This is a departure for us. From 2014 we’re going to be offering self-guided cycle tours. We’ve actually done this quite a lot in the past in response to requests, but for the first time we’re publicising the fact.
Advantages of self-guided tours.
Well, to be honest I prefer guided cycling in groups, but I’m going to go with it:
- You can travel whenever you like. Our group tours always start on a Saturday, and if you’ve set your heart on the Dordogne (fine choice) the dates of our group tours might not suit. With a self-guided tour you can choose any day you like (except Sunday) between and May and September.
- The company of others is a mixed bag, and always represents a small leap of faith. Some people prefer to choose their own cycling companions, or none. As Bob Dylan said, “It’s all good”.
- It costs less – not to be sniffed at. This made me think – we actually pay extra to join other people and listen to old jokes that we’ve heard before!
If any readers have anything to add, I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts.
Where do we offer self-guided tours?
I’ve chosen 4 regions where I’m confident we can lay on a great holiday:
- Hotels and restaurants we’ve known for years, who I know will look after you
- Regions where we’ve operated for a long time, so that I trust all the arrangements for set-up, support etc. This ruled out Normandy for the time being, I’m sad to say, my new ‘favourite tour’. Maybe next year eh?
- Regions that can be enjoyed just as much without a guide and a group. For example, two people can’t visit all our vineyard friends on our Bordeaux Winetrail, but the Loire Valley châteaux are just as beautiful whether a guide is there or not.
So this summer we’ll be running self-guided tours in Dordogne the Loire Valley, Provence and Burgundy.
What do we do for you?
- 7 nights hotel accommodation (inc. breakfast)
- 7 evening meals
- Bike hire (Trek 7.3 FX), including fitting and setup
- Basic repair kit (puncture outfit, pump, comprehensive multi-tool)
- Helmet, if required
- Waterproof jacket
- Water bottle
- ‘Chain Gang’ cycling jersey
- Comprehensive ‘route book’ – Welcome letter
- Background information on the region
- Contact details for all hotels and restaurants
- Details of all transport and luggage transfers
- Emergency contact details
- List of bike shops, taxi firms etc.day-by-day
- Comprehensive route notes and maps (marked and laminated)
- All routes available in GPS form from website
- Luggage tags
- reference sheets on brakes, gears and punctures
Our ‘Route Books’ are beautiful, I wish I’d thought of producing these years ago.
Tour only: £995 per person
Single Room Supplement: £250
Getting to and from our tours can be a challenge, we start from some out-of-the way places. We’ve organised an awful lot of travel over the years – you might find it easier to let us deal with the French end of things for you. But you’re welcome to ask questions, we’ll always be happy to share advice, and you’ll find a ton of detail on our website .