…Or You Can Guide Yourself

Trek Mallorca sans guide on Country Walkers' new trip     Photo: Photo by Angelika Jakob/Aurora

Another option: cut out the guide—and the annoying couple from Phoenix—entirely. A growing number of outfitters have begun offering self-guided trips, which can cost 50 percent less than an adventure with all the customary herding and coddling. Here's how it (usually) works: a regional company rep meets you at the airport, transfers luggage between prearranged hotels, and is a phone call away for questions or emergencies. Otherwise you're on your own. Beautiful. Butterfield and Robinson offers a six-day cycling trip through Burgundy featuring châteaus, postcard-perfect valley roads (you'll average 17 to 27 miles per day), and, of course, wine-soaked dinners. $2,995 (the guided version costs $5,795); May–October; butterfield.com. Country Walkers offers ten new self-guided hiking trips. Our pick is an eight-day, 60-mile traipse on the vineyard- and olive-grove-studded Spanish island of Mallorca. Nights are spent in a refurbished monastery and a 19th-century bishop's home with a private pool and hot tub. $2,548; March—October; countrywalkers.com. Journeys International's South Africa road trip, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, is customizable. You pick the wildlife parks you want to visit, as well as excursions like canoeing the Keurbooms River. From $3,250; year-round; journeys.travel.

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