How fit do I need to be to cycle?
Our cycling holidays are designed to be taken at a pace which suits you. Obviously if you do a bit of cycling in advance, then it helps. Ideally you should be used to exercising for 20/30 minutes each day. But no need to worry, many of our customers will not be regular cyclists and if you need a rest at some point, you can always stop or use public transport!
Some tours are more challenging than others and will require higher levels of fitness. You just need to remember that you are not racing to your hotel and generally have all day to arrive at your next scheduled stop.
How do you manage having people of different abilities on the holiday?
In the most part, the group will ride together, but in some cases, there will be fitter people than others. If the fitter cyclists wish, then can ride by themselves for a while and we will give them clear instructions on the future route that day. We always make sure we have got the slowest riders under close observation to help them along the way.
How many people will be on each tour?
Most of the trips we offer are self-guided, can start anyday of the week and run over a period of several months. Unless stated, your tour will be individual to your start dates. Other customers might be travelling on the route too.
On a group holiday, there could be 4 or 5 or could be up to 20. Much depends upon the nature of the route. But do not worry, our guides are there to make sure everyone feels part of the group and has a great time.
Please note on some tours you will be in groups with non-Whereabouts customers and not from the UK.
What’s included in my Whereabouts Holidays cycling holiday?
Generally we include the stated number of nights’ accommodation on whatever board basis, as specified on the trip. This could be bed and breakfast or half board, which would normally be breakfast and evening dinner. You will need to pay for any extras at the hotel, for example, any drinks with your meals. We do not include transfers from the arriving airport and back to the departure airport, unless otherwise stated. And the services of our local experts and helpful guides are included, along with a hire bike for you. Your holiday is also covered by the financial protection arrangements offered by either ABTA or the CAA under the ATOL scheme.
Should I bring my own bike with me?
All of the holidays have bike hire included in the cost and we would prefer you not to bring your bike as all of the locally sourced bikes are of excellent quality from leading brands. If you are used to riding your own bike, then you are welcome to do so. But no need to worry, we have bikes available for you.
What sort of bikes are used?
Quality brand bikes are ideally suited for the roads and any mixed terrain you may encounter. When you arrive, we will ensure the bike is perfectly set up for you to ensure a comfortable riding position.
Your bike will be kept in perfect working order and on-call support is needed if required.
What clothing should I wear?
It’s important to be comfortable when you are cycling, so we recommend wearing padded shorts of some description, but you don’t have to look a ‘sports’ cyclist.
Also wear thin, lightweight tops in layers which you can take off if you feel too warm. Bring a good pair of gloves as these will give you extra grip.
We hope your tour is warm and dry, but there is the chance it may rain, so bringing some waterproofs which we will carry in the support vehicle for you.
In terms of footwear, trainers are best. If you are a more seasoned cyclist, then bring your own cycling shoes and pedals and we will fit them to the bike.
Please bring your own helmets and gloves. In certain countries this is the law but we would recommend you wear it whenever you are riding – as well as a good sun cream!
What happens to your luggage?
We want you to be able to cycle in complete comfort, so we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. 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, sun cream and your Passport if crossing borders.
Do I need a passport or visa?
Visas are not required for British passport holders to enter France, Italy, Spain, Germany or Austria, but you should have 6 months remaining on your passport. As a British passport holder you may stay as a visitor for three months. You can see the latest information at the Foreign Office’s website www.fco.gov.uk. For customers holding passports from other countries, we recommend that you check with your own authorities as regards entry requirements for your chosen country of destination.
Should I take out insurance?
We recommend that you take out adequate travel and health insurance for your trip. If you do not, and subsequently require medical assistance, you could be faced with a large bill, which could require paying before you return home.
Should I obtain an EHIC card?
It is extremely important to understand that EHIC will only allow access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS.
On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad, which includes: What does the EHIC cover? It will cover medical treatment that becomes necessary during your stay because of either illness or an accident. The card gives access to reduced-cost or free medical treatment from state healthcare providers. It allows you to be treated on the same basis as a resident of the country you are visiting i.e. you may have to pay a patient contribution (also known as a co-payment). You may be able to seek reimbursement for this when you are back in the UK if you are not able to do so in the other country. It includes treatment of a chronic or pre-existing medical condition that becomes necessary during your visit. It includes routine maternity care, (provided the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth). It includes the provision of oxygen, renal dialysis and routine medical care.
What is not covered?
The EHIC is not a substitute or replacement for private travel insurance. You should always take out an appropriate private policy in addition to carrying your EHIC.
What equipment should I take?
The temperature can fluctuate in mountain areas and conditions can change quickly. You should always have a something dry and warm with you regardless of the season. It is advised that you carry a lunchbox or drink with you as you may be in areas that are not close to shops. You will receive a full kit list to bring when you make a booking.
What documents will I receive on my holiday?
You will receive one set of travel information for your hiking trip per room . You will find arrival information and general information (leaflets, information on attractions, timetables, etc.) and an accommodation list. Route maps, route descriptions will be included as part of your pack and you will not receive these until arrival.
You will receive a book of the route with photos so you can navigate using pictures (selected holidays). There is a map section for each junction and summarized this in a book. On some trips, the route material (maps, route description) is provided on site at the welcome meeting or at the first hotel for you to read.
How do I book my tour?
Simply click ‘Book online’ and you will be asked to fill out some basic details. We will contact you back to confirm availability. Please do not book flights until the holiday is confirmed.
Are flights included?
Flights are not included in the price of the holiday. However, we have selected holidays based on their connectivity to UK airports. You can also arrive by train if you prefer. It is important that you do not book connecting travel until the holiday has been confirmed.
Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend taking out a travel insurance and cancellation insurance. You will also need your EHIC card and to make sure you are covered for active sports whilst on holiday.
What kind of accommodation?
You will stay in hotels, country hotels, boarding houses and huts offering warm hospitality and understand the requirements of people on walking holidays such as muddy boots!
In smaller towns, it may not be possible to offer 3 to 4* accommodation. However, all rooms with shower or tub bath and toilet are standard.
Is each tour the same?
Most tours follow a similar format, but the standard of hotels may vary from country to country for hotel classification and food. If there is a real difference, we will highlight the change.
Sunshine is not guaranteed on your holiday and conditions may change. However, we recommend you check the forecast before departure, local historical conditions and read the kit list.
Are the maps correct?
The maps provide an overview of the holiday. We may have to change certain routes according to local construction work, weather conditions or pathways being closed/open.