Choosing your cycling holiday

26/02/2018

Choosing your cycling holiday

Choosing your cycling holiday

How fit do I need to be to go on a cycling holiday?
What is the ability level of each cycling holiday?
What are the distances and terrain like?
What's the accommodation like? Are evening meals available?
How do I get there?
How can children enjoy a cycling holiday?
Single Travellers - which are the best tours for me?
Bike hire, e-bikes, luggage transfers and important pre-departure information...

 

If you have any questions about the cycling holidays that we offer, then please call Simon on 0161 703 5823 who will be able to answer any questions you may have about individual cycle tours. We can send out sample cycling holiday hotel lists, detailed bike specifications and provide more information about each cycling holiday shown on the website.

We also have first hand experience of cycling through many of the countries we sell holidays in and can advise on which cycling holiday will be best for you.

Fitness

One of the most popular questions we are asked is “Do I have to be super fit to go on a cycling holiday?” The answer is that whilst a good level of fitness will make any cycling holiday easier and more enjoyable, each tour is self-guided so you are free to ride at your own pace.

Each cycling holiday has been designed with leisure cycling in mind and whilst cycling 40 to 50 km per day may seem daunting at first, there is no race to be won or time to be set. Take your time and enjoy the scenery from your saddle.

We recommend getting out on your bike and improving your general fitness prior to your cycling holiday. Many of our customers are not regular cyclists while some practically live on their bikes! Above all, we find the the customers that get the most out of our cycling holidays like to use the bike to make the most of exploring the local area and not rush to reach the end of the daily ride.

Not all of our cycle tours are easy and some are quite difficult which is appealing for those looking to enjoy a challenge with a good level of back-up support.

Different Abilities

As most of our cycling holidays are self-guided then is no group to ride with or ride leader telling you which way to go or pointing things out. This also means that there is no requirement to ride together. Some cycling holidays do have set start days e.g. Saturdays. This means that

Terrain/Distances

Distances tend to be around 50 km per day or 35 miles. This provides you with enough cycling to feel like you are on a cycling holiday, but short enough to give you time to see some of the local attractions before reaching your destination hotel.

Most of the cycling holidays we offer are A to B or place-to-place which means that you will ride to the next hotel. If you feel that you cannot cycle the daily distance, there are often public transport connections or you can travel in the luggage van if there is available space.

We expect an average daily ride to take approximately 4 to 6 hours. Please note that there is no cycling planned on your arrival day or check-out day.

The ‘Tour Difficulty’ rating - Easy, Moderate or Challenging - is our assessment of the tour, based on cycling distances, frequency of cycling, and terrain characteristics (including presence and severity of hills).

Accommodation & Meals

The accommodation used on each tour is described on the Hotel 'tab'. You can click on the links there to see more detail on each hotel. Meals included are shown in the Tour Overview panel. Half-board options, if available, are shown under 'Dates & Prices'. All cycling holidays (unless stated) are booked on a bed and breakfast basis with half board (evening meals) available as an optional upgrade. Extra nights are available on most cycling holidays and you will stay in the same hotels as per the booked itinerary.

Getting There

We don't include flights or rail travel to the country where a tour is based. Suggestions on flight availability or rail journeys are given under 'Travel Information' in the tour 'Getting There' tab.

Transfers to your first hotel are also explained in the 'Getting There' tab. These may be included in the tour price ; if not included, we give guidance on recommended transfer options and prices.

Teenagers and Children

In general, reasonably fit teenagers are capable of following the same itinerary as a reasonably fit adult. However, you may wish to home in on tours where there are 'rest days' and where other activities can be included in the entertainment. Our two Austrian holidays and our Switzerland holiday, 'Swiss Lakes & Mountains' score highly here.

For younger children in the 7-12 bracket, distances are important. 15-20 miles per ride is probably enough, with 'rest days' to enjoy other activities. Our cycling holidays in Austria is highly recommended for this age group.

We can provide tag-a-longs and child trailers on many cycling holidays. Please request these at the time of booking.

Single Travellers

Single travellers can be accommodated on nearly all of our tours. Our Guided holidays and Boat & Bike holidays may be of particular interest if you're travelling alone. On these holidays you can join a larger group of people and cycle together. If you are a solo traveller and are looking to go on a cycling holiday then we can provide prices of single supplements on most cycling holidays.

Bike Hire and E-Bikes

Bike hire is included in the price of all of the cycling holidays shown on the website. You can bring your own bike on holiday, however we do not recommend you doing this. All of the cycling holidays we offer include good quality hybrid bike hire, spares to ensure that you can keep riding and local support either on the phone or in person.

E-Bikes are available on most cycling holidays for a supplement and are a great way to go on a cycling holiday if you feel that you need a little boost on a hilly tour or need some assistance. They do not do all of the work for you, but still require effort as assistance is only legally allowed up to 25 km/h.

Luggage Transfers

Your bags are transported behind the scenes from one hotel to the next. You just need to leave your bags in the hotel reception at the start at the end day and they should arrive prior to your ride ending at the daily hotel. Please ensure that you use the luggage tags provided and keep within the weight limits specified in your travel documents.

What clothing should I wear?

These are leisure cycling holidays and not as physically demanding as other types of active holidays by bike. We recommend that you wear padded shorts for comfort, a lightweight cycling outfit and always carry a windproof/waterproof jacket. Please bring your own helmets to wear. We do not rent out helmets for health and safety reasons and always recommend that you wear one. In terms of footwear, we recommend wearing flat soled shoes. However, you can bring cycling shoes if you prefer and SPD style pedals. Don’t forget your sun cream and always ensure that you stay fully hydrated.

Do I need a passport or visa?

Visas are not required for British passport holders to enter France, Italy, Spain, Germany or Austria, but you should have 6 months remaining on your passport. As a British passport holder you may stay as a visitor for three months. You can see the latest information at the Foreign Office’s website www.fco.gov.uk. For customers holding passports from other countries, we recommend that you check with your own authorities as regards entry requirements for your chosen country of destination.

Should I take out insurance?

You must take out adequate travel and health insurance for your trip. If you do not, and subsequently require medical assistance, you could be faced with a large bill, which could require paying before you return home.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel advice to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Please refer to www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo

Should I obtain an EHIC card?

It is extremely important to understand that EHIC will only allow access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS.

On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad, which includes: What does the EHIC cover? It will cover medical treatment that becomes necessary during your stay because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers.

It allows you to be treated on the same basis as a resident of the country you are visiting i.e. you may have to pay a patient contribution (also known as a co-payment). You may be able to seek reimbursement for this when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in the other country. It includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit. It includes routine maternity care, (provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth). It includes the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care.

ABTA protection

Your holiday is also covered by the financial protection arrangements offered by either ABTA or the CAA under the ATOL scheme. We are part of Sports Tours International based in Walkden, Greater Manchester one of the largest sports travel companies in the world.