07 Feb 24

Advantages of taking a guided hike

Sam McCrow European Alps Slovenia United Kingdom

While the allure of self-guided adventures remains strong and is undeniable, there are advantages of taking a guided hike. Even if you’re an experienced hiker, an expert local guide can elevate your walk into an extraordinary adventure. Guided trips have great perks and are perfect if you don’t have the time to organise your own walk or if you’re concerned about safety (especially if you are a solo traveller). They also give you easy access to challenging locations, and they are a whole lot of fun!

Hiking guides are truly worth it. Here’s why…

1. Expert guidance and local insights

One of the big advantages of opting for a guided hike is the wealth of knowledge and expertise provided by our highly-qualified seasoned guides. These professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of the destinations they navigate, offering valuable insights into local history, culture, wildflowers, wildlife, and hidden gems. With their expertise, you’ll gain access to a richer, more nuanced understanding of the places you visit.

“This was our first experience of a guided trek. Loved the location, the physical activity, the attention to detail, and the expertise and experience of our guide.” – Jim McMahon (Wellington, NZ): Tour du Mont Blanc (Aug. 2023)

2. Seamless logistics and stress-free travel

Planning a trip can be a complex time-consuming puzzle of reservations, transportation, and itinerary management. Taking a guided hike take the hassle out of travel planning and logistics, allowing you to focus solely on the enjoyment of the journey. From accommodation and restaurant bookings to navigating public transport, guides handle the nitty-gritty details, ensuring a stress-free and seamless travel experience.

“Brilliant experience, stress-free, well organised. Our tour leader Mike was outstanding. He exhibited a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm, excellent planning and management skills, and a genuine caring attitude.” – Naghmeh Geroyan (North Sydney, NSW): Japan’s Kumano Kodo (Oct. 2023)

3. Safety and security

Navigating unfamiliar territory can be daunting, especially in regions with language barriers or potential safety concerns (mountain environments). Guided hikes provide an extra layer of security. Our experienced guides are well-versed in local customs, potential risks, and safety protocols. You don’t need to decipher poorly signposted sections yourself. You are free to njoy your walk, knowing they have a knowledgeable ally to navigate any unforeseen challenges.

“A once in a lifetime adventure! Rob was an excellent guide who really made me feel safe, had great knowledge of the area, and kept the days working seamlessly.” – Juliet Humphris-Clark (Merewether, NSW): Tour du Mont Blanc (Sep. 2023)

4. Enhanced cultural immersion

Guided hikes often facilitate a deeper connection with the local culture. Through interactions with knowledgeable guides and local communities, you’ll gain insights that extend beyond what guidebooks can offer. From traditional rituals to authentic culinary experiences, guided trips provide a more immersive and authentic understanding of the local way of life.

“A fabulous walk. Ukky our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. We loved the physical and cultural experience, and learning about the local way of life.” – Keith & Ellen Chatto (Port Melbourne, VIC): Japan’s Nakasendo Way (Nov. 2023)

5. Camaraderie and social connection

Travelling with like-minded individuals fosters a sense of camaraderie that can elevate your overall experience. Guided hikes provide a built-in community of fellow adventurers, creating opportunities for shared exploration, laughter and long-lasting friendships. Plus you’ll have drinking/dining companions at the end of each day.

“Loved the hikes! The views! The food! The happy hour with our group! Sharing photos! The Dolomites are an absolute wonderland. Our guide Diane was organised, knowledgeable, good spirited – a fantastic leader.” – Suzanne Enslow, California (USA), Italian Dolomites (Sep. 2023)

6. Access to exclusive experiences

Guided hikes often provide access to exclusive experiences that may be challenging to arrange independently. Whether it’s a private tour of historical sites, behind-the-scenes access to local industries, or unique cultural workshops, guided trips open doors to experiences that transcend the ordinary.

“Fantastic experience! Our guide Rob was fabulous. As a Chamonix local he knew the area and the people really well so we got an insight into the mountain community as well as enjoying the awesome scenery.” – Caroline Lock (Crafters, SA), Tour du Mont Blanc (Sep. 2023)

7. Small groups size and shared passions

Small group travel, a hallmark of our guided trips, fosters an intimate and cohesive atmosphere where travellers bond over shared interests and passions. With a limited number of participants, there are deeper connections and meaningful interactions. The shared enthusiasm among like-minded individuals amplifies the joy of discovery, making each moment a collective celebration of the journey.

“We all got know each other, which was lovely. Our guide Neil was brilliant in navigating us and getting us to where we needed to be each day. He handled everything on our behalf so we didn’t have to think about anything apart from putting one foot in front of the other.”– Lyn Russell (Margate, QLD), UK’s Coast to Coast Path (Aug. 2023)

8. Good company

Last but not least, our guides are good company. They’re used to guiding RAW Travel clients and enjoy it. Many of our guides have been leading RAW Travel trips for many years, and are firm favourites with our trekkers.

“Fabulous – loved it! It was tough but great to experience as a group. Our tour guide was a gem – patient, friendly and funny.” – Christine Porter (Gormans Hill, NSW), Tour du Mont Blanc (Sep. 2023)

Samantha McCrow

Written By

Samantha McCrow

Sam is an seasoned hiker and travel writer with 20+ years experience as a content and marketing specialist. She started out as a commissioning editor for Lonely Planet guidebooks and now regularly shares stories and insights about the world's most iconic and rewarding hiking trails.

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