Self-Guided Bike Tours

What is a self-guided bike tour? Find out what to expect from a self-guided bike tour in Europe.

Finding Your Way on a Self-Guided Bike Tour

On a self-guided bike tour you can will be provided with everything you need to follow the route and reach your next destination without any help! When booking a bike tour you will be given information about the routes you will ride each day, including the distances, elevations, and estimated times between stops as well as the start and finish. Most providers will supply you with GPX files so you can load them onto your navigation device or share the maps and routes via an application like BikeMap.netKomoot, or Ride With GPS.

You may also have access to rider rescue and telephone backup should you get stuck and need a few pointers (most providers will do this because they want to get you to your destination safely!) If you think you’ll need this make sure to ask whether it’s available or included!

The advantage of a self-guided tour over one with a guide are that usually you will be just with a group of friends or a partner so you can be a little more accommodation and flexible than if you were in an organised group. Maybe you want to take a little longer over lunch or pop into a gallery or tourist hotspot and split your ride out over more of the day?

On a guided tour you will follow a set itinerary on a prescribed route and there won’t be as much flexibility. If taking your time is important than a self-guided tour may be your best bet. That doesn’t mean you’ll be on your own for the day! Many tour operators offer rider rescue (via local third parties) and phone support: if you’re not sure and would like this as backup for peace of mind, just ask!

When you’re searching our site you can use the filters on our holiday listings page to find the best ride options for you.

Your Accommodation on a Self-Guided Bike Tour

When you book a self-guided bike tour you can expect that you will be moving from place-to-place each day. Each provider notes the star rating of the accommodations used on their tours so check this the description. The providers on our site provide a mix that includes B&B and half-board with in guest houses and hotels with 3* ratings and above.

Additional Services

Unlike a cycling holiday from a fixed base the facilities at your accommodation will vary each day. Options may include “rider rescue” or a helpline with someone to respond to questions and help you out if you have issues with your accommodation, but otherwise you’ll be on your own.

As the accommodations will be organised by your tour operator you can expect cyclists to be well catered for, so facilities will most likely have secure bike storage. You may also find a pool, gym, etc. This should all be spelled out in the detailed tour description and if you’re not sure or a particular facility is a deal breaker, just ask.

You can sometimes expect to be driven to a start and end point, if doing this means you can explore an interesting route that would be too hard/far to do in a single day.

Our Self-Guided Bike Tours in Europe

Here’s our current list of self-guided bike tours. We have tours in Italy, Slovakia, and Holland – all at different price points with options for families, leisure riders, road, mountain bike, and gravel!

Tuscany South Cycle Tour

San Gimignano, Italy
€1300 (per person) / 8 nights / B&B

A relaxing tour of Southern Tuscany suitable for road, gravel or leisure cyclists.

Cycling from Amsterdam to Bruges

Amsterdam, Netherlands
€742 (per person) / 8 nights / B&B

A tour through some of the most picturesque towns in the Netherlands and Flanders: Gouda, Dordrecht, Willemstad, Zierikzee, Middelburg, Vlissingen (Flushing), Sluis, Damme and ultimately Bruges through nature reserves and on traffic-free routes.

Pearls of Holland

Amsterdam, Netherlands
€659 (per person) / 7 nights / B&B

A self-guided tour on safe, flat cycleways taking you through the popular Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda. Cheese tasting not obligatory but a visit to the museum is definitely worthwhile!

Cycling from Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands
€375 (per person) / 5 nights / B&B

Listed on our site as a tour but falling more into our definition of a holiday you’ll stay at a hotel in Central Amsterdam and ride a different circular route to explore the surroundings each day.

The Best of Slovakia Bike Tour

Bratislava, Slovakia
€469 (per person) / 12 nights / B&B

On this tour you’ll ride through lowlands, mountains, rolling countryside, and historic towns passing many castles, historic sites, and natural wonders. Not an easy route – graded 3 or 4 on our scale – and riding 780km (485 miles) over 12 days, it is suitable for gravel bikes, tourers, and mountain bikes.

Carpathian Bike Odyssey in Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia
€549 (per person) / 14 nights / B&

This mountain bike adventure – also suitable for gravel bikes – takes you through hidden trails of Slovakia, starting in the Slovak capital Bratislava and ending in the “metropolis of the East”, Košice.

Do you offer self-guided cycle tours in Europe? Get listed on our site and reach more cyclists! Click here for more information about Cycling Holidays Europe and how we work with niche cycling holiday, tour and accommodation providers to promote specialised holidays.

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