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  1. #1
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    Cycling Tour Company Recommendations

    I am based in the USA. I would like to take a cycling holiday in Europe in September 2009, not sure which country. I prefer one that is self-guided since it is less expensive. I saw this company Freedom Treks. It seems that they give you a bike and maps and transfer your luggage from hotel to hotel.
    Does anybody have any feedback on them?
    Does anybody recommend another company?
    SInce this is our first one, me and the girlfriend, we want to use a self-guided touring company. In regards to which country, I am not sure. Something on the mainland Europe like Denmark, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, etc. SInce we are average cyclists, probably a country or route without too much hills. We would like to go for a week. We are looking for a self guided touring company that has good reviews, reasonable in price and good service so we do not have to worry about luggage transfer from hotel to hotel and they make the lodging arrangement. We will be using their bikes.

  2. #2
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Austria Radreisen is the company that we've used for two European cycling trips, both self-guided with hotel, bicycle and luggage arrangements handled by them. I can't speak highly enough about them. They offer many different routes in most countries, catering to a variety of tastes and challenges. Our favorite trip was the "Trail of Mozart", from Salzburg Austria to Vienna. The bikes were delivered to our hotel in Salzburg and picked up at the hotel in Vienna. No worries whatsoever. We're going to use them again next year.

    E-mail them and request an English catalog http://www.austria-radreisen.at/englisch/index.htm

    Feel free to PM me here if you want to talk about my experience, I'm happy to share.
    Last edited by Davet; 07-26-09 at 02:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davet View Post
    Austria Radreisen is the company that we've used for two European cycling trips, both self-guided with hotel, bicycle and luggage arrangements handled by them. I can't speak highly enough about them. They offer many different routes in most countries, catering to a variety of tastes and challenges. Our favorite trip was the "Trail of Mozart", from Salzburg Austria to Vienna. The bikes were delivered to our hotel in Salzburg and picked up at the hotel in Vienna. No worries whatsoever. We're going to use them again next year.

    E-mail them and request an English catalog http://www.austria-radreisen.at/englisch/index.htm
    Thanks for the tip. What types of bicycles do they offer?

  4. #4
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    Weather

    Our main concern is the weather, especially the rain. What time of year did you travel and how did you deal with adverse, rainy/windy , weather conditions? Thank you.

  5. #5
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott520 View Post
    Our main concern is the weather, especially the rain. What time of year did you travel and how did you deal with adverse, rainy/windy , weather conditions? Thank you.
    Weather is weather, and in Europe you're going to be rained on at some point (except maybe Italy and further east on the Danube; Slovakia and Hungary for instance) so you come prepared to deal with it with rain clothes. Weather can be part of the adventure. We were stopped on the bike route on the Danube during a rainstorm and a home owner opened his garage and motioned for us to come in out of the weather. At one of the hotels the owner came out as we were parking our bikes and said that we looked wet and cold and then offered us a glass of Apricot Schnapps. You make lemonade out of lemons. An REI light rain jacket and a pair of rain pants I bought somewhere in Austria worked extremely well for the well and we had some base layers in case it got cool.

    If you're on an organized tour, either self-guided or guided, your luggage is picked up every morning and dropped off at your next hotel. So the only stuff you have to carry is what you might need during the riding day. This last May I think we had maybe 2 days of light intermittent rain over a 3 week span.

    We've biked in Europe in May (2 times) and August (once). We think the late Spring (May) or very early fall (September) would be the best. Summer can be brutally hot in some areas and often full of tourists, which means crowded streets, bike paths, hotels, etc.

    The two tours that we've done with Austria Radreisen, both most enjoyable, enlightening, full of great food, wonderful people that we met and fond memories, were the Salzburg to Vienna and the Passau to Vienna. http://www.austria-radreisen.at/englisch/index.htm Relatively easy and with our "let's stop here for sweets and coffee" riding philosophy, we had fabulous times. We're going to do it again.
    Last edited by Davet; 08-09-09 at 10:51 AM.

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