Hello, I am going to try to put together a trip for my husband and son to do a bicycling trip in Europe, possibly either somewhere in Spain or France (Loire Valley or Provence) for late September/early Oct 2014. We would also consider Germany, but just got back from there last week, and probably would want to switch it up a bit next year. Can anyone recommend tours/companies that would provide bikes and inn to inn bicycle tours (with back-up van and assistance if needed) that they, or someone they know, may have taken and really liked ? I have researched Backcountry tours here in the states, but would like to see if anyone offered a little bit less expensive native. Son and dad are not picky, and don't need five star hotels....just clean and comfortable. Thank you for any advice you might provide. Sue P.S. and thanks for all the good advice on Austria/Germany - lodging, restaurants, etc that was given to me over the last year. Our trip was wonderful.
Take a look at Cycling Safaris, I did a trip in Ireland, when I rode with them they were called Irish Cycling Safaris. They concentrated their trips on Ireland but have expanded to more countries, they have guided and self guided tours. https://cyclingsafaris.com/
Budget Travel just did a story on cycling tours in France. http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/budget-travel-vacation-ideas-europes-coolest-cycling-tour,13458/?page=1
That article is coincidently on this very website today. Go to home page and click on "Daily European Headlines".
If you are into mountain biking, skilled mountain biking that is, Pure Mountains in Berchules,Spain was the adventure of a lifetime for my husband and I. They put you in their farmhouse, feed you, and take you around the southern region of the Sierra Nevada mountains,picking you up and ping you off at the Malaga airport. Its hard work and should be for people accustomed to mountain biking,meaning don't book if you have never mountain biked off road before. I am sure we covered 30 miles per day of climbs,s, beautiful single track with amazing views. Not quite for the faint of heart. www.puremountains.com
We did a bicycle tour in Germany with a German friend who set it up through:
http://mobil.wikinger-reisen.de/radurlaub.php While it was a great tour, if you go to the website you will find that the do not accommodate English only speakers. That said, the company offers self guided tours with luggage transfers and are:-) booked accommodations and the option to rent bikes. Self-guded tours with luggage transfers are in between self-contained tours and paying the elfs to carry bags, cut wood and carry water for you.
last summer my friend and i did a self-guided bike tour in the loire valley. booked through Randonnee tours. first, i would like to say i have no idea why we thought this was a good idea since neither of us our bikers! i decided it was the beginning and ending of my biking career! but, that aside, i have to say the tour company was fabulous. I would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. Professional, friendly and helpful from start to finish. we did a self-guided tour finding it was the fraction of the price of a guided tour AND we knew we would be slow bikers and not want to slow a group down. we started in Tours. The ride focused on chateaus so we hit up a bunch of those along the way plus several wineries. the company made all the accomodation arrangements, transferred luggage, gave us detailed riding notes and provided the bike. on the first day, we were met by the local rep who brought us the bikes, showed us how to operate things and fitted us on our bikes. the accomodations were perfect. smaller places, bed and breakfast types. loved them...especially in amboise and chinon. felt like you were staying in a rich relative's private country manor or something!
if you would like to ask me any questions or see some pics, feel free to message me.
Thank you so much for your replies. Husband bikes casually....son not so much, as he's living in China and says it's dangerous there. They plan to "train" over the next year and be ready for an intermediate type trip, which I believe we can find. I'm debating whether to go or not. My max would be 30-35 miles per day....they would do 50, so that's the amount of biking we would like to do....want to mix it up, stop for people watching in cafes, wineries, etc. Over the next month or so, we'll decide if we'll do something in the US to begin this adventure, or possibly in Spain or France. Thanks again !!