Venice to Constance to Paris 2017

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Venice to Constance to Paris 2017

Ride a single stage or both (13 nights each stage)

Tuesday 27 June, 2017 to Sunday 23 July, 2017

A new ‘Grand Depart’! A new road to Paris…

27 Jun – 10 Jul, Venice to Constance (stage 1)
10 Jul – 23 Jul, Constance to Paris (stage 2)
Ride one or both stages…

Following the popularity of our annual Rome-Turin-Paris tours (since 2012), we are excited to announce our new ‘Grand Depart’ and route to Paris in 2017.

Cyclists will still depart from one of the most remarkable and famous cities in the world; Venice, Italy, and will still arrive in Paris the afternoon before the final day of the Tour de France as the professionals race into town looping around the Champs Elysees circuit.

In between however, is a not-to-be-missed new route, new towns and new scenery including inspiring cycling (and a rest day hike) through the Dolomites (Italy), the famous Sella Ronda Circuit region (Italy), Innsbruck (Austria), Lake Constance (Switzerland), the Black Forest (Germany) and Strasbourg, Alsace (France) to name a few. Optional rest day trip to the Australian War Memoral at Villers-Bretonneux (see ‘Day to Day’ 20 July).

This ride is ideal for all previous Rome to Paris cyclists and any cyclist looking for a challenging ride through Europe with wonderful tour guides, expert organisation and a trust-worthy Australian-based tour company that has been around for 20 years.

Picture yourself on the final stretch of riding, cruising alongside the River Seine, past Notre Dame Cathedral and finishing under the Eiffel Tower with a celebratory champagne and snack before the big day tomorrow, watching the TdF cyclists race around the cobbled Champs Elysees.

Book today or give us a call on 03 9802 4465 – we look forward to having a chat.

Our Rome to Paris ride featured in New York’s Mens Journal as one of the 3 top global epic long distance cycle tours

Venice, ITALY to Paris, FRANCE
Dates:
27 Jun – 10 Jul, Venice – Constance
10 Jul – 23 Jul, Constance – Paris
Duration:
BOTH TOURS:
26 nights, 27 days
20 ride days
5 rest days
2 optional rest days
1 pre-tour day, 1 post-tour day
(SINGLE TOUR 13 nights each)
Distance: 1600 km approx
Ave. Daily: 80-90 km approx
Bike Type:
Road Bike or hybrid (BYO or hire)
Terrain:
Good bitumen roads – mountainous then undulating
Group Size:
Approx 15
Difficulty Rating:
8/10
Accom.:
3 to 4 star hotels, lodges and country estates
Meals:
26 breakfasts, 18 dinners
4 happy hour, wine & cheese tasting events
1 Eiffel Tower champagne toast
Price:
$6750 per stage pp twin share
(book both stages, save $500)
Deposit:
$800

Check out some footage from our Rome to Paris rides:

Highlights

Leg 1 Venice to Constance:

  • Start in Venice, enchanted city of Italy.
  • Dolomites’ and the famous Sella Ronda Circuit region (multiple Giro decider and popular ‘bucket-list’ ride for many cyclists).
  • Rest day hike in the spectacular Dolomites.
  • Innsbruck (the soul of the Austrian Alps with long summer days and alpine flowers in full bloom – majestic).
  • The famous Bregenzerwald Cheese Road
  • Lake Constance (beautiful landscapes surrounding a magnificent lake, romantic architecture, vineyards, waterfalls, cuckoos and rainbows and you have the fairytale that is cycling Lake Constance).

Leg 2 Constance to Paris:

  • Lake Constance (beautiful landscapes surrounding a magnificent lake, romantic architecture, vineyards, waterfalls, cuckoos and rainbows and you have the fairytale that is cycling Lake Constance).
  • Black Forest (some of the best cycling in Germany, from mountains and moorlands, relics of the ice age and quaint old farms).
  • The Rhine and the wine country of Markgräflerland area.
  • Spa towns and cycle-friendly Freiburg.
  • Strasbourg (they love bikes here – with the city claiming the honour of being the French capital of bicycle transportation).
  • Optional rest day trip to Villers Bretonneux Australian War Memorial.
  • Finish in Paris under the Eiffel Tower.
  • Tour finishes in Paris one day before the Tour de France Champ-Elysees finish.
  • Optional extra catered grandstand package at the Tour de France in Paris.

Imagine waking up in a beautiful little European hotel, the breakfast presented beautifully and tasting even better, before mounting your road bike and heading off over the hills or perhaps making your way through vineyards and rolling countryside with a group of other like-minded cyclists. We have recommended meeting points up the road for your morning tea and lunch stops so that you can cycle with other riders of the same speed if you wish, or go at your own pace, navigating by chalk arrows on the ground, or a GPS if you have one. You will also see a support vehicle 2-5 times per day as they drive the route to ensure cyclist safety and pick up cyclists if required.

We know that many of you will relish the opportunity to challenge yourself on some of the famous mountains on this tour. Tough sections of the ride like this, however, will be one of the designated sections where our support bus will pick up some cyclists and take them ahead, in order to cut out either some big climbs or some long distances. Tour Leaders will work with the group before each day to identify pickup and drop off points for those who may not wish to ride the entire day’s route and would like to relax and absorb the scenery from the bus. Cyclists don’t have to ride in a group – the route is marked and suggested cafes and towns are pointed out for your snack and lunch stops but you are free to ride and stop where you wish.

For tour participants who can cycle at an average speed of 20-25kph on flat terrain we expect a normal day’s cycling to finish between 2-5pm where you will then have the afternoon and long summer evenings to explore the village or relax at the hotel. An evening meal is often provided, leaving other evenings for your choice of meal and restaurants.

The memories forged on a trip like this will last forever.

alltrails-european cycling

These rides are designed not just as a bike tour to get from A to B, but a way to experience the cultures, people, environments and ways of life of the places the tour travels through. They are not just a tour, but an achievement. We cycle mostly back-roads off the beaten track and through famous historic cities, past rivers, lakes and over mountains. Even though it is a fully supported tour, you are still part of an expedition. It is something that you can be proud of completing, yet it is within reach of most adventurous cyclists who are willing to commit to some solid training in the lead-up. Call us today to book or ask for a DVD of our past European rides for a great insight into what this tour will be like. 03 9802 4465.

Day to Day

Just picture it, cycling through the spectacular Dolomites, feasting on famous Italian cuisine, riding through the Black Forest or around Lake Constance, sipping Champagne as you relax at your beautiful little French hotel situated in the Champagne region itself. Take in the awesome grandeur of Innsbruck and its surrounding Alpine playground, visit Australian war memorials at Villers Bretonneux and raise your glass in a champagne toast under the Eiffel Tower. This is the best European cycling experience on offer.

Meal and accom inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accom)

Arrive Venice -- NA -- Tue 27 June 2017 -- - - D A

Day 1 (pre tour). Venice is a wonderful place to start this tour. We suggest arriving at least a few days early to make the most of your time here and to ‘see the sights’. Don’t miss Piazza San Marco – the world famous central city square. Central Venice is extremely busy and not an ideal place to begin our cycling so our pre-tour accom is in Mira, a short bus ride out of central Venice. If you would like to spend a few days in Venice we recommend staying in central Venice itself before coming out to Mira on the first day of the tour. Contact us for more details and recommendations on central Venice accom and how to get to Mira.

Venice (Mira) to Valdobbiadene -- 86km -- Wed 28 June 2017 -- B - D A

Day 2. We pedal north into the foothills of the alps and through vineyards. Our day ends in Valdobbiadene, home of prosecco, one of Italy’s finest sparkling wines. Tonight we will have a special wine tasting (prosecco) and aperitivo with snacks before dinner together.

Valdobbiadene to Belluno -- 64km -- Thu 29 June 2017 -- B - - A

Day 3. The landscapes are changing quickly now as the mountains grow closer with each pedal stroke. Relax and spin your way through farmland and small villages to picturesque Belluno.

Belluno to Cortina -- 77km -- Fri 30 June 2017 -- B - D A

Day 4. We enter the mountains today up the Longarone valley switching between bike paths and roads with towering mountains surrounding us. Our ride ends in Cortina along an old railroad grade that is now a bike path. Walk into town to stroll through downtown with its shops and vibrant holidaying scene. Known in the winter as one of the premier skiing destinations for the aristocratic European crowd, in the summer this region becomes a destination for all types of active and leisure travelers alike.

Cortina loop ride (or rest) -- 35km -- Sat 1 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 5. Today we have a classic ride of the Alps planned to challenge the mountain climbers among the group. It will be less than 20km each way, however we will be climbing around 1000m over that distance before enjoying the same downhill back home. If you are not up for the ride, have a rest day in beautiful Cortina and stroll through downtown and its shops and vibrant café scene. Known in the winter as one of the premier skiing destinations for the aristocratic European crowd, in the summer this region becomes a destination for all types of active and leisure travelers alike.

Dolomites REST DAY hike (Cortina) -- NA -- Sun 2 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 6. Leave your cycling shoes behind today as we enjoy a hike along some of the most spectacular trails in the Dolomites. These mountains are truly best seen on two feet (2 to 4 hours hiking). Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Tofane, and Monte Cristallo are just a few of the peaks that will surround us while we enjoy our rest day from biking.

Sella Ronda Circuit (Corvara) (or rest) -- 52km -- Mon 3 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 7. An early morning shuttle will take us into Val Badia where you can  pedal the legendary loop around the Sella Massif on the Dolomite High Road often a part of the Giro d’Italia! This 52 km (32 mile) loop features 5,600 feet (1707 meters) of climbing over 4 famous passes (Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, and Gardena). The support van will assist you, so you can shuttle part way home if you choose! Anybody wanting to relax in town or enjoy some more hiking is free to do so as well. Click here to see a great 1 min video of cycling in the Dolomites Sella Ronda.

Corvara to Vipiteno -- 89km -- Tue 4 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 8. We continue our ride towards Austria, ending on the border in Vipiteno (or Sterzing in Austrian) a town considered one of the most beautiful cities in this area. Our ride pedals through the Trentino Alto Adige a region that culturally feels more Tyrolean than Italian and is a true crossroads of language, culture and food.

Vipiteno to Innsbruck -- 60km -- Wed 5 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 9. Our ride today takes us north to Innsbruck and over Brenner Pass which is one of the most important alpine passes in Europe. It is also the lowest pass (1,370 meters or 4,495 feet) connecting Germany and Austria with Italy. We start our climb on railroad grade cycling paths and then finish the day with a fabulous descent of 574 meters (1,883 feet) into Innsbruck.

Innsbruck REST DAY -- NA -- Thu 6 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 10. The capital of Tyrol offers a late medieval city center and a getaway to spectacular alpine outdoors. Take a day to explore the city, visit the Golden Roof Museum, visit the Imperial Palace, sit in a beer garden or take the funicular and cable car up the local mountain.

Innsbruck to Elmen -- 93km -- Fri 7 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 11. Follow the river Inn today as it winds its way along picturesque mountain villages, refreshing alpine scenery and the magnificent turquoise-colored waters of the river Lech, one of the last unaltered or ‘wild’ rivers in Europe. The Lech valley’s mountain views and rolling meadows invite you to kick back after your ride.

Elmen to Oberstaufen -- 83km -- Sat 8 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 12. After crossing the border from Austria to Germany, you will ride through the beautiful Swabian Allgäu region before entering Austria again at Bregenz Forest to pedal the Cheese Road – make sure to stop at a local store to sample some. Tonight is our final evening together before the end of the first stage – tomorrow we reach Constance. We will celebrate tonight with our final briefing and group dinner together as we look back on the highlights of this remarkable trip.

Oberstaufen to Constance -- 88km -- Sun 9 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 13. We’ll take the famous Lake Constance Cycle path today en route to Constance – passing first through the town of Lindau at the southern tip of Lake Constance. Meander through beautiful villages, ride under castles, vineyards and stunning mountain and lake views on either side make this day a picture perfect ride in one of the region’s most famous bicycling destinations. We pedal on the German side of the lake today but look out across the lake to the Swiss side. End the day with a short ferry across the northern branch of the lake to reach the enigmatic town of Constance, primary town on the lake split between two countries. For those looking for a longer ride you can skip the ferry and head around the long way, making your trip 142km.

Constance (END STAGE 1, START STAGE 2) -- NA -- Mon 10 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 14 (or Day 1). Today we welcome our riders joining the second stage of this tour and farewell those who may be leaving us after the first stage. And what a place to have a rest day – one of the most popular cycling destinations in Europe. Measuring 64 km in length and 12 km at it widest point, Lake Constance is at the confluence of Switzerland/Germany/Austria and is the third largest lake in Central Europe. Explore Constance today as we rest up before heading into Germany and Northern France on our way to Paris on stage 2. Tonight we share a welcome dinner together.

Constance to Donauschingen, Black Forest -- 86km -- Tue 11 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 15 (or Day 2). We pedal West through another border today as we first jump on the Cycle Path around the lake and then continue into Switzerland and Germany and into Germany’s Black Forest – this area is sure to delight and it won’t take long for you to realise why it is considered one of the best places to ride a bike in the country. Our destination is Donauschingen, famous also as the source of the mighty Danube River.

Donauschingen to Freiburg -- 63km -- Wed 12 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 16 (or Day 3). Our ride today leaves the hills oft the Black Forest to head towards Freiburg, without doubt one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. That’s not only because of its splendid colorful houses, or the impressive cathedral, but because it is also is a gorgeous city for shopping. And of course everywhere you will find the old ‘Bächle’ an unusual system of gutters that run throughout its center. These Bächle, were once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock. They have a constant flow of water diverted from the Dreisam River and were never intended to remove sewage, and even in the Middle Ages such use would lead to harsh penalties. During the summer, the running water provides a natural form of air conditioning, and offers a pleasant gurgling sound. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a Bächle, they will marry a Freiburger, or ‘Bobbele’.

Freiburg to Riquewhir -- 65km -- Thu 13 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 17 (or Day 4). Today we head into the Alsace with its festive villages in the midst of vineyards, Renaissance house facades, and expansive views across the Rhine River Valley, and the Haut Koenigsbourg castle. Those who want to can visit the castle, then explore any number of the sixteen villages of the local consortium on the way to our hotel in the center of Riquewihr (Bergheim is probably the best preserved). The villages have populations that range from 400 people to the 5,000 in the town of Ribeauvillé.

Riquewhir to Strasbourg -- 88km -- Fri 14 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 18 (or Day 5). Alsace is arguably the most unique region of France. As a place that has changed hands 5 times between France and Germany over the last 150 years, it is now a cultural crossroads where French finesse meets German gusto. Tucked between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine River we pedal to Strasbourg the capitol of this region that enjoys a perfect balance between architecture, nature, and gastronomy. During our time in the Alsace we will enjoy another local wine tasting event to sample some of that local produce.

Strasbourg REST DAY -- NA -- Sat 15 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 19 (or Day 6). Enjoy Strasbourg today and visit highlights of the city such as the Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral which was started in 1015 AD and now stands as one of France’s most famous architectural masterpieces. The glowing pink stone comes from the nearby Vosges Mountains and it was the world’s tallest building until 1874. Strasbourg is full of architectural gems as well as quaint quarters such as the La Petite France, often called the little Venice of the north with its canals, revolving bridges, and typical Alsatian-style buildings.

Strasbourg to Sarrebourg -- 80km -- Sun 16 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 20 (or Day 7). We leave Strasbourg today via side streets, bike paths, and the serene Canal de la Marne au Rhin – part of the vast network of canals that crisscross Europe north of the Alps. Pedaling west over rolling hills, you’ll pass through several beautiful villages including Bouxwiller and Dettwiller and where you’ll want to stop for some pictures and perhaps an Alsatian lunch. Our route then leads us to the charming town of Saverne, laced by canals and the Zorn River. Our route ends in Sarrebourg in the Moselle department of France.

Sarrebourg to Nancy -- 79km -- Mon 17 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 21 (or Day 8). Our route continues through quiet roads and along canals and small villages on our way to Nancy. A bustling town that mixes modern and historic life seamlessly with its UNESCO Heritage historic city center, art nouveau galleries and gourmet specialties.

Nancy to Bar Le Duc -- 107km -- Tue 18 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 22 (or Day 9). We continue pedaling quiet road canal paths and country roads on our way to Bar Le Duc, the ‘capital of the currant’. We’ll pedal through small towns and villages that look and feel more quintessentially French than what we’ve seen before. This area has been part of medieval and renaissance aristocracy since the 10th century.

Bar le Duc to Reims -- 130 or 80 -- Wed 19 July 2017 -- B - - A

Day 23 (or Day 10). Today is the longest day of the tour and our support vehicles will be there to help those who do not wish to ride the entire distance – we can easily cut this day to around 80km if required. A stark contrast to previous days’ rides we have fields for as far as the eye can see as we leave the canals and forests behind and enter one of the premier wine regions of France: Champagne. During our time here in the Champagne region it would be remiss not to arrange a tasting event, wouldn’t you agree?

Reims REST DAY (Villers-Bretonneux day trip) -- NA -- Thu 20 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 24 (or Day 11). Today we will be offering a day trip to Villers-Bretonneux Australian War Memorial which is approx 100km from Reims. A very special opportunity for our cyclists to see the town that was taken by the Germans on 24 April 1918, but that night and the next day recaptured by Australian forces at a cost of some 1200 Australian lives. The Australian War Memorial is located just outside Villers-Bretonneux and in front of it lie the graves of over 770 Australian soldiers, as well as those of other British Empire soldiers involved in the campaign. The school in Villers-Bretonneux was rebuilt using donations from school children of Victoria, Australia (many of whom had relatives perish in the town’s liberation) and above every blackboard is the inscription “N’oublions jamais l’Australie” (Let us never forget Australia). Based on minimum numbers of 10, cost will be approx EUR 70-90. Back in Reims, take a look around this important city for the Roman Empire and as the traditional site of the crowning of Kings in France, Reims has quite a few sights to visit. Or, rest your legs and sip some Champagne as we prepare to pedal the last few days towards Paris.

Reims to Chateau Thierry -- 82km -- Fri 21 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 25 (or Day 12). Our route today traverses some of the most important battle grounds of both the Napoleonic Wars and of WWI. Rolling hills greet us en route to Chateau Thierry. We are still in the heart of Champagne country and will be following the regional Champagne ‘route’ for the last 25 kms of today’s ride.

Chateau Thierry to Paris -- 123km -- Sat 22 July 2017 -- B - D A

Day 26 (or Day 13). Today is one of the longest days on tour and our support vehicles will be there to help those who do not wish to ride the entire distance – you may want to miss the first part of the ride and cycle from mid morning into Paris, enjoying the scenery, vineyards, villages, churches, magnificent architecture to Notre Dame Cathedral and finish under the Eiffel Tower with celebrations, champagne, French bread, cheese, olives, meats. Photos and 3 cheers before cycling down to the Champs-Élysées. Our hotel is exceptional, placed between Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées, in a lovely area of Paris amongst great restaurants. Tonight is our final celebration dinner as our tour comes to an end tomorrow morning.

Paris Tour de France arrival -- NA -- Sun 23 July 2017 -- B - - -

Day 27 (or Day 14). This morning the tour officially finishes after breakfast but the fun is far from over – in just a few hours the Tour de France arrives! If you wish to stay longer in our Paris hotel we can give you the contact details and some preferred booking rates (see ‘pricing’ tab on our website for more). Today you can wander the streets and see the sights of this wonderful city, and as an optional extra, some clients have bought a Tour de France hospitality package on the Champs Elysees, with food, drinks and a giant screen opposite (ask us for more details). Others are scouting around, grabbing their best vantage points for the last day of the great race as it enters the city. Don’t miss it!

Pricing

Included:

  • Great accommodation including:
  • 1 night pre tour (Venice)
  • 2 nights mid tour (Lake Constance)
  • 1 night post tour (Paris)
  • 26 breakfasts (full tour)
  • 18 evening meals (full tour)
  • 4 afternoon happy hours/ wine & cheese tasting events (2 each stage)
  • 1 champagne toast at the Eiffel Tower (stage 2)
  • Tips & gratuities for Tour Leaders included
  • Top Australian bicycle tour company with 20 years in the business
  • Local European partner with over 40 years experience
  • Experienced, professional, bilingual local guides
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Bike mechanical assistance

Payment Schedule:

  • Deposit on booking ($800)
  • Progress Payment 30 days after deposit (40% of package cost less deposit paid)
  • Balance 28 Mar 2017 (3 months before the tours begin)

To convert to USD or other currencies: xe.com/currencyconverter/

Venice to Constance (AUD)
From 29 Apr
Twin share pp $6750 AU
Single room $7740 AU
Constance to Paris (AUD)
Twin share pp $6750 AU
Single room $7740 AU

Discounts:

BOOK BOTH STAGES (Venice to Paris): Receive a $500 discount ($250 per stage).
BRING SOME FRIENDS: A group of 3 or more will receive $300 discount per person.

Travelling on your own? If you wish to share, you can go on our Twin Share Request List. There is a good chance that we will be able to partner you up with somebody else. If not, the single supp price will apply which will give you your own room for the entire tour – contact us to have a chat and check twin share availability.

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

Bike Hire (recommended): Single Stage (14 days) $325; Both stages (27 days) $450. Hire bike information here.

Pre and Post tour accommodation: You will need to book any extra pre and post tour accom direct with our hotels. Link to pre and post tour accom info.

Tour de France Final Day Paris Package: Want to make the most of your Tour de France experience in Paris? We have arrangements with an American tour company offering a limited number of final day packages available to watch the Tour de France. Options include various catered hospitality marquees and grandstands on the Champs Elysees. Select the option on the online booking form to register your interest and we will send you the details (paid direct to tour company – not to AllTrails).

Optional Rest Day Trip to Villers Bretonneux Australian War Memorial. This will be a day trip from Reims on July 20, based on minimum numbers of 10. Register your interest on the booking form. 

Freight and storage: for those bringing own bike in hard shelled or large bike boxes/bags there will be some costs for freighting and storage. Approx EUR50-200. Final price TBA, to be paid direct on tour.

AllTrails t-shirt. Good quality tee. $20

AllTrails cycling jersey. Brand new stock and new style/fit/design. Choose from two colours: “The Classic” famous AllTrails orange, or the new light blue “Stripes” design. $65

AllTrails cycling cap. Matching the light blue “Stripes” design. $20

AllTrails water bottle. Classic AllTrails orange colour, BPA free, made in Australia. $10

AllTrails draw-string day-bag. Ideal for keeping your things together in the tour vehicle. $5

Link to AllTrails merchandise PDF

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have

Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what’s on your mind and we’ll help you make your decision.

Training for a long distance tour

You really need to be a reasonably keen cyclist, however not necessarily fast, but consistent. If you can sit on an average speed of 20-25 km/hr on the flat, and build your kilometre total distance in training to gradually attain about 100km + a day for 2 days straight, that will usually put you in a good position to be ready for most of our long distance tours. We have a training schedule specific to each ride which we send to you after you place your deposit, however we are more than happy to send this to you earlier when you are considering the tour – just ask us for a copy and we will get it out to you straight away.

Sharing a room as a solo traveller

We often have cyclists come on our rides who are travelling alone. If so, you may pay the Single Supplement price to have your own room, or you can put your name on our ‘Twin Share Request List’ and we will pair you with another solo traveller of the same gender in twin share accommodation if we have another similar request. There is a good chance that we will be able to partner you up with somebody else. If not, the single supp price will apply which will give you your own room for the entire tour. Contact us anytime to have a chat and check twin share availability – we may already have a match for you.

Snorers can enjoy their own room

If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.

Carrying personal items on the bike

We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and rain gear if it’s threatening, on your bike with you. We transport your luggage, day packs, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.

Speak to a past client

We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.

Group info session

Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future. Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.

Changing or cancelling a tour

We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all our Australian rides at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel. For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or any other trip related issues.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you. For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘T&Cs’ tab on the relevant tour page of our website.

What sorts of people join our rides?

People from all parts of Australia and overseas.  Ages generally range from 30 – 70 with the average age about 50 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.

Travel insurance for international rides

Yes, yes, yes. Make sure that you are covered for every country that you are travelling to and ensure that you are covered from and including the day you leave and arrive back home. Due to the nature of our rides we are sometimes in remote areas during the course of a ride. Ensure that you have medical insurance that would cover the cost of a helicopter ambulance to transport you to the nearest hospital.
We also recommend getting your travel insurance in place immediately after you book your ride so that you are covered for any events which may lead to you having to cancel your trip.

Visa for Europe?

We will send you a Pre Departure Info document upon booking with more details on all aspects of your travel including visas – let us know if you would like us to send you the document now. In general, if you are on an ordinary Australian passport with no special circumstances (eg. criminal convictions) no visa is required when travelling for holiday purposes for a length of time under 90 days in the European Schengen Area. This means that entry to one country gives you entry to them all. Be aware that the 90 day limit runs concurrently across the whole of the Schengen zone and the countdown begins when entering any of the signatory countries. It does not reset when travelling into another country covered by the Schengen agreement. This is important if you are considering staying in Europe before or after the ride for more than 90 days total. A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country. We do not issue visas for overseas travel and cannot provide definitive information on visas. Only the representatives of the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. For all countries, contact your nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel. For Australian passport holders, additional advice can be found on the Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.

Bike Hire in Europe

Yes, you can hire a bike and we encourage you to do so.
Hiring a bike will help you avoid hassles that arise on occasion with travelling on airlines with bicycles and also leave you free to enjoy pre and post tour travel without a bicycle as luggage. For those bringing their own bike, note that we may need to transfer bike bags and hard case bike boxes to the end of your ride at your own expense – contact us for more info.
Our local operators have a large range of light weight titanium Van Nicholas hire bikes, which are high quality road bikes with drop down or flat handlebars. It’s your choice to add a small rack on the back for camera, jacket and any other personal items. We suggest you bring your own seat to give you that little bit of ‘home comfort’ and/or pedals if you wish.
Click here for more info on hire bikes.

Buying a new bike – what to consider

If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:

Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.

Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.

Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 23mm or 25mm width.

Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth)and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.

Safe cycling in Europe?

European motorists have a great reputation for being cyclist-considerate. We at AllTrails have a great safety record however cyclists have to play their part in keeping well over to the side of the road where possible. You will also be briefed before each day’s ride pointing out parts of the road that may get narrow or have any known hazards.

Meals and food in Europe

Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Our tours in Italy have been described by previous riders as a ‘culinary delight’ and the other European countires are not far behind. Our emphasis is on fresh food and a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and veggies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. We provide daily quality breakfasts and most dinners. You will generally be required to purchase your lunches and some evening meals however there are plenty of great bakeries and cafes along the way for you to pick up lunches and snacks as you wish. See the ‘Day to Day’ tab for more details, or click the ‘Download Itinerary’ button.

Accommodation in Europe

Accommodation of the most suitable standard is chosen on research trips of the route. All rooms have en suite facilities, and are usually at least a 3 star level but in the bigger towns we can source great 4 star properties. In the smaller villages or more rural areas we often get lovely and interesting accommodation full of character and personality, or a country estate to enjoy for the evening.
We choose accommodation that is bicycle friendly, with good restaurants and near to town centres.

Weather in Europe

The tour has been specifically scheduled to run at the same time as the Tour de France so it’s in the middle of summer. Previous years experience suggests that some days will be very hot and you may get the odd day of rain, however most days should be beautiful weather. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.worldweather.org

Packing for Europe

Limit your luggage to two medium-sized pieces. The best combination is a medium-sized suitcase on wheels and a small or medium carry-on bag, such as a backpack or a small duffel bag. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and kept to a reasonable minimum. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Most economy class flights booked through Travel Agents (domestic and international) have a luggage limit of 20 kilograms per person and usually this can include your bike if you are not renting one in Europe. You will be required to carry your own luggage at times so you should be capable of carrying your own bags up and down stairs. A good guide is to try to keep it under 15kg. If you are doing lots of shopping during your travels, it may be necessary for you to forward any excess to the city where your journey concludes, or ship purchases directly home.

Why book with us?

We only run approximately 10 tours per year. This makes every tour as special to us as it is to you because we are not repeating the same rides over and over again week-in week-out. Every tour is meticulously planned and we are just as excited to be there as you – there is no bulk production-line here! On most occasions the owner-operators of the business will be on tour with you looking after everyone on the ride.  The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.

Full terms and conditions for each ride are available via our booking system (directions to find them are below). These terms and conditions will also be sent to you with your confirmation email after booking.

To find the terms & conditions of this ride:

  • Click any ‘Book This Ride’ button on this webpage such as the one below (right click ‘open in new tab’)
  • Enter at least 1 participant on any package, then scroll down and click ‘BOOK NOW’
  • Click the ‘SKIP’ button
  • Scroll to the bottom of the questions page and click ‘terms and conditions’ hyperlink