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:
Deposit:

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.

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)

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.

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 great 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. You can also 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 emphasis is on fresh local food and a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and veggies catering for a cycling holiday. We always try to include as many local specialties, delicacies and flavours as possible and our local team can 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 purchase your own 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 (our team will give you recommendations).

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 some 4 star properties. In the smaller villages or more rural areas we often get lovely and interesting accommodation full of character and personality. 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