All Self-Guided & Independent tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Self-Guided & Independent trips.