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When on a self-guided hike, you are your own master. With your family or friends for company, you are free to enjoy the unbroken silence of the mountains surrounding you. If attracted to the Alps by splendid mountain panoramas in their natural unpopulated state, self-guided hiking is the right format for you.
Self-guided hikes are multi-day adventures, without guides or groups, that will take you through the itineraries planned by our experts and guides. We are not forming groups for such hut-to-hut hikes. You pick your company yourself – whether your family or friends. We do all the organizing: we book mountain huts for your overnight stops and a base camp hotel in the valley, we elaborate a step-by-step itinerary, we make sure maps and other materials await you at the hotel by the time you arrive. We take care of thousands of other details to turn the whole trip into a pleasant experience for you.
Self-guided hut-to-hut hikes are multi-day adventures, without guides or groups, that will take you through the itineraries planned by our experts.
The self-guided format is a convenient option if you prefer not to depend on trekking abilities and circumstances of people you don't know. It is an opportunity to spend time outdoors with your family or friends without other people always near. The self-guided style is often preferred by photography enthusiasts, who want to be able to manage their trail time as they find appropriate.
Our self-guided hike arrangements include a choice of mountain inns or huts for overnighting and meals. We provide all our hut-to-hut hikers with bed and dinner-breakfast reservations at the huts. The vast majority of the inns and huts on our routes are surprisingly comfortable. Once at a hut, you can take a shower. There is usually time to cool off before dinner is served at 7:00-7:30 p.m.
Huts offer shared or private bedrooms equipped with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Private rooms also feature bed linen. In shared rooms, guests are to use sleeping bag liners.
Mountain huts are booked in advance for you. Huts offer shower, breakfasts and dinners.
Our self-guided hut-to-hut itineraries follow marked well-maintained trails. Self-guided hikers will not have to traverse via ferratas, glaciers or similar sections requiring special technical skills or equipment.
Direction signs are provided at all forks and intersections, as well as the terrain landmarks suitable for navigation, like passes, saddles or summits. Along their entire length the trails are also color-coded with paint marks, with or without the trail number. The marking frequency depends on terrain: high altitude tracks, moraines and other challenging sections are marked much more frequently than, let's say, conspicuous trails through the woods.
Marked and equipped with direction signs, the trails along your route require no specific skills or equipment to use.
We provide our hikers with trekking maps or sets of trekking maps, depending on route. Our trekking maps show numbered trails, huts, topographic landmarks and lots of other data to assist your navigation.
Trekking maps are easy to read.
For most our hut-to-hut routes we offer 1:25000 scale maps, i.e., 1 cm representing 250 meters. There are some exceptions, like the massively popular hike Tour du Mont Blanc, where one 1:50000 map is more convenient than 2 or 3 larger scale maps for being compact, and also because there are so many direction signs and people on the trail.
We supply our self-guided hikers with step-by-step itinerary schedules with detailed descriptions of each day's trek. These two aids (itinerary schedule and map) reduce navigation to following written instructions with occasionally a look at the map. This leaves you enjoying your walk, rather than worrying about your directions.
The schedule contains detailed descriptions of each trek, stating the numbers of trails to take you to the next hut. If there is a choice between several interesting path options, the schedule describes each one. There is also info on the sightseeing locations not shown on the map. The schedule gives an altitude profile diagram for each daytime trek for an idea about the time needed to complete it. The diagram breaks your trek up into smaller sections – ascents and descents – and suggests the time it may take for each one.
We see to every aspect of organizing your hike and take care of these 10 problems for you.
We book and pay for mountain hut services, including breakfasts and dinners.
We negotiate comfortable accommodations if no private rooms are available.
We book and pay for the first and last nights at the base camp hotel in the valley.
We see to it that there is booking confirmation from the destination country for visa processing purposes.
We supply a step-by-step instruction for transfer from airport to base camp hotel.
We find a transfer solution if you have missed the last bus or train from the airport.
We take you to the starting point of your itinerary on the first day of the hike or supply schedules and instructions on how to get there by bus. Same on the last day of your hike.
We deliver maps, itinerary schedules and other materials as necessary to the base camp hotel.
We monitor the situation in your trip's locale and alert you in advance about any corrections to be made, due to weather conditions, for example.
We provide 24 hour support throughout your hike.
For your first self-guided hike these two options are recommended: Fassa Dolomites and High Ortler. The Val di Fassa route features comfortable huts with private rooms. Plus, your itinerary can be adjusted to fit your hiking ability and enthusiasm. High Ortler is a hike through the wild beauty of the Stelvio National Park – with moderate distances between the huts and light radial trek options to consider once you make it to your destination.