Frequently Asked Questions
Our trips are not competitive events so don’t worry about keeping up or setting a pace. If your normal level of activity involves walking, cycling, golfing, swimming, aerobics etc. you’ll enjoy our tours. This is not a boot camp, we’re there to guide and encourage you while you work up an appetite for dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of your chosen tour area.
At any point along the route, you can call for the support vehicle to give you a lift to the next scheduled meeting point or just whisk you straight on to the next hotel – it’s entirely your choice.
We take care of moving it for you. At the start of the tour we give you personalised labels for your luggage. All we ask is that on days when we are scheduled to move to the next hotel, you have your luggage packed and ready to go after breakfast. We’ll load it, move it and have it waiting for you at your next hotel. For the things you’d like to have with you as you ride you’ll have your own bag that fits neatly and discreetly onto your bike.
While you’re enjoying the ride there will be at least two support vehicles, usually just out of view, carrying spare bikes and parts, first aid kit, snacks and beverages and vacant seating for those who’d like to take a rest, catch up or just move on to the hotel. Your guides will be in regular contact with the support vehicles, so if you need anything just let them know.
Our regular tours are designed for, and restricted to adults aged 18 years and older. We do offer a bespoke tour design service where we can put together a family oriented tour to any of the destinations we offer. Please contact us to discuss this option further.
Our tour prices are based on two people sharing a twin or double room. If you are a solo traveler we have to charge you a supplement. Where different room types are available at the time of booking, we will endeavor to find you the best value room available.
We aim to include more on our trips than other bike tour companies in an effort to provide our guests with the most unforgettable, stress-free travel experience.
- Outstanding luxury accommodation in authentic hotels
- Fully equipped hybrid bikes, ride bags, safety helmets and a range of optional accessories
- Daily breakfasts and lunches as well as nutritious snacks and beverages during the rides
- All dinners, except on free nights. Our tour itineraries usually reserve one night on which you will be free to do your own thing. We will be happy to provide recommendations and make reservations for you if required
- Carefully selected local wines with lunch (if you’ve finished for the day) and dinner
- Expert guides with extensive route knowledge
- Additional expert guides from local points of interest in the region
- At least two support vehicles on every tour
- Group sizes that don’t exceed 14 riders
- Wine tastings and local tours as outlined in the itinerary
- Entrance fees to historic sites and points of interest
- Gratuities for hotel services and specialist local guides
- Complimentary souvenir gear, including an Echelon cycling jersey and water bottle
The following items are not included in the price of your tour:
- Airfares and transportation to the scheduled tour departure point and from the scheduled tour termination point
- Alcoholic beverages other than those served with meals and at other scheduled activities on the tour
- Gratuities for Echelon guides
- Personal expenses
We plan to start riding shortly after breakfast every day and finish around lunchtime. The duration of each day’s ride depends on the route we ride, the pace we ride and the number of stops we choose to take. On average we’ll be out in the open air either riding or experiencing something for about four and half hours each day (you can always shorten it by calling up a support vehicle). This leaves you all afternoon and evening to relax, shop, or just take a nap – unless of course, you’ve signed up for an optional ride after lunch.
Usually there will a minimum of three guides riding alongside and amongst the group, covering the range of differing paces and ability levels. In addition there will be at least two drivers with the support vehicles which you’ll see at various stopping points throughout the ride, providing lifts and assistance as needed.
When you’re riding -
The most important thing is to feel comfortable, padded bicycle shorts and bicycle gloves will help a lot, as will clothes made from modern breathable fabrics.
Laundry facilities are available at most hotels but as we move on each day it may not be feasible to have your clothes laundered and returned before the next day’s departure time. The better option is to pack enough gear to get you comfortably through the entire trip.
We spend most of our time outside, either on our bikes, at cafes, enjoying picnic lunches or appreciating local culture so dress appropriately. Check your favourite weather app or look on our website to find out what type of weather conditions to expect during your tour. This should help you decide what clothing to pack – and don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses.
Depending on the time of year, it can reach the mid 80’s in the sun and yet feel cold the moment you step inside a historic building to look around. Cycling shoes or trainers, bicycling tights, sandals, long-sleeved tops, rain gear (jacket and pants), and a sweatshirt are also useful, and you can leave these in the support vehicle until you need them.
When you've finished riding -
If you plan to use the spa facilities that you’ll find at some of the hotels along the route don’t forget your swimming costume. We’ll be eating in some super hotels but formal attire isn’t necessary. Some guests will choose to pack a smarter set of clothes and shoes for restaurants, that’s entirely up to you but smart/casual is acceptable everywhere we stay as well as in the restaurants. Something warmer for the evenings may come in useful, as well as the usual vacation packing items - sweater, coat, dress, trousers, walking shorts, socks, shoes and sleep-wear etc.
It’s entirely up to you. Industry standards for gratuities range from 3% to 5% of the tour price per person. We encourage you to use your discretion and tip according to the level of service you receive.
For our current range of scheduled tours a passport is required for travel. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens as long as you stay 90 days or less.
We strongly recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance.
The group size will not exceed 14 guests.
Please note that Echelon is located in the Greenwich Mean Time zone.
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