Click here on the question to get the answer for these common questions regarding our tours, our bike tour and walking tour booking policies:
Questions - click to see answer below:
One of the largest US cycling magazines has even confounded what this type of travel means, and therefore it is easily misunderstood! This is NOT SELF-CONTAINED bicycle touring. Bags are transported and most of the services of a guided trip are provided!
Yes, you can be independent, but you're never totally alone. The trips are at your pace, however each night you have the comfort of knowing you have a room reserved and paid for in a charming location with an excellent meal and sites to see. Also, detailed guide maps provide all the information you'll need in explicit terms so that you won't get lost. Extensive pre-trip documentation is provided to help you prepare. You will have the phone number of each hotel, and our local colleagues in the area. Some of the tours include daily briefings by our colleagues. Self-guided for these tours means partially supported with a local english speaking contact to call with questions. Perhaps the greatest quality of a self-guided tour is that you are never dependent on other group members for dates of travel, speed of cycling, visits desired, etc. You can do exactly what you want, when you want! Read about Self Guided Travel here.
All trips include extensive pre-trip documentation and optional services, all tour hotels, baggage transfer, guide maps, cue sheets, and tourist information. Orientations are usually provided at the tour start. Meals are included but vary from trip to trip on how many meals! Each tour indicates what it includes in the description and makes note as to what options may also be paid for such as bike rental. Some tours include special extras such as admissions to attractions, picnics, and so on. Please read each tour description carefully.
Single supplements are available in nearly every tour. This is an extra charge over the quoted double room rate which is a shared rate. You will be booked into a double unless you indicate in advance your single preference.
Bags are transferred for the self-guided trips via pre-arranged transportation with the hotel or our guide service. You will need to have bags packed and left at the checkout desk before departing, or if the hotel requires them earlier than your planned departure, it will be noted what time bags must be dropped. Check for any bag limits.Van support is provided on the guided tours, and all bags will be carried by the van. However the van may not be carrying the bags at all times during the day. Your things may be transferred, prior to a sweep of the route by the van. Guides will advise the groups about bag drop times and planned transfers.
You will be provided with a suggested packing list. Its up to you to decide what additional things to bring. Depending on your total trip time, you may have bags which you won't need on the tour. We suggest you make arrangements to store bags during the tour if you won't need them. Ask our staff for suggestions in coordinating your total voyage.
Rentals are available, usually as an additional option, for each cycling tour we offer. Sometimes rentals are included in the tour price - check the tour description about what's included to be sure. Rental bikes are typically hybrids, but we do also offer roadbikes in some destinations. See the tour description to know the options. We do our best to provide top quality hybrid and road bike rentals. These bikes are usually no more than 2 seasons old, but in some of our more popular destinations they are new every year. The bikes are built up for the terrain you will cover. We almost always offer triple chain rings, a bag to carry personal items, repair tools for flat tires, and some other miscellaneous equipment like GPS in some locations. This is a key component of the trip and we put a great deal of energy into providing and maintaining quality equipment!
Consult the Booking section of this website. Penalties apply for cancellation within 60 days of the tour start. Insurance is available through our office at the time of booking to protect certain unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to have to cancel.
This is one of the best parts of travel! This is certainly no time to go on a diet, but as you will learn, many wonderful things can be enjoyed in moderation. All of the tours offer cuisine of the region, and suggestions for places to visit and specialties to enjoy will be available. The tours vary as to what each includes, and therefore read the description carefully. For meals that are included, if you have a special need - like vegetarian, please let us know in advance and we will make every effort to meet those needs. In nearly every case, beverages are not included with meals, (your individual purchase).
We do not have consistency from one country to the next. Some rate their hotels based on a variety of amenities and services offered. Luxury hotels will naturally be at the top of the ratings at 4/5 star. Most of the hotels used are 3/4 star properties. We ensure you a very good quality hotel property with room containing a private bathroom and shower at a minimum. We search for family owned inns and charming ambiance. No chain hotels, no dumps - we aren't going cheap here! We can upgrade to very deluxe in some cased, but often these places are the best available and we think you will enjoy them immensely for their charm, local touch, local style, and service. We try to have hotels with staff that speak some English, but it isn't always possible. Most all of the properties will contain a restaurant, and if the property does not it will have an arrangement with a very close restaurant. You can expect to be able to store your bike either in a special storage area. In general, you are paying for a good hotel with clean and private services. Additional amenities may be available, and upgrades are noted where available. You can see virtual hotel tours on each tour page's description. Please inquire about your specific tour.
Connections and getting there can be arranged through our offices as well as any other add-ons to your to your tour. Our staff will advise you for the best air transportation option from around the world, and both train & car travel. There are limits on airplane baggage and train baggage with the TGV, so be sure to check with us. Most tours will require you to get from the airport or train station to the starting hotel, but some will include picking you up and dropping you off. Check the tour descriptions.
How do I book a trip and can you help with other services like trains, car, and air?
Its very simple. You can go to our Online Booking page and follow the instructions, or you can also printing and fax a completed form. Read our Terms and Conditions as well. If you want, you can call us at 800-960-2221 to know more and to start your booking, but to complete a booking you must complete online or by fax. You can call in your credit card number if you are not comfortable putting it through online. We require a credit card guarantee to complete the booking request, but we do not charge credit cards until we confirm that space is available. If it is, then we confirm the dates with you and charge the deposit. If it is not, we will work to find convenient alternatives, which may only involve adjusting by one or two days.
We can also help with trains, car rentals, and hotels but we do not handle airfare. Once you get your air, we are a one-stop shop for all your travel needs.
We do rate our tours from Level 1 (easy) to Level 5 (challenging). See our page at http://www.pure-adventures.com/tours/cycling-hiking-levels.php for a complete answer on how to determine if you are ready for the tour you have in mind. Never hesitate to call us or ask us directly as well!
The answer is generally yes, but it isn’t that easy. In nearly all cases, adding on miles is something you can easily do by using the maps we provide and following another road you see that is similar to the routes we have devised. Something like an out and back from our itinerary. But, we would not be able to provide custom route notes and other support on optional rides you may choose to make for yourself. Sometimes we can highlight on a map some nice add-on rides and you can decide later if you feel like doing them.
All self guided trips include a local contact number. You will usually meet our local support staff when we do orientations at the beginning of a self guided trip. You can always call for help or questions during daylight hours. Note that coming out to meet you on the road will involve additional fees. The only exception is if a bike has a mechanical failure, other than a flat tire, and in this case we will take on costs to get you rolling again.If you fall sick or can't finish a ride and need to be transferred, you can call local support and get a ride arranged, but this will be an extra cost paid by you - typically on the spot. If a rental GPS device breaks down, we will attempt to fix it or advise how to manage over the phone, but you have back up directions for such occurrences and an immediate trip to you on the road will not be available. If your hotel room isn't to your liking you can call and ask for an upgrade or attempt to work it out on your own at the hotel. As long as you received the room category included, you will have to pay for any upgrades. If you are not comfortable on your bike after accepting the bike in the beginning, we will attempt to make adjustments to make you more comfortable but any trips out to meet you may incur added fees for the travel and mechanic time.
We select the best routes possible for peaceful and relaxing experience in each destination, but some trips will have selected routes that are meant to challenge - and reward! We work with locals to help us come up with and offer the best routes for you to experience. This local knowledge is invaluable at this point and is the key to our success with the tours we offer. This usually means nicely paved roads with low traffic; however we have added a few more unpaved roads that carry no vehicle traffic. The unpaved roads could have small gravel or be of dirt. Any unpaved road is almost always a signed cycling path, and is most often not a technical ride. In general the routes are small country roads that pass through villages and by important sites that will enhance your experience. Depending on the level of the trip, you could have flat to rolling roads or up to challenging mountain roads to go up.
We charge a deposit once the tour is confirmed. We do need your credit card at the time of booking to guarantee and hold space. Your final payment is due 60 days prior to travel. To know all Terms in complete detail, visit our Terms Page.: http://pure-adventures.com/book-cycling-hiking-tours/terms.php
We do maintain a database of reliable third party references including rating sites, BBB site, and professional organizations that can provide a reference and reviews (www.adventure.travel ). In our support materials, we provide articles that have been published, customer comments, and much more; in addition you can join our Facebook fan pages to see what past travelers are posting about too. We will do everything possible to ensure your confidence prior to travel with us. Our clients come back again and again which is a perfect testimonial to our serious intentions to give you the best trip possible for your money!