Over the last two years I’ve enjoyed walking and cycling trips with friends, all in the UK. I needed to get back on a plane and widen my horizons so I booked this trip through an adventure company called Exodus. It was trekking in the Aitana Mountains, which lie just behind Alicante, SE Spain. I had a small window of time to take a holiday so I had to find a company which was offering something to suit my tick boxes. The requirements were:
Walking (moderate to challenging level)
Guided means you have the services of a leader every day who takes you out on a hike. I would have preferred self-guided…that means they give you a map and an itinerary and off you go each day (alone or with your holiday companion) navigating the route, then meet up at the hotel each evening.
It was my first time on a guided trip, travelling solo. My first thoughts are that it was very intense. Eating three meals a day in the same hotel, walking all together and spending each evening together was too much for me. I also shared a room with someone (there were no single supplements left when I booked) and I wouldn’t do that again. There is nowhere to escape and everyone needs some time on their own.
The hotel wasn’t particularly well situated. Right on an unlit main road and the nearest village (with one bar and one shop) was 2 miles away, reached only by tottering along in the cycle lane. I felt ever so slightly trapped.
If you’re a solo traveller, then guided group holidays are a great idea, (out of 14 people, there were 8 singles) but next time I would ask more questions about the location and possibly book something with more sight-seeing rather than walking. At least you can lose yourself in a city :).
The tour guide, Sarah, who was German was absolutely fantastic. Really knowledgeable and fun and, for me, really added something to the holiday.
I am very glad I did it as I’d lost confidence in travelling alone since the start of the pandemic. I feel miles more chilled in that respect. Other companies I have looked at and would consider for future breaks are:
Colletts Mountain Holidays (walking holidays in Europe)
K E Adventure Travel
If you’re single and a bit wary of being stuck in a hotel with other people, then there are plenty of companies who do weekend activity adventures to ease you in. Large Outdoors is one (more hostel than boutique hotel) and Will4Adventure another. Both really friendly.
(By the way, if you want any tips on walking gear, please shout. There were five of us with the same boots on. Scarpa make very boot-y boots, dead ugly but comfy and dry. Mine are about six years old and cost £120 at the time)