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Cycling in Europe, Inntravel style – how our holidays work

Enjoy cycling in Europe on an Inntravel cycling vacation

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If you’d like further information or advice on our self-guided cycling holidays, speak to our friendly reservations team on 01653 617003.
Cycling in Europe, Inntravel-style
To get a feel for how our cycling holidays work, watch our video.
  • cycling vacations and holidays for all ability levels
  • self-guided itineraries from hotel to hotel, with route notes and maps supplied
  • cycle at your own pace while your luggage is transported ahead
  • hire of high-quality bicycles included
  • stay at welcoming, family-run hotels offering delicious local cuisine


Enjoy some of the best road cycling Europe has to offer

We are experts in self-guided cycling in Europe and offer a wide and varied range of cycling holidays, so don't worry if you have not ridden a bike in months or even years – we have holidays to suit both occasional cyclists and those who enjoy longer rides through rolling countryside. Like all our holidays, our cycling vacations are for individuals, not groups, enabling you to explore entirely at your own pace. Wherever in Europe you go cycling on your Inntravel holiday, you will discover picturesque landscapes and historic towns and villages, staying in friendly hotels of character with a dinner of regional cuisine usually included unless there is a good choice of nearby restaurants to sample.

Cycle as much (or as little!) as you like

We plan all our European cycling routes carefully, making sure that they are interesting and enjoyable, with quiet roads wherever possible – look out especially for cycling vacations using traffic-free ‘vías verdes’ in Spain. We try to ensure no two days are the same, and that you always have plenty of time to explore, rest and sightsee as you wish. Our notes often include a choice of two or more routes on each day, and you usually stay two nights in each hotel en route, giving you the opportunity to have a break from cycling if you wish, or to enjoy a circular route from the village. You’re very much free to choose how to spend your days depending on how energetic you feel!

Relaxed and carefree cycling in Europe

A typical day starts with a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a chat with the hotelier about the best spot for lunch. Admire the views of the distant hills as you warm up for the day with a descent past orchards and sleepy hamlets. You pass a wayside chapel, surrounded by colourful wild flowers, then come to the next village, where you stop to browse around the market and find a pavement café for a morning coffee. Then it’s another hour’s cycling, a little more energetic now, through rolling hills to reach the river and your recommended restaurant for a tasty lunch with a glass or two of wine. The afternoon’s highlights are an exhilarating stretch along a particularly beautiful riverside lane, and far-reaching views from a charming hill-top village. Then it’s a final invigorating hour through undulating countryside, reaching the next hotel in the late afternoon. Time for a quick dip in the pool and a refreshing beer on the terrace, before a flavoursome dinner of local cuisine.

To get a better idea of the nature of our cycling vacations and holidays, read one or two of the travel diaries written by members of staff who have cycled our routes.

We take care of you – high-quality bicycles and emergency assistance

These are cycling vacations to enjoy by yourselves, with the full freedom of independence, but in the knowledge that every detail has been taken care of. Wherever in Europe you go cycling with Inntravel, you can rest assured that our local cycle suppliers are dedicated professionals, and provide a cycle that is right for the terrain of each holiday, normally either a touring or hybrid (cross) bike:
• no more than two years old
• front and rear lights or reflectors
• expertly serviced and maintained
• minimum of 18 gears (except Holland)
• waterproof map case on handlebars
• comfy saddles
• ample pannier or saddlebag space for carrying daytime essentials
• straight handlebars
• pump
• puncture repair kit (or spare tube and basic tools)
• lock
Alternatively, you can, on certain holidays, choose to hire an electric bike to help take the strain out of hills and longer days. Whether you choose a conventional or an electric bike, you can be assured of emergency assistance from the cycle supplier in the rare event that you encounter any significant problems with your bike, and for added peace of mind we provide a 24-hour emergency line. (For your own convenience we recommend that you are familiar with very basic cycle maintenance as our cycling suppliers are unable to come out to you to repair a simple puncture.)

Your luggage transported

We want you to enjoy cycling in Europe to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next on our cycling vacations. The only thing we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception on setting out each morning, and the hoteliers will ensure that it is waiting for you at your next hotel. All you need carry with you are drinks, a camera, waterproofs and sun cream.

Detailed cycling notes and maps

We take great pride in our cycling notes, and check and update them regularly. We also provide a map (usually 1:50,000).

Our notes provide so much information in addition to the basic directions that you don’t need a guide – they are your guide. Just as a guide would tell you about the places you pass, our notes include information on any monuments, historic villages or other places of interest along the way, and if it’s worth making a short detour to a fantastic viewpoint, we point this out too. We even suggest cafés and restaurants where you can stop for lunch.

The right cycling holiday for you

There are many factors to bear in mind when choosing where to go cycling in Europe, such as the type of scenery, the style and standard of accommodation, and even the climate. But first of all you must decide on the kind of routes and the grade of cycling that are best suited to you.

The descriptions of our cycling vacations indicate the main types of routes we use on each holiday, such as provincial roads, country lanes, dedicated cycle ways, some tracks or ‘vías verdes’ (disused railway tracks). While we try to use quiet routes wherever possible, you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic. Traffic volumes can vary even on minor roads, especially in more popular tourist areas; we sometimes have to use short sections of busier roads to cross rivers or connect scenic routes, and traffic will inevitably be heavier in and near towns. Some routes include occasional sections on unsurfaced tracks, but these don’t require any specific technical riding skills. If you are unsure of your level, or would like to know more about the cycling on specific holidays, then please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable reservations team.

Because we want your experience of cycling in Europe to be as perfect as possible, we will be happy to help you tailor the arrangements for your chosen holiday to suit you. You can choose the start date, your travel method and route, the length of your holiday, and whether or not to make any upgrades.

For children, we recommend our special family cycling holidays, unless you are travelling with teenagers who can use adult bikes.

Practical information to help you plan your holiday

We strongly advise everyone to wear a cycling helmet. Many of our cycle partners are able to offer helmets (see the information about the rented bikes on each holiday page), but you may prefer either to bring your own or it might be possible to purchase a brand new one locally.

Helmets are a legal requirement on public roads in Spain but they are not obligatory elsewhere, except for younger children in France and Austria (under 12 years of age for both countries), and also for children under 15 in Slovenia; under 16 in Croatia and under 18 in the Czech Republic.

It is important to be comfortable when cycling so we suggest wearing thin layers of clothing. Fast drying and hardwearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer as these allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause.  A thin fleece or sweatshirt is ideal as the next layer. You should also take a lightweight waterproof jacket (breathable and windproof material is best). Trainers are fine for cycling and for when you stop off to visit places on foot. 

Securing your bicycle

Whenever you leave your bicycle unattended to visit a place of interest, please take care to secure it carefully, preferably to an immovable object, using the lock provided by your cycle supplier – bicycles are an attractive target for thieves, even in rural villages and quiet countryside. Similarly, you should take sensible precautions to store your bicycle securely at your hotel overnight. Please bear in mind that accessories can easily be taken from the bike, so remove them if your bicycle is unattended or out of sight. Accessories should be returned intact at the end of your holiday.

You are responsible for safeguarding your bicycle and for any damage or loss while it is hired to you. Our recommended travel insurance policy provides cover of up to £750 (£1,500 in the case of electric bikes) if your hired bicycle is extensively damaged or stolen if it has been locked and/or stored appropriately. We are also able to offer similar cover with a ‘bicycle only’ insurance policy (in association with Fogg Travel Insurance Services) – cover is subject to certain limited exclusions, and you should pay the first £75 of any claim for damage or theft. The insurance can be bought at any time before your departure, and costs £19 per person. View the policy wording here.