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Which Program ?


General questions.

What is self-guided travel?

What is guided travel?

Are you a Solo Traveler?

What are the different activity levels?

Activity level that suits you?

Other questions? See Plus Services.

 


What is a Self-guided trip :  

Discover what Europeans have long known:
In a self-guided tour you are both free and supported. And perhaps best of all, you don't do any work to put it together!

Self-guided cycling and walking tours are a complete and affordable vacation, tailored specifically for active, independent and curious travelers

 -  With a self-guided tour you can holiday in any size of group from individuals, couples or groups of friends.

 -  In self-guided tours you are the guide

 -   A self-guided tour is an independent tour where you are not in a group with others and you don't hanve any guide. You are your own guide within a program we have set up together, and with the help of a maps and fully detailed road books.

 - All the tours have been meticulously planned by the locally based Companies experts of a region: the walking or cycling days, the hotels all along the route have been chosen for their location and quality, the transfers. You will be walking/pedaling...on trails and roads that they use year round.

 - All tours can be customized if you have a special request, lengthening or shortening of a tour or even the activity level (where ever possible), add a night or more in the stages of your choice, shorten the walks whenever possible, choose the hotels, ask for additional transfers…)

 -Children : You know what your kids are capable of doing and only you as a parent should choose what is suitable. Children over 12 years of age will be charged the full adult price. Discounts may be available if sharing a room with two adults. Please contact us.


What is included  ?

  - Accommodation in hotels and guest houses

 - The dinners and breakfasts

 - The luggage transfers (you only have to carry a small backpack for the things of the day)

 - The documentation (maps and road books) to help you find your way.

 - 24-hour emergency phone number or email with english-speaking local support.

Keep in mind that in France the Hiking Federation (FFRP Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre) maintains the netwrok ok walking paths. The blazes or signposts on your hiking trail, the map and the road book you are provided with, make the walks quite easy to find.

Read more about the walking network in France


How to reserve your self-guided tour ?

 - Choose your own dates of your travel within the recommended period (generally from March to November)

 - Compose your own small group, typically 2 to 10 travelers (if you are alone, click on “solo travelers” )

 - As this is your travel put together specifically for you, we ask you to pay a deposit once the tour is finalized, and then we check for the room availability which is generally done within 48h.

The only thing you have to find alone is your flight or train to come to France and your train to get to the departure point of the tour ! Any doubt on the route ? Send me an email.

It is that easy!

Ask Cécile for more information : cecile@icietlanature.com

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General questions :


 - Accommodation : Our partner agencies use accommodation in locally graded hotels (from country inn to 3-star) and bed and breakfasts. All are chosen for their location along an itinerary and in many cases our agencies have worked for many years with the same hotel. Depending upon the tour the accommodation standard can vary but often you will have en suite rooms. If this is not the case, it will be noted in the tour's information. Please note that 1, 2, 3 and 4 star gradings differ from Spain, France and Italy.

 - Insurance : Please purchase a travel insurance that covers cancellations, accidents and repatriation. You will need to provide details of the insurance you have purchased before your arrival. The insurance should cover your chosen activity.

- Transfers : Whenever possible, we have included transfers from the nearest train station to the start of a tour and from the end of a tour back to the nearest train station. Private transfers from local airports, train stations, ferry terminals are available at an extra cost on some tours. Please contact us if you would like a private transfer.

- Am I in good enough shape for the trip? Are you able to physically do the trip you are looking into…and enjoy yourself? Nature tours require a minimum level of fitness, so please look at the activity level of the tour before deciding. Still not sure? Send us an e-mail and we will help you to decide which tour is the best for you.

 - I can't speak the local language! You don't have to speak French, Italian or Spanish to travel. That is part of the adventure of traveling. On a self-guided tour, get your phrasebook ready, and smile! On a guided tour, your guide is never far away...

 - Luggage transfer : Luggage transfer is provided on all our holidays. You only carry a backpack with what you need for the day.

 - Pre and Post Tour Plans : We are available if you need extra services before or after a tour.

 - What about children? You know what your kids are capable of doing and only you as a parent should choose what is suitable. Children over 12 years of age will be charged the full adult price. Discounts may be available if sharing a room with two adults. Please contact us with questions on rooms or even to determine whether a trip is suitable for kids.

Guided travel :

- All the guided tours we offer through our partners are all small groups - from 4/6 to 14/15 persons. All tours require a minimum number of participants to run.The guide is always an expert of the destination.

You can compose your own group : we decide together of the date and we can customize the program whenever possible.

If you are alone or only 2 to 4 persons : you can join a group and book on a date proposed on the "Dates and Prices" section of each guided tour. Some of the tours may be both French and English speaking tours but always with an English speaking tour leader.


See all our partners guided tours here !

Solo traveler :

Travelling alone? No problem. We can do that!

Please see the tours where Solo travelers are possible :

France - Midi Pyrenees - Quercy - Independent walking in the Cele Valley from Conques to Cahors

Spain - Galicia - Way of Saint James - Self guided tour between O’Cebreiro and Santiago de Compostela

France - Provence - the Golden Islands

France - Languedoc Roussillon - Way of Saint James - Self-guided tour between Aumont and Conques

France – Auvergne – Way of Saint James - Self-guided tour between Le Puy en Velay and Aumont-Aubrac

France - Midi Pyrenees - Self-Guided Walking Tour in Cathar Castles From Quillan to Foix

France - Roussillon - Self-guided walking tour-  The secret trails and Cathar castles of the Pyrenees

France – Provence – Luberon – Independent Biking from Cavaillon to Forcalquier

Cycling on the Green and Blue roads of Catalonia

The Way of Saint James - Cycling on the Camino de Santiago


On some moutain tours solo travelers are not recommended for safety reasons.

Activity Levels for our different trips :

Am I in good enough shape for the trip? Are you able to physically do the trip you are looking into…and enjoy yourself?

Walking and Cycling tours require a minimum level of fitness, so please look at the activity level of the tour before deciding. Still not sure? Send us an e-mail and we will help you to decide which tour is the best for you.


WALKING :

level 1 Gently rolling terrain with easy climbs and/or descents which are rarely steep. Walks average 7-10 km per day or 3 to 4 hours of walking. Depending upon the day, elevation gains can vary but always with less than 500 meters.

Level 2 Rolling terrain with some rocky trails with an occasional steep climb and/or descent. Walks average per day of 5 to 6 hours of walking. Depending upon the day elevation gains can vary with a maximum of +/- 500 to 750 meters.

Level 3 More difficult terrain with rocky trails with steep climbs and/or descents. Walks average per day of 5 to 7 hours of walking. Depending upon the day elevation gains can vary with a maximum of +/- 750 to 1000 meters.

BIKING :

level 1 Bike on mainly flatter roads. On your ride you may encounter some gently rolling hills. Rides average 40 km per day.

Level 2 Changing terrain includes a few challenging hills. Rides average 50 km per day.

Level 3 Challenging terrain including long and sometimes steep climbs. Rides average more than 60 km per day.

In all of our bike trips, rides vary from very quiet country roads with the occasional dirt section to a few busier roads in towns. Please consider your personal physical level as you choose to reserve a trip. In a group trip, van support will not always be available.


MOUNTAIN BIKING

Level 3 Some challenging terrain including long climbs and descents.

Rides average 60km per day. Requires off-road mountain biking experience.

Level 2 Moderate level mountain biking which uses a combination of country paths, tracks and trails, together with small sections of country roads.

Requires some off-road mountain biking experience.

Some hill climbing and descending involved, but not at a highly technical level, and we tend to use the roads as a way to ease the uphill climbs.

Rides average 50km with approx 1000m ascent per day.

Which level of activity suits you?

The level that we rate a trip is a suggested one. The same program can be considered differently according to the age of the person traveling or whether the person is in good physical shape. A trip that is in the mountains does not mention the distance walked in km, but preferably a walking time and an elevation gain. Walking times do not include the breaks for lunch, naps or photos. The number of walking hours can vary more or less of 15% according to the person, the group or even climatic conditions.

PLUS SERVICES :

Please contact us for any of the services below.

Pre and Post Tour Extras

We are available if you need extra services before or after a tour like extra hotel nights, etc.

Special groups

Do you see a tour (self-guided or guided) that you would like to privatize? We can create a departure for you and your group on any of our tours that you see online. We can also adapt a tour to be better suit you and those traveling with you.

Transfers

Whenever possible, we have included transfers from the nearest train station to the start of a tour and from the end of a tour back to the nearest train station. Private transfers from local airports, train stations, ferry terminals are available at an extra cost on some tours. Please contact us if you would like a private transfer.

Tour changes

A self-guided tour can be customized, lengthened or shortened, adapted to you (whenever possible).

Special requests

Wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, present, private or corporate group...let us know and we can work with you and the Agency partner to create a unique travel experience.