I have found some major benefits of booking guided bicycle touring with a travel company. Besides the regular tours some are available for families and other may have a theme, such a in a wine area.
Guided Bike Tours Benefits
- Guided Bike tours of the most popular cycling areas in the world
- Your guide speaks English
- Experienced guide who knows the route so you do not have to read maps and navigate in unfamiliar countries
- The guides can lead you to some undiscovered restaurant you would not have found on your own. They usually know the restaurant owners and can sometimes arrange special prices or extra’s such as a complimentary drink
- Accommodation which is prearranged and if traveling alone many companies will arrange a room mate which saves money
- Your luggage is carried from hotel to hotel so you can just focus on having a great time
- They have scouted out the route and know the best things to see along the way. For example on a tour I took we stopped at a cheese factory for a tour and then had a picnic with wine after
- Variety of trip lengths from 4 to 14 days
- Usually a variety of cycling each day to suit your ability
- Opportunity to meet some great like minded people from around the world. On a recent tour I took I met Scots, English and Canadians.
- Bicycles available so you do not have the hassle of carrying them on an airplane
- If run into problems on the trip or you have mechanical issues help is available.
For guided bicycle touring the differences between tour companies are usually due to the level of accommodation, which meals are included, bicycle rental, entrance fees to attractions and whether there is a sag wagon.
Some companies offer special touches along the ride. On one trip I was on in Italy we stopped at a local cheese factory for a guided tour including a walk into the huge freezer to see the aged cheese. Outside there was a long table set up especially for our bike tour with cheese, breads, salami and wine which we enjoyed in the sunshine before continuing our journey.
There are many tour companies with English speaking tour companies from the UK (Explore, Exodus), Canada (Butterfield and Robinson, Free Wheeling Adventures, G-Adventures and the U.S. (Backroads) and others.
The touring companies will supply a bicycle (sometimes included or at an additional cost). You are normally required to supply your own bicycle helmet.
Enjoy guided bicycle touring on your next cycling adventure.