- The Odyssey
- Travel Assistance
- Single Supplement
- Tour Payments
- Tour Numbers
- Loyal Riders
- Arrival and Departure
- Food, snacks, drinks
- Dietary Requirements
- Support Vehicles
- Day Off?
- Bike Cases
- Custom Tours
- The Guide Team
What does the trip price include?
- All accommodation
- All breakfasts, snacks all day (riding, post-ride)
- Picnic lunches 5 days a week
- Exceptional dinners 5 days a week
- All drinks at dinner (approx 1/2 bottle wine per person and/or soft drinks & sparkling water)
- Van support (with our coffee machine on our remote tours). 1 vehicle per 12 guests
- 1 expert guide per 6 riders
- Exceptional documentation - overviews, itineraries, accommodation lists and daily maps
- Your own soigneur to keep the legs and mind fresh on all our tours where we have 18 guests or more
- A history specialist to excite the mind
- Wine tastings, and on many of our tours a sommelier travelling with the group
- Latest technology in navigation and tracking - each rider will have a user-friendly GPS device
- Bike bag transfers
- Gratuities for all hotel/restaurant/activity staffing
What is not included?
- Personal Insurance
- Bike Hire
- 2 lunches and 2 dinners
- coffees/drinks in cafes en route (van always has cold drinks)
- Personal expenses
- Gratuities for guides - amount up to you but expected in the industry and hugely appreciated
- Water bottles (can bring on request). We encourage everyone to bring their own to minimise waste on tour.
If you require further nights at the start and finish hotels of your tour, please talk to Nicky - [email protected]. She will be happy to help with the arrangements. Please note, that this is outside of the tour schedule so to cover the time Nicky spends doing this, 10% will be added to the hotel costs. This is more often than not covered by our more favourable rates but we prefer to be open about this pricing arrangement and we guarantee that you’ll be able to stay in the same room as when you are on the tour. If you prefer to book yourself or find cheaper rates then that is completely fine. Please just let us know so we can ensure you are booked in and lined up to join us on tour on Day 1!
On all Bike Odyssey tours you will need to ensure that you have comprehensive medical insurance. The minimum that we require is coverage for the costs of medical treatment and evacuation in the event of an emergency. Extra cover will also cover you for loss of luggage and a host of other issues, including in our current world, COVID-19. We recommend that you take out insurance as soon as you have booked your tour as full cover will cover any costs that you may incur should you have to cancel your trip.
As is standard with bike tours, we also require you to sign a risk waiver and fill out a medical questionnaire before the tour starts. This is an important acknowledgement of the risks that are involved with going on a bike tour. It is fundamental to us that we run a safe tour; but it is also important that all participants are aware of what is involved and have sufficient insurance cover in place.
We charge a single supplement to individual travellers who wish to ensure that they have private rooms throughout a trip. If stipulated on the booking form that a single traveller would like Bike Odyssey to find them a roommate we will try our very best to fulfil this request. In the event that we are unable to find a roommate for you, then the single supplement is payable. If you share a room (double or twin) there will be no single supplement charge.
To secure your place on tour, you need to fill out the booking form and pay a deposit (1500 AUD, 1000 USD, 1000 EUR or 800 GBP). At around 120 days we will issue your full invoice and at 90 days the balance needs to be paid in full. Tours booked within this period require full payment at the time of booking. Our full Terms and Conditions can be read here.
We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the tour start, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimise the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays.
A key element in any great trip is memorable accommodation. Every night we strive to ensure that you don’t forget (for good reasons of course!) your night’s stay. For this reason we try to avoid chain hotels and look for unique accommodation which is usually at the upper end of the scale.
Our numbers are based around the ratio of having at least 1 guide per 6 riders. So if we have 7 riders we will have 2 guides, 13 riders 3 guides and for 19 or more riders we will have 4 guides.
We have a lot of riders who come back and tour with us year after year and we really appreciate this. We also want you to feel valued as a returning rider. This is why we have setup our loyalty program. This program includes a 5% discount on any return trip, but perhaps more importantly we strive every year to make it worth your while to ride with us. Whether it be free kit or bike related items, action photos or a ride, we do our best to show our appreciation of your loyalty. Furthermore, your 10th Odyssey with us is free. Read all about John Montagner here, who reached his 10th ride in 2019.
The grading system is our way of informing you how hard the trips are to help you make a decision on which tour to choose. All our tours are challenging so compared to most grading systems our bar starts a little higher. For a full breakdown of the system please click here.
For all our tours we provide a pre-tour document which outlines all the practical essentials regarding your tour. A detailed itinerary will also be sent out to all guests. On the tour, map sheets will be handed out daily. This includes all the essentials regarding the hotel and stops en route as well as a map and some cultural notes.
The start and end points for our tours are the hotels we begin and end the tours in. We will provide a shuttle to your first hotel from the major nearby airport on the day your tour begins. We will also provide a shuttle on the final day of the tour to the major nearby airport. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide shuttles on other days due to logistical complications.
Food and Wine is key to any great travelling experience. Every dinner is chosen carefully whether it be a 5-course degustation or a meal at a local trattoria. We also sometimes have sommeliers on our guide team so as you ride through the vineyards or sit down for an aperitif they will be able to tell you all about it! As for our picnic lunches, they are always a highlight for the guests and the envy of every other cyclist who rolls past! They are always filled with local fresh produce and we cater for all dietary requirements. Last but not least we know the importance of coffee in every cyclist's diet. This is why, for our more remote tours where the perfect espresso is not available, we built into our support vehicle a coffee machine. Do you fancy an espresso at the top of Osorno Volcano overlooking Patagonia?
Snacks are provided as part of the tour package and the vans will always be stocked. In the morning and at the end of each day there will be a table set up with fruit, bars and local treats to keep you going or to pop in your pocket. If you ever need anything please ask.
All non-alcoholic drinks are provided for our guests and there will always be a selection of cold soft drinks and juices in the van at all times of day.
Wine will be included with dinners (approx 1/2 bottle per person)
Yes of course. We understand everyone’s requirements are different and that on a challenging trip you want to be sure you get the food that sustains you best. The standard of our restaurants is such that we generally have no trouble accommodating any dietary requirements. Please let us know in advance of any special needs you have.
Transport wise, everything is covered while you are on tour with us. This includes any transfers, shuttles or support that is required. On your tour there will be one or two vehicles depending on numbers (1 vehicle up to 12 riders, 2 after that). When there are two vehicles, one will move the luggage and set up the picnic lunches. The other will support the group and provide the snacks. With smaller groups, one vehicle will fulfil both these roles. Both vehicles always play the role of the sag wagon and are available for support or a lift whether it be just up a hill or to the end of the day.
The simple answer to this is that it is your holiday and you can choose to ride as much or as little as you like. There will always be multiple vehicles supporting if you want to do a half-day, have a sleep in or take the whole day off to do some sightseeing or relaxing!
Riding on our expeditions is a challenging undertaking so we want you to be as comfortable as possible. Therefore whether you choose to bring your own bike, or ride one of ours is completely up to you. Regarding our bikes for hire, we have taken a different tact from most other touring companies. What we do at Bike Odyssey is run exceptional tours and as with the touring industry there are a plethora of bike hire companies across Europe and around the world. Therefore, we stick to our tour expertise and rather than own a tired fleet of bikes (check any tour companies fleet and you’ll understand what I mean) we engage with the best of these companies to provide you the best options possible. Therefore, if you choose to hire a bike from us this ensures we offer only the latest models and best brands.
Please check out our Rental Bike Page here for all our options around the world.
If I hire a bike how can I be sure that the bike will fit?
Obviously, the best fit you can usually hope for is your own bike as that is what you are most used to. That said we are confident that our choice of quality bikes, and experience of fitting people to bikes, is such that you won’t be disappointed. We fit people to their hire bikes based on their height and bike inseam (we gather these details after you have booked on the tour) and if you have been fitted to a bike before please send this information along and we will have your rental perfectly set up and ready to ride. In addition, we carry extra handlebar stems, seat posts, saddles and spacers to enable us to make further adjustments to suit the needs of the individual rider.
We love running custom tours as we get to work with guests to create their ideal trip! Whether they be an adaption of one of our current offerings or a completely new journey, our expert trip designers are happy to work with you to create your perfect tour. Get in touch and we would love to sit down with you and explore your requirements. For more information please click here:
We take a great deal of care in structuring our guide teams. Below are some of the roles the guides perform to give you an idea of the skills they have and areas they cover on tour. On your tour there will be 1 guide per 6 guests and they will cover these skill sets between them.
Tour Leader: A highly experienced guide (10+ years) with an intimate knowledge of the tour and the areas it goes through. Responsible for the group and for their team.
Local Expert: We use local experts as their contributions go beyond showing you a nice road to ride on. Whether it be getting you tickets to the ballet in St Petersburg, introducing you to their favourite local cafe in Pienza, or taking you for a dip in the hot springs of Patagonia, they really give the tours that special inside edge.
Mechanic: On all our tours we have at least one highly experienced and trained bike mechanic. They will take care of your bike whether you have hired it through us or have brought your own. If there are any issues they can’t handle, or special new parts needed, they will take the bike to a local shop to get it sorted.
Historians: As our tours are based on historically-themed routes, we have specialists in the history of the trip. Obviously this is a slightly left-field requirement for guides who are so often jack of all trades, but we have searched the guide ranks to find these special people. Our other option is to engage experts - archaeologists, historians, professors, authors - to come in for a talk over dinner, to guide you around a ruin, or even the whole journey to bring the stories to life as you roll through that region.
Soigneurs: On tours that have 18 or more people, a massage therapist travels with us to set up in the afternoons/evenings at your hotel and provide a massage. You will be able to enjoy a massage, if you wish, at least twice a week, assuming that everyone wants to take full advantage of this superb service! We want the evenings to be a complete rejuvenation of body through fabulous food, treated muscles and a great sleep so you are in the best shape possible to take on your next day of adventure.
Cultural Experts: Whether it be gastronomic delicacies, vineyards, crafts, myths or legends, our guides know the areas you are travelling through well. They are either from there or have guided there for a number of years. We always have a linguist for each different country we go through which ensures for a smooth operation.
Genuine Cyclists: No guide rides with us who is not genuinely in love with the bike. We are not saying they have to be fanatical, but they are all highly experienced and exceptional bike handlers.
Drivers: All our guides are experienced drivers and will take turns at manning the vehicles. This ensures that no one gets bored driving day after day, and they get to rest their legs now and then so are refreshed and keen to get back on the bike to challenge and enthuse the group at every level.
Motivators: All of the guides, ducking back and forth through the group will keep you motivated along the journey. It might involve making a daily plan over breakfast of how much or which part of the day to ride, or giving you advice and training on how to tackle a certain challenge. This is a must-have skill for all our guides and through years of experience, they know how best to help you achieve your goals.
Moral Support: There are no more enthusiastic people you want to ride with than our team. Yes, our tours are challenging, but also doable. We strive to make every part of it as smooth and supportive as possible to give you the best chance of finishing the tour as you want to, or in many cases surprising you with achieving more than you’d ever hoped for. See some of our testimonials who have felt this about us…………..
In terms of everyday tipping in restaurants and hotels we have got that covered. However, we work in an industry in which tipping of the guides is standard and as such we suggest that if your guides have done a good job that you tip them at the end of the tour. We appreciate that different cultures have different ideas on what constitutes a reasonable tip, so to give you an idea, most tours get tipped between 5-10%. Saying this, we don't suggest a set figure. We pay our guides well and remind them to consider tips as an added bonus rather than to expect them. However, we employ fantastic guides who are known to give well above their duties, so if you feel they have done a good job, please show your appreciation. We leave it completely at your discretion as to how much.