Guided or Self-Guided? A summary of the Pros and Cons

Guided or self-guided? A summary of the Pros and Cons. Sometimes people ask us about self-guided (or self-supported) tours. If you're planning your next adventure on two wheel, we hope you enjoy reading about both styles of cycle touring. Whatever you decide to embark on, we wish you all the best and if you choose a supported tour, the team at Wild Atlantic Cycling Tours will ensure you have the best experience possible.

Guided Tours 


  • Someone else has taken all of the wrong turns before so you just get to cycle the best bits.
  • You know exactly how long it will take so it helps with planning your holiday(s)
  • You can join a tour that best matches your fitness level
  • You have the reassurance and security of support on hand should you need it
  • You can relax knowing that accommodation and sustenance are all taken care of
  • Most guided tours will offer convenient transfers to and from airports to the starting point of the tour


  • There may be specific places you’ve read or heard about that you’d like your cycling holiday to focus on but which are not on the organised tour
  • Might be more expensive
  • No duvet days – the schedule usually means riding each day

Self-guided tours


  • You are completely in control of your own agenda
  • Freedom to move at your own pace and even decide not to ride on some days


  • Do your own research
  • Carry your own luggage
  • Plan your own routes
  • Arrange your own accommodation
  • A lack of local knowledge / ability to get information easily due to language difficulties may also affect ferry timings

When deciding between guided and self-guided, think carefully about the amount of support you think you might need.  For example

  • Do you need assistance if you puncture?
  • Will you be carrying all of your own clothing, food and water you require for the day or would you prefer to refresh your supplies from a support vehicle at lunch time?
  • Are you fairly self-sufficient and want to know that support is only there if you need it?

What we do

We provide a fully supported cycle tours

  • We support you from the minute you get off the plane to the moment you and your bike get back to the airport at the end.
  • Each day, we run a briefing after breakfast, sharing what you can expect to see and any safety points on the day’s route.
  • We provide you with GPX files of your cycle tour route.
  • We’ll give you some ideas and recommendations for coffee and lunch stops, evening entertainment, dining and any other sports you might want to try your hand at such as kayaking and swimming.
  • We allow our cyclists to cycle comfortably at their own speed. There is no need to ride as a group.
  • We aim to pass our cyclists at least once or twice in the morning and again in the afternoon after lunch. We arrange a suitable lunch stop where you can catch up with others and replenish your supplies.
  • We provide support with refreshments including snacks, juice, bars, basic first aid supplies and equipment for minor mechanicals. For the more major mechanicals we can arrange to have you collected and taken to a bike shop where required. Most islands have at least one bike shop.
  • We provide reassurance and encouragement, wait for you at the top of the really tough hills and do our best to get to know you on tour such that we know when to give you a gummy bear sweet and when a shot of whiskey might be necessary!

Joking aside, everyone has a different riding style and idea as to how they would like their own particular cycling holiday to pan out and we will always do our best to make sure our support lives up to your expectations.