What is a guided tour?
On a guided tour you will be accompanied by a ride guide for the whole trip. Guided tours will see you doing more specialised activities for a greater part of the time.
On our guided tours you have the convenience of having everything planned out for you, the bicycle tours will include: hotels, rental bikes*, routes, meals*, luggage transfers, support cars, sightseeing tours, and so on. The guides point out points of interest, organise excursions and activities, and assist in the event of a breakdown (mechanical or human).
You usually ride in a group of 8 to 20 people, typically from several different countries, which makes for new acquaintances and international friendships.
If you enjoy everything being taken care of, so you can focus on riding, then a guided tour is probably the best option for you.
“Almost everything,” is the short answer. Have a look at our individual tour pages for specific tour inclusions, but here’s a general list of what you could expect on a guided bike tour:
- Evening dinners*
- Rental bikes*
- Support van or bus (not on all guided tours)
- Informed travel guide riding with the group
- Luggage transport from hotel to hotel*
- Admissions and tours according to the program
- Tour description, travel materials
- Detailed route planning
- Riding with group
*May be an extra add on and subject to availability.
What’s riding on a guided cycle tour like?
Riders on guided tours tend to stick together as a group with the guide. Riders can sometimes go ahead to the next turn or town, but the norm is to stay together. A self-guided bike tour may be a better option if you are a more independent cyclist who prefers to ride at your own pace.
Bikes for rent
It’s not always easy travelling with a bike but fear not, we have bikes available for rent on all our tours. Rental bikes are generally of a high quality and are geared to suit all riders and the terrain you may face. If you’re wanting to record your ride your watch your numbers, you may want to bring your bike computer with you. However, some tour companies now provide handlebar-mounted GPS units. Please see the tour information on our cycle tour pages for available bikes and equipment. Due to hygiene and safety/ fit concerns, most operators do not rent helmets. Please remember to bring your own with you.
Lodging is typically in 3 and 5-star hotels. Each accommodation is carefully chosen for their location, intimate atmospheres and reflections of the region’s history and culture (rather than larger chain hotels). All hotels are equipped and prepared to handle cyclists with their bikes and equipment. With the exception of certain ships and barges, all rooms have private facilities.
Almost all tours will include breakfast for you each day. Group dinners are often held at the hotel or a nearby restaurant. Dinner is mostly pre-ordered depending on the tour but you will be told in advance if this is the case. On these tours, no one goes hungry and everyone is catered for! If you have dietary restrictions, please contact us before booking so that we can inquire with the tour operator about your suitable options.
The majority of tours begin in the afternoon or evening on arrival at your first hotel. The actual cycling starts the following morning. Start cities are usually easily accessible by air or rail. If a transfer is necessary, these can be arranged for you at an extra cost. Some tours have transfers included in the tour package as well.
You may want to arrive in the departure city a day earlier depending on when your international flight arrives. You’ll feel more at ease and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city on your own. An extra nights accommodation is available by arrangement if this is something you would like.
At the end of the tour, a final night’s lodging is usually included before being transported to the station or airport the following day. You arrive at the final nights stay, by bike, the day before, have a relaxing evening sharing stories and then depart after breakfast the next morning.
You can always extend your trip by staying an extra night in the end city to explore the area for a little longer than the tour dates allow.
Is a guided tour right for you?
Realising what you DON’T want can sometimes help you figure out what you DO want. Check out these blog posts to see which type of touring is best for you. If you have any questions our team of expert cyclists are here to help.